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Best time to eat YTD?


Eli_6
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I was reading the review on this page of the cruiser who said they had to wait an hour-and-a-half to be seated for your time dining.  I don't know if that is accurate or an exaggeration, but this has me concerned for my upcoming cruise.  This will be our first time doing anytime/your time dining.  We couldn't even get on the wait list for the early dining and there was a wait list for the late which, really, is just too late for us anyway between children who usually eat about 5:30-6 pm and retirees who are used to eating dinner at 5-5:30 pm.  

 

We have a party of 8 and I know we may not be able to sit together; but my bigger concern is that because this is a Christmas cruise, it will probably be a full ship. (Already, few available rooms.) 

 

So...is there a time people have found that is best for YTD?  Is going early when they first open better or waiting a bit?

 

Also, how long does dinner service typically take for you frequent cruisers? In the past, I never felt like it was excessive, but on my last cruise on the Vista, dinner service was taking so incredibly long that we stopped going to the main dining room (Reflections) the last couple of nights because of it.  (This was also when the Vista was pretty new so may have still been working out the kinks.)

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Honestly, we have never had to wait for YTD, that includes the 2 elegant nights. We even request the same server every night. I suppose if we went later we may but we normally go shortly after 6. Not once has there been a wait on numerous ships.

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This would entirely depend on your fellow cruisers.  I have had experiences where everyone seemed to want to eat at 5:30 when the doors open and then I have had experiences when we were there at opening and the dining room didn't fill up until we were almost done eating.  

 

On the Magic in March, you could put your request in on the HUB app and then you get a notification to come to the dining room when your table is ready.  I am not sure if they have rolled this out to all the ships yet.  It is a good system as you don't have to stand in line.  

 

 

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Just my wife & I. Order though the Hub App at 5:15 and we head down and table is always ready.

We make the 7:30 show and 8:30 comedy.

We'll skip desert some nights and get a milkshake or Ice Cream after the show.

 

 

 

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Hi Eli

 

Experiences will vary depending on your fellow cruisers. 

 

If everyone shows up at the same time (for anything) someone will have to wait, it just makes sense.

 

Looking at it like a restaurant, if you arrive when they open the doors, it will be empty and they will be seating everyone as they arrive. If you arrive at that time (generally, there will be a line up when the doors open) all eight of you will be seated as the line moves forward more likely than not at the same table. So now you can imagine, if everybody were to continue to arrive at that same time, eventually the venue will be full. That is when at some point, some group won't be seated right away, and likely have to wait a half hour or so until those that arrived first start finishing their meals. The later in the evening you arrive, the less likely you will have any wait (unless you are sailing in Europe). 

 

Of course with the HUB app, if you use it you won't actually be "waiting" for at table. The app will notify you when your table is ready. 

 

have a great cruise

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3 hours ago, Eli_6 said:

I was reading the review on this page of the cruiser who said they had to wait an hour-and-a-half to be seated for your time dining.  I don't know if that is accurate or an exaggeration, but this has me concerned for my upcoming cruise.  This will be our first time doing anytime/your time dining.  We couldn't even get on the wait list for the early dining and there was a wait list for the late which, really, is just too late for us anyway between children who usually eat about 5:30-6 pm and retirees who are used to eating dinner at 5-5:30 pm.  

 

We have a party of 8 and I know we may not be able to sit together; but my bigger concern is that because this is a Christmas cruise, it will probably be a full ship. (Already, few available rooms.) 

 

So...is there a time people have found that is best for YTD?  Is going early when they first open better or waiting a bit?

 

Also, how long does dinner service typically take for you frequent cruisers? In the past, I never felt like it was excessive, but on my last cruise on the Vista, dinner service was taking so incredibly long that we stopped going to the main dining room (Reflections) the last couple of nights because of it.  (This was also when the Vista was pretty new so may have still been working out the kinks.)

we love it , and most days we are there in line at 5:45.. we get quick service and get out of the dining room.

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5 hours ago, Eli_6 said:

Hour and a half???    I don't know if that is accurate or an exaggeration, but this has me concerned for my upcoming cruise. 

 

I would suspect more exaggeration rather than the rule.  When you board, be sure to state your request with the MDR podium staff.  They will go out of their way to fill your needs.  Have I waited?....one cruise was bad, i.e. up to 30 minutes but after a small complaint to the staff, we were surprised with chocolate covered strawberries when we returned to our cabin after dinner.   Most likely, they ARE trying to serve 3000 passengers and you will need to give them a small amount of leeway.  

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5 hours ago, Eli_6 said:

I was reading the review on this page of the cruiser who said they had to wait an hour-and-a-half to be seated for your time dining.  I don't know if that is accurate or an exaggeration, but this has me concerned for my upcoming cruise.  This will be our first time doing anytime/your time dining.  We couldn't even get on the wait list for the early dining and there was a wait list for the late which, really, is just too late for us anyway between children who usually eat about 5:30-6 pm and retirees who are used to eating dinner at 5-5:30 pm.  

 

We have a party of 8 and I know we may not be able to sit together; but my bigger concern is that because this is a Christmas cruise, it will probably be a full ship. (Already, few available rooms.) 

 

So...is there a time people have found that is best for YTD?  Is going early when they first open better or waiting a bit?

