Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

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Smoggie on tour
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Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Smoggie on tour »

Booked Aurora cruise for 2015 today and was offered freedom dining. Travel agent says this will be available when we sail. Hope she is right. Checked the P&O website but could not find any information. Has anybody else been offered this option for any future cruises booked on Aurora?

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The Monocled Mutineer
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

Hope she is wrong.

The absence of Freedom Dining makes the Aurora (& Oriana) retain a more traditional ambiance within the subset of the fleet which are the P&O Commission builds designed and specifically built for the ex.UK cruise market.
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ChesterfieldJohn
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by ChesterfieldJohn »

According to the P & O site freedom dining will be available on Aurora from December 2014

Which ships offer freedom dining?

Freedom dining is available on Azura, Oceana and Ventura.

Freedom dining will also be available on:
Arcadia as of 15 December 2013
Oriana as of 18 May 2014
Aurora as of 19 December 2014.


Which is good, we much prefer freedom dining.

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The Monocled Mutineer
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

Dam, dam, dam:

Cannot see it being successful on two MDR ships.

Many adherents to Freedom or Club will become disappointed cruisers when a a particular form of dining becomes oversubscribed for a particular cruise.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by david63 »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:Dam, dam, dam:

Cannot see it being successful on two MDR ships.

Many adherents to Freedom or Club will become disappointed cruisers when a a particular form of dining becomes oversubscribed for a particular cruise.
On the other hand it may well encourage those who prefer Freedom dining to sail on those ships which, by their choice, have not been available to them.

Like it or nor (and personally I do not) Freedom dining is the way forward. Eventually I can see that Freedom dining will be the "norm" with the only other option, apart from buffet, being Select dining.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by ChesterfieldJohn »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:Dam, dam, dam:

Cannot see it being successful on two MDR ships.

Many adherents to Freedom or Club will become disappointed cruisers when a a particular form of dining becomes oversubscribed for a particular cruise.

Why should it become oversubscribed?

Surely it will work exactly the same has 1st and 2nd sittings with a maximum number allowed.

We have used it on the 3 ships that allow it now and never had any trouble with it.

We prefer it because it allows us to fit more evening entertainment in.

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Capt Black
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Capt Black »

Makes me wonder whether this part of PandO's cunning revisions of Vantage vs Getaway effective next year. My understanding is that dining for Getaways will be allocated rather than expressing a choice.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Dancing Queen »

Unfortunately it is probably feedback from customers and what "they" want ... a bit like the smoking ban on balconies I suppose, if they want it and shout loud enough they will get it :roll:
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by ChesterfieldJohn »

Capt Black wrote:Makes me wonder whether this part of PandO's cunning revisions of Vantage vs Getaway effective next year. My understanding is that dining for Getaways will be allocated rather than expressing a choice.

Where have you got this information from?

I have not read or heard anything about it.

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The Monocled Mutineer
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

Oceana, Azura and Ventura have three MDRs that can flex for skews in demands for Club & Freedom.

I do not wish to dine with strangers every night of a cruise, because of the same "first night questions" for 17 nights, the increased risk of being seated with serial bores, the "silents" or unreconstructed English national socialists or / and those who promulgate for the whole service their repugnant views from their "informed" study of the Daily Mail / Express, often in front of the stewards as if they are deaf or do not understand English.

Although I prefer 2nd sitting, I would settle for 1st. However open dining at dinner for a whole cruise would fill me with dread every night, and I do not wish to use Select Dining every night (cost) and only use the buffet at dinner perhaps once (eg spending an evening ashore on a midnight sailing or an overnighter).
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by ChesterfieldJohn »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:Oceana, Azura and Ventura have three MDRs that can flex for skews in demands for Club & Freedom.

I do not wish to dine with strangers every night of a cruise, because of the same "first night questions" for 17 nights, the increased risk of being seated with serial bores, the "silents" or unreconstructed English national socialists or / and those who promulgate for the whole service their repugnant views from their "informed" study of the Daily Mail / Express, often in front of the stewards as if they are deaf or do not understand English.

Although I prefer 2nd sitting, I would settle for 1st. However open dining at dinner for a whole cruise would fill me with dread every night, and I do not wish to use Select Dining every night (cost) and only use the buffet at dinner perhaps once (eg spending an evening ashore on a midnight sailing or an overnighter).

