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jeno

Anytime Dining

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Posted (edited)

We are going on a 10 day day cruise on the Crown Princess.  We are trying to decide between Anytime Dining and Traditional Dining.  Is there typically a long or short wait for a table for a group of 4 dining between approximately 6-7 o’clock? 

Edited by jeno

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Generally speaking 6-7pm there will be a wait for any seating in the Anytime dining rooms.  If you are willing to go to dinner a little later, say about 7:15, you may encounter no wait or only a short wait for dinner.  Just like visiting your favorite restaurant, you may have to wait during prime dining hours.

 

Before you commit to Traditional dining or a trad. dining time look at the available trad. dining times and compare to when you plan on dining each evening.  Princess has moved up most dining times on some ships and the times you may expect from previous experience may no longer be the same.  There are quite a few threads mentioning how the dining times for trad. dining have been made earlier in the evening making it hard to get to shows or making eating dinner too early or too late.

 

I've always chosen Anytime dining and have never experienced a wait longer than 15 minutes.  My wife and I also are very flexible and if we note a mob of people outside the Anytime dining rooms, we will lay back, maybe visit another venue on ship and give the crowd time to be seated before trying again.

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It is almost impossible to dine in Anytime Dining between 6:00-6:30.  See post #55 in this thread:

 

6:45-7:00 is about the earliest time that the second wave will get in to eat, and there will be a decent size wait to secure a table at that time.

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You will have a wait at that time slot......it fills up when it first opens at 5-530 then tables don't open up until around 7 to 730.  After your first night you can call the dining line at 8am in the morning and get reservations.....what we always heard two weeks ago for our party of six was ....."do you want 5,  5:15 or 7:30"......that's just how it is.  Traditional dining is 5:30 or 7:45pm.....or pay at Crown Grill or Sabatini's.......or buffet.

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If you are on a U.S. based cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, which I think you are, then the busy times are between 5:15 to 5:45. By 5:45 or so the DR can be full, and you may have to wait until the first wave clears. If you dine after 7pm then you should be seated fairly quickly. After 7:30 and you probably will not encounter any wait at all. A 2nd DR opens for ATD at 7:30pm.

You may want to speak with the maitre'd. He/She has hours in the afternoon on boarding day, check the Princess Patter.

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You've picked the most popular time for dining. If you choose either an earlier or later time you'll avoid lots of congestion.

We usually arrive before 5:45 PM & lots of times tables for 2 or 4 were already spoken occupied so we began getting there a still a little earlier. 

By the time you order & get your food it's at least 20 minutes anyway but if you're set on the 6 to 7 time slot you'll probably be better off with TD then have to fight the crowd. 

 

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Posted (edited)

We just got off the Crown.  We typically went in between 5:15 and 5:30 with a table of 4, with a reservation, no wait.  By 5:45 most of the tables were full.  We liked this time, as it allowed us plenty of time to get to the first production show of the evening.

Edited by wrongwaywatson

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Always surprises me the responses citing long wait times.  It's not that I don't believe it, but my experience has been very different.  I've literally never had to wait to be seated for my wife and I even once in 3 separate 7 day cruises.  Ships: Crown, Emerald, Caribbean.  Any chance the experienced waits are for larger groups and/or declining group seating?  As a group of 2 and open to large table group seating we've been immediately seated 100% of the time in a dozen or so opportunities over 3 cruises on virtually identical ships; never a reservation.  Maybe we're showing up early enough to beat the crowds? I don't know.  On vacation we do tend to be early eaters but we don't adhere to any sort of schedule, I'd be surprised if we didn't blindly tempted fate during the 6:00-7:00 period a few times.  This issue always has me scratching my head a little bit.

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1 hour ago, PMGS247 said:

Always surprises me the responses citing long wait times.  It's not that I don't believe it, but my experience has been very different.  I've literally never had to wait to be seated for my wife and I even once in 3 separate 7 day cruises.  Ships: Crown, Emerald, Caribbean.  Any chance the experienced waits are for larger groups and/or declining group seating?  As a group of 2 and open to large table group seating we've been immediately seated 100% of the time in a dozen or so opportunities over 3 cruises on virtually identical ships; never a reservation.  Maybe we're showing up early enough to beat the crowds? I don't know.  On vacation we do tend to be early eaters but we don't adhere to any sort of schedule, I'd be surprised if we didn't blindly tempted fate during the 6:00-7:00 period a few times.  This issue always has me scratching my head a little bit.

as a group of two and willing to go to a larger table ...

 

we're a 'group of 2' and willing to wait, in Vines, to be called for our table for 2

 

j/s

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Can you pick Traditional Dining (say the late seating), and if you want to eat early (to catch the early show) go to Anytime Dining?

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16 minutes ago, richmke said:

Can you pick Traditional Dining (say the late seating), and if you want to eat early (to catch the early show) go to Anytime Dining?

you can go to the buffet those nights or any of the other venues on the ship ... you chose TD not Anytime dining

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1 hour ago, richmke said:

Can you pick Traditional Dining (say the late seating), and if you want to eat early (to catch the early show) go to Anytime Dining?

If you are in TD you may be denied access to ATD, although sometimes you can get in. The buffet is open every day from 5am until around 11pm serving all meals and never closing during that time. You can also choose to have pizza, or something from the Salty Dog grill by the pool. This thread is originally in reference to the Crown which also has the Salty Dog GastroPub, $12 in the Wheelhouse Bar. The GastroPub is pretty much walk in. I have never seen it busy.

Royal Class ships also have Alfredo's, no charge. Alfredo's is also on the Grand and the Sapphire, but the menu is pizza only on these ships. Some other ships have some different options.

