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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2003, 08:51 AM
Dalabar
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Default Personal Choice Dining

I would love some opinions on Anytime Dining. We are trying to decide whether to try ATdining or stick with the traditional late seating. How did you like it? Did you feel you missed the traditional seating re: the same wait staff, same tablemates,etc.? Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

I know that I am going to be overruled by most here, but my wife and I definitely prefer traditional dining. We were "forced" into AT dining by Princess last year even though the online Cruise Personalizer confirmed our first seating assignment. Rather than hastle with trying to change it back, we thought we'd give it a try. We did not like it. You basically outlined our reasons in your question... having same wait staff that knows your preferences and getting to make friends with new people from around the country and the world. Even though we requested tablemates upon entering the AT Dining Room, on several occasions, we had to dine alone. Now, don't get me wrong... I love my wife of thirty years dearly, but I get to dine alone with her every other night of the year. We both like to meet new people and share experiences with them while on our cruises. I also did not like the 20-30 minute wait to be seated that we had on one evening.

Another reason we like traditional dining is that all the showtimes are set up based on the first and second seating dining schedule.

Put me down for First Seating Tradional Dining everytime.



Post Edited (01-29-03 12:19)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Admiral
 
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

you can customize personal choice to your liking. If you find a wait team that you love, you can request their table, i would highly recommend making a reservation in the morning instead of just showing up and waiting for your table. By doing this i think you get the best of both options.
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Old January 29th, 2003, 04:18 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

MacTarheel wrote:

> I know that I am going to be overruled by most here, but my
> wife and I definitely prefer traditional dining.

You won't get overruled by me as I am in total agreement with your opinion. I also prefer traditional seating for all the same reasons. In fact, I will not book with a cruise line that doesn't offer it.
Frank-in-CA
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2003, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

Databar,

I also got stuck in Anytime Dining on one cruise, and concluded that I prefer Traditional Dining for several reasons.

>> 1. The seatings of traditional dining are timed to mesh with the shows and the other evening entertainment. If you have Anytime Dining, you probably will end up eating close to the time of one seating of Traditional Dining or the other anyway for that reason, unless you plan to hang out in the casino except when you go to dinner.

>> 2. In Traditional Dining, the waitstaff get to know your preferences on the first night or two of the cruise and can anticipate your requests thereafter. This is not possible in Anytime Dining, where you may have a different waiter and assistant waiter every night. The result is that service in Anytime Dining suffers.

>> 3. In Anytime Dining, there often is a constant stream of people coming and going throughout the meal -- with associated commotion, noise, and distraction. In Traditional Dining, there's much less traffic entering and leaving the dining room once the meal begins.

>> 4. If you opt for a large table in Traditional Dining, you'll have a stable cadre of tablemates whom you will get to know moderately well during the cruise -- some of whom may become lifelong friends. In Anytime Dining, tablemates are "catch as catch can" so you probably won't get to know any of them very well.

While you might be able to overcome #2 and #4 by making a standing reservation early in the cruise, this (1) is not always possible and (2) defeats the flexibility of the Anytime Dining arrangement.

Norm.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old February 1st, 2003, 02:43 AM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Norm:
And besides, you can get your full of anytime dining at breakfast and lunch since those are all open seating. (G)
Frank
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old February 1st, 2003, 10:10 AM
larry albert
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Default Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

We are in total agreement with those who favor the "Traditional Dining" experience. Our only complaint is that they don't have it for breakfast any more. It was nice coming down for breakfast and by the second morning your waiter had your hot and cold beverages ready as soon as he saw you. We did anytime and personal choice on Princess and NCL and went back to traditonal as soon as we had the chance to do so. Tradition is nice as is getting dressed up one or two night on a cruise. Our next cruise is on the TP and despite all the complaints about dressing up in Tahiti, I for one will enjoy putting on my tuxedo again.
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Old February 1st, 2003, 12:23 PM
cruzingal
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

I will be trying out Personal Choice on the Golden on march 29th. It will be our first time not having traditional dining. I personally don't like the times of T. D. 5:30 is too early and 8:30 is just too late. That is the main reason we dicided to give it a try.

