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When booking our recently completed Mariner of the Seas weekend cruise, I selected Traditional Dining and the 5:30pm time slot.  That was annotated on my RCCL cruise app too.  So we report to the appropriate dining room only to find out the "system" failed to show that.  At first they excused it as "Oh, you have My Time Dining..." until I showed them the app on my cell phone.  They scrambled around some and after much back and forth sat us with two other couples.  Obviously we were miffed.  After all, this was our wedding anniversary and we really were not enthusiastic about sharing dinner with other folks we did not know.  But after we were seated and placed drink orders, the attendant came back and offered us a table for two in the 3rd deck dining room.  By then we were not inclined to move.  We had a nice dinner with the two couples (and also picked up some travel tips as two were travel agents!).  RCCL did provide a nice anniversary cake and sang to us.

Afterwards the attendant escorted us to the 3rd deck dining room and ensured we would have the same table for two there for the next two evenings.  So now were were part of the 5:30pm My Time Dining crowd.  We went with it.

Saturday night was smooth.  We had a nice window table for two.

Sunday night we returned and when getting to our table (confirmed on the waiter's table slip) there was a couple already sitting there. At first the staff tried seating us at the next adjoining two person table.  The other couple said they had sat window-side Friday evening.  More scratching of heads.  In the end the other couple asked for a different table and we were seated where we were assigned.

I am pretty sure solving problems like that is a daily occurrence in the dining rooms.  But somewhat frustrating to us passengers.

However, through it all, the service by the waiters and their assistants were outstanding.

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I've lived that nightmare, myself.  We had a friendly ongoing week-long feud with another couple over a table that overlooked the railing.  It was always a joke to see which of us would get there first and get "the" table.  We all became fast friends but it was ridiculous that they could not manage to secure a table at the SAME TIME EVERY NIGHT.  This is one (among many others) reason why we quit going to the MDR altogether.  The final deal was the ungodly atrocious Thanksgiving meal we had on NAV 2 Thanksgivings ago.  That was the last meal we ever ate in a MDR and we will never go back.

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I thought Royal had mastered screwing up the dining reservations but no monopoly there. While on the Golden Princess to Hawaii, we had THE aft "owners suite" (think Royal suite).  Not only were we not sitting with our friends at second seating, they tried to throw us all in "anytime dining" blaming our travel agent (me). Just the way my wife said "he's the agent so try again" caused the tuxedo to stiffen and a quick correction ensued.

Royal didn't know how to respond when my DW asked for the person's head on a pike at the MDR entrance when they screwed up our 25 year anniversary "table for two" either 😈

 

Yet I still empathize every time I hear these dining room table issues. I know what the board looks like and I just don't see where rocket science is necessary to accommodate most of our requests.

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Mariner seems to have this problem with table assignments.  We had 8 staterooms/families in our group.  I took us several calls to Royal before the sailing to finally get our bookings linked together. For some reason, one or two families were being "unlinked" each time we'd follow up.  When we finally get them linked, two other families are unlinked.  Maybe that's Royal's version of "musical chairs"

Anyway, come Night 1 of the cruise, two families were assigned seats away from our section, like very far away from us.  I put on my "Mr. Nice" hat and firmly asked for them to fix it.  They did!

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