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Anytime dining question

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I tried Anytime once, many years ago, and I did not like it. 

 

On the first formal night (second night of the cruise) (prime rib and lobster tail), we showed up for dinner at 7:30 or so.  There were no seats available, and the wait was projected as 45 minutes, so I ended up at the buffet.  I was very angry, so every cruise since, I have been back in Traditional Dining.  

 

Whichever way you go, enjoy the cruise.

 

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14 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

I tried Anytime once, many years ago, and I did not like it. 

 

On the first formal night (second night of the cruise) (prime rib and lobster tail), we showed up for dinner at 7:30 or so.  There were no seats available, and the wait was projected as 45 minutes, so I ended up at the buffet.  I was very angry, so every cruise since, I have been back in Traditional Dining.  

 

Whichever way you go, enjoy the cruise.

 

What you experienced is very typical of what happens if you show up at 7:30 PM.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 7:04 PM, Coffeeluvr05 said:

 

This brings me to another thought.  There are some that just go to the buffet and I don't understand that.  There are so many reasons that a buffet is just not appealing to me personally, but there is just no comparison between the buffet and the MDR.  But hey, those that prefer the buffet...you do you!  😉

My wife and I found the dinner buffet on Caribbean far superior to the MDR. Completely different menu with a wider variety of items, many of which made us say "you have to try this!"  Once we discovered it we never went back.

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5 hours ago, MissP22 said:

What you experienced is very typical of what happens if you show up at 7:30 PM.

That might be, but it was contrary to the advertising/promotions which said that I could eat anytime, just show up and get seated.  If they had told the truth, then that would have been a risk I could have accepted or not!

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We always pick anytime dining. Like others, we look @ the entertainment schedule and then decide when to eat.

 

We know that dinner in the MDR can be anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours long. Hey, as long as I don't have to go the store and buy the groceries, fix the meal and clean up afterwards, I'm just fine.

 

We  usually share with 4 -6 others and that gets to be entertaining. When we are in a bit of a time rush we will ask for a table for 2 and know we will have to wait (time for a cocktail!). We usually go between 5:30 - 6:00 pm and tell them we will share a table. If they give us a pager, we go get a drink and wait. It's usually about a 15 minute wait ~ not any different than anywhere we go to now without a reservation. 

 

We have on an occasion eaten our dinner in the buffet and it was not too bad. However, I like being served so we try for the MDR first. 

 

Enjoy!!

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On 8/16/2019 at 5:32 PM, dara90210 said:

We did ATD for the first time on our March 2019 Grand Cruise.  We chose ATD because the "late" seating is too late for my parents, and the "early" seating now at 5 p.m. is too early for all of us.  My husband and I, if alone, would have done the late seating.  But we tried ATD and really liked it.  We ended up having a great waitress and assistant waiter and we spoke with one of the Head Waiters and asked about being seated in their section every night.  He said that if we showed up before 6 every night, he'd make sure we were seated in their section.  We made sure to communicate the night we went to Sabatini's and the night we had a late excursion and ate burgers at the grill, or the night we just had pizza in Alfredo's.  Overall we had a great experience.

We totally agree with the traditional seatings being too early/late, and have been especially annoyed when an advertised 6/6:30 seating turns out to be 5:30-ish once onboard ship.

Our experience with Anytime is that only one main dining room is available before 7:30, and it usually fills to capacity in the 6 PM timeframe.  Thus when we show for 7PM or even 7:30 we are handed a pager and told to wait for the second dining room to switch from Traditional to Anytime.   While this gives many people time for people watching or a drink, for a diabetic timing can be everything, especially when the "15 minutes" wait turns out to be longer.   Thus most evenings we eat in the buffet.

 

The other factor with Anytime is timing your arrival BEFORE the early show in the theater gets out, as that brings a flood of people in line for the Dining Room.

