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My Time Dining


puggrandma

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I really wish they would as most if not all lines have it now. Our last trip was to Europe on the Connie, we got back to the ship late on many days due to long shore ex. We missed dinner and all there was was pasta and suchi at he buffet or room service. If they don't want to be more flexable with dinner they should at least serve a dinner buffet.

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Do you think there is a chance Celebrity will ever offer MTD?

 

Puggrandma of three

 

There is a rumor that they may be putting out some form of anytime dining on their ships shortly but nothing definite. You will get a lot of comments since most on this board do not want Celebrity to go to anytime dining but it is probably inevitable that some form be instituted.

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Do you think there is a chance Celebrity will ever offer MTD?

 

Puggrandma of three

 

I hope not! We have tried it on NCL, Princess and Holland America and I think it diminishes the experience. As of late, we have been alternating between HAL and X, but I won't book Holland America anymore if I can't get fixed seating.

Celebrity now has a niche, where it is the only premium line that only offers fixed seating.

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

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Hope not--just doesn't fit with the X experience of fine cruising!

 

I agree but it almost seems inevitable. I did the free style thing on NCL and did not like it. Last year on Princess we were able to get regular dining. If we would have had to take anytime we would not have cruised with them. There is always the buffet if one does not like fixed dining some evenings.

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Celebrity already offers dining other then the set MDR times. There is reservation dining in the specialty restaurants, but you must reserve in advance. We dined at the Grill. This usually requires reservations, but we stopped by once and they took us immediately. The Grill is where Celebrity sets up table dining in the Buffet cafe area for dinner. You are seated, served off a more limited menu then the MDR and pay I believe a $5.00 gratuity. The Buffet area has pastas and there are hamburgers and funfood at the pool areas. We enjoyed the flexibility a few times.

 

Denny

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I hope not! We have tried it on NCL, Princess and Holland America and I think it diminishes the experience. As of late, we have been alternating between HAL and X, but I won't book Holland America anymore if I can't get fixed seating.

Celebrity now has a niche, where it is the only premium line that only offers fixed seating.

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

...whichever line you're talking about they need to ensure that all passengers have their preferred dining option, traditional or anytime.

This would probably need quite a bit of flexibilty, and an increase in the numbers of dining rooms, as each cruise would doubtless have different demands. But whichever line manages to crack this problem will have lots of very happy passengers.

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I hope they keep the dining room still set to traditional two seating assigned dining. Changing to my time dining and not being able to be guaranteed a traditional dining would be a deal breaker to me.

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...whichever line you're talking about they need to ensure that all passengers have their preferred dining option, traditional or anytime.

This would probably need quite a bit of flexibilty, and an increase in the numbers of dining rooms, as each cruise would doubtless have different demands. But whichever line manages to crack this problem will have lots of very happy passengers.

Admittedly Azamara and Oceania Ships are not as large as Celebrities, but they do open dining to a "t" most who complain about it are the dyed in the wool assigned dining folk. If you eat in restaurants at home, you will see how the evening goes. The ships that do BOTH are the ones that get confused. To those of you who insist there are alternatives...but NOT GOOD ones ,a few seats in buffet, or a very light meal. More money should not HAVE to be spent to get a good decent meal when circumstances happen that you can-not make your set dining time. I much prefer open dining...you meet so many more interesting people. People we cruised with this time ended up spending a great deal of time together (cause they didn't know anyone else) and missed meeting new friends. We never saw our tablemates except at dining, but conversed with folks from tours we met etc.

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Admittedly Azamara and Oceania Ships are not as large as Celebrities' date=' but they do open dining to a "t" most who complain about it are the dyed in the wool assigned dining folk. If you eat in restaurants at home, you will see how the evening goes. The ships that do BOTH are the ones that get confused. To those of you who insist there are alternatives...but NOT [i']GOOD[/i] ones ,a few seats in buffet, or a very light meal. More money should not HAVE to be spent to get a good decent meal when circumstances happen that you can-not make your set dining time. I much prefer open dining...you meet so many more interesting people. People we cruised with this time ended up spending a great deal of time together (cause they didn't know anyone else) and missed meeting new friends. We never saw our tablemates except at dining, but conversed with folks from tours we met etc.

 

 

I just did NCL with the anytime dining and my idea of anytime is not to sit around with a beeper for 40 minutes waiting for a table. Other nights the wait was not that long so we just went to the buffet. The food was good but it got old eating the same thing every night. We only went to the dining room once because of the waits.

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I was told they are working on it now and it will be Anytime Dining and that it will be ONE OPTION along with the traditional that now exists. They also said they have not anounced it yet.

I was told I would be able to book it for my March 2010 sailing.

Those that don't want it, fine don't book it but don't try to spoil it for those of us the do prefer this idea.

The object is to let everyone have the kind of experience they prefer not force any one kind of experience on anyone else.

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I hope they keep the dining room still set to traditional two seating assigned dining. Changing to my time dining and not being able to be guaranteed a traditional dining would be a deal breaker to me.

