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TAD2005

MDR Table assignments

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We always like fixed seating dining, because we usually travel with family members. We have requested from our TA fixed, late seating dining on the Oosterdam for a 21 day cruise, and have received that, but no specific table number.

Looking at the MDR dining room PDF, I can select plenty of 4-tops that would be ideal. Would this be something for the TA or should I contact Ships Services. Is it possible to get a particular table assignment well in advance of departure ? Or is this strictly up to the ship's matre'd ?

Edited by TAD2005

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No, you will not be able to pick your table in advance. It is up to the maitre 'd, and you will find out your assignment when you get on board. It will be on your ship ID card.

Edited by CruiserBruce

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We always like fixed seating dining, because we usually travel with family members. We have requested from our TA fixed, late seating dining on the Oosterdam for a 21 day cruise, and have received that, but no specific table number.

Looking at the MDR dining room PDF, I can select plenty of 4-tops that would be ideal. Would this be something for the TA or should I contact Ships Services. Is it possible to get a particular table assignment well in advance of departure ? Or is this strictly up to the ship's matre'd ?

 

Actually you can request your TA to contact the Ship Dining Room co-ordinator and request a specific table. I have done this in the past. I usually give a couple of options. I have been successful at getting the table I wanted. It doesn't hurt to ask.

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First thing we do when we get on the ship is check where our table assignment is located in the dining room and then check in with the maitre d' in the Explorers Lounge on embarkation day if we want to change it. Never been disappointed.

 

One cruise we had reservations in the Pinnacle the first night, then changed tables after the second night and it never really clicked with our dining stewards on that cruise when we settled in on the third night. I think they never knew who was going to be sitting there or for how long after that rocky start. It was also a shorter cruise.

 

So we now join the crowds that back up on the first night in the main dining room being guided to their tables, or skirt around them if we already know where our table is located. And it has always again gone very smoothly with our dining crew. Never saw such fast service as we did on our last Amsterdam cruise - under one hour easily. Left too much time to kill for us before the 10pm shows so we missed a lot of them as we headed to bed instead after our long days in port. Who thought there would be complaints now about too "fast service"?

Edited by OlsSalt

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So we now join the crowds that back up on the first night in the main dining room being guided to their tables, or skirt around them if we already know where our table is located.

 

I had to laugh at this comment -- we also were 'guaranteed' the same table after a couple of nights & on the 2nd or 3rd night of rude comments 'there they are cutting again', we went to dinner a few minutes after the crowd & had no issues.

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First thing we do when we get on the ship is check where our table assignment is located in the dining room and then check in with the maitre d' in the Explorers Lounge on embarkation day if we want to change it. Never been disappointed.

 

One cruise we had reservations in the Pinnacle the first night, then changed tables after the second night and it never really clicked with our dining stewards on that cruise when we settled in on the third night. I think they never knew who was going to be sitting there or for how long after that rocky start. It was also a shorter cruise.

 

So we now join the crowds that back up on the first night in the main dining room being guided to their tables, or skirt around them if we already know where our table is located. And it has always again gone very smoothly with our dining crew. Never saw such fast service as we did on our last Amsterdam cruise - under one hour easily. Left too much time to kill for us before the 10pm shows so we missed a lot of them as we headed to bed instead after our long days in port. Who thought there would be complaints now about too "fast service"?

How do you check your table assignment? Is the table number in your room when you arrive?

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How do you check your table assignment? Is the table number in your room when you arrive?

 

The table number is printed on your plastic cruise card that you get when you check in after they take your ship ID photo.

 

Then go to the dining room and see if you can find it. Or take it to the maitre d' who has a little stand set up in the Explorer's Lounge (typically at least on the smaller ships). He can track it on the computer and make any changes if possible at that time. Some times they just take our name and then later let us know if they were able to change it.

 

The table numbering is a bit odd and out of order so this is not an easy task to do on your own. If someone is there, they can help you. But if they are using the dining room for the Mariner's Lunch this may not be an option.

 

We always have fixed dining, table for two, which is on the upper dining room floor so that is usually not in use when we embark. Plus it has the advantage of a lot fewer tables up there to poke around looking for ours. We typically like to be at a table for two either on the railing or by a window.

