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oldtrout

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  1. Just returned from a fabulous cruise on Royal Princess, Quebec to NY with a few days stay before and after. The weather was a bit iffy but, everything was great apart from the onboard dining arrangements. The restaurant operated from 5.00 to 9.30. People were queuing up to get in at 5.00. The first time we arrived to eat at 6.15, we were told that for any size table, there was a 1 hour plus wait (with a buzzer which went off hen they had a table for you. This allowed you to go and wait anywhere on the ship). I asked when would be a good time to get a table without any delay and was advised 7.30. So the next night we turned up just after this time only to be told that the wait for any size table was 45 minutes. I mentioned to the maitre de that this was not how this dining arrangement was supposed to work only to be told that for this particular cruise everyone was turning up early. His advise was to come later. One being we went at 7.00 knowing we would have to wait.. we were lucky as we were handed the last buzzer. The people after us had to wait in,one for a buzzer. He he was right. 8.00 onwards you could walk right in and get a table for two if required. However my wife and I like to eat when as and when suits us hence our request for anytime dining. We ate in the dining room only half the time and the food was generally very good. On those occasions though we did see that the problem wasn’t that there was not enough tables. The problem was down to too few waiter staff to clear up and make available those tables guests had vacated. There were plenty of alternative dining arrangements. The buffet offered a fabulous selection each evening. The pizzas at Alfredo’s restaurant (free) on the 6th floor were great as was Sabattinis a more formal Italian dining experience at extra cost. In summary food good and varied but be aware of thinking anytime dining gives you the option to eat when you want .
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