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Why Are Set Dining Times (MDR) So Important To You?

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1 hour ago, LuCruise said:

This is actually on Oasis.  We had My Time booked until I saw that the changed the start time of MTD to 6:45pm.  i tihnk this is new, and maybe just on Oasis class?  We switched to Traditional.

 

That would definitely be new.  When was your Oasis cruise?  We have had MTD on Oasis (and most other class ships) and it was always coordinated with the traditional seating times as to first and last dinner service.  We were on Symphony last March, and on Ovation last April, and that wasn't the case with either one.  Nonetheless in our case 6:45 would still work for us as we vary our times during the week, as indicated in my previous post, typically between 6:30 -7:30.  Just prefer the flexibility.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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3 hours ago, Joebucks said:

By this time, I've gotten a lot of sunshine and the fun is starting to die down and so is the sun. I'll usually lay down until about 5 or so. After that, it's time to kiss the sunshine goodbye until the following day.

Shows that we are all different. Years of living in Spain means that we don't go out in the sun in the afternoon - much too dangerous.  Once the sun goes lower, that's the time to go out. 

So, on a sea day, we have a late,  leisurely lunch, around 13:30, a siesta for an hour or so, and then head outside,  just as the sunburnt cruisers head in for dinner!  

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We had some friends travelling with us and he needed to eat early (at least 5 hours before laying down) due to a medical condition. We ended up eating at around 6.30pm each night that we dined with them which was most nights. It wasn't too bad but some days I just didn't feel hungry yet.

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17 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

That would definitely be new.  When was your Oasis cruise?  We have had MTD on Oasis (and most other class ships) and it was always coordinated with the traditional seating times as to first and last dinner service.  We were on Symphony last March, and on Ovation last April, and that wasn't the case with either one.  Nonetheless in our case 6:45 would still work for us as we vary our times during the week, as indicated in my previous post, typically between 6:30 -7:30.  Just prefer the flexibility.

Haven't cruised yet.  We have Harmony March 2021 and Oasis March 2022 and they are similar.

I saw the times in a recent cruise compass and there were discussions on the change as well in the Royal thread.

  • Harmony now has first seating as 5:00-5:30pm ( which is strange to see a range on traditional) and My Time starts at 6:30pm
  • Oasis now has first seating at 5:30pm and My Time starting at 6:45pm

Actually...to correct my post....we had My Time booked on Harmony and that's the one we switched to Traditional once I saw the new start time. For Oasis, we booked Traditional from up front for the same reason.

 

From what I heard, they are using all three levels for the first seating and then the My Time level is allocated (which is why they moved the start time to a bit later)

 

Yeah, I totally understand preferring My Time.  We had it on Allure and it worked well as we were able to book dinner around the show times.  Plus if you don't want to book a set time, you can show up when you want.  We have a case in our cruise coming up where we will miss the MDR as the show time conflicts (or is too close if we want to get good seats)

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22 minutes ago, LuCruise said:

Haven't cruised yet.  We have Harmony March 2021 and Oasis March 2022 and they are similar.

I saw the times in a recent cruise compass and there were discussions on the change as well in the Royal thread.

  • Harmony now has first seating as 5:00-5:30pm ( which is strange to see a range on traditional) and My Time starts at 6:30pm
  • Oasis now has first seating at 5:30pm and My Time starting at 6:45pm

Actually...to correct my post....we had My Time booked on Harmony and that's the one we switched to Traditional once I saw the new start time. For Oasis, we booked Traditional from up front for the same reason.

 

From what I heard, they are using all three levels for the first seating and then the My Time level is allocated (which is why they moved the start time to a bit later)

 

Yeah, I totally understand preferring My Time.  We had it on Allure and it worked well as we were able to book dinner around the show times.  Plus if you don't want to book a set time, you can show up when you want.  We have a case in our cruise coming up where we will miss the MDR as the show time conflicts (or is too close if we want to get good seats)

Well that is different! In the past (as you are aware) they would use one level for MTD and the others for traditional. BTW, we've been on certain RCI ships and itineraries in the past where traditional seating started at 5:30. Although it seems too coincidental as you experienced the timing twice, I wonder if early seating demand was higher than usual on those cruises resulting in the time change? But probably not - more likely one of the many (undesirable) changes made with RCI in recent years with their current president.  But that's another discussion altogether.....

