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Old February 7th, 2008, 09:24 PM
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Default Any time dining

We are a party of 7. Do you think that we will have a problem sitting together on any of the nights? Is any time better that others?
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Old February 8th, 2008, 07:55 AM
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I don't you will have much trouble except the first night. For some reason it is always a jam and wanting to eat between 6 and 7pm you may have some wait, but for a group your size the good news is, most of the tables are set up for 6-8 people.

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Old February 8th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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Apart from taking your chance in the queue, you can dial DINE whatever that equates to on the phone (3463?) from your suite & ask to reserve a table. There are only certain times that you can book, but well worth remembering.

have a memorable cruise,

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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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As for whether 'anytime dining' is best, well, that's a personal preference. There is a real advantage to traditional dining for you; You'd have the same table and the same waiters every night and they would learn your names and take better care of you by far. They will even hold a bottle of wine for you from one night to the next. There would never be any question that you would all be seated together if that was your wish. A few could show up 10 minutes late and it would not cause a problem with trying to save seats or anything of the sort.

If you are all adults, late seating is best because after a busy day in port, it gives you a chance to shower, change and get a drink, unwind, and maybe enjoy the sailaway at the rail without being hurried. That's what cruising is all about to us!!

But as I say it's a matter of personal preference. Traditional dining, late seating; table for 6 or 8 is definitely ours. We have made lifelong friends among new table mates!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:11 PM
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If you opt for anytime dining you can reserve the same table at the same time for every night of the cruise. Just speak to the head waiter or the Matre'De. They will set a table for 8 for just 7 people for you.
Jim.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:40 PM
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Jim, and you would call that 'anytime dining' -- why? Sounds like a hybrid at best. If you want the same table and the same waiters at the same time every night, why not just go with the real thing??
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
Jim, and you would call that 'anytime dining' -- why? Sounds like a hybrid at best. If you want the same table and the same waiters at the same time every night, why not just go with the real thing??
It is actually called "Personal Choice". If you book late you would probably not be able to get "Tradition dining" because it is already full. If you follow my suggestion you do not have to eat at 6:15 or 8:00 (the traditional dining times). You can eat at any time that suits your fancy. The trouble with Princess is that they will let people that are booked into traditional dining eat in the personal choice dining rooms. Thus their tables in traditional go unused and probably someone that wanted traditional would not be able to get it.
Jim..
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Old February 14th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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Jim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
It is actually called "Personal Choice".
As Princess uses the terminology, "Personal Choice Dining" means that a ship offers BOTH "Traditional Dining" (with assigned tables at first and second seatings) AND "Anytime Dining" (with open seating and an option to make reservations, like most restaurants ashore). MV Tahitian Princess, MV Pacific Princess, and MV Royal Princess offer only "Traditional Dining" because these ships have only one main dining room. All other Princess ships have two or more main dining rooms, and thus offer "Personal Choice Dining" with "Traditional Dining" in one main dining room and "Anytime Dining" in the other(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
If you book late you would probably not be able to get "Tradition dining" because it is already full.
That tends to be true, though less so aboard MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Sea Princess, MV Coral Princess, and MV Island Princess because these ships have only two main dining rooms, thus reserving half of their dining capacity for "Traditional Dining." By contrast, "Traditional Dining" gets only about a third of the dining capacity aboard the tubs of the Grand Princess, Diamond Princess, and Caribbean Princess classes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
The trouble with Princess is that they will let people that are booked into traditional dining eat in the personal choice dining rooms. Thus their tables in traditional go unused and probably someone that wanted traditional would not be able to get it.
You're absolutely right -- but, in reality, that's only half of the problem. The other half of the problem is Princess does absolutely NOTHING to accommodate passengers who request "Traditional Dining" beyond the number who can fit into the main dining room allocated to that arrangement. On my Dad's last Princess cruise, there were enough people on the waiting list for first seating to fill another dining room, and Princess basically thumbed its nose at them (he was No. 467 or thereabouts on the waiting list). At the very least, Princess should either (1) expand each seating of "Traditional Dining" into enough sections of the dining rooms assigned to "Anytime Dining" to accommodate the passengers who request that arrangement or, when the numbers are smaller, (2) enter a standing reservation for the entire cruise with a fixed table for the passengers who are on the waiting list.

