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  #1  
Old June 30th, 2007, 05:45 PM
lizi116 lizi116 is offline
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Default Traditional vs anytime dining on Princess

We (me, DH, DS-12, and DD-9)are booked for the traditional early (6:00) dining on the Caribbean Princess. Now after reading up on other dining options, I am wondering if the anytime dining would be more suited for a family. We have never cruised and my travel agent advised me that traditional is nice because you have the same waiter nightly and he gets to know your likes and dislikes.
It sounds like anytime dining may be good if kids are interested in activities going on and you may not be able to make iti to dinner at 6:00.
I would like the kids to eat at least a few dinners together with us.
Is the food the same in both dining options?
What time do shows start to work dinner around?
Any input is greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old June 30th, 2007, 08:29 PM
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Dawn935 Dawn935 is offline
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The 6:00 seating worked well for us. Most nights the shows in the main theatre were at 8:30 & 10:30, but a few nights they began at 7:00 p.m. I believe there were always at least two times for the main shows. Going to the early dinner & shows gives you time later to catch a MUTS or go to a lounge for entertainment and also gives the kids time to go to the kids' clubs or meet up with their friends.
There was one night that we did not eat in the dining room - we wanted to catch a show that began at 7 so went to the buffet. As I recall, the food was pretty much the same on the buffet plus had some additional items.
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  #3  
Old July 1st, 2007, 12:30 AM
mjmalino mjmalino is online now
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We actually just got of the Coral and we had anytime dining. It worked well with the kids. One night, when the kids camp opened for the evening (at 7) they had a "kids only dinner" in the Horizon court. My DH and I were able to go to dinner after we dropped them off. A similar thing happened on the last night. The camp had pajama night and my kids really didn't want to miss any of it, so we took them to the buffet before kids camp and then DH and I enjoyed an adult dinner. Anytime dining gave us flexibility, which was nice for us.
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  #4  
Old July 1st, 2007, 12:32 AM
mjmalino mjmalino is online now
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Sorry. As for the menus, they were the same in both the Traditional and Anytime dining rooms, as were the attire for the evenings.
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  #5  
Old July 1st, 2007, 02:05 AM
Kerry's Girls Kerry's Girls is offline
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With anytime dining, there is often a bit of a wait, which isn't easy with kids. I always want the early seating, but it was fully booked once by the time I booked our cruise, so we were stuck with anytime. The head waiter in one of the anytime dining rooms gave us a standing reservation at 5:30, which was nice because they were always ready for us. It's true about how nice it is for the waiter to know your likes and dislikes. It can really make a difference in your cruise. If you don't feel like getting to the dining room at your set time on a night or two, you can always go to the buffet.

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  #6  
Old July 1st, 2007, 06:43 AM
merela merela is offline
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Default The only difference is really the location of your table....

Initially, when Princess first introduced Anytime Dining, we had 4 different restaurants to choose from. There would be a themed menu from each of the 4 different restaurants, and a standard menu for all Dining room diners. If you had traditional Dining, you will be offer one of the themed menus for each of the nights you would eat in the dining room for traditional seating.

The traditional seating dining room is at the AFT of Level 6 (Grand class ships). The only access to that restaurant is via the AFT elevators or staircase.

Where as the anytime dining dining rooms are at midship level 5 and level 6.

The any time dining concept would work well if they can set people as they come in between 6:30 to 7:30pm, but Princess couldn't really manage that. Plus the staff would suggest that anytime diners use their reservation system to ensure a table at either 6pm or 8:30pm (essentially 1st and 2nd seating).

Because we had children younger than yours when we last cruised on Princess, we still prefered anytime dining because we are not tied down to exactly 6pm for dinner. But we always make anytime dining reservations for 6pm as soon as we board the ship. I definitly like the flexibilily. On a couple of occasion that we had to show up after our reservation (we had cancelled the reservation ahead of our dinner knowing that we would be late), they were able to find us a table within 5 minutes around 7:15pm.

