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We cruised on Oceana in 2006 to the Med and had no problem whatsoever in using freedom dining. In fact, we prefer it but pando only do it on a few ships. Having said that we cruised to the Carribean on Oriana last year and had a wonderful crowd sitting at our table and that was select dining. Do enjoy your cruise and try and see the wales. What an experience! Good luck, Joan.
Just returened from Oceana cruise 8th.June.2007. Freedom dining for the first 3 or 4 nights was a fiasco -on 2nd night we had to queue for 50 minutes just to get in - then have to wait another 20minutes to get the menu. Trying to book a table was a no-no -they dont answer the phone- trying in person was not much better -"we`ll see what we can do for you". So we tried to change to Club Dining - but to no avail! So its matter of trying the other restaurants. But P&O have definitely got it wrong - but then having said that a few people liked it - they could just come and go to evening meal when they wanted.
We cruised on the Oceana in Nov 2006 and had no problem. We would rather eat at 7.30 ish and never had to wait. The food is wonderful.
We tried 'Freedom Dining' last November on Oceana and didn't really have any problems. At that stage they were trying to get passengers to pre-book timings for the next 2 nights. This didn't bother us as by then we knew what tours we were going to do and what time we were likely to want to eat. Also it wasn't set in stone and you could change your reservation if you wanted to. Or just turn up to the restaurant when you wanted.
The comment from someone about booking by phone I can understand, but then they would have 50% of the ship on 'Freedom Dining' so I can also understand possible delays in getting through.
We never had a problem getting a table, however we sometimes had to amend our timing by 30 minutes. I don't see this as unreasonable though as if you booked into a restaurant at home you can't always get the exact time you want.
Can't fault the food when you get there either.