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anytime vs set dining time ?


tbtma

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Pro's ? Con's ?

 

Bonnie

 

After our recent cruise on the Breeze where my husband demanded we do the dining at 6 pm, he changed his mind after the cruise about any time dining. We normally eat early so the 6 pm time wasn't a big deal, however we felt rushed to be there right on time. While we enjoyed sitting with the same people during our first cruise, we were very unhappy with our table mates this time. So much so, we asked to be moved to another table. At least with any time dining we wouldn't be with the same people or just ourselves. I'm not sure how that works.

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Anytime Dining is the way to dine for us. Eat whenever you want, with who you want (or by yourself), where you want and with the waiter you want. If you like the same waiter, you can request him every night, or if you prefer somebody new every time, you can do that too. The flexibility makes the cruise much more relaxing.

 

Cons? If you go to the restaurant at peak time, you may need to wait for your table, but in our experience, its never been more than 15 minutes. You'll get a beeper, that way you can walk around or maybe go grab a drink at the atrium bar while you wait.

 

Another huge plus is that, if you time it right, you won't have to put up with the dancing and singing waiters. :D (if you happen to enjoy them, just try to time your arrival time with traditional dining and you'll get a glimpse of them on the lower part of the dining room).

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We have never done the early dining because we do not eat that early at home. We usually do the late dinning because that's the time we usually eat at home after work. Also it gives my wife a dead line to be ready. We have done the anytime dinning when gone with different couples. It was ok but I just like the late dinning set time.

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This will only be my 2nd cruise but I chose any time dining again because I hate to feel tied to a timetable while on holiday....I will eat when I'm hungry but not at specific times....I know it sometimes means we need to wait on a table if we go at peak times, but I just relax in the bar with my little buzzer and wait for a table. No big deal. I also like the fact you may not be sat at the same table every night.....nothing would spoil my cruise more than being stuck with people I don't know and have nothing in common with for the every meal

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I don't think we will ever do set dining times again. We enjoy the freedom of going to eat on our schedule. Sometimes depending on what is going on around the ship/ports, we like to eat early or later and this gives our family the freedom to do so.

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We started doing any time a few cruises ago and never looked back. We liked the flexibility and ability to dine alone as a family or get a table for 2 on our pre-baby cruises. We've never noticed a drop off in service or personalization. It worked out well for us every time. I wouldn't go back to traditional dining.

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Pro's ? Con's ?

 

Bonnie

 

Done them both on 3 different lines ... RCCI, HAL and Carnival and think it just depends on your preference. When we do set dining we do late seating since 6 is too early for us to get ready especially after being in a port. We don't like to rush. We're still always able to catch the shows with no problem. I would say the only con is that I always eat too much and feel so stuffed when going to bed! LOL! We like the flexible dining since we can usually still take our time getting ready, don't have to rush, but also don't have to eat quite so late and can still schedule the shows with no problem. We still get to be seated with others if that's what we choose or by ourselves. They usually ask. We've been seated with the same people on several occasions. Also, we've never had to wait ... maybe 5 minutes once or twice, but we usually get seated right away. We don't have a lot of requests and just sometimes take first available. Guess if I had to choose I would go with the flexible since it works fine for us and we're not tied down to anything ... but if it's not available, we fine with the other. That's just our experience.

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We LOVED anytime dining on our cruise this summer. Here are my pros/cons:

 

Pros: There's no rush to eat...if you're out late for an excursion or just want to lounge little bit longer on deck/your balcony that's fine. You can arrive to dinner anytime between 5:45 and 9:30 (ish). We were a group of three, and always asked for a private 4 top. We only had to wait for a table on the first night, and that wasn't a big deal - we got a buzzer and enjoyed some live music in the lobby...waited maybe 15 minutes. Another pro is you get to meet a different waitstaff every night,however that is also part of my cons..We also like to dine with just our group, so it was nice to be able to request a 4 top and not have to worry about being placed in a large group table.