On RCI they offer both Tradition and MyTime. It works perfectly as many of my customers have testified. One floor of the MDR is set up for traditional and the upper floor (or even a section of the upper floor) is set up for MTD.

I have been told I will be able to request MTD on Celebrity ships after May this year. I can only assume it will work in the same way.

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On RCI they offer both Tradition and MyTime. It works perfectly as many of my customers have testified. One floor of the MDR is set up for traditional and the upper floor (or even a section of the upper floor) is set up for MTD.

I have been told I will be able to request MTD on Celebrity ships after May this year. I can only assume it will work in the same way.

This would be great news for me...right now on our 6/19 Alaskan crusie we're set for late, which should be nice for touring BUT most sail aways we missed on last cruise because of dining, now in Alaska the sailaways are late because of the long evenings (many are at 8-9pm) We also, being from that slow midwest area eat earlier by preferrance. To answer the poster about NCL...I don't remember mentioning them??? Just remember I said "Those who try to do both are the ones who get confused..." Does your favorite restaraunt have difficulty serving people different times every night?? On our last cruise they managed to screw up orders and it was assigned dining!

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I just did NCL with the anytime dining and my idea of anytime is not to sit around with a beeper for 40 minutes waiting for a table. Other nights the wait was not that long so we just went to the buffet. The food was good but it got old eating the same thing every night. We only went to the dining room once because of the waits.

 

For us on HAL it wasn't even sitting around with a beeper... or assured our same table every night. The part I absolutely hated was the ongoing coming and going of everyone... and everything moves so awkwardly. Passengers are about ALL through dinner. It's disruptive BIG TIME. All the wait staff is doing something different all the time, so the overall service just was not the same. At one point they are delivering desserts to one table... and you haven't gotten your salad yet... it was just all over the place. The ambiance is just very different and I didn't enjoy it at all. I wouldn't have thought I was really that steeped into the traditional way, but after that experience, I wouldn't care to do it again. I think with all the alternatives to eating now, they should leave the dining room alone. Especially on ships that are rated like Celebrity and HAL. I can tell you that every person we ran into on HAL hated this dining set up. I can't figure out where all the people are that like it??? Maybe on Carnival... and NCL... whatever. But leave some lines alone. PLEASE!!!!!

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For us on HAL it wasn't even sitting around with a beeper... or assured our same table every night. The part I absolutely hated was the ongoing coming and going of everyone... and everything moves so awkwardly. Passengers are about ALL through dinner. It's disruptive BIG TIME. All the wait staff is doing something different all the time, so the overall service just was not the same. At one point they are delivering desserts to one table... and you haven't gotten your salad yet... it was just all over the place. The ambiance is just very different and I didn't enjoy it at all. I wouldn't have thought I was really that steeped into the traditional way, but after that experience, I wouldn't care to do it again. I think with all the alternatives to eating now, they should leave the dining room alone. Especially on ships that are rated like Celebrity and HAL. I can tell you that every person we ran into on HAL hated this dining set up. I can't figure out where all the people are that like it??? Maybe on Carnival... and NCL... whatever. But leave some lines alone. PLEASE!!!!!

 

You are absolutely right...

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I am one of those that prefer anytime dining. I've never been on Carnival or NCL. My last cruise was on Regent and they offered anytime dining. And the anytime dining was fabulous. Just like eating in a fine dining restaurant at home, or anywhere in the world. Eating when and with whom I choose each night based on my own preference for that particular evening. Why should it distress me because the table next to me is eating dessert when I am served my salad? That happens all the time in restaurants at home. I can't imagine what people find "traditional" about being told when and with whom they will dine every night. Where does that happen besides prison? Perhaps a youth hostel? To me set dining times just cheapen the entire cruise experience. It makes dinner time more of a cattle call and less of a personal experience.

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for us on hal it wasn't even sitting around with a beeper... Or assured our same table every night. The part i absolutely hated was the ongoing coming and going of everyone... And everything moves so awkwardly. Passengers are about all through dinner. It's disruptive big time. All the wait staff is doing something different all the time, so the overall service just was not the same. At one point they are delivering desserts to one table... And you haven't gotten your salad yet... It was just all over the place. The ambiance is just very different and i didn't enjoy it at all. I wouldn't have thought i was really that steeped into the traditional way, but after that experience, i wouldn't care to do it again. I think with all the alternatives to eating now, they should leave the dining room alone. Especially on ships that are rated like celebrity and hal. I can tell you that every person we ran into on hal hated this dining set up. I can't figure out where all the people are that like it??? Maybe on carnival... And ncl... Whatever. But leave some lines alone. Please!!!!!

 

ditto!!!

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For us on HAL it wasn't even sitting around with a beeper... or assured our same table every night. The part I absolutely hated was the ongoing coming and going of everyone... and everything moves so awkwardly. Passengers are about ALL through dinner. It's disruptive BIG TIME. All the wait staff is doing something different all the time, so the overall service just was not the same. At one point they are delivering desserts to one table... and you haven't gotten your salad yet... it was just all over the place. The ambiance is just very different and I didn't enjoy it at all. I wouldn't have thought I was really that steeped into the traditional way, but after that experience, I wouldn't care to do it again. I think with all the alternatives to eating now, they should leave the dining room alone. Especially on ships that are rated like Celebrity and HAL. I can tell you that every person we ran into on HAL hated this dining set up. I can't figure out where all the people are that like it??? Maybe on Carnival... and NCL... whatever. But leave some lines alone. PLEASE!!!!!

