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Old January 10th, 2002, 01:11 PM
amy amy is offline
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Default Has Princess done away with early/late seatings in

Am booking 3/17 on Grand. My travel agent says they are no longer requiring you to choose between 6:15 and 8pm seatings in main dining room. Is that true? You can go whenever you want? Doesn't that mean long lines like at a regular restaurant? Or can you make reservations in main dining room now. I thought part of appeal of cruising is no long lines.

Also, while we think we're getting a good rate at just under $1000pp for guaranteed balcony, it seems they are now nickel and diming you for a lot of things -- ice cream, internet access, surcharges on some restaurants, etc.

Please help this first-timer with an impatient new husband!
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Old January 10th, 2002, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

Amy..
The Grand Princess has three dining rooms. One of the dining rooms still uses "traditional dining", that is two assigned dining times.. 6:15 and 8:30.
The other two dining rooms are Personal Choice.. allowing those who choose or are assigned that option to dine at a time of their choosing, during dining hours.. believe thats 5:30 -10:00 PM

Some folks love the flexibility of the Personal Choice option. Me I'm still a tradionalist.

Your TA can request the option you choose.

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Kuki
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Old January 10th, 2002, 03:41 PM
Hucc
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

Your TA may have to put you on a waiting list for traditional dining. Maybe that's what your TA meant when you were told Personal Choice dining only .... either that, or he/she was mistaken. Kuki got it right (of course he did --- he's always right). *smiles*
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Old January 10th, 2002, 05:08 PM
Carole Dunham
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

Another benefit to traditional dining is that even with assigned seating, you can eat in the personal choice dining rooms anytime you want, or in the alternative restaurants if you have reservations. If you have personal choice, you can eat in the alternative restaurants just like the traditional diners, but you can't eat in the traditional dining room.

Carole
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Old January 11th, 2002, 02:34 AM
alice
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

im booked on the grand for 3/10, and we did choose are dining time as we chose the traditional dining
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Old January 11th, 2002, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

This thread is very interesting as it points up how poorly Princess gets out the word on personal choice and ALL it's nuances. Although more savvy travelers like the respondents above understand the workings of personal choice, it is clear from reading the original post that travelers and agents alike are not understanding the personal choice concept.On a recent trip on Ocean Princess ,in talking to fellow passengers ,I realized that most did not truly understand the workings of personal choice.Talked to one guy about half way through the cruise. His complaint, he didn't like the time or table he had been "assigned" in the personal choice dining room. Turns out he thought he had to eat at the same table and time as he had arranged on the first night. Others did not understand they could make reservations and thought they had to line up for dinner each night.Obviously they didn't "Get It". Many other similar stories.The theory works well (if that is what you want) and the practice works well for those who thoroughly understand it, but by my observation, many did not understand.
What are your thoughts?
To Amy the first poster. Alay all your fears. you will experience the vacation of your dreams.Happy cruising.
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Old January 11th, 2002, 12:02 PM
SF
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

We have been on the Grand several times. We usually choose traditional dining but this past time we were thinking of switching and trying personal choice once onboard. We changed our minds when we were told by three different people from the dining room head staff that they will not make reservations ahead of time for parties of four or less. In my opinion and from talking to other experienced cruisers it works well if you prefer to eat early or late but if you show up without a reservation and at the popular times their can be a wait. I don't see why they don't take reservations for four or less but we didn't want to take the chance and have to wait like we saw others doing.
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Old January 11th, 2002, 12:07 PM
jp garnier
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

true there is a charge for internet, but one can E mail out upon request free of charge. JP
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Old January 11th, 2002, 12:27 PM
BillG
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

That makes personal choice so much more appealing than NCL's freestyle cruising. I prefer traditional dining but I can foresee that during a cruise, on a particular evening, I might opt to dine at a time other than at the seating I have chosen
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Old January 13th, 2002, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

I don't think you are nickel and dimed any more than any other cruise line.

The ice cream in the dining room is free - the only time there is a charge is if you go to Haagan Daaz stand near the pool area. I had no problems avoiding it. The ice cream in the dining room is very good.

Internet has been charged on every ship I have been on. They are getting a signal from the middle of the ocean - this isn't free to the ship to get this. They charge $7.50 per 15 minutes. Obviously they are making a profit but with great deals on cruises - they need to make money somewhere.

I still think cruises are a better value for the money then land vacations.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Has Princess done away with early/late seating

Bill,

Princess "put out the word" quite clearly. The problem is that people -- both travel agents and passengers -- have not read it carefully. As a result, some travel agents are spreading inaccurate information even though they received correct information from Princess.

Norm.
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