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I booked a trip for July 2022 the other day through there call centre and have noticed i have been put down for Freedom Dining without being asked about sittings, is this standard with me booking so far ahead or has the member of staff who took my booking decided themselves that i would have Freedom Dining even though i paid the Select Price which states a choice of Dining times.?

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1 minute ago, Cpt Pugwash said:

I booked a trip for July 2022 the other day through there call centre and have noticed i have been put down for Freedom Dining without being asked about sittings, is this standard with me booking so far ahead or has the member of staff who took my booking decided themselves that i would have Freedom Dining even though i paid the Select Price which states a choice of Dining times.

 

Which ship is it for?  I think Iona only has  Freedom Dining, so likely the same for Arvia.

 

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1 minute ago, tring said:

 

Which ship is it for?  I think Iona only has  Freedom Dining, so likely the same for Arvia.

 

The Iona only been on 2 cruises before and both ties given a choice of dining.

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5 minutes ago, Cpt Pugwash said:

The Iona only been on 2 cruises before and both ties given a choice of dining.

 

That explains it then.  She is the first ship they have done that with, but it does say that in the brochures etc.

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7 hours ago, Cpt Pugwash said:

The Iona only been on 2 cruises before and both ties given a choice of dining.

Iona has not been on any cruises yet as far as I know. If she had we would have seen hundreds of photos of the interior and hundreds of moans about the ship.

 

Iona is Freedom dining only although P&O do say that in the staycation cruises you may have to pre book a table, obviously to avoid loads of people queueing before the restaurant opens.

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34 minutes ago, davecttr said:

Iona has not been on any cruises yet as far as I know. If she had we would have seen hundreds of photos of the interior and hundreds of moans about the ship.

 

Iona is Freedom dining only although P&O do say that in the staycation cruises you may have to pre book a table, obviously to avoid loads of people queueing before the restaurant opens.

Dave, I think Pugwash meant he has only been on two cruises, not Iona. The missing comma is important!

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9 hours ago, tring said:

 

That explains it then.  She is the first ship they have done that with, but it does say that in the brochures etc.

The P&O site says choice of Dining times with Select Price so they must be using the standard ad.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Cpt Pugwash said:

The P&O site says choice of Dining times with Select Price so they must be using the standard ad.

 

Everyone has a choice of dining time with Freedom Dining and the brochure does describe Iona as having "elusively freedom dining".  If you want set dining and feel you have been misled, why not contact P&O to see if they will change your booking to one of the older ships?  Depending on when your cruise is due to take place, you may be entitled to a free transfer anyway.  Not much point complaining to anyone else and one thing P&O will not be doing is change the dining arrangements that have always been intended for that ship to please one customer.

 

Must admit when we book a cruise we have all our requirements written down to make sure we do not forget anything.  As a relatively new to P&O customer, are you aware that they can move you to another cabin unless you ask to be removed from "automatic upgrade"?  You may well be put in a higher grade of cabin, but a fair chance it is not were you would like to be (i.e. at the pointy end, or adjacent to a noisy venue).  The P&O conditions say that if you are given an automatic upgrade, you cannot ask for that cabin to be changed to another one or back to your original cabin, so most regular cruisers would opt out of that.  Always worth reading all T&C's if you are new to any holiday company, or for anything in fact.

 

Hope you can arrange something to your liking.

 

Edited by tring
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4 hours ago, Cpt Pugwash said:

The P&O site says choice of Dining times with Select Price so they must be using the standard ad.

Sadly, updating their website doesn't seem high on their list of priorities at the best of times...

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At this point in time surely the notion of "Freedom" dining is a misnomer. 

 

Pre-pandemic there were 2 primary differences between Club Dining and Freedom Dining.

 

With Club, you had set dining times and you always shared a table with the same people  throughout the voyage.

 

With Freedom there was no set time and you dined with anyone and met different people each night.

 

Now, with the plethora of pandemic restrictions that's all changed AFAIK.

 

No-one will be allowed to dine with anyone that is not in their own cabin or cruise party.   So that "freedom" has been curtailed.   One assumes that this restriction must result in masses of large tables for 6, 8 or 10 no longer being there and tons of tables for 2 being added instead and I would imagine that makes dinner sittings more complicated to manage and thus there might be some level of restrictions to the times you can eat as a result.  As previous poster said you might have to book a slot rather than be able to just turn up on spec as we used to.

 

Thus the entire concept of "Freedom Dining" is for the time being a bit of a misnomer imo.

 

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15 minutes ago, KnowTheScore said:

At this point in time surely the notion of "Freedom" dining is a misnomer. 

 

Pre-pandemic there were 2 primary differences between Club Dining and Freedom Dining.

 

With Club, you had set dining times and you always shared a table with the same people  throughout the voyage.

 

With Freedom there was no set time and you dined with anyone and met different people each night.

 

Now, with the plethora of pandemic restrictions that's all changed AFAIK.

 

No-one will be allowed to dine with anyone that is not in their own cabin or cruise party.   So that "freedom" has been curtailed.   One assumes that this restriction must result in masses of large tables for 6, 8 or 10 no longer being there and tons of tables for 2 being added instead and I would imagine that makes dinner sittings more complicated to manage and thus there might be some level of restrictions to the times you can eat as a result.  As previous poster said you might have to book a slot rather than be able to just turn up on spec as we used to.

 

Thus the entire concept of "Freedom Dining" is for the time being a bit of a misnomer imo.

