Jump to content

Traditional Dining, will it ever return


antsp
 Share

Recommended Posts

We are lovers of TD.  We schedule the same time and MDR on our cruises.  The last cruise in November on the CB we managed after several nights to get the same table and waitstaff but each night had others join us on a 6-top.  No problem and happy to get the same table/waitstaff as they knew what we wanted and were ready.  As for TD returning I am not holding my breath.  As for the medallion ap, it leaves much to desire.  I have come to  the conclusion Princess hires the worst IT people most likely because they do not pay the prevailing wages.  I retired from IT and I saw it over and over from management to go cheap on IT.  It never pays off just ask SWA!

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, satxdiver said:

  I retired from IT and I saw it over and over from management to go cheap on IT.  It never pays off just ask SWA!

 

 

As you know, there are many examples but, I think everyone can relate to Southwest Airlines lack of continual IT investment finally caught up to them (great example).

 

Because the majority of people will always pick low price over covering their butts, this SWA disaster will likely not result in them doing business different (they will give all kinds of lip service but will not update their IT platform). Kind of like Princess Medallion (JMHO).

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, AZjohn said:

As you know, there are many examples but, I think everyone can relate to Southwest Airlines lack of continual IT investment finally caught up to them (great example).

 

Because the majority of people will always pick low price over covering their butts, this SWA disaster will likely not result in them doing business different (they will give all kinds of lip service but will not update their IT platform). Kind of like Princess Medallion (JMHO).

SWA and the Medallion App are apples and oranges. 

 

Yes the Medallion App sucks, and that's an inconvenience.  The costs to Princess for that are what, maybe some future lost future business?  

 

SWA's IT issues led to over a million passengers being stranded during the busiest holiday travel week of the year, and the DOT is all over them.  The cost of this incident (lost revenue; overtime for some employees while paying others guarantees for others that couldn't work their schedule because they too were stranded in an airport; reimbursing stranded travelers for out-of-pocket meal, hotel, and alternative travel costs; paying couriers to deliver lost luggage; issuing goodwill vouchers to impacted travelers; lost future business; and possible DOT fines) will greatly exceed what it would have cost to replace the crew scheduling system in the first place. 

 

SWA cannot afford to have this happen again, both from a customer relations and financial standpoint.  Yes they were probably careless in not addressing the crew scheduling system issues sooner but not so careless as to let this happen again.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, satxdiver said:

We are lovers of TD.  We schedule the same time and MDR on our cruises.  The last cruise in November on the CB we managed after several nights to get the same table and waitstaff but each night had others join us on a 6-top.  No problem and happy to get the same table/waitstaff as they knew what we wanted and were ready.  As for TD returning I am not holding my breath.  As for the medallion ap, it leaves much to desire.  I have come to  the conclusion Princess hires the worst IT people most likely because they do not pay the prevailing wages.  I retired from IT and I saw it over and over from management to go cheap on IT.  It never pays off just ask SWA!

 

 

While the App had problems when it first came out, along with many version updates.  It seems to be pretty stable these days and seems to work quite well, provided you have a robust enough cell phone for the App.  If you have a phone with limited memory (or if you have not cleaned up the wasted memory on your phone in a while) or has a slow CPU then you might continue to experience some problems.  When you are using it off ship, such as to set up reservation  or add info for a cruise it can also seem to have problems if you have poor internet service.  

 

I still consider the App to be designed to do too many things and as a result it requires a lot of resources to work well. I think it would have been better if they had split it into 3 or 4 different Apps.  1 for Pre-cruise set up, 1 for onboard services such as dining or orders, 1 for the entertainment functions, etc. It would have made it a much more responsive program that could run on phones with less memory and CPU, but would have required passengers to have 3 apps much smaller streamlined Apps, instead of one bulky App, but they would have been used a different times and really not be too much of a problem. 

 

It also a weakness in that if internet communications are poor, it can act some information has vanished  such as reservations have vanished, when it is really a matter that they have to load from the server whenever you access the App. and if the connection cannot be made the info is not loaded and no error message is generated to tell you that it is a comm problem not that the data is really gone.  Try it again later on with a good connection and the data will usually be back.

