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luxurysailer

Anytime dining HAL

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We've sailed multiple times with HAL and have always had traditional dining.  However, on our upcoming September cruise we have anytime dining.  I can find nothing on the HAL website about anytime dining.  Can someone please refer me to a post on anytime dining on HAL, particularly on New Statendam if one is available.  

 

I just want to see how it works.  We've only done anytime dining once, on Princess, and were able to eat at the same time every night but without a specific table assigned.  Will HAL let us do it this way?

Thanks for your help,

luxurysailer 

 

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Open Seating is from 5:15 (on some ships it may be 5) until 9 PM.

 

You can either just show up when you are ready to eat or you can make reservations for 3 days at a time for any size table.  BUT -- HAL will only allow you to make reservations during certain times which varies by ship.  Most ships allow you to make reservations between 5:15 - 6:15 and 7:30 - 9.  Check with the maitre'd on this for your ship.

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Anytime dining is all we've ever done.  You just walk up to the desk like you would in any restaurant anywhere on land. They'll ask for your card, and scan it, and then ask you if you'd like to share a table.  Say either yes or no.  Then you're shown to your table (or perhaps there is a brief wait, but we've never had to wait for long).

As far as time is concerned, it's "anytime." 

🙂

 

And we've never made a reservation so I really don't know how that works.

Edited by cowmilker

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On the Koningsdam in Jan/Feb 2019 they just asked for our cabin number when we got to the desk.  The first night of a cruise can be rather busy and also the Gala nights but other than that there is normally a minimal wait if any especially if you are willing to share a table.  If you go about 7pm there is usually not a wait.

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Thanks for your help.  Anytime dining on HAL apparently works much as it did on Princess.

 

I still can't believe there's nothing on the HAL website about how anytime dining is done, especially as it is apparently somewhat

different on different ships.  You'd think one could log in and somewhere under "already booked" there would be a discussion

of how anytime dining will be handled on your ship.  Maybe I just overlooked it, so I'll go look again.

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Hi,

we prefer fixed early dinning. But on our next cruise in some ports „all on board“ is quite late. Are we allowed to use the anytime dinning on these days or are we bound to early fixed dinning or the lido buffet then?

 

regards

MBerry

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5 hours ago, MouseBerry said:

Hi,

we prefer fixed early dinning. But on our next cruise in some ports „all on board“ is quite late. Are we allowed to use the anytime dinning on these days or are we bound to early fixed dinning or the lido buffet then?

 

regards

MBerry

We have only used anytime dinning since our last fixed dinning cruise with Celebrity 12 years ago in the Mediterranean.  We had several late tours and with early fixed dinning we missed our early dinning time. At that time Celebrity would not let us use their anytime dinning when we got back late. I have read on some CC threads that HAL does the same thing, you can't switch during the cruise between fixed and anytime dinning but I am not 100% sure that is the case.

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8 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

We have only used anytime dinning since our last fixed dinning cruise with Celebrity 12 years ago in the Mediterranean.  We had several late tours and with early fixed dinning we missed our early dinning time. At that time Celebrity would not let us use their anytime dinning when we got back late. I have read on some CC threads that HAL does the same thing, you can't switch during the cruise between fixed and anytime dinning but I am not 100% sure that is the case.

The dining room is carefully balanced between fixed and anytime dining.   It would create a logistical nightmare if people were allowed to switch back and forth at will.  While your fixed dining table sits empty, you are putting an increased load on the anytime sections.  Now, if one person does it, it is probably not going to be noticed.  But, if a couple hundred people do it, you have a mess.  And then, we'll complain that the dining room was disorganized and service was poor.

