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shavdog

Select Dining Chaotic Reflection

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Just off reflection btb...1/3-1/20....we were on select dining and found ourselves up in OceanView more than not....we were seated in the servers station area and I can't tell you how chaotic that was...servers flying around almost running...we showed up at various times and our beeper ranged from 5 minutes to an hour....we have been on around 30 cruises and to us Celebrity has failed to improve this part of dining from a disaster....I saw alot of aggitated people at the hostess station...Celebrity should work on a fix or get rid of it...Dining is suppose to be a pleasant experience and this was not.....again....are there any other cruiselines that have this figured out?

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So, two separate cruises, in SELECT dining where you go anytime and sit anywhere, but yet, SOMEHOW, you were in the one dreadful area each night?

The whole concept of select dining is not to sit at the same table at the same time every night. 

What I don’t understand is how you could accomplish this. We’ve been select diners before and had to work to get the same table and servers. It can be pretty random if you arrive at different times, different tables are open. 
At any point did you ask for a different table and were refused?

I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience but I'm unable to offer much sympathy.

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Sorry for your experience but we can relate!

We cruised Reflection in October and of our 42 cruises, this ship by far was the worst.  We only ended up in main dining 3 times of 12 nights as it was disgraceful the way things were going.  Line ups were incredible and complaining to Maitre d was a waste of time.  Even with a beeper the wait was more than 20 minutes.  I don't want a fuss, apologies or being made to feel like I need to request special treatment to go for dinner.

I am amazed that things have not improved by now?  I would have fired the works since Celebrity certainly knows how and can do much better.  Guests will not tolerate being hearded into lines and treated like a number.  I certainly hope someone at Celebrity is listening.

 

 

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Just to be clear....we never asked for the same table...in fact we told the hostess we would be happy to share..for whatever reason she sent us back to the same area every night we showed up....one night some guy tried to pay her off and she graciously shoved his money back to him....In hindsight we should have asked for a different area....but it doesn't change my mind about select dining....it doesn't work the way Celebrity has it set up....alot of nights there were open tables...I think the space is too small...we've been on Equinox multiple times, Shilolette multiple times and Reflection twice.....this is the first time I remember being happy to end the cruise....the weather was a big factor in this...it was windy, we missed an island and periodic rain more than normal....but back to my issue with dining...select dining isn't working under the current system....work on a fix or dump it....

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1 hour ago, Ayden said:

Sorry for your experience but we can relate!

We cruised Reflection in October and of our 42 cruises, this ship by far was the worst.  We only ended up in main dining 3 times of 12 nights as it was disgraceful the way things were going.  Line ups were incredible and complaining to Maitre d was a waste of time.  Even with a beeper the wait was more than 20 minutes.  I don't want a fuss, apologies or being made to feel like I need to request special treatment to go for dinner.

I am amazed that things have not improved by now?  I would have fired the works since Celebrity certainly knows how and can do much better.  Guests will not tolerate being hearded into lines and treated like a number.  I certainly hope someone at Celebrity is listening.

 

 

What time?

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Did you try making reservations either before or during the cruise or did you prefer just going and taking your chances? I'm curious whether that would have made a difference. I know most of the S-class ships have a separate entrance for those with and without reservations. Does Reflection have the same? The only times we've sailed on Reflection we've been in Aqua where no reservations are taken and we never had to wait except once (and that was under 5 minutes). That, of course is a much smaller venue.

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Timing is important.  The 6pm diners aren't finished their meal and if the select area is full, then the 7pm's have to wait.  We've sailed Reflection 6 times and I agree, this is the MOST chaotic ship in the fleet, not only in the dining area.  We dine early and have seen many folks waiting with buzzer in hand on our way out.  The staff likes to keep diners in certain areas for 'grats' purposes.   They do the best they can with an overloaded ship.  There is 'supposed' to be one side of Select for reservations.  We've been directed to the 'non-reservation' side when the other is not available the one time we arrived later.

Edited by oceangoer2

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We were recently on the Silhouette, and the anytime dining was equally disorganized and chaotic.  You can't make reservations unless it is for quite early or quite late (forget the exact times).  That does not work for us.  We did eat in the main dining room each night, but the whole system was confusing and not well run.  I don't recall this being a problem on previous Celebrity cruises, so with it is a new system or these two ships have problems.