You have not answered my question.

The choice will still be yours as to fixed or freedom.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by oldbluefox »

I have never tried Freedom dining and possibly prefer Club dining. I say possibly as how can I express a preference for something I have never tried?

However it is all about freedom of choice and that is to be welcomed.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Dancing Queen »

oldbluefox wrote:I have never tried Freedom dining and possibly prefer Club dining. I say possibly as how can I express a preference for something I have never tried?

However it is all about freedom of choice and that is to be welcomed.
We tried freedom dining on a Celebrity cruise and I was very sceptical but it worked very well and I was pleasantly surprised, sometimes we dined just with the friends we were with and other times we would ask for a larger table.

I agree freedom of choice is always welcome.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by sunseeker16 »

Club Dining is not being withdrawn, so the addition of Freedom Dining is simply extra choice. Those who enjoy Club will still be able to do it.

Personally, on holiday, I enjoy the freedom to do many things at times of my choice, and that includes eating my main meal at a time to suit, rather than ridiculously early at 6.30 or indigestion-inducing late at 8.30. Neither of those times is a total no-no as a one off but not for a whole cruise

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

There is no choice if Club Dining is over-subscribed and I have to take Freedom.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by david63 »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:There is no choice if Club Dining is over-subscribed and I have to take Freedom.
No doubt that will be dependant on when you book - book early (albeit at a cost) and get the options you want or leave booking until later and take your chances as to what is available.

You still have a choice.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by sunseeker16 »

Exactly

Also, should you be travelling with friends, you could make your own 'virtual club' in the freedom dining restaurant by going together at the same time and even requesting the Maitre'D to seat you in the same area of the restaurant

Freedom fans do not have a similar option to appear in a club restarant at 7.30 seeking a table

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

But today I have the choice of always being guaranteed Club, albeit not the sitting whether early booking or last minute. I fear with a two MDR ship offering Freedom that if demand is skewed I will not have choice but to accept Freedom.

I understand that this is not such an issue when cruising with friends or family but out of 30 cruises we have only sailed with friends twice and mummy once. And the option to sail with family continues to diminsh as my elders pass away and with us two having no siblings, no nephews / neices and both our parents being either only child or with siblings who did not reproduce, other than possibly with friends we will sail as a couple until one of us passes away.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

Yippee! at last! Freedom is as freedom says and offers those who prefer it an alternative choice. Fear not, Derek, I cannot see the availability of club dining being limited, it is a simple matter to arrange both club and freedom in the same restaurant and the tables could be adjusted to the demand, which would be set at the beginning of the cruise.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

QB:

If that is the case (creating a subset of the freedom dining room for an overflow of demand then so be it, although I believe the presence of Freedom Dining on any of the fleet erodes the ambiance, especially on Formal nights, with people wondering around the public rooms after 6pm in day wear and deck wear because they're not eating till late. as well as people drifting in and out of the restaurant during my preffered sitting time.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:QB:

If that is the case (creating a subset of the freedom dining room for an overflow of demand then so be it, although I believe the presence of Freedom Dining on any of the fleet erodes the ambiance, especially on Formal nights, with people wondering around the public rooms after 6pm in day wear and deck wear because they're not eating till late. as well as people drifting in and out of the restaurant during my preffered sitting time.
If you're second sitting then there shouldn't be too much wandering in and out. I often find that there is a lot of this during normal club dining, to be honest. Those on second sitting are, of course, entitled on formal evenings to use the public areas in casual clothes, that is their prerogative.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

QB:

The dress codes quite clearly states that the dress code (as a minimum standard) applies to designated public areas (most of the public internal areas of a ship) after 6pm. The exclusion is usually the buffet restaurant and at least one indoor bar.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Gill W »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:QB:

If that is the case (creating a subset of the freedom dining room for an overflow of demand then so be it, although I believe the presence of Freedom Dining on any of the fleet erodes the ambiance, especially on Formal nights, with people wondering around the public rooms after 6pm in day wear and deck wear because they're not eating till late. as well as people drifting in and out of the restaurant during my preffered sitting time.
Derek, you've said many times that you retire to your cabin at 6pm, so that you can prepare for the evening, and so that any early diners aren't exposed to the Kane knees in your casual shorts, so I don't know how you acquired your belief, as this is a time you are not habitually in the public areas of the ship.

