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If I/we ever am stuck with AYW dining, anyone solo or not, who cares to join me/us for dinner is more than welcome.

 

I am a traditionalist at heart!

 

Laura

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Well said!

Solo Cruiser Bob

 

Hello REVNEAL

 

You would be more than welcome to eat with us were we on the samr cruise! Your posts are so well thought out & your sense of humour so appealing that it must be a real treat to be your dinner companions.

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If I/we ever am stuck with AYW dining, anyone solo or not, who cares to join me/us for dinner is more than welcome.

 

I am a traditionalist at heart!

 

Thank you Laura, that is GREATLY appreciated!

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You would be more than welcome to eat with us were we on the samr cruise! Your posts are so well thought out & your sense of humour so appealing that it must be a real treat to be your dinner companions.

 

Thank you so much, jocelysue! I greatly appreciate that and if we're ever on the same cruise, I'll be happy to take you up on it! :)

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Rev Neal, I just think you should know that the ladies appear to be hitting on you!:D ;)

 

Yes, they are. :D :eek:

<I'm blushing>

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Judy, thank you for your observations. However ... and I'm trying to be gentle in saying this ... please be VERY careful about the "regimentation/cattle call" language. It's pejorative, negative, and non-reflective of what Traditional Dining on HAL all all been about. Indeed, it is mostly just a stereotype of Traditional that has been generated by a marketing agency to sell cruises.

 

Also, please note that some of us Traditionalists have very specific reasons for not liking the AYW/anytime schemes; many of us solo/single cruises, for instance, have very SPECIFIC and highly particular reasons for not wanting to be a part of the AYW system. Flexibility can very well be nice -- and it has long-existed on HAL in the Lido and, more recently, in the Marco Polo and Pinnacle Grills -- but when the trade-off for flexibility is an uncomfortable uncertainty about with whom/where/when a solo diner will be eating, night after night, the benefits of "flexibility" dim. I eat alone most nights in my life ... I cruise for the socialization, getting to know and enjoy a while cruise with my dining partners. Changing dining partners every night -- or eating along because there's not anyone who wants a lone guy to join their couple/family/group for dinner -- is not my idea of "fun."

 

Contrary to what you suggest, we DO have open minds. But we also have reasonable, rational, real concerns about AYW and how it will be implemented and how we solo-cruisers will be treated in the process. In other words, please realize that these concerns do not make us closed-minded.

 

 

Just to be clear here, it's not as if we haven't experienced the traditional dining...we have, during 15 or more cruises, on many lines, and our impression is regimentation/cattle call. It's not pejorative (?), negative, or just marketing hype for us, but fact, based on our experience. If it wasn't for the option of anytime, I would have lost my husband as my favorite crusing partner. If we can't get a table for two, we do alternative dining options. The anytime on Princess is perfect for us. We are hoping that Holland will give us another choice. FYI-- NCL is not an option.

 

I understand the concerns of solos. I truly do. Based on what my very wonderful travel agent (sister!) tells me, Princess most always accomodates the single cruiser with traditional dining. Hopefully Holland will handle it as well.

 

Judy

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Just to be clear here, it's not as if we haven't experienced the traditional dining...we have, during 15 or more cruises, on many lines, and our impression is regimentation/cattle call. It's not pejorative (?), negative, or just marketing hype for us, but fact, based on our experience.

 

I appreciate that, Judy, and I am certain that it has been your experience. However, that has not been my experience on HAL. Likewise, in my opinion the language: "regimentation" and "cattle call" (which is used in TV commercials by at least one line's marketing for how people act/are treated on other lines) is pejorative ("expressing contempt or disapproval") and judgmental of those of us who actually LIKE traditional. This was amplified by imploring us to be "open minded," which more than just implies that those of us who like/prefer/only want Traditional are not open minded.

 

 

If it wasn't for the option of anytime, I would have lost my husband as my favorite crusing partner. If we can't get a table for two, we do alternative dining options. The anytime on Princess is perfect for us. We are hoping that Holland will give us another choice. FYI-- NCL is not an option.

 

I truly hope that you find HAL's AYW option to be to your liking and that it gives you the experience that you desire.

 

I understand the concerns of solos. I truly do. Based on what my very wonderful travel agent (sister!) tells me, Princess most always accomodates the single cruiser with traditional dining. Hopefully Holland will handle it as well.

 

I hope so too, Judy, however I don't have much faith that HAL will implement it that way; HAL has developed a history, over the last few years, of fumbling things like this. They've stumbled around for about 7 years, trying to find their way by flitting from trendy experiment to trendy experiment, seemingly incapable of playing to their strengths. Rather than leading the industry, HAL is following.

