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Personal choice dining

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Barb

Guest
#1
We've just booked on the Golden Princess for 11/23. Currently, we're wait-listed for late seating. Personal choice dining came along since our last Princess cruise in late 2000 and we're trying to get a handle on how it works since it's available and I think we're pretty far down the wait list, so we may have no choice anyway. From what I've read in the reviews for the Golden, your options include 2 out of the 3 dining rooms, plus the two specialty restaurants (with cover charges), the Horizon Court, room service, etc. Is this correct? And which two of the dining rooms? I also assume that if you choose to eat in any of the dining rooms or specialty restaurants, you must follow the dress guidelines for that evevning. Correct? Since we're used to eating between 7 and 8 pm at home, this may actually work out better, although we've generally enjoyed having the same dining companions every night. What's been people's experience in getting a table in the dining rooms for 7? Thanks so much for helping us understand this new way of dining!

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CutiePatootie

Guest
#2
Although many bemoan the ebbing of "traditional" seating dining, my husband and I love PC dining. Yes, the dress code is the same unless you're at the Horizon Court, I think. We never ate dinner there. Dining at 7 is not a problem, if you're looking for a table of, say eight. A table for two, always a wait. You can, as well, make reservations. We never minded having new dinner companions each night and, in fact, found it much more interesting. Eating with the same people every night is a crap shoot. You can have charming individuals and you can have, well, not so charming. We prefer PC.
 
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BP

Guest
#3
We were on three Princess ships in the last year . Grand , Golden, and Ocean.
On the Golden and Ocean we were able to call the resturant and make a reservation for a specific time. We were usually seated when we arrived for our reservation.
When we called for our reservation we did not always get the time we asked for but usually fifteen minutes on either side of our requested time .
On the Grand this past June they would not take a reservation on the phone. When you showed up at the resturant for dinner you were given a beeper and told about how long before you would be called. Our experience was to double the time that you were told. We waited as long as forty five minutes. Missed shows because of this. Soured us on PC dining though I love the concept when it works.
 
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Barb

Guest
#5
BP, glad to know things worked out pretty well on the Golden. We'll give it a try.
 
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Natalia

Guest
#6
We had reserved the traditional late seating (which was my preference, have always had good exeriences with it) but went back and forth trying to decide if we wanted to try the PC dining. As Im sure you have heard, there were plenty mixed opinions. The first night at our traditional seating, we were really disappointed. Our table mates were, well.... not social at all. Which is fine for them, but not what we had hoped for. Some polite conversation would be nice. We agreed about 10 minutes into dinner that we would see the matre' d on our way out and request to be changed to the PC dining... could it be any worse?? From the next night on, we just loved the PC dining. We met some great people, had great conversation, and it was very relaxed. The service, in my opinion, was just as good (not as personal as the traditional of course, but we didn't care at that point). With this sort of open seating, you will run into more of your table mates more often... at Bingo, at the pool, at shows, in port, etc. To me, this was just more fun, I felt like we became friendly with a bigger variety of people. You will really only miss 2 things in comparison to the traditional seating: your beverage of choice wont be waiting for you (you will have to ask for it each night from a new waiter) and the waiters dont do the little sing/dance shows for you. Both of those things I can easily live without, and in exchange for a more pleasant dining experience, the trade off was WAY worth it! A side note, we never waited for a table. I don't know how we managed that, but its true. Hope your experience with PC dining is as good as ours was.
 
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Natalia

Guest
#7
P.S.

With a party of 7, you may have to make a reservation. Or at least understand, you may have to wait for a table to seat you all together.
 
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Barb

Guest
#8
Natalia

Oops. Meant getting a table at 7, not for 7 <g>. There will just be the 2 of us, but don't think we'll be trying to get a table for 2, which seem to be hard to come by anyway. Thanks for sharing your good experiences! I'm really looking forward to PC dining and now regret that Celebrity doesn't have it when we cruise with them in Jan.!

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Golden Princess 11/23/02
Summit 1/20/03
 
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Natalia

Guest
#9
Barb,

You will find that you will eat at different times with this sort of casual dining idea. People always ask me what time we went down for dinner, how we avoided the rush. But I honestly can't answer that, I think it varried between 6 and 8:30 pm. Now, if you are the first couple seated at a table, they will fill the table up (only takes a minute or two) before the waiter begins taking dinner orders. But they will bring your drinks, as usual. This way all of the meals are served together, just like you experience in the traditional setting. If there is an evening when you desire privacy, there are other options. Have room service deliver your dinner to you cabin or try one of the alternative dining rooms. We weren't really interested in paying for dinner when didn't have to, so I can't comment on the alternative restaurants. However, just about everyone says they are terrific. Enjoy your cruise, and please write a review when you return!
 
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Barb

Guest
#10
Natalia, don't know if we'll try the alternative restaurants either for the same reason. I'll try to write a review--this is our first time on such a large ship so I'm sure it'll be a new experience.

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