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Entering the Traditional dining room; what's the etiquette after day 1?


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I've always done Anytime dining on Princess. It's pretty straight forward: show up ad the dining room entrance, ask for a table and wait to be led to the next available table.

 

Since I tend to eat at the same time every day, I thought I'd give Traditional dining a try on this last leg of my cruise. Last night (night 1 of this cruise), I showed up at the traditional dining room at my assigned time with the card reporting what table number I was assigned to, handed it to one of the gate keepers and I was led to my table. Now forgive this question -- I'm a newb to traditional dining -- but what's the etiquette for the rest of the nights as far as going to my table? Do I still wait at the entrance for someone to guide me to my table or do I just enter at my assigned time and go sit down?

 

I suppose that when I show up at the dining room tonight, I'll get my question answered for me but forewarned is forearmed!

Edited by Croptop
fixed grammar
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As you may have seen, the doors will not open until the time for Traditional dining to begin.  After the first night you may...at your discretion, walk directly to your assigned table and either wait to be seated or seat yourself.

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You are more than welcome to just seat yourself but there will be someone there to walk you to your table if you request it.  For some, this may be necessary ... they may have a hard time remembering which table is theirs or ask for assistance with a mobility device, etc.  That doesn't sound like an issue for you, so it is not breaking any rules of etiquette to just seat yourself.  

If you are assigned to traditional dining, though, and decide to go to a specialty restaurant or buffet, or simply if you aren't going to show up for dinner, it is polite to let the maitre'd, hostess or head waiter know ahead of time ... anytime that day or the night before, if you know you won't be attending that dinner, would be most appreciated by all.  They will sometimes use your seats for anytime diners to alleviate long lines a bit.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Cruise Raider said:

You are more than welcome to just seat yourself but there will be someone there to walk you to your table if you request it.  For some, this may be necessary ... they may have a hard time remembering which table is theirs or ask for assistance with a mobility device, etc.  That doesn't sound like an issue for you, so it is not breaking any rules of etiquette to just seat yourself.  

They will sometimes use your seats for anytime diners to alleviate long lines a bit.  

 

 

I didn't know this; thanks for the tip! I will make sure to let them know from now on.

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Just off the Pacific P. and as you enter the waiters are all lined up with a small tray in their possession. If you're carrying a glass of whatever or a bottle of wine. The put it on the tray and lead or follow you to your table (depending on whether you can remember where it is :classic_tongue: ).

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Gosh I love TD.  One of the many niceties is the ability to make your way directly to your table after the first night.  As others have written, in my experience, waiters who don't have guests seated yet, will be queued up to help you with your cocktails if you'd like.  What amazes me is that your own waiter will step forward for this service if able - the amazing part is you've only met them once before and they have been staring at hundreds other new faces over the course of meals in between.  The ability to recognize an individual guest on sight after a single meeting is a genuine talent. 

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After using ATD since it was instituted we went back to TD several years ago.  I you are in the aft MDR on deck 6, they will not seat ATD pax at your table on occasion.  They do take the drink in your hand on entry and take it to the table however you can decline the offer.  We usually remember our table and go right to it after the first night.  We love having the same waiters each night who quickly learn what we drink and eat.  It is amazing how after first meeting them they remember your name and face.  

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They better not try to sit ATD guests at my TD table!!!   I would find that as offensive as TD trying to muscle in to ATD..   You pays your money and you takes your choice do switch on a whim..  If you can't get where you have "booked" go to the buffet.

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21 minutes ago, satxdiver said:

After using ATD since it was instituted we went back to TD several years ago.  I you are in the aft MDR on deck 6, they will not seat ATD pax at your table on occasion.  They do take the drink in your hand on entry and take it to the table however you can decline the offer.  We usually remember our table and go right to it after the first night.  We love having the same waiters each night who quickly learn what we drink and eat.  It is amazing how after first meeting them they remember your name and face.  


New to Princess.
Re: TD.  What do you mean:  “they will not seat ATD pax at you’re table on occasion”?   I am confused.

Thanks.

Edited by Justalone
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4 hours ago, casofilia said:

It has been known that when ATD is full and there is a long queue that they will take ATD people and put them in the TD room.   However it generally accepted that they will only be put at vacant tables.

 

Yes. They actually did that for me last week (when I was still on Anytime dining). I'd been regularly showing up at the ATD dining room and asking for my own table. One night, the head waiter handed me a little laminated card that read "Table for 2" and sent me back to the Traditional dining room where they seated me at a table that was going unused that night. That's actually what inspired me to try switching to Traditional dining for this week.

 

On a related note, I've got a reservation to dine at Sabatini's tonight so I mentioned it to my waiter last night as I was leaving dinner. He thanked me for mentioning it and stated that he already knew because they could see my reservation in the computer system. So I agree that it's courteous to mention when you're not going to show up and will continue to do so, they may already know. 🙂

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5 hours ago, casofilia said:

They better not try to sit ATD guests at my TD table!!!   I would find that as offensive as TD trying to muscle in to ATD..   You pays your money and you takes your choice do switch on a whim..  If you can't get where you have "booked" go to the buffet.

I'm not trying to start anything, but I am curious.  Why would that be an issue that would offend you if those seats would have gone empty that night anyway?  I could understand if you were concerned that you could get bumped, but that's not the case.

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Back several years ago when we did ATD, several times we would be taken to the TD dining room and seated at a 2-top.  This was in the midship MDR which switches to ATD at ~7:30.  I have never seen this done in the aft MDR however since it is TD all night.  Since we switched to TD we have always been assigned to the aft MDR for first seating and a 2-top as we requested.  Now that they have moved the dinner times up, we request second seating at 7:15.  

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Yes, we always inform our server and table mates when we are going to a speciality restaurant on the following night.  Since we are usually in the 6 aft TD dining room it’s rare for them to try to put someone elapse at our table.  The exception for that is when we have a late departure time at a particular port.  On those occasions anything goes.

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29 minutes ago, satxdiver said:

Back several years ago when we did ATD, several times we would be taken to the TD dining room and seated at a 2-top.  This was in the midship MDR which switches to ATD at ~7:30.  I have never seen this done in the aft MDR however since it is TD all night.  Since we switched to TD we have always been assigned to the aft MDR for first seating and a 2-top as we requested.  Now that they have moved the dinner times up, we request second seating at 7:15.  

We've been sent or escorted to the aft dining room multiple times for seating when we're ATD.  On Crown, Sapphire, Royal, Regal and Emerald, all within the last 2 years.  If there's a line/long wait for ATD, they call the Traditional dining room and check on tables. If there's empty tables, after the cutoff 15 minutes for traditional seating time, then they definitely take ATD folks back there to empty tables. Generally speaking, the late seating is often much emptier than early, so there's often lots of tables available.

 

We don't ask to be sent there, it's the maitre'd who does it. Works for them, gets people seated and eating. Just cause you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't happening.. 

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