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Anytime dining on Carnival Horizon

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We are trying to decide if I want to do “anytime” but we have a family of 13. Three are ages one,three and four.

Out of our four cabins we have two suites which I read have priority seating in anytime.

I do not like early because cruise is in July and sun out till 8:30.

I do not want 8:30 because it’s a bit late for the children. Does anyone have feedback on anytime with our group size?

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My preference is always YTD, but especially with kids. You don't have to worry about getting everyone ready early and out the door for early seating, or making the kids wait for late seating.

 

BTW, there is no "priority seating" for YTD, even for suite guests (although Platinum/Diamond have a special entrance which bypasses the check-in desk). What they get is "VIFP Diamond guests and guests traveling in deluxe suite accommodations are guaranteed their dining in the Main Dining Room." This means that they are guaranteed their choice of dining selection (early, late, or YTD).

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We also enjoy dining later on cruises to enjoy more of the daytime activities and not feel rushed getting ready. And like you, we have typically had larger groups which steered me away from Anytime dining. Even when traveling with our little one (14 mos. & 3 years old on her two cruises), we still stuck with late dining. It took our daughter a day or so to adjust, but it really was no problem for her (plus she slept later in the mornings and didn't get us up at 6:30-7:00 AM on our vacay!). We would usually order her a sandwich from room service in the early evening while we were getting ready for dinner. That would hold her over until we got seated at dinner. After the first day, the wait staff always made sure to bring her drink and a fruit plate right away. That would keep her entertained until her main meal came out. I also took her stroller with us to dinner. Once she was done eating, we would pull her stroller up to the table and she would crawl in typically go to sleep. It worked very well for us!

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We are trying to decide if I want to do “anytime” but we have a family of 13. Three are ages one,three and four.

Out of our four cabins we have two suites which I read have priority seating in anytime.

I do not like early because cruise is in July and sun out till 8:30.

I do not want 8:30 because it’s a bit late for the children. Does anyone have feedback on anytime with our group size?

 

 

with a family that big I would take tradional. Only for the fact that every one will know what time dinner is. and no one is spending time looking for someone to determine what time we are eating tonight. For anytime dining- you will need to check in on deck 5 and they will give you a beeper. (about 7:15 is when the waits all start too so you might want to plan accordingly)

 

with 13 people you will not be all at one table. Very few tables for 10 you also do not want to be squeezed in to 2 tables of 6 either-- so make sure you check that.

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If the Horizon's ATD MDR is set up the same as the Vista there is only 1 table for 12, about 8 tables for 10, and like 16 tables for 6. Without platinum+ status check-in is on mid-ship deck 5 and the MDR is decks 3 and 4 aft. If they don't have tables to accommodate your party you will wait with a buzzer in hand, the wait could be 5 minutes or over an hour. It just depends on when your fellow passengers want dinner (6:30-7:30 seems the busiest for ATD). It's no different than going to a land restaurant that does not accept reservations.

 

As for your dilemma between the ATD, 6pm early seating, and the 8:15pm late seating that's up to you so here's some points to consider.

-The kids camp for the 3 and 4 year old is generally closed between 5:30/6 till 7:30/8, then at 10 starts charging for night owl child care.

-The buffet starts dinner choices around 5:30, the kids can be given a mini meal to hold them over so you can continue to enjoy outdoor activities until it's time to dress for late dinner. (Also note Guy's burgers will be open at 11am till 6pm, the deli counter until operates 11am-11pm, and pizza is 24 hours if you want to go earlier than 5:30.)

-Or still involving the buffet the pre-school kids can have a complete meal with their camp counselors (sign-ups in the camp ocean) then are taken directly to the camp as a group after they finish eating.

- Early dinner is generally finished by 7:15 at the latest on casual nights, and by 7:45 on Elegant Evenings, that would still give you time afterwards to see the sunset or do a few more outdoor activities.

- If the camp are open and the kids are done with their dinner, it's not uncommon for parents to excuse themselves and take the children to the activities there, then return for coffee/after dinner drinks and dessert.

