Freedom dining on Christmas day


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shoppers42
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Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by shoppers42 » 06 Sep 2013, 14:47

Can anyone tell me what happens on Christmas Day with freedom dining. This is the first time we have done freedom so would like to know how tables are allocated, also how does it work at New Year.

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Suekersh
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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Suekersh » 06 Sep 2013, 15:19

Hi, we are also freedom dining on Christmas Day. The last time we did this on Azura the system was to queue up at a given time in the morning at the restaurant. You then book either early or late sitting and choose your table size. I seem to remember that early sitting was 6 pm and late 8:30 pm The meal appears to be a never ending stream of different dishes. The waiters kept moving until we said please no more and even then they wanted to wrap it up for us to take back to the cabin. Great fun. We were lucky that our friends sorted out the table and time for us so we didn't need to queue. Your dining ticket is delivered to your cabin with your time and table number on it.

One tip book your wine the night before with any of the wine waiters or on the wine line.

Sue


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by shoppers42 » 16 Sep 2013, 11:46

Many thanks for that info. Do you know whether there are any changes at New Year?

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Suekersh » 16 Sep 2013, 12:01

The last time we did this we were on a Christmas and New year cruise not a Back to back cruise. We only had to queue once and you kept the same table and time for New Years Eve.

Sue


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by shoppers42 » 16 Sep 2013, 12:08

Many thanks. We are on for Christmas and New Year so that is good to know.

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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Sep 2013, 12:12

Or of course you can book Club, get the same choice of early or late, and not have to queue at all!!! I know it suits some very well but we remain unconvinced about Freedom Dining. Not for us, but live and let live (or eat and let eat).


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by shoppers42 » 16 Sep 2013, 13:48

Out of interest what is it about freedom dining you are unconvinced about? My daughter and I changed from early to late sitting on previous cruises and found one too early and one too late so thought we would try freedom - hope we don't regret it!

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Holiday Planner » 16 Sep 2013, 14:48

Hi Shoppers 42
We have always chosen Freedom, and it works for us. We like the flexibility of beiung able to eat when we choose (ie to fit in around entertainment or sail outs, or just when we are hungry ... no chance of afternoon tea on early sitting!)
Some people don't like to sit with different people every night, but we found it fine .. and if you're not feeling socialble one night you can always ask for a table for two. You may have to wait for a while with a pager for a table for 2, but not always. We have never had to wait, as we are willing to share, but have taken a table for 2 occasionally, if one is available without waiting.
If you go to the dining room at the same sort of time, it's surprising how often you end up in the same section of the dining room with the same waiting staff and even the same dining companions (on the cruise we have just taken, we ate with the same couple on 3 nights of our 12 night cruise).
Angela

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Sep 2013, 14:58

Hi Shoppers 42.

On Club dining we're definitely late sitting people. We wouldn't eat that late at home, but adjust our day and other meals and bedtime to suit when cruising. We don't like early because it's too much of a rush to get ready, especially after a day ashore or a nice sailaway, and the meal is too rushed sometimes to make way for next lot.

Why don't we like Freedom? Well the principle sounds great, but when we tried it we found a number of disadvantages for us. The times of shows etc are geared to the club dining times, so that for us limits the choice of times to go for dinner. We wouldn't want to go before about 7.30 (for same reasons as don't like early Club sitting) and can't go after 8.30 if we want to see the show. That leaves a window which we found to be peak time.

On one cruise (where fortunately we were on Club dining) they were making announcements during the day encouraging Freedom diners to come at 6, as the mid evening peak was such that if you didn't you could end up eating at 9 or after - too late even for us and then miss the show.

In the end we found the whole process so uncertain that it was a pain and it seemed pointless as mostly we wanted to eat around 8.30 anyway - so why waste time queuing for a table?

We also enjoy getting to know the same people each night. When we did Freedom it was new people each time and we didn't get beyond hallo, who are you, is this your first cruise, each night.

Clearly it's different if you want the flexibility of eating at different times, but the routine of 8.30 nightly suits us. And if we want a variation there's always the alternative dining venues

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Suekersh » 16 Sep 2013, 15:57

Mervyn and Trish wrote:Or of course you can book Club, get the same choice of early or late, and not have to queue at all!!! I know it suits some very well but we remain unconvinced about Freedom Dining. Not for us, but live and let live (or eat and let eat).
The fixed dining times on Freedom were only for Xmas Day and News Years Eve. The rest if the 26 nights were Freedom dining.