 

Sums it up very well as far as I know.

 

Additionally, I think that if you are travelling with others, whether they be family or friends, it is still possible to link your bookings and you can dine together rather than be dotted around on tables for two.

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2 minutes ago, Son of Anarchy said:

Additionally, I think that if you are travelling with others, whether they be family or friends, it is still possible to link your bookings and you can dine together rather than be dotted around on tables for two.

 

yep that's what I referred to as your "cruise party"

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On 4/12/2021 at 3:36 PM, KnowTheScore said:

At this point in time surely the notion of "Freedom" dining is a misnomer. 

 

Pre-pandemic there were 2 primary differences between Club Dining and Freedom Dining.

 

With Club, you had set dining times and you always shared a table with the same people  throughout the voyage.

 

With Freedom there was no set time and you dined with anyone and met different people each night.

 

Now, with the plethora of pandemic restrictions that's all changed AFAIK.

 

No-one will be allowed to dine with anyone that is not in their own cabin or cruise party.   So that "freedom" has been curtailed.   One assumes that this restriction must result in masses of large tables for 6, 8 or 10 no longer being there and tons of tables for 2 being added instead and I would imagine that makes dinner sittings more complicated to manage and thus there might be some level of restrictions to the times you can eat as a result.  As previous poster said you might have to book a slot rather than be able to just turn up on spec as we used to.

 

Thus the entire concept of "Freedom Dining" is for the time being a bit of a misnomer imo.

 

There may be more freedom after 17th May provided that P&O follow UK rules. As from that date up to 6 people of multiple households will be able to share tables indoors in pubs, restaurants etc. - or more than 6 people from no more than 2 households. That should permit freedom dining on shared tables seating up to 6.

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At the moment in my.pocruises for our Iona maiden cruise, under your dining choice it states:-

 

In addition to Freedom dining, there’s going to be an additional early sitting. Please look out for further information around your dining preferences.

 

If anything changes or updates I will try and pass the information on.

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3 hours ago, jaydee6969 said:

At the moment in my.pocruises for our Iona maiden cruise, under your dining choice it states:-

 

In addition to Freedom dining, there’s going to be an additional early sitting. Please look out for further information around your dining preferences.

 

If anything changes or updates I will try and pass the information on.

 

 I, like many other people, am interested in what P&O are doing with dining as they have been somewhat coy about publishing their plans so far, so would be appreciative if you can share that information or mention were the info can be found.

 

I have seen mention by another cruise line, that they intend to create "dining bubbles" formed from groups of single people, so they do not have to dine alone, but of course P&O may not do that.

 

What will happen on cruise ships while covid restrictions are in place is not clear as yet, nor do we know how long the restrictions will be in place.  I, like many, am assuming most restrictions will be gone, or at least be ok considerably reduced by next year, so the earlier answers given on this thread by me and others were phrased accordingly, yet I suppose we cannot really assume that all will  have returned completely to "normal', though I do hope they will have done.

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22 hours ago, jaydee6969 said:

At the moment in my.pocruises for our Iona maiden cruise, under your dining choice it states:-

 

In addition to Freedom dining, there’s going to be an additional early sitting. Please look out for further information around your dining preferences.

 

If anything changes or updates I will try and pass the information on.

I suspect that this may be less to do with covid19 and more to do with the reaction of some P&O stalwarts to the absence of club dining. Time will tell.

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27 minutes ago, Denarius said:

I suspect that this may be less to do with covid19 and more to do with the reaction of some P&O stalwarts to the absence of club dining. Time will tell.

Not to sure about that, as our Britannia seacation states something similar:-

 

In addition to Freedom and Club dining, there’s going to be an additional early sitting. Please look out for further information around your dining preferences.

 

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If there is to be no shared tables, that will undoubtedly put extra strain on the mdr's and hence the additional early sitting. It will enable them to spread people out more both spatially and in terms of time. 

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2 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

All very well but how early cannot see many wanting to eat dinner at 5pm-5-30pm.

Unless you are American of course!

Just a general observation,  as I know there won't be any on the Seacation cruises.  

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5 hours ago, Denarius said:

I suspect that this may be less to do with covid19 and more to do with the reaction of some P&O stalwarts to the absence of club dining. Time will tell.

Probably the ones who rush to be first in line at the theatre when the doors open.

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1 hour ago, Britboys said:

If there is to be no shared tables, that will undoubtedly put extra strain on the mdr's and hence the additional early sitting. It will enable them to spread people out more both spatially and in terms of time. 

I wonder if they will have a spiral carousel installed in the dining rooms, they start you off in the centre and you spiral out slowly towards the door, and woe betide you if you have not finished in time.

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Surprised some here haven't bothered to read the details on the P&O website concerning dining arrangements.  Please take a look:

 

https://www.pocruises.com/cruise-with-confidence/your-holiday-experience

 

Eating And Drinking

 

"We all know that delicious food and drink are a core part of your holiday and this will certainly not change. You may be asked to pre-book a table in the restaurants; the buffets and deck grills will now be served by our waiting staff and you will only be permitted to dine with your household or linked travelling group, up to a maximum number allowed by government guidelines at the time of sailing. We are adapting our restaurants and bars to ensure you can enjoy your experience and maintain social distancing in line with the guidance."

 

 

Seems very clear to me.  You will be dining only with your partner/family or others in your traveling group.  So sadly no more meeting lots of interesting and diverse people over evening dinner, which I think is an integral part of a cruise for many.  Not all of course. 

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