Ask to be seated at a larger table for dinner. You will meet the most fascinating people. We had as you wish dining and it was painless.
We did seating with a large group at late dinner and had a riot, but people liked as you wish dining as well. Lido can be chaotic at lunch and they stop serving full lunch at 2p port days, but still have a terrific salad bar. The Dive In hambergers and chicken sandwiches are good.
The Nieuw Amsterdam will put you in the lap of luxury. If you enjoy "dressing up" in your finest, dining on fine cuisine, and enjoying showroom entertainment without lineups, you'll love the elegance of HAL.
Lido for breakfast and lunch; dining room for dinner.
Take time when you first board to discover all the aspects of the ship
It's a beautiful ship and just being there was so wonderful.
BE PREPARED FOR VERY GOOD FOOD AND A WONDERFUL TIME.
go expecting the best and you will get it.
Go to the BB King Blues Club. You will be happy you did.
Go to the Asian restaurant. Worth the extra money.
Get the Explore4 package ahead of time. It's quite pricey to by the drink package on the ship.
Manhattan Main Dining Room was excellent.
Bring your own wine on board... we waited to late in Ft. Lauderdale not realizing that they can't sell alcohol on Sunday before noon. The tour packages offered by the ship or United were not as good as simply getting a taxi or going off boat to take a tour. I wish we had done some more research.
If you do not eat dinner at a specific time, it is very important to get the unassigned dining option so that you can enjoy your onshore time without rushing back.
We asked for table 133 or 135 in the formal dining room which overlooked the stern wake of the ship.....a beautiful view from our table.
We enjoyed as you wish dining. Lots of flexibility.
Get a large table not a table for 4. Our table mates were nice but were much older than we were. Get a balcony - ours was midship on the 8th level and it was wonderful. The only thing that could have been better on the balcony would have been 2 lounge chairs.
A tip would be that the Spa was a wonderful little get away for anyone ........ perfect!
Eat at the Manhattan Room all the meals. Specialty restaurants are too expensive for the food (Le Circ and Pinnacle). The Tamarind is great, must try, but service is poor. HAL needs to standarize service and training. Service in Manhattan is superb, but Lido is very bad (and crowded).
If you like the classic dining experience where you get to know your dining staff well and enjoy their company skip the "as you wish" or open seating. We found the staff busy and harried and the service lacking. We were able to get assigned seating for the remainder of the cruise which was great.
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