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Davybe

All Freedom Dining on Iona

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5 hours ago, towny44 said:

One problem with reduced or non existent formal nights for us men is that we will have to think about increasing our wardrobe, 4 extra lots of casual clothing to replace our tuxedos and white shirts.

Surely that is an advantage towny44, a pair of lightweight chino's and two cotton open neck shirts weigh a lot less than dinner suit, 2 formal shirts, patent shoes, bow tie, cuff links etc.

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All Freedom Dining is great news. In my view Club Dining has no place in modern cruising and is an anachronistic vestige of a bygone era. I feel the same about Formal Nights too which hopefully will also be abandoned in the not-too-distant future.

Edited by Squiffy on Port
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3 minutes ago, Squiffy on Port said:

All Freedom Dining is great news. In my view Club Dining has no place in modern cruising and is an anachronistic vestige of a bygone era. I feel the same about Formal Nights too which hopefully will also be abandoned in the not-too-distant future.

No, no, and no.

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On 7/10/2018 at 3:22 PM, mitch said:

not a fan of freedom dining, first experienced it many years ago on ncl and was a pain, as a single traveller i dont want to be stuck on a table in a corner on my own. yet they insisted thats what i got most of the time. also many nights was given an alarm to let me know when or sometimes if  a table was available.

it seemed to be the same on arcadia last year, a couple that frequented the casino had their alarm with them and were waiting over 2 hours several times.

so i wont be booking her any time soon.

In my experience there is only a long wait if you are fussy about having a table for two - or in Mitch’s case it seems he must have requested a table for one - if you do as we do and say “any size table” then you are often waved through without waiting, and have the added benefit of meeting new people every night! Far better than being stuck with the same people you might not get on with for two weeks! We had to shift tables after being stuck with two couples who turned up late and drunk (one woman was so drunk she spilled a glass of water over the table and cackled with laughter, she couldn’t hold a knife and fork so used a spoon, and got up from the table, wandered round and couldn’t find her way back!). We once had a couple on a table for four, despite requesting a table for eight,  where he was so egotistical he was unbearable and she was Russian and could speak little English! Again we asked to be moved! Freedom dining means you don’t have to endure these sort of people again, and if you do get to know people you like, you can always arrange to meet before you go in. So what’s not to like?

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33 minutes ago, Portishead26 said:

In my experience there is only a long wait if you are fussy about having a table for two - or in Mitch’s case it seems he must have requested a table for one - if you do as we do and say “any size table” then you are often waved through without waiting, and have the added benefit of meeting new people every night! Far better than being stuck with the same people you might not get on with for two weeks! We had to shift tables after being stuck with two couples who turned up late and drunk (one woman was so drunk she spilled a glass of water over the table and cackled with laughter, she couldn’t hold a knife and fork so used a spoon, and got up from the table, wandered round and couldn’t find her way back!). We once had a couple on a table for four, despite requesting a table for eight,  where he was so egotistical he was unbearable and she was Russian and could speak little English! Again we asked to be moved! Freedom dining means you don’t have to endure these sort of people again, and if you do get to know people you like, you can always arrange to meet before you go in. So what’s not to like?

completeley the reverse, they would put me on a table for 2, even though i asked to be put on larger tables hence i dont like the system.

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On 9 July 2018 at 5:02 PM, afcandrew said:

I do not have any inside knowledge but having read through the details several times I would make a guess at 5 free dining venues and 10 that have some sort of charge some of the time.  I have counted the four main dining rooms as one in this calculation as they will serve the same food in the same way.

Something else I noticed was the frequent use of words like "informal", "relaxed" and "fun", so wonder if they are getting ready to do away with formal nights.  The blurb does say they will continue to have "Gala Nights" but no mention of "Formal" anywhere...

Well I'm not a suit person and only wear an evening suit really when on a cruise. So I hope they don't stop formal evenings. Also I've just been and purchased a new one in the sale hopefully P and O can make a decision sooner rather than later I may be able to get my money back!

