Home News Blog New Flexible Dining Option To Be Tested On Carnival Legend Beginning June 29

New Flexible Dining Option To Be Tested On Carnival Legend Beginning June 29

by Joyce Oliva

Carnival Cruise Lines will begin testing a new flexible dining option with the Carnival Legend’s June 29, 2008, departure that will enable guests to choose an open seating option for dinner. Guests who opt for flexible dining can dine at whatever time they wish between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly in the ship’s main restaurant.

The new flexible dining pilot program aboard Carnival Legend will in no way replace Carnival’s popular classic dining system which provides a choice of either main or late seating. Under classic dining, guests dine at the same table with service from the same wait staff throughout the full voyage.

Guests will be asked to designate either flexible/open seating or classic, assigned seating prior to departure and their choice will be in effect for the full cruise.

The new open seating dining initiative is the latest addition to Carnival’s Total Choice Dining and designed to provide guests with additional flexibility in their dinnertime options.

Carnival will begin contacting guests sailing on the Carnival Legend’s June 29 departure and beyond to advise of the new dining initiative beginning later this month.

Carnival Legend sails year-round seven-day western Caribbean cruises from Tampa.

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15 comments

Sheri May 9, 2008 - 5:28 pm

I think this is a great option!! I am not a fan of having my dinner time assigned there for do not plan on many dinners in the dinning room for our upcoming August cruise on the Destiny.
This option though would be wonderful.. even if it means a half hour wait thats fine.. it still allows you flexibility.. Not all are hungry @ 6 however dont want to wait til 8 GREAT IDEA!

BIG ED May 10, 2008 - 8:46 am

I personally like the traditional dinning. I like having the same servers everyday who after the first day know your likes and dislikes. Having the same table mates every day eliminates the doing the introducing thing every night. After the first day you can get right down to chatting about what each of you did that day on your shore excursions.

Also once everybody is seated the only people walking around your table is your servers. You don’t have people squeezing around you saying “excuse Me” as they get in and out of their table. Your servers can time your meal easier because everybody is on the same course.

People say it’s nice to be able to eat later on port days. You don’t have to rush to eat when you get back on the ship. You can rest a little before going to eat. Well so will everybody else that went ashore. So now you stand in line waiting for a table for 2 or a table for a party of 8 or 10 because everybody decided to eat at one time.

Give me the traditional seating with the same servers and table mates and I’m happy.

BIG ED

Kelly May 12, 2008 - 10:54 am

I think this is going to be a bit hit! I love the idea of eating when I’m actually hungry, and not just when I’m told to be. On port days, there will be less rushing back to the ship, and on sea days, I may just decide to eat early or late, on a whim! Love it! Glad you’ll keep the traditional for those who prefer it, but I’ll be happy to have a choice!

ellen May 12, 2008 - 12:29 pm

I will be anxious to hear how it will work… I prefer to have traditional dinning also,,, for the same reasons as Big Ed..
I am sailing on the Legend in Nov so I guess I will see it for myself then..

Tina May 12, 2008 - 2:57 pm

This is great news. My husband and I have sailed on 11 of your cruises and on everyone of them when formal night happens there are several people that come in wearing shorts that’s not formal. So if this pilot program goes well we would like to see the flexable dinning on all the ships. We would love to have this extra choice of what kind of dinning we would like.

sailing sally May 14, 2008 - 3:30 pm

Great idea- that was one of the best things about NCL- freestyle dining- glad Carnival is implementing in time for our August cruise

Dennis May 15, 2008 - 1:02 pm

We have been going back and forth between Princess and Carnival for a few years now (Platinum on both). The only thing that separated Carnival from Princess in our opinion, is that we love Anytime dining. We now cannot wait for Carnival to roll it out fleetwide!

Nique May 16, 2008 - 11:20 am

My family and I didn’t like the flexible dining. And that’s why I like Carnival the service is great unlike NCL. They never knew how many people were coming, it was crowded, the food was cold, you don’t get the same table, it was a mess! we ate every night at the buffet because it was faster than waiting in that dining room line.OMG please don’t do it!

Carol May 17, 2008 - 1:01 pm

I personally like the traditional way too. I think it is nice and more personable. I hope that they will not totally eliminate the traditional way , as I feel many others may feel the same way.
It is great though to offer both , as it does seem that some people would also prefer this way.

I just feel that when they do open seating for breakfast & lunch …it seems way more rushed also , then the traditional dining does … and I fear that may also happen with open seating flexible dining.
Anyone else feel this way?

Cindy May 19, 2008 - 6:05 pm

I like the traditional seating. I took my mother on a cruise back in September of 2006 and we met 4 of the most wonderful women. We became fast friends and I keep in contact with holiday cards and emails. I am hoping that one day we can all get together on the same cruise again. In October of this year I am going on a cruise with my sister and I hope that I am again seated with wonderful people, who will remain my friends.

SHawn May 20, 2008 - 5:18 pm

I am not a big fan of the idea. We are heading out on carnival Legend in September. I will stick with traditional seating. The service this way is much better than free-style.

Cathy May 27, 2008 - 9:34 pm

I like the way dinning is now. I cruise on NCL with free-style and it was ok, but you had to wait until a table was ready and sometimes it was a wait. Your waitier rushing and you don’t get a chance to talk to them. I hope you keep the traditional dinning for guest who preferred it.

Jon June 29, 2008 - 5:52 pm

As a Platinum card holder with Carnival,I too Prefer the Traditional dining. Having sailed on NCL with anytime dining I found it to just be ok. You never get to know your waiters or servers and the service shows it. In additon if you travel with a large group you will never be able to dine togeather as they dont hold any large tables for groups. Also they took reservations wich made it some times impossible to eat as they were full with reservations so all you could eat was buffet. I know it this is an option I will choose traditonal dining!

Beverly July 17, 2008 - 8:59 pm

Please keep the traditonal Setting. We have stop sailing NCL because of this and their service going down. I do not want to see the samething happen to Carnival. We have sailed on the Legend two years ago and loved so much that we are sailing on it again in December. We love having the same wait staff everynight. This promotes personal service and friendliness on the part for the staff. For our part this also means extra tips for them. Please do not change this!

cruisenow July 20, 2008 - 10:46 pm

Also the popularity of Optional Dining is growing fast…other cruiselines that have always been traditional dining are also piloting the program.

I like both traditional and optional…I like building a relationship with my waiter, I like to sit with the same people each night. But when I am on a cruise that offers Optional Seating, I enjoy the freedom of eating when I want. And if it is ran well by Carnival, as I am sure it will be, the waits in line will not be bad. To attract a lot of the market who have never cruised or who have only cruised on NCL; Carnival needed to go in this direction. As an agent I applaud Carnival!!! http://www.cruisesource.us -happy sailing.

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