Flexible Dining: Does it Belong on Carnival?

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Poll: Should Carnival offer flexible dining fleetwide?
Poll Results
Should Carnival offer flexible dining fleetwide?

Yes, flexible dining is the best!
239
33.57%

No, it's not Carnival's style.
47
6.60%

Maybe, let's wait and see.
82
11.52%

I don't care, as long as the food is good.
74
10.39%

No, I prefer traditional dining.
270
37.92%

Voters: 712.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
3 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Flexible dining, which has been introduced on lines including, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Princess and now Carnival, is a controversial topic among cruisers. Is flexible dining a blessing or a curse? And should Carnival offer flexible dining fleetwide? Take our poll and speak your mind!

For more on this topic, read Carnival Extends Flexible Dining Trials.
#2
Raleigh, NC
43,898 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Caroline, I'm not sure if you have seen it or not, but this was a great recent thread and poll on this subject: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...light=flexible

Personally, because I cruise with large CC groups, I prefer the way it is now, only because I know it would be hard to get tables for 100+ people using flexible dining. But if they can make it work and still allow people that like traditional dining to have it, I am all for it. I know there are many that want flexible dining, I might if it wasn't for the group thing...
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#3
League City, TX
498 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Why fix it if it is not broken? I like it the way it is. You know what time you are supposed to be there and you know you will have your table.
I am anxious to see all of the results......
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#4
3 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by GoinCruisin
Caroline, I'm not sure if you have seen it or not, but this was a great recent thread and poll on this subject: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...light=flexible

Personally, because I cruise with large CC groups, I prefer the way it is now, only because I know it would be hard to get tables for 100+ people using flexible dining. But if they can make it work and still allow people that like traditional dining to have it, I am all for it. I know there are many that want flexible dining, I might if it wasn't for the group thing...
Thanks for your link to that poll -- it was interesting! I hope you enjoy our coverage of this topic. Personally, I just care if the food tastes good. But I can't wait to find out what everyone else thinks....
#5
6,018 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
I thought all cruise lines already had flexible dining. Going to the buffet or pizza station anytime you want, or skipping the dining room for the buffet. If that's not flexible dining, what is?
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#6
Iowa
6,014 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I don't mind if they offer it as long as I can get traditional dining. I like having the same waitstaff, the same table and the same tablemates. I understand that it makes more sense for some people to be able to eat when they want to eat, but I do think they need to offer both options.
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#7
1,799 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I like to have the same waiter & wait staff throughout my cruise

I also think that carnival should have more options for eating available if they do go to Flexible seating...
Many ships do not have the Supper Club , I have noticed
and a larger selection of other dining besides buffet and Pizza

I am not complaining mind you ... I love the Dining room and all the food options...and that would be my main choice right there...

traditional dining Please.

and lunch dining even on non sea days
por favor
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#8
Westland, MI
112 Posts
Joined May 2008
I prefer traditional dining, however, I also prefer an early seating time for dining. Call it selfish if you will, but I would rather see flexible dining than requesting early seating only to get late seating. Yes, I realize that there are other flexible dinner options (buffet, etc.), yet I don't believe that to be a reasonable expectation for every night on a 7 day cruise if Carnival cannot honor my stated dining preference.
#9
Lakeville, MN
6,037 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I hope they add flexible dining on the Miracle by Feb 17 2009! Though Miracle seems to have a lot of tables for two. So if I can snag one of those, the traditional dining won't be that bad.
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#11
Northeast Oklahoma USA
700 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I think they should leave it alone..... Then again I think people should follow the dress code for dinner or be refused entry...
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#12
San Diego, CA
5,872 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Sadly, it's probably inevitable that Carnival will fall in line with the others; I just hope it (flexible dining) doesn't infect the Spirit until after our sailing in November!
#13
19,475 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by oklahoma_doug
I think they should leave it alone..... Then again I think people should follow the dress code for dinner or be refused entry...
You would still have to follow the dress code for the flexible dining in the dining room.........
#14
Clayton, NC
1,381 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I think there should be the option for traditional dining or anytime. Although, how many ships on Carnival have more than one dining venue?
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#15
Norfolk, VA
3,299 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Carnival has always had anytime dining. Its called the Lido deck buffet.

I like having the same wait staff and same table and table mates every night.

Thats just me.

If they want to offer anytime dining fine, but I also want them to offer traditional which I will continue to choose.

NCL has been doing anytime dining for years and according to some people, they still can't get it right. There seems to be problems with having to wait long periods of time to get seated. Of course the common response from the cheerleaders is that they shouldn't show up during peak times. Um...anytime dining means you can show up and eat at anytime. Right?

Of course I have only read of these complaints on NCL having not actually sailed that line. But I would think that a line that prides itself in the leader of "freestyle" could get it right.

Have any of you sailed NCL? Princess or any other line that offers any time dining? How did it work for you?
#16
New Jersey, USA
33 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
As long as there will still be the option for traditional dining, it won't matter to me if they implement flexible dining. I enjoy having the same table and same wait staff every day. The waiters are usually one of the best parts of the cruise for me! I also don't like the idea of having to make reservations or waiting in line for a table. That kind of stuff is for when we're home, not on a cruise.
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#17
17,769 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Like it or not, it is something that is coming. If you haven't tried it you may not understand it, but if you do a careful review fo all of the luxury lines you will find that they have open seating. Maybe that is saying something, maybe not, but if the kitchen can make it work it is a nice benefit.
#18
19,475 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by Cruisin' Ron VA

Have any of you sailed NCL? Princess or any other line that offers any time dining? How did it work for you?
I believe this would be in the same category as trying different cruiselines.
You won't know unless you experience it for yourself. I have heard alot of negatives on here about other cruiselines and I chose to find out for myself and boy I'm glad I did. Because I would have missed some great experiences. Same could be said about anytime dining. Infact some people on our Princess cruise griped because they booked too late and got stuck with anytime. We met up with them during the cruise and they couldn't say enough good things about it. They are glad they got stuck with it lol!
With everything in life, you won't know until you try it
#19
SoCal Gal
325 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by Cruisin' Ron VA
Of course I have only read of these complaints on NCL having not actually sailed that line. But I would think that a line that prides itself in the leader of "freestyle" could get it right.

Have any of you sailed NCL? Princess or any other line that offers any time dining? How did it work for you?
We did the Hawaii circle in ‘04 on NCL and really liked the freestyle dining. We didn’t have any trouble with lines. But, we like to eat early (6:00), so I’m not sure how it might be for those who prefer a later meal time (we were hitting the bars by then! ). Also, with traditional seating, I worry about being stuck at the same table every night with a boor (or two), which is what happened on our Princess cruise many years ago. On the other hand, it could be an opportunity to meet new and interesting people. We shall see in five months!!
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#20
Norfolk, VA
3,299 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Kurbanfan
I believe this would be in the same category as trying different cruiselines.
You won't know unless you experience it for yourself. I have heard alot of negatives on here about other cruiselines and I chose to find out for myself and boy I'm glad I did. Because I would have missed some great experiences. Same could be said about anytime dining. Infact some people on our Princess cruise griped because they booked too late and got stuck with anytime. We met up with them during the cruise and they couldn't say enough good things about it. They are glad they got stuck with it lol!
With everything in life, you won't know until you try it
You are absolutely right.

I may try it sometime just to say I have, but in the meantime I will stick with what I know I like.

P.S.

How does anytime dining interfere it at all with the evening shows?