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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Default Fixed seating at meals

Does this mean the same waiter and same cruisers at the same table throughout the cruise ?
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Old January 8th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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Yes - that is exactly what it means. That is the cruise tradition which all ships used to have, but it is been largely replaced by open seating.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
Does this mean the same waiter and same cruisers at the same table throughout the cruise ?
Yes, Henry, as Paul said that's exactly what it means. IMHO, there are advantages and disadvantages to "fixed" or "traditional" seating.

The main advantage is that your waiter and assistant waiter will learn about your tastes, what you might want, what you drink, etc.. You'll also be expected to come to dinner at the same night every night and eat with the same people. You may get to know them and like them, or you may not... .

The advantage to "anytime" dining is that you don't have to show up at a fixed time in a dining room, you can eat with anyone you want (or no one!), or you can skip the dining room dinner altogether and eat at the buffet or order room service, etc., without having to notify anyone.

It's really your call ,
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Old January 8th, 2010, 08:49 PM
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Thank you .We are doing fixed seating for the first time
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 12:55 PM
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A friend of mine told me that when you do fixed seating the idea is to have everyone at the table from the same geographical location . Is that correct ? Just curious .
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 02:19 PM
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That isn't really true. I've never had people who were from my area of the country or really too close. You will sit with people from all over.

What they "try" to do is sit couples with couples, singles with singles and people of in the same age range.

I emphasize "try" because there are always instances where they can't or don't match too well but you can have fun with just about anyone. I think some of the most fun I've had is with people who were older than I am.

The least fun was when my wife and I were with a family of six and we felt sort of like a fifth wheel but we still had fun.

Regardless: My wife and I love open seating where we can pick our time and venue to eat. I have no problem sitting with someone new each night. It's sort of fun. The standard questions of "Where are you from?" "What do you do?" are over quickly and you can either have more in-depth conversation, light banter, or no conversation for the rest of the evening. It is also nice when you can do a table for two. After 27 years my wife and I have no problem having a fun conversation.

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Old February 22nd, 2010, 07:25 PM
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Thanks ,Mike .Our 3 previous cruises were open seatings and we met people from all over the world which generated many interesting conversations .
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 10:43 PM
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Princess says you can select fixed seating to start with, if you don't like it you can go to the Main Desk and change it to open seating.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:32 PM
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That is also true on a lot of Carnival ships now. Start with fixed and you can change to open seating....but you can't change back. Same dining room.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 05:31 AM
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Hi Henry,
Did you get the early or late dinner time?
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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Evening Donna :

The friends we are cruising with preferred early fixed seating so we are doing that .
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Old February 28th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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Good Henry,
I like the early fixed seating the best too.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Good Morning ,Donna . I'll let you know how it went .Only 288 days to go ,lol
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:50 PM
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We lilke late seating and here's why:
  • If you've had a long day ashore, it gives you time to shower and change, and have a leisurely drink or glass of wine and some relaxation in a lounge or on your verandah before dinner.
  • If you dine early, you frequently miss the sail-away. Many of our fondest memories of cruising are of sail-aways from exotic ports all over the world. The very last place I want to be during sail-away is in a dining room!!
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Old March 4th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Our friends that we are cruising with feel that if we have a later seating we will miss the show
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Old March 4th, 2010, 11:09 PM
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No you won't, and you'd be in bed every night by 11 after the show, if that is your desire. In any event, I'd rather miss EVERY show than a single sail-away.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Henry,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Our friends that we are cruising with feel that if we have a later seating we will miss the show
There are always separate performances of the show timed for early seating and for late seating, so that objection has no basis in reality.

Backing up a step, I find that the supposed advantages of open seating are mostly fabrication that some cruise lines use for marketing purposes. In reality, the fixed seatings are timed to mesh with the shows and the other evening entertainment, so you probably will end up wanting to dine within a few minutes of one of the fixed seating times even if you have open seating -- and with open seating, you might have to wait for a table and thus have to rush dinner to be on time for the show or for some other event.

And in reality, fixed seating does have significant benefits.

>> 1. You never have to wait for a table because you have a standing reservation for the whole cruise.

>> 2. You have the same waiter and assistant throughout the cruise, who get to know your preferences very quickly and thus anticipate your requests. As a result, service rises to a higher level.

>> 3. You have a chance to build real friendships with your tablemates because you see them each evening.

So, given my 'druthers, I'll opt for fixed seating every time!

As to which seating, I generally prefer second seating because it gives me time to unwind, shower, and dress for dinner after ambitious days ashore. Of course, YMMV.