 

Even if you are seated at a multi-person table, you may have to wait for a table to fill before waiters will serve anything.  We had one instance we waited 20 minutes, then walked out due to lack of service.  The Maitre'D stopped us, apologized, and ordered the waiters to serve us, but as others finally arrived, we were at the dessert course before they had their entree.   The point is some strange things can happen.

 

We have found the buffet, especially on Royal Princess to serve really good food, including evenings like Bavarian night, where the selections are different than the MDR.   And we get to eat at our own pace.

Edited by Times Prince

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39 minutes ago, Mike45LC said:

That might be, but it was contrary to the advertising/promotions which said that I could eat anytime, just show up and get seated.  If they had told the truth, then that would have been a risk I could have accepted or not!

You can eat anytime at a land-based restaurant that doesn't take reservations, but that doesn't mean you are going to be seated immediately if you show up at prime time.  Not only were you in the prime time zone, but it was formal night which would equate to a Saturday night back home.  I think some realistic expectations are in order.

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On 8/16/2019 at 3:03 PM, Colo Cruiser said:

For Anytime Dining just show up for dinner when you are ready.

Making a reservation for Anytime Dining defeats the purpose.

 

 

Not for me. We might want to book times different from standard or even different every day based on other activities. It works pretty well with RCCL (My Time Dining), NCL (Free Style dining), Celebrity (Select dining) etc. You don't need to book, but wait and availability will be better if you do.

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8 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

Not for me. We might want to book times different from standard or even different every day based on other activities. It works pretty well with RCCL (My Time Dining), NCL (Free Style dining), Celebrity (Select dining) etc. You don't need to book, but wait and availability will be better if you do.

Let us know how the limited dining times on Princess work out for you.

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We did Anytime dining for a few years and don't like it.  I don't want to wait to eat and I don't like buffets.  The last year we did Anytime dining we ended up with half the cruise in specialty dining because you can mostly walk in and be seated (even on Christmas that last time we did Anytime Dining, but I think that was dumb luck). The new dine times work better for us, 7:30 Late Traditional is perfect (which is what dinner has been every time we've done Late Traditional since the times changed).

If you are on a port intensive cruise, I could see Anytime being busy and Traditional dining maybe being an issue to get back to.  

We prefer traditional, but its up to you, and what's more important.  If you are OK with waiting do anytime (sometimes you can walk right in), if you want to have a set time, do traditional. 

 

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11 hours ago, steelers36 said:

You can eat anytime at a land-based restaurant that doesn't take reservations, but that doesn't mean you are going to be seated immediately if you show up at prime time.  Not only were you in the prime time zone, but it was formal night which would equate to a Saturday night back home.  I think some realistic expectations are in order.

 

Expectations are set by Princess marketing statements. 

 

For example: "Anytime Dining enables guests the freedom to dine when and with whom they wish, at any time between 5:30 PM and 10 PM."

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4 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Expectations are set by Princess marketing statements. 

 

For example: "Anytime Dining enables guests the freedom to dine when and with whom they wish, at any time between 5:30 PM and 10 PM."

I hear you, but do we all believe marketing hype 100% from any source?

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16 hours ago, MissP22 said:

Let us know how the limited dining times on Princess work out for you.

We sailed with Princess 6 times, so we are pretty familiar with Anytime, although our last cruise was in 2016-2017 (New Year cruise) so we are not aware of changes. From what I remember there was a wait with pagers given at busy time. And for pager  to work you were supposed to be not far from the restaurant.

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7 hours ago, Tatka said:

We sailed with Princess 6 times, so we are pretty familiar with Anytime, although our last cruise was in 2016-2017 (New Year cruise) so we are not aware of changes. From what I remember there was a wait with pagers given at busy time. And for pager  to work you were supposed to be not far from the restaurant.

We've only had to use a pager 1 time over many years and only because we were with friends. Normally we eat early & never have problems waiting at the DR door. As I recall we waited about 30 minutes or so for a table for 4 at around 6:45 or 7 PM. 

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