changing dining room arrangements

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#1
San Ramon CA
137 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I have a confirmed 6 pm res. for dinner but another couple did a last minute sign up and are on a wait list. We want to sit together and suspect I will need to talk to the head waiter to make the change. I would like to clear this up as soon as I board but there is more than one dining room. Where do I start? Is this easy to do?
#2
Brooksville FL
3,545 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
The MaitreD will be set up in a location specified once onboard.
You did not mention the ship ?
Seems you have traditional dining assigned .
One dining room is all traditional , and most of the time early traditional dining overflow is assigned to one of the anytime dining rooms .

I would switch along with the friends to Anytime , that way you are guaranteed to eat together instead of waiting onboard to hope to assign your friends (which if successful , may not occur the first night anyway).
#4
24 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Actually I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I could use some guidance on Princess dining. Earlier this year we went with "Anytime" on our first Princess trip because we had two late excursions. But I have some health-related eating quirks that are a drag to explain over and over again, and within a day we found a waitstaff we really liked in one of the combination seated/anytime rooms. So we just tried to time things in a way that would put us in his section, and it did work, but we had to wait a while several times. This next trip I went with early seated dining because it looks as if we'll be back from all but one excursion by that seating. But what happens on the late excursion day? Are we banished to the buffet?
#5
Raleigh, N.C.
11,922 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
How long before your cruise and what number are your friends on the waitlist? We languished at 80 on the waitlist for our cruise last month and then shot up to 54 and languished there a long time. We finally cleared the waitlist and had confirmed second seating about a week before the cruise.

Make sure your bookings are linked. And then if you don't get assigned to the same table, visit the maître d' the first afternoon.
#6
St. Lucia, West Indies
3,372 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by PatriciaMay
Actually I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I could use some guidance on Princess dining. Earlier this year we went with "Anytime" on our first Princess trip because we had two late excursions. But I have some health-related eating quirks that are a drag to explain over and over again, and within a day we found a waitstaff we really liked in one of the combination seated/anytime rooms. So we just tried to time things in a way that would put us in his section, and it did work, but we had to wait a while several times. This next trip I went with early seated dining because it looks as if we'll be back from all but one excursion by that seating. But what happens on the late excursion day? Are we banished to the buffet?
Yes, if you're not ready for dinner at your traditional set time, or within 15 minutes as any later is quite rude to wait staff, any table mates, etc - you'll need to dine elsewhere, ie buffet, which can be quite great for diner, or International Cafe or room sebaceous or Trident Grill with their dinner menu (one of the best kept secrets on Princess for some reason), or pizza or specialty restaurants, if they have seating and you want to pay the surcharge..
#7
4,336 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by PatriciaMay
Actually I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I could use some guidance on Princess dining. Earlier this year we went with "Anytime" on our first Princess trip because we had two late excursions. But I have some health-related eating quirks that are a drag to explain over and over again, and within a day we found a waitstaff we really liked in one of the combination seated/anytime rooms. So we just tried to time things in a way that would put us in his section, and it did work, but we had to wait a while several times. This next trip I went with early seated dining because it looks as if we'll be back from all but one excursion by that seating. But what happens on the late excursion day? Are we banished to the buffet?
I would not call it being "banished to the buffet." In fact, almost half of my port days on my next cruise have port times that end at or after seating time for my early traditional seating. I much prefer to maximize my time in the port vs rush back to the ship just for some food
#8
1,178 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
"Banished???"
As mentioned, there are many other options onboard... Anything at the Buffett, Pizza, or Steak and Lobster!!!

Well, I would have almost called it 'banished to the Buffet' on our last cruise on the Coral.
The Buffet was that bad.
Food and service in the MDR were excellent! Buffet was very very poor.
#9
24 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by frugaltravel
I would not call it being "banished to the buffet." In fact, almost half of my port days on my next cruise have port times that end at or after seating time for my early traditional seating. I much prefer to maximize my time in the port vs rush back to the ship just for some food
I guess what I'm trying to ask is: Well, on our last cruise, the most popular excursions ran way beyond the 8:30 seating on the final night, so Anytime AND Traditional diners were lined up together that night. We didn't care. No one made a stink. It was the busiest night, for sure, but there were no insane waits. Lots of Traditional people were seated in new locations because they were so late. And since that was the only night we wouldn't have made Traditional Dining, we regretted the choice to do Anytime. We're faced with the same situation, and we're currently Traditional. But we're not jerks, so if what we saw is considered an outbreak of rudeness, we'll gladly do a specialty that night.

