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How do I get a table for two in the Main Dining Room?

13 Mar 2024
Calista Kiper

Are you looking for a classy, quiet experience at Royal Caribbean’s Main Dining Room?

Royal Caribbean’s Main Dining Room is a complimentary venue that serves formal, elegant meals two to three times a day.

It's become a staple of the cruise dining experience and a delicious meal that many cruise fans look forward to.

But you may not be eating alone.


You could be assigned to a table with other guests in the Main Dining Room.

Royal Caribbean tends to assign multiple parties to a table, especially if you’re traveling with a smaller party, such as a couple. 

To conserve dining space, waitstaff often assign multiple groups together at larger tables.

odyssey of the seas main dining room

Without proper preparation, first-time cruisers could be met with a disappointing surprise when they come to dinner and find several strangers eating with them.

Being seated with another party can feel like a jarring end to the sophisticated evening you were expecting.

If dining alone is a priority for you, here’s how you can request a table for two.

Read more: How Royal Caribbean's Main Dining Room works and what to expect

How do table assignments work?

Royal Caribbean seats guests according to their availability. 

With the right timing and request, you can ensure that you snag a table for just two.

Royal Caribbean has table sizes for two, four, six, eight, and ten people. 

At those larger tables, the Main Dining Room staff do their best to seat groups together that might have something in common. 

Family in dining room

For example, couples could expect to be sat with other couples. Or families with younger kids may find themselves with other families with children.

There’s nothing scary about being seated with another group; your parties will dine and converse, working together to have a lovely evening. 

Just make sure to keep the conversation light and fun! Steer the chat away from controversial topics, and remember that everyone is there to enjoy their meal and have a lovely cruise.

Main dining room

But, there are plenty of valid reasons why you might prefer to be seated alone.

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, feeling more introverted, or just don’t want to be focused on your partner during your dinner, you can request to be seated at a table for two for all your meals. 

Just remember that if you don’t specifically request it, you will likely be seated at a larger table with others.

Traditional Dining

Table for two

When you first book your cruise, you’ll have two options for when you eat your Main Dining Room dinner: traditional dining or My Time Dining.

Read more: Royal Caribbean My Time Dining versus Traditional Dining

These times determine when you go to dinner, and you’ll want to choose your selection carefully! You won’t be able to change it after the second day of your cruise.

Traditional dining gives you an assigned table at one of three times: 5:30 P.M., 6:45 P.M., or 8:00 P.M.

odyssey of the seas main dining room

The exact times will vary according to your cruise’s itinerary, but you can select one of those three dinner times. 

Once you make your choice, you’ll be assigned to a consistent table and team of waiters each night.

If you’d like to secure a table for just two people before your cruise, you can make a request through email.

Simply contact [email protected] about 2-3 weeks before your cruise and ask for a smaller table for just your party.

Menu from Wonder of the Seas

If this doesn’t work, or you change your mind, you can still make your request once onboard.

Go to the Main Dining room and ask to speak to a head waiter, letting them know that you’d like a table for two.

The Main Dining Room’s waitstaff is extremely accommodating, and they will do their best to fulfill your request. 

Even if you end up being assigned to a larger table, the other parties may not join you, and waiters can move your group to a smaller table.

The good news is that, with traditional dining, you’ll sit at the same table every night. 

Once you make your original request, your group will be set at its own table.

My Time Dining

My Time Dining is a more flexible schedule for dinner. Instead of being assigned a specific time, you have a first-come, first-served option.

Usually, dinnertime runs between 6:00 and 9:30 P.M., and you will be seated when and where the waitstaff and kitchen are ready to serve you.

You can make a dinner reservation ahead of time in the Cruise Planner or Royal Caribbean app. 


If you choose to wait until you get onboard, you can go directly to the Main Dining Room and a head waiter will be happy to assist you. 

When you make your reservations with them, you can request a table for two.

Be sure that you make this in-person request as soon as you get onboard because reservations fill up quickly.

The benefit of making a reservation ahead of time is that you’ll have to wait less to get a table (up to 15 minutes).

Breakfast in mdr

However, you’re not required to make a reservation ahead of time. If you choose to, you can simply show up to the Main Dining Room whenever you feel like eating.

If you do not make any reservations, you might end up waiting up to 45 minutes at peak times.

While waiting to be seated, you can request a small table for your party. But many tables will likely be full at this point.

Usually, they will seat you at whatever tables are most quickly available, so just be patient if they can’t fulfill your request right away!

Seating your larger group together

Main Dining Room on Voyager of the Seas

Looking for special seating for a group larger than just two?

You can still request to dine together, instead of being seated with other parties.

If you’ve selected traditional dining, you can request a table allocation 50 days before the sailing. Your group leader can even assign the seats specifically.

However, Royal Caribbean’s website states that if you’ve selected My Time dining, there is no guarantee that your group will be seated together.

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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