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Tables for 2 on Britannia

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Hi, we are planning our first cruise which would be on Britannia in April. For our holiday we want to spend time together so don’t want to dine with others at meal times, we would only want to eat at a table for 2. Would freedom dining be the best option to choose for this? Or maybe the second sitting of traditional? I’d imagine first is the busiest.

 

Please can anyone provide some insight or advice? We’d rather wait around for one to become available, or use room service if necessary. Thanks for any help.

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If you are happy to book fixed time dining that would be the easiest. Freedom is an option if you want to dine at different times but could result in having to wait for a table for 2. (We prefer eating at 8:30 and then going to the late show but it depends what you want).

Ive only had to wait a maximum of 20-25 minutes for a table in the past but it depends if you try at peak time 7:30-8:00 and there’s no way of knowing until you are there.

If you book select you get what you book, if you book saver you won’t know what you get until you board but you can express a preference before going.

happy thinking 😀

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I would suggest Freedom dining is your best option. If you turn up and there are no tables available, they give you a pager to call you when one is free. You would normally not have to wait long, maybe up to 30 minutes, although it depends when peak demands occur. 

 

As this is your first cruise the freedom/club dining option only applies in the evening. For breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea you just turn up within the advertised times and get seated. You can still request a table for two although one of the joys of cruising is discussion with others around the table. 

 

There is also the option of the self service buffet which is open virtually all the time or for an additional cost, one of the speciality restaurants. Either way you won't go hungry.

 

Brian

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Thanks for your quick replies. The pager sounds interesting, we’d be happy to turn up and just wait around in the bar with a drink until a table for 2 came up.

 

Also, are there tables for 2 in the buffet? This might be an option too. We aren’t very fussy about times, same staff/tables or types of cuisine etc, we’d just like some privacy.

 

With our work schedules we find it hard to have meals together sometimes, so this is definitely something we’d like to keep to ourselves. I’m sure we’ll get to know others across the rest of our time at sea of course!

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10 minutes ago, Manors said:

Thanks for your quick replies. The pager sounds interesting, we’d be happy to turn up and just wait around in the bar with a drink until a table for 2 came up.

 

Also, are there tables for 2 in the buffet? This might be an option too. We aren’t very fussy about times, same staff/tables or types of cuisine etc, we’d just like some privacy.

 

With our work schedules we find it hard to have meals together sometimes, so this is definitely something we’d like to keep to ourselves. I’m sure we’ll get to know others across the rest of our time at sea of course!

There are tables for 2 in the  buffet but not many, and again timing is key avoid the busy times. If you want a table for 2 in the buffet you might struggle to be honest.

 

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You’ll have no problem in the dining room if you are able to wait for a few minutes in the evening. We ate there at breakfast and lunch too and were always seated immediately.

No problems in the buffet either, don’t worry you’ll be fine! You sound like you want the holiday that we had last year, just the two of you. 

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Their are lots of tables for 2 in the mdr and on both sittings, although be prepared that they can all be close together, ( imagine a person and bit gap between you and the next table in some areas). gives you potentially the best of both worlds.

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Hi Manors. I agree with all the previous posts. Perhaps worth a mention is that if you go to the MDR as it opens then they will fill the tables for 2 on a first come basis so  unless all before you request a table for 2  you should be ok.  Obviously once all the tables have been filled then there will be none available until these diners depart the dining room, however, as there is usually a mass exit in order to catch the first show there is usually adequate  2 table availability again. Timing is the key - depending on your meal time preference.

Edited by miniyorkie
spelling

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You don't have to sit at a table for 2 in the buffet. Obviously you should take a smaller table if it's available, but you can sit at a 4 or larger if there are no 2s free. We've done so many times in a ship buffet, and once or twice have offered to share if we're at a larger table and can see people searching for somewhere to sit.

 

I am with you that I don't want to have to share a table at dinner, it's not 'one of the joys of cruising' for me. We do end up chatting to people around the ship, but in an organic way, not in a forced situation like having dinner together.

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Thanks all for your replies. I have gone ahead with Freedom Dining, we’re happy to take that and wait around as needed for the sort of table we want to come up.

 

Out of interest, is there a set time the first show starts that everyone exits for, or does it vary? This may come in handy!

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Hi I think the show times are usually 8.30 and 10.30 for the main theatre, however there are other "events" taking place around the ship in different venues during the evening so people relocate to various bars and lounges.  We are usually scurrying from one end of the ship to the other  as there is always one evening when I want to see EVERYTHING ha ha.

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  • On 2/6/2019 at 4:52 PM, Manors said:
    •  

 

Edited by branddad
Wrong place

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We had our first cruise on Britannia last year.  We booked freedom dining as we wanted the choice of sometimes having a table for two, the cruise was for our 40th wedding anniversary. We never had to wait more than 15 or so minutes for a table for just the two of us, the pager system was brillIant.  We always got a table for 2 at breakfast, probably because we were always up early. 

We enjoyed the whole experience so much we have booked our 2nd cruise on Britannia for June this year and again booked Freedom dining.

enjoy your first cruise, I doubt it will be your last 😁

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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 4:52 PM, Manors said:

Hi, we are planning our first cruise which would be on Britannia in April. For our holiday we want to spend time together so don’t want to dine with others at meal times, we would only want to eat at a table for 2. Would freedom dining be the best option to choose for this? Or maybe the second sitting of traditional? I’d imagine first is the busiest.

 

Please can anyone provide some insight or advice? We’d rather wait around for one to become available, or use room service if necessary. Thanks for any help.

