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Dine My Way - new MedallionClass enhancement


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17 minutes ago, XBGuy said:

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 have speculated similarly but not nearly as clearly as you.  I hope Princess can achieve the objectives you laid out.

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51 minutes ago, XBGuy said:

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.

Great positive view of the upside possibilities for DMW feature.  I hope it is fully-realized as you do.  But they do need to add a table-size component in the selection process as some like to dine alone with their cabin-mate or travel party and others like to meet other passengers.  This can be true for both TD and AT fans.  Hopefully this will be updated and ready by the time Princess is ready to drop the socially-distanced dining paradigm.

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Hope it all works out. All my wife and I would like is the same table, in the same DR at the same time very night with the same Wait Staff (TD). Hope that is what we end up with.

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We took one Celebrity cruise and it was fine, but we prefer the feel of Princess ships. One disappointment with Celebrity was that we had a table for two every night. Not that we have a problem with that, we enjoy each other's company, but we enjoy sharing more as we do on Princess.

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1 hour ago, XBGuy said:

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

They had that ability before DMW. We always book TD. On a couple of our cruises, our tablemates were frequent no shows. The waiters would wait a period of time before taking our orders to see if they showed up (unless they'd been informed ahead of time by the no-shows) and we would often have diners from ATD be escorted to our table.

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On 7/19/2021 at 6:20 AM, 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.). 😄

Would make it a lot easier than what I  had to do on the roll call. Get booking numbers & link in DMW. If I had a “Happy to Share” button I'd just tap that & be done

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2 hours ago, HleeCruiser said:

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 .  

 

I'd agree with that.

Interesting to read other comments about early dining being the most popular.  Certainly not the case when the majority of cruisers are European - early traditional dining is the least  popular  - long queues on the first day trying to  change to late dining.  

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12 minutes ago, JF - retired RRT said:

 

They had that ability before DMW. We always book TD. On a couple of our cruises, our tablemates were frequent no shows. The waiters would wait a period of time before taking our orders to see if they showed up (unless they'd been informed ahead of time by the no-shows) and we would often have diners from ATD be escorted to our table.

This is what discourages us from booking larger tables.  When we show up for dinner, we want to get the process underway and get out in a decent time.  Now, we'd be open to dining with someone we meet on a ship if we had like-minded dining times.

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13 minutes ago, Ombud said:

Would make it a lot easier than what I  had to do on the roll call. Get booking numbers & link in DMW. If I had a “Happy to Share” button I'd just tap that & be done

But I think you had a brilliant solution for a single cruiser as you could line up other singles via the RC.  Letting Princess do it might mean you'd be paired with couples and perhaps would rather be with other solo cruisers.

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We have singles & couples PLUS we are entering a column on the December cruise for those willing to share a table. 

 

Added a column for the August cruise in case others want to share but no more takers yet

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I am out of state on a business trip and got a voicemail marked urgent from Princess followed by this e-mail stating pretty much the same thing.

 

"There are some incomplete required items in your profile which will delay boarding on your upcoming cruise with Princess for August 1,2021 to Alaska. All adult guests must login to the MedallionClass App and accept the passage contract and risk advisory as well as complete the Ocean Ready check in requirements. Not doing so will incur significant delays at the pier or even denial of boarding."

 

They are threatening "significant delays at the pier or even denial of boarding."  I have already called that number and ended up mostly on hold for almost three hours with absolutely nothing accomplished.  I don't have that luxury here on my business trip nor do I expect it to do any good whatsoever anyway.

 

Have anyone else gotten this and resolved it?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ombud said:

We have singles & couples PLUS we are entering a column on the December cruise for those willing to share a table. 

 

Added a column for the August cruise in case others want to share but no more takers yet

 

On a 28 day cruise we had a large table and two of the women at the table were singles. Quite interesting ladies. We had a great group and almost everybody showed up at dinner regularly.  We met some really great folks. You just don't get that experience with a table for two.

