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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 11th, 2002, 05:36 PM
Lillian Rodriguez
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Default Dining Personal Choice

This is my first cruise on Princess and I don't really understand that about the Dining Personal Choice. Do I have to make a reservation on the dining room to dinner? I don't know if I have a table or not. At least I like to eat dinner at the dining room, but can somebody explain it to me?

Thank you for your help
Lillian
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Old November 11th, 2002, 08:44 PM
Cruisin' dj
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Default Re: Dining Personal Choice

Lillian,
OK, here is the deal. dining in personnal choice can be as structured, or unstructured as you want. Basically, you can just go down to the dining room, tell the maitra'd how many are in your group, and if you would like to dine alone, or with others. Now, if you find a particular table, or section, or waiter that you like, you can reserve a table with that waiter/section by calling the "dining hotline" during the day, or stopping by and seeing the maitre'd. the reservation can be a "standing reservation" meaning the same time and table every night, or you can alter times to your liking. Once you get the hang of it, it is very nice. I would eat later on days when we were in port, and ealier dunring sea days, and if I found a waiter I liked, would stay with him the duration of the cruise. If you have any questions once you board, talk to the maitre'd. he will assist. I personsally found this system to be MUCH more convenient than the old set times. No more hurrying to dinner.

bon voyage

cruisin' dj
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Old November 12th, 2002, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

We sailed on the golden in march of this year and we are booked for april of 2003( this time with the kids and two other familys). We had the late seating then and like the fact that we didn't have to rush to get out after dinner but didn't like the fact that all the late entertainment was packed and you stay up rather late each night if you want to see everything. so this time we chose (so far) the early seating, with the kids and all we thought it would work out better. The ? i have is if we go with personal dining will we have a problem getting tables being we are a group of 14.
Thanks
Scott
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Old November 12th, 2002, 03:53 PM
CruisJack
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Default Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Ahoy Lillian and Scott :-)

We have always requested first seating in the traditional dining room at a table
for six or eight for all of our cruises.
On the Star Princess in September, we went to the dining room and found that
we had been assigned a table for four near the front door with traffic passing by
on both sides of the table. It seems that there were an unusual number of large
groups who had requested seating at the larger tables for first seating.

The small table and location wasn't satisfactory so we switched to Personal
Choice Dining. We phoned the dining room and asked for a reservation at a
table for six or eight near a window at 5:30.

With Personal Choice dining, you may either make a reservation for a specific
time and location or just go to the dining room at your convenience between
5:30 and 10 PM. Of course, if you chose the latter, you may have to wait for a few
minutes to be seated.

We were assigned a table for six near a window and a couple were already seated
when we arrived. They were veteran cruisers with 30 plus cruises so they had many
good stories to share. After our first dinner, we reserved that same table for the rest
of the cruise. Each night thereafter, a different couple would join the four of us to round out the accommodations for six. It provided us with a more varitey in our conservations.

This was the best move we have made as far as dining was concerned. The food
was very good, the service was excellent and our companiions were entertaining.
From now on, we will select Peraonal Choice dining over traditional. It is much more
flexible and you can change your reservation time to suit your current circumstances.

Good luck on your cruise.

Here's wishing you fair skies and calm seas.

Ciao,
Jack
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Old November 12th, 2002, 05:43 PM
Lillian Rodriguez
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Jack:
Thank you for all the answers that I need. I've been on 14 cruises before but this is my first cruise on Princess and the first time I see this on a dining room.

I think I will take your advice. We are only 4 and maybe it will be easy for us doing that.

Thank you
Lillian
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old November 20th, 2002, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Dining Personal Choice

Lillian,

Back up a step. On Princess, "Personal Choice Dining" means that you can choose either "Traditional Dining" with a table permanantly assigned at either of two seatings or "Anytime Dining" that operates like a restaurant ashore. What most folks have described as "Personal Choice Dining" in this thread actually is "Anytime Dining."

Princess's ships that offer "Personal Choice Dining" also have expanded "alternative dining" options that usually include one or two "sucker" restauraunts. You can tell a "sucker" restaurant by the fact that there's a surcharge to eat there when you could eat in the main dining room, supposedly a five star restaurant (so what could possibly be better?), for no extra charge.

Norm.
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Norm is right in his distinction between "personal choice" dining and "anytime" dining. But I think our cruise cards listed our dining as "PC" on them. I'll have to check.

As for the "sucker" restaurants, we enjoyed both our meals at Sabatini's--dinner on our first cruise on the Golden Princess and brunch on our second. I did not really care for our dinner at the Desert Rose.
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Old November 22nd, 2002, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

George,

If one has "Anytime Dining," the dining information on one's cruise card usually is blank.

Norm.
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Old November 23rd, 2002, 07:16 PM
Marmarjudy
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Default Re: Dining Personal Choice

FYI-
Our cruise card for the 9-15 sailing of the Grand stated "PC Dining" in the dining room space. Our dining choice on the Princess Cruise Personalizer states Personal Choice for our upcoming cruise.
Judy
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Old December 13th, 2002, 09:45 PM
Princess Di
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Default Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Norm: You are SO confused! Personal Choice is one type of dining and Traditional is the other type of dining. If you have PC on your booking, good luck trying to get Traditional once you are boarded. Got lots of tip cash for the Maitre'd? (I'm surprised at you. You usually know what you're talking about.)