 

Since we are heading up into the Midnight Sun country on our next cruise, an evening table by the window is an extra treat because it is still light. Though sometimes the "evening" sun coming in is so strong they have to close the curtains after all.

 

I think there are posts that have maps of various ship dining table numbers or just do a web search and see what comes up.

Edited by OlsSalt

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Here is a table chart link for the upper dining room on the Noordam - don't know if all Vista ships use the same table numbering but it gives you an idea of what can be available. http://www.wa70.com/hal/dining/ulV.jpg

This is the fixed dining time floor - 5:30pm or 8pm.

 

They have often set up a table for four just for just us two if they have the extra room. With so many more dining options now and any time dining being so popular on the lower dining room floor, we find there are plenty of empty tables at the upper dining room for 8pm fixed dining time - fewer people also makes for speedier service too.

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Actually you can request your TA to contact the Ship Dining Room co-ordinator and request a specific table. I have done this in the past. I usually give a couple of options. I have been successful at getting the table I wanted. It doesn't hurt to ask.

 

Thanks for the advice. On halfacts.com, you can get PDF's of the various ship's MDR's. I will pick out a range of decent tables and send to my TA. Hey... why not, all they can say if no !!

 

We also have been lucky requesting a different table than assigned on our plastic ID card. The matre'd usually comes through. But we always tell him the evening before if we will be absent the next night due to Pinnacle or Canaletto reservations. They appreciate the notice.

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Actually you can request your TA to contact the Ship Dining Room co-ordinator and request a specific table. I have done this in the past. I usually give a couple of options. I have been successful at getting the table I wanted. It doesn't hurt to ask.

 

This advice is absolutely spot on. Pick your top 3 choices and follow Shrimpboat123's suggestions. And, as always - be nice.

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Actually you can request your TA to contact the Ship Dining Room co-ordinator and request a specific table. I have done this in the past. I usually give a couple of options. I have been successful at getting the table I wanted. It doesn't hurt to ask.

 

Just had to say HI Glen. Hope all is well. We were sailing on the Oosterdam, this time last year!

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A little "tip" to the maitre d may get you what you want.

 

No bribe is necessary. Either the table's available (and you get it) or it's not.

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A little "tip" to the maitre d may get you what you want.

 

Not true!

 

No bribe is necessary. Either the table's available (and you get it) or it's not.

 

We agree!

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A little "tip" to the maitre d may get you what you want.

 

Let's hope this does not become common practice on "cashless" HAL ships.

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Actually you can request your TA to contact the Ship Dining Room co-ordinator and request a specific table. I have done this in the past. I usually give a couple of options. I have been successful at getting the table I wanted. It doesn't hurt to ask.

We usually email the ship's coordinator 4 choices, and we've always gotten one of them.

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We usually email the ship's coordinator 4 choices, and we've always gotten one of them.

 

Thanks for all of the advise. You said that you e-mail the ship's dining room coordinator your 4 choices. Do you do that directly, or do you go through your TA ? If you do it directly, where do I get the e-mail address ?

The ship is the Oosterdam.

 

Also, how far out from embarkation day do you make the request ? We are still 200 days out. I assume that may be too far away for them to take my request seriously.

 

Thanks

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Our agent calls HAL at time of final payment. We give a specific area request which covers about 8-10

tables and have been accommodated 3/3.

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It can sometimes be a bit difficult and time consuming to change tables after you board. I have had my TA ask for specific tables by number, and provided a few table numbers as suggestions. Then I follow-up with an email to HAL thru Contact Us to make the identical request. Between the TA request and the email, have had great success in getting tables I like.

 

BTW, if you repeat a cruise from year to year, sometimes you can pre-book your table but you need to find out which asst. maître d does the assignments and go directly to him.

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We'll be on the Westerdam this fall and for the first time in years have fixed dining. Do you have any suggestions for good tables for two - the specific numbers? Thanks in advance.

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We have booked a cruise on the Oosterdam for Feb. 2017 and have requested early fixed seating. If we wanted to request a certain table (3-4 choices) would it be on the upper or lower level of the MDR? Thanks.

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