 

While I would have designed it differently, I have seen far worse with apps that have far less aggressive scope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, DallasGuy75219 said:

SWA and the Medallion App are apples and oranges. 

 

Yes the Medallion App sucks, and that's an inconvenience.  The costs to Princess for that are what, maybe some future lost future business?  

 

SWA's IT issues led to over a million passengers being stranded during the busiest holiday travel week of the year, and the DOT is all over them.  The cost of this incident (lost revenue; overtime for some employees while paying others guarantees for others that couldn't work their schedule because they too were stranded in an airport; reimbursing stranded travelers for out-of-pocket meal, hotel, and alternative travel costs; paying couriers to deliver lost luggage; issuing goodwill vouchers to impacted travelers; lost future business; and possible DOT fines) will greatly exceed what it would have cost to replace the crew scheduling system in the first place. 

 

SWA cannot afford to have this happen again, both from a customer relations and financial standpoint.  Yes they were probably careless in not addressing the crew scheduling system issues sooner but not so careless as to let this happen again.  

The interesting thing with Medallion is for some it sucks, for others it is a differentiator that they miss when they cruise on other cruise lines. 

 

I like being able to easily do a number of functions getting ready for numerous cruises out a year from now.  I like on board being able to locate other members of my party.  I like the ease of the new safety drill process. I like being able to order for food or drink  from almost anywhere.  I like being able to check the menu for the MDR for that night and to cancel my existing reservation immediately if I decide not to eat in the MDR.

 

When it first came out I did not like it and did run into some issues the first or two after restart.  However for my last 5 cruises it has been very solid and I have found it very useful. 

 

Though as far as I am concerned they can remove the entertainment and casino functions.

Edited by ldtr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s like Princess operates in two different universes.  
 

I am always delighted to be on a ship.  The crew and staff have all been wonderful.  Unfortunately, they are restricted by corporate bungling of policies and doctrine.  
 

Corporate needs to get out on Princess ships to witness first hand what their passengers want.  They are so detached from their audience.  
 

Finally, they have the Medallion Class app functioning at a relatively successful rate.  
 

Dine My Way has a long way to go.


Stop tweaking the Beverage Packages.  It was fine at the lower rate and did not need to be enhanced so they could boost their profits.

 

In my opinion, they have do not have enough crew to support 100% occupancy.  
 

They need to leave some things well enough alone….bring back Traditional Dining at least for one dining room to see if that really makes me and others happy.  
 

5 hours ago, Jeter02 said:

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. 

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, cr8tiv1 said:

It’s like Princess operates in two different universes.  
 

I am always delighted to be on a ship.  The crew and staff have all been wonderful.  Unfortunately, they are restricted by corporate bungling of policies and doctrine.  
 

Corporate needs to get out on Princess ships to witness first hand what their passengers want.  They are so detached from their audience.  
 

Finally, they have the Medallion Class app functioning at a relatively successful rate.  
 

Dine My Way has a long way to go.


Stop tweaking the Beverage Packages.  It was fine at the lower rate and did not need to be enhanced so they could boost their profits.

 

In my opinion, they have do not have enough crew to support 100% occupancy.  
 

They need to leave some things well enough alone….bring back Traditional Dining at least for one dining room to see if that really makes me and others happy.  
 

 

From what I have seen they are operating the hotel and dining services with about 15 to 20% lower staff than before Covid.  Certainly noticeable when the ship is near full capacity

 

Keep in mind that they are in a competitive environment many of the changes are because of their competition.  Even with the increases Princess is still charging less for their packages than most of their competition.  Easier for them to get it in packages then to raise base fares by the same amount.

 

The head of RCL stated in an interview about their recent quarter that the cruise industry has kept prices low, while recovering from Covid, compared to the prices of land based alternatives.  That it was time to stop doing that and that we should expect cruise prices to increase to what should be the competitive level next year.

 

 

Edited by ldtr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, ldtr said:

The head of RCL stated in an interview about their recent quarter that the cruise industry has kept prices low, while recovering from Covid, compared to the prices of land based alternatives.  That it was time to stop doing that and that we should expect cruise prices to increase to what should be the competitive level next year.