 

Of course it you are seated at a table for 8 and six of the folks are together you kind of end up as the "odd couple out". Especially when the other 6 folks are doing everything together and sometimes just skip dinner so you are 2 people at a large table. Since that "marvelous" experience we've done anytime dining.

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11 hours ago, DuncanBlizzard said:

I am out of state on a business trip and got a voicemail marked urgent from Princess followed by this e-mail stating pretty much the same thing.

 

"There are some incomplete required items in your profile which will delay boarding on your upcoming cruise with Princess for August 1,2021 to Alaska. All adult guests must login to the MedallionClass App and accept the passage contract and risk advisory as well as complete the Ocean Ready check in requirements. Not doing so will incur significant delays at the pier or even denial of boarding."

 

They are threatening "significant delays at the pier or even denial of boarding."  I have already called that number and ended up mostly on hold for almost three hours with absolutely nothing accomplished.  I don't have that luxury here on my business trip nor do I expect it to do any good whatsoever anyway.

 

Have anyone else gotten this and resolved it?

 

 

Seems like Princess is saying if you don't have all green marks in the app; when you arrive at the port you will have to complete the areas that are not green.  It will be ok.  You arrive at the port; there will be plenty of Princess reps along with people who are knowledgeable with the app.  They will get you squared away and onto the ship.  The only reason a person would be denied boarding is; if they don't meet the vaccination requirements, have tested positive for covid, or don't have required documentation.  

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12 hours ago, DuncanBlizzard said:

I am out of state on a business trip and got a voicemail marked urgent from Princess followed by this e-mail stating pretty much the same thing.

 

"There are some incomplete required items in your profile which will delay boarding on your upcoming cruise with Princess for August 1,2021 to Alaska. All adult guests must login to the MedallionClass App and accept the passage contract and risk advisory as well as complete the Ocean Ready check in requirements. Not doing so will incur significant delays at the pier or even denial of boarding."

 

They are threatening "significant delays at the pier or even denial of boarding."  I have already called that number and ended up mostly on hold for almost three hours with absolutely nothing accomplished.  I don't have that luxury here on my business trip nor do I expect it to do any good whatsoever anyway.

 

Have anyone else gotten this and resolved it?

 

 

This is so very customer unfriendly. It should say something like if you are unable to complete the information on the medallion class app we will have staff at the pier that will be happy to assist you. When you arrive at the pier please head to the assist area for boarding. Please remember to have these original documents with you: ____________.

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My cruise isn’t until June 2022 but after reading the comments thought I would see how DMW works. I am platinum and we are a family group of 17.

 

I was able to reserve a table for 18 at different times for each night.  Although when you look at the daily reservation it indicates 17 at a table for 8

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1 minute ago, Fishboy1947 said:

My cruise isn’t until June 2022 but after reading the comments thought I would see how DMW works. I am platinum and we are a family group of 17.

 

I was able to reserve a table for 18 at different times for each night.  Although when you look at the daily reservation it indicates 17 at a table for 8

Did you see a choice of table size ? When I have booked 'every night' it selects the dining room and gives a table for two - we are only two people and have not linked to any other travelers, so maybe that is why.

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10 minutes ago, Tedferg said:

Did you see a choice of table size ? When I have booked 'every night' it selects the dining room and gives a table for two - we are only two people and have not linked to any other travelers, so maybe that is why.

Yes, choice of table for 18 in one dining room or table for 20 in the other dining room

 

The choice came up after we had indicated each person and selected a time. I did each night separately since we varied the times

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27 minutes ago, Fishboy1947 said:

Yes, choice of table for 18 in one dining room or table for 20 in the other dining room

 

The choice came up after we had indicated each person and selected a time. I did each night separately since we varied the times

Amazing !

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19 hours ago, Thrak said:

  We met some really great folks. You just don't get that experience with a table for 2

We like the experience of dining with a new group of people for the duration of the cruise.  We have had surprisingly few duds in 30+ cruises.  This table for two thing is a disappointment.  I hope things will eventually get back to something resembling TD.