Also we were always the last table to recieve our food. Our waiter had 1 table that seated 10(that ws us), another that seated 6 and then 2 that sat 4. It never failed that we were always the last to be served and the last to leave the dining room. Also the last to try and find seats in the shows.

So that is why we are going to give it a try. There is only 3 of us so a table of 4 shouldn't be too hard to get. I HOPE!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 01:43 PM
Bentley Boy
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Default Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

For our first cruise in April we have selected Personel Choice Dining but after reading feedback on this subject am starting to get somewhat confused. Does this mean for P.C.D. we cannot use the main dining rooms in the evening and are limited to the other outlets, The Horizon Court, Sabitini's etc.

Could somebody please explain it all to me ?
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 02:46 PM
cruzingal
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

Bentley Boy I sent you a reply.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 03:18 PM
Bentley Boy
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

can't find it
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Larry,

Tradition is nice as is getting dressed up one or two night on a cruise. Our next cruise is on the TP and despite all the complaints about dressing up in Tahiti, I for one will enjoy putting on my tuxedo again.

*raising glass* Here. here!

I'm booked on the "French Polynesia and Samoa" cruise aboard MV [i\ Tahitian Princess [/i] on 24 March 2003 (47 days -- but who's counting?). When are you booked?

Norm.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Cruisingal,

I personally don't like the times of T. D. 5:30 is too early and 8:30 is just too late.

I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but I have never seen first seating of traditional dining before 6:00. First seating usually is between 6:00 and 6:30, depending upon the timing of the ship's ports of call. Second seating usually is 2:15 after first seating, putting it between 8:15 and 8:45.

Norm.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 07:06 PM
cruzingal
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

Norm,
This was the times for T.D. on the Godlen when I last sailed on her. They may have changed since then.

Bentley Boy,
On the Grand/Golden there are 3 dining room and 2 are for personal choice and the other is for Traditional dining. So if you have P.C. then you will eat in one of the 2 dining rooms. You won't have to eat at the buffet or alternative rest. unless you choose to. Don't worry you can still have the same food served in the T.D. room just whenever you choose to eat.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Bentley Boy,

By Princess's definition, "Personal Choice Dining" means that a ship has at least two main dining rooms -- at least one main dining room offering "Traditional Dining" and at least one main dining room offering "Anytime Dining." All main dining rooms offer identical menus each evening.

>> If you opt for "Traditional Dining," you can choose a seating time (usualy first seating is between 6:00 and 6:30 and second seating is between 8:15 and 8:45) in which you will have an assigned table. On the first night, you present your cruise card at the assigned dining room and the staff show you to your table. After that, you can go directly to your table.

>> If you opt for "Anytime Dining," you can either call for a reservation or go directly to the dining room whenever you wish -- just as you would at a restaurant ashore.

Any passenger is free to eat at any of the alternate dining venues on any evening -- but why would you? The main dining rooms feature a different menu each evening of your cruise, so you will not be wanting for variety! Princess also has several standard selections (including Shrimp Cocktail, Caesar Salad, Fettucini Alfredo, Grilled Chicken, and Sirloin Steak) that are "always available" if the festured selections turn you off.

Norm.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2003, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

cruisingal,

On the Grand/Golden there are 3 dining room and 2 are for personal choice and the other is for Traditional dining.

WRONG. According to Princess's official usage, "Personal Choice Dining" means that a ship offers BOTH "Traditional Dining" and "Anytime Dining" (http://www.princess.com/news/article...rticleId=na499).

It's true that MV Grand Princess, MV Golden Princess, and MV Star Princess usually have one main dining room for Traditional Dining and two main dining rooms for Anytime Dining. Nonetheless, they do reverse this allocation when demand for Traditional Dining on a particular cruise requires it.