Our last few cruises we have always done freedom dining and have got to enjoy it. 

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11 hours ago, Scranman said:

Well I'm not a suit person and only wear an evening suit really when on a cruise. So I hope they don't stop formal evenings. Also I've just been and purchased a new one in the sale hopefully P and O can make a decision sooner rather than later I may be able to get my money back!

Our last few cruises we have always done freedom dining and have got to enjoy it. 

They may follow the Celebrity route and go for "Elegant Chic Night" which means you can dress up if you want ,or not depending on how you feel.Seems to work well .

We may change back to fix dining as getting a table for two is getting harder on Freedom dining ??......Davybe

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I would imagine however that this works differently on different lines.  I have not sailed on Celebrity for a long time but would guess that on Elegant Chic night, most people dress quite well.  On a Marella cruise in January, the dress on "Dress to Impress" night varied from Black tie to shorts and sandals...

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It maybe a sign of the times however I feel that its a sign of standards dropping! We along with many friends will maintain all evenings where we dress for dinner. Perhaps it is up to the passengers who wish to continue dressing for formal nights to do so. Its part of the holiday, if you've got wear it! and don't let anyone slate you for it.

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I dont see how the standards of dress have to come into the conversation of Freedom dining on Iona. Standard of dress for the evening i.e. formal still have to be adhered too in restaurants that do freedom dining so standards will not drop.

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I think if you look on page 1 of 2  dress code has been mentioned, perhaps it is to do with 'Freedom', sadly dress code isn't adhered to in restaurants, anything goes, even in the speciality restaurants. We participate even if others don't, personal choice, and will continue to do so.

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1 hour ago, Sailaway said:

I think if you look on page 1 of 2  dress code has been mentioned, perhaps it is to do with 'Freedom', sadly dress code isn't adhered to in restaurants, anything goes, even in the speciality restaurants. We participate even if others don't, personal choice, and will continue to do so.

Having cruised in Freedom dining with P&O since 2008 with Ventura maiden voyage. so nothing new,  I have seen a deterioration in dress code standards but that has nothing to do with Freedom dining and if anything P&O are perhaps one of the best for dress standards on Formal nights and is adhered to by majority.

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On 7/29/2018 at 12:24 PM, Squiffy on Port said:

All Freedom Dining is great news. In my view Club Dining has no place in modern cruising and is an anachronistic vestige of a bygone era. I feel the same about Formal Nights too which hopefully will also be abandoned in the not-too-distant future.

In some ways I agree with you as a person who opts for the open dining option whenever it is available and dislikes Formal Nights which I think are somewhat pretentious. For me set dining times place too many restrictions on my activities. I have said many times that formal nights will disappear eventually. Cruising is changing, yes you will always get the die hards who resist change but a new generation are coming to cruising and by the number of new ships being built the new comers are in their thousands. They are happy to dress smartly without the need to 'Dress for Dinner' as they did in the 1800's. Yes, CMV, Saga, Cunard, Fred Olsen and a couple of others still have 'Formal Nights' which the majority of passengers dress for but they are the older generation, mature traveller generation, however many cruise lines, especially the top grade lines have already adopted 'Country Casual', in time the others will follow as they will bow to their customers wishes as the new generation become their mainstay.  

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30 minutes ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

In some ways I agree with you as a person who opts for the open dining option whenever it is available and dislikes Formal Nights which I think are somewhat pretentious. For me set dining times place too many restrictions on my activities. I have said many times that formal nights will disappear eventually. Cruising is changing, yes you will always get the die hards who resist change but a new generation are coming to cruising and by the number of new ships being built the new comers are in their thousands. They are happy to dress smartly without the need to 'Dress for Dinner' as they did in the 1800's. Yes, CMV, Saga, Cunard, Fred Olsen and a couple of others still have 'Formal Nights' which the majority of passengers dress for but they are the older generation, mature traveller generation, however many cruise lines, especially the top grade lines have already adopted 'Country Casual', in time the others will follow as they will bow to their customers wishes as the new generation become their mainstay.  

