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My time dining ruined?


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Is it me or is "my time dining" ruined? We hadn't sailed since before the pandemic but never had an issue with MTD before. On Adventure on July is was not easy or worked well. On Oasis in August it was a complete and total disaster! 

We are now booked on 3 cruises this year and next. When I check MTD reservations for even the cruises way out it's like 7:45 or later. I switched to traditional dining 5:30 for all 3. I hate eating dinner real late. 

Question, is this a new Covid world thing? Is this Royal Caribbean trying to basically get away from MTD without actually getting rid of it? 

I like the idea of now having a set time. No worries now at all. I just want to sit at our own table, 4 or us. I will go to the MDR when we board and request a table for 4. Our next 3 cruises are on, Liberty this Oct, Anthem February 2024 and Liberty again Oct 2024. 

 

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12 minutes ago, RCIfan1912 said:

Is it me or is "my time dining" ruined? We hadn't sailed since before the pandemic but never had an issue with MTD before. On Adventure on July is was not easy or worked well. On Oasis in August it was a complete and total disaster! 

We are now booked on 3 cruises this year and next. When I check MTD reservations for even the cruises way out it's like 7:45 or later. I switched to traditional dining 5:30 for all 3. I hate eating dinner real late. 

Question, is this a new Covid world thing? Is this Royal Caribbean trying to basically get away from MTD without actually getting rid of it? 

I like the idea of now having a set time. No worries now at all. I just want to sit at our own table, 4 or us. I will go to the MDR when we board and request a table for 4. Our next 3 cruises are on, Liberty this Oct, Anthem February 2024 and Liberty again Oct 2024. 

 

Earlier MTD times "sell out" almost as soon as they are available. The best scenario is to book the cruise early and start checking to see if MTD is available to book right away. Keep checking daily until it opens up and hope you're not too many hours into the day it opened.

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I still find the early MTD times.  6:45 / 7 PM. I reserve as soon as it opens up on the planner.

I don't think it really matters, cuz people just show up anyway when it's not their time. I do think they should enforce the reservation times and if someone doesn't have a reservation, put them in a section that doesn't mess up other people's ability to get the same waiter and table. 

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16 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Earlier MTD times "sell out" almost as soon as they are available. The best scenario is to book the cruise early and start checking to see if MTD is available to book right away. Keep checking daily until it opens up and hope you're not too many hours into the day it opened.

Thanks, and interesting. I'm just gonna stick to traditional dining. Too much hassle I think MTD has gotten. 

I was just curious what is going on because I don't remember it working like this before. Anthem it really worked well but that was way before the pandemic. Thanks again for the info. 

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15 minutes ago, D Alt said:

I still find the early MTD times.  6:45 / 7 PM. I reserve as soon as it opens up on the planner.

I don't think it really matters, cuz people just show up anyway when it's not their time. I do think they should enforce the reservation times and if someone doesn't have a reservation, put them in a section that doesn't mess up other people's ability to get the same waiter and table. 

Early, I mean between 5:00 and 6:00. I don't see those times at all. I'm actually glad to have switched to traditional dining. 5:30 is perfect. We can work around the set time. 

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13 minutes ago, wordell1 said:

MTD doesn't start until 6:30 to 7. The main reason is because the early dinner takes up most of the space, it's not that they just don't feel like starting.

But that's exactly what I'm talking about. I  must not be not remembering things right because I'm almost positive MTD on Anthem was early like 5:30? but that was quite a long time ago. 

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14 minutes ago, twangster said:

Royal started neutering MTD before the shutdown.

It was being "tested" on select ships right before the pandemic hit.

It seems to me Royal wants to get rid of MTD.  

Exactly what it seems to me also. I'm good with a set time, just would like a table to ourselves. We sat with a table full of friends from grade school and while they were very nice, it was freaking awkward! Awkward!

