Home TIPS Consider Freestyle For More Relaxed Cruising
Consider Freestyle For More Relaxed Cruising PDF Print E-mail

We’ve all seen movies about how passengers dined on luxury liners many years ago.  In “Titanic”, “Affair to Remember” and other examples, men appeared in tuxes and women wore long. elegant evening gowns.

Many cruises today still require passengers to dress for dinner, although not quite as strictly formal. Jackets for men and cocktail dresses for women.

Another requirement in those long-ago days was that passengers were assigned to one ship’s dining room table throughout the cruise. They had to be there with the same people at every dinner. Today, many offer the option of freestyle cruising. It gives passengers more freedom and eliminates some of the bothersome elements of taking a cruise. Freestyle does away with formal dress and set dining times and table mates.

How do you know if a cruise is freestyle? When planning a future sailing, check with cruise lines, as well as online or hometown travel agencies about dining and other requirements. If you prefer freestyle, make certain the cruise selected offers it.

Once aboard, go to the courtesy desk and get lists of options, locations, times and dress requirements. Some smaller cruise ships allow shorts, swimsuits and bare feet at any meal. However, many cruise line dining rooms require shoes, men in shirts and women in dresses or slacks. Of course, at onboard snack bars, buffets and poolside, rules are relaxed.

While freestyle cruises don’t require passengers to eat with the same people at every dinner, there’s the option of doing it by agreeing to a specific time to gather in the dining room. Ask the maitre d’ in advance to accommodate your group. Although reservations may not be required, setting a specific time and table each night may be preferable for you.

In addition to general dining rooms, many cruise ships offer special small, upscale restaurants. The atmosphere is intimate, and service more individual. Reservations are required, and the all-inclusive pricing that covers other meals aboard doesn’t apply. An extra fee per person is charged.

Passenger cabins get early morning printed newsletters listing planned activities for the day, including dining options. Additionally, the cabin’s TV gives daily info.

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