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Dine My Way - new MedallionClass enhancement


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23 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Just playing around with the app just now, and it does seem much improved, with MDR and speciality dining options easily  reservable.

However, the default preference for MDR reservations always seems to be for a table for two. I know that many prefer this option,  but we enjoy dining with different peoole each night, and there seems to be no way to book a table with 4 or 6 strangers. 

Princess needs a “Happy to Share” option on the app. (If you’ve cruised PCL before, you’ll know that’s what they always say as you walk up to the hostess.). 😄

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Just started looking at the conversation and am I understanding this correctly, I have to decided right now where and when I want to dine for my June 2022 cruise.

Please somebody talk me off the ledge.

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32 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Just playing around with the app just now, and it does seem much improved, with MDR and speciality dining options easily  reservable.

However, the default preference for MDR reservations always seems to be for a table for two. I know that many prefer this option,  but we enjoy dining with different peoole each night, and there seems to be no way to book a table with 4 or 6 strangers. 

We’re in the same situation, hoping to sit with a larger table. I’ve resigned myself to keeping the current reservations and then speaking to the MD after we board. I don’t want to risk losing the time slot we’ve reserved. I expect, however, that the MD will be swamped with requests that day. 😒

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10 minutes ago, IEHL said:

Just started looking at the conversation and am I understanding this correctly, I have to decided right now where and when I want to dine for my June 2022 cruise.

Please somebody talk me off the ledge.

You don't need to decide now.  You can wait until closer to your cruise but at that time I suppose you run the risk of not getting your preferred times, specialty restaurants, etc.

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10 minutes ago, capriccio said:

You don't need to decide now.  You can wait until closer to your cruise but at that time I suppose you run the risk of not getting your preferred times, specialty restaurants, etc.

I don't see how anyone can decide what time they want to dine, until the actual day itself.  If it's a sea day, but the weather has been grim, you might decide to eat early, at around 19:00,  but if the weather has been warm and sunny, 20:30 would be preferable. Similarly when returning from a port excursion - if you've gorged on tapas, you won't want to eat before 20:00. 

Apart from the speciality restaurants, I see no reason to make any reservations whatsoever.  We will just turn up at the MDR when we are hungry. The worst that can happen is that we might be forced to have another drink in the bar whilst waiting for a table.  

Edited by wowzz
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so what happened to booking a suite or club class and getting priority seating when showing up at our leisure and getting a table? getting priority reservation at specialty restaurants? If guests can prebook up to a year in advance there likely is no chance once on board. Yikes.

 

10 minutes ago, capriccio said:

You don't need to decide now.  You can wait until closer to your cruise but at that time I suppose you run the risk of not getting your preferred times, specialty restaurants, etc.

 

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3 minutes ago, wowzz said:

I don't see how anyone can decide what time they want to dine, until the actual day itself.

 

Different circumstances for different cruisers. 

 

If it is just DH and I we do anytime dining for many of the reasons you stated.  On our March cruise we are with siblings and spouses and we want to all eat together.  One couple always eats early, the other two prefer later but not too late so we compromised with a 6:40 reservation.  On our July cruise we are with immediate family that includes 2 kids (7 1/2 and almost 3).  We need to dine early and do not want to play table roulette. 

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2 minutes ago, IEHL said:

so what happened to booking a suite or club class and getting priority seating when showing up at our leisure and getting a table? getting priority reservation at specialty restaurants? If guests can prebook up to a year in advance there likely is no chance once on board. Yikes.

 

 

The need for reservations does not apply to suite or club class passengers in the MDR.

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I am looking forward to using DMW to its potential on a future cruise.  On our current cruise departing August 1, booking at the last minute (six weeks out) and then losing additional weeks to the MedallionClass app meant that by last week most specialty restaurants were largely booked (at least for reasonable time slots).

 

For this cruise, it's just three of us.  We're up for table roulette -- heck it'll be dining roulette.  Who knows where we might end up night to night.  😉

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7 hours ago, wowzz said:

Just playing around with the app just now, and it does seem much improved, with MDR and speciality dining options easily  reservable.

However, the default preference for MDR reservations always seems to be for a table for two. I know that many prefer this option,  but we enjoy dining with different peoole each night, and there seems to be no way to book a table with 4 or 6 strangers. 

This is going to be addressed by the OCEAN Team.  I do not have a date, but stay tuned.  They are aware this is an issue.  That said, the initial cruises - at least up to end of the CDC CSO and perhaps to year-end - are implementing socially distanced dining as I understand it.  Princess has not indicated when dining will return to normal, but do expect a provision for table size to be built into DMW.

 

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7 hours ago, RRFan said:

Princess needs a “Happy to Share” option on the app. (If you’ve cruised PCL before, you’ll know that’s what they always say as you walk up to the hostess.). 😄

That would be fine for an AT res, but at least for TD, they need to offer table size.  Then, the system could offer back that size if available, or next size up/down that will hold your dining party.