On freedom dining, they tend to fill areas of the restaurant at the same time, so there is not a large amount of coming and going of diners. I actually find freedom more relaxing and quieter, as you don't have 500 people coming in all at once, all talking (it sometimes seems) at the top of their voices.

My hunch is that freedom will book more quickly than club, so I feel you'll be able to get your club dining without too many problems.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by BrianI »

Yes its 6pm. I have seen people politely asked to leave the Crows Nest just after six.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

The Monocled Mutineer wrote:QB:

The dress codes quite clearly states that the dress code (as a minimum standard) applies to designated public areas (most of the public internal areas of a ship) after 6pm. The exclusion is usually the buffet restaurant and at least one indoor bar.
Not so, MM, on Aurora for example it only applies to the two MDRs, the Crows Nest and Anderson's. Café Bordeaux is also mentioned but I have found that in practice the code here is more relaxed, especially on jackety evenings.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

QB:

What a shame. Further testimony on ever spiraling down standards of dress.

I enjoy 2nd sitting because I enjoy the extended day out on the open decks at an open bar as the sun's rays lose some of their "potency" in the Med (or other warm place).

Come the time for me to shave, bathe and change for the evening I ALWAYS consider the most optimum route for where I can reach my cabin from where I am and ensure that I do not use a public room, public walkway on the public room decks, atriums and lifts. This usually entails taking stairs down to the nearest cabin deck, walking along the corridor to fwd, mid, or aft (depending where cabin is) and then quickly taking the stairs to my actual deck.

If I want to use the library, shop, cyb-study, reception etc after six pm I would always change into the minimum standard required for an evening (which is always personally a jacket and tie, except for the tropical/pirate night when I would drop the jacket) before venturing out early on some 'chore' or research before pre-prandial activities for me commence.

It is showing respect to other guests booted and suited for earlier dining and entertainment.
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by sunseeker16 »

If your dinner sitting and style is of such importance that not obtaining your preference wll totally spoil your cruise, then I guess early Vantage booking is the way forward. Perhaps this is a ruse by P&O to obtain more early and Vantage bookings? Perhaps? Personally I think it may actually be a move towards providing more of what a large proportion of passengers appear to want.

Everyone has different priorities and differing likes and dislikes - and likes and dislikes within those likes and dislikes, if that's not too Donald Rumsfeld. eg. I like the 'clubability' of Club dining but hate the times offered. So a 7.30 Club (with evening entertainment at times appropriate to 7.30 dining) could be fine for me. However, I would still dislike, with every fibre of my being, the queue or worse before the dining room doors are open - ugh, I can only remember queing for school dinners. There's always the possibility of total incompatibility with table companions, so that would require a potentially embarrassing move with Club - just grin and bear it for one night on Freedom

Horses for courses and hooray for choice!

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Dark Knight »

YAHOO !!!!
Pando have dragged their dated dining options into the 21st century and about time, this means I will now have more ships to choose from as I find the school dinners/.prison regime of fixed dining archaic and all this bilge about dress codes around the ship after 6pm is pure fantasy

I suppose as usual the popinjays will lie by omission and won't be honest about what the rules ACTUALLY SAY
good job more sensible heads prevailed and that PandO are not as old fashioned and stuck in the mud as some of their passengers :wave: :wave: :wave:
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Ranchi »

Shocking!


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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by mollyh »

TMM Why not have a table for two on Freedom if you are nervous of unknown table companions.We always have table for two -much more civilised and not unfriendly as they are quite close together for pleasantries with other diners but not for deep discussions .We like to enjoy our food and wine in a relaxed atmosphere and have no interest in pax holding court at large tables..

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Admiral of the Humber »

It makes no odds to us. We have always done club dining, first sitting when Miss AOTH was younger and second sitting as she got older, but as we always cruise in a family group or with friends, if we had to go freedom we'd still be with the same people. In addition, as we have to cruise during school holidays, we always book early so I doubt we'll ever have a problem booking club if that is what we wish to do.