Some grand poobah at Carnival Corp said something similar a couple weeks ago, that value of cruising wasn't reflected in current pricing.  I have two comments, not about any cruiseline in particular:

 

1. Value is in the eye of the consumer.  It's hard to convince the experienced (pre-COVID) cruiser of value with the cuts and shortstafffing the mass market lines have had since the restart. 

 

2. The demand for cruising is relatively elastic.  Cruises are priced dynamically, just like airline tickets, and if the demand was there then cruise lines would already be charging higher prices if they could, at least for balconies and lower categories.  Suites still command a decent premium.  Even with ship retirements during the shutdown, there's still too much capacity in the current market because non-experienced cruisers are still afraid of mass COVID outbreaks on cruises.  

 

If the mass market lines don't voluntarily remove more ships to reduce supply, their cuts are going to lead to a race to the bottom, leading to some lines going out of business and/or consolidation in the industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, DallasGuy75219 said:

Some grand poobah at Carnival Corp said something similar a couple weeks ago, that value of cruising wasn't reflected in current pricing.  I have two comments, not about any cruiseline in particular:

 

1. Value is in the eye of the consumer.  It's hard to convince the experienced (pre-COVID) cruiser of value with the cuts and shortstafffing the mass market lines have had since the restart. 

 

2. The demand for cruising is relatively elastic.  Cruises are priced dynamically, just like airline tickets, and if the demand was there then cruise lines would already be charging higher prices if they could, at least for balconies and lower categories.  Suites still command a decent premium.  Even with ship retirements during the shutdown, there's still too much capacity in the current market because non-experienced cruisers are still afraid of mass COVID outbreaks on cruises.  

 

If the mass market lines don't voluntarily remove more ships to reduce supply, their cuts are going to lead to a race to the bottom, leading to some lines going out of business and/or consolidation in the industry.

Keep in mind that there are far more people that have never cruise than those that cruise a lot prior to Covid.  Pricing for cruise pre-Covd was determined by competition with over forms of travel as well as with other cruise lines.  Anybody that has been traveling this past year has certainly experienced the very large increases that have occurred with land based hotels and resorts compared to 2019.  Increases that have occurred with in many cases an even larger reduction in services than we are now seeing on cruise ships.  Many hotels are still providing daily room service on requests only with customers having to call if they want towels replaced or trash picked up, dining venues limited, etc. I have seen that hotels that were around $300 per night in 2019, now charging around $500 a night with resort fees added on top.

 

People are certainly paying a premium for air travel, with the level of service being considerably below that of 2019.

 

As both of the CEO's have stated they have kept prices low while they were focused on getting occupancy back to normal. Occupancy has been limited more by the lingering impacts and concerns of Covid than price.  As their customer base gets comfortable cruising post Covid the occupancy rates have improved and are approaching full capacity once more.

 

So basically I think both the head of RCL and CCL have come to the same conclusion that with their number approaching full occupancy once more they will move to adjust pricing back to its historical norm relative to other forms of travel.  We will see if they are successful in doing so, but I am pretty sure that we are going to see 2023 be the year of all of the cruise lines raising prices.

Edited by ldtr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, ldtr said:

The interesting thing with Medallion is for some it sucks, for others it is a differentiator that they miss when they cruise on other cruise lines. 

 

I like being able to easily do a number of functions getting ready for numerous cruises out a year from now.  I like on board being able to locate other members of my party.  I like the ease of the new safety drill process. I like being able to order for food or drink  from almost anywhere.  I like being able to check the menu for the MDR for that night and to cancel my existing reservation immediately if I decide not to eat in the MDR.

 

When it first came out I did not like it and did run into some issues the first or two after restart.  However for my last 5 cruises it has been very solid and I have found it very useful. 

 

Though as far as I am concerned they can remove the entertainment and casino functions.

I couldn’t agree more. I love how the app makes reserving easy and always use it to check menus, especially now that they can be seen days ahead of time.  It had some issues for me on my first cruise after the restart but since then it’s worked nearly perfectly.
 

