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Dine My Way - new MedallionClass enhancement


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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Steelers36 said:

My ideal would be same table in a mid-ship DR with time between 6:00pm and 6:15pm.

We would only have just finished afternoon tea an hour before then!

I assume that because you eat so early, you will eat supper at about 22:00.!

Edited by wowzz
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2 hours ago, AF-1 said:

If anyone here has sailed Norwegian Cruise LInes;  they have been doing anytime dining for years.  It works very well.  They eliminated Tradional dining times; if you want to eat same time every night you can request that.  Seems like Princess is going to that type of scenario too.

I've heard that, but I was under the impression that one has to decide before the cruise leaves.  Maybe I'm in error.. or maybe it's just for the specialty restaurants?  I've not sailed with them.  I suppose many of us want their cake and to eat it too.  But, I just don't want to have to plan my on-ship itinerary days or weeks before.  That's likely the primary reason we prefer anytime dining.  True, most times we end up eating around the same time or hit the buffet.  We check the menu, and if it's nothing that is really unique, we defer to the buffet.  Also, at times the dining experience is just too long.  Although, if we're at a table for 2, we can get through it a lot quicker.  Maybe we're in the minority with this approach.

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21 minutes ago, Redwing55 said:

Although, if we're at a table for 2, we can get through it a lot quicker.  Maybe we're in the minority with this approach.

only 2 tops for us - pre-covid and still when we cruise again - 2 tops only - and yes, given the right waiters and staff, you can pick up the pace if desired 

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59 minutes ago, Redwing55 said:

  But, I just don't want to have to plan my on-ship itinerary days or weeks before.  That's likely the primary reason we prefer anytime dining.  True, most times we end up eating around the same time or hit the buffet.  

I would venture a guess that the new method could suit you too. Classic Anytime but now with three dining rooms to choose from. You might have to wait for a table and be limited in table locations, but it seems you don't make a fuss over such things anyway.

 

Am I correct that with three dining rooms, current Traditional takes one and a half of them ? Also people complain that early seating is too early and late seating is underserved ?

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37 minutes ago, Tedferg said:

I would venture a guess that the new method could suit you too. Classic Anytime but now with three dining rooms to choose from. You might have to wait for a table and be limited in table locations, but it seems you don't make a fuss over such things anyway.

 

Am I correct that with three dining rooms, current Traditional takes one and a half of them ? Also people complain that early seating is too early and late seating is underserved ?

I think it's ship dependent... and then some!

 

I recall that on our European cruise in '19 we mistakenly kept going to a TD dining room.  They chose to seat open tables to us any timers.  It was like 4-5 days in that I discovered we were going to a TD dining room!  We mentioned that to the host and she said that they had open seats, so they figured they'd open things up.  For the entire 2 weeks of our cruise there was rarely more than a few groups ever waiting for a table.  In fact the lines we did see were for traditional dining.  The staff was totally on the ball then.  For the record... we did bounce around dining rooms on that cruise.

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17 minutes ago, Redwing55 said:

I think it's ship dependent... and then some!

 

I recall that on our European cruise in '19 we mistakenly kept going to a TD dining room.  They chose to seat open tables to us any timers.  It was like 4-5 days in that I discovered we were going to a TD dining room!  We mentioned that to the host and she said that they had open seats, so they figured they'd open things up.  For the entire 2 weeks of our cruise there was rarely more than a few groups ever waiting for a table.  In fact the lines we did see were for traditional dining.  The staff was totally on the ball then.  For the record... we did bounce around dining rooms on that cruise.

We have had instances where there was a long wait for Anytime and a Hostess took groups to Traditional Second Sitting, where there were empty tables.

 

Interesting that Norwegian have been this way for some time.

 

I often wonder why Traditional dining is so popular. Does it hark back to old cruising days when everything was fixed ? Do they want the same waitstaff and if so why? Is it fixed dining time, if so My Way Dining reservation does that. Is it the same companions at every meal - well if you know the desired companions My Way does that too.

 

So, what does traditional TD do that My Way would not do ?

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9 hours ago, Torfamm said:

This is a great way to avoid the modern problem of empty chairs in traditional dining now that there are so many options for specialty restaurants and other dining venues. I can’t count how many people post about being left alone at a table for 8 when the others assigned to that table don’t show up.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and only want to use it on Formal evenings.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and only want to use it on smart casual evenings.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and use it amost every evening, just not using it if they decide to go to a specialty restaurant or the buffet an evening or two.

 

Some people are assigned to Traditional dining by a TA who does not explain the options to them and never show up in the assigned Traditional dining room at all.

 

In other words, empty seats in a Traditional dining room can be for several reasons, most of which cannot be detected by any software on a Princess ship.

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5 minutes ago, caribill said:

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and only want to use it on Formal evenings.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and only want to use it on smart casual evenings.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and use it amost every evening, just not using it if they decide to go to a specialty restaurant or the buffet an evening or two.

