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jc foster

You Had Better Book Now

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My wife just booked us for a Hawaii cruise in mid March on the ZAANDAM. Our travel agent was able to get us traditional dining but told us those slots are filling up fast as HAL is really pushing the AS YOU WISH DINING . We were told the key was to book early.

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My wife just booked us for a Hawaii cruise in mid March on the ZAANDAM. Our travel agent was able to get us traditional dining but told us those slots are filling up fast as HAL is really pushing the AS YOU WISH DINING . We were told the key was to book early.

 

So much for the assurnaces that anyone who wants Traditional will be able to get it. From this report is sounds as though the available slots for Traditional Dining will be highly limited, and that HAL will be pushing AYW (as a form of push-polling, to justify the change). The end-result will be that a lot of people who want traditional will not be able to get it.

 

As I've said several times ... the problem is not the idea of a new dining option, it's going to be the bungling (and, as it would appear, the heavy-handed) way in which HAL implements it. :(

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HAL is really pushing the AS YOU WISH DINING

 

 

I believe this is true. My October 2008 cruise is already waitlisted! I find it hard to believe that all slots for traditional dining for really full. I have confirmed dining so no problem there. Personally, I do like the idea of As You Wish Dining when cruising with my dh. Since this will be a solo cruise, I prefer traditional dining. I might add that I've never been on a line that offered As You Wish Dining, so I am just assuming we would like it.

 

 

Marie

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My wife just booked us for a Hawaii cruise in mid March on the ZAANDAM. Our travel agent was able to get us traditional dining but told us those slots are filling up fast as HAL is really pushing the AS YOU WISH DINING . We were told the key was to book early.

 

Hey...I've had that problem too! I thought it was because we booked on a lucky Friday, July 13, but we were informed the early traditional seating for the Amsterdam's Sep 12, 2008 sailing was already booked up! We really didn't want to eat that late, but we like the traditional dining because it lets us develop a relationship with our servers over the course of the cruise.

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So ... if traditional dining fills so quickly, HAL should get the message that their new dining concept isn't flying very well with their clientele.

 

For those of us who prefer the traditional dining ... it is imperative to mention that on the comment cards in our cabin, as well as on the end-of-cruise critique.

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For those of us who prefer the traditional dining ... it is imperative to mention that on the comment cards in our cabin, as well as on the end-of-cruise critique.

 

Correct. Until the changes began to appear the clamoring on the cards was for "Open Seating" and "Free Style like the other lines," etc. Those of us who liked it the way it was didn't know that we needed to be telling the line how much we liked Traditional. So ... all the line was reading was that people wanted a change. So, they began testing various changes. Some worked better than others.

 

Now that AYW is going into effect, those of us who really want traditional need to make that abundantly clear on our cards AND if we can't get it, or have trouble getting it, we should make our dissatisfaction VERY evident on our comment cards. We should make as large of stink on those cards as those who whined about wanting it changed.

 

Not that it will help any. HAL is determined to make this change and, apparently, ram AYW down our throats (by not providing enough Traditional space, wait-listing it, and forcing people to settle for something they don't want) whether we want it or not.

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Hi Rev,

 

Check out the Anytime Dining Sticky thread.

 

Posted by Bungalow Bill

 

We were on the 7/15 Noordam cruise. We booked traditional dining at the late sitting. Although our request was honored, we were seated on the lower dining level where the AYW tables are. The atmosphere and service suffered despite having the same wait staff each night. The service was as cold inpersonal as a busy chain restaurant. The formal nights were particularly disappointing as we received poor service from the wine steward both nights.

We were moved to the upper dining level on the last night and received the attention and service we had expected all week.

 

Maybe we just had a weak wait team, but I believe the problem was the confusion created by mixing AYW and traditional dining on the same level.

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I understand that this may not be a particularly popular opinion with others on this board. I know that many people like to book a definite future cruise while onboard to take advantage of the $100 deposit ... perhaps HAL can/should consider reserving certain perks -- like confirmed dining -- only for those who are willing to pay the normal deposit. Perhaps that would be helpful to some of us that would prefer the traditional dining.

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So ... if traditional dining fills so quickly, HAL should get the message that their new dining concept isn't flying very well with their clientele. [para] For those of us who prefer the traditional dining ... it is imperative to mention that on the comment cards in our cabin, as well as on the end-of-cruise critique.

 

Correct. Until the changes began to appear the clamoring on the cards was for "Open Seating" and "Free Style like the other lines," etc. Those of us who liked it the way it was didn't know that we needed to be telling the line how much we liked Traditional. ... Now that AYW is going into effect, those of us who really want traditional need to make that abundantly clear on our cards AND if we can't get it, or have trouble getting it, we should make our dissatisfaction VERY evident on our comment cards. We should make as large of stink on those cards as those who whined about wanting it changed. ...

 

Don't wait to board and fill out a comment card after the fact! Write to Mr. Kruse directly, as soon as you book a cruise and are told that traditional is already full. The sooner HAL gets the message about how unhappy people are with this situation, the more likely it is that changes will be implemented in time to make a difference! Squeaky wheels get the grease - so squeak early and often, and LOUD! (But politely, of course.:D )

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Don't wait to board and fill out a comment card after the fact! Write to Mr. Kruse directly, as soon as you book a cruise and are told that traditional is already full. The sooner HAL gets the message about how unhappy people are with this situation, the more likely it is that changes will be implemented in time to make a difference! Squeaky wheels get the grease - so squeak early and often, and LOUD! (But politely, of course.:D )

Thanks for the valuable suggestion ... we were fortunate to get the traditional dining time we desired (booked a year out) but, should that not be the case in the future, indeed Mr. Kruse will learn of our displeasure in no uncertain terms.

