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No Traditional Dining Option

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I have booked Oasis of the Seas in April of 2018 for my wife and I, so pretty far out still. When I booked, only My Time Dining was an option, as the Traditional Dining option was greyed out. There was a box underneath these two options where I could check "My dining preference is unavailable" and if I used the dropdown menu on that one, it only allowed me to select an 8:30 pm dining time. So am I too far out to book a traditional dining time, or do you think they are already sold out? I usually prefer the first seating time, which on my previous cruises was generally around 5:30/6:00 pm.

Also, would I be better off to go with My Time Dining so that I can see all the shows, including in the AquaTheatre? I have not been on Oasis class before. but my wife and I usually book the earlier mealtime so that we have the same waiters each time, allowing us to get to know them and they can get to know us, but I also want to make sure I don't miss out on shows. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for all of your help!

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I know that I am an outlier here, but I ALWAYS get MTD and book the earliest available dining time for every evening.

 

I recognize that this defeats the purpose of having MTD, but for the same reasons as you mentioned, Cruise_Addict, I do it b/c I want the same table and wait staff but do not want to HAVE to eat at the same time every night.  Also, we prefer a table for 2...and while I know that traditional dining has private tables, too, traditional dining has fewer private tables available than does MTD.

 

Do we always eat at the same time every night ?  Not always, but on days when we know we are going to be eating a little later (e.g., port days) we let the servers and the folks at the reservations podium know when to expect us and they will do what they can to get our table and servers for us.  It doesn't always work.  Sometimes we have to eat somewhere else for that meal but they always do their best to get us our table and servers, even if it's later in the evening than our normal reservation.  What you canNOT do (and expect satisfaction) is to arrive late, unannounced and expect to get your table. At that point, it is someone ELSE's table.

 

To address the first part of your post....I find it extremely hard to believe that the early traditional dining time is fully booked, this far in advance. More likely, it is an IT problem that is preventing you from choosing early MTD, if that is what you want.  I cannot believe it would be full this far out.  If you decide to do the traditional early MTD, I would check back periodically to see if that option has been unlocked...and if it does not show as available after some period of months, I would call either RCI (if you booked directly with them) or your TA, if you used one, and see if you can get some help.

 

It's possible that the early dining has filled up already but I don't believe it.

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We booked the Oasis while on the Freedom last November for this December. Same thing, only my time dining. I was surprised too that there was no early or late dining.  I was going to wait until about 100  days out to call and see if I can get something.  I've done my time, not really my thing.  Would rather do early or late. 

As far as the shows, if we aren't sure, we will do the wind jammer or book a specialty.  If it was close with the early or late dining we always asked if they could push our meal out.. We'd apologize to our table guest but everyone seems to understand.

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It sounds like a glitch more than anything.  I'd either call or check back later.  It is bound to be there because you are well in advance of your cruise.

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We booked on the Freedom and even they couldn't believe no traditional dining was available.  And that was 13 months out.  But I will call in a few weeks to check.

I don't believe that for a second.  Make sure you or your TA adds you to the waiting list for the dining rotation you would like.

 

If all else fails, go to MDR on embarkation day and speak to head waiter.  They will be able to place you in the dining rotation of your choice.

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Thank you Waaaytooo, arebee, floatme, and Matt for all of your responses.  Also, I apologize I had put this post in the wrong section Matt!  I really do appreciate all of your thoughts.  I think that's a good idea, I'll keep checking back, and I'll have our travel agent look into it more/get us on some sort of wait list or at least have it in our notes somewhere.  It just seemed really odd, that's why I asked.  I'm beyond excited to try the Oasis class ships!  I had booked Freedom of the Seas at the same time, out of Ft. Lauderdale, for a 400 cheaper, but it's only a 6 night cruise, this one is a balcony rather than inside stateroom, and we can save money on hotel stays by staying with my Grandma who lives in Orlando (I'm trying to justify things, but in the end, I really do think it will be a wash).  You all are great, and have continued to be great!  I appreciate it.

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I just called C&A, she said she could put us on the wait list for 8:30 but not for 6:30.  She also said its too early and the seating hasn't opened up.  Said usually 90 to 120 days out is when they open up the traditional dining, so I'll call back starting at 120 days out.

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I just called C&A, she said she could put us on the wait list for 8:30 but not for 6:30.  She also said its too early and the seating hasn't opened up.  Said usually 90 to 120 days out is when they open up the traditional dining, so I'll call back starting at 120 days out.

 

I would not accept this as a answer if they want my deposit and payments they will take my dining option.  I did have this happen and told them to cancel the cruise and refund if they could not provide the dining choice I wanted.  Then transferred to a customer service supervisor he did not cancel the cruise but made the change and sent a confirmation.

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I would not accept this as a answer if they want my deposit and payments they will take my dining option.  I did have this happen and told them to cancel the cruise and refund if they could not provide the dining choice I wanted.  Then transferred to a customer service supervisor he did not cancel the cruise but made the change and sent a confirmation.

If traditional dining isn't open, not sure what the expectation is.

 

From experience, I never worry about not being able to get into the traditional dining rotation I want.  It's a mere formality to make that happen, either between wait lists or the head waiter strategy I outlined above.

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If traditional dining isn't open, not sure what the expectation is.

 

 

Not Open because sold out or completely fulled.... I want get them to put me into what I wanted or they would cancel and refund the cruise paying all my damages.

