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I am pretty positive that when my mom and I were on HAL in Alaska in August that we had to prepay our tips for the As You Wish Dining. I contacted our travel agent about our upcoming Baltic Cruise and was told we don't have to do so with HAL. The first trip was with a different travel agent, so, I'm wondering which one is correct.

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I am pretty positive that when my mom and I were on HAL in Alaska in August that we had to prepay our tips for the As You Wish Dining. I contacted our travel agent about our upcoming Baltic Cruise and was told we don't have to do so with HAL. The first trip was with a different travel agent, so, I'm wondering which one is correct.

A Hotel Service Charge of $11/person/day will be added to your shipboard account ... this covers the auto tips for dining servers and room stewards as well as a variety of behind-the-scenes people. I suppose that you could purchase OBC before sailing to cover this expense if desired.

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I am pretty positive that when my mom and I were on HAL in Alaska in August that we had to prepay our tips for the As You Wish Dining.
:confused: All the passengers have 'As You Wish Dining' and no one has to prepay tips.

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:confused: All the passengers have 'As You Wish Dining' and no one has to prepay tips.

 

Sorry to make you so disgruntled by my question and by using the wrong terminology for the open seating for dinner. We have been on cruise lines that require you to pre-pay tips for open seating for dinner (Royal Caribbean is one), and I swear we paid for tips before our HAL trip last summer.

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Not disgruntled, just confused (note the :confused: icon). No one HAS to prepay tips on HAL. That is confusing. You may have pre-paid the amount, but you didn't HAVE to do so.

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I like anytime dining. You get to meet many new people. Have a nice day.

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Open seating on HAL is a joke!

What other cruise lines offer reservations for open seating? Reservations just defeat the purpose of open seating. I want to dine on my time not theirs.

If there is a waiting list for your open seating, HAL gives you a pager. The same as you would get in some fast food joint.

Next time you are there, take a look at the 3rd deck and see how many open tables there are while you have to wait for open seating on the second deck.

NCL open seating the longest wait was about 5 minutes with no reservations.

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Open seating on HAL is a joke!

What other cruise lines offer reservations for open seating? Reservations just defeat the purpose of open seating. I want to dine on my time not theirs.

If there is a waiting list for your open seating, HAL gives you a pager. The same as you would get in some fast food joint.

Next time you are there, take a look at the 3rd deck and see how many open tables there are while you have to wait for open seating on the second deck.

NCL open seating the longest wait was about 5 minutes with no reservations.

 

I am sorry you obviously had a bad experience with open seating dining. However, I am puzzled by your reference to the "third deck". We have been on many HAL ships, though certainly not all of them, and have never been on one that had more than two dining levels. On our most recent cruise on the Eurodam in December, one of HAL's newest and largest class of ships, there was a two level dining room.

We loved our first experience with open dining. We never had to wait, never saw anyone with a pager, and never made reservations. It could never be equated with a "fast food joint." This was after many previous cruises with many different cruise lines with fixed dining. We never plan to return to fixed seating again.

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I am sorry you obviously had a bad experience with open seating dining. However, I am puzzled by your reference to the "third deck". We have been on many HAL ships, though certainly not all of them, and have never been on one that had more than two dining levels. .

 

He is referring to the fact that open seating diners are seated on the Deck 2 level of the Dining Room as opposed to the Deck 3 level. (Vista Class)

Edited by maxout

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He is referring to the fact that open seating diners are seated on the Deck 2 level of the Dining Room as opposed to the Deck 3 level. (Vista Class)

 

Thank you for your correction. I was equating levels with decks. My mistake.

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but the sooner traditional dining disappears the betteri don't mean to hert any feelings but as much as some like traditional dining they have to realize there are a few like me who find the concept annoyingand somewhatdisgusting.as much as i would like to sail on hal, the chances of it happening are almost zero

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FYI. On Carnival you can choose early, late or anytime seating in the dining room. If you choose anytime, your tips are charged along with your final payment per my TA. Otherwise the tips are billed to your OA. Not sure what the deal is with Holland. We will be choosing anytime seating for our late August Alaska cruise. We shall see what happens to tips.

Libtrek

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FYI. On Carnival you can choose early, late or anytime seating in the dining room. If you choose anytime, your tips are charged along with your final payment per my TA. Otherwise the tips are billed to your OA. Not sure what the deal is with Holland. We will be choosing anytime seating for our late August Alaska cruise. We shall see what happens to tips.

Libtrek

The Hotel Service Charge of $11/person/day is added to the onboard account whether a guest has open or fixed dining. There is no prepay provision based on open vs. fixed.

