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hammybee

As You Wish Dining - What and How

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What about us peons down in the inside cabins ... do we just get the luck of the draw and no reservations? Or, is that possible for us, too?

 

Sorry ... this isn't intended to disrupt this thread ... just an honest and important question. I'll rephrase it:

 

Is there anyone who has cruised in a cabin other than a Suite out there who has a report on AYWD and the reservation process?

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... Is there anyone who has cruised in a cabin other than a Suite out there who has a report on AYWD and the reservation process?

 

Sorry - those posts might have been a bit misleading outside their original context, which was a thread asking whether suite pax could get reservations during the time window for which reservations are not normally accepted. It appears the answer is no. Outside that time window, it appears that anyone (yes, including those in the cheap seats :D ) can get a reservation.

 

But that's not based on first-hand experience, so if anyone can either confirm it first-hand, or knows that my impression is wrong, please do speak up!

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Sorry - those posts might have been a bit misleading outside their original context, which was a thread asking whether suite pax could get reservations during the time window for which reservations are not normally accepted. It appears the answer is no. Outside that time window, it appears that anyone (yes, including those in the cheap seats :D ) can get a reservation.

 

But that's not based on first-hand experience, so if anyone can either confirm it first-hand, or knows that my impression is wrong, please do speak up!

 

Thanks.

My impression had been that anyone could, regardless of cabin category, make such reservations outside the "black-out" times. From the way those reports ha been made, it was sounding like such was only a Suite perk. Thanks for sharing the context.

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Just a bit confused so perhaps someone can explain.....

Why did jmk22574 think that they were getting a suite perk with dining when they could only reserve during the "off time"?

Julia

 

Originally Posted by jmk22574 viewpost.gif

My husband and I were in a category SB suite on the Noordam 9/23-9/30. We had "as-you-wish" dining. One of the first things we did when we got on the ship was speak with the concierge in the Neptune Lounge. Being new to cruising, I was unaware that there were actual "times" during as-you-wish dining that you could NOT reserve a table in the dining room. We were NOT allowed (as suite guests) to reserve a specific table in the dining room with as-you-wish dining between 5:45 and 7:15 (per the concierge and per her telephone call to the dining room). Our four choices were 5:15, 5:45, 7:15, and 7:45 (for as-you-wish reservations). Thus, each day we requested the same table at 7:45 so we could have the same dining room attendant (who was wonderful). I hope that helps! :) Again, being new to cruising, I was unaware until reading this thread that suite guests are supposed to get special perks for dining. Everything worked out great for us, so I can't complain.

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I am wondering if anyone can (or will be able to) report on whether it is possible to get the same waiter every night with AYW.

 

We will be dealing with allergy issues, but would still prefer to use AYW to accommodate the possibility of eating at slightly different times each night. However, as a compromise, I would hope to have the same waiter each day.

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I lifted this excerpt from Retired Mustang's observations of AYWD within his recent review of the Noordam Panama Canal sailing:

 

Hammybee, I did not have to risk getting a wedgie to try AYWD, because it was not necessary, as the ship was very accommodating. We had confirmed seating, but had a table downstairs as did other confirmed parties, which tells me that the ship does adjust percentanges of confirmed/open tables by cruise. Reservations for AYWD could be made from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily, and you could make multiple ones at one time; that is, reservations for more than one night.

 

The third deck doors were for confirmed seating on that level, and opened as normal. The doors on the second deck opened at 5:15, and there were two lines with check-in booths -- to the right for people with reservations (at which those of us with confirmed seating just told them we had confirmed and proceeded to our table) and to the left for walk-ups. There were stewards available to show people to their seats, which I thought was smart since with AYWD you often would have a different table.

 

From our table (a table for 10 with very congenial table mates) I could see the doorway, and rarely saw a line develop and when it did, it was not for long. We talked to another CC couple who had changed from confirmed to AYWD and they loved it. They reported that the only time they had to wait was the night of the big production show, and the wait even then was only a few minutes. We noticed that at the AYWD tables near us, they would not seat anyone else once the food orders had been taken, so the issue of eating dessert while somebody was on the soup did not arise.

 

The bottom line is, I think most of us can be taken care of. The ones who will be most affected I think are Greg and Ruth and other solo travelers if they cannot get a confirmed seating. Yes, you can find others and reserve tables together if in AYWD, but that is more difficult than having a confirmed seating.

