I've been reading the message boards for over a month, as I will be enjoying my first cruise in August. When we booked the cruise, we chose 2nd Seating. My companions are now wondering if this was a good choice. I was under the impression that you may opt for PC dining anytime, even if you have "traditional" seating. I guess what I am wondering is can we have "traditional" seating for the formal nights, and then have PC dining for the rest of the cruise? Any feedback on this will be helpful, as we've had different responses from our TA's. Thanks in advance
You should either decide to have traditional or PC dining not both. One of the reasons is the ship has a waiting list of people who want traditional seating and can't get it. It would not be fair that these people couldn't get traditional seating and your tradiltional seating chairs are empty most of the week. Also, if you are sitting with other people at your traditional dining table the waiter usually waits until everyone at that table arrives to start taking orders. Would that also be fair to hold up the olther people at the table from ordering because you are not showing up. There is nothing wrong with having PC dining for formal nights. The PC dining room serves the same menu as the traditional dining room. With PC you can decide what time you want to eat and with how many people you want to eat with.
exactly what evie stated. The only difference between traditional and anytime dining is that you get to pick what time you want to dine when you use anytime dining. Traditional dining is the same time, same table, same tablemates, same wait team every night.
If you sign-up for Traditional dining and find that it doesn't suit you, you can switch to anytime dining, just inform the Maitre D that you are switching so that he can free -up your table for someone on the wait list. Also if you choose Traditional dining and choose to eat in one of the specialty restaurants one night it is suggested that you inform the Maitre D, so that he will inform your wait team so they won't be waiting for you, common courtesy to your tablemates and your wait team.
Thanks for everyone's advice. I guess we didn't realize that there was a waitlist for the traditional dining. We'll be changing to Personal Choice, to free up the space for someone who really wants it. Thanks again
With Princess you have options . You can dine before you catch an early show, or enjoy a meal after dancing . In case you were not yet aware , the entire Princess fleet has been inducted into the prestigious " Chaine des Rotisseurs " gastronomic society so you're sure to enjoy the finest cuisine at sea no matter which you select .
Anytime dining means you indulge in the freedom of restaurant style dining , where your dining time is determined by you alone . Enjoy an early dinner before a show, going ashore, or a late meal with new friends. Seating arrangements are made by request in person on a first come , first served basis . The wait is usually no longer than 10 minutes -Capiche ? However if you are as smart as my wife you will call each dining room and reserve a table in adavnce , hence no waiting -Capiche ?
Traditional dining means you dine at a specific time each evening and enjoy the camaraderie of the same dinner companions and the same wait staff throughout the entire cruise .
Have you read between the lines ? Do you see why they came up with Anytime dining ?
Wow ! You sure are smarts , Golly G Dang !
If you have great dinner companions and are old fashioned then trad is nice .
If you like meeting new servers or sitting at a private table each night so that your private family conversations , or mushy love words remain that way , or trying 4 different styles of food and feel like your in a different country each night , and enjoy your freedom of not being tied down to that 6 pm or 8 pm schedule then do what we did . Capiche ?
betty, Traditional dining has 2 set dining times per evening(1st & 2nd seatings) in one dining room and that's all the table that are available. Lots of cruisers still like the traditional dining experience and that's why it books up fast.
It certainly isn't the law of "supply and demand". There are many more requets for traditional dining at this time, than table space. The cruiseline does not want to supply more than one dining room for that style of seating. It appears the prefered seating by Princess is therefore PC. I would imagine the goal is to eventually do away with traditional seating altogther. I wouldn't put it past them to remove formal nights from the itinerary either. As the cost of cruising goes down, they have profiled their customer to be more casual and family orientated than upscaled. Although some may want the more refined and eloquent atmosphere, it appears our adverage American's lifestyle is to the contrary. The mass majority will eventually cause Princess's marketing efforts to follow this path. They are in business to provide the majority of customers their wants and needs. However, for those traditionalists, they could still target specific cruise's with "tradition" as the theme. It may also survive on longer and more exotic cruise's, as well. Times are changing..... IMHO.
Let me put my 2 cents in. We are traditional diners, early seating. If we can't get that, we don't book, period. We have seen the upset passengers and the waiting lists for traditional dining on many ships we've sailed.
Princess does seem to be moving toward PC dining and it is beyond me why. I will no longer sail a Grand class ship because they relegate traditional diners to the room with the most difficult access and then treat them to tremendous vibrations when the ship leaves port.