Norm.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old February 4th, 2003, 07:32 AM
Gary Karschnick
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

Just a comment. On our last Alaska cruise on the Sea Princess, they were overbooked for personal choice dining, so those who wanted to change once aboard were out of luck. BTW our "standard" dining was excellent.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old February 4th, 2003, 07:52 AM
Dalabar
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

A friend just returned from the Coral on Sunday and in the first Patter there is a small article about Personal Choice dining. It talks about Traditional and AT dining and then goes on to say "Whichever you chose or if you decide to customize your cruise vacation with a combination of both, we look forward to being at your service."

Wouldn't you take that as meaning that you could chose Traditional and then decide on a night or two at AT dining? That's how I read it, but I've been known to be wrong!!!! Any opinions??
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old February 4th, 2003, 08:04 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 355
Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

"Whichever you chose or if you decide to customize your cruise vacation with a combination of both, we look forward to being at your service."

Dalabar... You have noted an interesting change. It appears that Princess has added the caveat "or if you decide to customize your cruise vacation with a combination of both." I looked at my initial Princess Patter from the Grand Princess last April and a nearly identical sentence appears without the extra wording.

"Whichever option you chose for your cruise vacation, we look forward to being at your service." Princess Patter, Sunday April 14, 2002

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Star Princess - 2005; Caribbean Princess - 2004;Golden Princess - 2003;
Grand Princess - 2002, 2001, 2000; Sun Princess - 1998;
Regal Princess - 1996; Star Princess - 1995
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old February 4th, 2003, 05:44 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Dalabar wrote:

> A friend just returned from the Coral on Sunday

And what was your friend's experience on the Coral?
Frank-in-CA
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old February 4th, 2003, 05:55 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Databar,

A friend just returned from the Coral on Sunday and in the first Patter there is a small article about Personal Choice dining. It talks about Traditional and AT dining and then goes on to say "Whichever you chose or if you decide to customize your cruise vacation with a combination of both, we look forward to being at your service."

Wouldn't you take that as meaning that you could chose Traditional and then decide on a night or two at AT dining? That's how I read it, but I've been known to be wrong!!!! Any opinions??


It has always been true that passengers assigned to "Traditional Dining" could go to "Anytime Dining" -- or to any of the alternative dining venues -- on any evening. The following are a matter of basic courtesy to the staff and to one's fellow passengers, though.

>> 1. Passengers who choose not to eat at their assigned seating of "Traditional Dining" on a particular evening should communicate that fact to their waitstaff one way or another. Otherwise, the waitstaff delay taking orders from the table in anticipation of the late arrival of the absent diners. This is most unfair to one's assigned tablemates.

>> 2. Passengers who elect to use "Anytime Dining" for the duration of the cruise should notify the Maitre D' so passengers who are on the wait list for that seating in "Traditional Dining" -- and there usually seems to be one -- can take their place. It also is not fair to one's assigned tablemates to leave them without dinner companions whom they desire.

Norm.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old February 4th, 2003, 06:45 PM
Dalabar
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Default Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Our friends aren't much for elaborating on their vacations. They have a good time no matter where they go. They're pretty easy going. They did say that there were a few electrical problems but very minor, like to lights blinking a few times and an elevator stopped with doors half open. Nothing that affected the overall cruise. Their wait staff was a little slow; they always seemed to be one of the last tables served and therefore the last out of the dining room. They had a balcony cabin on, I believe, Emerald deck which was forward and completely covered. They really liked it. It was their first balcony cabin. I guess thats about all I can remeber. Overall they had a great time. They really seemed to enjoy the ship.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

I personally loved personal choice dining when I went on the ;Grand Princess last year. It was very convienient and when I didn't want to eat in the main dining room I could eat at the buffet on the ship. I think that PC dining is the best choice for families with kids because many children will want to participate in the kid's camp activities instead of eating with parents at a certain time. This is my humble opinion in the matter and I appreciate you letting me speak my mind. Happy cruising!!!

