Dynamic Dining

Royal Caribbean abandons Dynamic Dining on Anthem of the Seas

In:
12Sep2016

Royal Caribbean will be discontinuing its Dynamic Dining program on Anthem of the Seas, beginning with sailings on November 27, 2016.

The reason for the change is feedback from guests indicated a preference for a dining program that combines traditional seating with the option for flexibility.  As a result, Royal Caribbean will offer on Anthem of the Seas My Time Dining program, with traditional and flexible options, as well as introduce new, upgraded dinner menus. The four main restaurants – Chic, Grande, Silk, and American Icon – will now become the main dining venues to support the My Time Dining program and will all feature the same upgraded dinner menu each evening. My Time Dining flexible venues will be located on Deck 4 in American Icon and Silk, while Chic and Grande will be designated as the early and late seating restaurants on Deck 3. The name and décor of each venue will remain unchanged.

All Anthem of the Seas sailings departing on-or-after November 27th, 2016, as well as sailings departing November 23rd, 2016 through April 14th, 2017 onboard Ovation of the Seas, will be impacted by this change.  In addition, beginning November 27th, 2016, Anthem of the Seas will offer either one or two formal evenings per cruise, dependent upon sailing length.

All active bookings on-or-after November 27th, 2016 on Anthem of the Seas will automatically convert to the new dining program, respecting all pre-selected times, party sizes and other reservation features.

Traditional Dining will occur in The Grand and Chic restaurants and choose between early (6:00pm) and late seating (8:30pm).  Traditional dining includes a fixed dining time, fixed venue, fixed table assignment and same table companions each evening.

Flexible Dining will occur in the Silk and American Icon Grill restaurants. Guests in Flexible Dining choose a preferred dining time and are seated on a first come, first served basis and include a variable dining time with fixed venue and flexible table assignments.

Families with small children can take advantage of My Family Time dining benefits while sailing onboard Anthem of the Seas. This is available as part of the traditional dining experience during the early seating time and can be reserved pre-cruise via Cruise Planner or once onboard. My Family Time dining allows children ages 3-to-11 to enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating before heading to the evening’s Adventure Ocean activities.

New, upgraded dinner menus will be introduced each evening in all four main dining restaurants. 

The decision to change how guests dine on Anthem of the Seas marks a tremendous reversal in fortunes for the Dynamic Dining program, which at one time was arguably heralded as the future of cruise ship dining. 

Back in March 2014, Royal Caribbean had previously announced its Quantum-class cruise ships would usher in a radically new dining program called Dynamic Dining, where there would be no main dining room and instead would offer a combination of complimentary and specialty restaurants for guests to choose from.  Then in August 2014, Royal Caribbean announced Dynamic Dining would spread to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Guest feedback changed Royal Caribbean's plans, and Dynamic Dining was postponed indefinitely for the Oasis-class ships and a more traditional Dynamic Dining option was added.

Everything You Need to Know about Dynamic Dining Classic

In:
Category: 
16Jul2016

Please welcome guest blogger Don & Heidi! DB and the Princess are a husband and wife duo with 10+ years of cruising history. Their blog, EatSleepCruise.com, provides valuable cruise planning tips and strategies. With reviews on cruise ships and shore excursions, along with a complete photo gallery, they help you “sea the world," one port at a time.

Dynamic Dining was a new program first introduced by Royal Caribbean on Quantum of the Seas that completely changed everything you know about traditional dining. Since the first incarnation of the program, Royal Caribbean has provided more options to cruisers, creating Dynamic Dining Choice and Dynamic Dining Classic.

Dynamic Dining Choice functions much like My Time Dining, where cruisers are free to eat at any of the complimentary restaurants at different times, with different table arrangements. This more freestyle approach is essentially the original version of the Dynamic Dining concept that was debuted. Given cruiser feedback, Royal Caribbean has implemented the Dynamic Dining Classic option, a new hybrid offering that includes elements of the original Dynamic Dining and the traditional dining that many Royal Caribbean fans are familiar with on other ships.

Having just returned from a cruise on Anthem of the Seas, we were able to test out Dynamic Dining Classic and compare it to our experiences with Dynamic Dining Choice a year earlier on Quantum of the Seas. We have put together this list of common questions about the program to help cruisers decide if Dynamic Dining Classic is right for them.

Which ships have Dynamic Dining Classic?

Currently, Anthem of the Seas, sailing from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, and Ovation of the Seas, sailing from Australia, offer Dynamic Dining Classic. The program is no longer offered on Quantum of the Seas, sailing year round from China.

When do I eat with Dynamic Dining Classic?

