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sawtooth

Advance dining reservations on the Sky Princess

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We are booked on a 14 day sailing, Jan 4 on the Sky Princess.

When trying to make advance dining reservations at the specialty restaurants, regardless of the day or restaurant chosen I am only offered times choices of 

5:30, 7:30 or 9:30.

Is this standard?  We'd actually prefer a time like 6:30 or 7.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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limited times pre-cruise ... maybe book one of those times and then see if you can change it when you board

 

or just wait until boarding and see what they have available

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One of the first things we do upon arrival when we have a gifted specialty dining is go to the Dining Room desired and make our reservations.  This way we get a better choice of times.

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You have to wait until you are on board and visit the restaurant if you want an "off" time. There is normally someone there on boarding day afternoon. Since you are actually on two 7 day voyages b2b, you can speak with the restaurant during the first 7 days for a reservation during the 2nd 7 days. You may be able to book on line and just change the time once on board.

On line pre-cruise there are only certain times. If you call the dining line once on board they also have set times. Just a few weeks ago on another Princess ship we went to Sabatini's and requested a 6:30 dining time. We were able to get it. Around 7:30 most of the restaurant was empty, kind of cleared out from the initial 5:30 dining times. One other note, 7 day cruises tend to have busy specialty restaurant usage. The second boarding day, January 11, might be a good choice. Full suite passengers get free dining on boarding days, the restaurant generally has tables and you will have already experienced the evening shows.

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4 hours ago, sawtooth said:

We are booked on a 14 day sailing, Jan 4 on the Sky Princess.

When trying to make advance dining reservations at the specialty restaurants, regardless of the day or restaurant chosen I am only offered times choices of 

5:30, 7:30 or 9:30.

Is this standard?  We'd actually prefer a time like 6:30 or 7.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Maybe we will see you on the second half of your journey.

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4 hours ago, sawtooth said:

We are booked on a 14 day sailing, Jan 4 on the Sky Princess.

When trying to make advance dining reservations at the specialty restaurants, regardless of the day or restaurant chosen I am only offered times choices of 

5:30, 7:30 or 9:30.

Is this standard?  We'd actually prefer a time like 6:30 or 7.

Has anyone else experienced this?

We will be on the same 14 days - so excited.    On our last cruise I booked online for the days I thought would be formal nights.  When we boarded we went to the Crown Grill and we checked with the Maitre’D for the exact nights and changed accordingly on the spot and even changed the times. 

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6 hours ago, sawtooth said:

We are booked on a 14 day sailing, Jan 4 on the Sky Princess.

When trying to make advance dining reservations at the specialty restaurants, regardless of the day or restaurant chosen I am only offered times choices of 

5:30, 7:30 or 9:30.

Is this standard?  We'd actually prefer a time like 6:30 or 7.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Yes this is standard for pre booking through the personalizer.

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Posted (edited)

<Deleted>  I missed seeing some posts for some reason and I didn't have anything new to add after they appeared.

 

Edited by steelers36

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You are seeing what I call the "anytime dining problem".   The first seating at 5:30 is given 2 hours to leisurely eat and converse, with a few minutes for the wait staff to clean and set up for the next batch of people.   The 2 hours makes these tables available at 7:30, and the next 2 hours makes them available at 9:30.

 

The big unknowable question is what proportion of the tables are kept apart for an out of sequence dining reservation.  I guess you've find out once onboard.

 

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7 hours ago, Island wannabe said:

We will be on the same 14 days - so excited.    On our last cruise I booked online for the days I thought would be formal nights.  When we boarded we went to the Crown Grill and we checked with the Maitre’D for the exact nights and changed accordingly on the spot and even changed the times. 

 

So what was the reason to book in advance since you could have just reserved what you wanted once on board?

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3 hours ago, Times Prince said:

You are seeing what I call the "anytime dining problem".   The first seating at 5:30 is given 2 hours to leisurely eat and converse, with a few minutes for the wait staff to clean and set up for the next batch of people.   The 2 hours makes these tables available at 7:30, and the next 2 hours makes them available at 9:30.

 

The big unknowable question is what proportion of the tables are kept apart for an out of sequence dining reservation.  I guess you've find out once onboard.

 

AFAIK, they don't have "seatings" in the specialties like they do in the MDR's.  Even in the MDR that starts with TD, and changes to ATD, as soon as a table is free, they will seat AT diners - they don't wait for the two hours.

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3 hours ago, caribill said:

 

So what was the reason to book in advance since you could have just reserved what you wanted once on board?

So we could pre-pay in Canadian Dollars.   We got a great rate and by the time we sailed the exchange rate moved against us so it would have cost more to pay onboard in USD

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19 hours ago, skynight said:

You have to wait until you are on board and visit the restaurant if you want an "off" time. There is normally someone there on boarding day afternoon. Since you are actually on two 7 day voyages b2b, you can speak with the restaurant during the first 7 days for a reservation during the 2nd 7 days. You may be able to book on line and just change the time once on board.

On line pre-cruise there are only certain times. If you call the dining line once on board they also have set times. Just a few weeks ago on another Princess ship we went to Sabatini's and requested a 6:30 dining time. We were able to get it. Around 7:30 most of the restaurant was empty, kind of cleared out from the initial 5:30 dining times. One other note, 7 day cruises tend to have busy specialty restaurant usage. The second boarding day, January 11, might be a good choice. Full suite passengers get free dining on boarding days, the restaurant generally has tables and you will have already experienced the evening shows.

Thanks,

This sounds like a good idea.  If we don't get something for the first week we will have a leg up on booking preferred times for the second week.

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11 hours ago, caribill said:

 

So what was the reason to book in advance since you could have just reserved what you wanted once on board?

 

The one indisputable reason that I could think of for booking prior to departure is in the case when you want to have a special dinner to celebrate an occasion--e.g., a wedding anniversary or a birthday--and you want to reduce the risk that the restaurant would be completely booked up that day.  Not exactly the same, but a few years ago I pre-booked a UBD to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.  It absolutely, positively had to be on that specific day.  I wanted to minimized the possibility that they would not be able to accommodate us.  Now, I have to also say that I have never had a problem getting a specialty restaurant reservation any day after I boarded the ship.  Sometimes I have had to be a bit flexible on the time, but that has never been a big deal, at all.

 

Also, though, there are individuals who want to pay everything up front.  They do not want to have any expenses at the end of the cruise.  So, that sounds like another reason to book in advance.

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On 8/30/2019 at 1:58 AM, steelers36 said:

AFAIK, they don't have "seatings" in the specialties like they do in the MDR's.  Even in the MDR that starts with TD, and changes to ATD, as soon as a table is free, they will seat AT diners - they don't wait for the two hours.

I was talking about the included Anytime Dining, not Specialties.

Our experience on multiple ships is they queue up people for ATD until 7:30, and they don't let them in the earlier TD dining room as tables free up.   Maybe they've changed things, but I doubt it.

 

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1 hour ago, Times Prince said:

I was talking about the included Anytime Dining, not Specialties.

Our experience on multiple ships is they queue up people for ATD until 7:30, and they don't let them in the earlier TD dining room as tables free up.   Maybe they've changed things, but I doubt it.

 

I see, but the topic of the immediate preceding several posts was concerning times for the Specialty Restaurants.

 

I can tell you that we almost always have early TD in the mid-ship DR that turns at AT after the Early TD.  And I can tell you that I have seen it happen many times where AT diners are escorted in to use an unoccupied table, so if they are busy, they can and will seat diners in the TD area before early service is over.  I think that is the right thing to do as well.

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We have been taken to the TD room several times when the AT room has been backed up.  Did not present any problem we were aware of.

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