 

Thanks for the update!

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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On 1/25/2020 at 9:01 AM, leaveitallbehind said:

Well that is different! In the past (as you are aware) they would use one level for MTD and the others for traditional. BTW, we've been on certain RCI ships and itineraries in the past where traditional seating started at 5:30. Although it seems too coincidental as you experienced the timing twice, I wonder if early seating demand was higher than usual on those cruises resulting in the time change? But probably not - more likely one of the many (undesirable) changes made with RCI in recent years with their current president.  But that's another discussion altogether.....

 

Thanks for the update!

 

We are booked on Oasis in May and have MTD. I just checked my Cruise Planner to see what my options are, and all nights except one have the earliest reservation as 7:00 (one night randomly had 6:30 for some reason). I guess it is possible that all of the earlier times are booked already, but I doubt it this far ahead. I checked specialty restaurants also and they appeared to be wide open, even hibachi.

 

We have the UDP for this cruise, but I may make some MTD reservations anyway in case we want to try the MDR also. I wouldn't want to eat much later than 7-7:30 and it seems like those will go fast if they are the earliest available.

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11 minutes ago, lisa6191 said:

 

We are booked on Oasis in May and have MTD. I just checked my Cruise Planner to see what my options are, and all nights except one have the earliest reservation as 7:00 (one night randomly had 6:30 for some reason). I guess it is possible that all of the earlier times are booked already, but I doubt it this far ahead. I checked specialty restaurants also and they appeared to be wide open, even hibachi.

 

We have the UDP for this cruise, but I may make some MTD reservations anyway in case we want to try the MDR also. I wouldn't want to eat much later than 7-7:30 and it seems like those will go fast if they are the earliest available.

 

In our experience, in particular with RCI, the 6:00 - 7:00 time slot books early and fast with MTD as that is one of the more popular time frames - frequently in the first few days when the planner opens.  Since we typically book at 6:30 - 7:30 (with 7:00 our usual preference) that normally is not an issue with us.  But what you are indicating is not uncommon as MTD is a very popular alternative to the traditional seating, but typically has less space allocated to it.

 

We typically eat primarily at the specialty restaurants and we usually have no issues getting preferred times with them, and often wait to book most nights on board.  So your comment about that doesn't surprise me either.  

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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24 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

In our experience, in particular with RCI, the 6:00 - 7:00 time slot books early and fast with MTD as that is one of the more popular time frames - frequently in the first few days when the planner opens.  Since we typically book at 6:30 - 7:30 (with 7:00 our usual preference) that normally is not an issue with us.  But what you are indicating is not uncommon as MTD is a very popular alternative to the traditional seating, but typically has less space allocated to it.

 

We typically eat primarily at the specialty restaurants and we usually have no issues getting preferred times with them, and often wait to book most nights on board.  So your comment about that doesn't surprise me either.  

 

I just went on the app to see if it listed dining times. My cruise isn't available yet, but I checked one in February. It looks like MTD is still only in the deck 3 dining room, and the times available are 6:45-9:00. This is for Oasis so it may vary on other Royal ships. 

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Also, it doesn't look like they are using the Deck 3 dining room for overflow from the early seating, at least according to this. Maybe the time change is a server allocation issue? Maybe it's not that they don't have enough room for the early seating on deck 4 and 5, it's that they don't have enough servers during that first hour or two to service all three levels. Who knows. It doesn't bother me but I can see people with young children or elderly parents being put off by not being able to book MTD before 6:45.

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22 minutes ago, lisa6191 said:

Also, it doesn't look like they are using the Deck 3 dining room for overflow from the early seating, at least according to this. Maybe the time change is a server allocation issue? Maybe it's not that they don't have enough room for the early seating on deck 4 and 5, it's that they don't have enough servers during that first hour or two to service all three levels. Who knows. It doesn't bother me but I can see people with young children or elderly parents being put off by not being able to book MTD before 6:45.