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We've always done fixed late seating - we enjoy getting to know the people at our table and discussing the day or future plans.  On our most recent cruise to Alaska, we chose anytime and enjoyed just being able to show up whenever we want but missed the camaraderie of our tablemates

 

There's no reason why you just can't show up at the same time every night for your meal on anytime

 

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We've only done Anytime Dining on both HAL and Carnival ever since it was instituted and much prefer it to fixed dining. We usually go right when it opens, or within 30 minutes or so, and have the same table for two every night without making a reservation. So do most of the people at tables around us. When we leave about 6:45-7pm, there are usually lots of people waiting for tables and we wouldn't like to have to wait. Probably not so if you prefer to eat later than 7 or 7:30pm. We like the flexibility of being able to eat when we want to and prefer a table for two..

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6 hours ago, MouseBerry said:

Hi,

we prefer fixed early dinning. But on our next cruise in some ports „all on board“ is quite late. Are we allowed to use the anytime dinning on these days or are we bound to early fixed dinning or the lido buffet then?

 

regards

MBerry

 

We have missed early fixed and had no problem dropping into Anytime.  They didn’t bat an eye.  You may want to stop at the reservations desk (or call the reservations desk) when you board to discuss your options.

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We also prefer Open Dining schemes which we use on all of our cruises (including HAL).  We see it as a win-win.  It allows us to dine when we please and meet many new folks by asking to share large tables. On many of our HAL cruises (especially longer voyages) we often find that after the first few days we might form our own table with newfound friends (many who we meet by sharing large tables in the MDR).  The advantage is that instead of hoping to be lucky with a Fixed Dining table we have an opportunity to make our own luck :).

 

One interesting related tidbit.  All the ultra-luxury lines (Seabourn, Silverseas, Sea Dream, Regent, etc) use Open sitting as their norm (it is often the only option).  

 

Hank

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We vary on Early Fixed and Open, depending on the cruise itineray and or plans.  If we have alot of specialty dining scheduled, we go with Open, as we do not want to tie up an early fixed spot for someone who reaaly wants/needs it.  If we have alot of late ports, we also go with Open.

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10 hours ago, MouseBerry said:

Hi,

we prefer fixed early dinning. But on our next cruise in some ports „all on board“ is quite late. Are we allowed to use the anytime dinning on these days or are we bound to early fixed dinning or the lido buffet then?

 

regards

MBerry

Hi Mouseberry, 

If you are schedule for fixed dining at a certain time and can’t make that time due to late all on boards, especially more than once, maybe switch to anytime.  It is not fair to other diners at your table ( if you are sharing) or having a two top reserved for you and then not showing up.  On our last cruise the maître D asked people to switch up if they couldn’t show up at their fixed time and they also wanted to be advised ahead of time if people were not able to go to fixed time.  

Mary

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Hi Mary,

a valid point for sure. Whenever we plan not to show up at early fixed dinning, we inform not only our table mates we inform our waiter as well.

Actually on our last cruise we were assigned to a table for 6. The first night we were alone. 2nd night a very nice couple from Canada joined. But that‘s it. Table was never full utilised.  

 

When the ship had late „all aboard“ and we could not make it to our early dinning, we informed all involved parties and used Lido buffet on that occasion. 

 

Usually the upper dinning room for early fixed dinning had a large number of free seats every evening. After a few days we noticed unknown people have been seated on the free seats. Different people most evenings. I don‘t know for sure, but I guess the free capacity has been used for open dinners.

 

One thing had disappointed me a bit. If a ship stays quite long in a port of call and all aboard is e.g. 11pm, restaurant opening hours are not adapted. Even the Lido buffet had no extended opening window. Yes there is an addl. late opening of the Lido after 10pm every night, but with a very limited menu.

 

regards

MBerry

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We always use Anytime Dining as DW is a bit of a picky eater and more often than not will not find something on the MDR dinner menu that she wants to eat. Anytime dining gives us the option of eating at a time we want, or going to the Lido or other restaurant without having to worry about leaving empty seats at fixed dining.

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11 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

We always use Anytime Dining as DW is a bit of a picky eater and more often than not will not find something on the MDR dinner menu that she wants to eat. Anytime dining gives us the option of eating at a time we want, or going to the Lido or other restaurant without having to worry about leaving empty seats at fixed dining.

