Our first cruise, to Alaska, is in Aug '04
I've been advised (by my agent) to select "personal choice" seating for dinner.
Now, I hear it's better to have 1st or2nd seating. (Of these two, we would choose 2nd)
Can anyone guide us on this one?
I was told "personal choice" has more flexability but has long lines. However, you get to meet more people.
We are on the Sea Princess, Princess line, Vancouver to Whittier via inland passage, 7 nights.
As first timers, we need some help!
PC dining is better in my opinion. and there are not Long lines. If you show up at peak times there may be a wait, you can wait in the lounge. Many times there is no wait particularly if you want to seated with others as you state. You can also request a table by yourselves or you can get a table with friends you meet onboard.
It is entirely flexible.
My wife and I love personal choice dining. W always call ahead and make reservations. After you have started your day you have a good idea what time you want to eat. Or, when you get back from a shore visit then you will know what time you can eat and call ahead. We always made reservations and never waited. If you want to just walk up to the door at prime time you will probably wait a half hour.
Ken and TF, if you like the flexibility, Personal Choice is fantastic -- we really enjoy it 'cause it takes the schedule out of the cruise (some days we are more tired than others).
I second the "make reservations" -- we always booked off the show times.
Finally, the down side is that you do not establish the relationships you do with traditional dining (both with your tablemates and the staff), so you need to be more outgoing on the ship (strike up conversations, etc)
Hope that helps some more.
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
We chose the late seating (8:30pm) and did not have problem with missing any of the shows. You just go to the 10:30 show immediately after dinner, not a problem. Plus we had time to take a nap after the excursions and have plenty of time to shower and get ready for dinner. I'd choose 8:30 again.
i am a huge fan of traditional dining. We always book 2nd seating. We just got back from the Golden-2 families with teenagers and the kids loved 2nd seating traditional dining, we struck up a great rapport with our assistant waiter, I find traditional dining more relaxing, less disruptive,more personal- no people coming and going, its quieter
It is funny you mention it being quieter and calmer because I find it exactly the opposite Traditional is too noisy and like a cattle heard, waiters running around madly trying to get everyone out or served by a certain time.
You don't have that pressure or the all or nothing kind of thing in PC dining.
I picked Princess specifically for the PC dining.
I think the dining room service is better or more attentive when you have assigned dining and the same wait staff. They learn your likes and dislikes and offer more personal attention. At least thats been our experience. We almost always book second seating.