Unlike Dynamic Dining Choice, where your meal times can change each night, with Dynamic Dining Classic, you have a set dinner time every night. Similar to traditional dining, there is an early dinner seating and a late dinner seating. On our Anthem of the Seas cruise, the early seating was from 5:30pm to 6:00pm, and the late seating was from 8:30pm to 9:00pm. Before your cruise, you will select which dining time slot you prefer.

What happens if I miss my time slot?

You are given a thirty-minute window to arrive at the restaurant for your assigned early or late dinner seating. If you do not arrive by the assigned time, then your table is given away to those scheduled with the Dynamic Dining Choice option.

During our cruise, we noticed that the staff did make rounds near 6pm to see which tables were vacant, and within about 15 minutes, those tables were filled. Of course, if you completely miss your dining time, you have several other options onboard the ship.

Do I have to wait in line with Dynamic Dining Classic?

No, there are no lines or waiting with Dynamic Dining Classic.

When you arrive for dinner, skip the lines and head into the restaurant. Your table assignment number will be the same in each of the four complimentary dining venues.  

After a couple of days, you will probably have your bearings and be able to find the table yourself (The table is in the same location, but some restaurants are mirror images of others.). If not, just ask someone to point you to the table, and they will be happy to assist.

Where do I eat with Dynamic Dining Classic?

What makes the Quantum class ships unique is that they offer not one complimentary dining room, but four complimentary restaurants. Each restaurant has its own theme, with distinct menus and atmosphere.

There is the pan-Asian inspired Silk, the comfort food of the American Icon Grill, the modern French cuisine of Chic, and the elegant Grande. 

During your cruise, you will have the opportunity to dine at all of these restaurants with Dynamic Dining Classic.  

How do I know which restaurant to go to each night?

On the first day of your cruise, you will find your Dynamic Dining Classic rotation in your stateroom. The letter will also indicate your table assignment, which is the same at all restaurants. Our rotation for a five-night sailing on Anthem of the Seas was:

Day 1- Chic

Day 2 – Grande

Day 3 – Silk

Day 4 – American Icon Grill

Day 5- Chic

If the cruise were eight days for example, we would have rotated through Grande, Silk, and American Icon Grill in that order for Days 6-8. Everyone’s schedule will be different, but it will be a systematic rotation through each restaurant during your cruise.

Do the menus change at the restaurants?

Yes, even though each restaurant has a distinct menu, there are different sets of menus for each restaurant. Each restaurant has the same “Classics Menu”, offering staple dishes for the duration of the cruise. On our cruise, there were two sets of menus- “Menu A” and “Menu B”. Menu B made an appearance only on Day 5, after everyone had dined once at each complimentary restaurant. On longer cruises, the menus are switched out at different intervals, so you do not have to worry about eating the same meals even though you might be dining in the same venue multiple times.

Is the food different with Dynamic Dining Classic and Dynamic Dining Choice?

No, the menus and offerings are identical for each program. The major differences are the time you eat, where you sit, and which restaurant you dine at each night. Those are set with Dynamic Dining Classic and variable with Dynamic Dining Choice. The food selections, drinks, and atmosphere in each restaurant are the same regardless of which dining option you choose for your cruise.

Who I will be dining with each night?

Similar to traditional dining, each night you will have a set table assignment. You will be given a table number that will be the same at each restaurant during the trip. Your tablemates will also be the same.

Of course, you can request a private table for just you and your family, and RCI will do the best to accommodate your request. We had a table for two every night of our cruise.

What about the wait staff?

Another benefit of Dynamic Dining Classic is that your wait staff move with you through the dining rotation. Our waiter, Manilow, accompanied us through our four restaurant rotation. We did not have an assigned assistant waiter or bar server, but we saw many of the same individuals each night.

The Dynamic Dining Classic option gives you the more personal level of service many loyal to Royal cruisers are used to on other ships with traditional dining.  

What if I don’t want to eat in a restaurant?

If you choose to forgo one of the restaurants in your rotation, you have other options. You could go standby at one of the other complimentary restaurants. There is always the Windjammer Café which is open for dinner. You could also make a reservation for the complimentary Solarium Bistro. Or, there are several specialty restaurants on the ship that you can make reservations at as well.

Keep in mind, there is a surcharge for these restaurants, and the popular ones fill up quickly. On our cruise, we made a reservation at Jamie’s Italian on the last night of our cruise, figuring we had eaten once at all of the complimentary restaurants.

Our Take on Dynamic Dining Classic

We preferred the Dynamic Dining Classic offering more than the Dynamic Dining Choice.

We thought the service was better, and we liked the predictability of having a set dinner schedule and table every night. We did not have to worry about making reservations or be concerned with wait times.

We tend to be rather structured and more “traditional” cruisers, so this option worked out better for us. It combined the best of both worlds, taking the elements of a traditional MDR and combining them with four unique restaurants offering different styles of cuisine.

