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DanielB

My time dining....

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1 minute ago, DanielB said:

OK I currently have late dining for my upcoming Oasis cruise in January.  Being new to Royal I don't understand the benefits of My Time dining.

Can someone help?  

 

Thanks

My time dining allows you to eat whenever you want. Just walk up and ask for a table, just like in a land based restaurant.  You might have to wait if a table isn't available right away. Usually not a problem. 

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If you don't want to have a set dining time, then you should try to get switched to My Time Dining.  That's the main difference between the two -- late dining is going to be an inflexible 8:00pm-8:30pm (depending on the ship/sailing) whereas My Time Dining will allow you to make reservations anytime during the restaurant's open dining hours or you can just walk up when you are ready to eat and be seated (or wait if it's busy).

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It is great. It allows you to make a reservation for whatever time you want and you don’t have to them eat with other people. You can reserve a table for yourself at whatever time you want. Some people don’t even do reservations but we always do to avoid any long waits. It’s a great way to do the MDR. Happy Cruising 

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1 hour ago, Sh2738 said:

It is great. It allows you to make a reservation for whatever time you want and you don’t have to them eat with other people. You can reserve a table for yourself at whatever time you want. Some people don’t even do reservations but we always do to avoid any long waits. It’s a great way to do the MDR. Happy Cruising 

As a note, you can also request a table for just your party on traditional dining.

As others have stated, My Time is good if you don't want to eat at the set traditional times (time varies by ship), or if you want to just show up when ready to eat, or if you have a late excursion or booking around a show....the time is flexible.

The nice thing about traditional dining is that you get the same waiter, same table each night so you get to know your servers.  Having said that, if you end up making reservations for My Time around the same time, you may end up with the same table and servers as well (but no guarantee)

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I'll note the two moderate cons of My Time Dining:

  1. The primary shows (headline acts, Broadway productions, etc) are scheduled to line up with the traditional dining times; you may find yourself moving your dining reservation times around to something closer to the traditional time (or going to the Windjammer) once you see when shows you want to catch are being performed
  2. My Time Dining, based on anecdotal evidence, is more crowded and hectic than either Traditional Dining slot due to its popularity, with many more people trying to cram dinner into the "typical" household 6:30 to 7:30 hour; this seems to the main source of complaints about cold food, inattentive service, etc.
    • Not everyone in MTD has a bad experience of course, and many here and elsewhere report perfectly fine experiences; but it does seem like choosing this option also means putting yourself at a bigger risk
    • I remember you mentioning you want HOT food in another thread, so take this as you will. 😉 

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Your best bet is to try one way of dining this cruise and try the other way on your next cruise.  I find a lot of these things are personal preferences and until you do both yourselves, you don't really know what works best for you.  I can understanding gathering pros/cons to try to do what may work best for you first.

Personally, I didn't care for MTD but that is probably because we weren't very organized and were a group.  We should have done traditional dining.  It was also our first cruise we had been on since the early 90s....lots of things had changed!  Most for the better.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

My Time Dining, based on anecdotal evidence, is more crowded and hectic than either Traditional Dining

Agreed. In our singular experience with MTD, we would be brought over to Table A only to discover there was already a party sitting at it. Then, the staff would wander around looking for another table to give us without consulting the front desk. The staff would give us Table B, and soon after another party would walk over to it because the table assignments hadn't been updated to reflect that Table B was taken. It was a little chaotic, but overall our MTD experience was much more positive than negative.

As @CruisinUpinLife mentioned, larger parties are might be better off using Traditional Dining. MTD was easy for just 2 people. On cruises where we had 8+ in our group, it was nice to have a set time for everyone to meet up every night and not having to wait for a table large enough for all of us.

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Traditional dining does provide a better overall experience at the expense of convenience and flexibility.  For me being to able to eat at different times each night (flexibility) is more important than a marginally better dining experience.  

Eating at 8:30pm isn't my thing, entree isn't served until 9pm or later and that doesn't work for me.  I end up eating something before that and spoiling my dinner.  5:30pm is too early and when I cruise with friends, especially the female ones find that wayyyytoooo early to get ready.  6:30-7pm plus or minus 30 minutes any given night is the sweet spot and only available in MTD.

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3 hours ago, KJones said:

Agreed. In our singular experience with MTD, we would be brought over to Table A only to discover there was already a party sitting at it. Then, the staff would wander around looking for another table to give us without consulting the front desk. The staff would give us Table B, and soon after another party would walk over to it because the table assignments hadn't been updated to reflect that Table B was taken. It was a little chaotic, but overall our MTD experience was much more positive than negative.

As @CruisinUpinLife mentioned, larger parties are might be better off using Traditional Dining. MTD was easy for just 2 people. On cruises where we had 8+ in our group, it was nice to have a set time for everyone to meet up every night and not having to wait for a table large enough for all of us.

This has not been my experience although we book our dining times in advance. On the Oasis class ships I find it an excellent option. I look at the sailing itinerary, book the shows based on the itinerary (what time the ship leaves the ports it is at) and then book dining times accordingly. Even with different times on different evenings we always have the same table and waiters. I am a huge fan of the MTD! 

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On 10/10/2019 at 10:05 AM, DanielB said:

I have emailed our TA to have this switched

Good choice! I suspect you won't regret it. We have always done MTD and have loved it regardless if we were a couple or a group of 10!

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Most of the above stated responses are good advice. I would like to add that we have done MTD on one cruise and glad that we tried it out. It was not our thing. We like to be able to get dressed, get to the dining room, go right to our same table, say hi to the same wait staff and proceed to order. We did not prefer to wait, and my hubby gets grumpy if he has to wait to eat too long. One time we did get seated at a large table and did not like that at all.

 

FWIW for set dining time (we always do early dining) we always go to the MDR on embarkation day and request a table for just the size of our party so we are not sitting with others, and the MDR usually always honors it.

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On 10/14/2019 at 2:35 AM, S0nny said:

Good choice! I suspect you won't regret it. We have always done MTD and have loved it regardless if we were a couple or a group of 10!

Exactly  & you have the flexibility to choose different times each night of your cruise that works for your schedule

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Sailing on the Harmony of the Seas in March 2020 and we have 11 people traveling together (reservations all linked together). We are all signed up to do MTD. We have dinner reservations fro 6:45 each night.  Would like to all sit together but was told they could only accommodate 10 people at a table. This doesn't sound right to me but anyone have any thoughts, comments or suggestions.

 

 Thanks.

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23 minutes ago, mainemomof3 said:

Sailing on the Harmony of the Seas in March 2020 and we have 11 people traveling together (reservations all linked together). We are all signed up to do MTD. We have dinner reservations fro 6:45 each night.  Would like to all sit together but was told they could only accommodate 10 people at a table. This doesn't sound right to me but anyone have any thoughts, comments or suggestions.

Not sure if the ship matters but on Harmony '18 we had MTD  for a group of 15 ish. We tried to link everyone before the sailing but that didn't work. As soon as we boarded the ship 2 of us who had all of the names went down to the dining reservations area and gave them our request. We had the same table/time/waitstaff every night and things went very smoothly.

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