Dinner Time on River Cruises

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#1
Marysville, WA
65 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We have been on two river cruises with Viking. Dinner was served on both at 7 pm.

I was wondering if that is the standard time for other river cruise lines?

Thanks for any information you care to share.
#3
Tasmania, Australia
657 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Avalon was 7pm as well
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#6
Northern California
216 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
AMA dinnertime was nominally 7pm as well. There were some instances where it was a bit earlier (I think 6:30 was the earliest) or later (7:45 was the latest), to work around late afternoon or evening events.
#7
Florida
20,077 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
7 pm is the norm ...
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#8
Mississauga, Canada
475 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I thought it was open seating, come whenever you liked? Not a set time? We are later eaters, so would probably go towards the end of service.
#9
Tasmania, Australia
657 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by TravelBugM
I thought it was open seating, come whenever you liked? Not a set time? We are later eaters, so would probably go towards the end of service.
Not on Avalon, everyone is virtually served together, we were in the dining room till about 9.30 or a bit later. The only night that it wasnt at 7, was in Vienna when people were going on the concert tour.
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#11
Mississauga, Canada
475 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Okay, got it! So if you want certain seats, I guess you need to get there early! Does it become a scene like a line of cattle?

What happens if you arrive 7:15 or 7:30?
#12
Kentucky
236 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by TravelBugM
Okay, got it! So if you want certain seats, I guess you need to get there early! Does it become a scene like a line of cattle?

What happens if you arrive 7:15 or 7:30?
There's so few passengers that seating for dinner takes just a few minutes. There's no big line since everyone selects their own table and seats themselves.
On Uniworld, the cruise director would have a little update and short discussion about the following day (timing of arrivals, tours, etc) in the lounge around 6:15 or 6:30. Then dinner followed in the dining room.

If you arrive late and are sitting with others, the only downside is to the waitstaff trying to coordinate pacing of the meal for 2 or more parties at one table and having to remain on duty longer than normal--though we've never been run out of the dining room after dinner and have sat and talked with other passengers.
#13
6,446 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by TravelBugM
Okay, got it! So if you want certain seats, I guess you need to get there early! Does it become a scene like a line of cattle?

What happens if you arrive 7:15 or 7:30?
We ended up sitting with the same group of people most evenings (as did most other people), so even if one table isn't available, we were able to find another table so we were all able to sit together. One evening we were the first ones in our group to enter the dining room, but someone else was at the table we'd been using, so we just found another table. The nice thing about river cruising is there aren't that many people on the boat, so there's no crowd or cattle lines like there tend to be on regular cruises. We also had a night or two where other people joined our group (one night we were left without a place to sit), so we joined another table. With it being such a small group of people, you get to know most everyone. It's really fun.
#14
Bluffton,SC
3,955 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by twinkletoes4445
We ended up sitting with the same group of people most evenings (as did most other people), so even if one table isn't available, we were able to find another table so we were all able to sit together. One evening we were the first ones in our group to enter the dining room, but someone else was at the table we'd been using, so we just found another table. The nice thing about river cruising is there aren't that many people on the boat, so there's no crowd or cattle lines like there tend to be on regular cruises. We also had a night or two where other people joined our group (one night we were left without a place to sit), so we joined another table. With it being such a small group of people, you get to know most everyone. It's really fun.
You mean there were no " good nuts" on your cruise?
Terri
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#15
San Francisco, CA
1,082 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
ON our AmaCello Rhine cruise last week, dinner time ranged from 6:30 to 7:30, if I recall correctly; it varied each day because of the daily itineraries.

For seating, it was never a problem. We preferred tables for 2. There were 9 of them and we'd cycle around the dining room. We always found one for each meal (including breakfast & lunch, that was probably 19 seatings allowing for lunches off the ship)
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#16
UK
623 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Interesting: so advice please. One of the things we greatly disliked about our only river cruise (Viking) was the fixed time for dinner. With a full ship, there was a line for dinner 10 minutes before that time, and a mad rush to grab tables for the "open" seating.

All our other cruises have been at sea, with truly open seating and flexible times - typically you can show up between 7 and 9.30 and have your choice of seating (actually be shown to a table by the staff).

Is there any European river cruise line that offers any flexibility of dinner time? Many thanks for your feedback.
#17
6,446 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by tbrein


You mean there were no " good nuts" on your cruise?
Terri
No, not a nut in sight! lol We had a lovely time. Everyone was so friendly. It was such a pleasant experience. I am really looking forward to hearing about your upcoming cruise.
#18
San Francisco, CA
1,082 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by jgibbs
Interesting: so advice please. One of the things we greatly disliked about our only river cruise (Viking) was the fixed time for dinner. With a full ship, there was a line for dinner 10 minutes before that time, and a mad rush to grab tables for the "open" seating.

All our other cruises have been at sea, with truly open seating and flexible times - typically you can show up between 7 and 9.30 and have your choice of seating (actually be shown to a table by the staff).

Is there any European river cruise line that offers any flexibility of dinner time? Many thanks for your feedback.
Considering the small numbers on a River Cruise, I suspect that they all expect you to arrive within the first 15-20 minutes of dinner time. (Breakfast and lunch are flexible).

I had heard complaints about crowding on Viking, but on AMA there wasn't a big line-up (perhaps a dozen or so when they opened the doors) and it seemed that everyone was always satisfactorily seated as they arrived.
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2018
Queen Mary 2 - RT crossing + Bruges - 2017, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015,
Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015, AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009,
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008, Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002,
Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001, Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997, Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989, Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
#19
Bluffton,SC
3,955 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Can anyone comment on the dinner time on the Tauck cruises?
Thanks,
Terri
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July 2007-MS Zuiderdam- Alaska-7 Days
September 2008-MS Zuiderdam- Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
January 2009-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-10 Days
January 2010-MS Maasdam-Panama Canal Transit-14 Days
January 2011-MS Maasdam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
September 2011-MS Nieuw Amsterdam-Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
March 2012-MS Veendam-South America and Inca Explorer-31 Days
January 2013-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-21 Days
July 2013-Ms Treasures-Budapest to Amsterdam-14 Days
January 2015-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
July 2015-MS Zuiderdam-Adriatic and Mediterranean Dream-22 Days
January 2016-SeaDream 1- Marigot to Barbados-7 Days
August 2016-Oceania Insignia-Dover to Rome-Artisans and Explorers-19 Days
December 2016-MS Rotterdam-Eastern Caribbean-10 Days

March 2017-Oceania Riviera-Caribbean Hideaways-10 Days
#20
San Francisco, CA
1,082 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
To be honest, I find it hard to imagine many situations where I'd have a need to eat more than 15 minutes after dinner time. In almost every situation, we'd be sailing anyway, and it's not as if there would be other conflicting activities aboard.

I'd assume that if you were to arrive more than 20 minutes after the start of service, you'd be seated with a table who are likely already eating. Your choice might be limited by availability, but I'm certain that the staff would do their utmost to accommodate you. (I'd expect a polite reminder of the request to arrive within 20 minutes might be proffered).

However, if you are planning on arriving late, I'm certain that alternative arrangements could be made - just with advance notice.
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2018
Queen Mary 2 - RT crossing + Bruges - 2017, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015,
Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015, AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009,
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008, Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002,
Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001, Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997, Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989, Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987