If you prefer My Time Dining on other RCI ships, then Dynamic Dining Choice might be the better option.

Royal Caribbean cancels Dynamic Dining for Oasis class cruise ships

In:
14Jul2015

Royal Caribbean announced that it has decided not to add Dynamic Dining to the rest of the fleet, including the Oasis class cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean had previously announced it would be adding Dynamic Dining to its Oasis class cruise ships by the end of the year, but has now changed its plans.

In a statement to travel agents, Royal Caribbean explained its decision, "The revolutionary Dynamic Dining concept was created for Royal Caribbean International’s newest and most technologically advanced Quantum-class ships. It has been decided not to introduce the Dynamic Dining concept to the rest of the fleet, which was not specifically designed to support it, although previously announced for Oasis Class ships."

Guests who had booked Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas will select from two seating times in the main dining room or My Time Dining.

Guests on Harmony of Seas who have already pre-selected the Dynamic Dining Classic option for their upcoming cruise will be assigned to either early or late seating to match their original choice of time. Guests who have selected the Dynamic Dining Choice option will be assigned to the My Time Dining program.  

All dining reservations for guests sailing on Harmony of the Seas should be converted by the end of July 2015.

Royal Caribbean's plans for Dynamic Dining have changed quite a bit since it originally was announced. The cruise line delayed the roll out of Dynamic Dining to other ships and subsequently added a Dynamic Dining Classic option that was closer to traditional dining.

Royal Caribbean gives all past Quantum of the Seas guests $100 onboard credit as a gesture of good will

In:
16Apr2015

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley sent an email to all past guests that have sailed on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas with an offer of $100 onboard credit towards a future cruise on Anthem of the Seas.

Bayley's email was sent in response to the negative feedback surrounding Dynamic Dining on Quantum of the Seas in the ship's first few months.  Since that time, Royal Caribbean has worked to refine Dynamic Dining and the general Quantum-class experience.

Here is the content of the email to past passengers:

Thank you for being one of the first to sail onboard Quantum of the Seas. As the newest ship in our fleet, Quantum introduced many new concepts—which, I'm sure, is part of the reason you wanted to be among the first to experience it all. I know that things were not perfect, especially in the first few months of the inaugural season as we worked to refine the experience we set out to deliver. We listened to your feedback and it was clear we had some room to improve, especially with Dynamic Dining.

Many of you liked the flexibility of Dynamic Dining, but encountered issues with making reservations. Others simply wanted the more traditional dining experience to which they were accustomed on other ships. I assure you that we learn more with every sailing and with every comment we receive, and I'm pleased to announce that we've come up with a way to satisfy diners in either camp. Now, our more traditional diners can choose Dynamic Dining Classic, a new option that gives you the familiarity of traditional main dining by having the same dining times nightly, same waiters and same table companions throughout the cruise. And those of you who liked Dynamic Dining can enjoy even more flexibility and improved service throughout the experience, with Dynamic Dining Choice. We've already received a lot of positive feedback about these new options, and I can't wait to hear how you like it once you experience it for yourself.

As a gesture of goodwill and a thank you for your loyalty to Royal Caribbean, I invite you to come back and try the new and improved Dynamic Dining on our newest ship, Anthem of the Seas, and enjoy a gift of $100 in onboard credit per stateroom when you secure your booking in May.
Again, thank you for being our guest. We hope to welcome you aboard soon.

Cruise must be booked April 13 - May 31, 2015. Offer applies to all Anthem of the Seas sailings. Offer includes $100 OBC and applies to all stateroom categories. Promo Code ANTHEM must be entered to receive onboard credit.

Royal Caribbean confirms new dining option on Anthem of the Seas

In:
02Feb2015

Royal Caribbean confirmed our earlier report that a new dining option will be added to Dynamic Dining that will offer passengers a more traditional dining experience called Classic, where guests will rotate among the complimentary restaurants each night of their cruise with the same wait staff each evening.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement that Dynamic Dining Classic will be a new option for guests to consider in addition to the existing Dynamic Dining program and will debut first on Anthem of the Seas in April 2015.

Classic dining will offer two set dinner seating times for guests who prefer a traditional cruise dining style.

Dynamic Dining’s “Classic” option allows guests to rotate through each of the four main complimentary restaurants at an early- or a late-seating time throughout their cruise with their dining group and the same assigned waiter each evening. Dynamic Dining’s “Classic” dining option will be available for pre-booking early March.