 

Thank you!

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For us on HAL it wasn't even sitting around with a beeper... or assured our same table every night. The part I absolutely hated was the ongoing coming and going of everyone... and everything moves so awkwardly. Passengers are about ALL through dinner. It's disruptive BIG TIME. All the wait staff is doing something different all the time, so the overall service just was not the same. At one point they are delivering desserts to one table... and you haven't gotten your salad yet... it was just all over the place. The ambiance is just very different and I didn't enjoy it at all. I wouldn't have thought I was really that steeped into the traditional way, but after that experience, I wouldn't care to do it again. I think with all the alternatives to eating now, they should leave the dining room alone. Especially on ships that are rated like Celebrity and HAL. I can tell you that every person we ran into on HAL hated this dining set up. I can't figure out where all the people are that like it??? Maybe on Carnival... and NCL... whatever. But leave some lines alone. PLEASE!!!!!

 

I found just the opposite on the Noordam and Oosterdam - I found the open seating dining to run smoothly, courses were served at an appropriate pace and the waitstaff seemed to offer more attention to each table as they were not running 8 tables worth of soup, or entrees at once. On both ships I never had to wait for a table - whether it be for 2 or for 8, regardless of what time we chose to dine that night.

 

The only time that HAL let down on this was for the Master Chef's Disaster - which flat out needs to go! - The menu was nice, but each course having a "show" really made for a disjointed and unpleasant dining experience.

 

I think if "X" were to manage an open seating dining option that there would be many "X" enthusiasts, including myself, who would be very glad for it. When on vacation I like the option of sometimes dining at 5:30pm or on other days at 9:00pm - I enjoy the MDR experience and don't want to miss out eating there just because something else of interest conflicts w/ my assigned dining time (shore tour, scenic sailaway, hotubbing, cocktail dancing, a desire to see an early show, etc). And for those that say the buffet offers a casual alternative - well let me suffice it to say I don't choose to cruise to eat at the buffet 24/7 - if I wanted that I'd go stay at Days Inn and eat at Shoneys :( I want a nice sit down meal, but on my schedule :D

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It certainly appears the level of staffing is the key for a good or not so good experience. In these cost containment times - I think available staff may be stretched pretty thin to be offering different courses at each table in their section. The comparison to a fine restaurant is not exact - as really fine restaurants - the servers only cover a small section.

Just my opinion.

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Just as an added thought, I'm thinking that Open Dining will be followed by the end of the Formal Nights also. Airline weight restrictions are beginning to make people take less luggage ( i.e. why haul a tux and its accoutrement for so little use), and I think that open dining would make Formal Nights more difficult and less attractive.

 

Any bets??

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"I am one of those that prefer anytime dining. I've never been on Carnival or NCL. My last cruise was on Regent and they offered anytime dining. And the anytime dining was fabulous. Just like eating in a fine dining restaurant at home, or anywhere in the world. Eating when and with whom I choose each night based on my own preference for that particular evening. Why should it distress me because the table next to me is eating dessert when I am served my salad? That happens all the time in restaurants at home. I can't imagine what people find "traditional" about being told when and with whom they will dine every night. Where does that happen besides prison? Perhaps a youth hostel? To me set dining times just cheapen the entire cruise experience. It makes dinner time more of a cattle call and less of a personal experience."

 

 

We agree with the above post. We had a great experience on AZAMARA - never a long wait - always a nice table for two -great service and every evening another view of the dinining room. Anytime dining is the way to go - we are adults and prefer to choose the time and place for our dinner.

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Each of us have our own opinion on dining options which is subjective. So lets look at some 'data': When we sailed on Princess and booked 8 months ahead we could not get a fixed dining time. It was full and we couldn't get it when we boarded either. That indicates there is a large number who want set dining. Could also mean Princess doesn't have enough set dining available. We ate at the anytime dining. It was OK, but my opinion was the level of service was not near the quality of set dining. Could be a difference between Princess and Celebrity, but there was a definite difference is service quality - my opinion.

 

Personally, I don't go on cruise to replicate what we do at home.

 

Denny

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Oceania has been mentioned; all dining is open and there are no formal nights. There are no beepers, virtually no waiting, the waiters know how to serve without confusion or bustle. There is also no fee for the two specialty restaurants, although reservations are required. The cruise line is considered a cut above Celebrity. It's ironic how many folks we have met on Oceania who previously considered Celebrity their favorite cruise line, but have somehow managed to "adjust" to what is a much more relaxed vacation, yet still elegant in its way.

 

It's amusing how many folks mention Carnival in this context; Carnival still has fixed dining and formal nights. That could be construed as putting Celebrity in the same class as Carnival...

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