Several reliable reports on the internet state that Celebrity has officially announced that all of the Celebrity ships will be offering an open seating option in addition to their traditional fixed dining option. Celebrity reportedly made this announcement at an industry event several weeks ago. However, they have yet to post this information on their web page either as an announcement or under their dining option information. I do believe that the open seating options reports are true and that the lack of website information is simply lag time in getting the program implemented.
Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I am a champion of traditional dining. I love the idea that fantastic dining and great service are included in your basic cruise price. So my reaction to this announcement is to keep an open mind. The open dining option could work out just fine, giving more options to those who choose to utilize the option while not affecting those who still choose traditional dining. The key for Celebrity will be getting the proper amount of seating allocated to traditional dining and the proper amount allocated to open seating.
I like traditional dining because I like having the same servers each night and their anticipation of passenger needs. I like developing a rapport with the waiters. We have always had excellent service and feel that traditional dining continues to exceed expectations. The set dining time is more often a positive than a negative. It guarantees that a table will be waiting for you at the assigned time. It also simplifies our families schedule by avoiding the question of where and when to eat for dinner.
I mentioned that we were considering the Solstice for our next cruise, and now officially booked her for a Trans-Atlantic in November and December. We have requested traditional dining. I’ll be able to give a full evaluation of the way that the new open dining affects traditional dining, as well as get input from other cruisers who have chosen the open dining option. I hope to report back a positive experience from all passengers.