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Freedom dining for singles


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I'm on Iona's maiden cruise. P&O have introduced total freedom dining in all it's dining rooms on Iona. I've always done second sitting club dining on all my cruising both as a couple and as a single. So any information and advice about freedom dining for singles would be much appreciated.

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It takes all the pressure of having  to get ready in time to meet a fixed time,Turn up when your ready and ask to join a table ,or ask for a table for one .

They usually ask you what your choice is as you give them your room number, the usual greeting will be "Happy to share" ,if you say yes then you will meet some different passengers each meal time....Davybe

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ive found on occasion as a single passenger you end up stuck on a table for 2 in a corner somewhere so i do prefer club. although i have found breakfast and lunch in mdr much better they simply fill the tables as people come in rather than try and accomodate preferences i find this much better.

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I prefer Freedom Dining or whatever name the cruise lines care to give it as it allows me the 'Freedom' to eat when I want as opposed to when the cruise line want me to eat. As an example you may enjoying the hospitality in Diamond Club, Michaels or any of the other loyalty club lounges that give free drinks etc.  with people whose company you are enjoying. The last thing you want to do is say, sorry, I have to go to eat. It has the advantage that you can go to which show you choose or if you are overnighting in port allows you to go ashore when you want against going ashore when your mealtime allows. I have now done this type of dining on 5 different cruise lines and numerous of their ships and would never return to Club Dining. As always, just my opinion.

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  • 6 months later...

The advantage of club dining for a single is that you will meet the same familiar faces each evening (mostly singles usually on a larger table) and develop a rapport throughout the cruise rather than have to start again each evening. It may be that that will be the most meaningful or in depth conversation that you've had with anyone all day. By removing club dining it takes that choice away unless there is some way that the maitre d' can fix a table for singles to meet up each evening, i.e. replicate club dining. It isn't really about the advantages or disadvantages of freedom dining in general.

Joining a table of couples or larger groups invariably means that they will drift off after dinner to do their thing, leaving the single person alone. On a table of singles there is more likelihood of them grouping up to watch the show or do a quiz. The removal of that choice means that I will be far less likely to go on a cruise where freedom dining is the only option.

RayO

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I often sail solo on P&O and always choose Club Dining.  The thought of Freedom Dining and having a different set of people to talk to every night is just too much like hard work to me.  I am very outgoing and talk to people easily at both breakfast and lunch but really look forward to meeting my table-mates in the evening.  Usually, after the first night or two we arrange to meet for a pre-dinner drink and often join up after dinner for whatever entertainment might be on offer.

Fortunately, nothing about Iona appeals to me so I will not have that problem.  If P&O were ever to introduce Freedom Dining across the fleet, I would take my custom elsewhere - probably to Fred Olsen or CMV.  On my one Marella (Thomson) cruise, they did cater for solos quite well, with an (unhosted) meet in the same bar at the same time each night and one large table set aside for solos.  Sadly not much else appealed to me about Marella but never say never as they say...

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We met several Singles on our Azura Cruise Mainly at lunch time, and talking with one man who preferred cruising to a land based holidays "people speak  to me on a cruise.I spent the entire land based holiday being alone and ignored" 

We have used both Freedom and Fixed dining both worked for us ....Davybe

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The man does have a point.  I usually have a short break or two at Warner Hotels every year, which are a bit like a cruise-on-land.  Whilst more people do talk to a solo there, it is still not as many as those that do when at sea.

I have done Freedom Dining once, recently, on Azura - but was with a group of friends.  Am also doing Anytime Dining on Princess in Alaska later this year - but am going with a friend.

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