It's called evolution Derek, P&O have to move with the times and cater for the demands of the mass market. If you're ever stuck I'm sure we could find you a place at the AOTH table in club. You could sit next to Miss AOTH...she used to love dinosaurs.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Dark Knight »

is freedom dining covered by the human rights act
as in freedom of choice and freedom to eat when I am hungry not when the headmistress tells me I am
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

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The Monocled Mutineer wrote:QB:

The dress codes quite clearly states that the dress code (as a minimum standard) applies to designated public areas (most of the public internal areas of a ship) after 6pm. The exclusion is usually the buffet restaurant and at least one indoor bar.
Hogwash!

I think that you'll find that it's actually the other way round (as I'm sure you already know). There have been several threads on the topic as to exactly where the dress-code applies on both this and the old P&O forum. The answer (ACCORDING TO P&O) varies from ship to ship, but is generally the MDR, one (or more) select dining venue and usually ONE (or two) bars only. Your assertion that "most of the public internal areas" have the dress-code as a requirement is little more than what you would wish to be the case. Unfortunately for you Derek, you don't devise the rules. :thumbdown:

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Dark Knight »

Romig
Mr Kane making up things to suit his own wants and needs rather than the truth......would you adam and eve it
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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by emjay45 »

I'm hoping this is a huge mistake. I am booked on the Aurora in 2015 and was not told there would be freedom dining. We are in fact confirmed for 1st sitting. I'll be contacting P&O tomorrow to find out if this is correct.


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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

emjay45 wrote:I'm hoping this is a huge mistake. I am booked on the Aurora in 2015 and was not told there would be freedom dining. We are in fact confirmed for 1st sitting. I'll be contacting P&O tomorrow to find out if this is correct.
Why would it be a problem? Club dining will still be available.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Alan Janice White »

My wife and myself are usually on second sitting 'select' dining and so, providing the weather is appropriate we like to have a swim and a hot tub round about six o,clock, when approximately half the ship are going or have gone to dinner. To get to and from our cabin we are naturally in swimming attire, plus a track suit and quite often get disapproving looks and have even had the odd comment. Too bad, say I; because if people want to eat half way through the afternoon that is their choice, but it isn't mine. I try to be discreet and don't go dancing around the ship in a bedraggled state and certainly don't wish to offend anyone, but if a small number of people wish to take umbrage , that is their problem not mine.

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Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

I've just checked on the P&O website and on Aurora freedom dining will be in the Medina restaurant which leaves the Alexandria for clubbers.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

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Alan Janice White wrote:My wife and myself are usually on second sitting 'select' dining and so, providing the weather is appropriate we like to have a swim and a hot tub round about six o,clock, when approximately half the ship are going or have gone to dinner. To get to and from our cabin we are naturally in swimming attire, plus a track suit and quite often get disapproving looks and have even had the odd comment. Too bad, say I; because if people want to eat half way through the afternoon that is their choice, but it isn't mine. I try to be discreet and don't go dancing around the ship in a bedraggled state and certainly don't wish to offend anyone, but if a small number of people wish to take umbrage , that is their problem not mine.

Regards,
Alan.
I think that is a very selfish attitude to take. I have had people brush past me with wet towels while I've been in formal wear. No I don't think the problem is with me.


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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

emjay45 wrote:
Alan Janice White wrote:My wife and myself are usually on second sitting 'select' dining and so, providing the weather is appropriate we like to have a swim and a hot tub round about six o,clock, when approximately half the ship are going or have gone to dinner. To get to and from our cabin we are naturally in swimming attire, plus a track suit and quite often get disapproving looks and have even had the odd comment. Too bad, say I; because if people want to eat half way through the afternoon that is their choice, but it isn't mine. I try to be discreet and don't go dancing around the ship in a bedraggled state and certainly don't wish to offend anyone, but if a small number of people wish to take umbrage , that is their problem not mine.

Regards,
Alan.
I think that is a very selfish attitude to take. I have had people brush past me with wet towels while I've been in formal wear. No I don't think the problem is with me.
We are all in the same boat.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

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Quizzical Bob wrote:
emjay45 wrote:I'm hoping this is a huge mistake. I am booked on the Aurora in 2015 and was not told there would be freedom dining. We are in fact confirmed for 1st sitting. I'll be contacting P&O tomorrow to find out if this is correct.
Why would it be a problem? Club dining will still be available.
QB I've never been on a ship with freedom dining and I have no idea how it works. How will it fit in with club dining? I'm also very annoyed I wasn't told when I booked.