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If indeed HAL personnel read these boards, and I believe they do, they should already be hearing us loud and clear ... and be re-assessing their AYW program.

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We cruised on Princess with the anytime dining and tried both dining rooms and different areas and very quickly decided that we preferred a particular dining room and wait staff. Once that was decided we always went to our preferred dining room (even if there was a wait) and always sat where our preferred wait staff was working - sometimes just us - sometimes joining a group. We were so pleased that when I went to book another cruise for the end of this year my dh insisted that the cruise line offer the anytime dining - so we're again on Princess. I'm looking forward to the reports once HAL makes this available.

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Don't wait to board and fill out a comment card after the fact! Write to Mr. Kruse directly, as soon as you book a cruise and are told that traditional is already full. The sooner HAL gets the message about how unhappy people are with this situation, the more likely it is that changes will be implemented in time to make a difference! Squeaky wheels get the grease - so squeak early and often, and LOUD! (But politely, of course.:D )

 

Already done. I seriously doubt that it will have any impact.

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If indeed HAL personnel read these boards, and I believe they do, they should already be hearing us loud and clear ... and be re-assessing their AYW program.

 

They do read these boards, but they don't make decisions based upon what they read here. We're too small a sampling for them to take us that seriously. Oh, they do like to get our reports from the ships and they appreciate our feed back ... at least, that's what I've been told. But we're not a proper sampling of the passenger-base that they care about.

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I wonder if they will get the message when we try to book traditional dining a year out and are told it's full so we say "no thank you" and book another cruise line?

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I wonder if they will get the message when we try to book traditional dining a year out and are told it's full so we say "no thank you" and book another cruise line?

 

Only if ENOUGH people do that. And by that I mean more people than are offset by the new passengers who are coming BECAUSE of the new dining schedule.

 

I wouldn't hold my breath. It's the evolution of the Cruising Industry, and people who like Traditional are, apparently, destined for extinction.

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I wouldn't hold my breath. It's the evolution of the Cruising Industry, and people who like Traditional are, apparently, destined for extinction.

 

Don't sweat it Greg. I just got off a Carnival cruise and they aren't showing any sign of abandoning the "traditional dining".

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We are on the waiting list for traditional dining. It probably isn't a big deal either way, except that we really liked the leisurly pace of dining on the Noordam this March, before anytime dining was offered. It seems that anytime would particularly devalue the formal night experience.

We had the Norwegian's freestyle on the Dawn. It was little more than a rushed in- and out-job, with a limited menu. That is not a deal breaker, perhaps, but it's notwhat we want.

Based on what I have seen and heard, I think that individual travelers are shortchanged if HAL gives big groups the first option to reserve traditional seating. In fact, it would seem to me that big groups in particular would prefer the flexibility of anytime. Except that during this transition period they don't even know about the option because their travel agents automatically put them down for traditional.

What happens, if cruisers with traditional reservations decide not to use them, preferring anytime? Will they keep those tables reserved ad infinitum or may some gate crashers get admitted?

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Don't sweat it Greg. I just got off a Carnival cruise and they aren't showing any sign of abandoning the "traditional dining".

 

:)

Well ... since I'm not showing any sign of booking a Carnival cruise anytime soon, that's not too helpful either. :D

 

But ... sorry to say ... reports I've read indicate that they ARE investigating the option. We'll see.

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We cruised on Princess with the anytime dining and tried both dining rooms and different areas and very quickly decided that we preferred a particular dining room and wait staff. Once that was decided we always went to our preferred dining room (even if there was a wait) and always sat where our preferred wait staff was working - sometimes just us - sometimes joining a group. We were so pleased that when I went to book another cruise for the end of this year my dh insisted that the cruise line offer the anytime dining - so we're again on Princess. I'm looking forward to the reports once HAL makes this available.

 

That's all very well on the particular Princess ships that are designed for AYW, with multiple dining venues. HAL ships have only one dining room, not counting Lido (which is buffet), and Pinnacle (which is extra charge). So if you don't like the way AYW is being implemented in the main dining room, you have no other dining room to go to. There is also no guarantee that HAL's AYW system will allow you to get, or even request, the same wait staff every night. Just because it works on Princess does not mean it will work on HAL.

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I am going to be disappointed if they change dining totally. Traditional dining always has allowed us to meet people we never would otherwise (we always request a table for 8.) We've made several good friends this way which added to our cruise enjoyment. I shall send HAL my comments "before" the cruise per suggestion. (We're waitlisted for our "early dining" a year out.)

Jan

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My wife just booked us for a Hawaii cruise in mid March on the ZAANDAM. Our travel agent was able to get us traditional dining but told us those slots are filling up fast as HAL is really pushing the AS YOU WISH DINING . We were told the key was to book early.

 

This will make it the perfect cruise now. That classic HAL service and "As you wish" dining. A perfect world. Go HAL!!!!!!!!

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This will make it the perfect cruise now. That classic HAL service and "As you wish" dining. A perfect world. Go HAL!!!!!!!!

 

Congratulations. The classic HAL service will probably be the next thing to go. Indeed, some people think it's already gone.

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