Friday, October 26, 2007

Is Freestyle Dining Hot or Hype?

Freestyle cruising, and more appropriately, freestyle dining is all the rage of late. Norwegian has been promoting the system for over seven years now and the other cruise lines are starting to take notice. But whats the big deal? It has to do with the monotony of the way most cruise lines approach dining with two options. You either go to the formal dining room at a set time, sit with the same people, and have to dress up one or more times during the cruise, or you get the buffet. With Norwegian, there is no set times, and there are many restaurants to choose from when it comes to dining options. It sounds great doesn't it? But there is always a catch. Some passengers off a Norwegian cruise ship have complained that the more popular restaurants get so busy that you have to call ahead from your stateroom to make a reservation for a specific time or risk not getting to eat at that restaurant. Its a small price to pay for having more options for some, but for others it is just another way of having a specific time, only without knowing if you will get it or not. With the newer and bigger ships always on the horizon, the other cruise lines have been playing catch up in offering more dining options. Some have offered new venues, usually requiring an extra fee and require a certain attire as well. Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean has introduced specialty fast food such as Johnny Rockets on some of their ships (again with a small fee for the added service) to give the passengers another option. What's next, we will only have to wait and see, but freestyle dining is here to stay with Norwegian and may become an option on other cruise lines as well.


martoon said...

I would love to cruise, as long as it doesnt sink! haha

Debo Hobo said...

They need to be sure to plan ahead when outfiting these ships. Make sure there are enough options to accomodated the number of passengers. Just as a mall would. But one should not hav eto feel required to dress up to go to dinner, the prices of cruises are steep enough. It is good to see they are modernizing the dress code, this isn't the early 1900's anymore.