“Celebrity Select” will be introduced on the Equinox in September, according to a spokesperson for Celebrity Cruises. Celebrity Select is the line’s version of open seating and will be rolled out to the rest of the fleet between January and March 2010.

The spokesperson said that on the Solstice-class of ships up to 400 guests chose to dine in the alternative restaurants each night, which frees up “extra” seats in the main dining room, allowing flexibility and no lines of people waiting to be seated.

Commented Jacques van Staden, vice president of culinary operations for Celebrity. “We may be the last cruise line to offer open seating, but we want to offer the best such system.

“Passengers have had some problems with open seating on other ships. For example, a couple may want to dine alone, but when they arrive in the dining room they may be told they can only be seated at a table with other guests. That’s really not open seating. So starting this fall we will offer our guests an option. If a couple wants to dine alone at 7:30, we will let them know if that’s possible. If not, the guests can choose to dine with other passengers or select another time.”