PC dining also mucks up the early shows as they end up being oversubscribed, doors shut and signs posted to catch a later show. I've even seen them drag in plastic chairs to try and squeeze more people in. That's not relaxation or having fun. If one has an early shore excursion or doesn't stay up all night, the late show just doesn't work.
One can make reservations for PC dining and can request a certain table to get the same wait staff each evening. Please tell me how this differs from traditional dining other than maybe offsetting the times a little while causing the extra effort to make those reservations?
Princess can cater to a different demographic. I'll just take my cruising dollars elsewhere even though I'm a Platinum member. I'd just miss my free internet.
I just returned from Caribbean Princess. Like a lot of you, I struggle whether to choose traditional or personal choice dining. Since I booked early, I ended up having first seating, traditional dining at Island Dining Room. I have experienced the followings:
1. In traditional dining, there is always a table reserved for you at the fixed time. If you choose not to go, the table will not be filled. It is difficult to get traditional dining, first seating, though.
2. On two nights, I went to Palm and Coral because I was almost 2 hours late for my table. I was not questioned. Instead, I got a table right away. I did not see anyone waiting. I guess even with traditional dining, I can still eat wherever I want. I may be wrong though.
3. There are two lobster nights and two seafood nights at buffet, but only one lobster night at traditional dining. The waitor told me that's the strategy to attract passengers to the buffet instead of relying heavily on the three dining rooms.
4. Food at buffet and dining room is different. At dining room, presentation is better and there is a general atmosphere of gourmet dining, though in fact it is not.
5. One more point about traditional dining. You will have the same waitor and assistant all the time, so service is better. They remember your preference and are willing to do extra miles to please you. For example, my wife complained about the water not hot enough for the tea and the assistant went all the way inside to get real hot water for us. Even if you don't have traditional dining, always reserve the same table with the same attendants, which will make a big difference.
Well we booked almost a year in advance , so we definatley had a choice if we wanted PC or trad. . We chose PC and LOVED it. We just don't care about the same waiter thing .
We loved the freedom of going to dinner when WE were ready. We only had to wait once, and that was only for 10 minutes.
We will always choose PC , but to each his own, it does seem to come down to personal preference.
Too bad the electrical storm didn't shut you down permanently. You are both rude and condescending. The guy asked a valid question and you give him a bunch of crap. If it was an attempt at humor, you're definitely not very good at it. Get off the boards!
If you have good table mates, which sometimes occurs; it is a pleasure and something to look forward to every dinner. If you have lousy table mates, which also sometimes occur, then PC would be the way to go. I would choose traditional, and if unhappy, switch to PC.
Tat Yu rightly mentioned the advantage of the same waiting staff can be an advantage. They get to know you, with all your preferences. If you like ice tea, then it will be brought without asking. But there in ONE other big advantage in traditional and one that is essential for my wife. And that is of food allergies. She has life threatening allergies to certain foods. When we first sit down, she hands a card to the table captain and waiter outlying these allergies. They then watch out for her in foods served, go over the menus prior each night, and advise the chef when picking up the order. So anyone in that category might seriously consider traditional dining.
One more item that may only mean something to the newer cruisers. They only do the Baked Alaska parade in traditional dining. It is old hat to frequent cruisers and I wouldn't miss it but I thought I'd mention it.
The posted response from Halen 10 was unnecessary . How about letting BJ answer for themselves ? So I'm rude because I'm Italian and enjoy anytime dining ? I thought this was a discussion board taiking about PC vs Trad . 10 days ago you were praising my posts . Your sudden change of attitude clearly demonstrates why some of us prefer anytime dining . Know what ? Your post lets me know I made the right decision because having you as a critic at my table everynight would certainly have ruined our vacation . Capiche ?
I recently sailed on the Island..did PC but pretty much ate at the same time each nite...7:30 which is between the two TD times , enought time to enjoy the meal but also allowed us to make the show. Over the 10 days we started to see the same people at the same times and did sit with repeat tablemates but not waiters we did request NOT to have a waiter/section due to very poor service.
I enjoyed the freedom of where and when to eat, the time we ate was about the same as at home however I did miss the waiter who know your name, can find your wine from the night before, etc.
I also missed the regular tablemates..as stated earlier goods one make the day and I am still in touch with people I meet years ago ..After 10 days of asking names, telling where you are from and what you do, the newess gets tired. We had some people we ate lunch with but for medical reasons they did early TD for dinner. Only one or two night sdid we make a group for dinnerwith the PC but still had new mates at the table . We perfer sitting at larger tables.
