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Old March 19th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Default Dining and show times.

Hi I have a question re show times in regards to dining times. When we have cruised before if we had the early seating the main show was after dinner. if we had late seating the show was before. While the early seating people were having dinner. We have heard that now on Princess if you have the late seating the show is after dinner which could make a start time of approx 10 - 10:30. Can anyone please confirm this or what is the actual system they have. We will be on the Crown in the Med this coming summer.
Thanks for any info.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 09:42 AM
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Unhappy Dining and shows

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Originally Posted by Davo View Post
Hi I have a question re show times in regards to dining times. When we have cruised before if we had the early seating the main show was after dinner. if we had late seating the show was before. While the early seating people were having dinner. We have heard that now on Princess if you have the late seating the show is after dinner which could make a start time of approx 10 - 10:30. Can anyone please confirm this or what is the actual system they have. We will be on the Crown in the Med this coming summer.
Thanks for any info.
This is one of the problems Princess does not seem to have solved with Anytime Dining. Most of the time there seems to be a 7:30 show and a 9:30 show, or thereabouts. The theaters on the Grand Class ships are so small that you really do have to be at the show half an hour early to get a seat at all, much less a good seat.

The show times are such that Traditional diners are usually rushed to get to the show, and make it difficult to choose a reasonable Anytime dining reservation and get to the show at all.

They try to ameliorate the situation somewhat by offering very good shows in the lounge at about the same time as the main show. Sometimes the lounge is so crowded there is hardly room to walk past.

Now we love cruising on Princess, and frankly the shows are not a major part of why we cruise. But it is still a bit disappointing that Princess can't figure out how to make it work.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 10:06 PM
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I am so glad that I am reading this because my first cruise was a Princess cruise. I chose anytime dining and I love to see the shows. However, it did seem to me that I couldnt quite get my timing down between eating and the shows. I thought it was me. I am cruising again next month on Princess and one of the mental notes I made to myself was to better coordinate dinner and shows. Anyone have any tips on this? I generally like to eat later rather than earlier.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 10:55 PM
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Other than the production shows, Princess repeats the other show "headline" entertainment later in the cruise, using one of the large lounges.

That said... if you like to dine late, there's no reason you can't go to see the early show in the theater.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Unhappy Coordinating show and dinner

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Other than the production shows, Princess repeats the other show "headline" entertainment later in the cruise, using one of the large lounges.

That said... if you like to dine late, there's no reason you can't go to see the early show in the theater.
I agree with Kuki. The only way we found on Princess to really enjoy the show and then a leisurely dinner was to get to the theater half an hour before the early show, read a book until the show starts, and then after the show have a cocktail in a bar near the dining room while all the other people with the same idea wait in line. At times we don't mind late dining and this worked.

But the only way to get to bed early when you have a big excursion the next day is to be first in line at the DR at 5:30, rush through your dinner and hurry down to the theater to get a seat. Not really what we like to do.

Don't get me wrong I am a big Princess fan and love their food. But the theater situation seems to be a problem on almost all of their ships. Our third option is simple -- skip the show, which is probably pretty much like a hundred other shows we have seen in our cruises.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
This is one of the problems Princess does not seem to have solved with Anytime Dining. Most of the time there seems to be a 7:30 show and a 9:30 show, or thereabouts. The theaters on the Grand Class ships are so small that you really do have to be at the show half an hour early to get a seat at all, much less a good seat.

The show times are such that Traditional diners are usually rushed to get to the show, and make it difficult to choose a reasonable Anytime dining reservation and get to the show at all.

They try to ameliorate the situation somewhat by offering very good shows in the lounge at about the same time as the main show. Sometimes the lounge is so crowded there is hardly room to walk past.

Now we love cruising on Princess, and frankly the shows are not a major part of why we cruise. But it is still a bit disappointing that Princess can't figure out how to make it work.
I'm on the 6 PM set dining time, so I hope I don't have a problem finding a seat for the show.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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We always eat early (5:30 - 6), order all the courses and always have time to catch any of the shows. Even the ones that are presented at 7 PM (which are intended for the late dining people) are possible to make if eating early & get a seat since there not usually filled to capacity.
What you can do is forgo the dessert when dining early, go to the show and then return to the DR later on for dessert. The DR will be practically empty & you can walk right in up until 10 PM.

Of course if you like to have a drink at 6 PM & then arrive at the DR door for dinner, you'll probably be given a beeper & called back later during the first performance & will probably be late for a seat for the second show.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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thank you RichC. My first time on Princess. They might do things differently than Carninval or HAL.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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I did a transatlantic on the Grand last month, specifically choosing a Princess ship because I'd seen the "troupe" shows on HAL so many times already. I was VERY surprised to find that the main theater seats less than a quarter of the passengers; and since TA's tend to have more elderly cruisers, they all wanted to go to the early (7 pm) performance. For the big show nights, a half-hour early was not nearly enough; most seats were taken 45 minutes to even an hour in advance of the show. Everyone seemed to have either a book or e-reader with them. The lounge shows were almost as badly crowded, with the additional disadvantage that the Vista lounge has huge pillars that block the view from a goodly portion of the seats. By contrast there was never any difficulty getting a decent seat at any of the late (10:15 pm) shows.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sistersolo View Post
I did a transatlantic on the Grand last month, specifically choosing a Princess ship because I'd seen the "troupe" shows on HAL so many times already. I was VERY surprised to find that the main theater seats less than a quarter of the passengers; and since TA's tend to have more elderly cruisers, they all wanted to go to the early (7 pm) performance. For the big show nights, a half-hour early was not nearly enough; most seats were taken 45 minutes to even an hour in advance of the show. Everyone seemed to have either a book or e-reader with them. The lounge shows were almost as badly crowded, with the additional disadvantage that the Vista lounge has huge pillars that block the view from a goodly portion of the seats. By contrast there was never any difficulty getting a decent seat at any of the late (10:15 pm) shows.
Even on our April cruise the show lounge was usually almost filled to capacity 20 + minutes before show time (early show) & it wasn't that old of a crowd. This is the way it's been for years & we just adjust our schedule without even thinking about it. In general most people are tired by 10 PM & tend to avoid going to the late show, at least on Princess.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Thanks folks. It is good to know that Princess early show fills up. My next cruise is to Alaska where people tend to get up early for those shore tours. There may not be many staying up for the late show.
I shall plan accordingly.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 08:16 PM
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I have cruise on the Ruby Princess twice and never had a problem with seeing the 8 PM Show. We always dine early at the 5:30 pm or 6 pm time ..do not remember the exact time. Then finish dinner in time to see the show. True a lot of people come much earlier but we are always there by 7:30 pm and never had a problem with finding a good seat. We prefer tranditional dining although on the last cruise they did put up in a anytime dining room. They always repeat the Big Shows in the Showroom more than once at least on the longer cruises. After the show in the showroom , you can still catch the the lounge show.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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Unhappy Problem?