In addition to the benefits you mention, I find using the chat function to be a huge improvement over having to visit guest services and finding shipmates is also very handy. I miss it on other lines.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When did it go away? I was on an Alaskan Cruise in July on the Royal Princess, and, we had traditional dining, I was in a large group, we actually had a whole section for ourselves at a set time. 

 

I am going on a Caribbean cruise in 3 weeks, with the same setup.

Edited by Visaman666
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Visaman666 said:

When did it go away? I was on an Alaskan Cruise in July on the Royal Princess, and, we had traditional dining, I was in a large group, we actually had a whole section for ourselves at a set time. 

 

I am going on a Caribbean cruise in 3 weeks, with the same setup.

Traditional dining has been gone for over a year. There are no more set early and late seatings where you are assigned to a table and dining partners for your cruise.
 

It is possible for a party who know each other to reserve for the same time and MDR each evening with Dine My Way though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, MissP22 said:

For us it seems be working just as before.

 

16 hours ago, dog said:

I’ve been on 2 cruises this year. Chose my dining preference both times. WAs asked if we wanted same table for each day and got it.

 

16 hours ago, billco said:

Same here, mainly because we eat early. Usually quite a crowd waiting when we are leaving. Our preference is a real table for two (not bench) with the same servers. We have been able to do that on most of our cruises (6) since reopening.

 

14 hours ago, ldtr said:

Make the reservations for the same time each night.  Get the table number during check in on the first night.  On the way out of the dining room stop and tell the person running the check in process that we would like to keep the same table for the rest of the cruise (or in the case of B2B's multiple cruises.  Has been successful every time.  Not very difficult. 

Ditto

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Torfamm said:

I couldn’t agree more. I love how the app makes reserving easy and always use it to check menus, especially now that they can be seen days ahead of time.  It had some issues for me on my first cruise after the restart but since then it’s worked nearly perfectly.
 

In addition to the benefits you mention, I find using the chat function to be a huge improvement over having to visit guest services and finding shipmates is also very handy. I miss it on other lines.

 

 

Agreed. Love the chat function does beat having to wait in line.

 

Medallion app yes is easy to use and easy to reserve. But sometimes I find the app somewhat pointless because when I am in line on the side That says it's for reservations. When I get to the door they ask me if we would like to share a table when it clearly states in our options we had booked a private table for two. Like a lot of things they're not even reading to see what our preferences are. So I'm not really sure what the reservations technically do in a sense.

 

I noticed on the princess pattern on the Sky Princess Cruise I was on for Thanksgiving on the very bottom it states that if you arrive between 5:00 to 6:45 The dining room was accepting walk-ins. Which is funny because I always book the first dining session at 5:00 right when the door's open.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 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 

Wr prefer the anytime dining and the now readily available tables for 2. But there are definite improvements that could be made in the current process. One would be to manage the queues  better with distinct lines for reservations vs walkins. Another option,  separate dining rooms for traditional dining and anytime dining. But whatever you sign up for, you have to stay with. Otherwise you will get people in traditional dining at 6pm who think, "oh i want to eat at 7 tonight. i will just go to anytime dining instead"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, wowzz said:

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. 

 

Wowzz, since She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn't cruise much anymore and I cruise solo, I'm not "forced": to sit through a two-hour meal before or after an over-amplified production show - rushing from one to the other.  It's very freeing when activities don't require a committee decision, in fact check out the solo cruisers board for some insights.

 

Basically, my evening routine starts with a visit to the loyalty lounge for a wee dram and some nibbles.  I then follow the strings, piano, or guitar entertainment at various venues while I enjoy another wee dram or two. Depending on the ship, I may take in an evening movie under the stars.  Sometimes, depending on the weather, I'll climb up to one of the higher decks and do some star gazing or just sit on the promenade and enjoy the air and the sea.  

 

I find it very refreshing to break away from the herd and not feel obligated to participate in activities that I don't care for simply because "that's what one is supposed to do".

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

I find it very refreshing to break away from the herd and not feel obligated to participate in activities that I don't care for simply because "that's what one is supposed to do".

