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We just got off Oasis and were surprised By the changes to MTD. I don’t recall seeing anything here, so thought I would share. We’ve been on Oasis before, as well as Harmony and did not have this experience. We have been doing MTD the last several years with consistent results. We book the earliest time we can in the planner (usually 6/6:30), and show up on time or a little early for our reservations. We have always been seated with minimal wait times and have the same table and wait staff every night. We did the same for this cruise and booked 6:30 reservations for the entire week. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at about 6:15 only to be told that MTD does not start until 6:45 (in our experience it has always started at 5:45). Apparently, the early seating (5:30) were on deck 3 (where MTD was) as well. So anyone with MTD had to wait until tables were freed up from the early seating. We ended up waiting longer and longer for a table every night and never had the same table or wait staff. Now I know that’s the risk you run when doing MTD, but that has not been our experience in the past. I also don’t understand why we were able to make reservations for 6:30 when it didn’t start until 6:45. I also imagine the early seating must have felt rushed, as their tables were needed for MTD. It really made a difference in our dining experience. I felt bad for the wait staff too, as I’m sure it effects their ability to build relationships with families and increase their opportunity for additional tips. 

Edited by DrDani226
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DrDani, we had the same experience on Harmony in December. Times were variable, table was never the same.  Previously, on Oasis in February 2019, we also had the same table & waiter every night.  So I agree, MTD was formerly great, now not so much.  It seemed the person at the desk was uninterested in our preference.

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24 minutes ago, DrDani226 said:

We book the earliest time we can in the planner (usually 6/6:30), and show up on time or a little early for our reservations. We have always been seated with minimal wait times and have the same table and wait staff every night.

 

May I ask why you don't choose the early seating for traditional dining when you book your cruise? It sounds like your MTD plan is pretty much the same as traditional dining but you would just walk right in with no need to make reservations, and I think you enjoy having the same table and waiter every night.

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So let me get this straight..

You made 6:30 dinner reservations and even after 6:45  you still had to wait for someone to finish their meal (5:30 early dining) for a table... and you put up with this all cruise??  

I was always under the impression MTD was in separate dining room..

I would be pissed...

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We just booked Oasis for 4/5 and the only thing available was early dining. Have no idea who wants to eat dinner at 5:30 on vacation, but not us. We are on waiting list for MTD. Hopefully we can talk to maitre d when on board and get switched to MTD or late seating.

If we can’t switch, can we still go to the MDR and wait for a table? We usually don’t eat before 7/730.

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3 minutes ago, Builder31 said:

We just booked Oasis for 4/5 and the only thing available was early dining. Have no idea who wants to eat dinner at 5:30 on vacation, but not us. We are on waiting list for MTD. Hopefully we can talk to maitre d when on board and get switched to MTD or late seating.

If we can’t switch, can we still go to the MDR and wait for a table? We usually don’t eat before 7/730.

If you have early dining you cannot just show up and wait for a table.  If they can’t switch you on the first day when you board and ask then you will have early dining for the remainder of the cruise. 

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17 minutes ago, SG65CB said:

 

May I ask why you don't choose the early seating for traditional dining when you book your cruise? It sounds like your MTD plan is pretty much the same as traditional dining but you would just walk right in with no need to make reservations, and I think you enjoy having the same table and waiter every night.

Actually, we do prefer early dining 😊 We switched to MTD after it became increasingly difficult to get a table for 4. My husband and son prefer to dine with just our family. After one disastrous 10-nighter when we were seated with a large group, they prefer the guarantee of a 4 top with MTD. 

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19 minutes ago, Scoobydobe7 said:

So let me get this straight..

You made 6:30 dinner reservations and even after 6:45  you still had to wait for someone to finish their meal (5:30 early dining) for a table... and you put up with this all cruise??  

I was always under the impression MTD was in separate dining room..

I would be pissed...

Yup. Oh, we complained. Perhaps not enough, but I wasn’t planning on spending my cruise angry and constantly complaining. We simply skipped MTD several nights in favor of other options. And yes, my experience has always been that MTD had their own floor. 

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8 minutes ago, Builder31 said:

We just booked Oasis for 4/5 and the only thing available was early dining. Have no idea who wants to eat dinner at 5:30 on vacation, but not us. We are on waiting list for MTD. Hopefully we can talk to maitre d when on board and get switched to MTD or late seating.

If we can’t switch, can we still go to the MDR and wait for a table? We usually don’t eat before 7/730.

Something will likely open up, and there are plenty of people that want to switch the first day, so hopefully they can accommodate you. However, as Ourusualbeach noted, if you have early or late dining, you have to go at that time and they won’t seat you for MTD. 

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I'm still trying to figure out if it's MTD then why do you make reservations? I thought the whole point in MTD is so that you can go whenever and not be tied to a certain time and those times could change throughout the cruise. ??  If you make a reservation for a certain time all week, why wouldn't that be the traditional dining instead?

 

We will be on the Oasis next month and I keep getting emails from RC saying "Don't forget your My Time Dining reservation." We have cruised with RC several times and have never made a reservation. Is this something new? I don't want to have to set a time for us to be there. I like to come when I'm hungry...which to me, is the whole reason for MTD. 🤷‍♀️

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14 minutes ago, DrDani226 said:

Actually, we do prefer early dining 😊 We switched to MTD after it became increasingly difficult to get a table for 4. My husband and son prefer to dine with just our family. After one disastrous 10-nighter when we were seated with a large group, they prefer the guarantee of a 4 top with MTD. 

You would know better than I if it is even possible to request a specific table size for traditional dining, I have never tried it. Our group of 4 has always been put at a table for 4 except for one time when they sat us with another family. We got along so well that we have gone on other vacations with them (added that because I have read several disaster table-mate stories on CC). 