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2 hours ago, Fishboy1947 said:

My cruise isn’t until June 2022 but after reading the comments thought I would see how DMW works. I am platinum and we are a family group of 17.

 

I was able to reserve a table for 18 at different times for each night.  Although when you look at the daily reservation it indicates 17 at a table for 8

 

2 hours ago, Tedferg said:

Did you see a choice of table size ? When I have booked 'every night' it selects the dining room and gives a table for two - we are only two people and have not linked to any other travelers, so maybe that is why.

 

2 hours ago, Fishboy1947 said:

Yes, choice of table for 18 in one dining room or table for 20 in the other dining room

 

The choice came up after we had indicated each person and selected a time. I did each night separately since we varied the times

 

2 hours ago, Tedferg said:

Amazing !

 

AFAIK, the largest tables are 10-tops.  For a group your size, I would think it is going to be a special section where two 10-tops can be setup near each other (not the norm). 

 

I am surprised the App responded with anything at all and didn't just give up and crash!

 

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1 hour ago, Steelers36 said:

AFAIK, the largest tables are 10-tops.  For a group your size, I would think it is going to be a special section where two 10-tops can be setup near each other (not the norm). 

 

I am surprised the App responded with anything at all and didn't just give up and crash!

 

 

☝️ This. I have never seen a table in MDR larger than 10.

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5 hours ago, Fishboy1947 said:

My cruise isn’t until June 2022 but after reading the comments thought I would see how DMW works. I am platinum and we are a family group of 17.

 

I was able to reserve a table for 18 at different times for each night.  Although when you look at the daily reservation it indicates 17 at a table for 8

Cozy!! 😂

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1 minute ago, MustangGT said:

Cozy!! 😂

 

56 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

☝️ This. I have never seen a table in MDR larger than 10.

In all honesty, why a table for 18 ? It makes no sense - the diners  at one end of the table are so far away from the other end, that they cannot hear or converse with those  at the other end. 

Far more sensible to have two adjacent tables of 8 and 10.

This is where the app falls down. It only works within defined parameters  - once anything out of the ordinary takes place, you need human intervention.

I hope the MDs know what is going to hit them !

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:

 

In all honesty, why a table for 18 ? It makes no sense - the diners  at one end of the table are so far away from the other end, that they cannot hear or converse with those  at the other end. 

Far more sensible to have two adjacent tables of 8 and 10.

This is where the app falls down. It only works within defined parameters  - once anything out of the ordinary takes place, you need human intervention.

I hope the MDs know what is going to hit them !

We would prefer, and really expect, at least  two tables but I was not given that option. Hopefully we will be together 
 

When our family group of 22 cruised Alaska we were given a room to ourselves, 5 tables. Beyond expectations

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38 minutes ago, Fishboy1947 said:

We would prefer, and really expect, at least  two tables but I was not given that option. Hopefully we will be together 
 

When our family group of 22 cruised Alaska we were given a room to ourselves, 5 tables. Beyond expectations

 

Very cool. Sometimes Princess will surprise you. We had a cruise on Coral Princess and had a pretty active Cruise Critic group. We met with quite a few officers at the Meet and Greet and they decided they would have a special lunch just for our group. We had a private dining room and special items. Some just ordered off the menu but many of us took advantage of the specialty dishes they made for us. We ordered a main dish that looked like stuff you might get at the Chef's Table dinner complete with a little spiny lobster on top. It was really good. We also ordered the special desert. (I have no idea why some folks didn't take advantage of the specialty offers.) The desert was something we have never seen on a cruise - again, I think it was likely something one would get at the Chef's Table dinner. It was amazing.

 

It's great when Princess goes out of their way to do something special for a group - whether a roll call group from Cruise Critic or a large family group as in your case. It's one of the things that make us love sailing with Princess.

 

I'm sure when you get aboard the maître d' will find a way to accommodate your group. I can't imagine traveling with a group that large. (I especially can't imagine cruising with my wife's sisters... 🤪)

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