 

We should be able to select our dining party as now, then pick table-size, then see available times for that table size (including the DR location).  Just one extra parameter should do it.

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7 hours ago, IEHL said:

Just started looking at the conversation and am I understanding this correctly, I have to decided right now where and when I want to dine for my June 2022 cruise.

Please somebody talk me off the ledge.

If you aren't looking for TD (I presume by your note), then there is no need to make dining plans now.  You can wait until closer to sail date, you can do it on board, you can even walk-up like you used to.

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6 hours ago, IEHL said:

so what happened to booking a suite or club class and getting priority seating when showing up at our leisure and getting a table? getting priority reservation at specialty restaurants? If guests can prebook up to a year in advance there likely is no chance once on board. Yikes.

 

 

There is still Club Class dining.  You do not need to be using DMW for that - unless you want to book a Specialty Dining.

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I’m sitting by a pool at a resort in Kauai, Hawaii, and reading Project Hail Mary, the latest book by Andy Weir, author of Artemis and The Martian (made into a movie starring Matt Damon). A conversation is taking place among crew members from different space ships, when, for no particular reason, I immediately thought of this thread. 
 

It’s a cellphone photo of an e-reader screen, but, hopefully, it’s legible. 

91059595-86D1-4596-B5CF-C95815EE6BCA.jpeg

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8 hours ago, IEHL said:

so what happened to booking a suite or club class and getting priority seating when showing up at our leisure and getting a table? getting priority reservation at specialty restaurants? If guests can prebook up to a year in advance there likely is no chance once on board. Yikes.

 

 

If you are club class then there is no reason to reserve you are in club class dining are and will be seated within minutes.  Same with free specialty dining 1st night - that is a perk of full suite passengers

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20 hours ago, wowzz said:

Apart from the speciality restaurants, I see no reason to make any reservations whatsoever.  We will just turn up at the MDR when we are hungry. The worst that can happen is that we might be forced to have another drink in the bar whilst waiting for a table.  

 

I agree entirely. It's a holiday for Gods sake and to me that means little planning whenever possible. 

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All talk of reservations will only cause more delays for dining in the evening. They'll now be holding tables for people to arrive just about anytime when they could be used for people standing in line waiting to eat. I can't possible see how they thought this would speed up things.

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When we booked our March 2022 cruise on the Enchanted Princess we requested TD, Late Seating. On the MD it does should us at a table for 2 at 7:20PM for the entire cruise. It does show us in the Capri DR on Deck 6 (Fiesta, Midship). I was thinking that normally TD would have been in the Amalfi DR  on Deck 6 (Fiesta, Aft). Since the Enchanted is new and they seem to still be doing separation just wondering if this will change or what the deal is. Like everyone guess we'll have to wait and see and check when we board.

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5 hours ago, MissP22 said:

All talk of reservations will only cause more delays for dining in the evening. They'll now be holding tables for people to arrive just about anytime when they could be used for people standing in line waiting to eat. I can't possible see how they thought this would speed up things.

The people who designed this system have never been on a cruise, obviously, or in a restaurant, for that matter.  

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9 minutes ago, Kay S said:

The people who designed this system have never been on a cruise, obviously, or in a restaurant, for that matter.  

I'm thinking that it all looks good on paper for advertising but not much else. 

Now they'll be holding tables for people arriving at 6:30 PM when people will be standing at the door ready to eat at 6 PM. 

Terrible idea. 

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27 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

I'm thinking that it all looks good on paper for advertising but not much else. 

Now they'll be holding tables for people arriving at 6:30 PM when people will be standing at the door ready to eat at 6 PM. 

Terrible idea. 

But weren't there complaints about changes to TD - first sitting too early etc. That was done because second TD was underused. Long lines for early AT waiting for an early slot, lines waiting for buzzers and then waiting once you had the buzzer. Many requests to make reservations for AT. I think, as you say, DMW works ON PAPER, TD at your preferred time, AT reservations at your preferred time, no lines for early slots, no lines for buzzers etc. etc. People who want true AT can just turn up and wait if necessary. Three dining rooms would be used more efficiently for TD and AT between 5 - 7. The people who really get hurt are AT who want to be seated between 5 and 7 because all reservations will be gone. All this ON PAPER of course.

 

The real zinger is forcing this onto a poorly designed App that could have worked on old technology but doesn't and could have been used in parallel with existing PC platform.

 

If you take away Covid restrictions; take away other aspects of Medallion; implement DMW on existing PC platform, this could have been an improvement.

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7 hours ago, MissP22 said:

All talk of reservations will only cause more delays for dining in the evening. They'll now be holding tables for people to arrive just about anytime when they could be used for people standing in line waiting to eat. I can't possible see how they thought this would speed up things.