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I've included it on my comments on post-cruise surveys.  I've started booking other cruise lines.  I also included that Royal's decision to neuter MTD is why I am booking elsewhere on my post cruise surveys.  

I don't think it will make a difference. 

Royal was set on this course before the pandemic for reasons only Royal knows.

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I also remember MTD being much more flexible. Now it shows that the earliest MDT time is 6:45. So I switched to early dining. Much more convenient to just walk in as soon as they open, go right to my table, and have the same servers every night. They open up around 5:15. On the first night, they open early at 5.

On the Anthem now…when I finish and leave at about 6:40…there’s always long lines waiting to get in. There are two marked lines…one is for those with reservations and the other for those without.

This is the last cruise on the Anthem with the old menus. Next cruise, Jan 24th, they will begin offering the new menus. I’ll see how that works as far as timing my meal. Apparently, that seems to be the primary reason why they are changing to the new menus…to decrease time spent dining.

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I guess the Royal restaurant gods like me.  2 cruises last year with MTD scheduled for 6:45 each night.  Escorted/walked right to our same table ever night with no wait.  Ok 1 night we took a 10 minute stroll around the promenade.  Have the same schedule for Harmony in May.  I don’t know why my experience has been so different.

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12 hours ago, D Alt said:

I still find the early MTD times.  6:45 / 7 PM. I reserve as soon as it opens up on the planner.

I don't think it really matters, cuz people just show up anyway when it's not their time. I do think they should enforce the reservation times and if someone doesn't have a reservation, put them in a section that doesn't mess up other people's ability to get the same waiter and table. 

7:00 is not "early."

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14 minutes ago, Pooch said:

I guess the Royal restaurant gods like me.  2 cruises last year with MTD scheduled for 6:45 each night.  Escorted/walked right to our same table ever night with no wait.  Ok 1 night we took a 10 minute stroll around the promenade.  Have the same schedule for Harmony in May.  I don’t know why my experience has been so different.

Yeah I can find a slot for 6:45 on some nights but I'm talking about 5:30 is no longer available. 

Oasis in August was pure chaos. The first night we gave up after waiting for over an hour. It was like 8:30 so we went to the Windjammer. I'm just personally not a fan of going to the Windjammer for dinner. It's not the food, the food is fine, it's just not how I want to have dinner especially on the first night of the cruise. 

 

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My main reason for booking MTD is that 5:30 is too early and 8pm is too late.  And the 5:30 MTD slots aren’t filled, they no longer exist.  6:45 is the earliest it gets.

BTW did you have reservations or did you just show up?

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By the way I'm not here to dump on Royal Caribbean. We only sail Royal Caribbean especially now since we got Diamond. It's just this particular issue kinda stinks but there is a way around it which is just what we did, 5:30 traditional dining. I'm good with it as long as we sit at our own table which I don't think will be an issue..

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I guess I don't get the "5:30 is too early" thinking. It is actually closer to 6 by the time you actually get food. 

And what time do you eat at home? 

I agree it would be nice if there were no set times and everyone could go at a time that works for them, just like any restaurant at home. But I imagine that could be a logistical nightmare for the kitchen staff. 

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18 hours ago, RCIfan1912 said:

 

Question, is this a new Covid world thing? Is this Royal Caribbean trying to basically get away from MTD without actually getting rid of it? 

I like the idea of now having a set time. No worries now at all. I just want to sit at our own table, 4 or us. I will go to the MDR when we board and request a table for 4. Our next 3 cruises are on, Liberty this Oct, Anthem February 2024 and Liberty again Oct 2024. 

 

On Vision in October, we thought MTD started at 6:45, so we booked that slot.  In reality, it started about 6 or 6:15, so we were always stuck waiting for a free table, even with reservations.  The no-reservation line moved faster than ours, which was disappointing.

We did better in June on Mariner when the available time slots were 7:45 thru 8:15, and we were able to have the same wait staff.  A great experience!

