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Upper Main Dining is for who ?

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How does one ea in upper main dining room?  Is it for upper deck floors only ?

 

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How does one ea in upper main dining room?  Is it for upper deck floors only ?
 

Not sure what ship you are referring to, but sometimes upper dining room is used for people on fixed dining tines with anytime diners below


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Anyone who has fixed dining time will eat in the upper dining room. Also if there is an overflow of anytime diners from the floor below.

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, overlake7 said:

Anyone who has fixed dining time will eat in the upper dining room. Also if there is an overflow of anytime diners from the floor below.

On the Koningsdam, and possibly other ships now, Fixed and Open are mixed on both levels. We had Open and could choose which level we went to. We need the OP to tell us what ship they are on.

Edited by catl331

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From my recent experience with Celebrity and from what I've read about HAL the upper dining deck is for fixed/set dining times (with maybe some overflow).  The lower deck is for the any time dining. 

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3 minutes ago, san diego spartan said:

from what I've read about HAL the upper dining deck is for fixed/set dining times (with maybe some overflow).  The lower deck is for the any time dining. 

see post #4

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Gotcha. So depends on ship.  Frankly, I hate the traditionally dining, but prefer the upper deck dining room - seems more airy and open.  We will see - 2 cruises booked in next 3 months on HAL

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Not sure why anyone would mention Celebrity dining arrangements on a HAL blog where somebody wants to know about HAL :).  Depending on the pre-booking numbers, the Maitre'd will assign one level to fixed seating diners....at least for the early seating.  In many cases, the upper area will be used for Fixed while the lower deck is used for Anytime.  But this can vary from cruise to cruise or ship to ship.  And since open sitting (Anytime) continues to gain in popularity there are often accommodations to deal with the masses,  We always eat Anytime and usually do not go to dinner until at least 7:45, a time when some HAL cruisers are heading to their cabins for bed.  There are times when the Maitre'd will seat us in the Fixed dining area because they have plenty of tables (many of their folks have finished dinner before sunset).  

 

Some of the Dining Room Managers and Maitre d's try to spread the passengers around the MDR so they can equalize the work load on the waiters.  This can be a real problem for late diners on HAL!  On one cruise we would show-up around 8 and ask to share a large table.  We were usually seated at a large table where we ate alone and would see others also being seated at other large tables...and eating along.  A few of us started talking and realized that the folks at the front door were spreading us around the MDR to make it easy on the waiters.  After a few days (on a long cruise) we talked to the Dining Room Manager (you could say we had some words) and made it clear that the passengers preferences should come before his desire to spread folks around the MDR.  We reached an "accommodation" and had no further problems.  Suddenly, those of us who wanted to share large tables got our wish (and we had some great tables).

 

There is a lesson to be learned from this experience.  If a passenger has "issues" with how some things are handled, the time to deal with the problem is while on the ship!  Most issues can be easily resolved...but only if those in charge are aware there is a problem.

 

Hank 

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17 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Not sure why anyone would mention Celebrity dining arrangements on a HAL blog where somebody wants to know about HAL :).  Depending on the pre-booking numbers, the Maitre'd will assign one level to fixed seating diners....at least for the early seating.  In many cases, the upper area will be used for Fixed while the lower deck is used for Anytime.  But this can vary from cruise to cruise or ship to ship.  And since open sitting (Anytime) continues to gain in popularity there are often accommodations to deal with the masses,  We always eat Anytime and usually do not go to dinner until at least 7:45, a time when some HAL cruisers are heading to their cabins for bed.  There are times when the Maitre'd will seat us in the Fixed dining area because they have plenty of tables (many of their folks have finished dinner before sunset).  

 

Some of the Dining Room Managers and Maitre d's try to spread the passengers around the MDR so they can equalize the work load on the waiters.  This can be a real problem for late diners on HAL!  On one cruise we would show-up around 8 and ask to share a large table.  We were usually seated at a large table where we ate alone and would see others also being seated at other large tables...and eating along.  A few of us started talking and realized that the folks at the front door were spreading us around the MDR to make it easy on the waiters.  After a few days (on a long cruise) we talked to the Dining Room Manager (you could say we had some words) and made it clear that the passengers preferences should come before his desire to spread folks around the MDR.  We reached an "accommodation" and had no further problems.  Suddenly, those of us who wanted to share large tables got our wish (and we had some great tables).

