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Set Dinner Time VS Flexible


Linda216
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Depends on what you like.  Last May (7 night, Adventure), we were cruising with DD who has Celiac (gluten free), so felt that set dining time was safest for her because the waiters & headwaiter got to know her & were watching out for her, although we didn't like 530, as it was earlier than we wanted, but 8pm wasn't good for us either. We had no problems, and they were very careful & accomadating to her & us.  In Jan, we cruised without her (12 night, on Anthem), chose MTD, but scheduled 615pm every night, figuring that we could see about getting the same waiter/table if we liked it the first night. We didn't, but that didn't actually end up affecting us too much, since we had 3 specialty restaurant dinners, plus got access to Coastal Kitchen for being in a Junior Suite.  Only ended up in MDR one other night of the cruise, & were underwhelmed, probably because we felt the MTD waiters were not as invested in the passengers as the ones who had the same people every night.

That being said, I know people who are great fans of MTD, and if you're go with the flow type people, and don't have food intolerances/issues (unfortunately, we were still traveling with someone whose diet we had to be careful with), it can be great.

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I prefer traditional set-time dining.  There's always the Windjammer buffet if you want the flexibility of going whenever for one or two nights.  It's a mad house during breakfast (eggs & bacon with a side of elbows & shoves), but don't let that scare you off from having dinner there.  It's not nearly as crowded and they've always had something I really liked.  Very much of the same quality as what you'd get in the main dining room and often some of the same options.

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We are fans of My Time Dining the flexible option.  We have 4 kids and the early traditional is too early to get everyone out of the pool and dressed for dinner at 5:30 and the 8 is too late.  So we book a 6-6:30 reservation.  I suggest if you chose MTD to make a reservation every night in the cruise planner.  I choose the same time each night and we have always had the same wait staff and table on every cruise except if I significantly change the time due to another activity.   You also can speak to the reservation desk to ensure you have the same table or wait staff each night if that is important to you.  It is really easy to change or cancel my reservation that day if our plans change.  You could not make reservations and wait in line but similar to a land based restaurant you could be waiting in line for some time if you go at a popular time.

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4 hours ago, melski94 said:

We are fans of My Time Dining the flexible option.  We have 4 kids and the early traditional is too early to get everyone out of the pool and dressed for dinner at 5:30 and the 8 is too late.  So we book a 6-6:30 reservation.  I suggest if you chose MTD to make a reservation every night in the cruise planner.  I choose the same time each night and we have always had the same wait staff and table on every cruise except if I significantly change the time due to another activity.   You also can speak to the reservation desk to ensure you have the same table or wait staff each night if that is important to you.  It is really easy to change or cancel my reservation that day if our plans change.  You could not make reservations and wait in line but similar to a land based restaurant you could be waiting in line for some time if you go at a popular time.

I could not agree with you more... love My Time dining. We booked 6:00 PM for 6 of 7 nights on our next cruise... only booked 7:45 PM on port day in Cozumel due to the late departure. Our family and friends have always used My Time and linked reservations and have always sat at the same table with the same server team. The only time we have to be flexible is on that "off" night of 7:45 PM. They usually ask you each evening what your plans are for the next day/evening and try to accommodate your group. In the past, on the "off" time evening, they have seated us in the same section so we can get the same server team, but usually at a different table (party together, just not the same exact table) because our usual table was occupied... sometimes you may have to wait 10-15 minutes while they wait for a table to clear. We've never experienced any disadvantage with My Time dining.

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