Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seabourn Odyssey - Dinner Reservation Issues Solved

There is a phrase that comes to mind...and I shudder to mention it when speaking of Seabourn or any other luxury line:  "Chair Hog"!

The problem associated with those towels, books and t-shirts strewn across lounge chairs "reserving" them for all daylight hours; only to use them for a portion of that time, apparently was the problem with dinner reservations on the Seabourn Odyssey.

People would call up and reserve a table at the the Colonnade, Patio Grill and/or Restaurant 2 and then "no show" resulting in people who really wanted to dine there blocked out and the restaurants wanting to serve guests suffering with empty tables.  The "Hogs" were at it!  They selfishly made sure they had what they wanted, but were simply inconsiderate of literally everyone around them. And they did it knowing that of the vocal complaints by those frustated by their actions.  (Seabourn would never say this...or even admit to this really being the issue...but I can and do!)

The solution:  Take the damn stuff off the lounge chairs!  The answer is so simple.  But it has been done in a Seabourn way.  Rather than removing the stuff (in this case reservations for those that have "no showed" a prior reservation during the cruise) Seabourn has eliminated the ability to put the stuff down in the first place. 

That's right:  The solution was to eliminate the ability to rudely block others.  No Reservations will be required for Colonnade or Patio Grill (or, obviously, the Main Restaurant).  Reservations will still be required for Restaurant 2, but the menu will not change on a daily - but rather, a weekly - basis.

Obviously more people will be able to enjoy the various venues without a worry of the not having a reservation and the number of empty tables will be reduced.  However, people may have to to be a bit patient and enjoy a cocktail or the view if a table is not immediately available.  (Or they have the other dining options.)

As for Restaurant 2, since the menu will not change as frequently - which may be a disappointment for some - it will most certainly reduce the demand.  The disappointment will be two-fold:  Those that really enjoy the frequently changing menu and those that don't like the weekly offering.  (Obviously, those on for 8 days or longer will have two menus or more to enjoy.)

Now, please keep in mind this remains a work in progress.  For example, possibly the Restaurant 2 menu can be changed more frequently.  Possibly their may need to be a tweaking as to those who really want to dine al fresco. 

If you have an opinion, concern, complaint or whatever, please join the conversation on The Gold Standard Forum.