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Please Tell Me About Anytime Dining

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by tw1nk1es, May 13, 2008.

  1. tw1nk1es

    tw1nk1es Guest

    [size=medium]We booked this cruise with a very short wait time so we are not expecting to have traditional dining as we would prefer (we are wait listed). Anyway, we have not been on a ship which had anytime dining. What can we do to make this process as painless as possible? DH is not particularly patient so I would appreciate any tips you could offer. I'm not really sure how the whole thing works! Thanks![/size]
  2. suer182

    suer182 Guest

    The evening dress code applies to the anytime dinning room too. I never had a problem with anytime dining. You show up when you want to eat and they seat you. Depending on your sailing, might depend on when the dinning room is busy and a possible wait time.

    You will have different tablemates and wait staff every night. Unless you ask for their table. If you meet people and want to eat with them go to the dinning room together.

    The food is the same.

    Generally after 8:00 is a bit slower. On my sailings to make a reservation the time must be after 8:00.

    Once you get on board you might be able to make a standing reservation.

    IMO, if those that booked traditional dining stayed out of the anytime dinning room, wait time would be minimal.
  3. George C

    George C Guest

    I also now on a wait list for second seating , about # 35 (even though I booked several months ago ) . From talking to people I also heard you could get a table for 2 if you want on anytime amd could possibly get same table for the week if you tip. We will check on this 1st thing when we board next week.
  4. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    If you really want traditional dining be sure to see the maitre'd when you first board. You may be accommodated....especially if you are not a large party.

    To mitigate any wait times at anytime dining go to dinner before 6pm or after 8pm. Your chances of being seated immediately will be greater. Also, it helps if you are flexible with you seating arrangement. If you insist on a table for 2 your wait might be longer. If you are willing to share a table you may be seated sooner. If you are told there is a wait you will be given a pager. Take it to the nearest bar, order a drink and relax for a few minutes. It won't be long until you are called for dinner.

    I have heard of people who find waitstaff they particularly like and make a standing reservation to eat at that table each evening. I prefer anytime dining because it means I don't have to be at the dining room at a particular time.

    Enjoy your cruise and don't stress about the anytime dining.
  5. juggles

    juggles Guest

    we did anytime dining and found it much more convenient, especially the nights we wanted to go to the theatre or wath the movies.
    Also the buffet bars are open if the restaurants are busy.
  6. linnie

    linnie Guest

    I would take anytime dinning. We did not on the last princess cruise and was sorry. We had late seating and sometimes we did not get finished with dinner in time to see the shows. We are going on Princess in August and have taken any time dinning. also is you take early sometimes when you get back from the islands you and to rush and if you take late then you have to stay up late even if you do not want to. any time dinning is the way to go.
  7. maw

    maw Guest

    Jo we have done anytime dining first night we liked our table and the waiters so as we left we requested this time(early) the rest of cruise and had the same waiter and table and the coule we met first night asked to continue there too. Just a table for 4 very nice Paw culd hear more of our converstaion.
  8. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Interesting. I've never had anytime dining, but have heard about long waits, no relationship with your waiter, etc. I'm on the Ruby in December (I cancelled my Celebrity booking after their new no smoking policy) and am waitlisted, so will probably end up with anytime. I really like having the same waiter and companions. I always thought that was part of a cruise's ambience. But I guess the McDonalds generation likes flexibility. :)P)

    I've maitained freindships for many years with tablemates on long sailings. And my waiters always remember me from cruise to cruise. I'll miss Celebrity, but things change. Guess this will be a different and interesting experience. I'm keeping an open mind. Worse case scenario, I'll order dinner in my cabin.

  9. serene56

    serene56 Guest

    we had a very hard time making the switch to princess because of all the rumrs we were hearing.

    but figured we would take our first Princess cruise and make our own decisions.

    We never waited for a dinner. We went between 6:30 - 7:30 most evening.
    Always got a table for two without a wait.

    I am there for my honey and myself. THe waiter does his/her job and we have a good time. I dont need the same waiter all week- Trying new stuff is what its all about.

    Our first Princess cruise was by far the best cruise we have ever taken- this cruise wow'ed us from moment one til we got off the ship.

    Everything about that cruise was perfect== we booked the Crown for February 2009.
  10. Suzy Cruisy

    Suzy Cruisy Guest

    [size=small]I just wanted to add something that hasn't been mentioned specifically. If you wish, you can make reservations for the same night up until 5pm, or, as has been mentioned, make them for the whole week.

