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Survey for New Ship Dining Experience

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I just received an email from Cunard offering me the opportunity to tell them about what I think about the Cunard dining experience. The email states that it will be used for the design of the new ship. Anyone else receive this survey?

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No. But this makes me worried "Freedom Dining" might be added to no Promenade Deck and Too Many Passengers in the "improvements" the new ship might offer......

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I got the email today and it seems that Cunard are seeking a direction to follow in terms of their next generation of passengers. I wonder sometimes with this type of survey if they have already decided what they are going to do and simply want endorsement.

 

Regards John

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I did not yet recive that particular Mail. I hope they think twice before they get rid of their trademark prommenade deck.

 

A bit more flexible Dinning times would be welcome though! They may call it Freedom dinning- my time dinning- whatever the name.

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No sign of anything yet, I did find a previous survey in my spam folder so it might be worth checking there.

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Most of the survey is about the possibility of new permanent speciality restaurants chinese/italian/indian/steak/tapas and how much extra you would be willing to pay.

 

Personally, I don't see the need as her indoors always travels QG so it's available anyway without paying extra.

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I received the email too, most of the survey was not relevant to me as I only ever eat in the Main Dining Room (or the buffet at breakfast and lunch). If they really are that interested in what guests want in the new ship I assume there will be follow up surveys to come.

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Last week I received a questionnaire re why I booked my latest cruise.

 

 

Today I have received this email:

 

 

As a valued guest of Cunard, we would like to offer you the opportunity to tell us what you think about our communications.

 

We have commissioned Acacia Avenue International Limited, an independent market research agency, to talk to our guests.

 

The research consists of two parts:

· Part 1 - involves you completing a short task (less than 20 minutes), in advance of your agreed session time.

· Part 2 - requires you to participate in a 45-minute discussion in a central location to you.

For those guests selected to take part, as a thank you for your participation we will be offering payment for your time.

If you are interested, please click here to register your interest and answer a few questions so that we can select the most appropriate session for you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and click on the link.

 

 

DJ

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I think it is only natural that Cunard are considering, if not already decided, freedom/anytime/my time or whatever you want to call it. It seems that it is what the modern cruiser wants so think there will be the option of freedom or fixed dining for dinner in MDR and more choice of payable speciality restaurants.

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Last week I received a questionnaire re why I booked my latest cruise.

 

Today I have received this email:

As a valued guest of Cunard, we would like to offer you the opportunity to tell us what you think about our communications.

 

We have commissioned Acacia Avenue International Limited, an independent market research agency, to talk to our guests.

 

The research consists of two parts:

· Part 1 - involves you completing a short task (less than 20 minutes), in advance of your agreed session time.

· Part 2 - requires you to participate in a 45-minute discussion in a central location to you.

For those guests selected to take part, as a thank you for your participation we will be offering payment for your time.

 

If you are interested, please click here to register your interest and answer a few questions so that we can select the most appropriate session for you.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and click on the link.

 

DJ

 

I got a similar email in May but they wanted to do the interview in home, which is why I turned it down. A week or so later there was a follow up telephone call where I gave the same answer, but I did have a pleasant conversation about my views on the new dress code. At one point the caller said that they were looking for past passengers "under 65".

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Why do I get the feeling Cunard's "survey" is akin to "How much do you want Freedom Dining on Cunard 1) a lot, 2) a whole lot or 3) more than you can imagine."

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Why do I get the feeling Cunard's "survey" is akin to "How much do you want Freedom Dining on Cunard 1) a lot, 2) a whole lot or 3) more than you can imagine."

 

Hey, it's all about "freedom". Instead of walking to a reserved seat every night I would have the "freedom" to have to make a reservation each and every evening. And the "freedom" to spend money in a bar as I wait for the pager to notify me that a table is available. And the "freedom" to have to search for new dining companions every night. And experience waiters who cannot possibly know my preferences because they see different passengers at each meal.

 

 

Sounds like NCL's "Freestyle" system.