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2003, 09:02 PM
WolpfackFan
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

We had PC dining on the Golden three weeks ago and will never, ever do it again. Dining every night was total chaos. We had a standing reservation for a table for six and we had to wait usually 20-30 minutes every night for our table. There was always a line at the Head Waiters stand either waiting to get a table or checking on a reservation or coming back after being told to go away, etc. The problem is the people who had our table before us were table hogs, kind of like chair hogs. They sat and sat and sat everynight drinking their coffee, etc.; much longer than they would if forced to get up like in Traditional Dining. Several times I was so tempted to walk over to their table and tell them to get the h___ up. I complained and complained to the Header Waiter, but he said there was nothing he could do and no other tables available. The stress associated with dining every night was ridiculous. From now on we're going with Traditional and if we can't get Traditional, we'll just eat up in Horizons every night which would be an absolute shame.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2003, 10:02 PM
Paul E
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

The secret I find with PC dining is if you have a good waiter or waitress just make a reservation for that person daily
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2003, 06:58 AM
Kathy Vetter
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Default Re: Personal Choice Dining

I guess you love it or hate it. I noticed on our cruise coming up (3/29 Golden) all of the traditional seating has been booked. Only dinner choice left is PC. I guess that should tell you something.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2003, 03:33 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Paul E wrote:

> The secret I find with PC dining is if you have a good waiter
> or waitress just make a reservation for that person daily

What good does that do unless you are the first diners of the evening. If the folks who have the tables before you want to have a long, drawn out meal, you'll wait for your table.
Frank-in-CA
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2003, 03:37 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

Kathy Vetter wrote:

> I guess you love it or hate it. I noticed on our cruise
> coming up (3/29 Golden) all of the traditional seating has been
> booked. Only dinner choice left is PC. I guess that should
> tell you something.

Kathy:
That has been my experience too - traditional books up quickly and often is waitlisted. I've seen some angry people that were told they had confirmed traditional seating only to find out that, for some reason, they didn't. As you said, that sure tells me something. In fact, I won't book a cruise that won't guarantee me my traditional seating and I won't book lines like NCL that only have PC type dining.
Frank
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2003, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

My wife and I were apprehensive about Anytime Dining on our recent Golden cruise 2/8/03.
However...we now love it!...We dined an hour or so earlier then our usual late seaing, allowing us plenty of time to hit the lounges to dance, (we love ballroom) as well as see the shows. People coming and going..yes...but people watching is interesting. More confusion...(perhaps that's not the word)...more activity...yes...but so are the more popular restaurants in NY...just adds to the experience...but the service was always excellent . We requested a waiter twice, and when he wasn't available we were given a different station...and we were even more please with that wait staff. Service is also much faster...not rushed...just more efficient I guess since you don't have to wait for other tables to get orders and finish etc. We do not seek table mates...however when required in the past we only sat at tables for four. We've been lucky 50% of the time...so thank you Princess for that brilliant marketing strategy.
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Old February 20th, 2003, 07:04 PM
Marion Paris
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Default Re: Re: Personal Choice Dining

We only had Personal Choice once while sailing on Ren. I liked it. I don't like being confined to a certain time to arrive for dinner. What if I want to take a nap, what if I want to dine early?

Guess there are pros and cons for everything. We will try it again - this is our first Princess Crusie. Ren was a lot smaller. We might not like it at all this time. I want to sit with a group. Love my husband but we are here to be social and not look at each other across the table - we do that every day. Look forward to meeting and greeting folks from all over the world - even if the world is just a few states away - that is part of what makes a cruise so much fun. If we find couples that we click with, we might dine with them again or for the whole cruise, you never know.

I will hold my vote till after this cruise. We leave in 8 days ...........can't wait
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