-Because the main theater doubles as the dance club late seating passengers that want to see the show are expected to attend the 7/7:30 productions, and those that eat early have their show at 8:30/9.

-The family friendly comedy is usually at 7:30/8pm with both comics, with the adult comedy being done individually at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30.

 

Regardless of what your group chooses double check all the cabins are linked for dining purposes, call your PVP/TA, or the CS# on your booking confirmation (just being a group booking does not guarantee you will sit together at traditional dining nor provide notice to the ATD hostess of a large group). Once linked the Maitre'D will see that the non-suite cabins are tied to a suite and may bump those on a waitlist to the same confirmed dinnertime as those in the suite.

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Also, you all have to be there in order to be seated with YTD.

 

Clarification ... all those who wish to dine together have to be there to be seated. For example, if there are 13 in your party and 5 want to eat at 6:00 and 8 want to eat at 8:00, each group can be seated when they arrive, they do not all have to dine at the same time.

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There will be 9 of us and they still waitlisted my father and mother-in-law. This will be our 20th anniversary and I booked everyone more than a year out and they still waitlisted them. This will be their first cruise and they are afraid they will be placed at a different table. We have the early seating. I can imagine with a party of 13 that the Anytime Dining would not be a good idea. Carnival did assure me that since everyone's dining reservations were linked, we would be at the same table but suggested that I check with the maitre'd when we board.

Good luck!

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There will be 9 of us and they still waitlisted my father and mother-in-law. This will be our 20th anniversary and I booked everyone more than a year out and they still waitlisted them. This will be their first cruise and they are afraid they will be placed at a different table. We have the early seating. I can imagine with a party of 13 that the Anytime Dining would not be a good idea. Carnival did assure me that since everyone's dining reservations were linked, we would be at the same table but suggested that I check with the maitre'd when we board.

Good luck!

 

 

a year out and they were waitlisted?

make sure all those booking numbers are linked together.

 

and I would be calling to make sure they are listed with my cruise party. (EVERY week)

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a year out and they were waitlisted?

make sure all those booking numbers are linked together.

 

and I would be calling to make sure they are listed with my cruise party. (EVERY week)

I was surprised that they were waitlisted. This will be my 21st cruise and I have personally known other groups of 8-12 people and none were waitlisted. I didn't go through Carnival to book our cruise, used a TA that I have been using for 10 years. She said for me to check the reservations every week to see if they made a change. Their reservation states "Early Dining-6:00pm (waitlisted). My TA has been on a European vacation and so I called Carnival and was told by a young lady that she couldn't do anything and if the reservation said the same thing at cruise time, speak with the maitre'd. I plan on doing that but still can't understand why they were waitlisted that far out.

Elaine

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Oh, I forgot to say that the reservations were linked. I plan on letting my TA know what I was told by Carnival when she returns from her vacation.

 

Elaine

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Oh, I forgot to say that the reservations were linked. I plan on letting my TA know what I was told by Carnival when she returns from her vacation.

 

Elaine

 

 

does your agent work for an agency-- does someone take care of her business when she is away? speak to that person and let them know this is not acceptable and you want them to be assigned with you-- NOT on a wait list

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Clarification ... all those who wish to dine together have to be there to be seated. For example, if there are 13 in your party and 5 want to eat at 6:00 and 8 want to eat at 8:00, each group can be seated when they arrive, they do not all have to dine at the same time.

 

 

if they all want to sit together-- 5 can not go and request a table for 10 and the others can just join them in a little bit will not work. All people who want to dine together must sign in together

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I would choose early or late and try to get a table of 10 with an adjacent table of 4 so all 13 of you can be accommodated. And remember to light a fire under the butts of the procrastinators in your group.

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I did YTD with a group of 16 on the Breeze and we had no problems. We always got a pager and had maybe a 10-15 minute wait, a little longer on the first formal night. We had the same wait staff except once and we didn't even put in a request so I would assume that if we had we would have had them again or our wait would have been longer.

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