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pyropoodle

2 Hour Meals in MDR---too long?

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I agree. I think it’s completely ridiculous how much of a rush people are in these days. And it’s definitely an American thing. We were in Europe last spring and the difference is night and day. You have to chase down the waiters for the check because they are used to people sitting down, eating and having good conversations for hours. We Americans seem to forget how to have a conversation with people.  Everyone is too much in a rush to get to the next thing. Or too busy scrutinizing what other people are wearing instead of actually enjoying the company of the people they are dining with. It’s sad. 

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1 minute ago, teknoge3k said:

 

Yea definitely tell them when you sit down what your preference is. Some people like spending their evening sitting at a table in the MDR. It's not that we're on a schedule, we just don't enjoy twiddling our thumbs for an hour and a half. We want to go out and do things. 

you should post this over in the Hacks thread.  this might be very useful to some first time cruisers who want to do everything and find that spending such a long time in the dining room is cutting into their social life.   It's a good idea. 

 

i'm usually never in a hurry, and I do ATD now, but some folks (especially the ones complaining about the loooooong dinners ) might find it useful. 

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2 minutes ago, shof515 said:

what makes the dinning room service even more LONGER is the dancing the waiter has to do...as much as i enjoy it, i rather get my meal completed 15 minutes earlier if they did not had to the showtime

I view the dancing waiters as part of the experience.  Its so much fun when I'm with new folks who have never seen it.  They really get a kick out of it.  I wish they would change the song a little more often, but I guess its a lot to learn a routine.  But I cruise with Carnival at least once a year if not twice and it does get old at times.

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2 minutes ago, bakersdozen12 said:

they are used to people sitting down, eating and having good conversations for hours. We Americans seem to forget how to have a conversation with people.  

...and this is one of the reasons that as soon as i get on the ship, i take one selfie of me with my DOD and then my cell phone gets locked up in Safe Prison for the rest of the cruise.   I like to actively spend time with whomever i'm cruising with.   This time around, it'll be nice to have 2 uninterrupted hours at the dinner table with my husband and without my kiddos.  they'll be blissfully happy in camp carnival, and i'll be sipping my after dinner cappuccino. 

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8 minutes ago, shof515 said:

what makes the dinning room service even more LONGER is the dancing the waiter has to do...as much as i enjoy it, i rather get my meal completed 15 minutes earlier if they did not had to the showtime

 

 

it's been a minute since i've cruised, but do they do this every night or just a couple of nights on the cruise?  i think elegant night they do it (because nothing says 'elegant' better than waiters dancing on the wait stations)..and some other night.   it's been too long between cruises and i'm getting older, so my memory isn't what it used to be. i just thought it was 2 or 3 nights (on a 7 day cruise) 

Edited by pyropoodle

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3 minutes ago, pyropoodle said:

 

 

it's been a minute since i've cruised, but do they do this every night or just a couple of nights on the cruise?  i think elegant night they do it (because nothing says 'elegant' better than waiters dancing on the wait stations)..and some other night.   it's been too long between cruises and i'm getting older, so my memory isn't what it used to be. i just thought it was 2 or 3 nights (on a 7 day cruise) 

I think your memory is fine.  I only recall 2 nights myself.  But I could be wrong.  However, it clearly is not every night.

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We opt for late dining, and generally end the meal by 9:45, so an average of 1 and 1/2 hours for dinner.  Sometimes we sit with 3 or 4 other couples, usually everyone is on time, and the meal goes well.  Lately, as a Diamond, we've been seated at a 2 top, so those meals go a little quicker.

 

There have been times we got so involved with chatting with interesting dinner mates that we were the last ones leaving the MDR.  Only one cruise was dinner made late by slow service all week.

 

There's usually singing/dancing waitstaff 3 times during a 7 or 8 day cruise, the 1st elegant night, one night mid cruise, and the last night.  Since I've cruised Carnival 40 times, the singing and dancing seems old hat, but since most other diners enjoy it, I kind of just tune it out.  Doesn't seem to make the dinner last any longer though.