We are heading off to our next cruise tomorrow on Celebrity Infinity and because we booked late, we can only get 2nd seating. We are kind of stuck because my kids wouldn't do well eating at 8:30pm, so we'll need to ask the Maitre D' as soon as we board the ship to see if they can switch us to first seating. I don't like our chances of getting switched, but eating at 8:30pm with our kids is not really an option. We shall see how that works. In that incident, we miss going on the Princess and its any time dining system.
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  #7  
Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:34 PM
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larronry larronry is offline
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Someone posted on one of the ships thread that as soon as the waiter saw their children enter the dining room they brought their chocolate milk to the table. That is something that doesn't happen with anytime dining. I didn't like anytime dining on Princess. I didn't get the little perks that I'm used to getting and it's just the little things that make cruising extra special. One of them is the waiter getting to know what you like. Another is the waiter working for the tip. I find that with anytime dining (Princess & NCL) they just don't work for the tip because they are just getting the standard shared.
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  #8  
Old July 8th, 2007, 02:39 PM
nu2cruises nu2cruises is offline
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We just got back from the Golden Princess and we had late dining at 8 pm. My recommendation on this is if you do traditional dining, the kids evening programs go from 7-10, so if you have late dining, that doesn't work very well. There were two nights where our son wanted to go to the kids program rather than eat dinner, especially since he only ate buttered noodles anyway. We did like the traditional dining because we got to know our wait staff and the kids liked having their chocolate milk waiting for them.
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  #9  
Old July 8th, 2007, 06:25 PM
Workmom2 Workmom2 is offline
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"My recommendation on this is if you do traditional dining, the kids evening programs go from 7-10,"

Hi-
I have a quick question for you as we are sailing the Golden in October- Does the kids club continue after 10pm? I was under the impression we could drop the kids off around 7:30 and then go have dinner and not plan on picking them up until at least 10:30 or 11.
Thanks for your help.
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  #10  
Old July 8th, 2007, 11:22 PM
nu2cruises nu2cruises is offline
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workmom2:
The kids club does end at 10. You can however, if you pre-arrange it, have them stay from 10-12 for $5 per hour, per child. My understanding was they would watch a movie, or do something quiet. We didn't end up doing that, since we were usually pretty tired by that point from our day. We had dinner at 8 and usually weren't done until 9:30. The nice thing is, you do get all the kids events for the week on the day you disembark. Therefore, it does help to plan your activities. There were 2 nights where the kids could eat with the counselors and their friends, and we agreed to this for 1 night. We kind of like eating with our kids in the dining room, especially since it doesn't always work at home, so it is important to us to make this work. We would have missed our dinner completely on 2 nights if we had early seating because we weren't back from our shore excursions in time. Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to answer them.
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  #11  
Old July 8th, 2007, 11:30 PM
Workmom2 Workmom2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nu2cruises View Post
workmom2:
The kids club does end at 10. You can however, if you pre-arrange it, have them stay from 10-12 for $5 per hour, per child. My understanding was they would watch a movie, or do something quiet. We didn't end up doing that, since we were usually pretty tired by that point from our day. We had dinner at 8 and usually weren't done until 9:30. The nice thing is, you do get all the kids events for the week on the day you disembark. Therefore, it does help to plan your activities. There were 2 nights where the kids could eat with the counselors and their friends, and we agreed to this for 1 night. We kind of like eating with our kids in the dining room, especially since it doesn't always work at home, so it is important to us to make this work. We would have missed our dinner completely on 2 nights if we had early seating because we weren't back from our shore excursions in time. Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to answer them.
Thank you so much for your reply! I was getting a bit worried about that. I hear you about eating with the kids- we try to at home as well, it does not always work out that way. Sounds like you enjoyed your cruise!
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  #12  
Old April 8th, 2011, 11:23 PM
wprater1 wprater1 is offline
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Question Princess trying to force anytime dining

I booked Diamond Princess 1 yr in advance for May 2011, 23 day sailing. I requested traditional dining, but when my reservation came I was wait listed and assigned "anytime" dining. My TA promised that Princess would take care of this. I later read on another forum that Princess had converted one of the "anytime" dining rooms to traditional due to need for more traditional space. It is obvious that there was empty space in "anytime" dining rooms.
Even with this extra capacity, I am still waitlisted.
Is there a business reason why Princess is trying to force passengers into "anytime" dining?
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  #13  
Old April 9th, 2011, 09:31 AM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
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I've always done the early seating and it works well for us. One the rare occasion where you come back from the beach and can't get it together by 6- then there are buffet options that work fine.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 12:58 PM
Asil65 Asil65 is offline
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When my dh and I have gone without the kids we did anytime dining and enjoyed the flexibility. On our last cruise we took the kiddoes with us and chose traditional. I found it so much more personal. We adored our waiter and he bent over backwards for the family. I agree with the other posters if you are late getting back to the ship eat at the buffet but make sure you let your waiter know ahead of time.
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  #15  
Old May 16th, 2011, 02:48 PM
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Both times that we sailed on Princess with our family we have chosen Anytime Dining so that we would have the flexibility of changing the time that we dined if we needed to. However, on both occasions we made a standing reservation for 6pm in one of the Anytime dining rooms and requested that we have the same table each night. Our request was accomodated without any problem and we felt that we had the best of both worlds - we had the same waiters every night who knew what we wanted but if we were late getting back to the ship then we could change the time of our dinner.