 

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2 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

I'm still trying to figure out if it's MTD then why do you make reservations? I thought the whole point in MTD is so that you can go whenever and not be tied to a certain time and those times could change throughout the cruise. ??  If you make a reservation for a certain time all week, why wouldn't that be the traditional dining instead?

 

We will be on the Oasis next month and I keep getting emails from RC saying "Don't forget your My Time Dining reservation." We have cruised with RC several times and have never made a reservation. Is this something new? I don't want to have to set a time for us to be there. I like to come when I'm hungry...which to me, is the whole reason for MTD. 🤷‍♀️

 

You can make MTD reservations in advance or you can just show up and wait in line for a table. 

 

Some people use MTD because they want specific dinner times each night depending on the show times they have reserved, and they make reservations for their preferred times.

 

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4 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

I'm still trying to figure out if it's MTD then why do you make reservations? I thought the whole point in MTD is so that you can go whenever and not be tied to a certain time and those times could change throughout the cruise. ??  If you make a reservation for a certain time all week, why wouldn't that be the traditional dining instead?

 

We will be on the Oasis next month and I keep getting emails from RC saying "Don't forget your My Time Dining reservation." We have cruised with RC several times and have never made a reservation. Is this something new? I don't want to have to set a time for us to be there. I like to come when I'm hungry...which to me, is the whole reason for MTD. 🤷‍♀️

I think that was the concept for MTD, but it’s turned into something else. You can try not making reservations, but if we waited when we had reservations, I don’t know how long those without them must have had to wait. Unless maybe you eat really late?

 

3 minutes ago, SG65CB said:

You would know better than I if it is even possible to request a specific table size for traditional dining, I have never tried it. Our group of 4 has always been put at a table for 4 except for one time when they sat us with another family. We got along so well that we have gone on other vacations with them (added that because I have read several disaster table-mate stories on CC). 

 

We didn’t used to have trouble, but we often cruised with groups larger than 4, and when it was just us 4, I did tend to request a 4 top by emailing dining. However, no matter what we did for that one cruise, they would not switch us. Come to think of it, that was Navigator. When we sailed on Navigator again we had a larger group and they STILL messed it up. They split our group into two tables that weren’t even near each other. Maybe it’s just the ship lol. 

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Thanks for posting this.  It confirms we are making the right choice for summer cruise.

 

I’ve never understood why royal couldn’t copy NCL’s model for dining.  They have just never gotten it right.  And if keeping guests with same table was important to royal, clearly that went out the window now too with MTD.

 

as early dining crept earlier and earlier to 5 we moved to MTD when cruising with our son when 6:15 is a perfect dinner For him.  Now that MTD isnt until 6:45 if we are lucky and get no wait, we’re going back to early dining at 5:30.  We cruise in June and will see how it goes.

 

i refuse to pay for specialty dining and since we buffet a lot when with our son prefer one sit down meal a day.  I will be sad if their good enough model has been broken now too.

 

i will say when we cruised in 2018, I forgot to reserve half of our MTD nights.  The lady onboard said 90% of MTD reservations released pre-cruise so they have a heck of a time fitting people in pre-8pm if not booked ahead.  She worked some magic for us, but just still puzzled how NCL figured it out.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Scoobydobe7 said:

So let me get this straight..

You made 6:30 dinner reservations and even after 6:45  you still had to wait for someone to finish their meal (5:30 early dining) for a table... and you put up with this all cruise??  

I was always under the impression MTD was in separate dining room..

I would be pissed...

 

If it's like the Harmony was on our cruise a month ago they used all 3 dining rooms for early seating which I believe started at 5pm.

 

When the early seating pax got done their meals that's when the tables opened up on the deck 3 dining room for MTD.

 

While I had a lot of angst over this it turned out pretty good.

 

we only ate in the MTD room on formal nights, ate 1 night at Sabors, 1 night at Solarium Bistro, and the rest at the Lido buffet.

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Here's what I posted in December about this situation:

--------------------

"I’m guessing that all four of the Oasis class ships are changing to what my daughter and I experienced last month on Allure.  There was early traditional dining in all three levels of the main dining room (decks 3, 4 & 5).  On decks 4 & 5, second seating of traditional dining commenced at 8 pm.  On deck 3, there was no second traditional dining—just MTD from 6:30 on.  

 

When we arrived onboard, we tried to get MTD at 5:30, as we had done on previous cruises.  We were told that the earliest we could choose MTD was 6:30.  This wouldn’t work well for us because we had scheduled all of our entertainment for the early shows (about 7 pm).  We were told that the only two-top we could have at 5:30 was on deck 3, so we took it.  Little did we know that MTD diners would start being seated before we were finished eating, and that there would be long lines of people waiting to get in when we left.  It made for a rather chaotic experience.

 

My son and son-in-law are treating my daughter and me to a March 2020 cruise on Symphony (to celebrate my 80th birthday).  Guessing that this new dining arrangement may be happening on Symphony, our travel agent managed to secure traditional second seating at 8 pm (presumably on deck 4 or 5), and we reserved later shows for entertainment.  The guys are coming from California, so their bodies will be better attuned to the later dinner and shows.  (I’ll just need to sneak in an afternoon nap - LOL)."

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If RCCL continues this practice, when my daughter and I cruise by ourselves in the future, we will once again choose to dine at 5:30, (which we can now do with traditional dining) but figure out how to get ourselves assigned to the dining room on deck 4 or 5.  We definitely won't settle for deck 3 after the chaos we encountered on our last cruise.

 

 I'm glad OP started this thread, which may help at least a few people know what they'll encounter on board the Oasis Class ships.

Edited by Grandma Petania
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