I think that most cruise lines still have formal nights where the dress code is followed reasonably well, with most men wearing jackets, although DJ's and suits are still in the majority.  I understand that a lot of the luxury lines have dispensed with them, and I imagine NCL don't have them, but RCL, Princess, HAL and even Celebrity although they now call it evening chic, still have them, not sure about MSC.

I imagine it is likely to take several decades before formal nights take their final bow.

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i have no objection to formal nights and if a cruiseline has them i will dress accordingly, back in 2000 and something i went on one of ncls first cruises from florida that had effectively no dress code and only open dining. the open dining was chaotic,popular restaurants were so over subscribed maybe as it was early days but it was one cruise i didnt enjoy at all. and the nondress code i felt diminished the specialness of a cruise. some of course took it to the limit and were in shorts and flipflops the entire cruise.

i wouldnt lose any sleep if they adopted country casual or whatever its called so long as whatever dress code is enforced, thats the mildley annoying thing with formal that most adhere to the dress code but theres always one who has to refuse and nothing is done about it. like the sunbed baggers the rules should be enforced thats what gets up my nose.

if you dont want to dress on formal nights use the buffet.

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Unfortunately Mitch you cannot enforce the suggested dress code which is why it is labelled 'suggested'. Years ago people quite happily abided by the suggested dress code but we now live in a different generation. We now live in a world of 'I will do what I want' and "I know my rights'. A couple of years ago I interviewed the president of a well known cruise line and put the question of dress code enforcement to him. His answer was simple, you can't enforce it. You cannot physically stop a fare paying passenger from entering a dining area because of their dress mode unless you want to end up with a law suit for assault and possible injury to staff and other passengers. On top of that the publicity would do immense damage to the cruise line. Therefore the most that can be done is to quietly suggest to the person concerned they change their attire or eat elsewhere.

As for sun bed hoggers that is a different matter. I have seen items removed by deck staff from unoccupied sun beds on Cunard, Celebrity, RCI and Thomson as it was. If all cruise lines enforced it people wouldn't do it as they would know the result.

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dress code on last trip on HAL Noordam, 'gent' at next table in tshirt and shorts. US of course. I can see black and white nights being black speedos for men.

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Personally, I try to adhere to dress codes but I do understand that some people will not. It's the way of the world and we all have to like it or lump it because as OWT quite rightly point out, it cannot be physically enforced. The cruising world is now a world of opinions and many differing preferences but as I've said before and I'll say again, the fortunate thing is that there are options for most tastes.

The same applies to freedom dining. The limitations of traditional dining continue to be flagged as a negative perception of cruising to a younger generation and therefore more cruise lines will make their attempts to address this in order to tempt new to cruise passengers going forward. I'm therefore not surprised at all that P&O have taken this decision for Iona.

I happen to love freedom dining because I much prefer to have the choice of when I wish to dine rather than being confined to a sitting. I do however appreciate that many people prefer traditional, quite often for the camaraderie and rapport you can develop with waiting staff and the sharing of a table with regular company. You pay your money, you take your choice 🙂

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1 hour ago, Rikki said:

Freedom dining has never appealed. We like getting to know our fellow table guest and talking through what we've all done through the day.

 

 

You can still do that on freedom, only you get to know even more passengers, a bit like progressive sequence dancing.

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We've only ever tried  'freedom' once when we cruised with friends, I much prefer club dining but it's good there is a choice.

Will all freedom work on Iona .. well I guess it will have to if that is all there is on offer but imo the more 'traditional cruiser' who prefers club is more likely to opt for another ship and given what the itineraries are again imo they will struggle to fill the ship week after week with a limited itinerary which probably won't appeal to families who are more likely to prefer the flexibility of freedom dining. 

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