We prefer Freedom over fixed as we dont like to be told when to eat and like to choose who we eat with.

Thank goodness everybody is different. I wish more pax preferred Club dining then we would always be guaranteed to get Freedom. Unfortunately more and more pax are choosing Freedom dining and it books up very quickly. Hopefully PO 2will change the ratio of Club/ Freedom to accommodate the growing preference for Freedom dining.

Sue

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Holiday Planner » 16 Sep 2013, 16:04

Last week on Ventura, we overheard the manager (or maybe the head waiter) of the Beach House telling some passengers that there is going to be a move to more Freedom dining - so where a ship has 3 Main Dining rooms (such as Ventura and Azura) 2 restaurants will become Freedom, and 1 Club. We were just eavesdropping, and don't know how accurate this info is, but see no reason for him to make it up; and don't know when it would come into force.
Angela

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Sep 2013, 16:29

I think it is true. Certainly on the ships with only two, one will become Freedom.


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Quizzical Bob » 16 Sep 2013, 16:38

As to restaurants:

https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/life- ... freedom_az

Azura's freedom dining restaurant is The Meridian Restaurant.

The Ligurian Restaurant is Oceana's freedom dining venue.

Ventura's freedom dining venue is The Cinnamon Restaurant.

On Arcadia, freedom dining, available as of 15 December 2013, is in the upper tier of the Meridian Restaurant.

As of 18 May 2014 Oriana will offer freedom dining in The Peninisular Restaurant.

On Aurora, freedom dining will be available as of 19 December 2014 and will be in the Medina Restaurant.

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 Sep 2013, 16:59

Well done Bob. As a fan of Club Dining I'm not sure I like the change but perhaps it will actually solve one of my problems with Freedom. If more space is available then the bottlenecks should even out.


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by shoppers42 » 16 Sep 2013, 17:37

Thank you for all your responses, it is interesting to have different views. Looking forward now to finding out what suits us!!!

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Kendhni
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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Kendhni » 16 Sep 2013, 18:31

It really looks like freedom is the way forward


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by arcadialover » 11 Jan 2014, 08:51

Kendhni wrote:It really looks like freedom is the way forward

Not when you look at some cruises, availability on freedom but 1st and 2nd wait listed

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by Wina G » 11 Jan 2014, 09:06

arcadialover wrote:
Kendhni wrote:It really looks like freedom is the way forward
Not when you look at some cruises, availability on freedom but 1st and 2nd wait listed
Is that the Aurora Xmas & New Year cruise Arcadialover, we booked on 23rd Dec & managed to get club second sitting :)


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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by 12maxine » 14 Jan 2014, 15:02

We were on Ventura at Christmas and only Baytree is club dining now we had a letter in the cabin to say only Adonia will not have any Freedom Dining so Ventura now has two Freedom and one Club. I prefer Club so hope we will be lucky when we next book. We have a booking with some friends this Christmas which was made before the change so we are hoping that we will all manage to get Club. We met some people who wanted club this Christams but were put on Freedom and spent an hour queuing to book their table for Christmas Day, must admit I walked by and saw a very long queue. We did the 175 anniversary cruise last year on Oceana and asked for Club but was given Freedom but did not use as we ate in Cafe Jardin each night - was very good.

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Re: Freedom dining on Christmas day

Post by melsea » 23 Sep 2015, 16:41

Interesting view points.
Like you Mervyn & Trish we were definately in the club only camp. For me though it was all to do with being able to hear others as I am deaf in my left ear and have 75% hearing in my other ear. So having to struggle with conversation had put me off. Then Last year when we booked a saver fare we were allocated the dining and we were given Freedom, this was on Oceana. The first night will always be busy as people sus out where they like to be and also being a travelling day people tend to not know what to do or where to go. So the first night was chaotic and we ended up dining quite late. With that out of the way we went down to the restaurant at about 8.15 and we asked for a table of two which we got, and as it turned out we knew the restaurant manager and so he found us a good table. Thereafter we found by going down at roughly the same time each night and it's a time we use to go on club dining (8.30) but get there for 8.15ish. We ended up rather liking it so much so we changed our preface for the 2015 world cruise on Aurora when they started to do Freedom dining. We almost always got a table for two as by that time of night the restaurant started to be emptier. Because Freedom dining was in use there was more entertainment going on and I could see two shows in the evening as we virtually finish most nights at between 9.15/9.30 which meant I could go to an early show one place and still make the main theatre at 10.30.

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