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Old September 4th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Default On RCCL, "My Time Dining" is "THEIR TIME DINI

We just returned from our Greek Island cruise on the Splendour of the Seas and figured that we would give My Time Dining a shot based on the info we have seen on their website as well as their marketing campaign emails that we received. We also figured that since the European dining times are later than in the Caribbean, we may not want to be eating at 9:30pm when we had to get up at 5:30am to get off the ship for a 7:00 docking.

BIG MISTAKE!

When we got on the ship, we went to the MTD desk at the dining room to set a time for dinner that night. It took 30 minutes to actually get a chance to speak with someone because there was only one person at the desk who was fielding questions about changing dining room seating times, reqeusts about MTD and setting reservations.

When we finally got to speak with him, we were asked for a table at 8pm. We were told "how about 8:30?". Isn't the point of MTD that you get to sit when you want? We chalked that up to first night issues. When we were seated that night, we were told it's best to make a reservation for the following night so that you get the time you want. Again, counter to what they advertise about being able to walk up to the desk and ask for a table when you want to eat.

So, after dinner on night 1, we stop by the desk to reserve the following night. We were told that the time we wanted wasn't available at the table we were seated at. We told the host that we didn't care where we sat, we wanted that time. So he put us at another table. We asked for 8:45 but were told that we should do 9:00 because that was formal night and it's easier at 9:00. Again...isn't the part of MTD that they advertise is that you don't have to be stuck at the same table, or same time...you eat at your convenience?

After night 2's dinner, we stopped by the desk again to reserve a time for night 3. We asked for a time, were told it didn't work and they moved us to a time 30mins earlier.

I think you can see the pattern we encountered.

Not one night were we given a time of dining that we asked for...it was always at a time that was convenient for them.

Top that off with the fact that they kept trying to sit us at the same table we were seated at. That isn't the point of MTD. They were supposed to sit you at your time - regardless of the table.

There were 4 of us and they sat us at a 4-top so it's not like they were trying to sit us with others who spoke the same language as us to make the conversation experience easier.

We ended up at the same table for 3 nights and the staff at that table was great. Actually they were fine at all the tables but we hit it off with this specific team.

Lastly...when you reserve MTD before your cruise, you're told that you have to prepay for gratuities. This was fine by us...makes things easier. Howevery, you would think that because you prepay, that takes away the issue of having to give one specific waiter or ass't waiter a tip since you get moved around. You would think that they pool the MTD tips, right? WRONG!...we were give the prepaid vouchers in our cabin and were expected to hand them out ourselves. Who did they expect us to tip? We were seated and served by 3 different waiter teams. This made it very uncomfortbale for us since we were not seated at the table we requested for the last night (the one with the team we hit it off with), we were seated at a new table...one we never sat at before.

At the end of the dinner, we had to get up, say goodbye to the team and then walk over to the other team and give them the tip envelopes. Very uncomforatble.

Needless to say, that given this experience, we won't be doing "Their Time Dining" again.

Not worth the aggrevation!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 4th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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You raised some interesting points. I had never thought about the problems with handing out the tipping envelopes. We chose not to do MTD just because we don't like to pre-pay the tipping (we have had cruises where the Head Waiter never even came to our table all week) if we want an earlier (or later) dinner we go to the Windjammer that night. Thanks for the insight. Sorry to hear about your problem, hope you enjoyed your cruise.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Yep happened to me too. Wanted a 7pm dinner but two nites could not get it and had to settle for 6:15pm.

I think they need to open up more tables for MyTime. Freedom class ships have the whole 5th floor for MyTime.

On the Explorer there were a few big groups of cruisers that would stay in the dining room for over 2 hours.

However on the Enchantment MyTime was never an issue we got the time and table we wanted each nite. Enchanment was a fall cruise and Explorer was a summer cruise. I wonder if MyTime runs more smoother in non peak season?

We always had the same waiters so we had waiters to give the envelope to however if you have different waiters I guess you don't give the envelopes out they are getting tips anyway?

MyTime is not always My Time. :o :o
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Having to still hand out envelopes - even though they have the vouchers in them - makes no sense at all. My understanding was you didn't need to do this for the dining staff, that they'd indeed automatically get them and split them.

Some ships really are not set up to accomodate MTD. They were built for two dining seatings and some things you can't easily retrofit.

As I recall RCI rolled out MTD fleetwide in April/May so they ought to have it running a lot smoother than these reports would indicate.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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After the second time of being told that my choice of dining time wasn't convenient for them, I would have managed to communicate that I don't care. I think you drew somebody who wanted to make the minimum effort possible. On Monarch in June I was chatting with the gentleman in charge of MTD (they have a dedicated person) and watched as people came up to him to make reservations. Not one person was told that they could dine at their preferred time. They were asked if they wanted the same table - some did, others did not care.

We are trying MTD on Mariner this week. I hear that it runs pretty smoothly, so we'll see...
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Old September 4th, 2009, 10:13 PM
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I never had a problem with traditional dining and that is what I want to do for my next cruise.

TM
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Old September 5th, 2009, 05:30 PM
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Why do they give you vouchers if your pre paid tips are going to the staff?

Do not understand the logic of this, especially when you might not have the same waiter every night.