 

On the Farewell Dinner night, we got the answer to the Baked Alaska question -- at 6:55 p.m., they dimmed the lights and paraded the baked Alaska on both decks. Those diners who were ready for dessert, whether confirmed or AYWD, were offered a piece of the paraded dessert. Those who were not, such as our table (a table for 10 generally takes longer than a table for 4 or 6) were given the usual dessert menu, but one of the choices was an idividual baked Alaska dish, and the stewards would provide cherry sauce if you wanted

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Cruise Critic member Kakalina (Trish and Vergil) just returned from their Ryndam Sea of Cortez Cruise October 21-31, 2007, where As You Wish Dining has been recently implemented. Here's what they experienced:

 

"We booked at the last minute and were given As You Wish Dining. To be perfectly honest it wasn't as bad as I had expected. Others have done a good job of explaining how it works so I won't go into that. Suffice it to say I never saw anyone waiting longer than 5 minutes for a table and those I spoke with were quite happy with the arrangements. For the solo traveler it may be different. My DH isn't normally fond of the main DR and chooses to eat most nights in the Lido. He was impressed that we were able to be seated, order and finish dining in about 45 minutes. However, when I went alone to the DR I was invariably seating with two other couples. They do ask if one wished to be seated with others and it worked out fine for me."

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I copied Penk99's post from another thread, today.

 

We just got back last Wednesday from our 11 day cruise on Noordam. We had originally requested late fixed seating but were given AYWD. It turns out, we really liked it! We had no problems with service at any of the tables. There were 4 of us traveling together and sometimes we were seated at a table for 6 or 8, depending on what was open at the time we showed up. There was also an option of reserving a particular table for future nights if you found one you really liked (we did this one night). The very first night we met a wonderful couple from Ireland that we dined with the rest of the cruise. It was a very positive experience for us ~ no complaints.:)

__________________

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From We Love Cruising's report of the 10/31 Noordam sale:

 

AYWDining

We had a table for two, fixed seating, upper level at 8pm. Even though we had fixed seating, I had on my Cruise Critic investigative hat to see what I could find out about open seating. From what I was told, the maximum number of pagers handed out per night was 5, and the maximum wait was 12 minutes and that was for a party of 10. I never saw lines, and most everyone I spoke to that had open seating seemed happy with it. In fact, many more people moved from fixed to open as the cruise went on. I met one lady from our CC group who was unhappy with the service the first night, but never did reconnect with her to see if it got any better. Before we left on our cruise I remember someone asking how the wine stewards know how to save leftover wine, or wine gifts for tables…and found out they are stored by your cabin number now. The Dining Room Manager told us that AYWD was a little rocky when it first started, but they had a process consultant come on board a month or so ago and things have really improved from there

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This from poster Jemina 10/31 Ryndam sail report:

 

We requested early traditional seating, but were assigned As You Wish (AWY). Reservations could be made each day between 8:00 and 4:00 for 5:15, 5:30, 7:30 and a couple of later time slots. Those making reservations could request a table for two, table for their party, or “sit with others”. The reserved time slots were held for 15 minutes. The table size requests were request only and not guaranteed. Reservations were not required and many people did not reserve. We called each morning at eight and requested 5:30 sitting with others. We were always given this time, but sometimes ended up with a two person table. We did hear that people calling later in the day couldn’t get reservations or couldn’t get them at the desired time. This didn’t seem to cause problems as we never noticed long lines.

For “sit with others” tables, food was served at the same time to the whole table. This was seldom a problem as everyone at the table was seated within a few minutes. One evening we were seated with two women who wanted to rush through dinner in time to make the 6:30 show. I don’t think they were happy with us as we ordered as usual and ate at our usual pace.

 

Service was excellent and was just a excellent as we’ve had in traditional seating. Also because the always take the cabin number, the dining steward is aware of any special diet or special menu order. We didn’t order wine, but did note the wine steward seemed to handle AYW well.

 

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We have just booked on the Massdam for the March 5th sailing. It is our first time with H.A. so we are anxious and also excited. We were told that we had to choose either early or late dining. Are we able to ask for AYW dining? Do we tell our T.A. this now? thanks for any advice.

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We have just booked on the Massdam for the March 5th sailing. It is our first time with H.A. so we are anxious and also excited. We were told that we had to choose either early or late dining. Are we able to ask for AYW dining? Do we tell our T.A. this now? thanks for any advice.

 

Sorry, but the Massdam will not be converting to AYWD until the April 4, 2008 cruise. For your cruise you will have the choice of 5:45, 6:15 early and 8:00 and 8:30 late traditional seating only.

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Thank you for your reply. Maybe we will opt for the later dining so we don't miss sail away. We always love to be on deck when the ship pulls away from the islands and then still have time to get ready for dinner without rushing.

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Thank you for your reply. Maybe we will opt for the later dining so we don't miss sail away. We always love to be on deck when the ship pulls away from the islands and then still have time to get ready for dinner without rushing.

 

My feelings too! Thats why we are looking forward to the open dining on the Volendam next week. We can see the sail aways and then go eat around 7:30 or so. 8 and 8:30 just too late and 5:45 way to early. Have a great cruise!!!:D

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Sorry, but the Massdam will not be converting to AYWD until the April 4, 2008 cruise. For your cruise you will have the choice of 5:45, 6:15 early and 8:00 and 8:30 late traditional seating only.

 

I am on the Apr.4/08 sailing of the Maasdam and the AYWD doesn't start according to the information I have until Apr.24/08. I wouldn't have picked AYWD as I am a solo cruiser but I know it is not available on that cruise.