Norm.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
A friend of mine told me that when you do fixed seating the idea is to have everyone at the table from the same geographical location . Is that correct ? Just curious .
Hi Henry,

I don't know of any cruise line that seats people by geographical location.

On a Princess cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago we were the only Americans at a table for ten, with couples from all parts of the world. It turned out, by far, to be the most interesting and the best tablemates we have ever had.

We have always chosen the fixed seating option and go to second seating. There are generally two shows with one right after the first seating and then a complete repeat of the show, for those in the second seating.

Enjoy your cruise.

Debra
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Old March 5th, 2010, 06:43 PM
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Norm, absolutely correct on all counts!!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
Henry,



There are always separate performances of the show timed for early seating and for late seating, so that objection has no basis in reality.

Backing up a step, I find that the supposed advantages of open seating are mostly fabrication that some cruise lines use for marketing purposes. In reality, the fixed seatings are timed to mesh with the shows and the other evening entertainment, so you probably will end up wanting to dine within a few minutes of one of the fixed seating times even if you have open seating -- and with open seating, you might have to wait for a table and thus have to rush dinner to be on time for the show or for some other event.

And in reality, fixed seating does have significant benefits.

>> 1. You never have to wait for a table because you have a standing reservation for the whole cruise.

>> 2. You have the same waiter and assistant throughout the cruise, who get to know your preferences very quickly and thus anticipate your requests. As a result, service rises to a higher level.

>> 3. You have a chance to build real friendships with your tablemates because you see them each evening.

So, given my 'druthers, I'll opt for fixed seating every time!

As to which seating, I generally prefer second seating because it gives me time to unwind, shower, and dress for dinner after ambitious days ashore. Of course, YMMV.

Norm.
Re your three points thats exactly what our cruising friends believe .They are seasoned cruisers ,we;ve only cruised 3 times
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Debra View Post
Hi Henry,

I don't know of any cruise line that seats people by geographical location.

On a Princess cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago we were the only Americans at a table for ten, with couples from all parts of the world. It turned out, by far, to be the most interesting and the best tablemates we have ever had.

We have always chosen the fixed seating option and go to second seating. There are generally two shows with one right after the first seating and then a complete repeat of the show, for those in the second seating.

Enjoy your cruise.

Debra
On this specific cruise my TA said there will only be one show per night .
Friends of mine who cruise with RCL said they have always been seated with people that reside in the same state as them and have been told that its intentionally done so .I would prefer meeting people from other areas.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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"Friends of mine who cruise with RCL said they have always been seated with people that reside in the same state as them and have been told that its intentionally done so .I would prefer meeting people from other areas."
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That's really bizarre Henry, I've never heard of such a thing. We've had table-mates from several continents.
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Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
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Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Henry we did the anytime dining on the Zuiderdam and liked it well enough. We normally got there between 5:30 and 6. But, we would have picked first seating if we had assigned dining. We prefer to eat early unless the ship is in port later.

The night we were in Aruba, we ate later, (we left port much later) and decided to eat on the lido. They had done a barbecue up there and it was pretty good, and made a nice change.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy View Post
"Friends of mine who cruise with RCL said they have always been seated with people that reside in the same state as them and have been told that its intentionally done so .I would prefer meeting people from other areas."
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That's really bizarre Henry, I've never heard of such a thing. We've had table-mates from several continents.
We have been seated with people from all over also. Our last RCI cruise, our table mates were from Alabama. We are from GA, I think they were the closest to GA we have ever been seated with. We have never had assigned seating with anyone from GA, although we have meet people from GA every cruise.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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Default Fixed, Early Seating

We do the fixed, traditional dining in MDR and we choose Early dining. We don't normally wait to eat until 8:30 or 9 pm at home and we just get HUNGRY or can't wait to see what's for dinner. We would totally be ruined by late seating time because we would never be able to avoid EATING. The early works out for us because everyone can scatter and do their own thing after dinner. We have time for some to gamble, catch a show, shop, people watch, sit on the balcony with a bottle of wine, hit the lounges, bars or pubs, kids at video arcade, mini-golf or whatever strikes their fancy, and still be able to get in bed for an early excursion. Works great for us, but it just depends on what you want to do in the evenings. By 5, we are usually ready to ditch the pool or sun and get a shower so we are ready by Early seating.
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Old August 26th, 2010, 03:30 PM
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I agree Cammy,
I have the same type schedule where early just works out better, plus its about the time I'd eat at home...
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Old August 26th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Each to their own but I think it's different on holiday, you aren't just eating you are going out to dinner virtually every night, surely at home you don't book restaurants for 6pm. On port days we are barely back on board by 5pm never mind start getting ready for dinner..too much rush for us.
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