 

Also, how long does dinner service typically take for you frequent cruisers? In the past, I never felt like it was excessive, but on my last cruise on the Vista, dinner service was taking so incredibly long that we stopped going to the main dining room (Reflections) the last couple of nights because of it.  (This was also when the Vista was pretty new so may have still been working out the kinks.)

When they first open there will be a short line, but it moves fast cause you're the first ones in! 

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We had YTD for our March cruise on the Breeze, and we never had to wait for a table. If we ever have to, we’d just hit the nearby bar for a predinner cocktail, as we do at a local restaurant back home when we have to wait. Personally, I love that time to have a cocktail at a bar before heading in to dinner. 

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5 hours ago, goaties said:

who said they had to wait an hour-and-a-half to be seated

 

 

only heard it once, and have never witnessed anything close to 1 1/2 hours. We would not wait 1 1/2 hours anywhere land or sea. We eat later around 8 - 8:30, usually walk right in. We have also walked into the Steakhouse without reservations and were sat in a few minutes, plenty of open tables

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My experience with anytime dining is to get in line for the 5:30pm seating.  I have had great service being some of the first guests seated.  One memory I have was of the time we probably got seated maybe 6pm to 6:30pm(we showed up after the first round of guests) or so and we waited, waited...  The team did not even have time to acknowledge we had been seated as they were so busy getting the tables around us served.  It was not a good experience but I totally understood why it happened.  The hostess seats guests in a section where the service team is knee deep in serving one course after the next and when a new table is seated it's hard for them.  Anyway, that is my opinion.

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Just got off Victory. We were only a party of 3, but we went 3/4 nights to MDR around 6:30-7 & never waited more than 5 minutes, if at all. 

 

Our prior cruise we were a party of 4 on Horizon. We used the app to request a table in the same 6:30-7. The wait time from request to ready was never more than 15 minutes. 

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I would call BS on the 1 1/2 hour claim.  I have a dozen cruises using YTD and the majority of the time are seated immediately.  The longest we ever waited was around 20 minutes on elegant night but we expected it because that it is when the biggest rush happens.

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Maybe they meant that the dinner service took 1-1/2, hrs, which can happen if they are busy.

 

We just got off the Vista and would eat between 5:30 and 6:30 and never waited more than about 5 minutes for a seat.

We didn't check in with the app, but the check in by the coffee shop on 5 aft never had a line.

 

If your group is use to eating around 5:30, you'll be fine.

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Hour and a half is just one of many cruise exaggerations. You might encounter a 20 minute or so wait here and there, especially with a larger crowd.

 

At this point, I don't know why you and 90% of these posters wouldn't just do the early dining. Your table will always be ready for you. The dining process will usually end around 7-7:30. For me, I am done with dinner at that point. I want the rest of the night to enjoy.

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7 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

Hour and a half is just one of many cruise exaggerations. You might encounter a 20 minute or so wait here and there, especially with a larger crowd.

 

At this point, I don't know why you and 90% of these posters wouldn't just do the early dining. Your table will always be ready for you. The dining process will usually end around 7-7:30. For me, I am done with dinner at that point. I want the rest of the night to enjoy.

We generally choose the YTD for two reasons:

1. No matter how early we book our cruise, it seems the early dining is full and we get defaulted to the late dining. This requires us to request early dining when we board and wait to see if we get accepted. It took 3 days one cruise, which is when we decided to just go with YTD.

 

2. Sometimes our group wants to eat right at 5:30, other times we are busy with other things and it's closer to 6:45 or 7.

That flexibility isn't something you have with an assigned dining time.

Regardless, we prefer eating in the MDR in the evening instead of the lido.

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On 10/7/2019 at 7:58 AM, Eli_6 said:

I was reading the review on this page of the cruiser who said they had to wait an hour-and-a-half to be seated for your time dining

 

3 hours ago, Chervil said:

Maybe they meant that the dinner service took 1-1/2, hrs, which can happen if they are busy.

 

 She was clearly saying 1 1/2 hour wait before dinner, which does not happen

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18 hours ago, Joebucks said:

At this point, I don't know why you and 90% of these posters wouldn't just do the early dining. Your table will always be ready for you. The dining process will usually end around 7-7:30. For me, I am done with dinner at that point. I want the rest of the night to enjoy.

Yes we are usually waiting in line to eat around 5:30 when the dining room opens BUT sometimes we have other things going on or a late port day or any number of other things that has pushed us to later than when we prefer. For example on Christmas day this year we will be in Puerto Vallarta the ship docks at 8am and leaves at 8pm so we would have to be back on the ship changed and ready to eat dinner 2 and a half hours before the ship even leaves port if we had early dining or our Christmas dinner would be spent at the Lido Deck. I would rather have an extra hour or two in port then get on the ship and shower and get ready for dinner and still be able to eat in the MDR without having to worry about what our dining time is. Sometimes we have even gotten back from an excursion early and taken a nap only to wake up late and have to eat closer to 6:30-7 pm. The main thing with YTD is that it is Your time, its flexible. No worrying about pissed off table mates because your a few min late. No eating on the lido because you missed you dining time. Also with only dining with our group instead of a large table we can rush dinner if we want to some extent and not feel obligated to sit the whole thing out. We can say no thank you to desert and move on with our lives and drop our kid off at camp and get good seats in the theater for a show with a drink from the bar. Flexibility my friend thats what its all about. 

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