 

Some people are assigned to Traditional dining by a TA who does not explain the options to them and never show up in the assigned Traditional dining room at all.

 

In other words, empty seats in a Traditional dining room can be for several reasons, most of which cannot be detected by any software on a Princess ship.

And all of those can be handled by My Way with a 15 minute expiration for a 'no-show'

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9 minutes ago, Tedferg said:

I often wonder why Traditional dining is so popular. Does it hark back to old cruising days when everything was fixed ? Do they want the same waitstaff and if so why? Is it fixed dining time, if so My Way Dining reservation does that. Is it the same companions at every meal - well if you know the desired companions My Way does that too.

 

So, what does traditional TD do that My Way would not do ?

 

We like Traditional dining because:

a) It is the same dining companions each evening. You get to know each other better and do not have to repeat the same conversations with strangers each evening.

b) The same waitstaff gets to know your preferences. Your beverage, for example is awaiting you at your table when you arrive. If you have special needs, the waitstaff is aware if it for the entire cruise.

c) Guaranteed starting time. With Anytime, even with a reservation, you may have to wait for your table to become available.

 

Not really sure what the words in "My Way" are trying to explain. At best is that there is no change to Traditional and that if you want a reserved time in Anytime, you can figure out how to do it with the app instead of speaking to someone on a phone or in the dining room. Also cannot tell from the description if reserving Anytime dining times is something you can do ahead of embarkation or something you do once on the ship. If on the ship, can you set it up for the entire cruise or must you set it up on a daily basis.

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Thanks Caribill I understand it more. My problem with TD is that the times do not fit and I would be concerned that we might be stuck with other PAX that we do not care for.

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34 minutes ago, Tedferg said:

Thanks Caribill I understand it more. My problem with TD is that the times do not fit and I would be concerned that we might be stuck with other PAX that we do not care for.

There's an easy fix for that...ask the Head Waiter to find you a different table.

Happened to us once. We asked for no more than a 4 top (hearing aid issues) and were seated at a 6 top. One of the people at our table ate like he'd never heard of Miss Manners...open mouth to chew, dropped food on the floor picked it up & ate it, etc.

We asked to be moved and were removed from TD to ATD 2 top with an assigned table/time.

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Posted (edited)

I think this may very well mirror the RCCL model - still have fixed early/late traditional, and enhancing Anytime by allowing pre-reservations either online or via the app, and allowing reservations via the app once onboard, or by calling the dine line.  Those who wish to just "walk-up" will also be accommodated.  On Royal they have to queues at the entrance to the MDR for those on "My Time" (anytime) dining - one for those with ressies and one for walk ups.  Those with ressies get priority for seating.  Celebrity works the same way.

 

If Princess follow the RCCL/Celebrity model - For those that wish to plan in advance they can for those that wish to wing it they can, for those that want same table/waiter/dining companions they can have that too.  A little something to suit everyone.

 

Ultimately I think what Princess are doing is leveraging their IT platforms and the medallion app to allow advance reservations for those who select anytime rather than the current system which results in long lines, but still allow guests to walk up if desired.

 

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72
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4 hours ago, Tedferg said:

Am I correct that with three dining rooms, current Traditional takes one and a half of them ? Also people complain that early seating is too early and late seating is underserved ?

Typical ships - most of the fleet - have three MDR's as you stated.  The aft DR is 100% allocated for TD.  Of the two mid-ship DR's, one is 100% AT (lower level usually) and the other is allocated for TD at the early seating and then turns over to AT as tables empty - more or less the late seating.  So, in theory, that is a 50-50 split in capacity between TD and AT.  But, it is flexible and there is a variance due to Club Class.

 

The Club Class takes up a front section on one side of a mid-ship DR (typically upper level from my recent observations).  Also, if early TD demand is less than the capacity of that mid-ship DR, then they will seat AT in there at open tables and after no-shows have had a chance to arrive.  From what I have seen, they don't seat passengers at open seats where others are already into the dinner service.

 

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On 5/6/2021 at 10:44 PM, Steelers36 said:

For those posting and thinking the new description of TD might mean we can select our own dining start time, this may or may not be true.  Picking the same venue and dining time each evening with same wait staff is TD, but it doesn't necessarily mean we can select our own start time.  It could be that Princess will continue to offer a set clock time(s) per DR location.

 

It would be super nice to be able to pick a DR and our custom start time for TD.  That is something like AT with a set reservation.  We often make a special start time request from the published and can get a modification from the published start time by some minutes - which can be a big help on port days.  We will be thrilled to have a set location with a custom start time, but I am not counting on that until I see/read it for real.

 

Yes, I suspect that when cruising returns to full capacity, that you may get a message saying that the selected time or place is not available.