And in any case, Princess should (1) clearly request that passengers who have booked "Traditional Dining" but decide that they prefer "Anytime Dining" once onboard notify the maitre d'hotel of their decision to change and (2) directly contact passengers who don't come to "Traditional Dining" on two or three consecutive evenings to inquire if they wish to change.

Of course, passengers who are so inconsiderate to their fellow passengers as to go to "Anytime Dining" on their own, without informing the maitre d'hotel of a decision to change, are the epitomy of the cadre of passengers who are utterly lacking in social graces whom Princess's "Personal Choice Cruising" ad campaign seems to have drawn to that line. Any cruise line that wants to fill its ships with passengers who are so inconsiderate of other passengers is a cruise line that does NOT want -- and that will NOT get -- my business.

Norm.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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this will be our first cruise (July 08) I chose anytume dining just so that we were not locked into a specific time everyday. I understand from Princess the menu is exactly the same as traditional, however with all the fuss on these posts I'm starting to wonder if I made a mistake and should cange. Looking for some reasonable advice. I'm traveling with two teens and had them take part in the decision. Is anytime a bad choice ?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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Get with the Maitre 'd.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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No, I don't think that you made a bad choice. I did not like the fact that on our last cruise (RCI) that we did not have that choice. It was 1615 every night. 2030 is just too late fro the second setting.

I go to the dining room about 1900 and ask for a table size that suits us. If that table (location and wait staff) seem to work, I'll book a reservation for 1900 for the rest of the cruise.

If we know that we will late or eating in a specialty restaurant, I'll let the head waiter know. So you are not locked into the "reservation". If you want to change the time, just talk to the head waiter beforehand.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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You just have to read all the posts, and decide what your cup of tea is. As you can see, the opinions run the gamut. Yours is the only one that truly counts.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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lbtnewcruiser,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
this will be our first cruise (July 08) I chose anytume dining just so that we were not locked into a specific time everyday. I understand from Princess the menu is exactly the same as traditional, however with all the fuss on these posts I'm starting to wonder if I made a mistake and should cange. Looking for some reasonable advice. I'm traveling with two teens and had them take part in the decision. Is anytime a bad choice ?
Personally, I despise "Anytime Dining" for several reasons.

>> 1. In "Traditional Dining," one has the same tablemates throughout the cruise and thus a chance to build new friendships that often endure past the cruise. And if you get stuck with a rare bad match, you can always see the maitre d'hotel to request a change for the next evening. In "Anytime Dining," you probably end up with different tablemates every evening so you don't really get to know one another very well.

>> 2. In "Traditional Dining," your waitstaff get to know your preferences on the first couple evenings of the cruise and thus anticipate your requests thereafter. As a result, they can provide a much higher level of service. In "Anytime Dining," you probably will have different waitstaff every evening so most don't even bother to try to remember your preferences. As a result, service suffers.

>> 3. The seatings of "Traditional Dining" are synchronized with the shows and other evening entertainment and events. As a result, many passengers in "Anytime Dining" inevitably end up dining within a few minutes of the times of "Traditional Dining" anyway, and those who don't miss out on some great entertainment!

>> 4. There are some things, like the traditional Parade of the Baked Alaska, that happen only in "Traditional Dining" because they have to be synchronized with the courses of the meal, which is not possible in "Anytime Dining."

The difficulties in obtaining "Traditional Dining" on Princess's ships was a major factor in my decision to change to Celebrity in 2003.

Of course, YMMV....

