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In Toronto

Tradtional to Anytime Easier than Anytime to Traditional?

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We have done Anytime dining on our last number of cruises on other cruise lines.  Sometimes we do make reservations in the morning.  We have been able to make reservations for 6:30 which I understand is not possible on Princess.  We only want table for 2 because my husband has a slight hearing disability so he finds it stressful to be in a group that you really must converse with.  So, if we chose late seating in Traditional but found that we were missing some events and wanted to change to Anytime, would that be easier than changing from Anytime to Traditional if we were having trouble getting a table for 2 ?

 

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Just now, In Toronto said:

We have done Anytime dining on our last number of cruises on other cruise lines.  Sometimes we do make reservations in the morning.  We have been able to make reservations for 6:30 which I understand is not possible on Princess.  We only want table for 2 because my husband has a slight hearing disability so he finds it stressful to be in a group that you really must converse with.  So, if we chose late seating in Traditional but found that we were missing some events and wanted to change to Anytime, would that be easier than changing from Anytime to Traditional if we were having trouble getting a table for 2 ?

 

You can change but it is usually for the rest of the cruise and most likely will not be able to switch back.

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It's always easier to change from TD to ATD. Changing from ATD to TD can be problematic as there may not be any space available. I know some folks who do ATD and they request a table for two and have the same table at the same time each night. It's like booking ATD but getting TD. Likely won't work for everybody.

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I believe it would be harder to change back to Traditional dining as a lot of people want Traditional so your table would be given to someone else if you gave it up.  What you can do on Princess is ask for  "anytime dining" but go down the first day and speak to the Maitre'd and ask to book a table for 2 at 6:30 p.m. every evening of the cruise.  If they have one available, they might give it to you.  I think this is defeating the purpose of "anytime dining" but we have done that before and had the same time and table for the whole cruise.  We don't like the set dining times Princess has for Traditional dining.

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4 minutes ago, cormike1 said:

We don't like the set dining times Princess has for Traditional dining.

 

We really don't like them either. That's why the 5 cruises we currently have booked are all ATD.

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14 minutes ago, In Toronto said:

The big thing is - Can we get a table for 2 in Anytime dining or do we have to wait a long time?

at 5:00-5:30 - maybe - then again after 7:30 or so

 

in between , well ...

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32 minutes ago, voljeep said:

at 5:00-5:30 - maybe - then again after 7:30 or so

 

in between , well ...

 

13 minutes ago, In Toronto said:

Yes, voljeep, that is my concern.

Once the tables for two fill up, they have to be cleared before someone else can be seated, thus the "hole" @voljeep points out between 5:30 and 7:30.  Depending on the cruise, you can often be seated earlier than 7:30, because the tables for two often finish quicker than the larger tables. 

 

Another thing we have seen is the hostess or headwaiter in the anytime dining room may walk you to one of the traditional dining rooms if a table in that dining room has a no show.  We have had this happen to us several times when we arrived at the anytime dining room about 20 to 40 minutes after the start of traditional dining. The bottom line, if you arrive when the dining room opens or 2+ hours after it opens, you have an excellent chance of being seated with minimal to no wait.  If you arrive in between, you take your chances.

 

For someone who is willing to share a table, we have found a much higher probability of being seated immediately during the "hole period". The itinerary and days port schedule will factor into this as well.

 

Good luck.

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On my upcoming cruise, we had originally requested Second Seating Traditional (as we always do), but it was full.  We are waitlisted for it. 

 

I understand that it is easy to switch from Traditional to Anytime, but that unless you want dinner at tea time (or whatever ridiculous time they have first seating), it is hard to switch from Anytime to Traditional.

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16 hours ago, In Toronto said:

The big thing is - Can we get a table for 2 in Anytime dining or do we have to wait a long time?

On Grand and Royal Class ships* anytime opens at 5:00pm in the mid ship DR, deck 5. In general by 5:30/5:45 tables for two are filled. It takes between 90 minutes and two hours to dine. Therefore, the next wave of tables become available between 6:30 and 7:00, maybe slightly earlier. The deck 6 mid ship DR opens for ATD at 7:15. You can usually just walk in at that time. Tables are generally available. The itinerary and passenger demographic has a lot to do with table availability and dining time preferences. You have to get a feel for it on the first few nights. Our experience on boarding day is that there are lots of crowds lined up. We usually dine elsewhere on the first evening. After a few days passengers get into a routine.

* The Coral, Island, Sun and Sea have different dining arrangements. The Pacific does not offer ATD.

Edited by skynight

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Thank you so much everyone for your comments.  Skynight, your breakdown of dining times is very helpful.  In case this is a concern to others, I will try to remember to post our experiences when we return.

Ellen

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