Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
wpas1

MDR reservations

Recommended Posts

I have cruised on other lines that have anytime dining but unsure of NCL.  From what I have read it seems like I need to make reservations ahead of time or plan on an hour or more wait.   On another line we just walked up to the MDR and we’re seat in 5 minutes or less. So my question is, do I need to make reservations before boarding?  (Kind of defeats freestyle)  We will be on the Gem.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, wpas1 said:

I have cruised on other lines that have anytime dining but unsure of NCL.  From what I have read it seems like I need to make reservations ahead of time or plan on an hour or more wait.   On another line we just walked up to the MDR and we’re seat in 5 minutes or less. So my question is, do I need to make reservations before boarding?  (Kind of defeats freestyle)  We will be on the Gem.  

We have cruised NCL quite a bit lately and we rarely have to wait unless we ask for a specific table ...we always get a table for two and we are seated right away ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Getaway over Thanksgiving week and the cruise was sold out.  The only day we made reservations for the MDR was on Thanksgiving evening.  Otherwise we never had reservations and never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, wpas1 said:

I have cruised on other lines that have anytime dining but unsure of NCL.  From what I have read it seems like I need to make reservations ahead of time or plan on an hour or more wait.   On another line we just walked up to the MDR and we’re seat in 5 minutes or less. So my question is, do I need to make reservations before boarding?  (Kind of defeats freestyle)  We will be on the Gem.  

Like RCI MyTime dining, you can make reservations or just show up. Both will have a short wait (not 1 hour). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were long waits for both main dining rooms on the first night of my cruise on the Gem in October, from New York. At the Grand Pacific, they were giving out pagers and estimating 30 minutes. At Magenta they were saying to come back in 30 minutes to get a pager. I went to O'Sheehans, no waiting there. I don't think that the same thing happened after the first evening.

 

I think that two things contributed to this. First, many people stayed on deck during sailaway until after passing the Statue of Liberty, me included, and then went straight to the MDRs. This is probably specific to New York departures. Second, the Grand Pacific dining room on the Gem had too many round tables for six and not enough tables for two. At breakfast they dealt with this by asking parties of one, two, or three to share tables , which I liked (although it can work out badly).

 

In a similar situation, if I planned to visit any of the specialty restaurants, I might book one for the first night.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We eat regularly in the "scruffy" MDR at about 5.45, so my wife can get to the 7.15 or 7.30 show, at a table for two and the only wait is usually to get to the front of the short queue.  When we leave (c 6.45) there is either a decent queue or they are giving out pagers.

 

It is not normal to reserve a table for 2 in a MDR on NCL as they have so many, all the way round the outer wall on some ships and more in the middle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The length of your wait depends on the size of your party. Even with reservations it seems that everyone gets put in the same queue, but those with reservations go to the top of it. If you have party of four or less, waits of over 15 minutes are pretty unusual. Larger parties have longer waits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We make MDR reservations because it keeps us paced to catch shows and keeps us from spending too long in the bar.  It’s fascinating how the pre-dinner cocktail can turn into three and then wings at O’Sheehans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

last year on Star we had a suite that allowed us to make reservations for MDR.  evidently that wasn't the case for others in reg rooms as people in line were upset when we walked thru them to the podium to get seated . explained we had reservations and a few thought we were lying as they said YOU CANT MAKE RESERVATIONS!  It was a bit tense,  they should have a sign up for suite people, so there is not the confusion and confrontation.

Edited by tanjan4evr
wrong ship

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/25/2018 at 11:16 PM, tanjan4evr said:

last year on Star we had a suite that allowed us to make reservations for MDR.  evidently that wasn't the case for others in reg rooms as people in line were upset when we walked thru them to the podium to get seated . explained we had reservations and a few thought we were lying as they said YOU CANT MAKE RESERVATIONS!  It was a bit tense,  they should have a sign up for suite people, so there is not the confusion and confrontation.

 

Anyone can make reservations for the MDR. I assume that all those people just didn’t realise that they could have done so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We always make reservations for MDRs, I hate the queues, we book before we sail and have balcony room only

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My next cruise will be the 30th with NCL and my wife and I have never had to make MDR reservations.   We may have had to wait for a short amount of time on the rare occasion, but generally have learned to avoid trying to arrive at a MDR at peak time.  This means we often go at 5:30 when they open or after 7:45 when it starts to slow down again.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...