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From a few tries in Select, my experience has been if you like to eat early (before 6:30), you are usually fine, and may end up at the same good table with great staff nightly. But If you prefer to eat mid-evening or later, even with reservations, all bets are off. Fixed dining is better. 

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We've been on Reflection a few times and since we eat early never had a problem.

 

However, when we've left, there was always a line.  Once dh went to the men's room around 7pm and came back saying "people are almost coming to blows out there.  I feel sorry for the girls at the desk, everyone is yelling at them."

 

 

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Don't feel like it was just you or the Main Dinning Room    We sailed Reflection only once and were in a upper suite.   Luminae was an absolute mess.   Not sure if it was the Manager (my personal opinion) vs the extra passenger load.  It was so bad that the Michael's Club Concierge insisted on escorting us done each evening and still even after she called to confirm the table was ready had to go into the back room to find the Manager to get us seated.

 

To be honest, we sat down with the Manager to have a talk near the beginning of our problems,  We told him we didn't care if he was backed up all he needed to do was call Michael's Club and tell them he was backed up and a table would be ready in XX minutes.  

 

As a result of this, we have never sailed Reflection again. 

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In reading the Cruise Critic 2019  Cruisers Awards , Celebrity ships are in the top 10 in the categories that we care about. 

We have been extremely lucky with Select dining . I know Select means come any time , however, we try and make it easier for the dining room staff and ourselves .

We make a reservation for a specific time for each evening , arrive on time ( that's the key ) , and are seated in the same section.  It takes stress off of the Hostess , the Servers, and the Guests .  

As a courtesy to the Hostess, we tell her ahead of time if we are dining in a Specialty restaurant the next night. That way she can coordinate the dining and not hold our table and keep people waiting. It works very well for us. 

 

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5 hours ago, shavdog said:

Just off reflection btb...1/3-1/20....we were on select dining and found ourselves up in OceanView more than not....we were seated in the servers station area and I can't tell you how chaotic that was...servers flying around almost running...

 

This only happened to us once.  When we get to the front of the line, we tell the hostess that we don't want to sit next to one of the server areas.  If they assign us to a table next to one of the server areas we reject it and walk back to the hostess.  If we need to wait a few more minutes, that's ok it's better than the chaos around the server stations.

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We do select dining with reservations at 8:15 pm.  Sometimes a short wait but mostly not.  Was on one ship recently - can’t remember which S ship - and hostess was incredibly frazzled the entire long cruise.  Was on silhouette in December and hostess was so good.  
 

Did notice a few cruises ago that diners were seated in same area the entire cruise.  We were okay with that.  If not we would have requested another locale.  

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we pre book for 7.30 and only once did we have to wait, if we change our plans we always notify the hostess, usually we are seated at the same table

 

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We had "Select Dining" on 2 occasions, on the Reflection and most recently on the Silhouette.

After the 3rd night of a 12 night cruise on the first "Select Dining" cruise we made a standing reservation for the remaining nights, with the same staff each night.

On our 2nd cruise with "Select Dining" on the first night of dining we made standing reservations for the remainder of the cruise.

With that, if you want to dine at various times you will always receive  different tables, different table mates,  different staff, different locations and a headache every night listening to people complain at the maitre d desk.

We stuck with a set time nightly, same staff, same location, we had time prior to dinner for a cocktail hour, and time to attend the last show of the evening.

 

 

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 Very alarming to read this as we are about to embark on a B2B on Reflection and we are in Select dining. We always choose Select and we have never experienced these problems. We rarely make a reservation and have on occasion been issued with a beeper but usually only wait about 15 mins. We have sometimes been allocated a table near a waiters station and have politely declined and returned to the hostess. However, this is our first cruise on Reflection. So thank you OP, at least we now go prepared. 

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3 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

 

This only happened to us once.  When we get to the front of the line, we tell the hostess that we don't want to sit next to one of the server areas.  If they assign us to a table next to one of the server areas we reject it and walk back to the hostess.  If we need to wait a few more minutes, that's ok it's better than the chaos around the server stations.

We  tell them what type of  table location we prefer, and  are usually rewarded.  Dh says I must look mean!  

 

Reflection,  even in AQ was a one and done ship for us! Too crowded and as OP said..chaotic all around.