 

At some point in the future, Carnival will probably charter a fast food franchise to take over MDR service, and guests can use the Carnival app to pre-order their cheeseburgers to go.  No dress code necessary, you can be in and out in less then 5 minutes.

Edited by evandbob

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4 hours ago, pyropoodle said:

 

 

I guess I mean in general, any main dining room, not just Carnival's MDR.  are there any that get you in and out in under an hour?

we were on the dream 3 weeks ago and had early dining. had a table for 4. the longest we were in the dining room for any of the meals was 1 hour and 15 minutes. our wait staff were great. and we thought the food was very good.

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I don’t want to get too far off topic but I did not cruise with Carnival until 2009 and we definitely had crumbs removed with the little metal scrapers on our first several cruises so my guess is until at least 2013. Does it ruin my experience to not have it?  No. But I do admit I miss the little touches like that and the napkin being placed in my lap. Still, while it is different than it used to be, I do enjoy the MDR. 

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15 hours ago, fyree39 said:

I don't mind a longish meal, but there was such a long time between courses that we'd all kind of run out of conversational steam.

 

Exactly, I don't want a rushed dinner, I do enjoy having a nice sit down meal with my DH, and we enjoy the little show the waiters do...But there's only so long that we can sit at a dining table before we are ready to get on with the rest of the evening and find something else to do. 

 

Fortunately, the only time we have had a problem with the meal taking way too long is elegant night, the other nights we can usually can be in and out in less than an hour and a half.  So for that and a few other reasons, we have now opted to do an alternate dining option for elegant nights.  

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I've never had a 2h dinner on Carnival.  1 1/4 - 1 1/2 was pretty much the standard, an hour if we asked them to expedite due to other plans. 

 

 

While I agree it is not fine dining it is certainly a step above the common casual restaurants on land both in service, atmosphere and the overall experience.  I certainly don't need an experience  to be the finest of the finest to have an enjoyable dinner.  Plus, I'm on vacation so I'm not in a big hurry to get home to get kids in bed or finish up the laundry.

Edited by ray98

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17 hours ago, bury me at sea said:

I agree with the OP.  I chose my sailing mates because I enjoy them.  We may go our separate ways throughout the day, but dinner in the MDR is when we share our day and delight in a leisurely meal, wine, good conversation, and generally an after dinner drink.

 

There are other options for people who are in a hurry.

This is our experience to a Tee!!!  We enjoy our company and never really pay attention to how long it takes......Dude, we're on vacation!!!!

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I see an opportunity here for Carnival to open another dining option..the "it takes longer than the lido, but less time than MDR, not an upcharge like the steakhouse, but  in at 7 out at 8" dinner option.   :)

 

 

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15 hours ago, bakersdozen12 said:

I agree. I think it’s completely ridiculous how much of a rush people are in these days. And it’s definitely an American thing. We were in Europe last spring and the difference is night and day. You have to chase down the waiters for the check because they are used to people sitting down, eating and having good conversations for hours. We Americans seem to forget how to have a conversation with people.  Everyone is too much in a rush to get to the next thing. Or too busy scrutinizing what other people are wearing instead of actually enjoying the company of the people they are dining with. It’s sad. 

 

My wife and I have hours of good conversation all the time. We do that at home or in land restaurants. My cruise time is better spent doing things I can only do in a cruise. That might be different if we were at a table with others and the ships didn’t have as much to do.

Edited by wytygr8

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1 hour ago, pyropoodle said:

I see an opportunity here for Carnival to open another dining option..the "it takes longer than the lido, but less time than MDR, not an upcharge like the steakhouse, but  in at 7 out at 8" dinner option.   🙂

 

 

 

Make it the exact same food as the MDR but cafeteria style (grabbing a plate from the line instead of serving oneself directly). This can also fix the dress code squabbles.

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3 minutes ago, wytygr8 said:

 

My wife and I have hours of good conversation all the time. We do that at home or in land restaurants. My cruise time is better spent doing things I can only do in a cruise. That might be different if we were at a table with others and the ships didn’t have as much to do.

Same here.  My wife and I talk all the time.  On a cruise, we are together pretty much the entire week as well, so by dinner time, there is not a ton to discuss.   We go out to dinner allot (probably more than we should), and it is not really that much of a difference on a cruise.  We would rather go do the things we cannot do on land - be outside in the sun near the ocean.