Your DW sounds like me.  I usually can find one entree I would like, but those times I can't, I like the freedom to dine when/where I wish. 

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On the HAL website, you just need to go to the "Know Before You Go" pdf - I took a screenshot of this:

 

746087802_ScreenShot2019-07-09at1_08_19PM.jpg.e1b53bd70da7b5a977649c13be8bae62.jpg

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15 hours ago, MouseBerry said:

Hi,

we prefer fixed early dinning. But on our next cruise in some ports „all on board“ is quite late. Are we allowed to use the anytime dinning on these days or are we bound to early fixed dinning or the lido buffet then?

 

regards

MBerry

 

Technically if you choose one dining venue (open/fixed) that is the one you are to use.

 

We do main (late) dining which makes life easy most times.

 

However last cruise there was a special occasion we were invited to which would make us miss our dining time.  We needed to eat earlier.  We asked the assistant dining room manager if it was possible on an exception basis and he kindly granted it.

 

When we went to the open dining section, it was well noted and they actually had a nice table for us.  It’s the only time we have done it in all our cruise years as I am a firm believer that I can’t take two spots in the dining room 😉 

 

However, in this case our waiters and assistant manager knew so our table was free if they wanted to assign it elsewhere.

 

We always let our waiters know (and our wine steward). If we are dining elsewhere the next night whether it be PG, Cellar Master, etc.  I believe they connect anyways from the stateroom # but we do it out of courtesy.

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On our last two  cruises we had a bit of a wait so the maitre d gave us a "beeper" and we went for a drink.  Just like home, the beeper beeped and we sailed right into the dining room.

 

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On 6/24/2019 at 1:41 PM, luxurysailer said:

We've sailed multiple times with HAL and have always had traditional dining.  However, on our upcoming September cruise we have anytime dining.  I can find nothing on the HAL website about anytime dining.  Can someone please refer me to a post on anytime dining on HAL, particularly on New Statendam if one is available.  

 

I just want to see how it works.  We've only done anytime dining once, on Princess, and were able to eat at the same time every night but without a specific table assigned.  Will HAL let us do it this way?

Thanks for your help,

luxurysailer 

 

I love anytime dining.   I go down after Mass and I am seated rather quickly.

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15 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

We always use Anytime Dining as DW is a bit of a picky eater and more often than not will not find something on the MDR dinner menu that she wants to eat. Anytime dining gives us the option of eating at a time we want, or going to the Lido or other restaurant without having to worry about leaving empty seats at fixed dining.

Another good reason for choosing anytime dinning that I hadn't thought about.

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Can you make reservations in advance of the cruise?  We like a 6:30 to 7:00 PM table for 2.  Other lines allow you to make reservations online for the entire cruise.  In some cases, we were assigned the same table for the entire cruise with the same wait staff, which makes it similar to assigned dining.

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On our last cruise (14 day to Norway on the Princendam) we had a reservation for early seating at a 2 top. One night, due to getting back about 30 minutes late, we went to our table and it was occupied! We went to the desk and they were very apologetic but I told them that it was entirely our fault and they should not apologize for our lateness. They then gave a table right next to our assigned one so we had the same wait staff. They also said that there is usually a 15 minute grace period before a table is reassigned. 

 

DD

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11 hours ago, davy jones said:

Can you make reservations in advance of the cruise?  We like a 6:30 to 7:00 PM table for 2.  Other lines allow you to make reservations online for the entire cruise.  In some cases, we were assigned the same table for the entire cruise with the same wait staff, which makes it similar to assigned dining.

 

You can't make reservations before the cruise. You also can't reserve for 6:30 or 7:00. The timeframes KK mentioned in post #2 are more generous than I've encountered. HAL doesn't do reservations for the middle part of the dining time. The latest "early" time I've ever been able to reserve was 5:45, and one time all they'd give me was 5:15. So if you want to eat at 6:30, you'll have to just walk in and ask to be seated. 

 

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