I am a solo traveler on the Golden Princess, May5,. I am unsure which would be best for me - I am looking forward to meeting people at dinner time - but still prize some flexibility in dining. Which would be the best choice?
First, by way of clarification, "Personal Choice" means that a ship offers a choice of either "Traditional Dining" (with early and main seatings) or "Anytime Dining" (which operates like most restaurants ashore).
By way of experience, I highly recommend "Traditional Dining" -- epsecially for solo travellers. People who dine together once and then don't see each otehr for the rest of the cruise tend to leave the ship as strangers. Tablemates for the whole cruise, OTOH, usually do get to know one another reasonably well and thus leave the ship as friends. I also find that the service is vastly superior in "Traditional Dining" because the waitstaff get to know your preferences on the first couple nights and subsequently anticipate, and thus are prepared for, your requests, and there's a lot less commotion and traffic past tables, with associated noise, in "Traditional Dining" because other passengers are not entering and leaving the dining room in great numbers during your meal.
The flexibility issue really is a red herring because most shows and other evening events are timed to mesh with the two seatings of Traditional Dining. Thus, most passengers who choose "Anytime Dining" usually end up eating within a few minutes of one of the scheduled seatings of "Traditional Dining" anyway.