anytime dining options

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#1
N.B., Canada
2,097 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I take anytime dining and call each morning to reserve the same waiter and whatever time I want.

But, friends who will soon travel the Baltic (really early a.m. excursions) with Princess want to know if -> at the first of the week, one can make an everynight reservation for the same time and the same waiter for every night? It is really traditional dining but at a different time than traditional offers.

I could not answer the question,but I know someone here will be able to.

Than ks. Bill
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Spearmint
#2
San Francisco Bay Area
6,551 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We've done that on almost every Princess cruise where we like the waiter and his/her assistant. Just talk to the maitre'd as you are leaving the restaurant on the first night ... they will hook you up with a standing reservation for the same waiter at the same time for every night of the cruise if at all possible. Sometimes, we've even made the request for the same table mates and if everyone is in agreement that it is a pleasant dining experience and everyone is willing to show up at that same set time, they will do that for you as well.
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Cruise Raider
#4
Richmond, Virginia
2,399 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Most who select Anytime dining frown on those who make reservations especially those who use it in place of Traditional Dining. But it is up to Princess as usual.
#6
Inland Empire, CA
10,020 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by cruzsnooze
They won't allow reservations during the 5:30 to 7 Pm time frame which is high demand.
Not quite true. We have often been able to make reservations within 30 minutes after the MDR opens. If the MDR opens at 5:30 p.m. it will typically be between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. that reservations will not be allowed. That has even been the case when we have sailed in a full suite. Those reservations are typically held for only 10-15 minutes.

Reservation policies change by ship and Maitre d' with some allowing only one day, some three days and even some the length of the cruise. Our last two cruises have been on the Pacific so it has been more than two years since we have been on a ship with anytime dining so things may have changed.

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Past Cruises: 11/16 - Pacific Princess - Adriatic & Aegean Connoisseur; 12/15 - Pacific Princess - 50th Anniversary Mexican Riviera; 2/15 - Crown Princess - 4 Day Coastal w/Santa Barbara; 09/14 - Regal Princess - Grand Med (Left cruise in Mykonos after 6 days due to family medical issue at home); 03/14 - Grand Princess - 10 Day Mexico from SF; 01/14 - Sapphire Princess - 4 Day Coastal w/Catalina; 06/13 - Emerald Princess - Baltic; 01/13 - Island Princess - Panama Canal; 09/12 - Coral Princess - Pacific Coastal; 09/12 - Golden Princess - Inside Passage (B2B Glacier Bay & Tracy Arm); 09/11 - Sapphire Princess - California Coastal; 04/11 - Sapphire Princess - Mexican Riviera; 08/10 - Coral Princess - Voyage of the Glaciers; 03/10 - Star Princess - Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (The Shortened Post Earthquake Cruise); 02/10 - Star Princess - Buenos Aires to Valparaiso around Cape Horn (the Chilean Earthquake Cruise); 10/09 - Golden Princess - Hawaii; 11/07 - Golden Princess - Mexican Riviera; 02/07 - Grand Princess - Western Caribbean from Galveston; 04/06 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal RT from FLL; 10/04 - Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean Explorer from San Juan' 05/02 - Carnival Fantasy - Bahamas (3 Night)
#7
N.B., Canada
2,097 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Thank you,everyone. I will pass on the information to my friends, and will use it myself on our next cruise. I normally call dining reservations in the morning, but,of course, it makes more sense to find the Maitre d'.
Bill
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Spearmint
#8
Staffordshire
1,804 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Sorry but not think pre booking a table in anytime dining should be allowed it spoils the actual meaning. Currently on Crown and is causing concerns at some times when the queue is big waiting to be seated because of those that have pre booked. If they want a set time with a certain waiter then they should go traditional set time dining and think Princess should stop this practice and will be certainly be going on my end of cruise questionnaire.
#9
Loveland, CO
1,560 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by majortom10
Sorry but not think pre booking a table in anytime dining should be allowed it spoils the actual meaning. Currently on Crown and is causing concerns at some times when the queue is big waiting to be seated because of those that have pre booked. If they want a set time with a certain waiter then they should go traditional set time dining and think Princess should stop this practice and will be certainly be going on my end of cruise questionnaire.
I agree! Used anytime dining for the first time on my last cruise to Alaska last September and went to speciality dining the first night out. On the second night went strolling to my anytime dining location and was told that they couldn't seat me at all after learning I didn't have a reservation??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They sent me to another dining room and had to wait 30 minutes for a table there. Needless to say very disappointed in the system. I agree. If you want to make your own time for traditional dining type dining than just go the traditional route!!!! I really do think Princess should not allow this practice. Oh, on the second night we went at 6:15 and all was "booked" up!!!!!!!

