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Traditional Dining, will it ever return


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10 minutes ago, cr8tiv1 said:


If you have an assigned table for each night, do you still need to stand in the long reservation line and get checked in before going to your table?  How would they know you checked in otherwise?

I have found it varies by ship.  For example on the Crown a couple of weeks ago, they allowed anyone that had a set table each night  to just walk in and bypass check in. I expect that the number of people that did that was a low enough number that they did not worry about someone in that group not showing up without canceling their reservation first.  We always  make sure that we did cancel our reservation on the App earlier in the day if we were not going to make it.

 

That said, it had the slowest check in process that we have seen on 5 different ships.  On the crown the person would scan your medallion, then walk back to the desk, get your table, then walk back to the door.

 

On most ships the process in the reservation line as been to scan your medallion and immediately give you your table number then scan the next person, pretty quick. Usually after that first day it is a very quick scan and confirmation.

 

 

Edited by ldtr
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5 minutes ago, cr8tiv1 said:


If you have an assigned table for each night, do you still need to stand in the long reservation line and get checked in before going to your table?  How would they know you checked in otherwise?

Depends on the ship.  They do check you in, they see you on the OM when you approach the podium.

 

Towards the end of the cruise, on the last cruise in December, we knew the table and they remembered us, waved us in as they saw you on their screen.  So,

there…checked in.  They changed things.

Because in the beginning of the cruise, you had to wait in two lines:  with reservations and without reservations.

 

It was a mess.  The first few nights…

long lines stretched back past the Piazza

from the restaurant.  They finally decided to do assigned tables to those that wanted them.  So that made it faster for those folks and the ones who didn’t have a reservation. 

They were trying to do it like a regular restaurant style seating.  So, that’s why I’m saying, they could modify and make it both TD and DMW.  It worked.  They even removed the table numbers after a while.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, PacnGoNow said:

Depends on the ship.  They do check you in, they see you on the OM when you approach the podium.

 

Towards the end of the cruise, on the last cruise in December, we knew the table and they remembered us, waved us in as they saw you on their screen.  So,

there…checked in.  They changed things.

Because in the beginning of the cruise, you had to wait in two lines:  with reservations and without reservations.

 

It was a mess.  The first few nights…

long lines stretched back past the Piazza

from the restaurant.  They finally decided to do assigned tables to those that wanted them.  So that made it faster for those folks and the ones who didn’t have a reservation. 

They were trying to do it like a regular restaurant style seating.  So, that’s why I’m saying, they could modify and make it both TD and DMW.  It worked.  They even removed the table numbers after a while.

 

 

You must have been on the Crown as well.  By far the worst management of the dining check in  process of any of the ships I have been on since the restart.  Majestic, Ruby, Grand, Sapphire all handled it much better.  Will see how Discovery does this weekend.

 

 

Edited by ldtr
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57 minutes ago, DallasGuy75219 said:

More.  They're able to turn over the average table more than twice a night.  And on any given night they know some people will skip the MDR, but they don't necessarily know which people; with DMW either those people won't make a reservation in the the first place or if the make a reservation then no-show they can give their table to someone else after 10 or 15 minutes.

 

Agree, definitely more. With TD, if all but two people at that table dined elsewhere, then the entire table was unavailable to anyone but the 2 remaining. This is especially wasteful if it is a table for 8 or 10. And if the entire table were to dine elsewhere that night, then an entire table would be left empty because it was assigned only to those people and couldn't be used by anyone else. 

 

TD is a very inefficient way to manage table utilization. DMW offers much more flexibility and improved utilization. 

Edited by sloopsailor
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8 minutes ago, ldtr said:

You must have been on the Crown as well.  By far the worst management of the dining check in  process of any of the ships I have been on since the restart.  Majestic, Ruby, Grand, Sapphire all handled it much better.  Will see how Discovery does this weekend.

 

 

Yes.  Good luck on your next one.

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TD is gone for good (sorry to those that had found memories of it, our memories were more like it took forever to finish the dang meal and had to listen to the same long story over and over again by same people at the table).

 

Culture has changed over time. Passengers want to dine when it’s convenient to them (like port times, activities on ship, show times, etc).