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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

emjay45 wrote:
Quizzical Bob wrote:
emjay45 wrote:I'm hoping this is a huge mistake. I am booked on the Aurora in 2015 and was not told there would be freedom dining. We are in fact confirmed for 1st sitting. I'll be contacting P&O tomorrow to find out if this is correct.
Why would it be a problem? Club dining will still be available.
QB I've never been on a ship with freedom dining and I have no idea how it works. How will it fit in with club dining? I'm also very annoyed I wasn't told when I booked.
We've been on many cruises and have used both. Freedom dining works in a similar fashion to breakfast and lunch in the MDR. You turn up at a time that suits you and you can state your preference for table size, if you have one. You will be seated with others who will be eating at the same time as you so your courses will arrive at the same time. If the restaurant is particularly full then you may be asked to wait and will be given a pager. We have only ever had this happen twice in half a dozen cruises and the wait was not very long. On one cruise on Oceana many groups of people were booking tables in advance which sort of defeats the object and I think this has now been stopped. To be honest we prefer freedom dining as 6:30 is too early and 8:30 too late and can cause conflicts over whether we will do a show or a quiz. Dress codes and all other aspects are the same. Honestly, I wouldn't get too upset about it. If you have chosen club dining at 6:30 then that is what you will get, in the Alexandria restaurant. If you want to change to freedom then it is just a phone call or a mouse click away.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by david63 »

emjay45 wrote:
Quizzical Bob wrote:
emjay45 wrote:I'm hoping this is a huge mistake. I am booked on the Aurora in 2015 and was not told there would be freedom dining. We are in fact confirmed for 1st sitting. I'll be contacting P&O tomorrow to find out if this is correct.
Why would it be a problem? Club dining will still be available.
QB I've never been on a ship with freedom dining and I have no idea how it works. How will it fit in with club dining? I'm also very annoyed I wasn't told when I booked.
You won't even know that it is happening - it is not a problem. Some people will be going into one of the MDRs as and when. You will be going into another MDR at you allotted time.

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by emjay45 »

Thank you both. While I agree 6.30 is too early, and 8.30 is too late. I'm not sure I'd really like freedom dining so I'd be nervous to change. :(


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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Quizzical Bob »

emjay45 wrote:Thank you both. While I agree 6.30 is too early, and 8.30 is too late. I'm not sure I'd really like freedom dining so I'd be nervous to change. :(
Stay as you are but maybe give it a try one night? (After notifying your table companions and waiters of course)

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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by sunseeker16 »

i don't think you can do that (presuming you mean go into Freedom, rather than eat at a different time in a paid-for alternative)
You're either Club or Freedom - no swapping!


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Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by BrianI »

You can change on the first day subject to availability, but once set that's it for the cruise.
If you are on club dining you cannot decide one day to go on freedom. Your cabin number is checked when you enter freedom to verify that you are on freedom. If not, you don't get in.
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The Monocled Mutineer
Senior Second Officer
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Posts: 470
Joined: July 2013

Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by The Monocled Mutineer »

Gill W:

(I have not been on the forum for 24h hence my delay in replying)

I would rarely retire to cabin at 6pm after a days activities until pre-prandial and prandial evening activities begin. You must be confusing me with a.n.other. In fact I have often in the past described that lovely time from around 5pm as the open decks empty considerably and I raise myself off the sunbed and sit up at a deck bar as the pre-pre-prandial time of day.
TMM

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Gill W
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Location: Kent

Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Gill W »

Well, all I can say, Derek, is I hope you enjoy your pre-prandial activities on Oriana, and I hope you'll do a report for us :D

I won't be around for a while, I'm off on Azura tomorrow for 24 nights (freedom dining!) The packing is nearly done, and I'm feeling rather happy at the moment.

Hope everyone with upcoming cruises enjoy themselves, and I'll see you all at the start of October.
Gill

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Jan Rosser
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Location: South Wales

Re: Freedom dining on Aurora 2015

Post by Jan Rosser »

Have a great time Gill - look forward to hearing all about it on your return - I am not in the least bit jealous :mrgreen:

Bon Voyage :wave:
Janis

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