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  #16  
Old May 24th, 2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Anytime has been great for our family

We've been on many Princess cruises and really prefer Anytime Dining to traditional. One thing you might consider is that when your children do not eat with you, you are free to be seated at larger tables with other adults. In the traditional setting, you would be dining at a partially empty table. I enjoy the opportunity to make a variety of acquaintances onboard which is harder to do when you dine with your children each night.
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  #17  
Old May 25th, 2011, 02:25 PM
cruisingwith4 cruisingwith4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmg1230 View Post
Both times that we sailed on Princess with our family we have chosen Anytime Dining so that we would have the flexibility of changing the time that we dined if we needed to. However, on both occasions we made a standing reservation for 6pm in one of the Anytime dining rooms and requested that we have the same table each night. Our request was accomodated without any problem and we felt that we had the best of both worlds - we had the same waiters every night who knew what we wanted but if we were late getting back to the ship then we could change the time of our dinner.

Lisa
ITA!

When we sailed on the Golden Princess last summer, we had a fantastic experience with Anytime Dining. We traveled with our two small children (3 and 1 at the time) and we were a party of 11.

We requested a standing reservation time, which we were provided. And if for some reason we needed to push it back by a half hour, the moved it for us without issue.

We had the same table and same waiters who were very accomodating. When my 3 year old's pickiness came up on the first night, they specially made her mac & cheese, delivered by the Head Waiter. The Head Waiter was amazing! She ensured our children were fed promptly and spoiled them to bits!

When we sail in a few weeks on the Crown Princess, we requested Anytime Dining as well. We just love the flexibility.
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  #18  
Old May 25th, 2011, 02:52 PM
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AT was great for us and our kids. We showed up like they said "anytime" between 6pm and 7pm and generally had to wait very little. Maybe its what I'm looking for but I didn't find the fact we didn't have the same waiters a big deal. So what if they didn't know my dressing choice, drink choice or my first name or possible other choices. Sometimes variety of service is also nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizi116 View Post
We (me, DH, DS-12, and DD-9)are booked for the traditional early (6:00) dining on the Caribbean Princess. Now after reading up on other dining options, I am wondering if the anytime dining would be more suited for a family. We have never cruised and my travel agent advised me that traditional is nice because you have the same waiter nightly and he gets to know your likes and dislikes.
It sounds like anytime dining may be good if kids are interested in activities going on and you may not be able to make iti to dinner at 6:00.
I would like the kids to eat at least a few dinners together with us.
Is the food the same in both dining options?
What time do shows start to work dinner around?
Any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old August 10th, 2011, 06:30 PM
psbfan01 psbfan01 is offline
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Default New Question - Gratuities

Just to confirm, if you do choose Anytime Dining on Princess, you are not required to pay gratuities in advance. Is that correct?

I know on RRCL and X it is different.

TIA
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  #20  
Old August 11th, 2011, 01:03 AM
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Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wprater1 View Post
I booked Diamond Princess 1 yr in advance for May 2011, 23 day sailing. I requested traditional dining, but when my reservation came I was wait listed and assigned "anytime" dining. My TA promised that Princess would take care of this. I later read on another forum that Princess had converted one of the "anytime" dining rooms to traditional due to need for more traditional space. It is obvious that there was empty space in "anytime" dining rooms.
Even with this extra capacity, I am still waitlisted.
Is there a business reason why Princess is trying to force passengers into "anytime" dining?
We were waitlisted for late traditional as we had booked our December cruise in late October. Didn't clear the waitlist by the time we sailed. Turned out we absolutely hated anytime (for many reasons). There was the third (early early) seating for traditional that was being tried out so I now wished I had checked out to see if we could get one of the early seatings.

The previous cruise my daughter asked if she could just go to the buffet or get pizza or a hot dog by the pool and skip the sit down dinner. Since she works hard at school during the year and we figured it was her vacation too, that was okay with us. We would drop her off at the kids' area and then head to our usual late traditional dinner. She's not a big eater (small meals during the day) so this worked for her.

This last cruise we did have breakfast together, but on sea days, she hanged with her teen friends. Again, okay with us as long as she ate (she was with us in all the ports). Sometimes, we would run into her in the Horizon Court buffet (we ended up eating there about half of the dinners since ATD bugged us).

Princess may call it Personal Choice Dining, but if you get "stuck" with ATD, it's not a choice, is it?
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