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Yes, "Freedom" Dining is the shipboard version of "The Democratic Republic of.... [fill-in the autocracy of your choice]".

 

The worst aspect you don't even see: the absolute chaos it created in the galley and serving lines with horrendous peaks and valleys of demand. But if you like to completely digest your starter before your main course arrives, it's great. A few times on Holland America, we had honestly forgotten what we had ordered for our mains by the time they arrived.

 

It will be Freedom Dining and then, like HAL, they will close the dining room for lunch except a few sea days and force everyone to the lido.

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Sorry but having experienced Freedom/Anytime dining many times on P&O and Princess it is a must for me and is the only downside to currently cruising with Cunard and if it happens which I think it without doubt will be an excellent addition to Cunard's new ship.

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I think it is only natural that Cunard are considering, if not already decided, freedom/anytime/my time or whatever you want to call it. It seems that it is what the modern cruiser wants so think there will be the option of freedom or fixed dining for dinner in MDR and more choice of payable speciality restaurants.

I agree, it’s silly not to explore it as an option that people might like. It’s a nartural progression for things to trickle down from the top-end experience, offering a form of flexible dining as enjoyed in the grills and Britannia club is surely a part of that trend.

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Sure why not? I mean most cruise lines have the same thing. But it brings us back to same issue exposed during the dress code debate: if all cruise lines aspire to be just like everyone else, who really needs a Cunard when it's just like a Holland America Line or Princess? Carnival seems not to have the courage or the imagination to tolerate any substantial differences in their cruise brands anymore. They are all in a headlong dash to be alike. In the end, just call it Carnival and be done with it. And that is probably where we'll be in a decade.

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Interesting posts. I have had the e mail and carried out the survey. Here in the UK there is no offer of payment and not offer of calls at home the. The survey was quite interesting as it was mostly about what type of food you like, for instance classic French, USA steakhouse, Italian family dining, Asian Indian and Middle eastern tending more towards Lebanese. There was a definite trend to encourage freedom dining but strangely not one question regarding grills where freedom dining is the only option. Do we therefore think that Cunard my be considering excluding gills on future ships?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Peter

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Sure why not? I mean most cruise lines have the same thing. But it brings us back to same issue exposed during the dress code debate: if all cruise lines aspire to be just like everyone else, who really needs a Cunard when it's just like a Holland America Line or Princess? Carnival seems not to have the courage or the imagination to tolerate any substantial differences in their cruise brands anymore. They are all in a headlong dash to be alike. In the end, just call it Carnival and be done with it. And that is probably where we'll be in a decade.

 

I dont see having freedom dining a detraction from the cruise experience and dont think it will hurt Cunard's reputation.

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Interesting posts. I have had the e mail and carried out the survey. Here in the UK there is no offer of payment and not offer of calls at home the. The survey was quite interesting as it was mostly about what type of food you like, for instance classic French, USA steakhouse, Italian family dining, Asian Indian and Middle eastern tending more towards Lebanese. There was a definite trend to encourage freedom dining but strangely not one question regarding grills where freedom dining is the only option. Do we therefore think that Cunard my be considering excluding gills on future ships?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Peter

 

No chance of Cunard excluding Queens/Princess Grill on the new ship it is where they make most profit.

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Background information: We have been on HAL, where their version of Any Time Dining was horrible (possibly an anomaly, since others laud HAL and we had a not-all-that-good experience), and Seabourn, where their version worked impeccably. Our only experience on Cunard has been in Grills, which is a different category entirely.

 

My question: Would it be possible to set aside a number of tables (obviously a variable, depending on the sailing) where flexible dining times are offered, yet have a number of tables reserved for those that prefer more structured dining times? I'm not sure how the logistics would work or whether this is a manageable approach. Just curious as to whether it would be a reasonable compromise.