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We have never sailed on HAL, but other than our small cruise background--Regent Navigator, Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn--HAL appeals because of its Dutch ancestry. Its proud nautical tradition. and its much lauded (and hopefully true) standards of service and quality. So I occasionally browse these boards, hoping to discover either a really small HAL vessel. Or so much positive energy that we overcome our fears of big ships and give HAL a try. All of our cruising experiences have been on small ships--the largest with 460 passengers--and all had open dining. Not surprisingly, I am very much a fan of dining when you want. One factor that may make this option unusually pleasant for the ships mentioned above is that I believe the MDR on each can accommodate all (or certainly almost all) the passengers at once. Thus, if everyone wanted to eat at 6:00pm, they could. Let me also note that while there has been some suggestion that older folks love to eat early, you couldn't prove it by my experiences on these ships. I didn't note a demo in favor of any particular dining time. I should add that because cocktails and wine are free--not really; they are included in the hefty cruise price-- there is a real cocktail hour on board these ships. Which for many passengers "delays" dining until later--sometimes much later-- than 6:00. So more people eat later. Finally, a couple of marketing assumptions. All cruise lines have to attract the next generation of passengers, and younger folks tend to be less formal and want to eat when they want. Personally I have no interest in lugging formal clothes around the world so that I can look very much like the chaps across from me who have no doubt lugged their clothes an equal distance. Some people are charming and interesting, regardless of what they wear. And others can be boorish or dull in formal finery. As all of you who have cruised more than we certainly know, the two variables on a cruise are the weather and your fellow passengers. Perhaps we will meet some you on a HAL cruise some day.

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Last night we were told by a Holland America booking agent that breakfast and lunch on the Zaandam are available in the Lido only (not including room service), the dinning room now only opens for dinner. Are there enough tables and chairs in the Lido to serve the whole ship for breakfast? Two years ago we sailed on the Westerdam in Alaska and I LOVED breakfast in the dinning room. This could be a deal breaker for me...

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Last night we were told by a Holland America booking agent that breakfast and lunch on the Zaandam are available in the Lido only (not including room service), the dinning room now only opens for dinner. Are there enough tables and chairs in the Lido to serve the whole ship for breakfast? Two years ago we sailed on the Westerdam in Alaska and I LOVED breakfast in the dinning room. This could be a deal breaker for me...

 

WOW -- this is the first time that I have ever heard of a ship being closed for both breakfast and lunch. Lunch -- yes -- sometimes the dining room is closed. But never for breakfast.

Maybe you should call them back and ask why??

Yes -- the Lido can get crowded a times -- expecially when people are getting ready to leave for tours and returning from tours. And no -- there are not enough tables and chairs to serve everyone at any one time.

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We were able to book the table we wanted with the people we wanted each night. The Eurodam booked two nights in advance which worked for us.

 

Traveling alone is difficult. I understand wanting a set dining time and companions, especially for the first nights. I guess booking early is best.

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We returned this week from the Eurodam Western Mediterranean 10 day cruise. We ate in the dining room every evening without reservations. The food was great as was the service. No matter what time we arrived we never waited more than a few minutes to be seated and the service with a few small exceptions was very good. We generally asked to be seated with others and met some very interesting people. We much prefer the flexibility of dining when we wish and not being confined to a set time with the same table mates each evening. We tried anytime dining on Royal Caribbean last October and had a similar experience.

 

My advice- try it you'll like it!

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I love sitting with the same people also ~ Its part of what I love about cruising . You get to hear about everyones day . Maybe plan outings together etc . I have formed many long term friendships this way:D

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We much prefer the flexibility of dining when we wish and not being confined to a set time with the same table mates each evening.
We also like to dine as we wish. We love having the same table, waiters and dining companions. It is nice that HAL offers both open seating and fixed traditional seating as part of "As You Wish Dining". :D

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Very well said !

we will be on the aug 19th eurodam, amster to nyc

we sure wish you were going too. we would love to hear about your experiences on the smaller ships. we love them . we love all cruises.

we just recently came off athens to rome on aegean odessey on their 2nd ignaural cruise. it was wonderful excellent guides and tours and the food was very gourmet towards calif- med flavors and all inclusive but i have to admit the older passengers certainly love to criticize every litttle thing,instead of just enjoying the cruise. this was the british as well as american seniors.

i think on the eurodam if we get seated with complainers we will just move away from them!! cruise on!!~KC

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This may have been already asked but going through 88 pages of replies is long!! We are thinking of going on HAL this Nov. with 12 family members--I called HAL to make sure we could seat 12 at one table but she said I would have to book first and then request a table for 12 and they would try to accommodate us. This would be a deal breaker for us not to be able to sit together. Has anyone had a table for 12 on HAL? The only other cruise ship that has seating for 12 at one table is RCCL.

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I don't recall tables for 12 on the ships. There may be one, but a table for 12 is going to be very, very difficult.

What would be easy, though, is two tables for 6 next to each other. You would be able to chat back and forth at the table much better with fewer people, be able to visit with those at the other table, and be able to change the groupings around every night. That way people would have a real chance mix.

Consider this alternative.

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They would most likely seat you at two adjacent tables for six. They typical large table is for 8. This is a link to the dining room maps for the various ships. Take a look at the ship(s) you're considering. Having a conversation that includes everyone at a table for 12 is going to be pretty difficult in any cruise ship's MDR.

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