So MTD start times appear to vary by ship.  We agree Traditional Seating is better, and we always try to get it unless our agent makes a mistake or Royal denies our request.

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6 hours ago, Pooch said:

My main reason for booking MTD is that 5:30 is too early and 8pm is too late.  And the 5:30 MTD slots aren’t filled, they no longer exist.  6:45 is the earliest it gets.

BTW did you have reservations or did you just show up?

I don't like either of those times myself. When I cruised with my whole family in 2013, we had early dining, but it was 6pm, which was fine. When we cruised with older DD, she had early bedtime (adult,but with medical and other disabilities) we did either early or MTD, but the cruise we did MTD for, we were in a Jr suite and were in CK or specialty dining most of that 12 night cruise. We got reservations for the few nights we ate in MDR, but it really didn't please us. With younger DD, we want set dining because she has celiac and want the convenience of same time, same wait staff for her. We have late dining this time (Aug, Oasis) because older won't be with us. We're doing a B2B, and ordered the UDP for the 2nd one, do that should be interesting as well. 

DH and I are on Anthem in March, took MTD, and reserved between 645-715, which is ok for us. May do one specialty dining, but otherwise we'll see how it goes this time. 

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9 hours ago, VeronicaS1970 said:

I guess I don't get the "5:30 is too early" thinking. It is actually closer to 6 by the time you actually get food. 

And what time do you eat at home? 

I agree it would be nice if there were no set times and everyone could go at a time that works for them, just like any restaurant at home. But I imagine that could be a logistical nightmare for the kitchen staff. 

At home I don’t have to pull myself away from the comfy lounge chair in the solarium and take a shower before dinner.  If our dining time is 5:30, I have to get my butt moving by 4ish which is too early.  With a 6:45 reservation, I can hang out til closer to 5:30.

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We do MyTime dining but haven't cruised since Covid. We depart January 30 on Radiance for 10 nights. Earliest dining every night was 7:00.. Before Mytime we had several uncomfortable or poor dining experiences with the table mates ...A table of constant. complainers, a table of old, hard of hearing complainers, a table of a family who only wanted chicken wings every night, a family of 8 and we were the 2 outsiders, etc. etc. etc.  For MyTime we requested a table for 2 and were very happy. Now I am concerned that MyTime will be a bust if we have to wait a long time and possibly be seated with strangers who are not a good match. We have done 20 RCCL cruises so we are not newbies.  

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Pre-shut down we did My Time mainly as it let us hit 6:00 to 6:30 for our table which was more in line with what we do at home. really had no problem and loved it. Walk right in the Maître D would say good evening, check our name and ask if we would like an escort or would we like to make our way to our table on our own.   

Post pandemic even with reservations we had a 20 to 40 minute wait for a table. On Grandeur in June, My Time was an absolute disaster. We went to Izumi for my birthday the first night and the second, even with reservations, it seems that the My Time staff had no idea what to do with any one who hadn't been there the night before. We were happy with the rest of that cruise but the MDR was simply not up to snuff that trip. 

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Getting a little nervous about my upcoming cruise with DH - did My Time with him & DD on Anthem 4 years ago, but we were in a Jr Suite & spent most nights either in Coastal Kitchen or specialty, so was only in MDR 3 nights (of a 12 night cruise). Wasn't particularly impressed then.

This time, it's just us, so we're not as concerned about the time of day, but hadn't thought about it just being the 2 of us and possibly eating with other people.  Will have to see how we want to handle this - just us, or be open to dining with one or more others.

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My Time Dining times have definitely gotten later - I'm not a huge fan of the change.  When it's just my wife and me cruising, we just roll with it, but when I travel with the extended family, in particular my older mom who has to eat earlier, we just go with the traditional dining time and shoot for a 5:30 start. Or, we just hit up the Windjammer where it's not really a problem.  I do wish though that they'd include some earlier, say 5:30 or 6:00pm MTD times like they used to have.  Sounds like a good item to leave as feedback on our next cruise maybe.