Did anyone inquire as to why they are doing it this way?
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Old September 7th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Hi everyone! Just returned yesterday from AOS cruise and sitting here planning another. My Time Dining went very well for my husband and me. We were unable to book it online, so we went to the Head Waiter on level 3 (set up for MTD) as soon as possible the first evening. He was not able to accommodate us for a table for 2, but was very encouraging that we should return the next morning at 9:30AM. My husband did and we were able to sign up for a table for 2. We did NOT have to make "reservations" or set a time. There were "suggested" times for us as they fell between the busiest time. Actually, we went to the dining room at various times and all but one evening we had NO wait at all. The one night that we did wait was only a short 10 (?) min. wait. My husband & I loved being able to choose our dining time as we had been able to do this on NCL in the past.
I'm sorry that it didn't work well for you, but I'm hoping that RCCL will get this new option down pat for others like myself who love having the freedom of choosing my dining time.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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DonnaP (traveltime)....did they give you the prepaid vouchers for the tips on AOS as well? How did you split up the tips if you were at different tables each night?
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Old September 16th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Morning! We used the vouchers for everyone (and gave extra $$$ to our cabin steward personally). I've been told that the tips are pooled (never seemed fair to me ) and so, I'm assuming the waiter tips are as well.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Traveltime,

How many vouchers are you given that you were able to give them to everyone. Are you given more than one for the waiters?

I can understand the room steward as you only have one of those, but I'm sure most on MTD will have more than one waiter.

Thanks for any info.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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The vouchers are really just for "show" if you want to have something to hand to your waitstaff (or maybe add a little extra to the envelopes). The staff gets the (pooled) tips regardless of whether or not you give them the vouchers. Especially now with MTD, they are pretty useless unless you have the same team every night.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel
I never had a problem with traditional dining and that is what I want to do for my next cruise.

TM
I agree, traditional worked for me. I would also highly recommend the later seating. When I was walking back to my cabin from the pool deck In flip-flops and wet swim suite and people were already in their formal wear on their way to dinner I realized, late seating all the way!


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Old October 27th, 2009, 01:32 AM
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My TA insisted I try my time dinning. She told me how easy it will be and more flexable for me. I would prefered early seating but she wanted me to try this. This is only my second cruise and I just loved the experience of the dinning on the first I was looking forward to it. But I am always change (hopefully) if I don't care for it. It was late sitting last time and I wanted to try eariler seating this time.I'm interested in knowing how others felt about it.
Thanks for sharing
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Old October 27th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Jeanne I would give My Time a try.

It works out well when you can work dinner around your schedule. Say one nite you can eat at 6 then next 7 or 8 depends on the activities of the afternoon and port or sea day.

On Freedom class ships My Time works very well. Never had to wait for a table and always had the same area with the same waiters.

On Echantment being a smaller ship My Time also went very well.

On Explorer not so well. Twice did not get the time that I wanted.

Freedom class ships have the whole 3rd level for My Time dining.

Peak times (summers & holidays) My Time can get busy because of the larger groups of families that are cruising. They tend to remain in the dining room longer then usual which causes delays for other cruisers that have yet to be seated in the dining room.

I have not sailed on Indy (yet ) but I think you will be fine with My Time.

Remember it is always best to make a reservation in the morning. By that time you should have an idea anyway when you want to have dinner that nite.

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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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I bet the next innovation is that you will have a hand held device that you will place your meal order on and hand it to your waiter as you are seated..it will shave off valuable minutes in the preparation process
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Old October 29th, 2009, 09:54 PM
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Now where would the fun be in the hand held device!
CQ I think we may have had the same wait staff on the Liberty.
DeWayne and Geberto? They were wonderful......
Now as to MTD. I am going to give it a try. I can have a true opinion for my next cruise. Yes I have decided I have to take 1 a yr. for medicinal purposes. YEAH. I ask my Dr for a prescription for a cruise a year and she said she would but the insurance co wouldn't honor it........
Happy cruising and stay safe everyone,
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Old October 31st, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranejwr
CQ I think we may have had the same wait staff on the Liberty.
DeWayne and Geberto? They were wonderful......
Now as to MTD. I am going to give it a try. I can have a true opinion for my next cruise. Yes I have decided I have to take 1 a yr. for medicinal purposes. YEAH. I ask my Dr for a prescription for a cruise a year and she said she would but the insurance co wouldn't honor it........
Jeanne
Hi Jeanne,

I did not have DeWayne and Geberto as waiters on my Liberty trips. I do take a picture of my waiters on every single cruise I have taken.

Let's us know how you made out with MTD when you get back as I have a feeling Indy is in my agenda for 2010.

And I agree insurance should cover a cruise each year.
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Oasis Of The Seas x3
Liberty Of The Seas x4
Freedom Of The Seas x3
Navigator Of The Seas x2
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Voyager Of The Seas
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Old October 31st, 2009, 12:50 PM
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when I had my spinal fusion back operation in 2004, I was scheduled for physical therapy for 4 months...I happen to mention to my PT that I had planned to go on the Zuiderdam during that period long before I knew I had to have the back operation, and that the ship had a hydrotherapy pool. My PT and my back Doctor put their heads together with the medical staff at HAL and came up with a treatment plan that placed me in the hydrotherapy pool twice a day for 45 minutes per session under the supervision of the spa's licensed therapist and the ship's doctor...when I returned home I had improved so much that I was cleared to return to work 6 weeks earlier then plan. The insurance company reimbursed me for the cost of the spa and a certain% of my cruise fees
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Old October 31st, 2009, 05:48 PM
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If you could see me now! My mouth has droped down to my chin. I am bowing down to you (altho not to far do to limitations on my body) and I am thinking this is the way to go. Alto PT won't do me much good anymore I am sure glad to hear about this really happening.! Great for you!
Stay safe, healthy & happy
Jeanne
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