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2 hours ago, voljeep said:

as a group of two and willing to go to a larger table ...

 

we're a 'group of 2' and willing to wait, in Vines, to be called for our table for 2

 

j/s

Yep, fair enough for those willing to or expecting to wait for a specific sized table, I was really more curious for those who see it as a problem whether they're turning down the option for a group seating.

 

In my only [dinner] experience taking a 2-seater when it was offered, which was actually the most recent meal I had in a MDR, our 2-seater table was at MOST 3 inches from the 2-seater table next to us.  It was by all intents and purposes a 4-top; nowhere other than a cruise ship would someone try to pass this off as separate tables.  We chatted it up with our neighbors same as we did any other night at the 8-seaters.  I didn't care we had a perfectly nice dinner with our neighbors, and I know it's not always the case there's plenty of tables with more reasonable personal space but anyone who waited for their own table and got this one would have probably been pretty disappointed or just outright requested to continue waiting for another table.

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2 minutes ago, PMGS247 said:

Yep, fair enough for those willing to or expecting to wait for a specific sized table, I was really more curious for those who see it as a problem whether they're turning down the option for a group seating.

 

In my only [dinner] experience taking a 2-seater when it was offered, which was actually the most recent meal I had in a MDR, our 2-seater table was at MOST 3 inches from the 2-seater table next to us.  It was by all intents and purposes a 4-top; nowhere other than a cruise ship would someone try to pass this off as separate tables.  We chatted it up with our neighbors same as we did any other night at the 8-seaters.  I didn't care we had a perfectly nice dinner with our neighbors, and I know it's not always the case there's plenty of tables with more reasonable personal space but anyone who waited for their own table and got this one would have probably been pretty disappointed or just outright requested to continue waiting for another table.

yes, we've had "that table" - but even the 3 inches is a 'barrier' if you want it to be

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We are willing to share so it's less of an issue. Those who don't want to share will have more of an issue with having to wait.

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I guess with all these posts and logistics and making reservations(?) for anytime dining, I guess that is why they came up with a new option in staterooms called M1(CC staterooms!) .  It is the best of TD and ATD!

 

Pooh

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22 hours ago, PoohUnderstands said:

I guess with all these posts and logistics and making reservations(?) for anytime dining, I guess that is why they came up with a new option in staterooms called M1(CC staterooms!) .  It is the best of TD and ATD!

 

Pooh

We've had CC dining on a cruise.  I'm not sure I'd classify it as the best of both worlds, TD and ATD.  It's a good comparison, but maybe not quite how I'd put it.  I'd compare it more to ATD if there was the ability to seat everyone for dinner whenever they showed up for dinner.  CC dining is basically anytime dining but with some extra items on the menu, some items with tableside preparation, and little chance of lines.

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7 hours ago, jeromep said:

We've had CC dining on a cruise.  I'm not sure I'd classify it as the best of both worlds, TD and ATD.  It's a good comparison, but maybe not quite how I'd put it.  I'd compare it more to ATD if there was the ability to seat everyone for dinner whenever they showed up for dinner.  CC dining is basically anytime dining but with some extra items on the menu, some items with tableside preparation, and little chance of lines.

The way I see it being like TD is that usually by second night we have picked our wait staff we hit it off with and we have them as our wait staff the whole cruise.  My drink is on its way as we sit down as they remember what we like and my DH's dining idiosyncrasies which are a lot, and we learn about their families, etc.  Then we even have them, most of time, serving us breakfast and lunch(when available).

 

Pooh

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:11 AM, richmke said:

Can you pick Traditional Dining (say the late seating), and if you want to eat early (to catch the early show) go to Anytime Dining?

Technically no.  And you really shouldn't do that.  I've been on a number of cruises where they were checking cruise cards to see what dining assignment you had.  They were turning away the Traditional Dining folks from the Anytime Dining rooms because the early Trad. Dining rooms were empty and those folks were just showing up at Anytime expecting to be served because they missed their dining time.  I suspect that those Trad. Dining folks got dinner in their assigned dining room, but who knows how much that messed up the later seating or if they had to wait.

 

I've also been on cruises where I was waiting to be seated in Anytime dining and was whisked off to the Traditional dining room because they had space down there that wasn't being fully utilized.

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On 4/23/2019 at 3:57 PM, jeromep said:

Before you commit to Traditional dining or a trad. dining time look at the available trad. dining times and compare to when you plan on dining each evening.  Princess has moved up most dining times on some ships and the times you may expect from previous experience may no longer be the same.  There are quite a few threads mentioning how the dining times for trad. dining have been made earlier in the evening making it hard to get to shows or making eating dinner too early or too late.

 

 

That will rarely work.

 

Before they moved up the times in the Personalizer, the times there rarely matched the actual times on the ship.

 

Since they moved up the times in the Personalizer, the times there still rarely match the actual times on the ship.

 

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On 4/24/2019 at 11:11 AM, richmke said:

Can you pick Traditional Dining (say the late seating), and if you want to eat early (to catch the early show) go to Anytime Dining?

That’s literally 100% against the whole point of choosing one vs the other. If you plan to catch shows choose anytime or the early seating, don’t choose one and use the other.

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3 hours ago, PMGS247 said:

That’s literally 100% against the whole point of choosing one vs the other. If you plan to catch shows choose anytime or the early seating, don’t choose one and use the other.

True, but they didn't seem to even care on the Crown recently.

We didn't go to the DR on the first night but they never did ask us which dining we were assigned to. They just didn't care one way or the other. 

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