(Oh, and I'm a lung transplant recipient, so I have to be careful with buffets. Which sucks, because they had good stuff on CB.)

Call us freaks, but on CB, we enjoyed the dining room more than the two specialty restaurants we tried. Not a matter a money -- we just liked the variety in the dining rooms.
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#10
Chico, California
9,238 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by PatriciaMay
Call us freaks, but on CB, we enjoyed the dining room more than the two specialty restaurants we tried. Not a matter a money -- we just liked the variety in the dining rooms.
I guess we must be freaks as well. We also enjoy eating in MDR more than the specialty dining venues.
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#11
Raleigh, N.C.
11,922 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
On several nights on our British isles cruise last month all the dining rooms were open seating due to late sailing times. We had second seating traditional and managed to eat in our waiters' section three out of the four nights but not at our assigned table.
#12
Williamsburg, VA
374 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by PatriciaMay
I guess what I'm trying to ask is: Well, on our last cruise, the most popular excursions ran way beyond the 8:30 seating on the final night, so Anytime AND Traditional diners were lined up together that night. We didn't care. No one made a stink. It was the busiest night, for sure, but there were no insane waits. Lots of Traditional people were seated in new locations because they were so late. And since that was the only night we wouldn't have made Traditional Dining, we regretted the choice to do Anytime. We're faced with the same situation, and we're currently Traditional. But we're not jerks, so if what we saw is considered an outbreak of rudeness, we'll gladly do a specialty that night.
You are fine. Upon embarkation, line up and get your table zrranged
(Oh, and I'm a lung transplant recipient, so I have to be careful with buffets. Which sucks, because they had good stuff on CB.)

Call us freaks, but on CB, we enjoyed the dining room more than the two specialty restaurants we tried. Not a matter a money -- we just liked the variety in the dining rooms.
You are fine. Upon embarkation, line up and get your table arranged with the wait staff. For the day that you will be late with your excursion, let your waiter and assistant know that you are not going to be available for dinner the following night. When you return from the late excursion, go to the ATD and let them know that you have a traditional dining table but would like to be seated. I will guarantee you that lots of tables will be available and lots of people will likewise be delighted to share a table and their day with you.
#13
Oakville, ON
1,658 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by tailspintom
You are fine. Upon embarkation, line up and get your table arranged with the wait staff. For the day that you will be late with your excursion, let your waiter and assistant know that you are not going to be available for dinner the following night. When you return from the late excursion, go to the ATD and let them know that you have a traditional dining table but would like to be seated. I will guarantee you that lots of tables will be available and lots of people will likewise be delighted to share a table and their day with you.
Agree. Important to let your regular waiter know when you won't be there. In fact, when you show up for the later time after excursion, I would let the host/hostess know you had advised your TD waiter. I would think they would appreciate your thoughtfulness.
OTOH if it's busy and they can't seat you for some reason, you have the choice to wait or head elsewhere.
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#14
Seattle, WA
1,788 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by PatriciaMay
Actually I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I could use some guidance on Princess dining. Earlier this year we went with "Anytime" on our first Princess trip because we had two late excursions. But I have some health-related eating quirks that are a drag to explain over and over again, and within a day we found a waitstaff we really liked in one of the combination seated/anytime rooms. So we just tried to time things in a way that would put us in his section, and it did work, but we had to wait a while several times. This next trip I went with early seated dining because it looks as if we'll be back from all but one excursion by that seating. But what happens on the late excursion day? Are we banished to the buffet?
Here's what worked for us: be gracious, welcoming, and "easy" on your waiters, particularly on the first night. On the second night, mention your excursion situation, and ask if there's anything they can do. If they like you a lot (and perhaps some greenbacks will help), they'll pre-fill the water glasses (a signal that your table is claimed), and arrange with the host crew so they don't seat someone there too close to your intended time. Don't brag about it or make a big scene; essentially make it easy for them to help you AND not get in trouble, and they'll work with you. No promises it'll work, but we've experienced that once or twice.
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Repositioning Ruby Princess (VAN-SEA) 5/5/17-5/6/17