Fair Winds & Following Seas!
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old December 13th, 2002, 09:47 PM
Princess Di
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Norm!
PC and anytime dining are the same thing!
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Old December 14th, 2002, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

I am waitlisted for the traditinal late seating on our Jan 4th Sea Princess cruise, so my question is this>If we dont get the Late seating can we simply show up at the personal choice dining room and eat there late or must we get reassigned to PC . How much trouble is getting reassigned to PC? johnny
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Old December 17th, 2002, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Princess Di,

[i] PC and anytime dining are the same thing! [/i[

That's a fairly widespread misconception -- but it's not accurate. According to Princess's published usage (http://www.princess.com/news/article...rticleId=na498), "Personal Choice" means that a ship offers both "Traditional Dining" (with early and main seatings) and "Anytime Dining" (which operates like a restaurant ashore). Here's the relevant paragraph from the press release in the link.

As the industry's only program that satisfies both cruise traditionalists and those who would rather have the experience typically found at a land-based establishment, Personal Choice Dining offers two different options within the ship's main dining rooms. The restaurant-style Anytime Dining option allows passengers to dine when and with whom they wish, while Traditional Fixed Seating provides passengers with the same assigned dining time, wait staff and tablemates each evening. (boldface added).

Norm.
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Old December 17th, 2002, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Princess Di,

You are SO confused! Personal Choice is one type of dining and Traditional is the other type of dining.

Really???

Here's the official word from Princess on the subject (http://www.princess.com/news/article...rticleId=na498)

As the industry's only program that satisfies both cruise traditionalists and those who would rather have the experience typically found at a land-based establishment, Personal Choice Dining offers two different options within the ship's main dining rooms. The restaurant-style Anytime Dining option allows passengers to dine when and with whom they wish, while Traditional Fixed Seating provides passengers with the same assigned dining time, wait staff and tablemates each evening.

Norm.
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Old December 17th, 2002, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Johnny,

The staff in "Anytime Dining" don't check cruise cards, etc., before seating passengers there, so anybody can either make a reservation or just walk in.

That said, I hope that passengers assigned to a table in either seating of "Traditional Dining" who decide not to eat a their assigned seating for the duration of the cruise would be considerate enough to inform the Maitre d' so he can assign other passengers to that table. To do otherwise is unfair to all concerned.

>> 1. It's unfair to the waiter and assistant, who have to set a place for you even though you do not intend to show up and then who must delay serving the table because they are expecting more passengers.

>> 2. It's unfair to the other passengers assigned to your table, who expect table mates and have empty seats at their table instead and who have to wait to start dinner because you are expected but not there.

>> 3. It's also unfair to any other passengers who may be on a waiting list for your seating, and whom the Maitre d' can't assign to your place because he does not know that you don't intend to dine there.

Therefore, if you are assigned to either seating of "Traditional Dining" and decide that you prefer "Anytime Dining" instead, please have the courtesy to inform the Maitre d' of that fact.

Norm.
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Old December 17th, 2002, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

PC and anytime dining are the same thing! [/i[

That's a fairly widespread misconception


Norm..
On the "sail & spend" cards, if you have Personal Choice/Anytime Dining, it is clearly marked PC.

And btw, on our sailing, they were indeed checking the cards in the PC dining room. Though I don't know if they were turning anyone away who's card stated.. traditional.

Regards,
Kuki

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Old December 18th, 2002, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Kuki,

Thanks for the datum. I have not heard of that happening aboard any other Princess vessels, so it will be interesting to see other passengers' experience.

I'm curious, though -- were they asking all passengers for cruise cards, or or only those who had to wait for tables (so they could copy the names of the passengers)?

Norm.
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Old December 19th, 2002, 01:37 PM
golf1832
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Default Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

We sailed on the Star last week ---was waitlisted for Traditional Early Seating at # 269. Our tickets stated we were assigned Personal Choice Dining---asked Princess what the difference was between Anytime and Personal Choice---they said they are one and the same.
Incidentally, I think PC is similar to Traditional Dining with a little more flexibility. You are able reserve a table at your selected time---doesn't have to be 6:15 or 8:30 Pm.
As someone mentioned, you can select the table that will be served by the waiter of your choice.
Met a couple who was celebrating their 50th Anniversary with their family of 17.
They were able to reserve a table or two for the 17 in the same location at the same time every evening. ---sounds almost like Traditional.

By the way---excellent service. Food was excellent at times and not as good other times but very good overall. We were very pleased.
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Old December 20th, 2002, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

golf1832,

I know that shipboard usage is sometimes sloppy because there was some confusion of terms when Princess Cruises first introduced the Personal Choice Dining program. Nonetheless, here's the official word from the company on the subject (http://www.princess.com/news/article...rticleId=na498).

As the industry's only program that satisfies both cruise traditionalists and those who would rather have the experience typically found at a land-based establishment, Personal Choice Dining offers two different options within the ship's main dining rooms. The restaurant-style Anytime Dining option allows passengers to dine when and with whom they wish, while Traditional Fixed Seating provides passengers with the same assigned dining time, wait staff and tablemates each evening.

Norm.
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Old December 22nd, 2002, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Good points norm! I shall definitely make my change official! I once took a cruise where 4 of the assigned 8 people at outr table showed up only for 2 of the 7 nights and it wasnt a happy experience for those of us who looked at empty seats every nght! john
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Old January 4th, 2003, 05:09 PM
Lou and Sonja Joline
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dining Personal Choice

Lillian: Are you from Denver?
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