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Eglesbrech

Anchor dining allocations, luck or design?

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When we have booked standard freedom fares with Fred we always request late dining. On our last cruise it was particularly quiet as many folks seem to prefer early.

 

Whenever we have an anchor fare we seem to be allocated the (seemingly very popular) early dining, the opposite of what we would request and what is in our records for other cruises.

 

Now to be fair to Fred it’s very clear when you book Anchor that they allocate the dining time and you can pay £2pppn to get the seating you want, so it’s no big deal.

 

I just wonder however just how often repeat passengers who always go for x dining time get allocated Y.

 

Is it luck or by design, thoughts?

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If I was Fred and got £2pppn for you to change dining time because you booked a cheaper fair, and I have a record that you paid and did this every time, then I would make sure you got the early seating every time and I got paid.

It's all about the money.

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When we have booked standard freedom fares with Fred we always request late dining. On our last cruise it was particularly quiet as many folks seem to prefer early.

 

Whenever we have an anchor fare we seem to be allocated the (seemingly very popular) early dining, the opposite of what we would request and what is in our records for other cruises.

 

Now to be fair to Fred it’s very clear when you book Anchor that they allocate the dining time and you can pay £2pppn to get the seating you want, so it’s no big deal.

 

I just wonder however just how often repeat passengers who always go for x dining time get allocated Y.

 

Is it luck or by design, thoughts?

 

 

This is something I have longed to know too so well done for posting the question. We have somehow always booked Freedom fares but would definitely consider an Anchor fare if one appealed. As early diners we would not be at all happy with late sitting and would almost certainly dine in the self service restaurant in the evening.

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The change in dining arrangements on Fred. Olsen ships is interesting. I have been cruising with them for 25 years and, in the past, late sitting was always the more popular. Personally, I prefer the 2030 dining time as 1815 is much too early especially if you are in a port.

The other change is that on the many cruises I have taken with them (46 so far) the ships were virtually full. On the two in recent months there have been many empty cabins and tables in the restaurants. I fear the cut-throat competition is taking its toll.

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Yes I think it may be, there are so many large new ships with cabins to fill and on them you get a balcony for the price of a basic inside on Fred.

 

You also get freedom dining on most now which I have to say is my preference.

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We have been fortunate enough to be allocated late sittings on our Anchor fares. I have wondered if FO just hopes that older people would prefer the early sitting and so that gets filled first.

I always think that empty seats/tables is because people won’t pay the extra to swap and also Fred’s self service areas do have a bit more class than other cruises so to eat there still feels better service.

I did once contact the company with my comments and mentioned that I thought their policy was mean spirited. This was because an older, very regular F O cruiser had been given late dining. Of course the reply pointed out reduction in fare etc and it is a business as pointed out here already.

Personally, I would probably pay - it is not that much.

However, we were recently spoiled on a wonderful Marella Discovery cruise with freedom dining; several places to eat; excellent food and all inclusive drinks and tips. The price was very competitive.

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I too have found that when I book an Anchor Fare that I am allocated first sitting and yet I always request second sitting when booking a Freedom Fare.

 

It was interesting last week on Freds website that a couple of cruises only had availability on second sitting if you booked Freedom Fare but they were still charging on Anchor Fare to guarantee second sitting.

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4 of us have just booked Balmoral Jan 2020 South America and have been awarded 1st sitting in Spey as requested.....no problem. We prefer early dining as we like to see a show and then have a game of cards. You can always go to the self service if late back on a shore day.

 

 

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I'm pretty sure you will have a Freedom fare because you have booked so far in advance Jessybell. That means you are free to choose your dining time. To my way of thinking, it's mean of FOCL to deliberately allocate a dining time they know will not suit just to get extra money out of you. After all, you are doing them a favour by booking a cabin they haven't been able to sell. When we went on an Arctic cruise in June there were a lot of empty cabins and everybody seemed to have paid half the brochure price apart from us. But we had lots of free trips thrown in so we weren't too put out.

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I too have found that when I book an Anchor Fare that I am allocated first sitting and yet I always request second sitting when booking a Freedom Fare.

 

It was interesting last week on Freds website that a couple of cruises only had availability on second sitting if you booked Freedom Fare but they were still charging on Anchor Fare to guarantee second sitting.

 

Now that is interesting. It’s only right thatbif a choice is left it should go to Freedom Fare people.

 

I fully accept that if I go Anchor I need to pay to make a choice however if I was freedom I would not be best pleased if I did not get my choice but someone on Anchor did just because they paid up.

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What I am trying to say is that the only time available was second sitting on a Freedom Fare price. Thus first sitting was full but Fred wanted people to pay to guarantee second sitting on Anchor fare .

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The only way to guarantee your choice of restaurant and sitting is to book a freedom fare as early as possible and check that your choices are confirmed on your invoice. What disappoints me is that they will not guarantee your preferred table size.

 

I would not book a particular cruise if I could only be allocated first sitting.

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The only way to guarantee your choice of restaurant and sitting is to book a freedom fare as early as possible and check that your choices are confirmed on your invoice. What disappoints me is that they will not guarantee your preferred table size.

 

I would not book a particular cruise if I could only be allocated first sitting.

 

That’s not strictly true, well at least not for the sitting anyway. Probably true for the venue as the smaller restaurants go quickly.

 

They offer you the choice when booking an Anchor as long as you pay for it. They take the money along with the balance of the cruise fare so at that point it is part of your contract.

 

Has anyone ever been refunded their £2 pppn once onboard and not got the dining time they paid for on Anchor?

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That’s not strictly true, well at least not for the sitting anyway. Probably true for the venue as the smaller restaurants go quickly.

 

They offer you the choice when booking an Anchor as long as you pay for it. They take the money along with the balance of the cruise fare so at that point it is part of your contract.

 

Has anyone ever been refunded their £2 pppn once onboard and not got the dining time they paid for on Anchor?

 

I agree that you can pay the £2.00 per person per night to guarantee your dinner sitting with an Anchor fare but you cannot guarantee which restaurant nor request a table size. When booking with Fred I make sure that the restaurant and sitting are available and guaranteed before I confirm the booking, otherwise I look for a cruise where they are available.

 

If I had paid the Anchor fare with the dining supplement and then not been allocated the sitting I had requested I would not be a happy bunny whether I got my £2 per person per night back or not.

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I shouldn’t ever count on a particular restaurant being ‘guaranteed’. When we were on Boudicca at Easter, on a Freedom fare, booked at launch, we had a specific restaurant on our booking, in writing. When we boarded, we found we were allocated a table in the other one! Didn’t really matter, so didn’t protest, but it shows it isn’t guaranteed, ever!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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I shouldn’t ever count on a particular restaurant being ‘guaranteed’. When we were on Boudicca at Easter, on a Freedom fare, booked at launch, we had a specific restaurant on our booking, in writing. When we boarded, we found we were allocated a table in the other one! Didn’t really matter, so didn’t protest, but it shows it isn’t guaranteed, ever!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

We have our favourite restaurant on Braemar and always book at least a year in advance to ensure the availability of this restaurant. If I were to find we had been moved to the other restaurant I would certainly make my displeasure known. So far we have always been allocated our favourite restaurant on every cruise we've done with Fred.

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