 

Cons: You don't get the same wait staff every night, which we HAVE liked in the past. However, that being said, we usually gave an extra tip to our assigned waitstaff in the past because we got to know them so well...this was an expense that was saved this trip.

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Pros: eat when you want. Can avoid the tacky singing waiters.

 

Cons: slow good service, food temp is not as hot as with fixed (in our experience).

 

Our first 3 cruises we did ATD because I thought the idea of a set time sounded dreadful. On our 4th we were forced to take early dining (it was a last minute cruise everything else was full). That turned out to be the best thing for us and we've done it every cruise since. (Except NCL obviously)

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

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Since doing at least one of each dining time the following are my preferences:

 

1. Anytime. (Tapi pretty much covered the pros in post# 3)

 

2. Early. We like early better than late because it gives us more time to do activities after dinner.

 

3. Late. Maybe because we became accustomed to earlier dining early on, but late dining made us feel rushed to squeeze in our normal activities after dinner.

 

I do like the continuity of having the same wait team each night so we do make that request when doing Anytime. Although we usually wind up eating about as early as before, we like having the the option of going later if needed.

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We LOVED anytime dining on our cruise this summer. Here are my pros/cons:

 

Pros: There's no rush to eat...if you're out late for an excursion or just want to lounge little bit longer on deck/your balcony that's fine. You can arrive to dinner anytime between 5:45 and 9:30 (ish). We were a group of three, and always asked for a private 4 top. We only had to wait for a table on the first night, and that wasn't a big deal - we got a buzzer and enjoyed some live music in the lobby...waited maybe 15 minutes. Another pro is you get to meet a different waitstaff every night,however that is also part of my cons..We also like to dine with just our group, so it was nice to be able to request a 4 top and not have to worry about being placed in a large group table.

 

Cons: You don't get the same wait staff every night, which we HAVE liked in the past. However, that being said, we usually gave an extra tip to our assigned waitstaff in the past because we got to know them so well...this was an expense that was saved this trip.

 

On the Oasis the last time, we really liked our first waiter and they told us we could request him, so we did. Sometimes you have to wait if you do that, but not always. Worked for us!

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I definitely prefer Anytime Dining over Traditional Dining.

 

Anytime Dining gives you the flexibility to eat whenever you want. You don't have to work your schedule around your set dining. Also, if you enjoyed a certain waitstaff, you can always request to have them again the next night. :)

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Did ATD on our last two cruises. Had early seating on all others. The only bad thing about any time dining is not having the same wait staff every night. Other than that we like it & will continue to do it God willing. ;)

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If you like to go to the shows, you could have an issue with anytime dining depending on when you go to eat, and if you have to wait for a table. You might miss the shows as they are designed around set dining times. Other then that possible issue, anytime dining should work out great

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I am curious to the 'cons' of anytime dining that I have seen.

 

1 - I like to have the same waitstaff

2- I like to eat at XXX time

 

You can have the same waitstaff (We have and others have mentioned they have)

 

saying you like to eat at late dining because of the time or early dining because of the time doesnt make sense. anytime dining gives you the same ability to eat at the time you would normally eat at (If you like to eat at 8pm.. you can eat at 8pm with anytime dining)

 

and if you really want to see the waitstaff dancing.. you can time that as well and see them (we didnt schedule to see them but we did see them because it was their scheduled time )

 

I guess the only con I see that I understand is wanting to be with the same group of people.

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My first 2 cruises were on NCL so anytime was the norm. They call it "Freestyle", then 2 on Carnival with assigned times. Hurrying back to the ship after a day in port to make dinner time, or sitting alone at Formal night because the other couples didn't want to dress up.

I prefer Anytime Dining and always select it now. They ask as you approach if you would like to sit alone or with a group and we have also been allowed to have the waiter of our choice or the area of our choice. Some nights we want to sit by a window to watch a sunset as the lights disappear other nights put us center stage so we can people watch or sing along with our waiters... luv it.

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