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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 21st, 2003, 12:30 AM
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Default NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Booked cruise in mini-suite late September. Because of medical problems requested early 6:30 pm dinner seating. Just received our cruise tickets middle of December and on them in printed "personal choice" dining. Not what we requested. So TA contacted Princess Cruise and they "suggested and then demanded" that immediately upon boarding we go to the maitre'd and pad his palm with a dead president or two, and perhaps he could find us a table at the 6:30 pm seating. I find this absurd, especially since Princess Cruise lines knew of my medical disabilities; received a detailed form submitted by Princess Cruise lines signed by my doctor, and now if I don't "pad the palm of the maitre'd" it's basically "tough luck". However, my service dog and I can certainly lie down on the floor waiting hours for them to find us a table. At least with Holland America if you requested a specific seating time, you got it. I am having many doubts about sailing with Princess, especially on the Golden Princess. Anyone else have this problem on this ship?
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Old December 21st, 2003, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty - chill out! It could be that early sitting is WAITLISTED - which means that there is a waiting list for people who want to eat at that time.

The Golden Princess has three dining room - two are Personal Choice and one is Traditional......sounds like you have requested early traditional seating. You have some options here.....first of all, do see the maitre'd once you board and see what he can do - there are always people wanting to change their seating (and do bring any documentation that you have regarding needing to eat at a certain time.) Second of all, you can do Personal Choice dining....which means you can go to one of the two dining rooms at the time you desire! If you want to eat at 6:00 - show up just a little before 6:00! If you want to eat at 7:30....show up a little before 7:30 - I think you get the point. You can even make reservations for the Personal Choice Dining rooms.....request a certain time and a table will be ready for you!

Just take a deep breath and relax.....and ask your TA why they did not tell you about Personal Choice dining and the flexibility it can give you...or maybe they just don't know what you can do with Personal Choice...and that is their problem!

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Old December 21st, 2003, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty: Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Princess. However, I cannot believe that Princess or anyone at Princess would say: 'suggested and then demanded" that immediately upon boarding we go to the maitre'd and pad his palm with a dead president or two, and perhaps he could find us a table at the 6:30 pm seating.' Please do not misunderstand that I am saying someone is not telling you the truth. This is not a response that anyone would make to a client via a TA.

Personal choice maybe the best option for you. You may ask for a specific time, table, and staff for dining each night. If you find someone onbaord that you you would like to dine with, this would be the way to go also. Personal Choice Dining provides the freedom to dine when, where and with whom you wish. A pamphlet explaining the flexibility of this option will be in your cabin.

When you board and are ready to eat, just go to the PC dining room of your choice and request such. In fact, on the Golden, you would be much better off with one of the PC dining rooms since they are very easy to get to and you enter them via the center of the ship (Atrium Lobby) on deck 5 or 6. Whereas, the Traditional dining room is in the back of the ship and can only be accessed by the deck above. There is no direct route to that dining room.

Hope this helps you. Have a Great Cruise. Happy Holidays!!!
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Old December 21st, 2003, 11:03 AM
Pea
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty -

If you booked a cruise for December in September, chances are the Traditional Dining was already filled up. That's why you've been waitlisted and placed in Personal Choice. However, many folks end up opting for PC dining, and therefore slots in Traditional Dining become available. See if there is a way you can get to the front of the waitlist due to your disabilities.

Also, you can have a standing reservation for a PC dining room for the same time every night. You really shouldn't have to pad any palms...I haven't heard of anybody *having* to do that. Just see the maitre'd, explain your situation and they should be able to set it up with no problem.

Pea
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Old December 21st, 2003, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty,
We have been on the Golden and I agree with the person above who said that the 2 dining rooms for Personal Choice are easier to get to than the one with traditional seating...much easier.
When we were on the Golden about a year ago, the ship was filled to capacity with passengers yet we never waited more than 10 minutes to be seated for dinner at the busiest times around 7or 7:30. There was no waiting at all between 5:30 and 6:45. And I also agree that Princess is very accommodating to people with special needs. I bet you could easily get to the front of the line if there is one, as long as you are not traveling with a large group of people who all want to sit together, which it did not sound like you were.
We have also been on other cruiselines where we have had to deal with the maitre'd and we never tipped him just to get what we wanted. You may have to put up with some snooty "attitude" however, depending on the man. Tipping the maitre'd can be done at the end of the cruise when you pay all of your tips, but it is not required.
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Old December 21st, 2003, 07:45 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

>If you booked a cruise for December in September, chances are the Traditional Dining was already filled up<

That's why, when I book, I must first be guaranteed that we will have first seating. Otherwise, I won't book passage. I've seen the upset people that thought they had first seating but were either wait listed or denied seating all together. I wonder why Princess can't get the message that there are still a lot of people that want traditional seating?
Frank-in-CA
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Old December 21st, 2003, 10:31 PM
Pea
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

The last two times I've been on the Grand, traditional dining was half empty, at least in the early seating. Many people switch to PC and never notify the maitre'd, which is sad for the people waitlisted. But when 50% of the people who signed up don't even bother to show up once, I can see why Princess has only one dining room allocated.