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I am on the Apr.4/08 sailing of the Maasdam and the AYWD doesn't start according to the information I have until Apr.24/08. I wouldn't have picked AYWD as I am a solo cruiser but I know it is not available on that cruise.

 

Sorry about that, I miss read the information from HAL and you are correct.

 

Have a great cruise in April

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Sorry about that, I miss read the information from HAL and you are correct.

 

Have a great cruise in April

 

Thank you and you have a great cruise too coming up in a few days. I really like the Volendam! I wish it was me.............

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We will be on our first HAL cruise in March and we are booked with AYWD. Are we given dinner tickets to enter the dining room? If yes, do we need them for the LIDO dinner too? Can we bring our kids to eat at the LIDO(plus appy for us!:rolleyes: ); then drop them off at the kid's club and still eat at the Vista dining room afterwards?

 

I remember RCI and Disney had them and NCL not.

 

Any advise would be great!

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I wish we were sailing away right now !!! It's snowing and windy and -1 C here today !! The first snow of the season though. (southern Ontario).

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We will be on our first HAL cruise in March and we are booked with AYWD. Are we given dinner tickets to enter the dining room? If yes, do we need them for the LIDO dinner too? Can we bring our kids to eat at the LIDO(plus appy for us!:rolleyes: ); then drop them off at the kid's club and still eat at the Vista dining room afterwards?

 

I remember RCI and Disney had them and NCL not.

 

Any advise would be great!

 

 

Nope, no tickets are required for any of the dining venues. As for having the kids eat first, then go to Club HAL, I don't see why not. But I'm not exactly certain what the Club HAL evening hours are.

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This is from superradiationboy's post from the first Volendam sailing with AYWD:

 

 

Once we got through the check in, which was quick and easy, and the steward offering water and Iced Tea, we saw they have a little table setup for explaining how AYW works. A couple of HAL reps were also there to answer questions. Didn't see anyone walked up to that table though.

 

We were originally assigned the Late seating, but 8pm for my parents is a bit too late. Once onboard, I made a call down to change to AYW. They were more than happy to accomodate, but the condition was to give up my table at 8pm. By the way I also made a reservation at 5:45pm for the same night (table for 4). They said they would send a confirmation card to my stateroom, but I never received it. Anyway I was not concerned at all.

We had dinner in the Dining Room for the following few days at around 5:45pm without making reservation. Line up time was minimal. We sat at different tables everynight and we had consistently good service. We also managed to get out before 6:40pm to catch the early shows... and we only skipped salads, but we often subsititute that with another appetizer or entree

 

In general, I think the AYW dining on Volendam started off quite smoothly. I do have a couple other observations... You can request to be seated with others. And often, you'd be asked if you mind sitting with others. I did see there was a couple seated when the other 4 at the same table were having appetizers. Things weren't synchronized there, but they seem to enjoy what they have and the waiter was managing it well.

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We will be sailing on the Oosterdam in Feburary, more then one month after the transition to AYWD.

We have requested traditional, 2nd seating at a table for 2. We prefer to dine at a table for 2.

If we are assigned to the open seating, do you think we will have a problem???? I don't mind having a different tables each night, but as a male couple we've had some bad experiences dining at large tables.

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We will be sailing on the Oosterdam in Feburary, more then one month after the transition to AYWD.

We have requested traditional, 2nd seating at a table for 2. We prefer to dine at a table for 2.

If we are assigned to the open seating, do you think we will have a problem???? I don't mind having a different tables each night, but as a male couple we've had some bad experiences dining at large tables.

 

I hope you get what you asked for, a table for two, in late seating. If however, you find yourself assigned to open seating, you can request a table for two or choose to sit with others. I am inclined to think that those who request private tables will have a greater likelihood of a wait. So much will depend upon when you dine versus everyone else.

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This is from Shaco's review of the Thanksgiving Noordam cruise:

 

We made a reservation the first night for 8 o'clock. We stood in line with others who had also made 8 o'clock reservations for 40 minutes waiting for a table. Havid, the person in charge of assigning tables, told us not to make a reservation for the following night.

 

So, the following night we came at 7:45 and were given a PAGER, just like Olive Garden, and waited 35 minutes. Both nights, we were seated at a huge round table for 10 with one other couple, very awkward for conversation. The next two nights, we were seated at the front of the dining room at a table for 2, exactly the last thing we wanted. Not only are the front tables subject cigarette smoke wafting in from outside the dining room, but we never wanted to sit alone, and have not done so in all our years of cruising.

 

Each time we waited approximately 10 minutes for Havid, who was always smiling, to find us a table. At this point you must be getting the idea that "As you wish dining" did not work for us. It was especially interesting when Hadiv told us to come at 6:45 to get seated faster. I'm thinking, wow, we don't like to eat at 6:45. How is that As You Wish Dining? One dish I was really looking forward to was the Osso Buco. Approximately 20 minutes after we ordered, someone came over to tell me the kitchen was out of Osso Buco. Ugh.

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