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Has anyone tried calling HAL's Alumni desk with their concerns or questions?

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I appreciate that, Judy, and I am certain that it has been your experience. However, that has not been my experience on HAL. Likewise, in my opinion the language: "regimentation" and "cattle call" (which is used in TV commercials by at least one line's marketing for how people act/are treated on other lines) is pejorative ("expressing contempt or disapproval") and judgmental of those of us who actually LIKE traditional. This was amplified by imploring us to be "open minded," which more than just implies that those of us who like/prefer/only want Traditional are not open minded.

 

 

 

 

I truly hope that you find HAL's AYW option to be to your liking and that it gives you the experience that you desire.

 

 

 

I hope so too, Judy, however I don't have much faith that HAL will implement it that way; HAL has developed a history, over the last few years, of fumbling things like this. They've stumbled around for about 7 years, trying to find their way by flitting from trendy experiment to trendy experiment, seemingly incapable of playing to their strengths. Rather than leading the industry, HAL is following.

 

So have you tried Princess? Just a thought :-)

 

Judy

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So have you tried Princess? Just a thought :-)

 

No, Judy, I have not tried Princess. I'm not opposed to it, but haven't done so. Celebrity, Cunard, Crystal and Regent are among the lines that I'm looking at for cruises with my normal traveling companion (when I don't travel solo). I'm booked on HAL with 3 future cruises through next year.

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Early upper = closed

Early lower = waitlisted

Main Upper = waitlisted

Main lower = closed

As you wish available

 

Which times do you think are for Traditional :) and which are for AYW:( ?

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Early upper = closed

Early lower = waitlisted

Main Upper = waitlisted

Main lower = closed

As you wish available

 

Which times do you think are for Traditional :) and which are for AYW:( ?

 

It means that you're out of luck unless you want AYW ... or, rather, NOT "AYW" but "AHW" ... As HAL Wishes.

 

:(

 

I'm sorry, but every time we get a report from someone who has talked to HAL and gotten "the straight poop" regarding how AYW is the whole scheme, with Traditional and Open being the options within it, we then get a report like this ... which clearly indicates that such is not the case.

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Early upper = closed

Early lower = waitlisted

Main Upper = waitlisted

Main lower = closed

As you wish available

 

Which times do you think are for Traditional :) and which are for AYW:( ?

 

Hmm... this doesn't seem to make sense with anything we've thus far heard about AYW. All the announcements have said that traditional dining will be on one level, and AYW on the other. So if traditional were waitlisted and AYW available (the scenario many people think is now common), we should see either both upper seatings closed and both lower waitlisted, or vice versa. Here, one seating on each level is closed, and one waitlisted. Presumably under AYW, one level would be entirely closed. So it would appear that something else is going on here.

 

Doug

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What is going on is AHW("As Hal Wishes"). :rolleyes:

 

Early Upper (Closed) and Main Upper (Waitlisted) are Traditional.

Why the the open seating times are listed and Closed and Waitlisted is beyond me, but Hal's web site is not known to be very good with things.

 

IMO, Hal wants you to commit to AHW. :rolleyes:

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What is going on is AHW("As Hal Wishes"). :rolleyes:

 

Early Upper (Closed) and Main Upper (Waitlisted) are Traditional.

Why the the open seating times are listed and Closed and Waitlisted is beyond me, but Hal's web site is not known to be very good with things.

 

IMO, Hal wants you to commit to AHW. :rolleyes:

 

The only consistent thing about HAL's website is that it is frequently screwed up. Another puzzling example of AHW is dining for Noordam's October 2008 crossing, another big band cruise I was considering.

 

14 months out, the website is showing the following dining options:

 

Early Upper Dining: Available

Early Lower Dining: Closed

Main Upper Dining: Available

Main Lower Dining: Available

Open Seating: Available

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Early upper = closed

Early lower = waitlisted

Main Upper = waitlisted

Main lower = closed

As you wish available

Which times do you think are for Traditional :) and which are for AYW:( ?

 

Hmm... this doesn't seem to make sense with anything we've thus far heard about AYW. All the announcements have said that traditional dining will be on one level, and AYW on the other. So if traditional were waitlisted and AYW available (the scenario many people think is now common), we should see either both upper seatings closed and both lower waitlisted, or vice versa. Here, one seating on each level is closed, and one waitlisted. Presumably under AYW, one level would be entirely closed. So it would appear that something else is going on here.

