There are only two main restaurants on Oceana, both identical. On is dedicated to club dining (i.e either first (6:30) or second (8:30) sitting, same table, same people, same waiters each day and the other is freedom where you just turn up and get seated, which does mean at peak time you may have to wait a short time and you will be on a different table each day. The menu is identical in each and this arrangement only applies for the evening meal. For breakfast, lunch, afteroon tea you just turn up and get seated and there is also the self service restaurant and speciality restaurants with an additional charge.
Hi! I have not cruised with P&O since they started Freedom Dining but I have cruised with Star & NCL who pioneered this style of dining. When travelling as a couple it was OK but not great, but on our last 'freestyle' cruise we were a group of 6 & haphazard fitted the bill about right. Hanging around for a table for 6 is not my idea of fun & we ended up in the self service some nights as a result. If P&O do it better, then others who travel in larger groups may comment, but I know where I would be eating given the choice....Wilba.
Definitely in agreement with you there. ....Brian.
Hi there - having been on oceana four times, twice on freedom dining and twice club dining, we prefer the freedom dining option unless you want to eat at the same time each night, either at 6.30 pm or 8.30 pm, one tip, you can book your table for two nights at a time either by telephone from your cabin, or go down to the restaurant in the morning and book a table, just like you would back home, but definately i would never turn up on the night and expect to get a table straight away, bearing in mind peak time from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm, also always book a table on formal nights its gets a bit busy!!!!! hope this helps.
Thank you all for you comments, they have been most useful, I think we will probably opt for the 6.30 sitting. The question arose as one of my friends finds waiting till 8.30 too late and others feel 6.30 is too early on holiday so I wondered if freedom dining would mean we could fit in somewhere in between.
Freedom dining would be ideal, but remember to book your table in advance, and never go down to the restaurant expecting to get a table straight away - also if you opt for club dining you can also do the freedom dining option as well.
This is untrue, you are only allowed to do Club OR Freedom dine, we were booked on Club Dining and found that it was too restrictive, we then opted to have freedom dining we were told that people were waitlisted for set time (club dining) so we would not be able to return to that table as it may be allocated to someone else. We preferred the Freedom dining of the two and also enjoyed using the restaurants you paid extra for. But as some have said for freedom dining you will in most cases not get your table straight away so always go to the dining room first to get yourself a bleeper then go have a drink. Incidentaly, the 6.30 is very early especially if you opt to get off the ship for a full day it's then a mad rush to be ready for the evening especially on formal nights when us girls like a few hours!!!!! - Have a great time.
Freedom dinning is deff the best way to go otherwise you are confined to the same table waiters and time every night. All the waiters are very nice but its nice to speak to different members of staff and sit in diferent areas plus you can dine early or late depending on shows days out on trips ect, You can also choose to all sit together or dine just for two (SOMETIMES ITS NICE TO GET THE CHANCE TO BE ALONE AND ENJOY A NICE MEAL FOR TWO) or mix with other guests on other tables of 6 8 or 10. The food is wonderful so which ever you decide you wont be dissapointed.
Hi We did the Panama canal just before Christmas, The ship was full , we had freedom dining .We went every night at about 6-30 / 7 pm ,four of us never booked at any time but we allways got a table. Freedom dining best thing since sliced bread, you will enjoy your cruise.
We went freedom dining on the oceana last november. There were for of us ages 40 to 60 and we definitely found it the best option. Apart from the 24 hr buffet restaurant there was also one which was waiter service and you could go in when you wanted and that just made a nice change to be waited on. We used to check out the menu for both and then choose which to go to. We are on the Ventura in may which does the very same and we can't wait so bon voyage and enjoy.