 

Not open because they are not offering the Dinning Option to anyone yet:  I would be on the list for when it opens and have confirmation that I would be given what I want when it opens. Or again they would cancel and refund the cruise paying all my damages.

 

Again I know I am not normal in the way I handle things, most people do not keep lawyers on call. Most people have not filed lawsuits and the though of doing so is complicated, most are not comfortable in conflict situations, most people don't want to make waves...... I have no problem in any of these situations.  

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Wow, "lawyering up" for "damages" because one can't eat at a specific time?  I'd rather just enjoy my cruise.

Yeah, I don't get it either.  I like to think I have a life..

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Wow, "lawyering up" for "damages" because one can't eat at a specific time?  I'd rather just enjoy my cruise.

 

I require business and people to follow the contracts they make.  I'm not saying others need to follow my lead, or do what I do. I do not drink alcohol, a strong case could be made that the over safety of the ship would be greater without any alcohol on the ships, but you do not see me telling you not to drink. The United States Navy maintains almost a 100% alcohol ban on its ships, and they are the best of the best.  All I ask of a person or company is do  as agreed and I will never cause a problem, but try to change the terms and watch out for what happens. 

 

I had another company (not royal) make statements like yours about what they saw as a small issue. They told me "nothing I could do and the issue was close" And while I'm not allowed to name the company or talk about the case I can say by "lawyering up for damages" I could now enjoy cruises every moth for the rest of my life.  So you enjoy your cruise and I will enjoy my wins and the rewards they have given me.

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I too am having the exact same problem booking a dining time.  I booked for Oasis of the Seas 12 months ahead and have been told each month the early dining option is closed.  It's very unusual to have difficulty selecting a dining time when you book so far ahead. 

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My traditional dining time wasn't on option for my Allure cruise next spring either.  The travel agent says its typical with RCCL and its because it hasn't been opened yet.  She said check back in a few months or around final payment? I hope she's right 

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Having been there done that on more than one occasion I would not sweat the small stuff and just keep checking.  The dining times as well as other items: i.e. specialty dining, excursions, drink packages and so on all eventually open.   On three occasions we actually changed M.D.R.  times upon boarding.   I believe in all honesty it will work out just fine.  The most important thing is in dealing with the maitred"  is you need to be calm and polite and soft spoken.  We have witnessed people ahead of us be ballistic and rude and they were  told nothing was available.  When it was our turn we were provided with what we wanted all because we were nice to him or her.   

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My traditional dining time wasn't on option for my Allure cruise next spring either.  The travel agent says its typical with RCCL and its because it hasn't been opened yet.  She said check back in a few months or around final payment? I hope she's right 

Yes, your TA is correct.  Many aspects of the pre-cruise experience may not be available early on.

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I booked Oasis of the Sea in February 2016 and I sail February 2017. My time dining was the only option.  I have called every month and have been told traditional dining times are closed at this time. The 8:30 option just became open for wait list last month.  I truly find it hard to believe that traditional dining times are booked that far out.  I sail in a little over 4 months and I'm still waiting.

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I booked Oasis of the Sea in February 2016 and I sail February 2017. My time dining was the only option.  I have called every month and have been told traditional dining times are closed at this time. The 8:30 option just became open for wait list last month.  I truly find it hard to believe that traditional dining times are booked that far out.  I sail in a little over 4 months and I'm still waiting.

 

I wouldn't worry at all, RCCL and Celebrity seem to "run out" of slots quite early, but that doesn't mean there isn't actually space.  If you used a travel agent, make sure that he or she has properly annotated your reservation with your desired dining time.  Once on board, head to the MDR and ask for a head waiter.  It seems like on Royal, in addition to every line I've sailed, they're able to squeeze you in without an issue (assuming you're not sailing with a large group or anything of that nature).  

 

Report back after your sailing, but I'm quite confident this will work out.

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So - our Celebrity cruise got cancelled and we booked through DCL late on Harmony.  The only dining left was MTD. We can't access reservation times in advance.  I understand it's Easter week.  Will we be able to make reservations when we embark?  Will there be acceptable times or are we going to eat at 10:30 every night during all of the shows? We're really concerned about the crowds on this huge ship.  Any input is greatly appreciated.

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So - our Celebrity cruise got cancelled and we booked through DCL late on Harmony.  The only dining left was MTD. We can't access reservation times in advance.  I understand it's Easter week.  Will we be able to make reservations when we embark?  Will there be acceptable times or are we going to eat at 10:30 every night during all of the shows? We're really concerned about the crowds on this huge ship.  Any input is greatly appreciated.

First, if you prefer traditional dining, call now and ask to be put on a waiting list.  They have always come through for me (except once, and then I went to MDR on embarkation day and they made the change for me).

 

Second, yes, there will be some inventory onboard. I'd recommend making reservations on embarkation day.  In addition, if you go to dinner at off-peak times (before 6pm, after 7pm), you will find much lower crowds.

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First, if you prefer traditional dining, call now and ask to be put on a waiting list.  They have always come through for me (except once, and then I went to MDR on embarkation day and they made the change for me).

 

Second, yes, there will be some inventory onboard. I'd recommend making reservations on embarkation day.  In addition, if you go to dinner at off-peak times (before 6pm, after 7pm), you will find much lower crowds.

Thanks Matt.  We got put on a waiting list right away.  Will we find out if we are in one of the traditional times when we board?

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