Originally Posted by Taz
We had the early dining time and had no problems at all, we were very pleased with every meal. We did witness and hear horror stories of people that had the open seating though. I would recommend to anyone booking, take the assigned dining until they (HAL) figure it out
Now my experiences, albeit on a different ship -- the Statendam -- were different. I found that the service in the dining room, especially if you had a table for two in As You Wish, was far better than in traditional dining.
Sadly, HAL is having to make do with less these days, and dining is one area that is suffering. I personally think the problem, however, is in the kitchen and not with the wait staff, as I have found them to be plentiful and only too willing to help. Problem is that if they don't have the plated meals to deliver, they can't serve.
They also, presumably to save time, will keep everyone at the table on the same courses. So, if you are seated at a large table where some people are ordering from every course on the menu, while others aren't, the ones ordering only from one or two courses are not going to finish up any quicker than those savoring every course, because they are going to have long waits between courses until they get to the entree stage of the meal.
That's why I've found tables for two or four to work best if time is of the essence, and that's why I preferred the AYW dining when I am traveling with friends. If I am alone, then I don't know, because I would always have to sit at a larger table and thus deal with others' dining habits that could slow down my own. At least the way I look at it, there's nothing wrong with a long, leisurely meal if I have nothing special to do that night, but if I want to catch a show at a certain time, or meet friends in one of the lounges, then I'd rather meal service be a bit more brisker and will probably opt for the Lido on those nights.
By the way, the Lido has become an excellent choice for dinner as far as I am concerned. They have increased the level of tableside service up there in the evenings, and have also increased the serving hours right up until 8:00 p.m. The food available there is pretty much the same as what is being served in the dining room that evening, and the quality is just as good, if not better since in the Lido you can get your meal prepared more to your liking than you can in the dining room.
I think maybe HAL is trying to encourage people to dine in the Lido more and that may be why they have upgraded the dinner service so much. Just a thought.
So, I would suggest you use the dining room for those nights when time doesn't matter, and the Lido when it does. Just a suggestion that has worked for me.
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