 

As I responded to the other poster who commented on this, that is a change and one that we have not seen on any RCI ship to date.  And as mentioned, the start time of 6:45 wouldn't necessarily have an impact on us, unless the 6:45 to 7:30 time would book up quickly as it now can with the 6:00 - 7:00 time slot.  Hopefully this won't be fleet wide. 

 

But in recent years we are cruising more frequently on Celebrity than RCI (our most recent RCI cruises were last March on Symphony and last April on Harmony with no change on either with MTD start times), so hopefully it will be a moot point with us!

 

Hopefully it will all work out with your May cruise, which with your UDP it should not be an issue.  Enjoy!

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Set (assigned) dining times are important for me because I cruise solo.  While eating breakfast or lunch alone is no big deal, eating dinner alone feels lonely.  So I like having a guaranteed set of people to sit and compare the day's notes with.  Even if I don't hang out with my tablemates outside of dinner, I do enjoy and appreciate their company.  Otherwise, it feels like being the new kid in the school cafeteria.

 

With anytime dining, it either feels lonely eating alone or get tedious from having to newly introduce myself every day.

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Set dining time is not nearly as important as it used to be for me. I am now able to sail on much smaller ships

and the entire experience is different....the dining venues open at 7 so I normally go between 7:00--7:30 and

since there are so many less passengers it is very easy to meet others and join them for dinner. 

Just returned home last week and there were about 22 solos on board....some nights we shared a table but

I  also joined some other folks (couples) and had a totally enjoyable dinner.  Very easy to meet people

on a ship that only holds 300 guests:classic_biggrin:  (I always sail solo).

 

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2 hours ago, That sinking feeling said:

As it is well known that eating late is bad for you and at the age we are, we eat at 6pm on every cruise.

I think that everyone's version of late can be different.

i.e eating at 6pm can still be eating late if going to bed at 9pm, and

eating at 9pm is not late if going to bed at 2am.

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Set dining time is not nearly as important as it used to be for me. I am now able to sail on much smaller ships

and the entire experience is different....the dining venues open at 7 so I normally go between 7:00--7:30 and

since there are so many less passengers it is very easy to meet others and join them for dinner. 

Just returned home last week and there were about 22 solos on board....some nights we shared a table but

I  also joined some other folks (couples) and had a totally enjoyable dinner.  Very easy to meet people

on a ship that only holds 300 guests:classic_biggrin:  (I always sail solo).

 

^^^

Totally agree with the bolded statement above. It's one of the pleasures of being on a small ship -- much more comfortable if sailing solo, in my opinion. 

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14 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

^^^

Totally agree with the bolded statement above. It's one of the pleasures of being on a small ship -- much more comfortable if sailing solo, in my opinion. 

 

:classic_biggrin::classic_smile::classic_biggrin:

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On 1/23/2020 at 3:29 AM, DarrenM said:

I actually dislike eating a meal in the evening.  I prefer a huge lunch then snacks the rest of the day.

 

Leaves more room for ale

And its healthier.

 

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16 minutes ago, JMorris271 said:

And its healthier.

 

What, leaving more room for ale. 🍻😎

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On 1/27/2020 at 7:00 AM, That sinking feeling said:

As it is well known that eating late is bad for you and at the age we are, we eat at 6pm on every cruise.

 

I suppose that's why the entire population of Spain is so unwell!!!!
😂

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1 hour ago, JMorris271 said:

And its healthier.

 

 

44 minutes ago, davekathy said:

What, leaving more room for ale. 🍻😎

It can be.

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4 minutes ago, Lutèce said:

 

I suppose that's why the entire population of Spain is so unwell!!!!
😂

I would think there are many more unhealthy people than healthy ones that eat early.

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3 hours ago, davekathy said:

I'll drink to that. 🍻

Can't have you drinking alone.

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