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michelle-nh

So Frustrated! Dining!

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10 hours ago, Maplemoose said:

I too am used to NCL freestyle. And the more I see other lines try to make a hybrid of traditional and freestyle, the more I realize NCL's 100% freestyle is the best. I find it hard to believe that if you go freestyle/MTD on RCCL you cannot eat before 6:30. 

That depends on when you start to make reservations. The closer to sailing the less time slots become available. 6:30 was the earliest we could book but that was the time we wanted anyway. I was surprised it was available since it's prime time. Perhaps you don't even need a reservation for an earlier time. I know when we arrived the room was just starting to fill up. We even had window seats a few times. Not much to see. I really don't know what all the fuss is about.

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We have purchased the dining package 3 times on different ships this summer and never once was a reservation made for us in advance for the first night - we just made reservations when and where we wanted and never had a problem adding on our adult kids in other staterooms also. 

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5 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

That depends on when you start to make reservations. The closer to sailing the less time slots become available. 6:30 was the earliest we could book but that was the time we wanted anyway. I was surprised it was available since it's prime time. Perhaps you don't even need a reservation for an earlier time. 

 

The thing is, if you look at recent Harmony Compasses, you will see that if you are on MTD, you cannot go before 6:30, reserved or not, while traditional dining begins between 5 and 5:30. A big deal only if you eat early and don't want to do traditional which is us! I will have to try to switch to traditional somewhere along the way with its set time, even if we prefer more flexible dining. I and many others like to eat when we are hungry not by a schedule. That is the beauty of NCL's policy. However, I am sure we will adapt and enjoy the cruise! 

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1 hour ago, Maplemoose said:

 

The thing is, if you look at recent Harmony Compasses, you will see that if you are on MTD, you cannot go before 6:30, reserved or not, while traditional dining begins between 5 and 5:30. A big deal only if you eat early and don't want to do traditional which is us! I will have to try to switch to traditional somewhere along the way with its set time, even if we prefer more flexible dining. I and many others like to eat when we are hungry not by a schedule. That is the beauty of NCL's policy. However, I am sure we will adapt and enjoy the cruise! 

I never looked at the compass because we had reservations. I guess MTD doesn’t open before 6:30. 

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17 hours ago, Maplemoose said:

I too am used to NCL freestyle. And the more I see other lines try to make a hybrid of traditional and freestyle, the more I realize NCL's 100% freestyle is the best. I find it hard to believe that if you go freestyle/MTD on RCCL you cannot eat before 6:30. 

 

I had MTD on Liberty last week and I made reservations to eat at 5:15 every day. So at least on Liberty, MTD starts at 5:00 pm. On other ships, MTD starts at 5:30 while WJ opens at 6 pm.

 

To the OP, there is the option of just showing up for MTD when you want to without reservations. You may have to wait for a table for the group your size but on Liberty and Mariner, there's separate lines, 1 for those with reservations and 1 for those without. On our upcoming Serenade cruise, we're MTD but I'm not going to make reservations (the 6-6:30 slots were all taken), we'll go when we're ready and if there's a huge line, we'll go eat in WJ.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, wolfcathorse said:

 

 On other ships, MTD starts at 5:30 while WJ opens at 6 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may be somehow because of the number of passengers but on Harmony at present MTD does not start until 6:30. Actually with so many passengers you would think they would have longer hours for it, not shorter. Perhaps they only offer it as a token gesture to say "See we have flexible dining too". Also, WJ opens at 5:30. 

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On 10/18/2019 at 3:55 PM, michelle-nh said:

Okay. Thanks, everyone. I'm feeling better about it and won't stress anymore. I think we're all just trying for a really fun and stress-free time as a family, and so are trying to take care of all the little details ahead of time so we don't have to worry about them then.

 

As I said, we all booked direct through RC and the agent told me she had linked the reservations, but apparently she didn't which is I guess what is causing all the confusion now. I just went into the planner and linked the other two reservations to mine, so we should be all set now. 

It's really not that hard to link them in the cruise planner once you know how to do it.  Just go and enjoy your cruise. Try not to let it stress you out.   Since you did book direct with RC, just call and let them fix everything up for you. I have found most of the people to  be quite helpful.   
It's funny, most people swear by using a travel agent but I must have the worst luck with them. Every one I have used is absolutely useless.   My best experiences have been booking direct with RCI. 

 

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On 10/18/2019 at 9:36 PM, Host Clarea said:

 

One of the reasons we are trending more and more to Windjammer for dinner.

Agree! We waltz in any time we want. Dinner is not the reason we cruise.

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On 10/18/2019 at 2:47 PM, michelle-nh said:

But, I also honestly want to know what we did wrong?


First thing was on Mariner when you all got changed to 8pm Traditional.... you should have just said, "no" when they told you that if that's not what you wanted.  Nobody is going to force you to to change dining times if you don't want to.

Second, IMO it's insane to pay for specialty dining "just in case" you don't want to eat at 8pm on random days.  Just go to the buffet if you don't want to eat at your designated time.  Or try to get everyone switched over to My Time Dining if it's such a hassle to show up at the same time every day. 

How do you know that the specialty restaurant will have a reservation available on the night and time you want to not eat at 8pm?  And since you don't know in advance which nights you're not going to want to eat at 8pm, how do you even make reservations for something like that?  And who gets to decide which restaurant you'll eat at on any given night?  Seems like purchasing the dining package just made everything WAY more complicated than it had to be for half of the nights of your cruise...

If it were me, I'd cancel the dining packages for everyone, go into the Cruise Planner and link all the reservations (you'll need the name, DOB, and reservation number of one person from each room to link them), and then either try to get everyone changed/waitlisted for MTD, or just keep everyone on 8pm and go to the Windjammer on the nights that 8pm just doesn't work for you.  

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On 10/18/2019 at 8:06 PM, twangster said:

With any dining plan just stop by specialty restaurant upon boarding and have everyone switched to the same restaurant and time. We boarded with 8 people in 6 cabins and had no problem getting everyone in Chops that night.  

 

Who ever is going to board first should go with a list of all cabin numbers and names.  Easy.  

 

 

This.

 

But each of you can book on your cruise planner for my time dining in advance. If you c an be bothered to do so.

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19 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

I never looked at the compass because we had reservations. I guess MTD doesn’t open before 6:30. 

 

I have booked MTD for 6 pm on first day of cruise in my planner.

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7 hours ago, atush said:

 

I have booked MTD for 6 pm on first day of cruise in my planner.


It's ship-dependent.  Different ships have different times available.

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On 10/19/2019 at 3:45 PM, Iamcruzin said:

I never looked at the compass because we had reservations. I guess MTD doesn’t open before 6:30. 

On Harmony, they recently added an early traditional dining time in the American Icon dining room (which is the MTD room) which has pushed the start of MTD to 630.  This has caused MAJOR issues on recent cruises because people who made MTD reservations months ago are now being pushed back.  Hopefully it resolves itself soon.

 

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10 hours ago, kathimac123 said:

On Harmony, they recently added an early traditional dining time in the American Icon dining room (which is the MTD room) which has pushed the start of MTD to 630.  This has caused MAJOR issues on recent cruises because people who made MTD reservations months ago are now being pushed back.  Hopefully it resolves itself soon.

 

They did this on Princess as well. I realize that there probably aren't that many who want to eat at 5:00 but by adding a second early traditional seating it now pushes the few MTD who would have been there between 5 and 6 to go at 6:30-7:00. Now MTD is backed up. I didn't have an issue with my 6:30 reservation but there was a line up for those who didn't have one.

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