Royal Caribbean Brand Communications Manager Harrison Liu also discussed the future of Dynamic Dining, "As we continue to gather guest feedback we will evaluate ways to continue to elevate the Dynamic Dining experience to give our guests the choices and flexibility we know they desire.  As we introduce Dynamic Dining to other ships in the fleet, further dates and details will be confirmed. "

Dynamic Dining Classic is part of an effort by Royal Caribbean to improve the Dynamic Dining Experience.  In the last few weeks on Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has introduced new menu options at the four complimentary restaurants, increased staffing levels in the complimentary restaurants and added Devinly Decadence as a complimentary restaurant.

Royal Caribbean will adopt new rotational dining program for Anthem of the Seas

In:
31Jan2015

We've received reports that Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley announced to a group of travel agents aboard Freedom of the Seas that the company's ambitious Dynamic Dining program will be augmented with a new rotational dining program.

Under the new program, guests will dine at different complimentary restaurants each night of their cruise based on their rotational schedule.  At each restaurant, guests will have the same wait staff and table mates each evening.

The new rotational dining program will begin with Anthem of the Seas, but there is no indication yet if it will spread to Quantum of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and/or Allure of the Seas.

Back in March 2014, Royal Caribbean had previously announced its Quantum-class cruise ships would usher in a radically new dining program called Dynamic Dining, where there would be no main dining room and instead would offer a combination of complimentary and specialty restaurants for guests to choose from.  

Then in August 2014, Royal Caribbean announced Dynamic Dining would spread to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

When Quantum of the Seas launched in November 2014, there were a great deal of negative reports from cruisers that Dynamic Dining was troubled by long lones and poor service.  Then in December, Royal Caribbean postponed Dynamic Dining on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas indefinitely.

If the reports are true, it appears the flow of negative reviews online and to Royal Caribbean have forced the company to try something different from Dynamic Dining that is more like traditional dining.

UPDATE: Video of Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley announcing the rotational dining option called "Classic".

Video by Gina Smythe

Royal Caribbean postpones Dynamic Dining on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas

In:
24Dec2014

Royal Caribbean has delayed the introduction of Dynamic Dining to its two largest cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

There's no new date when Dynamic Dining will be activitated, but Royal Caribbean did indicate it will occur "later this year".

In the meantime, both ships will continue to serve traditional dining experiences in the early and late dining seating.

Royal Caribbean had announced in August Dynamic Dining would expand to Oasis of the Seas and during a recent refurbishment, the ship's main dining room was re-arranged to create the Dynamic Dining restaurants.

Then in October, Allure of the Seas was included in the Dynamic Dining lot as well.

Dynamic Dining is the new twist on traditional cruise ship dining.  Instead of a main dining room with fixed dining times, smaller restaurants are spread all over the cruise ship to offer more choice in ambiance and cuisine.  Some restaurants will be complimentary while others will have a cover charge to dine there.

Royal Caribbean confirms Dynamic Dining is not coming to Freedom of the Seas

In:
16Oct2014

Royal Caribbean released a new Dynamic Dining Q&A document and one bit of news to come out of is the fate of traditional dining on Freedom of the Seas.

The document reads:

As leaders in innovation, Royal Caribbean International is reimagining dining at sea with the launch of Dynamic Dining aboard the Quantum class of ships. This revolutionary program also will be introduced to the Oasis Class, the world’s largest and most innovative class of cruise ships, during their upcoming scheduled dry docks. Dynamic Dining is a strategic initiative for Royal Caribbean and based on the positive response from our guests, it is our intention to implement this program across as many of our ships as possible, as part of our Royal Advantage program — our ongoing commitment to offer the best experience in the industry to our guests. At this time, there are no plans to implement Dynamic Dining on Freedom of the Seas during her upcoming dry dock due to certain limitations including time restrictions. We will continue to communicate any implementation of Dynamic Dining across the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet as those decisions are made.

Royal Caribbean has scheduled Freedom of the Seas for a drydock refurbishment in January 2015 and there was speculation that perhaps Freedom of the Seas would be getting Dynamic Dining just like Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will expand Dynamic Dining to Allure of the Seas

In:
12Oct2014

The largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, will be converted over to Dynamic Dining.

Dynamic Dining is the new twist on traditional cruise ship dining.  Instead of a main dining room with fixed dining times, smaller restaurants are spread all over the cruise ship to offer more choice in ambiance and cuisine.  Some restaurants will be complimentary while others will have a cover charge to dine there.

Earlier this year Royal Caribbean announced sister ship Oasis of the Seas would be converted to Dynamic Dining and it was widely speculated Allure of the Seas would follow suit. 

SEE DYNAMIC DINING CHANGES COMING TO OASIS OF THE SEAS

Royal Caribbean's web site is now reflecting the change coming to Allure of the Seas, although the content there appears to have been copy and pasted from the Oasis of the Seas description.

Allure of the Seas is scheduled to go into drydock in May 2015 and will then offer Mediterannean cruises from May 2015 to October 2015.

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