I totally agree with you.  The Early and Late Traditional plus Anytime Dining has worked for us for the past 6 cruises.  This new system does nothing IMO to improve the situation .  

 

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I am, pretty much, in agreement with @Tedferg's comments, above.  I believe that My Way Dining was conceived to optimize the utiliztion of the dining rooms.

 

A lot of space was underutlilzed in the rooms dedicated to Traditional Dining for several reasons:

  • A Traditional Dining party booked an alternative dinner on board
    • Specialty Restaurant
    • Ultimate Balcony Dinner
    • Chef's Table
    • Winemaker's Dinner
  • A Traditional Dining party decides to go to the buffet for any of a number of reasons
    • They returned late from a shore excursion
    • They want to finish dinner quickly in order to get to a show
    • They looked at the evening's dining room menu and did not like it
    • They had dinner on shore.
    • They had a big lunch and want only a light dinner.
  • One of a Traditional Dining party falls sick and the entire party opts for room service--or a hamburger or a pizza from the Lido Deck or a salad and sandwich from the International Cafe.
  • A Tradional Dining party meets some new friends on board and decides to join them in one of the Anytime Dining rooms.

All these are perfectly understandable circumstances.  The result of these circumstances is that tables in the Traditional Dining room are unused for, roughly, two hours.

 

One of the obvious goals of the My Way Dining program is to allow passengers to make a fixed reservation for a specific table every evening to emulate some of the perceived benefits  of Traditional DIning 

  • A fixed dining time every evening of the cruise
  • The same table with the same service staff every evening.

We don't know everything about the planned implementation, but, presumably, if a party does not arrive for a My Way Dining, and, again, there are multiple perfectly valid reasons for doing so, and they fail to cancel the reservation, the validity of those reasons possibly being specious, the empty space is held for 15 minutes--not two hours--and then returned to the pool of available space.

 

Regarding improving the Anytime Dining operation, look at the biggest complaint:  poor operational performance during peak periods.  Yes, a lot of cruisers want to dine at the same time fairly early in the evening.  The Anytime Dining rooms have a limited capacity.  As a result diners who want to dine early have to get in line before the Anytime Dining room(s) open, and have to wait.  After the tables are filled, subsequent diners have to wait in line or with a pager for space to become available.

 

Many people who signed up for Anytime Dining and were dissatisfied with the fact that they had to wait for a table asked Princess to allow Anytime Diners to make reservations in the hope that they would be able to more easily be seated at their preferred time.  Most of the Princess ships allowed for reservations to be made using the ship's DINE line.  However, the number of reservations was limited.  I read many complaints, here on Cruise Critic, about having to get into the DINE line phone queue at the time when reservations were allowed to be made for that given evening.  I also read queries on Cruise Critic wondering why Princess did not allow reservations to be made from passengers' SmartPhone like was being done on NCL.

 

So, theoretically, if a party wants to make a reservation in one of the dining rooms and, say, 6:00 pm on embarkation day, the My Way Dining knows how many tables are available, and can assign space for thise request.  There will, still, only be a limited amount of space.  My Way Dining is not going to create mores space, but it will know how much space is already allocated.  If there is no space available at 6:00 pm, the requestor will be advised, immediately, and an alternative plan can be developed.

 

When My Wine Dining is finally rolled out on actual cruises, passengers are still going to want to dine at their preferred times.  So, how will this new program improve peak period operations?  

 

Let me speculate, here..

 

With the My Way Dining system, the managers of the various dining rooms, and, if I am not mistaken, there are three dining rooms on most of the Princess ships, will know not only what space is available in their room, but what space is available in the other two rooms.  No longer will tables in the "Tradition Dining" rooms be unavailable for two hours because of no-shows.  They will be unavailable for only 15 minutes.  Passengers in line at one dining room can be advised that seating is available at another dining room.  Optimally, the headwaiter at the first room, can put a 15-minute hold on a table in another room.

 

Also, dining room utilization could be displayed on cabin TVs and the elevator lobby kiosks.  A party can check to see which rooms have availability, and avoid rooms that are fully engaged.

 

I may have an overly optimistic view of how this system will actually work when fully rolled out, but cut me a break.  My speculation into unknowns is as valid as anybody's. 

 

I am not going to comment, at all, about the roll-out of the My Way Dining SmartDevice reservation software.  There is no reason to comment, any more, on that.

 

From my perspective, Mrs. XBGuy and I have selected Anytime Dining for every one of our Princess cruises, and it has worked fine for us.  I have no reason to believe that our experience will be diminished in any way in the future.  I did look at the Medallion software on my SmartPhone and saw that the My Way Dining ability appeared to be there.  However, I do not plan to spend any more time with it.  We have no need to make any reservations.  When we are on our next cruise, in January, we will continue our dining hablts exactly the same way we always have.

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