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10 hours ago, justcrusn said:

So, two separate cruises, in SELECT dining where you go anytime and sit anywhere, but yet, SOMEHOW, you were in the one dreadful area each night?

The whole concept of select dining is not to sit at the same table at the same time every night. 

What I don’t understand is how you could accomplish this. We’ve been select diners before and had to work to get the same table and servers. It can be pretty random if you arrive at different times, different tables are open. 
At any point did you ask for a different table and were refused?

I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience but I'm unable to offer much sympathy.

Slightly unfair.

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We were recently on the Silhouette. We made online reservations for 7:30 each night via our cruise planner. We only had a couple mins wait for a table and were seated in the same section each night. The one night we arrived late we had to wait 15 mins and were seated in a different section. 

Edited by kathynorth

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While on the Silhouette this past November we were in select dining and noticed the same thing on the nights we went.

 

We also noticed that we were being seated in the same area at the same table every time. Luckily for us we were by a window so that wasn’t too bad. 

 

The first couple of nights were fine. But as the cruise went on we found the service slowly deteriorated. 
 

On the second to last night we waited almost 15 minutes for our waiter to come by.  The only reason we stayed was because it was lobster night and my partner was looking forward to it, so we stayed. 
 

It was definitely very frustrating. 

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Our next 2 cruises are on the Reflection, so will be curious as we also have Select dining.  Our last 3 cruises (Infinity, Silhouette, Constellation) we had Select as well, and experienced a variety of wait times.  Fortunately we were always close to a lounge and just went for a drink/entertainment until our buzzer went off.  We did end up getting seated in a variety of places so never got to know our servers very well, however with varied itineraries, we just didn't feel a committed time would work best.

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We were also on the Reflection Jan 10-20 sailing. Made reservations for Select Dining for 6:30 every evening prior to the sailing. First evening we were seated at a table next to the serving stations which was extremely chaotic. Next evening I made a point of telling the hostess we did not want to sit in that section again. We are Elite Plus and don't know if this had to do with the table assignment but,  for the next nine evenings were seated in a much quieter area with the same waiter, assistant and sommelier next to the same people. Excellent Dining experience for food, service and ambiance. 

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We were on Reflection over New Year. We are early eaters, 5:30. First night we were seated at an inside table. We asked to be reseated to a window. No problem.  Next night we were seated at a window in a different section. After that same window except for the last night were we we seated in a different section as we wanted window. Over all for us this works except if we want to get to the early show, then we have to skip dessert. Which I don’t mind, justifies the fancy coffee and liqueurs after the show. 😀 

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11 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

Don't feel like it was just you or the Main Dinning Room    We sailed Reflection only once and were in a upper suite.   Luminae was an absolute mess.   Not sure if it was the Manager (my personal opinion) vs the extra passenger load.  It was so bad that the Michael's Club Concierge insisted on escorting us done each evening and still even after she called to confirm the table was ready had to go into the back room to find the Manager to get us seated.

 

To be honest, we sat down with the Manager to have a talk near the beginning of our problems,  We told him we didn't care if he was backed up all he needed to do was call Michael's Club and tell them he was backed up and a table would be ready in XX minutes.  

 

As a result of this, we have never sailed Reflection again. 

When we sailed on Reflection, which is a couple of years ago, I had talked my sisters into booking Sky Suites instead of the Aqua class that we usually do. I had read so many wonderful things about Luminae that I thought we should splurge. And a splurge it was as it will be the only suite we will probably ever book because we are just run of the mill working stiffs. ( my husband and I are truck drivers). So, we are a group of 8, 4 sisters with our husbands and this size group seemed to be a huge problem for Luminae, although it never is for Blu. 

 

We worked with the staff trying to make arrangements around what would work. We offered to break the group up which we did some nights and staggered the timing. BUT ONE EVENING THEY TOLD US THERE IS NO ROOM FOR YOUR GROUP TOMORROW NIGHT at any time and any group size, they would be happy to make reservations for any of us in select dining. We double checked with all dining staff, our butler and anyone else that would listen but everyone said nothing could be done. 

The only thing that we thought it could be was that there was another group ( of 12) dining every night and they must have been more important because they weren't treated like we were. 

And yes I am still upset about the way we were treated. 

 

We've sailed in Aqua class since after our first Celebrity cruise on Solstice in select dining when we vowed not to do that again. 

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