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Confused about dining


bmhightower
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First time with Royal Caribbean coming up in May and I am confused about the dining choices. When we booked we chose My Time which I understand is where you can just show up or reserve a My Dining Time ahead of time. Traditional is the same time early or late seating every night. If I keep My Time and make soecific time reservations each night, are we able to have the same table and wait staff? We really enjoy that aspect of the dining experience. And I really don’t see if I’m going to reserve a time I just don’t go with traditional?  With Traditional you either have all nights early or all nights late? I guess My Time with reservations would let you do some early and some late maybe? ???

 

 

 

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Hi @bmhightower welcome to the Royal Caribbean Blog message boards! 

 

As I understand, if you’d like the same table and servers, you’re better off to request to be added to the waitlist for traditional dining, if you can’t just switch now. If you do “my time” dining you are just making a reservation for a table at that time you selected - not the specific table or server you’d like. It’s like making a reservation at a restaurant on land. 

 

That said, I’ve read reports of people liking their server and table and being able to arrange it for the remainder of the cruise. But if you like traditional - swap to traditional! Our fearless leader @matt always says to visit the MDR immediately on embarkation if you need to make changes or request special accommodations for your dining preferences. 

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With Traditional, every night is the same time at the same table with the same waiters.  Exact times vary by ship and itinerary but will be something like 5:30 PM for the early seating and 8:00 PM for late seating.  No mixing between early and late.

With My Time, you can make reservations for some nights, all nights, or no nights.  Without reservations, it's just like going to a normal restaurant...there might be a wait if they are busy, or you might be seated immediately.  Some people want to reserve every night for a specific time but think the early and late seating are bad times so they reserve every night at 6:30 PM.  If you like your table and/or waiters, you can request them for future nights.  They will do their best but this option works best if you want a similar time every night.  If you jump around a lot, it might not be possible.  Another consideration is if you will be dining in specialty restaurants frequently.  Many cruisers choose My Time when they do multiple specialty restaurants so they aren't leaving empty seats at a traditional table.

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Twice we've had My Time Dining in the last couple of years and each time we've been able to sit with the same wait staff each night.  The first time we tried My Time, 4-5 years ago, we had fun trying different wait staff each evening but by the end we didn't appreciate the experience and some nights the service was horrible and others amazing.  We did traditional the next few cruises, but then decided to give My Time another try and that's when we found out we can request to be seated with specific staff and they will do their best to accommodate you.  This past October we spent 12 nights on Serenade and were put with the same staff even without asking.  There was one night that we changed our time due to the late night in port, and had to sit near - but not with - our waiters and it we missed them so much we didn't play with our pre-arranged timing the whole rest of the cruise.  LOL! 

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We rarely do MDR anymore but when we did, we always used MTD and we were almost always able to get the same table/waiters.  You do have to make those arrangements with the maitre d though.  On your way out of the restaurant on the first night, just stop by the maitre d kiosk and tell them that you want to keep your table and waiters OR if you want a different table and/or waiters, let them know that, too.  Our waiters have usually been very good but we've had a few bad experiences, too.

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We did the early seating on our very first cruise, but we were a party of 6 adults, and we were seated at a table for 6.

For the others, we've done MTD.  We've never requested to be in the same area but have always been.  On our 25th Anniversary cruise we DID request a table for 2.  We sat at the same table each evening, except for 1...but that night we were at the table next to it.   that's all...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a question:  If you choose the MDR, but decide to try another restaurant or two during the cruise, do you need to let the the maitre d know?  We're a party of 3 sitting at a table of 8--seven night cruise.  I can't imagine just not showing up!  I wouldn't want to keep the others at out table waiting.  Suggestions please!

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8 minutes ago, Bluegrass Gal said:

Here's a question:  If you choose the MDR, but decide to try another restaurant or two during the cruise, do you need to let the the maitre d know?  We're a party of 3 sitting at a table of 8--seven night cruise.  I can't imagine just not showing up!  I wouldn't want to keep the others at out table waiting.  Suggestions please!

Shouldn't be a problem, if you don't show up. Your table mates will just have more room and it doesn't really make a difference with the waitstaff.

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Out of general courtesy, let your table mates know that you will not be there, they then know to tell the head waiter not to wait and to proceed with dinner.

This has happened to us in the past and it was nice to tell the head waiter to go ahead, that we knew or table mates were not showing up. 

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