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how does open seating work?


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We have done many sailing but have always had a set time and table. This cruise we have "open seating" and I'm not sure how it works involving the two items below

 

1. We still want to be able to eat early.

2. We want to be able to buy a wine package to have at our table.

 

what do we need to know to make those two things happen?

 

in the past our waiter  would bring our wine to the table, (quite often before we even arrived). my understanding of "open seating" is that we will have a different waiter and table each night. how would that waiter find our bottle from the night before?

 

Thanks

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You can eat anytime the dining room is open. At popular times, there may be a wait. My understanding is that there is rarely a wait if you eat early (we never eat early, so I can't personally verify this! LOL). No issues with buying a wine package. They mark the wine with your room number, so you just have to tell them you have an open bottle and they'll get it for you.

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+1

 

And we are early diners and have done Anytime Dining before.....and we prefer a table for just us two......

 

We never had a wait and we never had a problem getting a table for two when we went early.  It did seem to be very busy at the check in podium when we are leaving dinner around 6:30 to 7ish.

 

There was also no problem with my wine bottle finding me.

 

 

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You can reserve specific times for up to three days at a time.  Just call or visit the reservations desk.  If you find a server you like you can request seating in their specific area.

Edited by *Miss G*
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2 hours ago, cavecreekguy said:

Not sure what you define as being able to "eat early." But if you show up at the dining room when they open, or shortly thereafter, there shouldn't be any wait for a table.

Maybe 10 to 15 minutes after opening we find that we can usually just walk right in, but right before opening there is usually a long line waiting for the doors to open.  

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You can request a specific table and waiter by calling reservations.  You can book a table/waiter for three consequtive days.  We've done open seating many times and always reserve our table.  We've had the same table and waiter for the entire cruise on many occasions.  Call when you first get on the ship if you see a table you think you might like.  If the service meets with your approval, then request that table/waiter for the next three evenings.  

 

As for your wine.  No matter where you sit, your unused portion of wine will be stored.  You can request it from the wine steward, and he'll bring it out for you.  Very easy, never had a problem receiving my left-over wine.  Enjoy your cruise.

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30 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Call when you first get on the ship if you see a table you think you might like.

We use the seating charts available on halfacts.com to make a list of 6 or so two-tops that we would like, and ASAP after boarding go to the reservations podium in or near the Lido and go down the list until we find one available for 3 days. After 3 days we decide if we want to stick with that one or try for another. 

 

Still, armed with that reservation, if we go down at or just before opening time we usually find a long line.

Edited by catl331
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If you know what times you want to eat, by all means try to get a reservation. There are usually 2 lines at the dining room podium: 1 for those with reservations and 1 for those with no reservations. The line for those with reservations is generally much shorter and moves quickly. The busiest times tend to be 6:30 to 7:30 (depending on the cruise). Another wait-free option is to go later, say 8:00 or so. If you want to avoid lines, ask the maitre'd what the best times would be. They usually have a good idea of what to expect on your specific cruise.

 

Also with the wines, they can follow you around the ship. I started one in Tamarind and finished it the next night in the MDR. No problem at all.

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Open seating is not as convenient as it may seem. Its like going to a theatre for a premier (with an open seating) and finding yourself seating on the stairs or even leaving the theatre. You have to leave your cabin earlier to get a nice place or to come later when all food is cold already. I would choose the first variant but even then the chances are quite small cause you are not the only smart one on board lol. You can also order food to the cabin but why pay extra and eat inside when you re on the cruise lol?

Anyway, its not comfortable at all. Just wake up early and rush to the restaurant. Get your food and dont mind the seat you find cause it will be the only seat around at the time. Just have your food and keep on cruising 😉 

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1 hour ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Why would the food be cold?  What cruise line do you use?  😂

JMO  @*Miss G* but the poster to whom you are responding MAY (or may not) be a troll.  She/he/it has been on CC <1 month..at least in his/her/its current iteration.. and already has >150 posts.  And they are ALL OVER the boards -- Princess, X, HAL, Marella, various roll calls, etc.  Again, JMO but I personally would not engage with this poster. 

Edited by Av8rix
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3 hours ago, Av8rix said:

JMO  @*Miss G* but the poster to whom you are responding MAY (or may not) be a troll.  She/he/it has been on CC <1 month..at least in his/her/its current iteration.. and already has >150 posts.  And they are ALL OVER the boards -- Princess, X, HAL, Marella, various roll calls, etc.  Again, JMO but I personally would not engage with this poster. 

 

Very much appreciated, Av8rix.  Thank you.

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I really found the Anytime Dining to be pretty much like going to a (pretty nice) restaurant. You show up, they seat you. If a lot of people showed up right before you, there's a wait. Also realize that there is flexibility between the Fixed dining and Anytime Dining available seating, but also that if you go right before the second (late) fixed seating, they will likely be holding tables open for those people they are expecting to show up.

 

We didn't have any problems with it, and never waited for more than 2 other groups. The only time there was a significant line it was for the "reservations", while the non-reservations wasn't even a line, just walk right to the podium. Now, that's in a limited sample size of one cruise, but I think thinking of it like a restaurant is pretty helpful for keeping the right perspective.

 

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10 hours ago, Av8rix said:

JMO  @*Miss G* but the poster to whom you are responding MAY (or may not) be a troll.  She/he/it has been on CC <1 month..at least in his/her/its current iteration.. and already has >150 posts.  And they are ALL OVER the boards -- Princess, X, HAL, Marella, various roll calls, etc.  Again, JMO but I personally would not engage with this poster. 

Came to the same conclusion when reading another (earlier) posting of this "pessimist". 

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Sometimes, Westerdam in Alaska last summer and Nieuw Statendam two weeks ago, we were able to reserve a table for the entire length of the cruise.  Had the same wait staff and wine steward every night.  Just let reservations know in advance if you plan to skip a dinner (On the Nieuw Statendam at least, they automatically canceled that reservation when a specialty restaurant was booked.)

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