When we got our cruise documents for our cruise on the Golden, it said on our ticket that we had first seating traditional dining, despite the fact that we had requested Personal Choice. Our travel agent emailed Princess about it, but when we boarded, we found that we were still down for first seating. We went to the dining desk and explained the situation, and we were basically told that the table was ours to go to when we wished, or we could just do PC dining. I was surprised as I had heard that there is usually a waiting list for traditional dining, so I thought they might have wanted to contact someone and offer them our table. (We met several people during the cruise who had been waitlisted for last seating, but not for first, so it may not have had a waitist)
We went to early seating the first night, partly to explain that we would probably not be there the rest of the nights, but also on the off chance that another family with teenagers would be seated at our table for 8. That night, we were the only ones at the table. The next night we wanted to watch the sail away from Venice, which was at 7, so wewent to one of the PC dining rooms at 7:30. We really enjoyed the waiter and his assistant in both places. The next day, since we were at sea, we decided to give the traditional seating another try, thinking that perhaps the first night our table mates had still been in port, since our cruise was overnighting in Venice the first night. There was still no one but us, and the waiter said the table had been empty the night before as well. A couple of nights later, we went again - this time there was an elderly Chinese couple, who seemed quite lovely but did not speak very much English. As we had met up with several other families on board that had asked us to eat with them in the PC dining rooms, and since we also were looking forward to a another meal or two on our own, we ate in the PC dining rooms the rest of the cruise, until the last night (it was a 12 night cruise) The reason we went back to the early seating that night was because our waiter had told us that the only difference in the trad. vs. pc was that on the final night there is the parade of waiters with flaming baked alaska in the trad. dining room, and 13 year old loves that! Once again, we had no one at our table - the waiter said there was another couple booked, but they never showed up once. Unless they were booked in error like us, that is wrong, I think, for people to book traditional and then choose other places to eat every night.