Pooh
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#10
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
5,099 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by majortom10
Sorry but not think pre booking a table in anytime dining should be allowed it spoils the actual meaning. Currently on Crown and is causing concerns at some times when the queue is big waiting to be seated because of those that have pre booked. If they want a set time with a certain waiter then they should go traditional set time dining and think Princess should stop this practice and will be certainly be going on my end of cruise questionnaire.
As you say, Princess should do away with those AT dining reservations. There are some people who arrange for select window side tables for the whole cruise and show up for early dining every night at 6:15. Yes, I know they don't give reservations for that time but I've seen it done many times. They make standing reservations & show up late each night knowing their table will be held.
People show arrive at the DR door, stand in line & get what ever is available. Period.
If they need a certain table and waiter let them sign up for TD.
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#11
Las Vegas
402 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
On our last cruise the maitre'd actually approached us & ask if we'd like to have a standing 6 pm reservation for the same time/table & companions for the remainder of the cruise. We happily accepted as we had been dining with the same two couples for a few nights as we all enjoyed each others company.
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#12
Inland Empire, CA
10,020 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by floridalover5623
As you say, Princess should do away with those AT dining reservations. There are some people who arrange for select window side tables for the whole cruise and show up for early dining every night at 6:15. Yes, I know they don't give reservations for that time but I've seen it done many times. They make standing reservations & show up late each night knowing their table will be held.

People show arrive at the DR door, stand in line & get what ever is available. Period.

If they need a certain table and waiter let them sign up for TD.
I can't speak for others, but a couple of years ago we enjoyed our waitstaff the first night and reserved the same table for the rest of the cruise at 5:45, 15 minutes after the DR opened. They had written the time down as 5:30 and when we showed up at 5:40 the next evening we were just about to lose the reservation. They had one staff member checking all of the reserved tables and if they weren't occupied within 15 minutes of the reservation, the reservation was cancelled. We like to dine early but only eat in the DR a little over half of the time. If we choose TD our seats would go to waste almost half of the time. Even when we have been sailing in a full suite we have been unable to reserve a table in ATD between 6:00 and 7:30 and this was with the DR opening at 5:30. Anyone can call to make reservations so what is the issue?


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Upcoming Cruise: 09/18 - Golden Princess - Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing
Past Cruises: 11/16 - Pacific Princess - Adriatic & Aegean Connoisseur; 12/15 - Pacific Princess - 50th Anniversary Mexican Riviera; 2/15 - Crown Princess - 4 Day Coastal w/Santa Barbara; 09/14 - Regal Princess - Grand Med (Left cruise in Mykonos after 6 days due to family medical issue at home); 03/14 - Grand Princess - 10 Day Mexico from SF; 01/14 - Sapphire Princess - 4 Day Coastal w/Catalina; 06/13 - Emerald Princess - Baltic; 01/13 - Island Princess - Panama Canal; 09/12 - Coral Princess - Pacific Coastal; 09/12 - Golden Princess - Inside Passage (B2B Glacier Bay & Tracy Arm); 09/11 - Sapphire Princess - California Coastal; 04/11 - Sapphire Princess - Mexican Riviera; 08/10 - Coral Princess - Voyage of the Glaciers; 03/10 - Star Princess - Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (The Shortened Post Earthquake Cruise); 02/10 - Star Princess - Buenos Aires to Valparaiso around Cape Horn (the Chilean Earthquake Cruise); 10/09 - Golden Princess - Hawaii; 11/07 - Golden Princess - Mexican Riviera; 02/07 - Grand Princess - Western Caribbean from Galveston; 04/06 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal RT from FLL; 10/04 - Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean Explorer from San Juan' 05/02 - Carnival Fantasy - Bahamas (3 Night)
#13
5,404 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by IECalCruiser
Anyone can call to make reservations so what is the issue?

