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Anytime Dining


bigeagle12
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Will be on the Crown in March and have never done anytime on Princess.  How does it work?

 

When does it start?

 Can you reserve a table for same time every night?

Sounds like one dining room open early and then another after early traditional dining is done.

Any suggestions .. we like to eat early between 5:30 and 6. 

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12 minutes ago, bigeagle12 said:

Will be on the Crown in March and have never done anytime on Princess.  How does it work?

When does it start?

 Can you reserve a table for same time every night?

You show up and request either size table for your party or first aailable with others. 

Learned long ago to wait until your aboard and get correct info.

This is ship specific. Either you can set for the entire week OR required to call every day. The reserving for the entire week is problematic since you will find you want to do specialty or buffet depending on menu. 12 of our 13 have been "anytime", longest we ever waited was 20 minutes. 

Edited by jlp20
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2 hours ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Reserving a table for the same time every night kinda defeats the purpose of AT Dining.

Why not book traditional?

Yeah I wish they wouldn’t take bookings seems to defeat the whole idea, but I guess some don’t want to eat as early as 1st sitting or as late as 2nd but want the same time each night.

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We were on the Ruby Princess a couple of weeks ago and did AT dining.  I really loved it!  We were able to dine according to the shows we wanted to see.  It was just my hubby and I, so some nights we sat with a larger group if we didn't have time to wait for a table.  The other few times we requested a table for just the two of us only took about 10 minutes of waiting.  But we don't usually eat until 1930, so I'm not sure about your preferred dining time.  

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What I really dislike about Princess allowing standing reservations in the AT DR is that some people want a select seat (ie window) & it hogs that table for the whole cruise. 

They should make people go to the DR when they're ready to sit down & give all the passengers equal opportunity for any specific table.

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Anytime dining works best for groups of four or less in our experience.  Our last cruise a few weeks ago on the Ruby we had a group of eight so we changed to late traditional which was 7:30pm.  It worked well for us that trip,  had a nice table in the corner and it was quiet and our servers were fantastic.  Waiting in the anytime line and tellling them "group of eight" would result in a long wait most likely.  Also be aware that on the first night of your cruise anytime dining is usually a "cluster floc" if you know what I mean.  It's always a good idea to do specialty dining the first night to avoid the mess.  By the second night things will smooth out,  and you can always call the dining line at 8am to reserve your time for that night.

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While I agree with others about not allowing a set reservation for the cruise the statement that you can get the same thing with TD is erroneous. TD offers two set times - neither of which suits me at all. I despise the early seating as it's just too dang early. The late seating means you miss all the evening activities as they are scheduled during dining time. I had no issue with TD before the recent changes to the times but now I just don't like the seating time at all. Our next 3 cruises are booked as ATD. We won't be trying to schedule a fixed reservation time.

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We have only been able to reserve for the day on which we called and were not allowed the book for prime-time seating between 5-7:30PM. We have experienced some incredibly long waits but it depends on the ship, itinerary & time of year (holiday periods are not easy). We have opted for TD on our next two cruises that have an abundance of sea days.  For the port days, we'll just go to the buffet, Crown Grill or something else if we have a schedule conflict with an excursion that returns late.

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We just got off crown yesterday

we love anytime dining 

because we don’t want the same time each night

we very much enjoyed being able to make a reservation - table for 2-

each morning via dine line. We just select  time that complements our plans for the day!

 

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5 minutes ago, cmerun said:

We just got off crown yesterday

we love anytime dining 

because we don’t want the same time each night

we very much enjoyed being able to make a reservation - table for 2-

each morning via dine line. We just select  time that complements our plans for the day!

 

could you book a specific time - say 6:30  or were you given the options of say 5:30 or 7:30 ?

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14 hours ago, voljeep said:

could you book a specific time - say 6:30  or were you given the options of say 5:30 or 7:30 ?

I have never seen 6:30 as being an option. There would be to many people tying up the DR to eat at that time so they just don't do it. Most ships cutoff reservations at around 6 PM & don't start taking them until after 7:30. 

 

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I’ve only been able to reserve a table in Anytime by calling the dine line that morning, and even then it is not a specific table, just a request.   We did traditional dining  for the first time in years this past cruise as we had a party of 7, and we were very pleased.  

