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My time dining - our experience

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    My time dining - our experience

    In the past we have always opted for early sittings, mainly because the children were very young when we started cruising.

    This time we decided to try mytime dining on IOTS, and I think that, despite the very big positive point of the flexibility to choose the time we ate, we prefer an early or late sitting for the following reasons.

    I really missed having table companions and the great chats we would have at the end of the day, talking about what we'd done, things we'd seen, funny stories, and ship gossip.

    I also missed getting to know our waiters, and them getting to know our personal likes and dislikes at the table. That is not to say that the waiters we met on mytime dining were not attentive at all, but we only met them for a couple of hours.

    I think that it is worth the inconvenience of being tied to a given time, and to choose early or late sittings.

    What do others think?

    #2
    Five times I've tried this on different lines, not RCI, and five times I've hated it. In fact the last time we reverted to Traditional after 3 nights as it was a farce.

    I concur with you, the rapport with the table waiters is none existent, the getting to know your table companions is limited and to make matters worse I have yet to sit down at the pre booked time.

    I suppose it's OK for those who dislike 'Strangers'!
    Wilba

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      #3
      The saddest sight was a single man sitting alone at his table during mytime dining.

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        #4
        I have only done my time dining twice and hated it both times [NCL, Thomson] for all the reasons stated above.

        I like to know where my table is and enjoy dining with the same passengers every evening. I like the same waiters and just feel comfortable as soon as I sit down.

        I don't want to try and decide where to eat and then have to look for a seat, it is all too much hassle !

        I have actually booked another NCL ship but have already decided we will just book the speciality restaurants at 8.30 every evening unless we have a long trip in which case we will just grab a bite from one of the many buffets.

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          #5
          I tried this with RCI, the service is not that great either, because gratutities are paid in advance, so I would never do it again,

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            #6
            Last year we chose MyTime when on IOTS & for us it had so many plus points that we'd probably choose it again Being able to eat when it suited us & being fortunate in always getting the size of table we wanted (most times just for 2) I'd definitely choose it again. For us early seating is too early & if its a port intensive cruise, once we'd finished late seating we just wanted to go to bed!
            We like to eat about 8 & found we were always seated in the same area (usually with the same people) & therefore got to know our fellow diners & our waiters quite well. I loved the tables for 2 on IOTS - close enough to other diners should you/they wish to chat but easy enough just to have a conversation with your OH
            Certainly a convert
            Tarkah

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              #7
              Originally posted by Tulua J, Cornwell View Post
              I tried this with RCI, the service is not that great either, because gratutities are paid in advance, so I would never do it again,
              Now that is rubbish.

              Each night you could have been seated in a different area or the same area as we often are. A nice table for two by the window same waiters on the area on most nights.

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                #8
                Originally posted by AJ28, Falkirk View Post
                In the past we have always opted for early sittings, mainly because the children were very young when we started cruising.

                This time we decided to try mytime dining on IOTS, and I think that, despite the very big positive point of the flexibility to choose the time we ate, we prefer an early or late sitting for the following reasons.

                I really missed having table companions and the great chats we would have at the end of the day, talking about what we'd done, things we'd seen, funny stories, and ship gossip.

                I also missed getting to know our waiters, and them getting to know our personal likes and dislikes at the table. That is not to say that the waiters we met on mytime dining were not attentive at all, but we only met them for a couple of hours.

                I think that it is worth the inconvenience of being tied to a given time, and to choose early or late sittings.

                What do others think?
                Well at least you tried it

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by spartan, kent View Post
                  Well at least you tried it
                  Yes, Spartan, it was a good experience. I know that some passengers prefer to be seated by themselves and this type of dining guarantees that you will be seated at a table size of your choosing. I think that you could (after the initial first evening) book the same table or one serviced by the same staff, if you wished.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Tulua J, Cornwell View Post
                    I tried this with RCI, the service is not that great either, because gratutities are paid in advance, so I would never do it again,
                    As much as I prefer Traditional dining, I can't agree with your comment.

                    I have cruised twice on lines where tipping was specifically banned and the service would put most of today's cruise lines to shame.

                    Top quality service is about training and management and little to do with gratuities............Wilba
                    Wilba

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Tulua J, Cornwell View Post
                      I tried this with RCI, the service is not that great either, because gratutities are paid in advance, so I would never do it again,
                      Not my experience on RCi with my time dining, so I agree with Spartan, also I have never had to look for a table, have always been lead by a member of the staff to my table.
                      For me I love my time or freedom dining, it also means I can plan my night much better, as I like going to see the shows or any other entertainment after dinner, not before, the entertainment to me is just as important as the dinner. I don't like long drawn out meals, happy to join in the conversation during the meal, but once I have finished, I am up and out to the show or what other entertainment is available, or the bar.
                      Delboy


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                        #12
                        I think that may be the difference.

                        We are happy to eat at 8.45 and still be in the restaurant until 10.30-11pm as we never really go to the shows. After dinner we just go for a stroll or sit outside with a glass of wine in a quiet area.

                        Maybe I feel too rushed in the anytime restaurants and less relaxed.

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                          #13
                          We tried "my time" dining on Celebrity Eclipse last year and loved it, granted we were with friends so it worked very well, I'm not sure if I would do it if we were on our own but never say never !!

                          With regard to service, I did wonder if it wouldn't be as good as the gratuities were pre-paid but we had excellent service and nothing was too much trouble, we had different waiters most nights and I couldn't have faulted any of them, to be honest I think other cruise lines could learn a lot from Celebrity, I have never in 20 +years cruising come across such lovely crew.
                          Jo

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My experience of anytime dining on Celebrity and RCI is that both make an effort to seat you at a table with the same waiters each night and the service has always been very good.

                            I just love the flexibility of anytime dining, being able to eat when you want and at a table size you choose. Some nights when we aren't bothered with the show we will eat late on a large table and happily pass the evening with our table companions - we have never once felt rushed. Other nights we may eat early and request a table for two so we can have a shorter meal of 2-3 courses without sitting around for others to finish a larger meal so we can move on and enjoy the facilities around the ship.

                            Anytime dining suits us as we are early birds and consequently ready for bed shortly after 10pm so it enables us to eat and see the show or play the casino before bed beckons.
                            Cruising my way through life!

                            Sue

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Delboy, Essex View Post
                              Not my experience on RCi with my time dining, so I agree with Spartan, also I have never had to look for a table, have always been lead by a member of the staff to my table.
                              For me I love my time or freedom dining, it also means I can plan my night much better, as I like going to see the shows or any other entertainment after dinner, not before, the entertainment to me is just as important as the dinner. I don't like long drawn out meals, happy to join in the conversation during the meal, but once I have finished, I am up and out to the show or what other entertainment is available, or the bar.
                              I agree with your comments here, delboy.

                              We had excellent service from all staff at the mytime dining room. The two ladies who managed the reservations and seating were super and gave a first class service every time. The waiter who took us to our table was polite and friendly, and the waiters we had at each occasion were also friendly, courtous and attentive.

                              We brought with us an A3 size whiteboard with coloured pens and attached it to the (metal) wall of the cabin with magnets. After receiving our daily planner we would sit down and plan what we were doing for the day and when we would book our table for dinner, and write it down on the whiteboard.

                              It was great for writing messages to each other too.

                              Having said all that, I think we will forgo the convenience of dining when we want, in order to have table mates and get to know our waiters.

                              Comment


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