Monday, August 6, 2007

Holland America joins the "As You Wish Dining" club

Holland America is the latest line to offer its passengers the option of choosing a flexible dining schedule, phasing in its new "As You Wish Dining" program this fall and the first half of 2008.

Passengers will be able to choose either the traditional pre-set seating and dining times (early and late seatings), or take advantage of open dining service on one level of the main dining room from 5:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Guests will need to choose which type of service they want before the cruise begins. Those who opt for flexible dining will be able to make reservations daily or take their chances by walking up any time during dining hours.

The line has been experimenting with the program aboard the ms Noordam and found it to be a success. With the popularity of NCL's Freestyle Dining program and others, flexible dining is definitely the wave of the future for the cruise industry. (And about time.)

Besides the currently operating program on the Noordam, As You Wish Dining will be rolled out on a ship-by-ship basis beginning October 11 with the ms Ryndam and continuing until July 5, 2008, with the ms Eurodam.

Cruise ship buffet photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

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