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Old October 14th, 2002, 12:39 PM
DrD
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Default Personal choice

Hi, we sailed the Grand 3/00and loved it. At that time we did the traditional dining. We're going again this March and we're thinking about personal choice dining.

My question for those of you who have tried it is this: is the food in the dining room as good? It seems to me that with people coming at all different times alot of the dishes must be under warmers for a long time, I can't see how thay could cook it all to order. Has anyone noticed this? Did anyone try both traditional and PC and find a difference in service or quality of food?

Thanks in advance.
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Old October 14th, 2002, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Personal choice

We just did PC dining for the first time last week on the Golden. I did not notice any difference in quality of the food. I did miss having the same waiter each night, although other folks have mentioned that you can make a standing reservation to get the same table if you find one you like. We tended to go to dinner late--around 8:30 or so--and never had to wait at that time. Our only wait was the first night, when we went earlier than that--plus some folks missed the first seating traditional dining because we left New York City late.
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Old October 14th, 2002, 04:23 PM
DEE DEE is offline
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Default Re: Re: Personal choice

We did Personal Choice on the Grand last year and the food was good. We found that the service was friendly and efficient but you don't have that rapport when you have the same waiter every day. We're going back on the Grand in December and have elected to do Personal Choice again.
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Old October 15th, 2002, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Personal choice

DrD,

I did not notice any difference in the food itself between "Anytime Dining" and "Traditional Dining" (note that, in Princess's jargon, "Personal Choice Dining" means that a ship offers both). What I did notice, however, was that (1) the service in "Anytime Dining" suffers because the waiters do not have the opportunity to get to know your preferences and (2) there's a lot more commotion in "Anytime Dining" due to other passengers entering and leaving the dining room during one's meal. Some passengers solve the first problem by making a standing reservation for the duration of the cruise, but that defeats the "anytime" flexibility of "Anytime Dining" while doing nothing about the second. Additionally, such "standing reservations" seem to fall within a few minutes of the two seating times in "Traditional Dining" because the fixed seatings of "Traditional Dining" mesh with the schedule of evening entertainment.

On the whole, "Traditional Dining" seems to be the superior arrangement.

Norm.
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Old October 16th, 2002, 02:22 PM
Rod Rod is offline
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Default Re: Re: Personal choice

I've read in these forums that if you choose PC dining, you may not get your choice of table size. I would prefer to have a table for two, but like the flexibility of dining on my schedule. Should I expect problems?

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Old October 16th, 2002, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Personal choice

Rod -
They asked us when we got to the dining room if we wanted a table for 2 or if we wanted to sit with other people......it was always up to us.
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Old October 16th, 2002, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Personal choice

Rod,

With "Anytime Dining," there's a possiblity that your preferred size of table might not be available when you walk in even if the dining room is full (this should not be a problem if you make a reservation, of course). If this happens, I expect that the head waiter at the podium would explain the situation and let you choose whether to wait for a table for two or be seated at a larger table with other passengers instead.

Norm.
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Old October 16th, 2002, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal choice

Did you ever have to wait for a table of a specific size. If so, how long? I'm sure it depends on the times you eat. Can you recommend the best time(s)?

Thanks.

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Old October 16th, 2002, 07:49 PM
Rod Rod is offline
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal choice

So, I could, theoretically, make a reservation for my PC dining choice either the day before or the morning of, and I would not have to wait for a table for 2? I guess this would be done thru the maitre'd?

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Old October 17th, 2002, 07:55 AM
Gary Karschnick
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Default Re: Personal choice

On our Alaska cruise last month, the PC dining was overbooked by 200 people making it difficult for most of them. We were able to change back to traditional dining with a party of 9 relatives and it was great. Our waiter was very personable and did a teriffic job. We all added a tip directly to him besides that regular tip.
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Old October 17th, 2002, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal choice

Rod,

So, I could, theoretically, make a reservation for my PC dining choice either the day before or the morning of, and I would not have to wait for a table for 2? I guess this would be done thru the maitre'd?

Yes, you can make reservations for "Anytime Dining" just as you would make reservations for a restaurant ashore. To make a reservation, just call the "dining hot line" on the ship's telephone (the number will be in your stateroom) and make your request. The "dining hot line" also accepts reservations for the 'sucker" restaurants, such as the "Sterling Steakhouse" aboard MV Sea Princess (for those who think it's worth the surcharge to dine on plastic patio furniture on the forward balcony over the main pool area) -- but I digress. A sign in front of the dining room that offers "Anytime Dining" directs passengers without reservations to enter through the door on the left and passengers with reservations to enter through the door on the right.

Norm.
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Old October 17th, 2002, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal choice

As usual Norm, you cut right to the chase. I read in another string that you could get the equivalent of the steak house meal if you simply placed your order a day ahead in the main dining room..........hence your term "sucker restaurant"?

As I absorb all of this information I am inclined to believe that I should try to customize my cruise experience to get out of it exactly what I am expecting. (i.e. ordering things that may or may not be on the menu or asking for a favorite from the night before or making special requests of the cabin steward.........instead of always accepting the status quo. Would you agree?

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