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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Default Early ,Late / Fixed ,open

When you cruise do you prefer early or late seating ?

Do you prefer open or fixed seating ?
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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I am an "Open Seating" person. I enjoy being able to eat when I want, where I want and with who I want.

Regimentation really got old after 20 or so cruises and open seating really made my cruises more special.

I also like to have multiple dining choices. Even if they are extra charge the ability to make those choices also add to my cruising experience.

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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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I prefer open seating. I like to eat when I want, where I want, and with whom I want; and want to be able to change each and every day. Sometimes a table for two, sometimes for twelve, but usually for six or seven.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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I like fixed seating; I enjoy getting to know the waiters and our tablemates.

We're always early seating to accommodate Mrs. Brown who gets tired early. I'd like to try late seating sometime but will probably never be allowed to.

The big downsides to early seating are having to watch the clock in the afternoon (under no circumstances will we miss dinner in the dining room; we both agree on this), and there is always a slight "rush" feeling after dinner to get out of the dining room so the waiters can prepare for late seating.

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Old May 29th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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I allways opt for early seating. I don't do well eating late.

I am a people person and have allways found pleasant people to seat with and have made friends with several of them.
I now have former table mates that I keep in touch with in several states.

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Old May 29th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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Question Open seating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
I allways opt for early seating. I don't do well eating late.

I am a people person and have allways found pleasant people to seat with and have made friends with several of them.
I now have former table mates that I keep in touch with in several states.

TM
Well, for many many years we enjoyed traditional fixed seating -- that was the only choice we had! DW and I argued about early or late so we usually sort of alternated from cruise to cruise. We met lots of very friendly tablemates and remember some of them with joy. We had some excellent waiters, rarely a poor one.

These days, as a matter of convenience, particularly with shore tours, we usually book open seating. We like the flexibility, but miss having "our" waiter who gets to know us and our preferences, and miss the ability to get to know our tablemates and get past the "Where are you from? Is this your first cruise?" conversation.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
When you cruise do you prefer early or late seating ?

Do you prefer open or fixed seating ?
Has to be fixed seating - early. It's difficult to keep a familiar schedule while on vacation, but normally I work very early in the morning. Dinner at 8? That's about bedtime. I try to keep my vacation meals at times similar to what I do at home to feel good.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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We had fixed seating early on our last cruise but did not have the same waiter always .There were more than 2 dinner times available .We opted for 5:45 but found that to be too early .If we go out to dine on an evening here we generally go for 7 or 7:30.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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There is still something about traditional seating that just, to me is part of cruising, I do like the early better. For the past few years I have not been able to get a traditional seating, just on a rather loooong wait list. I have come to like the flexibility in the anytime dinning, but found that while on my last Princess cruise, we would hit the dinning room around 6:30, but never could finish and get to the show and find a seat. The whole process seemed to just take way too long, so we then opted for the buffet, which we ended up enjoying a lot more, cut our meal time in half and we could get to the show and the food was just as good and the service was better...Go figure?
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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Early always seems a little to early for me>. Then we find ourselves sort of just waiting round for late seating
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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On nearly all Mass Market cruise ships, for 47 weeks of the year, between 60% and 70% of pasengers request Open Dining.

Then come the family holidays.
For Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, New Years, and Easter cruises, the trend is opposite. With the high number of Grandparents (who must go to bed by 9pm) and Grandchildren onboard (who are told to go to bed by 9pm), everybody needs Early Fixed Seating.

Of course, everybody on a cruise ship cannot do anything all at the same time in the same place. Many pax are disappointed and think there is something wrong with the ship.

Similar conditions occur on some of the cruises before Thanksgiving, before Christmas, and after New Years. The older fixed income crowd cruises during those weeks to take advantage of lower prices and no kids onboard.
Of course they all need to eat "supper" early so they can go to bed before sundown.
The lines usually start forming outside the dining room around 4pm.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:50 PM
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Default Early, Late, Fixed, Open

I much prefer open seating. As others have said, I like to eat when and where I want, and with whom I want. At home, we generally wat late, after 8, often.

Judy
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Open seating for us. We haven't had any issues with strange table mates doing traditional but we just find the any time any where to be a much better option. We don't always make it to the dining room every night so why hog a spot at traditional and hold up your tables mates.

Next year on the Ocean Princess will be interesting as it's our first time at traditional dining in a lonnnnnnggggg time.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 09:01 PM
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The first time we were offered "Anytime Dining" we signed up ASAP ! We don't like to be held to a schedule and after a couple of not so great (abusive husbands) dinner companions, we love being able to sit at a large table with new people, or at a table for two if we don't want to chat.

Another thing is that we don't have to notify anyone if we don't eat in the dining room. We're perfectly happy with Room Service, burgers, or pizza if we don't want to go to the dining room.

JMHO,
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Old May 29th, 2011, 09:46 PM
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We enjoyed anytime on Princess, Then we took a cruise that we choose late, tried early but have decided that late works best for us. We did try your time one Carnival crusie and I think because Carnival only uses seemly small area of one dining room we did not enjoy so much, maybe if they had used a whole floor it would have been better.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 12:02 AM
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I had a bad "anytime dining" experience on Princess years ago. Some nights, we waited up to an hour to get a table, and then almost always were seated by ourselves. We missed gettng to know our table mates.

Since then, we always ask for traiditonal dining.

When we sail with the kids (which seems to be a lot lately!) we ask for early dining and we always ask for private table (hey, they're pretty great, but I'll admit not everyone wants to eat with my kids!). When we booked Disney, it was hit or miss that we might not get early seating. I have my fingers crossed for a private table too!

When its just DH and I, we'll ask for late seating, and ask for a 8 person table.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Default Early seating a must

We always do early seating; eating dinner after 8 is just too late. Yes, we do miss it sometimes when a shore trip is delayed. We do not book a cruise unless early seating is in writing on our confirmation. We like to get to know our tablemates, waiter and wine steward. (Our last cruise on HALís Prinsendam, did not offer open seating.)

Over the years, we have had good luck with our table assignments and tablemates, but we knew eventually our luck would run out. On our last cruise it did. Our table assignment was changed three times, two at our request. We gave up and did not eat in the dining room the last three weeks on a nine week cruise. We have not changed our mind about early seating. Sometimes things just donít work out, like a shore trip in the rain. (The fact that this was our 13th cruise has nothing to do with it, but I just thought Iíd mention it.)
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