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15 minutes ago, ColdRingo said:

My Time Dining times have definitely gotten later - I'm not a huge fan of the change.  When it's just my wife and me cruising, we just roll with it, but when I travel with the extended family, in particular my older mom who has to eat earlier, we just go with the traditional dining time and shoot for a 5:30 start. Or, we just hit up the Windjammer where it's not really a problem.  I do wish though that they'd include some earlier, say 5:30 or 6:00pm MTD times like they used to have.  Sounds like a good item to leave as feedback on our next cruise maybe.

We'll be leaving the same feedback, hate that the earliest MTD we've managed to get for our next cruise is 7:00, that's only for 2 days, the other 9 days it's 7:15.

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On 1/22/2023 at 4:23 PM, BMW Hoosier said:

There is a pretty big cultural difference on this. A lot of people around here eat pretty early, even the "late" eaters are like 7:30 PM. I have been in areas of the country that you can walk right into a restaurant at 6 PM but good luck at 9. 

Greece is on the later side. My husband's family is from Greece and when we visit, it's always a big afternoon break (late lunch and nap), back to work, and then a very late dinner - 8 or 9pm. 

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This thread made me realize I should check to see if I could book MTD in the cruise planner.  When I get into the section to reserve, my family member names come up as "Not a flex dining guest".  What does this mean?  Does this mean my reservation was made with a reserved dining time (not MTD)? How do I find out what time we're scheduled for?    

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30 minutes ago, letscruise said:

This thread made me realize I should check to see if I could book MTD in the cruise planner.  When I get into the section to reserve, my family member names come up as "Not a flex dining guest".  What does this mean?  Does this mean my reservation was made with a reserved dining time (not MTD)? How do I find out what time we're scheduled for?    

That's very strange. I have no idea why that would be?

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50 minutes ago, letscruise said:

This thread made me realize I should check to see if I could book MTD in the cruise planner.  When I get into the section to reserve, my family member names come up as "Not a flex dining guest".  What does this mean?  Does this mean my reservation was made with a reserved dining time (not MTD)? How do I find out what time we're scheduled for?    

Check on your Booking Confirmation from Royal.

Under "Guest Information" it lists:

Guest Name

Crown & Anchor Number
Age Range
Dining

The Dining listing will either say a specific time or "My Time"

If you want something different than what is listed there, you or your travel agent (if you used one) can call and change it.

Enjoy your cruise!

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1 hour ago, letscruise said:

This thread made me realize I should check to see if I could book MTD in the cruise planner.  When I get into the section to reserve, my family member names come up as "Not a flex dining guest".  What does this mean?  Does this mean my reservation was made with a reserved dining time (not MTD)? How do I find out what time we're scheduled for?    

It likely your family is traditional dining or that your dining does not match. As others have stated, look at your invoice and see if they match or if you are traditional dining.

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I'm hoping that MTD works better for my family than traditional dining times. We're a late dinner family (8ish on weeknights, later on weekends). I did MTD so we wouldn't have to eat at 5pm, because that is just way too early for any of us to want a big meal. MTD seemed like the only way to get main dining room dinner after 7pm. 

Related question: Is the Windjammer open past 8pm? I haven't found anything pertaining to hours of that or the bars yet and it's driving my over-researching self bonkers. If it matters, we're sailing Serenade in July.

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12 hours ago, TimeRacer said:

I'm hoping that MTD works better for my family than traditional dining times. We're a late dinner family (8ish on weeknights, later on weekends). I did MTD so we wouldn't have to eat at 5pm, because that is just way too early for any of us to want a big meal. MTD seemed like the only way to get main dining room dinner after 7pm. 

You sound like an ideal candidate  for traditional dining's second seating (8:00 PM).

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/what-is-my-time-dining#:~:text=When making a reservation you,%26 8%3A00 pm).

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