Norm.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Jim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
It is actually called "Personal Choice".
As Princess uses the terminology, "Personal Choice Dining" means that a ship offers BOTH "Traditional Dining" (with assigned tables at first and second seatings) AND "Anytime Dining" (with open seating and an option to make reservations, like most restaurants ashore). MV Tahitian Princess, MV Pacific Princess, and MV Royal Princess offer only "Traditional Dining" because these ships have only one main dining room. All other Princess ships have two or more main dining rooms, and thus offer "Personal Choice Dining" with "Traditional Dining" in one main dining room and "Anytime Dining" in the other(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
If you book late you would probably not be able to get "Tradition dining" because it is already full.
That tends to be true, though less so aboard MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Sea Princess, MV Coral Princess, and MV Island Princess because these ships have only two main dining rooms, thus reserving half of their dining capacity for "Traditional Dining." By contrast, "Traditional Dining" gets only about a third of the dining capacity aboard the tubs of the Grand Princess, Diamond Princess, and Caribbean Princess classes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
The trouble with Princess is that they will let people that are booked into traditional dining eat in the personal choice dining rooms. Thus their tables in traditional go unused and probably someone that wanted traditional would not be able to get it.
You're absolutely right -- but, in reality, that's only half of the problem. The other half of the problem is Princess does absolutely NOTHING to accommodate passengers who request "Traditional Dining" beyond the number who can fit into the main dining room allocated to that arrangement. On my Dad's last Princess cruise, there were enough people on the waiting list for first seating to fill another dining room, and Princess basically thumbed its nose at them (he was No. 467 or thereabouts on the waiting list). At the very least, Princess should either (1) expand each seating of "Traditional Dining" into enough sections of the dining rooms assigned to "Anytime Dining" to accommodate the passengers who request that arrangement or, when the numbers are smaller, (2) enter a standing reservation for the entire cruise with a fixed table for the passengers who are on the waiting list.

And in any case, Princess should (1) clearly request that passengers who have booked "Traditional Dining" but decide that they prefer "Anytime Dining" once onboard notify the maitre d'hotel of their decision to change and (2) directly contact passengers who don't come to "Traditional Dining" on two or three consecutive evenings to inquire if they wish to change.

Of course, passengers who are so inconsiderate to their fellow passengers as to go to "Anytime Dining" on their own, without informing the maitre d'hotel of a decision to change, are the epitomy of the cadre of passengers who are utterly lacking in social graces whom Princess's "Personal Choice Cruising" ad campaign seems to have drawn to that line. Any cruise line that wants to fill its ships with passengers who are so inconsiderate of other passengers is a cruise line that does NOT want -- and that will NOT get -- my business.

Norm.
Let's cut through all of this and say how it does work on Princess. When you book a cruise on Princess you have a choice of first, second or anytime dining. You can not just show up at any time dining because they give you a special card for admittance to the any time dining area. On my last cruise they did check this card before you could enter anytime dining! We happen to like the second seating for dinner and most cruisers like the first seating. In all of our many cruises with Princess we have never had any problem getting our request for second seating for dinner. If a person prefers the first seating, as most do, on any cruise line you may not be able to get it. After all, all cruise lines only have so much room for first seating.

While I don't use the anytime dining option, there are many who love it. It is just another choice you get on Princess, which is not offered on all cruise lines.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbtnewcruiser
this will be our first cruise (July 08) I chose anytume dining just so that we were not locked into a specific time everyday. I understand from Princess the menu is exactly the same as traditional, however with all the fuss on these posts I'm starting to wonder if I made a mistake and should cange. Looking for some reasonable advice. I'm traveling with two teens and had them take part in the decision. Is anytime a bad choice ?
Actually with 2 teens anytime will work best. One nice thing, they can choose to eat on their own if they want. Another and we saw a lot of this, you can eat early and then return later for dessert. We have become so fond of flex dining we will hardly choose a line that doesn't offer it. There are times we want to eat at 5:50 and other times 7:30. Another complaint, which I saw posted here about tradtional dining, 6:15 is often just to early and 8:30 too late. Everyone has to do what is best for them, but flex dining is gaining in popularity all the time.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 07:36 PM
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not all priincess ships have anytime dining but if you get that option then choose it! I always prefer it. You just walk in and tell them you want a table for 7 and you will be seated together. Never an issue in my experience. You could alert them on the first night that you will be coming to anytime dining daily and want the 7 of you together and BY A WINDOW :-)
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Old February 21st, 2008, 10:23 PM
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"...not all priincess [sic] ships have anytime dining but if you get that option then choose it!"

Don't tell people that. That's strictly your personal preference. It is most certainly not mine. Nor is it shared by a great many others. Why would you try to deprive others of their own preference? Let them think for themselves.
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