I did not reserve this seating on my last Princess cruise because I have always had good experiences with the traditional seating. However... on our first night, our table mates were soooo unsocial (they wouldn't even look at us, let alone converse) that we unanimously decided to switch to the PC dining, could it be any worse?? We talked to the matre' d and he made the change in our seating arrangement. So on the second night we headed to the dining room, I really did not think I would like this new dining idea. I was pleasantly surprised! We met so many more people this way... people that we saw all during the week at activities, shows, on deck, in port, etc. They say there are 2 things you will "miss out" on with this dining option: the singing/dancing waiters and the "personal" service (you will actually have to tell your waiter every night your beverage preference). Both of these things I can easily live without, especially in exchange for a more enjoyable dinner and conversation. As long as you are willing to sit with others, there won't be much of a wait (many said they waited a bit on that first night because everyone heads to the dining rooms right after departure). A table for just 2 may take a little longer to get. I say, give it a try..... thats the only way to know if you will like it or not. I am a convert! From now on, I will reserve PC on Princess ships.
Each Princess ship has been different. On the Golden we enjoyed PC dining. W e would call down in the morning and make a reservation for whatever time we felt like eating. Usually we were seated when we arrived. Same for the Ocean.
On the Grand they would not take reservations and when we would arrive at the dining room they gave us a beeper similiar to the ones used in chain resturants. We waited as long as forty five minutes and the minimum wait was ten minutes. We were not happy on the Grand because the wait caused us to miss some shows we had planned to attend. Next cruise the Mille late seating.
Wow... isn't it strange how different experiences can be?! We never even saw beepers. Only once was there even someone waiting in line in front of us, but we were still seated right away. And we sailed (on the Grand) during spring break with a full ship. I wish I knew what the explaination for such differences was. If any one knows, please enlighten me... Im honestly curious.
We are booked on the Star for next year and although we first choose PC dining, we decided to change it to late seating. We just haven't heard too many good things about it so far. There are some that just love it, but we are really concerned about the waiting times.
I agree that it is strange how things can differ even on the same ship. We were on the Grand on June 23 and were surprised at the wait for a table using PC Dining. Maybe there is a turn over of employees or annual vacations in the dining rooms at certain times of the year. I know that I had been reading about a lounge piano player on the Grand but in June he was on vacation and the substitute was not very good. .
We had personal choice dining when we cruised on the Sea Princess earlier this yr & I'm hooked! We met alot of really cool people this way & got to sit with new friends we met through different activities--just made reservations for the 4 or 6 or 8 of us--or went to the dining room together. Traditional dining isn't too bad--we had good experiences on 2 of our 3 other cruises--but if you're someone who enjoys meeting others, & doesn't want to be stuck w/the same dining time, PC is an awesome choice! Oh, concerning "wait" times: We found out that certain times of the evening were busier than others, so just ask the "wait" staff for the best times. We usually ate around 6:30p--heard 7p did tend to get busy. We also went down W Coast (Mex Riv) like the Star is supposed to do--maybe this makes a difference, too.