Dining time question

We have booked our 2nd cruise and the early dining was full so we chose anytime dining. On our first cruise I know you had to be done by a certain time so they could prepare for the late dining. What if we are there and not finished eating, are they going to hurry us out? Loved the main dining room but don't want to be hurried. Anyone have experience with the anytime dining on Carnival?

Tags: time dining main dining room

24 Answers

Anytime is like a restaurant at home,  go in when you want,  stay and enjoy dinner.   You can get a table to yourself or share a larger table.

Cruise lines have two set dining times. This means if you arrive on time for either of those seatings then there will be rushing of dinner. If you are in a habit due to one reason or another of always arriving late then anytime dining is the choice for you for you sit and rise on your time.

Anytime dining is our preferred dining, unless we are with a large group of people! We like to eat early, but dislike being rushed.  You might find you like this better than assigned dining.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

We are used to NCL which is always my time ... never been on a line that was not NCL but we will find out soon as in less than 3 weeks we are on RCL with my time dining

As said above, you are not rushed during the anytime dining, as there are no set times. 

With the traditional dining, you have about two hours for dinner - more than enough time.

Possibly one dining room is assigned for traditional early dinner, then changes to anytime dinner after that. Even so, you are not rushed - you still have over two hours.

They do not change a dining room from anytime to traditional.

 

With traditional, you must be there within 15 minutes of the start time, as they shut the doors after that. Also, it is considered rude if you are sharing a table and show up late - it delays everyone's service.

A lot of lines have three types of dining schedules for their MDRs. Traditional--Which is broken down into two times, early and late. And anytime dining.

 

Under traditional, early dining means around 5:30 PM and late about 8:00 P.M. for dinner (breakfast and lunch are usually open seating) although these times vary from cruise line to cruise line. With traditional you have assigned seating. With seat assignments it depends upon what type of seating arrangement you get. Tables for two are popular and usually wait listed. The number of guests you share dinner with depends upon the size of table you draw. Up to 10 guests sometimes. The guests you get assigned to a table with, you are stuck with for the duration of the voyage.  In recent years, most guests appear to want early seating so you might be wait listed for that time and confirmed in late.

 

Anytime dining is what it implies, eat anytime with whom you chose. Due so many problems some lines try to do a reservation system with anytimes. Most have varying results with that practice though. 

 

Since the average guest tends to want to eat  around 6:15 PM it creates a problem for the cruise lines. You might get stuck with an hour wait for seats in anytime unless you want to sit at a large table with others.  They usually don't allow traditional to take place in the same dining room with anytimes. Arguments abound over this among guests. Due perks and other considerations, like full suite guests, seating priority is often handed out to the select few. We like to eat about 6:30 PM too. Early is too early (Sail aways are one of the things I really enjoy on a cruise, I miss a lot of those if I have early seating) and late is too late for us anymore. We also don't like to take a chance on getting stuck with someone at the table every night for a long voyage that we aren't happy with. Meaning traditional is out for us, unless they don't offer anytime on a particular vessel (For instance Princess, they don't have any time on the Pacific Princess).

 

So we do mostly anytime, but as I indicated, there are a lot of problems with that as well. As far as I can determine the luxury lines do not have traditional, only anytime. Which is great, we are on Regent right now, which is spoiling us.   

Well I can not add anything, except to say well done folks! Great answers.Happy

We've done it both ways, on several different lines...and we prefer ANYTIME early, and get there a few minutes b4 the doors open...theres almost always a line, but that's ok, its usually short....we've been stuck with dogs, and therefore prefer each others company at a table for two.  Once we were stuck with a couple that clearly needed an attitude adjustment..after dinner, we found the maître d', and he got us another table, had to access something that looked like the invasion plans for Western Europe.....that table wound up in the middle if an aisle...very unpleasant...fortunately we had a bunch of specialties etc...never again, haven't been back to that line and don't miss it..unfair probably...whatever..... I like and understand the arrangements and mechanics of the MDR's on NCL, so that's where you'll find us.  Our next cruise (19 and counting) has a total of five specialty restaurants included, so we won't even be there that often, not counting lunches, or 2am feedings at O'Sheehans...those wings can be addictive....but I digress hehehe.....

Thank you everyone for your answers. I was kind of stressed but sounds like anytime may be something we enjoy. My husband is not real sociable over dinner with people he doesn’t know. Feeling better about this now.

If you wish to attend the evening entertainment you can schedule dinner to before or after one of the shows.  Some will dine early for the 9 pm show, others will hit the theater for the 7pm show and dine between 9-10.  Depends on the ship and your priorities.  Its your vacation.

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