Since you may make standing reservations in PC for a specified time, that seems that that would be the best choice for people who may have issues. If you like to book cruises at the last minute, it's a way to get "traditional" without having to be waitlisted. So far, the only problem I've known of with a standing reservation in PC dining is if you want to eat between 7-8:30pm. I don't think they take standing reservations then because that is the busy time.

Pea
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

You just got some bad information from a Princess cruise employee who was having a bad day. Did you get his/her name? You should report them. You can either get waitlisted for Traditional Dining or choose Anytime Dining and eat when you want .
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 11:09 AM
slotl
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Just got off the Golden Princess (Dec 6-13). I can assure you that you will NOT have a problem with an early dinner on Personal Choice dining. And you don't need to "grease" the dining staff.

The only times I found which were NOT available for reservations was between 7 and 8 PM. No matter how early I called, I could not get dinner reservations for that time.

Dining reservations prior to 6:30 or after 8 PM were VERY EASY TO GET any day. There are 2 dining rooms serving the exact same food as the main dining room plus there is the lido deck buffet, plus there is the extra cost Italian dining room ($20 extra for a 17 course dinner -- yup 17 courses). And the Southwest dining ($8 extra).

Chill out... you will be on vacation and the early dining time should not be a problem.

Don't start off a cruise with a poor attitude. It will spoil your entire trip.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 07:39 PM
sweetsea
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

A group of 4 of us were waitlisted for early traditional dining. This was not surprising, as we had booked quite late. Anyway, we spoke to the dining people (they have a table set up for changes like this) on the first day. By breakfast of the second morning, we were called & told we had a table. Princess was great to try & help us!
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Old December 24th, 2003, 09:46 AM
Sara Haynes
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

I have never seen anyone so negative about a ship or line before you actually get on the ship.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS



Seems to me that this is a travel agent problem. After all, it was the travel agent who called Princess, not Betty. Some travel agents will tell you anything just to get you off the phone.

I haven't cruised on Princess yet, but I can't imagine a cruise line of this reputation would suggest that some "grease the palms" of anyone to get someone to fix a problem, especially if it is medical related.

Also, Personal Choice sounds like the way to go.

I think Betty should chill out and go with the flow. One way or another, I'm sure she will be accomodated on Golden Princess.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Perhaps I should clarify something. Because of my disability, I have an Alaskan Malamute service dog. I specifically requested early seating, and wanted a table where my DOG would not be in the way of waiters serving other people. Actually I was trying to accommodate Princess Cruise Line dining staff. I also realize that many people do not want to eat with a DOG around. Therefore, I was assured in September by Princess Cruise that everything had been taken care of, and they thanked me for being thoughtful to their dining staff. Now I find out we are "waitlisted". Will there be a place for my service dog to lie down, out of the way of the dining staff? Who knows. So if some people think I have a bad attitude before I start the cruise, that is their problem, not mine. I have cruised on Carnival, NCL, RCCL, HAL, and now will be on Princess. And since I take two cruises a year, I have never encountered this problem before. My TA worked diligently on my specific situation, and it seems that Princess hired over 200 extra people to work through the holiday season. When he finally got to a VP and the FleeT Medical Director, they assured him everything would be taken care of. I guess we will see on Jan 3rd. So for those of you who are not disabled, and do not have to rely on a service dog count your blessings!
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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:04 PM
Sara Haynes
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Your travel agent should have advised you right away that you were waitlisted for traditional seating. Even if you request it, it sounds like it was full when you booked the cruise. You can also see this by looking at Princess Cruise Personalizer. It tells you if you are still waitlisted or if traditional is confirmed.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

It is absolutely inappropriate for a dog to be in the dining room of a cruise ship. I am sorry that you have a disability, but this goes beyond being "PC" or sympathetic to someone's condition. I would be very, very upset if someone was to appear with a dog in the dining room, and I suspect the overwhelming majority of people would agree, even if they're afraid to say so. And I really like dogs! But there is a right place and a wrong place. This is the wrong place. Please re-think your options.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Charlie - the law --Americans with Disabilities Act aka "ADA"-- disagrees with you. Service dogs are allowed in all public places including restaurants. These dogs are very clean and very well behaved, better so then some people I have seen in restaurants.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Thank you for educating the public on the "ADA". My service dog has her Canine Good Citizenship from the AKC. In order to receive this certificate she had to perform many tasks, not move while people were running or yelling, and ignoring other dogs. My service dog also does not run in a restaurant, scream and throw food, flail on the floor with a temper tantrum like so many children and some adults do. The ADA is a federal law. Should my dog and I ever enounter someone who does not want to eat around a dog, I am very flexible, as I think most disabled people with service dogs are. Also she is certified by the Delta Society as a certified service animal and as such I carry her photo ID, her certification papers, proof of ALL vaccinations which include Rabies, Parvo, Carona, DHLP, and Bordatella. She is certified free of any worms including Heartworms, and in order to travel she has to have a USDA certificate signed by her vet indicating she is free of any disease. I wonder how many people could produce that???
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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

If you take the time to re-read my post (although I doubt you will), I never said there was anything illegal about doing this but I seriously doubt the law dictates what constitutes common courtesy.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty, no matter what they tell you on land, once you are on the ship and can speak to the maitre d' personally, you will be well taken care of. I know a lady who has taken her service dog on a Princess cruise, and they were both completely spoiled by the end of the cruise.