I think we are of the same mind. The constant need to be entertained is not for us either, and certainly not those awful game show events. 

Like you, we will set our own schedule,  certainly we never pre-book dining, and go with the flow, although we are quite happy to spend a fair amount of time in the MDR,  as long as the wine keeps coming.

Happy cruising.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ombud said:

 

 

 

Ditto

It only works for us only because we eat early every night. 

From what I'm reading if you choose an arrival time from 6:30 to 7:30 PM you're going to have a wait for a vacant table unless you happen to time it just right.

We returned to a filled  DR last night for coffee and dessert at 8:30 and we were amazed at the number of people still being served dinner. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

We returned to a filled  DR last night for coffee and dessert at 8:30 and we were amazed at the number of people still being served dinner. 

Why amazed ? We normally only enter the MDR around 20:00.

I am amazed at the number of people who eat dinner at 17:00, when it is still the afternoon, as far as I am concerned. 

 

Edited by wowzz
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

It only works for us only because we eat early every night. 

From what I'm reading if you choose an arrival time from 6:30 to 7:30 PM you're going to have a wait for a vacant table unless you happen to time it just right.

We returned to a filled  DR last night for coffee and dessert at 8:30 and we were amazed at the number of people still being served dinner. 

We never enter the MDR or speciality restaurants before 8.30 pm. If you think that is late then you best not visit Spain. You will be eating pretty much alone before 9 pm there! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Visaman666 said:

When did it go away? I was on an Alaskan Cruise in July on the Royal Princess, and, we had traditional dining, I was in a large group, we actually had a whole section for ourselves at a set time. 

They will make a standing reservation (same MDR, same time, same section of tables) in advance of sailing for a large group (e.g. a group cruise organized by a travel agent) but not for individual cabins or small groups traveling together.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wowzz said:

Why amazed ? We normally only enter the MDR around 20:00.

I am amazed at the number of people who eat dinner at 17:00, when it is still the afternoon, as far as I am concerned. 

 

 

42 minutes ago, Esprit said:

We never enter the MDR or speciality restaurants before 8.30 pm. If you think that is late then you best not visit Spain. You will be eating pretty much alone before 9 pm there! 

😂🤣😂 Not going to lie, but I'm already fast asleep by 8:30 p.m. each evening.

 

I eat by 5pm, gives me time to digest before bed, and I'm able to catch the 7:30 showtimes. Leaving me as one happy cruiser. 😊

 

To each and their own. I'm team TD all the way! 

 

I end this with as Ben Franklin once said...."Early to bed, early to wise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Edited by chabad
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, chabad said:

 

😂🤣😂 Not going to lie, but I'm already fast asleep by 8:30 p.m. each evening.

 

I eat by 5pm, gives me time to digest before bed, and I'm able to catch the 7:30 showtimes. Leaving me as one happy cruiser. 😊

 

To each and their own. I'm team TD all the way! 

 

I end this with as Ben Franklin once said...."Early to bed, early to wise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

My dad tells me the same quote ALL the time! 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MissP22 said:

It only works for us only because we eat early every night. 

From what I'm reading if you choose an arrival time from 6:30 to 7:30 PM you're going to have a wait for a vacant table unless you happen to time it just right.

We returned to a filled  DR last night for coffee and dessert at 8:30 and we were amazed at the number of people still being served dinner. 

We generally book between 7:00 and 7:30 and in 5 cruises haven’t had a problem with having wait. A few times we’ve requested a specific table and been given the choice to wait or be seated elsewhere if the people there before us were taking more time than expected. 
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Buckeye10640 said:

Wr prefer the anytime dining and the now readily available tables for 2. But there are definite improvements that could be made in the current process. One would be to manage the queues  better with distinct lines for reservations vs walkins. Another option,  separate dining rooms for traditional dining and anytime dining. But whatever you sign up for, you have to stay with. Otherwise you will get people in traditional dining at 6pm who think, "oh i want to eat at 7 tonight. i will just go to anytime dining instead"

The last two cruises I was on had separate lines for those who were walking in and those with reservations. I think it’s common now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...