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Traditional dining does work for many people but it always late for us (even first seating) & drags on. Anytime early is best for us without any reservations.

We do eat early & leave to get seats for the early show.

First come, first served and first seated for the show. It also lets us attend any later events where if you eat later you might not get a chance to attend them.

Like I said, it's not for everyone. 

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On 2/25/2019 at 9:27 PM, bigeagle12 said:

Will be on the Crown in March and have never done anytime on Princess.  How does it work?

 

When does it start?

 Can you reserve a table for same time every night?

Sounds like one dining room open early and then another after early traditional dining is done.

Any suggestions .. we like to eat early between 5:30 and 6. 

Anytime is just that....come when ready.  Both times we were on the Crown it was easy to get seated whenever. Just don't get p o'd if you have to wait a few minutes.  Go in with an open mind. Some days you will be busy others not so. You may not want to eat at 5 or 6 so just go with the flow.  Sit and have a cocktail, people watch in the atrium, have a glass of wine! Remember there are no clocks or people telling you what to do or when (unless you are on a tour of course).  On Princess, the wine bar offers free apps if you buy wine and with the International cafe (there is no charge, just in case you are a first timer with Princess) next to it, sometimes we don't go to dinner, all is good!

And yes you may make a reservation or choose to sit with others. Talk to people it's fun!

PS...if you haven't already , try the Crown Grill, it's well worth it.

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2 hours ago, johnfas said:

Anytime is just that....come when ready.  Both times we were on the Crown it was easy to get seated whenever. Just don't get p o'd if you have to wait a few minutes.  Go in with an open mind. Some days you will be busy others not so. You may not want to eat at 5 or 6 so just go with the flow.  Sit and have a cocktail, people watch in the atrium, have a glass of wine! Remember there are no clocks or people telling you what to do or when (unless you are on a tour of course).  On Princess, the wine bar offers free apps if you buy wine and with the International cafe (there is no charge, just in case you are a first timer with Princess) next to it, sometimes we don't go to dinner, all is good!

And yes you may make a reservation or choose to sit with others. Talk to people it's fun!

PS...if you haven't already , try the Crown Grill, it's well worth it.

You mentioned the bar offering free apps if you buy wine.  Do you have to buy something additional outside of the beverage package to get the apps?  

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1 hour ago, HiStrung1 said:

You mentioned the bar offering free apps if you buy wine.  Do you have to buy something additional outside of the beverage package to get the apps?  

 

If you have wine in Vines they give you tapas even if you get the wine from having the beverage package. We enjoyed it a number of times.

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1 hour ago, HiStrung1 said:

You mentioned the bar offering free apps if you buy wine.  Do you have to buy something additional outside of the beverage package to get the apps?  

No.  With the PBP you can go to Vines, order a glass of wine and they will give you the free tapas,  We have done it when we had the PBP as part of a promotion (love S'n'S).

 

We started doing ATD when they first offered it several years ago and stayed with it for quite  few years.  However in the last two years we have switched back to TD first the early seating and then the late seating after they moved the early TD up into the middle of the afternoon.  So far we have had a 2 top which we requested so that we don't have to wait for late pax and slow eaters.  We like the TD for the same table and wait staff who anticipate our usual requests without having to ask all the time.  We maybe go to a few shows each cruise and going to the late show may cut out evening activities but seats are generally easy to find.  

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2 hours ago, HiStrung1 said:

You mentioned the bar offering free apps if you buy wine.  Do you have to buy something additional outside of the beverage package to get the apps?  

You really don't need the beverage package at all.  Actually unless you drink very heavily or constantly I have found it's just better to buy as you go.  You can also bring 2 bottles of wine on board. No corkage fee if opened in your room.  We like to enjoy a glass pre dinner and sometimes will carry a glass to dinner.  Also if buying wine do the bottle. They will hold it for you to enjoy the next day or just bring it back to your room...of course when we were younger we never had any left...lol

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On 2/25/2019 at 11:34 PM, GUT2407 said:

Yeah I wish they wouldn’t take bookings seems to defeat the whole idea, but I guess some don’t want to eat as early as 1st sitting or as late as 2nd but want the same time each night.

The problem is that generally ... it winds up just like traditional because ... people show op early and fill up the dining room ... and then no one else can be seated until after the room empties ... all about the same time ...

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