 

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We normally do AnyTime, but our cruise in 2022 we have opted for TD. The reason is that we will have 2 little ones along and want to be sure we have the early time and don't have to wait. What would be nice is if after the first night, we decide it won't work to do TD "at all" with them, we could release our table for the rest of the cruise....or if it "sort of" works, we could randomly release our table on some nights. We have requested a table for just our group of 8, so it won't impact other diners, but it would be nice to make the table easily available if we decide not to use it. It also would be nice to have the same servers who could be ready for the kids when we get there.

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5 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and only want to use it on Formal evenings.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and only want to use it on smart casual evenings.

 

Some people sign up for Traditional and use it amost every evening, just not using it if they decide to go to a specialty restaurant or the buffet an evening or two.

 

Some people are assigned to Traditional dining by a TA who does not explain the options to them and never show up in the assigned Traditional dining room at all.

 

In other words, empty seats in a Traditional dining room can be for several reasons, most of which cannot be detected by any software on a Princess ship.

Even with the Medallion?

At least now there will be a system for people choosing a different option to cancel their reservation.  Which may result in the ability for others to use their table.

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4 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

Even with the Medallion?

At least now there will be a system for people choosing a different option to cancel their reservation.  Which may result in the ability for others to use their table.

Princess is counting on this fact, plus the ability for people to choose their dining pace (hopefully quickly!) to expand the capacity of dining spaces on the ship, thus ending the need for a long line in the age of social distancing.  

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Very interesting topic here.  Good feedback.  I do hope Princess system of making dining reservations thru the app works.  Like I mentioned in post#123 NCL has been doing this for years.  When I sailed with them you could make reservations on the ship everyday.  You could either call the dine line, use one of the electronic boards throughout the ship, or stop by the dining room.  Very easy.  You could eat in same dining room or change it up like Disney and move to a different one if you prefer.  Hopefully  Princess's plan will be the same.  

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, caribill said:

 Also cannot tell from the description if reserving Anytime dining times is something you can do ahead of embarkation or something you do once on the ship. If on the ship, can you set it up for the entire cruise or must you set it up on a daily basis.

This is an open question. I foresee:

that if pre-cruise reservations are normal then to play the game you set them up. Once on board you show or no show depending on your mood. If you don't pre-reserve then you could have a difficult time dining "My-Time."

that pre-cruise if reservations can be made for ATD, they will be in windows that mirror traditional dining times. Believe most passengers will select the same time each day, thus really a traditional dining option.

that specialty restaurant reservations could be made on board without calling the dining line. But, to make a reservation for a non-window time you would still have to visit the restaurant.

that if your "My Time" reservation is be made on a daily basis, slots will fill minutes after they open each day or evening.

that Princess may be fixing a system that isn't broken just to load their medallion app with options. 

 

Edited by skynight
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1 hour ago, skynight said:

Princess may be fixing a system that isn't broken just to load their medallion app with options. 

 

 

This might be exactly what is happening.

 

I hope whatever Princess is doing with the Medallion app is that they are keeping it simple to use the features. The more complex use of it is, the less useful the app will be.

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55 minutes ago, caribill said:

 

This might be exactly what is happening.

 

I hope whatever Princess is doing with the Medallion app is that they are keeping it simple to use the features. The more complex use of it is, the less useful the app will be.

With all the down time they've had since Feb 2020 one would think they've had plenty of time to work out all the bugs from their software.

Somehow I think they'll still be some new things that will pop up to confuse people. 😄

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think this is being done to ease the number of passengers in the MDR's...  More social distancing.

It just isn't going to work to crowd that number of passengers into the dining rooms for set seatings.

 

On one recent cruise, we were traveling with our son, and meeting for Traditional Dining was to be a whole part of the experience.   It was awful...  Bad burned out ready to retire head waiter who was not friendly...  Struggling to keep up with the new procedures that they were trying to implement.   Bad seating, on a crowded bench-seat location in the middle of the dining room.  It was not good at all.   (What a breath of fresh air to show up when we wanted on one open-seating night due to late port departure!!!)

 

On our last cruise, we had Anytime, and while the one Anytime Dining room would have a wait line at the busy hour, they offered to send us and others down to the lower Aft dining room....  NOBODY there!  had the best relaxed experience and friendliest waiter ever!   I have learned that Traditional Dining is not always the best experience.

 

I wonder how this is working on the Royal Caribbean Ships?  I wonder if it is working well?

 

I don't see it as a problem with people booking everything up the minute the reservations open up.  I think that the reality will be that for many people who so that, it will all go about the window the minute after Sailaway and the cruising starts.

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Sorry if this has been answered in earlier post. We are looking at Ruby R/T out of LA Sep 18 2021 and the dining option for Traditional an Anytime are still shown as a booking option. Ruby is Medallioned right ?

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1 hour ago, Tedferg said:

Sorry if this has been answered in earlier post. We are looking at Ruby R/T out of LA Sep 18 2021 and the dining option for Traditional an Anytime are still shown as a booking option. Ruby is Medallioned right ?

All Princess ships are now Meadallion ready.

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