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We've completed 7 Princess cruises since the pause and have tried to replicate TD on each cruise by pre-reserving the same time and restaurant.  It's been a struggle every cruise.  We've regularly been placed at bench tables separated by only inches on each side from the adjoining tables.  When we requested to be moved for some privacy, we were told that all tables in the dining room had been pre-assigned by the DMW system and that nothing was available since the tables must be held in case their "owners" show up.  On our last cruise, we arrived for our 7:20 reservation only to be told that the guests who held the 5:00 reservation were still eating.  We would then wait 20-40 minutes each night for them to finish before we could be seated at "our" table.   This went on, despite our complaints to the restaurant manager and ROM, for six nights until we were finally moved to another restaurant.  The prior system of TD and Anytime Dining worked well for everyone.  This system needs to be brought back.  Dinner should not have to be so hard!

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7 minutes ago, mike&elena said:

We've completed 7 Princess cruises since the pause and have tried to replicate TD on each cruise by pre-reserving the same time and restaurant.  It's been a struggle every cruise.  We've regularly been placed at bench tables separated by only inches on each side from the adjoining tables.  When we requested to be moved for some privacy, we were told that all tables in the dining room had been pre-assigned by the DMW system and that nothing was available since the tables must be held in case their "owners" show up.  On our last cruise, we arrived for our 7:20 reservation only to be told that the guests who held the 5:00 reservation were still eating.  We would then wait 20-40 minutes each night for them to finish before we could be seated at "our" table.   This went on, despite our complaints to the restaurant manager and ROM, for six nights until we were finally moved to another restaurant.  The prior system of TD and Anytime Dining worked well for everyone.  This system needs to be brought back.  Dinner should not have to be so hard!

Even under the old TD system the same problem existed.  After all when Princess has most of the tables for 2 in the bench configuration it really does not matter what the scheduling system is. 

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Team TD all the Way!!!! I always make a point when talking to materi'ds and restaurant manager each cruise how I miss TD and hope and pray princess brings it back. People had the option of TD and ATD. Luckily with 12+ cruises or so with princess since the restart, I'm always first at the door when they promptly opennfor service. Therefore I always get the same table and wait staff each evening especially for those cruises where they say they can't reserve the table. It's different from ship to ship and management to management on who allows the reserve tables and who do not. Love getting to know the waiter for the entirety of the cruise vice versa. Most of the wait staff I've spoken to truly misses TD as well. Think about about the loss opportunity for tips for the wait staff at the end of the cruise. Princess is doing their staff no favors by strictly doing ATD.for all. 

 

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We’ve been very fortunate in making our own set dining on most of our cruises last year. We prebook the same time every night of the cruise. On one of our B2B on the majestic we were moved the second week which was fine. In November on the Emerald (2 week TA) by the 5th day the host just told us to seat ourselves every evening. We had reservations for Crown grill one evening which we cancelled as the MDR was so good. When I asked about getting a replacement MDR reservation she said it was fine as that was “your table”. From what I hear, those who enjoy the MDR the most, are doing what we do and eating at the same time nightly. I don’t think their system is working very well otherwise.

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I don’t think traditional dining will ever return. It worked perfectly in the old days of cruising when the only option for dinner was the main dining room. With the many options available today, from specialty restaurants, the buffet, room service etc, it makes it much more difficult to keep tables of random strangers filled at the same time for every night of a cruise.
 

Pre-COVID, a pet peeve of even those who love traditional dining had been that they were left sitting alone at a table full of empty seats when their table mates choose another option for dinner.

 

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Seems to me the issue is that so many American diners want to eat so early. Thus on cruises with lots of Americans there is an issue.

On European cruises,  with a wider customer base, there is no issue,  as there is much more spread in dining times. After all, no one in Europe will eat dinner at 17:00 !

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2 hours ago, ldtr said:

I though you have not been cruising on Princess since your run in with Covid?  When was the last time you have used the App?

My husband just returned from 71 nights on the Ruby. I make all his app reservations for him. It took him three cruises to get a TD equivalent. On two of the cruises, the dining reservations in the app disappeared. 

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20 minutes ago, PescadoAmarillo said:

My husband just returned from 71 nights on the Ruby. I make all his app reservations for him. It took him three cruises to get a TD equivalent. On two of the cruises, the dining reservations in the app disappeared. 