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I have cruise on the Ruby Princess twice and never had a problem with seeing the 8 PM Show. We always dine early at the 5:30 pm or 6 pm time ..do not remember the exact time. Then finish dinner in time to see the show. True a lot of people come much earlier but we are always there by 7:30 pm and never had a problem with finding a good seat. We prefer tranditional dining although on the last cruise they did put up in a anytime dining room. They always repeat the Big Shows in the Showroom more than once at least on the longer cruises. After the show in the showroom , you can still catch the the lounge show.
Well, busterboy, that is exactly my point. In order to see the 8 PM show, you have to go to dinner very early and get to the theater at least half an hour before the show starts.

IMAO, this is a terrible way to do things. It is one of the things I like least about Princess.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 06:36 AM
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I had the same problem on my last Princess cruise, dinner took too long and we were late to the show, no seats...We then started just having dinner in the Horizon Court, problem was solved...
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Old June 5th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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Unhappy Horizon Court dinner?

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I had the same problem on my last Princess cruise, dinner took too long and we were late to the show, no seats...We then started just having dinner in the Horizon Court, problem was solved...
Oh my, oh my ... problem would definitely NOT be solved for me. Giving up the MDR dinner is NO WAY an option I would go with.

No, Princess has a serious problem for me here. The buffet does not solve it.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I had the same problem on my last Princess cruise, dinner took too long and we were late to the show, no seats...We then started just having dinner in the Horizon Court, problem was solved...
We've always found that if you don't sit at a large table & only select a table for 2 the whole dinner precess goes much faster. If you want to even finish earlier just tell the waiter to speed things up a bit. It's the talking at large tables & waiting until everyone finished their course that holds the process up causing people to get to the show lounge to late to find a seat.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Unhappy Dining

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We've always found that if you don't sit at a large table & only select a table for 2 the whole dinner precess goes much faster. If you want to even finish earlier just tell the waiter to speed things up a bit. It's the talking at large tables & waiting until everyone finished their course that holds the process up causing people to get to the show lounge to late to find a seat.
One of the principal joys of the MDR for us is having the time for a leisurely dinner with interesting companions. Choosing a table for two and asking the waiter to rush through dinner would be very little better than eating at the buffet! When Princess forces us to make the choice between a leisurely enjoyment of dinner and a usually mediocre show, dinner wins almost every time!

On most cruise lines, including our other favorite HAL, it is possible to enjoy a leisurely dinner and still get to the show and enjoy it. It is the inadequate theater design on Princess that is the problem.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Yes, I think you have something there...We were the first seated at a table, a good 20 minutes went by before anyone else was seated, we had already viewed the menu, given our orders, etc...By the time the table was full, we just had to wait for them to order before any dishes were brought. That dinner was 2-1/2 hours, and we missed the show. The Horizon Court was a good alternative if you wanted to see a certain show and not have dinner take so long. Worked for me.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 05:25 AM
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Just got back from a 12 day cruise around the UK on the Caribbean. We had the 6pm dining - which they changed to 5:45. Most evenings shows were 7-8:15 and 10pm. We had no problem getting a seat at the 8:15 shows. Because of the 3 times, the performances were only in the main theatre and not repeated anywhere else.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
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Yes, I think you have something there...We were the first seated at a table, a good 20 minutes went by before anyone else was seated, we had already viewed the menu, given our orders, etc...By the time the table was full, we just had to wait for them to order before any dishes were brought. That dinner was 2-1/2 hours, and we missed the show. The Horizon Court was a good alternative if you wanted to see a certain show and not have dinner take so long. Worked for me.
That would have ticked me off also. You should have walked out at around the 2 hour mark & told the head waiter exactly why.
You could have always returned to the dining room after the show for dessert.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Unhappy Dining room times

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That would have ticked me off also. You should have walked out at around the 2 hour mark & told the head waiter exactly why.
You could have always returned to the dining room after the show for dessert.
Wow.

I am afraid I have to say that people with that attitude ARE probably better off going to the buffet.

The way we see it, a fine restaurant, or the Main Dining Room, is a place to enjoy a leisurely dining experience. Two and a half hours for dining is a nice comfortable experience IMAO. If our table mates got up and left after two hours because they were in a hurry, we would just shake our heads and wonder what they expected. I certainly hope that the MDR continues to function as a fine dining venue and not become a Denny's afloat.

To me, the whole point of this discussion is that on Princess, it is very difficult to have both the leisurely dining and get to the show at a reasonable hour for a good seat.

The three show idea on Caribbean seems as if it might work. I would like to see this spread through the fleet.
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