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15 hours ago, pyropoodle said:

because nothing says 'elegant' better than waiters dancing on the wait stations

 

Not to mention people flinging the germs on their napkin everywhere. 🤢 

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3 minutes ago, wytygr8 said:

 

Make it the exact same food as the MDR but cafeteria style (grabbing a plate from the line instead of serving oneself directly). This can also fix the dress code squabbles.

While the food in the MDR is not fine dining, it is not the same as from a buffet line.  You just cannot get the same food from a buffet.  

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12 minutes ago, wytygr8 said:

 

My wife and I have hours of good conversation all the time. We do that at home or in land restaurants. My cruise time is better spent doing things I can only do in a cruise. That might be different if we were at a table with others and the ships didn’t have as much to do.

it could be that we are just in different stages of life.  we have 2 small children, so we don't get out of the house very often. we've never even had a babysitter, so forget date night or going out to dinner.  the cruise is our opportunity to sit down and enjoy a meal and take our time doing it.

 

when our kids get older, my thoughts on this might change.   something that we can't do on land but that we can do on a cruise is enjoy our looooong meal.   there is something for everyone.

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16 hours ago, shof515 said:

what makes the dinning room service even more LONGER is the dancing the waiter has to do...as much as i enjoy it, i rather get my meal completed 15 minutes earlier if they did not had to the showtime

I’m so glad they don’t participate in this nonsense on other cruise lines.

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We choose the anytime dining and typically go when they first open. We use the first night as a guide to see if the wait team is a good fit for us. I’m one of the ones that prefers to not have a 2 hour dinner as we have comedy and various other activities that we enjoy attending. If we like the servers the first night we always aks for them on the second night. There’s also nothing wrong with letting your server know that you have something you’d like to attend. We are lucky as many nights we skip dessert which means we get to leave before “showtime” begins. 

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3 hours ago, rukkian said:

While the food in the MDR is not fine dining, it is not the same as from a buffet line.  You just cannot get the same food from a buffet.  

 

I know. That’s why I said a cafeteria instead of a buffet.

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3 hours ago, pyropoodle said:

it could be that we are just in different stages of life.  we have 2 small children, so we don't get out of the house very often. we've never even had a babysitter, so forget date night or going out to dinner.  the cruise is our opportunity to sit down and enjoy a meal and take our time doing it.

 

when our kids get older, my thoughts on this might change.   something that we can't do on land but that we can do on a cruise is enjoy our looooong meal.   there is something for everyone.

 

Also have a small child. That’s what babysitters are for, though we certainly don’t get out as much as we’d like.

 

Anyway, I was simply stating my position, not making a blanket statement of truth. 🙂

Edited by wytygr8

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13 minutes ago, wytygr8 said:

 

Also have a small child. That’s what babysitters are for, though we certainly don’t get out as much as we’d like.

 

Anyway, I was simply stating my position, not making a blanket statement of truth. 🙂

we've never had a babysitter..we live in NYC, so I trust no one.   I mean, NO ONE.  we don't have family here either.

 

glad you have someone you trust with your precious cargo, but we just don't, so until they can microwave their own hot pockets, I don't foresee any hot dates in the future.  this is why 2 hours of dining in the MDR suits us just fine.   like I said, there is something for everyone in the cruising world.

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36 minutes ago, wytygr8 said:

 

I know. That’s why I said a cafeteria instead of a buffet.

I guess I am not sure what you mean by cafeteria, then.  My idea of a cafeteria is a buffet that somebody serves you, but maybe not all you can eat?  I still envision most (all?) of the food sitting in large steam pans waiting to be served.    I have seen some quick service stations in a cafeteria with a few short order items (basically counter service, instead of a waiter), but I have a feeling that might be even more of a cluster in my opinion.  

 

I am personally okay with how things are now.  If people want to have the 1.5-2 hour dinners, they can.  If they want to go quicker, then can do anytime dining and get a table to themselves.  If they want it even quicker, they can go the buffet.  Options are good imo.

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