 

There is a lesson to be learned from this experience.  If a passenger has "issues" with how some things are handled, the time to deal with the problem is while on the ship!  Most issues can be easily resolved...but only if those in charge are aware there is a problem.

 

Hank 

Hank it was obviously me who mentioned Celebrity as well as HAL.  I did so to give an example over our past experiences and sometimes things are the same line to line and sometimes they are not.  I don't see the need to single me out.  Anyway, thanks for your input on your experience.  

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Jsipes said:

Te ship was Eurodam.

WAS? Are you asking about a past cruise or future? On most ships, the upper level is for Fixed/Traditional dining and the lower is for Open/Anytime dining. If you wish to be on the upper level for a future cruise, request Fixed dining when making your reservation. 

You can look at http://halfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/EUDM.pdf for the dining room plan to choose and request a specific table, but that doesn't guarantee that you will get it.

Edited by catl331

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Posted (edited)

Having now experienced both fixed and open/anytime, there is no way I would ever chose open/anytime dining again - totally different feeling about the entire dinner experience for us. The two fixed dining times (early/late) may not be 100% convenient, but the wonderful dining experience every evening more than made up for these time restrictions.

 

Others do find a happy niche in open/anytime dining. But it just did not work for us. Love entering the upper dining room to the same table, same stewards and the same staffers greeting us every night. We never leave with the feeling the evening dining experience is too hectic, noisy or the stewards rushed or over-stretched.  Fixed dining means the various courses are  coming out pretty much in the same timing flow in your seating area - seems more direct and efficient.

Edited by OlsSalt

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On the Eurodam last Nov/Dec, we had early fixed dining....we requested a specific 2-top in the lower level & had it the entire cruise.

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51 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

Having now experienced both fixed and open/anytime, there is no way I would ever chose open/anytime dining again - totally different feeling about the entire dinner experience for us.

 

Others do find a happy niche in open/anytime dining.

That's us! We'll never go back to fixed. We prefer the flexibility to spontaneously go somewhere else to eat, or eat later or earlier than an assigned time. Fixed just takes too long for us, especially at tables of 6 or more. We do not consider eating as our evening's entertainment, and want to be out in 75 to 90 minutes. Sometimes we'll skip the appetizer/soup course, but that doesn't work well in Fixed where we have to wait anyway because the entrees are not yet ready. When we show up at the door we ask to be seated at a two-top in a section belonging to a waiter team that has satisfied our desired quicker pace on a prior night. Sometimes we have to wait a little, but often we are seated right away at a four-top with two place settings removed.  To each his own!  :classic_biggrin:

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You raise a good point again about the devil being in the details. Tables for 6 would create different dining times than tables for two - we always have a table for two, fixed dining and are routinely out by 9pm. So we too are closer to the 60-70 minute -three course dining time in fixed dining too.. 

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This is a very interesting thread.  

The only criticism that my BFF and I had about our December 7-night Mexico Riviera cruise on the Eurodam was our evening dining experience in the MDR. We had opted for open/anytime dining and usually arrived between 7-8 pm. Our preference was a 2-top and with the exception of the first night (perfect table amongst other diners) we were either put upstairs where we were completely alone (seriously, no one else was there) or downstairs at a huge table completely isolated from where everyone else was dining.  

Now we are two middle-aged women, well dressed and pleasant...undemanding and low maintenance. We felt that for some reason we were put where no one else would be put.  Service from the Waiters was adequate at best and we couldn't help but feel that we were an inconvenience to them. I must add that we received stellar service from both the Wine Stewards and the Assistant Waiters which only highlighted the less than positive experience with the various Waiters...  (I actually got an eye-roll from one when I asked if the salmon was wild or farmed.)  Our experience was so bad that we actually decided to eat in the Lido one evening instead.

So, what the heck was this all about?!

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Chinook Wind said:

This is a very interesting thread.  

The only criticism that my BFF and I had about our December 7-night Mexico Riviera cruise on the Eurodam was our evening dining experience in the MDR. We had opted for open/anytime dining and usually arrived between 7-8 pm. Our preference was a 2-top and with the exception of the first night (perfect table amongst other diners) we were either put upstairs where we were completely alone (seriously, no one else was there) or downstairs at a huge table completely isolated from where everyone else was dining.  