Mexican Riviera (LA RT) Ruby Princess 2/11/17-2/18/17

Repositioning Crown Princess (SEA-VAN) 9/19/15-9/20/15
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Alaska Northbound Sapphire Princess 8/11-18/12
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#15
Oakville, ON
1,658 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by peety3
Here's what worked for us: be gracious, welcoming, and "easy" on your waiters, particularly on the first night. On the second night, mention your excursion situation, and ask if there's anything they can do. If they like you a lot (and perhaps some greenbacks will help), they'll pre-fill the water glasses (a signal that your table is claimed), and arrange with the host crew so they don't seat someone there too close to your intended time. Don't brag about it or make a big scene; essentially make it easy for them to help you AND not get in trouble, and they'll work with you. No promises it'll work, but we've experienced that once or twice.
Unless the ship is going to be pretty empty as in an example above where the poster said everything went officially AT for the one night, I have to disagree. I can see this if you are going to be a little more than the 15 minute late "allowance", but it is just not fair if out on excursion to 8:00pm (for example) and try to get table held out of your seating time. Princess has lots of competent wait staff and I wouldn't mind the change for a night - variety is the spice of life.
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#17
Long Island, NY
750 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Not trying to steal this thread but I am traveling with 4 other couples one of them being my elderly parents, We all have traditional dining for this trip. Due to mobility issues a table for 2 would work best for Mom & Dad do you think it will be possible for my parents to sit at a table for 2 next to a table for 8? Should all the reservations be linked?
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#18
Seattle, WA
1,788 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by steelers36
Unless the ship is going to be pretty empty as in an example above where the poster said everything went officially AT for the one night, I have to disagree. I can see this if you are going to be a little more than the 15 minute late "allowance", but it is just not fair if out on excursion to 8:00pm (for example) and try to get table held out of your seating time. Princess has lots of competent wait staff and I wouldn't mind the change for a night - variety is the spice of life.
This example was explicitly from a night that was all-anytime dining. If the ship goes all-ATD for a night and your TD assignment is the 6/aft MDR, you're fine trying this, as few ATDers even know how to get to that MDR.
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Prior:

Repositioning Ruby Princess (VAN-SEA) 5/5/17-5/6/17

Mexican Riviera (LA RT) Ruby Princess 2/11/17-2/18/17

Repositioning Crown Princess (SEA-VAN) 9/19/15-9/20/15
Alaska (Seattle RT) Ruby Princess 8/9/15-8/16/15
Alaska Sampler (YVR-KTN-SEA) Ruby Princess 4/29/15-5/3/15
Alaska (Seattle RT) Grand Princess 7/20-27/14
Alaska Northbound Sapphire Princess 8/11-18/12
Alaska Northbound Coral Princess 9/4-11/10
#19
Oakville, ON
1,658 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by peety3
This example was explicitly from a night that was all-anytime dining. If the ship goes all-ATD for a night and your TD assignment is the 6/aft MDR, you're fine trying this, as few ATDers even know how to get to that MDR.
Yes, I understand, if it's pre-announced. I can see that might happen on our up-coming, but I don't recall being on a cruise where it was announced all AT/open. But sometimes early dining has been quieter for sure.

Having been in both areas, I prefer the mid-ship DR's for the location and convenience aspect.
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#20
San Francisco
3,711 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by PatriciaMay
Actually I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I could use some guidance on Princess dining. Earlier this year we went with "Anytime" on our first Princess trip because we had two late excursions. But I have some health-related eating quirks that are a drag to explain over and over again, and within a day we found a waitstaff we really liked in one of the combination seated/anytime rooms. So we just tried to time things in a way that would put us in his section, and it did work, but we had to wait a while several times. This next trip I went with early seated dining because it looks as if we'll be back from all but one excursion by that seating. But what happens on the late excursion day? Are we banished to the buffet?
If I feel that I might not be there the next day for dinner I tell the wait staff plus mention it to my table mates. In otherwords I tell them to go ahead & order if we're not there on time.

I always want to eat as soon as I can because I like to go to the first show & get a good seat.

Tom😎
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