I was on the Ruby this summer out of SF.  Just stopped by the check in desk on the way out the dining room my first night and they locked in our table for two for the rest of the cruise.  Do not know why he is having problems.

 

On our B2B cruises the DMY links the complete time on the ship together so it shows up in the App the same as if it was a single cruise, instead of separate cruises.

Edited by ldtr
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I quit the MDR years ago, even with the option of My Time or whatever it's called on the cruise I'm on.  Too noisy, too much food that time of day, and too much time sucked up for me.  

 

I do enjoy the MDR for breakfast and lunch, and I try to eat light in the evening.  Often the nibbles in the loyalty lounge is enough and if not, the buffet is good for a quick bite.

 

I've found that avoiding the MDR be experience frees up a lot of time in the evening.

 

Suggested dress code of the day is not a factor as I slip on a sport coat and slacks most every evening anyway.

 

Just my opinion and my choice.

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4 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

I've found that avoiding the MDR be experience frees up a lot of time in the evening.

I'm intrigued. What do you do with all your free time in the evening ?

Naff quizzes,  awful karaoke, terrible game shows ? 

Basically,  the evening meal is the centre piece of our evening. 

 

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Team TD for me! 

We were on a Thanksgiving week trip on the Discovery. Though we booked the same table at the same time (early), we waited a short while to get our table (reserved on the first night).  We only had a table for 2 so we didnt get to meet any other passengers.  Worse, the wait staff didnt really get to know us either!  In the past, they would learn our preferences and have things ready for us. This time, not at all.  I guess that as they were dealing with new people much of the time, or that they had to deal with big families surrounding us, that they were just too pulled in many directions. 

 

I do miss getting to know other passengers most!  I have several friends that I have met on trips that I still email regularly. 

 

Our next trip is in March, and we have already booked a big table for additional guests, and we will have to navigate to see if others will be willing to dine with us regularly as well or not.

Fortunately, we pick the early time seating to free up the evening so that we have the option of the 2 show seatings or whatever else strikes our fancy.  When I travel with my primary travel buddy (other than My Bride) this is a way to align our schedules.  He wont miss a meal, and this way he can do what he wants to do and knows where we will all be at 530!  From there we can make the nightly plans.

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The Assistant Restaurant Manager on my last Princess cruise claimed that the problem with TD from his experience is that people would come in just for either the appetizers, entrees, or desserts, and then leave... and that that would tie up the table for the entire early or late dining block.

 

Personally, I have only witnessed people skipping dessert...

 

He also mentioned A LOT of people want TD to return.

Edited by Mike07
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52 minutes ago, ldtr said:

I was on the Ruby this summer out of SF.  Just stopped by the check in desk on the way out the dining room my first night and they locked in our table for two for the rest of the cruise.  Do not know why he is having problems.

 

On our B2B cruises the DMY links the complete time on the ship together so it shows up in the App the same as if it was a single cruise, instead of separate cruises.

When you add them one at a time, you must make reservations one at a time.  

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50 minutes ago, wowzz said:

When did you notice he had gone !

When my hard contact fell down the bathroom drain, and I had to go down to the basement to get a pipe wrench (blind, without contacts), try to open the drain pipe, was unable to turn it and had to call him on the ship whereby he told me to try turning it the other direction (which worked). And then again when I sliced my hand and had to drive myself to urgent care for stitches, keeping it wrapped in a towel and pressed against the steering wheel on the way.
 

Aside from that…. 😆

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8 hours ago, antsp said:

I miss traditional Dining, the ease of turning up at the correct time and going straight to your table, even with a reserved table on the app I'm not convinced a table is actually reserved because you always have to wait. How many people would like the return of Traditional Dining 

No.  Period.  End of thread. 

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38 minutes ago, PescadoAmarillo said:

When my hard contact fell down the bathroom drain, and I had to go down to the basement to get a pipe wrench (blind, without contacts), try to open the drain pipe, was unable to turn it and had to call him on the ship whereby he told me to try turning it the other direction (which worked). And then again when I sliced my hand and had to drive myself to urgent care for stitches, keeping it wrapped in a towel and pressed against the steering wheel on the way.
 

Aside from that…. 😆

Oh…the good times!  😳

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