 

We are the same as you and we go Freedom Dining. There are lots of nice tables for 2 in them. We found one that we liked and asked for it each evening after that . We had to wait some nights but we were happy to do that. We always ask for a nice quiet table for 2 and they usually do their best to help :-)

 

If you want to pay a little extra then there is always the Glass House and Sindhus where there are plenty of opportunities for tables for 2. Again the Epicurean (sp?) is nice but expensive. We also really enjoyed the Beach House. This isn't too much extra and again you can ask for a table for 2. These tend to be by the windows and are lovely. If all else fails, try the buffet some evenings.

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 1:52 PM, Manors said:

Thanks all for your replies. I have gone ahead with Freedom Dining, we’re happy to take that and wait around as needed for the sort of table we want to come up.

 

Out of interest, is there a set time the first show starts that everyone exits for, or does it vary? This may come in handy!

 

We tend to go down at about 7.30 and usually have had to wait about 20 minutes. A nice chance to have the pre dinner cocktail :-)

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On 2/9/2019 at 8:27 PM, Manors said:

Thanks all for your replies, some very invaluable input!

 

To clarify a few of the points above, that won't necessarily be obvious to a first time cruiser;

 

Main Dining Room - Tables for 2 can be requested when you select club dining, but whilst club dining itself will be 'confirmed', the table size will not be until you arrive on the ship. Consequently, you could end up on a shared table and not be able to change. The only way to guarantee a table for 2 every night is to book Freedom Dining, as you have done. As others have said, if you go at peak times you will have to take a pager and wait. Tables for 2 are easy to obtain at Breakfast and Lunch. You may have a short wait, but usually you will be seated fairly quickly, if not immediately.

 

Buffet - Although tables for 2 aren't that common, people don't share tables in the same way that they do for dinner, so it's never an issue. If you take a table for 4 you will have it to yourself. If there are no tables free, some kind sole will often offer others to join them - but it's not normal for people to just park themselves on your table.

 

Select Dining - If you book a table for 2 then that's what you get. Nobody shares a table in Select Dining venues. It's like booking a normal restaurant at home, rather then the 'shared' experience that is unique to the main dining rooms.

 

 

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On 11 February 2019 at 4:17 PM, Selbourne said:

 

To clarify a few of the points above, that won't necessarily be obvious to a first time cruiser;

 

Main Dining Room - Tables for 2 can be requested when you select club dining, but whilst club dining itself will be 'confirmed', the table size will not be until you arrive on the ship. Consequently, you could end up on a shared table and not be able to change. The only way to guarantee a table for 2 every night is to book Freedom Dining, as you have done. As others have said, if you go at peak times you will have to take a pager and wait. Tables for 2 are easy to obtain at Breakfast and Lunch. You may have a short wait, but usually you will be seated fairly quickly, if not immediately.

 

Buffet - Although tables for 2 aren't that common, people don't share tables in the same way that they do for dinner, so it's never an issue. If you take a table for 4 you will have it to yourself. If there are no tables free, some kind sole will often offer others to join them - but it's not normal for people to just park themselves on your table.

 

Select Dining - If you book a table for 2 then that's what you get. Nobody shares a table in Select Dining venues. It's like booking a normal restaurant at home, rather then the 'shared' experience that is unique to the main dining rooms.

 

 

Sorry if it's just me, but I wouldn't expect to hog a table for four during 'rush hour ' in the buffet for breakfast.  I expect people to come over and ask if the other two spaces were free, just like we do if we are searching vainly for somewhere to sit.   I am sorry if we have offended anyone over the years by invading someone's space.

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58 minutes ago, happytravelleruk said:

Sorry if it's just me, but I wouldn't expect to hog a table for four during 'rush hour ' in the buffet for breakfast.  I expect people to come over and ask if the other two spaces were free, just like we do if we are searching vainly for somewhere to sit.   I am sorry if we have offended anyone over the years by invading someone's space.

 

‘Hogging’ would be when people deliberately take a table for 4 when tables for 2 are available. I am talking about when no tables for 2 are free and a couple has no choice but to take a table for 4. People tend to sit on the fist table that they see nearest the food counters. If you walk to the ends of the buffet, especially in areas where food counters may not be open, it is almost always possible to get a table. Even at the busiest times we have always found a table by walking around. Often when people who have finished eating see you looking they vacate.  It is indeed nice when people offer others space on their table, and we have done so ourselves, but personally I wouldn’t go up to someone cold and ask to join them as I would consider that impolite, but we are all different. 

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I’m a bit late to this thread but just thought I would add that there are more tables for 2 on Britannia than there are on Azura and Ventura so we found the wait was virtually non existent for tables for 2 in Freedom dining. The main shows are normally 8.30 and 10.30 but on Britannia, being P&O’s largest ship they sometimes do a 6.30 show. This was good, see the early show then go for dinner without rushing to see the show after!

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15 hours ago, happytravelleruk said:

Sorry if it's just me, but I wouldn't expect to hog a table for four during 'rush hour ' in the buffet for breakfast.  I expect people to come over and ask if the other two spaces were free, just like we do if we are searching vainly for somewhere to sit.   I am sorry if we have offended anyone over the years by invading someone's space.

 

It's not hogging if there's no tables for 2. Over our cruises we've sat at tables for 4 or more in the buffet many many times because normally there is an abundance of large tables and no small ones. On those occasions we have always offered to share with others who look like they can't find a table, and we would never refuse anyone who asked to share with us at any size table.

What are you suggesting we do, stand around with plates full of food waiting for a table for 2 to become free while there's many empty 4s just sat there? Don't be silly.

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Not sure which cruise you are on, but for lunch in the buffet, we usually get a table outside if the weather is nice.  Then go and get your food and eat outside.

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