Now we are two middle-aged women, well dressed and pleasant...undemanding and low maintenance. We felt that for some reason we were put where no one else would be put.  Service from the Waiters was adequate at best and we couldn't help but feel that we were an inconvenience to them. I must add that we received stellar service from both the Wine Stewards and the Assistant Waiters which only highlighted the less than positive experience with the various Waiters...  (I actually got an eye-roll from one when I asked if the salmon was wild or farmed.)  Our experience was so bad that we actually decided to eat in the Lido one evening instead.

So, what the heck was this all about?!

 

If fixed dining in the upper dining room started at 8pm and you were seated between 7-8 pm, that would explain this being relatively empty and your presence being less than welcomed by the upper level dining stewards who were cleaning things up between the fixed dining shifts. Plus there always are fewer diner at late fixed and often many empty tables -which is always  a bonus for us. 

 

Sounds like a bad call by the maitre d' on all counts except responding to your own wish for a two-top during the busier anytime dining hours. Sorry it was such an unhappy experience - don't blame you for feeling it was one off. Sounds like you got caught in the middle on this one.

 

 My sister and I found ourselves in the same situation on the Eurodam over the holidays as anytime diners -sent up to the upper dining room and the whole experience was nothing like DH and I enjoy on other HAL ships as fixed late dining. Part of this being an off-experience is the layout of the Eurodam upper dining is very different than the R and S class ships - lots more traffic, less feeling or seclusion. 

 

It is getting so hard now to talk about "HAL ships" since each sub-class now offers such materially different onboard experiences - some good, some not so good. We all will need to pay more attention to stating which HAL ship when making general topic onboard reports.  Thanks for reporting your ship's name up front.

Edited by OlsSalt

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Early open and fixed dining were served on both levels on our Christmas NA Caribbean cruise. Seemed to work for all!

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As far as I am aware, the Koningsdam and Statendam now also adhere to the lower DR for Open dining, and Upper DR for Fixed.

i know that at in the heginning of the Koningsdam operation, they mixed both concepts over both decks, but that was abandoned over a year ago I thought.

anyone with recent experience?

 

 

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We have always done traditional fixed dining but more and more we are dining less and less in the MDR. Last week we were only there for dinner on 2 of the 7 nights. 

 

I am wondering if we should just do open seating if we remain on this path. We will only do a 2-top. 

 

Thoughts??

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That's what we do.  I did two non-Gala nights last month and showed up later in the evening.  We were seated right away and had great food and service.

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On our most recent cruise, we had fixed dining time in the upper level MDR.  On the first night, our server  told us that if we were not there by 5:45, our table would be given away to open dining passengers. That sounded fair enough to our group of six, and we were there by 5:30 every night.  :classic_smile:

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On 3/6/2019 at 1:15 PM, OlsSalt said:

You raise a good point again about the devil being in the details. Tables for 6 would create different dining times than tables for two - we always have a table for two, fixed dining and are routinely out by 9pm. So we too are closer to the 60-70 minute -three course dining time in fixed dining too.. 

Just thought I'd mention that we're normally "fixed main dining, table for 2" as well but last year brought the family so were a party of six for fixed main dining.  We had terrific and timely service (Nieuw Amsterdam) and were also assigned the particular table that I'd requested.  Very happy.

 

On our most recent HAL cruise, there was a large group on the ship (Oosterdam) and so we were not able to secure our preferred fixed dining assignment.  However, we were able to arrange an earlier fixed dining time and table (lower level) once we were aboard the ship.  I was aware when I booked the cruise that there would be a large group on our sailing, but took a chance and booked it anyway, so it wasn't a total surprise when we could not get our normal fixed dining time.  I think I'd avoid doing that again, however.

 

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We do both Early Fixed and Open, depending on what our plans are for the cruise.  On our upcoming 7 day cruise we opted for Open, as we know that we likely will not be in the MDR for at least 3 of the 7 evenings and did not want to "tie up" the coveted Early Fixed spots plus not be there for the others at our table half of the time.  Maybe we are being overly sensitive, but its how we approach it.

 

 

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