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Old December 27th, 2003, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty, don't be so kind to HAL. I booked about as late as you did, requesting early seating on the Westerday, got waitlisted, and never did get out of late seating. However, I suspect that the Princess folks will be more flexible than Holland America was. I won't say, "Chill Out," as some others have, but you might consider being more open to change and flexibility. You actually might like Personal Choice dining. With cruise prices so low, more and more people are booking a year and more ahead so the alternative is to book your cruises more than three or four months in advance.

charlotte
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Old December 28th, 2003, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCES

Betty, I think if you yourself call Princess Cruises and slowly explain the problem to a supervisor, not a telephone clerk, the problem will be handled immediately. I agree that your travel agent hasn't asked the right questions in the right manner.

When we were on board the Star which is a sister ship, we had traditional dining. We quickly changed to personal choice because the two main personal choice dining rooms are more convenient. Also Sabatini's and Tequila's are both great alternatives.
You may surprise yourself and change your mind once on board.

By the way, your dog (and you) can eat at my table anytime. I have a question though. Does the ship have an exercise pen for your dog? That would be my guess. Have you made arrangements for this accommodation? Because that,to me, is the most important question. The dining arrangements can be handled by any maitre "D at any of the restaurants without any additional tipping. Or so it seems to me.

By the way. I love restaurants in foreign countries where dogs, cats, chickens, etc are part of the local color. Many Americans are way too up tight about animals. Service dogs are usually cleaner , better behaved,and more well groomed than the people they will be dining with.

Try not to worry. It will be fine in the end, I'm sure of it.

Post Edited (12-31-03 12:49)
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Old December 29th, 2003, 04:24 PM
Pea
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

I, for one, have no problem with a service dog being in a dining room or at my table. I have seen them in restaurants at home. Many people feed their own dogs at the table. I also disagree that a "majority" of people would be upset. I think it would be just the opposite.

I'd much rather have that than go into the hot tub after a baby in diapers!

Pea
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Old December 30th, 2003, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty

We would not be upset or annoyed or anything like that. Maybe we are not the majority. By all means bring him in the dinning room!!

Happy New Year

Robert & Lisa

PS wish we could bring our dog on board.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 06:06 AM
Mickie
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

So your idea of common courtesy is for this person to eat all meals in her room? or only go to the buffet and eat on deck?
Or perhaps they should not cruise at all is that it? it so happens that cruising is one of the easiest vacation options for the disabled, being in a wheelchair myself I know.
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 10:14 PM
BK
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty

We encountered a similar problem with Princess a couple of years ago. Because of an unusual allergy, my son required special meals to be prepared. Princess went out of their way to be difficult, even going as far as telephoning his doctor without my permission and attempting to find him medically unfit to travel. Eventually, they agreed to let him on because they really have no choice because of ADA. Even though they insisted that we eat at the same table every meal at a set time, they refused to give us the table up front. Instead I had to spend several hours waiting in line for the Maitre'D as soon as I boarded so that I could "arrange" for my table. He was snotty but once it was over, the rest of the cruise was fine. We are looking at cruising again and both Holland America and Carnival are very cooperative on the phone about arranging for special meals. Meanwhile Princess once again says I have to fax a request into "special services".
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Old January 4th, 2004, 10:28 AM
Champagne
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

I'm all in favor of everyone's personal rights. Here's mine: I am allergic to animals!

Just to satisfy my curiosity, what purpose does the service dog "serve" at your dinner table? I'm trying to understand why the dog needs to be right there. I'm sympathetic toward disabled people....just curious about this case. No offense intended.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Sara Haynes
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Some service dogs guide their partners to the table in the case of those who are blind.

You can't solve everyone's allergies. I am allergic to people's perfume but I can't expect people to not where perfume.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

I do believe in the case of the poster here that the dog is trained to know when she is about to have a MS flare. Which obviously could happen at any time including at dinner.
I know that mine can happen at any time and without warning, though I don't happen to have a service animal myself.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 05:24 PM
SF Sharon
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Pea wrote: "I, for one, have no problem with a service dog being in a dining room or at my table. I have seen them in restaurants at home. Many people feed their own dogs at the table. I also disagree that a "majority" of people would be upset. I think it would be just the opposite.

I'd much rather have that than go into the hot tub after a baby in diapers!"



Personally, I'l like to see the service dog jump into the hot tub and fetch the kid in diapers and drop it at the foot of its unsupervising parents. ;-)
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Old January 16th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: NO MORE SPECIFIED DINING TIMES ON GOLDEN PRINCESS

Betty. Just put me on the list of persons that would have NO PROBLEM with your dog in the dining room. As another poster pointed out people are allergic to many things, and they very easily have the ablility to avoid the dog by going to the other dining room.
You should be back form your cruise so I'm dying to hear how it went!!
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