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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:01 PM
Stacey in MD Stacey in MD is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Default New to Royal Caribbean - My Time Dining vs. Traditional Dining?


We are getting ready to book our first cruise on RC - we have cruised twice before on Disney. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the pros/cons are to MTD vs. traditional dining. I'm sorry if this has been asked a thousand times before, but this is my first post! It will be my husband and I cruising for my 40th birthday and we are leaving the kids at home We are going on the Freedom of the Seas in September.


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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:22 PM
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negc negc is offline
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Originally Posted by Stacey in MD View Post

We are getting ready to book our first cruise on RC - we have cruised twice before on Disney. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the pros/cons are to MTD vs. traditional dining. I'm sorry if this has been asked a thousand times before, but this is my first post! It will be my husband and I cruising for my 40th birthday and we are leaving the kids at home We are going on the Freedom of the Seas in September.


Traditional dining offers two seatings each evening (early and late). If you choose it and enjoy the opportunity to meet and dine with others, you will be assigned to a specific table with the same tablemates every evening. Your wait staff will be the same and will come to know any special dining requirements or preferences you have (for example, tea vs. coffee, decaf vs regular coffee; more than one appetizer, entree or dessert)
If you choose My Time Dining you will be able to choose the same or a different dining time every evening. You can request, and they will try to accommodate you if possible, to have the same servers each evening or you can choose to be served by different waiters and assistant waiters each evening. You can make reservations in advance or just show up when you want to eat and most times you will have little or no wait to be seated, and you can request a table for two or to be seated with others. You don't have to miss any shows if you take the time to check out the show schedules and arrange your dining time to fit those times. If you choose MTD, you will have to prepay your gratuities for your dining room staff and your room steward. If you choose traditional dining you can prepay your gratuities, fill out a form to have them automatically added to your onboard account, or simply wait until you get your envelopes and put the appropriate tip amounts in them to be distributed on the last night of your cruise.
It is pretty much your choice, but sometimes there are wait lists for early or late and sometimes for MTD, so make your decision as early in the booking process as possible. Then sit back and enjoy your cruise.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:22 PM
psciotti psciotti is offline
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Pros: You can eat at anytime you want. Basically you can prebook some reservation time online prior to cruising and if you want to change you can do it at the dining room checkin area (would recommend changing night before or at least give them a few hours). I would recommend reserving some times ahead.

The mytime section is usually the top floor of the dining room. Everything else is the same as seating times. If they sit you at a table you like (or you see one you like) don't be afraid to ask for it everynight, they are very accomodating. Just return on the Navigator and we asked to sit in a particular waiters section every night (this waiter and assistant were fantastic.) - even got the same table 4 nights. The mytime section is deck 5 - same as promenade. You can sit by the windows (even saw dolphins one night). Mytime has tables for 2 people.

Cons: ??
~ Paul
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:31 PM
romnan romnan is offline
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Well with MTD you choose when you want to eat (within) reason) we did on our last cruise which was on the Freedom as well. We found that we had a lot more flexability. With only two of us dining we never had any problems getting in.

The difference between MTD and traditional is you are not seated with the same people for seven days,you you are meeting new people every night.Depending on how you look at that can be a good thing or a bad thing. For us MTD is the way we are going to go from now on
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 02:21 PM
dohertm1 dohertm1 is offline
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I always recommend traditional assigned dining. You never have to wait for a table and you get the same team of servers for the entire cruise, which usually results in better and friendlier service. We always get a table for just our family and choose the late seating (8:30 when we were on the Freedom last summer) so it gives us more time to explore each port without rushing back to the ship to get ready for an earlier dinner. The late seating is very relaxing and still enables us to see all the shows. My kids are in their teens and they prefer this too but I can understand why families with younger children would prefer earlier dining times and flexibility.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Jimnbigd Jimnbigd is offline
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If it is just the 2 of you, MTD should be fine. With a group, I find traditional works better since you all know when and where you have to be for dinner.
I always do traditional because I don't want to wait for a table.
I do know on the Voyager of the Seas there can be line for MTD. I'm not sure how fast the line moves.
Yeah, I have to wait until my assigned time, but at least then I have options of where to wait (like a bar) instead of waiting in line.
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Last edited by Jimnbigd; March 3rd, 2011 at 03:02 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 01:52 PM
gone2sead gone2sead is offline
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We're going on our first cruise on Radiance of the Seas in Sept. They urged us to set up reservations online for the MTD which we did. So from what I've been reading, we are not locked into those dining times? We really didn't want to be on an "eating schedule". Especially since we don't know what time the shows and other activities are.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 01:57 PM
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PantherFan PantherFan is offline
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that is correct. You can change what time you eat every night if you want. You don't need to make a reservation but if you don't you may wait up to 20 minutes for a table.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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Clarkk W Griswald Clarkk W Griswald is offline
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We've done the My Time Dining on our past several cruises and will never go back to traditional. We've never made any reservations, and have never waited more than a few minutes for our table. We like the flexibility that you get with my time, especially on port days.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:26 PM
orville99 orville99 is offline
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We always choose MTD, even though we prefer WJ. For us the reason is simple. If we decide that we like the MDR menu, we go there. If we decide we don't, we go to WJ. If we don't like either, we'll do a specialty. Either way, no one else is inconvenienced by our decision. Wait staff won't wait for us to show up to serve the rest of a table, if we want to do a show, we can work our dining time around it, and we eat at our leisure.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:34 PM
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jebl jebl is offline
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We have switched to MTD no matter which line we sail. Mainly because of the dining times. 6PM is too early and 8:30 too late.

We like to arrive about 6:45 and MTD has worked out great for us. Plus if we happen to be onshore late we have the flexibility to go to the dining room later to avoid rushing to get changed for dinner.
Sea ya,

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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:23 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
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The shows are scheduled around the 2 traditional dining times, so there's no reason to miss a show...ever! With Mtd, YOU'LL be responsible for deciding which show to see and eating in a timeframe that will allow you to make the show of your choice. Traditional takes all the guesswork out of it!
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Old August 10th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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jletsgo jletsgo is offline
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We had always done traditional dining because I enjoy having the same servers thru my entire cruise. Now we do MTD and still have the same servers as long as our dining times stay somewhat around the same time each night. We always like to eat around 7pm so it works.
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