    Also mentioned is it's best to eat early or late. I strongly suggest this. Most who try Anytime for the first time, try to show up at 7pm and may encounter a wait and then grumble because Princess advertises that you can show up when you want. You have to just keep in mind that every table in the Anytime dining rooms has to 'turn' twice, just like the traditional dining room. The dining room will open, it will slowly fill, then those who show up at prime middle 7pm hour might encounter a wait as the first to arrive our dining. Then, as they clear out, around 8-8:30 there is a lot of space again.

    Just keep all this in mind and you'll have a wonderful time![/size]

  11. jbest

    jbest Guest

    Princess has so many evening activities compared to other lines, Anytime Dining is a blessing, because you can plan your meal around your evening activities.
  12. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    I like to have a cocktail hour at 5pm, and dinner around 6:30....so i switched to anytime
  13. Web

    Web Guest

    We prefer the traditional dining and are wait listed for it. DH admitted why he preferred assigned time to anytime . . . He said it gives ME a deadline! . . . otherwise I thing time to get ready is unlimited!
  14. mdrees44

    mdrees44 Guest

    I know this may be a gaffe, but if you're have Traditional Late Seating, does this mean you miss all the shows? Can you go to the Anytime dining rooms on ocassion? On RCI, they had two shows, early and late. What are your experiences?
  15. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Yes, always two shows. Although the later show tends to be more raucous, (the comedians, etc.), which I always miss! Darn. I'm stuck with Anytime. And yes, you can change, but it is asked you notify the matre di the day before. I'll probably be eating with the 80 year olds at 5pm. I understand after 7pm, it gets into a 'waiting game'
  16. mdrees44

    mdrees44 Guest

    Too funny, Connie -- thanks! You've been VERY helpful!
  17. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    =yeah.. with traditional Fixed Seating Dining.. as per Connie's advice.. ALWAYS please notify your Maitre'D. the night before..if at all possible... as in that if you have a seating for 4,6,8, or 10 folks..they will "wait dinner" for a MINIMUM of 20 minutes to allow for "late arrivals"..for service to THE ENTIRE TABLE>>> and then after a couple not showing ...THEN proceed with dinner; for the remaining diners.... they have always done this as a courtesy at Princess so as to allow for the ENTIRE Table to dine together.. and not be courses " at odds".. so if you KNOW you will NOT be showing please do inform the wait staff the night before.or even as late as lunch THAT DAY!!..
    and as on vacations ship happens;.... and an unplanned delay *can happen* and co- diners .. are usually gracious about it..
    but if a couple just "blows off the table".. and not shows for night after night..folks then as is their right get to feeling testy.. it's a nice courtesy thing..:grin..
    Happy Princess sailing!!...:)..Joanne
  18. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Hey Joanne,

    I've often been at large tables where couples "blow off" the dinner without telling anyone. But they are usually inexperienced young cruisers, and most dont' show up on formal nights. When the table "gels", it's always wonderful. Then we all know whos not coming, etc. as we've become friends and discuss our plans at dinner.

    My next sailing should be one for the books. They are posting on that "other" board, there are close to 400 "over 40" singles aboard, however, to read their posts you would think they were teenagers. And some of the comments are about how "women should be wearing hot pantyhose and dresses if they expect to be asked to dance", have left me so turned off and offended, I'll be sure to avoid them. The worst part is the women who respond in desperation "I'll dance with you!!!" "I'll dress hot"...:eek:

    They chased/scared away the older couples, and anyone with class who were posting. Now the singles group has taken over the board. They even make up cards with their cabin numbers on them...LOL. Yeesh.:help

    Funny, I thought I would ENJOY having an over 40 singles group aboard to hang out with, but I think I'll stick with the married folks or women who left their husbands home. Can't wait to see if I like Princess Joanne...only 6 weeks. I'll let ya know!! :)
  19. Brian B

    Brian B Guest

    We have taken 6 cruises the most recent one on the Sapphire Princess in September. The first 5 cruises we opted for traditional dining with the last one we tried "anytime dining". Anytime dining isn't quite what it implies. It should be called "Anytime Dining With a Reservation". The first couple of evenings we showed up at the Sante Fe dining room and it was extremely busy and confusing. We ended up waiting 45 minutes and noticed people going past us who had reservations. From that point forward we booked reservations at the four dining rooms and did not encounter any further delays. You can make a reservation 48 hours in advance from about 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm (I think maybe it closes earlier). As soon as you get on the ship start booking your dining reservations. We are taking another cruise in February and have opted for anytime dining (with reservations)
  20. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Jeesh, what a nightmare. I'm still hoping to luck out and get early seating (I'm on the waitlist). If not, I'll eat really early and beat the rush. The older I get, the earlier "dinner time" gets...:chef

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