Some posters want it run like the DMV. If you don't show up at your assigned time,
you have to come back in 6 weeks.

My experience is that if the maitre d' remembers you, or the dining room captain does,
you can ask for a table / waiter / time, and you will be accomodated.
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#14
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
5,099 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by IECalCruiser
Anyone can call to make reservations so what is the issue?


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The issue being that they're holding a table especially for you when someone else could be using it. Why not choose TD & your same table would be waiting every night without having to call?
I'm all for people showing up & then be seated as you arrive.
Some head waiters are more tolerant about waiting for people to arrive.
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#15
Cypress, TX
41 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
We just got back from an Alaskan cruise on the Ruby Princess. We were told that they only reserve 20% of the anytime dining each night. Our longest wait was when we went to the dining room that was open 5:30 - 7:30 at 7:15. The wait would have been 40 minutes. Instead, we went downstairs to the other anytime dining room that opened at 7:30-9:30 and waited 15 minutes for it to open. That's the longest wait we had for dining and we only had reservations 1 night because we were unsure what time we'd be dining and if we would decide to eat something else those nights. Anytime dining worked out perfect for us. We were a family of 6 adults and therefore could decide to all eat together or separately if we weren't all ready or wanted to do different things.
#16
Inland Empire, CA
10,020 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by floridalover5623
The issue being that they're holding a table especially for you when someone else could be using it. Why not choose TD & your same table would be waiting every night without having to call?

I'm all for people showing up & then be seated as you arrive.

Some head waiters are more tolerant about waiting for people to arrive.
As I said in my post, we will only eat in the DR about 4 days out of 7. If we booked TD the space would be unused almost half of the cruise. With ATD reservations we don't reserve the nights we will be in a specialty restaurant, eating at the buffet on one of the theme nights, or just going to the DR after 7:45 if we had a busy day and wanted time to relax before dinner.

Also, when traveling by ourselves we want a table for two. Including dessert, we almost never have more than three courses and we are out of the DR in about an hour. We don't rush but that is all the of the time we need even if we have coffee and dessert. With the same waitstaff every night we eat there, they quickly learn our routine. That should allow them to turn the table two more times rather than just once and free up a coveted table for two during the 6:30 to 6:45 time frame.


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Upcoming Cruise: 09/18 - Golden Princess - Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing
Past Cruises: 11/16 - Pacific Princess - Adriatic & Aegean Connoisseur; 12/15 - Pacific Princess - 50th Anniversary Mexican Riviera; 2/15 - Crown Princess - 4 Day Coastal w/Santa Barbara; 09/14 - Regal Princess - Grand Med (Left cruise in Mykonos after 6 days due to family medical issue at home); 03/14 - Grand Princess - 10 Day Mexico from SF; 01/14 - Sapphire Princess - 4 Day Coastal w/Catalina; 06/13 - Emerald Princess - Baltic; 01/13 - Island Princess - Panama Canal; 09/12 - Coral Princess - Pacific Coastal; 09/12 - Golden Princess - Inside Passage (B2B Glacier Bay & Tracy Arm); 09/11 - Sapphire Princess - California Coastal; 04/11 - Sapphire Princess - Mexican Riviera; 08/10 - Coral Princess - Voyage of the Glaciers; 03/10 - Star Princess - Valparaiso to Buenos Aires (The Shortened Post Earthquake Cruise); 02/10 - Star Princess - Buenos Aires to Valparaiso around Cape Horn (the Chilean Earthquake Cruise); 10/09 - Golden Princess - Hawaii; 11/07 - Golden Princess - Mexican Riviera; 02/07 - Grand Princess - Western Caribbean from Galveston; 04/06 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal RT from FLL; 10/04 - Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean Explorer from San Juan' 05/02 - Carnival Fantasy - Bahamas (3 Night)