Would I do PC again?...yes if with a group or on a very port intensive trip that I wanted the choice of time. I perfer TD on a sea intensive trip. I enjoy the fromal night and TD diningroom with waiters that just "know" who gets wine, who has coffee etc , add to the special feeling of the evening. They are tend to interupt less in TD since soem wants/need are already known. We need to think of PC as a resturant were TD is more of a "personal" formal dinningroon.
Either way enjoy the cruise and enjoy the meal..we don't have to do the dishes!
What is the "Baked Alaska Parade"? Obviously I am a first time cruiser and have no idea what you are talking about.
We are going to TD - 2nd seating. Are we going to miss the shows and movies because we will be eating so late?
Also, if we are not enjoying TD several nights into our cruise, can we change to PC at that time or is there a shorter amount of time that you have to make that decision?
Thanks for the info on these boards!
The Baked Alaska Parade is the stupidest thing you'll ever see. It is a bunch of grown men and women ( your wait staff) who are forced( well they could choose not to do it , but then they would lose their job) to "dance into the dining room holding your dessert( The Baked Alaska) on top of their heads while cheesy canned music plays. It is like when you take your kids to Chuck e Cheeses Pizza joint and the waiters all sing "Happy Birthday" to him at the table .Actually it is worse, since those poor guys have to do the SAME dance and song routine week in and week out for months at a time.
One more reason WE love PC. is that we don't have to sit through that charade.We prefer quiet unobtrusive service, not a carnival.
Traditional dining takes place in one assigned dining room. Only TD passengers have acesss to it, PC passengers are not allowed to be seated in this area. All the other eating facilities on board are PC orientated. If you want a specific dining room or time frame, it is best to call ahead and make a reservation.
Jan 04, on the Sun, Jan 03 on the Dawn. We had PC both times. We really liked the flexibility of PC and will be on PC Jan 05 on the Golden. I like to each just the two of us. My husband, however, doesn't mind being seated with NEW folks every evening. This makes for introductions EVERY night, questions about occupations EVERY night! When you ask for a table for two, you have to be very firm. Usually, they just walk you to a table of 6 or 8. To get a table for two, at times, they give you a little square to hold with lights (like at Outback) and then you can wait. I think the wait it worth it. Don't get me wrong, I am very friendly, but I don't like my dinner ruined trying to come up with inane chit-chat.
Many seasoned cruisers put down the Baked Alaska parade since they've been there and done that. First time cruisers usually enjoy seeing it. I've gone with others that were not first time cruisers and they enjoyed it to as did my children and grandchildren who have seen it twice. It is a traditional item done on many cruise lines in traditional seating. I personally don't care for the dessert itself but I don't see a reason to be so snobbish about it.
There are a lot of other customs, like the champagne waterfall, that many seasoned cruisers may think are inane. I guess if one looks at the Captain's cocktail party they could say the same thing but they still show up for that one free drink. And those poor waiters are forced to carry those trays of drinks. Shame, shame. All of these add up to a fun cruise experience for the first time cruisers. It's too bad when people become so jaded that they can't enjoy traditions. I guess they don't decorate during the holidays anymore, celebrate the 4th of July or have a Thanksgiving meal - all traditions.
getting back to the Baked Alaska Parade. First off, the waiters on Princess do not parade around with it on their heads. The lights in the dining room are turned down, the music starts and the waiters enter in a line - no dancing. carrying trays of flamming dessert , great photo opportunity. Then your waiter brings the dessert to your table, cuts a piece to your liking and serves you. Its not tacky at all.
Reminder- personal attacts are not tolerated on this board in any manner, if your post comes to the attention of any of the managers it will be deleated and repeat offenders will be banned from this site.
We had PC dining on a 7 day cruise and only had to use the beeper once (took about 15 minutes). We shared a table the last night with other PC diners because it was getting late and we had to get our daughter out of the kids club by 10. PC was nice because you had a private table with your family if you wanted it. I did miss visiting with other people on the traditional dinners I've had on other cruises. The traditional dining rooms seemed more fun (I looked in on one) with more conversation going on at the tables.
I think I'd do the traditional unless you on your honeymoon or are really shy.
To: Franknca: great post -- my husband & I were "first time" cruisers on an extended trip in the Med on Star Princess a couple weeks ago & thought the "Baked Alaska" scenario cute -- our waiters at 2nd seating were great, as well as our tablemates. I agree w/you about someone "complaining & berating" that "parade" -- glad I was not on cruise with them!