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Background information: We have been on HAL, where their version of Any Time Dining was horrible (possibly an anomaly, since others laud HAL and we had a not-all-that-good experience), and Seabourn, where their version worked impeccably. Our only experience on Cunard has been in Grills, which is a different category entirely.

 

My question: Would it be possible to set aside a number of tables (obviously a variable, depending on the sailing) where flexible dining times are offered, yet have a number of tables reserved for those that prefer more structured dining times? I'm not sure how the logistics would work or whether this is a manageable approach. Just curious as to whether it would be a reasonable compromise.

 

If Cunard decide to offer freedom dining on their new ship I think they will go down the route of Princess and P&O. The ship will be big enough to have more than one MDR and there will be a designated one for freedom and another for fixed dining and you choose which when you book.

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Background information: We have been on HAL, where their version of Any Time Dining was horrible (possibly an anomaly, since others laud HAL and we had a not-all-that-good experience), and Seabourn, where their version worked impeccably. Our only experience on Cunard has been in Grills, which is a different category entirely.

 

My question: Would it be possible to set aside a number of tables (obviously a variable, depending on the sailing) where flexible dining times are offered, yet have a number of tables reserved for those that prefer more structured dining times? I'm not sure how the logistics would work or whether this is a manageable approach. Just curious as to whether it would be a reasonable compromise.

 

In essence that is the point of Britannia Club. For which there is often a hefty premium to be paid.

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Posted (edited)

What makes "Freedom Dining" work... mostly... is number of diners/tables. It certainly works with the 125-diner max Grills, Seabourn, it barely works (in my experience after nine cruises) on Oceania and it doesn't work on HAL (three experiences). And it's not just the wait for the table at peak times but the often very long time spent at the table waiting to be served, waiting for courses etc. etc. We hadn't been on a ship with sittings for years after so many Oceania cruises until we sailed in QE last year. We marveled how efficient the service was, the hotness of the food etc, with a set table and set dining time compared to Oceania. Sure, we wish 2nd sitting was half hour earlier but we had a better dining experience all around AND got out of the dining room before 10.00 pm.. something we seldom managed with Oceania.

 

I can't see Cunard offering this only on the new ship, it's just too confusing so it would have to be fleet-wide. On HAL, they have accommodated it by having the upper level of the dining rooms have set sittings/tables and the main level is Freedom Dining. Behind the scenes, though, the galley must border on chaos sometimes trying to work around both systems. At least it felt like it sometimes.

Edited by kohl57

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I'm almost certain you will see some portion the dining room on the new ship implement an open concept dining arrangement. Along with it will come an even more dumbed down dress code. Cunard more and more wants to appeal to a broader audience to increase market share. Once this inevitable transition happens, there will be little reason for me to sail Cunard except for the occasional crossing on QM2 (a ship I love). What I love about Cunard is the formality, tradition, and yes even the old school structure of the dining arrangements. Cunard is pretty much the last hold out, and if or when that changes they will become like everyone else. In that case I might as well sail on Celebrity or Princess (which I do already). I go to Cunard when I want something a little different and more special.

 

Of course by sending out these surveys, Cunard can proclaim any changes implemented were customer driven.

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Received the survey. Personally, even traveling Grills class, I welcome more alternate restaurants. The offerings have shrank over the past couple of years (yes, even QG) and I find it is more of a struggle to get off menu items. Just MHO.

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The ship will be big enough to have more than one MDR and there will be a designated one for freedom and another for fixed dining and you choose which when you book.

So the lowest grade of restaurant would have two sittings, and then the next one, of a similar size, would have a single sitting? You could even name them after former Cunard ships. How about, oh!, I don't know, Mauritania and Caronia, say.

 

I'm sure I've come across a set-up like that somewhere before.:D

 

Regards, Colin.

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For a solo male passenger, anytime dining is a death sentence as few parties willingly accept a solo male to their table. This leaves one sitting alone and receiving sympathy comments from the staff and a lack of passenger camaraderie. Experienced this on several NCL cruises and would not sail with them again if the cruise was free.

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