Doug

 

The only consistent thing about HAL's website is that it is frequently screwed up. Another puzzling example of AHW is dining for Noordam's October 2008 crossing, another big band cruise I was considering.

14 months out, the website is showing the following dining options:

Early Upper Dining: Available

Early Lower Dining: Closed

Main Upper Dining: Available

Main Lower Dining: Available

Open Seating: Available

 

I have a perhaps overly optimistic :rolleyes: speculation to offer about what all of this means. Maybe HAL is planning, after all (as many of us have been urging) to adjust the dining space between trad'l and open seating according to demand, on a cruise-by-cruise basis, rather than always devoting the lower level entirely to open seating. This would explain why fixed dining times are listed (even if closed or waitlisted) on both levels.

 

If this is true, pax who want trad'l should go ahead and sign up for it, at their preferred time, even if it's shown as waitlisted. If there's enough demand, and open seating doesn't fill up, they may allocate additional space to trad'l to accommodate the waitlist. If you sign up for what you want, you have a chance of getting it, and even if not, at least you send HAL a message about demand.

 

Like I said, maybe I'm too optimistic, but it's a thought. Of course, if that's the case, I don't understand why they don't just come out and tell us that's what they're doing. But the fact that they don't have their act together on this issue is, sadly, not news. :(

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I have a perhaps overly optimistic :rolleyes: speculation to offer about what all of this means. Maybe HAL is planning, after all (as many of us have been urging) to adjust the dining space between trad'l and open seating according to demand, on a cruise-by-cruise basis, rather than always devoting the lower level entirely to open seating. This would explain why fixed dining times are listed (even if closed or waitlisted) on both levels.

 

 

I certainly hope this is the case; it is completely logical, but then why doesn't HAL simply say so and end all the speculation and hand wringing? And why is HAL encouraging my TA to recommend open seating to her clients because of the long waitlist for traditional on my March '08 Zuiderdam transatlantic?

 

On Monday I'll be mailing a letter to HAL's Executive VP for Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs asking these very questions. I'll post any response here.

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We usually travel by ourselves and find that HAL has always accommondated us with a large table of wonderful strangers, If we wanted to eat by ourselves we could stay home. Does anyone know if on the Noordam they still have large tables and if they will seat large group of strangers together if we have to use AYW dinning? We traveled on NCL and they would only put us at a table for four if we were lucky. Obviously we have not sailed NCL in a long time. We booked over a year ago and now we are told we are wait listed. If I didn't check this board I would not have known of the change. When I called my TA she did not know about the change and when she called HAL she did got the same answers that I recieved from HAL, but HAL told us to call our TA to work out these issues as it the TA's responsibilty.

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I've just gotten back and spent a long time catching up from page 6 through page 18. :eek: All I can say is "Wow"---the personal attack directed at me by luckiestlady21 was totally uncalled for, IMHO. Lady, you seem to have disappeared, but if you are still lurking please consider I said nothing against any HAL employee.

... RuthC has been one of the HAL's Cheerleaders for many years, & I believe has more than 300 days as a Mariner... Suggest you get to know the posters on this board a little better..

Thank you, Betty, for your support. (it's 347 days as of now, with 30 more booked. ;) )

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Does anyone know if on the Noordam they still have large tables and if they will seat large group of strangers together if we have to use AYW dinning?

There are tables of all sizes in the AYW dining room as there are in traditional seating. HAL will attempt to accommodate your request, provided they can seat you with those just seated or vice-versa. They seemed to strive to make certain that everyone at the larger tables were seated at about the same time so that their orders could be taken and served at the same time.

 

We thought it worked out fine as we would not want to intrude on a table of those already digging in. :)

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I just noticed this in purplenorway's current "Noordam LIVE" thread (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=607529 - post dated today, August 13):

 

"At dinner last night, there was a line of people waiting for the open sitting, but we went past them to find our traditional dining table. Apparently there were more people than usual who wanted traditional, so they allowed some to be on the lower level."

So maybe HAL is adjusting dining space allocation to demand, at least on Noordam and at the moment. There's hope yet, folks! :D

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I just noticed this in purplenorway's current "Noordam LIVE" thread (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=607529 - post dated today, August 13):

 

"At dinner last night, there was a line of people waiting for the open sitting, but we went past them to find our traditional dining table. Apparently there were more people than usual who wanted traditional, so they allowed some to be on the lower level."

 

So maybe HAL is adjusting dining space allocation to demand, at least on Noordam and at the moment. There's hope yet, folks! :D

 

They were doing it in May and there is probably no reason for them to not continue to do so.

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