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MickeyG

'As You Wish' dining question

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My wife and I will be on our first HAL cruise later this month. On our previous cruises we have always had a set dining time with the same guests and waitstaff. On our upcoming cruise we will have 'as you wish' dining, which has open seating between 5:15 - 9 PM. Since this is a new concept for us and are not entirely sure how this works with respect to selecting a time to eat, do we walk up to the host stand between 5:15 and 9 and request a table? Can we select a preferred dining time and table size once we board the ship? Can we call ahead before our cruise begins and request a specific dining time for the length of the cruise? We enjoy meeeting new folks at dinner and would like to share a table if possible. If we share a table would they seat us at a table where the other guests have already begun eating dinner?

 

Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks....Mick  

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You can find the dining room manager on embarcation day and request the time you prefer and the table size.  If it is available you will get switched.  If it is not available when you speak to the dining roomk manager have him put your name on a wait list for your preferred time.  I did this on the Thanksgiving Oosterdam cruise and got my preferred early dining time immediately. There should be a notice as to where the dining room manager is located.  If you can't find the dining room manager go to the Lido and ask the officer where to request this change.

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If you wish fixed seating instead of open seating, then follow what lazey1 has posted above. If you like late fixed, then your chances are excellent that you can be switched, as not as many people choose that seating. 

But if you prefer to remain in the open seating component of 'As You Wish', then you can only make reservations on board, usually for up to three days at a time, during the early or later times it is open. The popular times between about 6:30-7:30 cannot be reserved. 

You can ask for a specific size table; there may be a wait for a table for two. If you want a larger table, that is easily accommodated. Usually people are seated at the same table within a very few minutes of each other. The steward will give the table a chance to be filled, then start taking orders. If not every seat is filled within a reasonable time, the steward will take the orders, and no one else will be seated there. 

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47 minutes ago, chanc said:

Is the reservation done via an app or in room TV ? 

We've always done it by calling Ext 88.  Haven't tried the Navigator app, but it might be possible to do it there.

 

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We really prefer the anytime or "as you wish" dining.  We go to the dining room when we want, usually between 5-6 o'clock and tell them what size table we prefer.  We usually ask to be seated with others, but prefer a table for 6 as we enjoy meeting new people.  If we have a preference for where the table is located, we state that.  I love the flexibility of the dining.   

 

You have the option to ask to be seated at the same table  each night, but then usually you have a set time to be there.  We like the flexibility of not having to be at the dining room at a specific time. We like to eat early, but sometimes it's 5 and sometimes its 6 o'clock.  With set dining time you loose the flexibility. 

 

With as you wish dining/anytime dining, when you are seated, you  are usually given a table in which they are currently seating others who have just arrived at the dining room, so no one has  started eating yet unless its the bread at the table.  Usually everyone at the table is in sync with each other in terms of delivery of courses for the meal. 

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We also prefer the flexibility of "as you wish" dining and like to be seated at a table with others.  The only time we had a long wait (around 10-15 minutes) was the first Gala Evening.  We were usually taken to a table of 6.  One time there were only 4 of us and the waiter started circulating our menus. The other time there were only 3 of us.  Once you're given the menus and order, nobody else is seated.

 

In the future I think that I'll be going with fixed seating.  I have health issues that mean I need to be careful what I eat (nothing deep fried, too spicy and no rare meats).  Usually I'm able to make good choices, but I was surprised several times with items that differed from what I thought I'd get.  This ended up poorly with episodes of acid reflux and diarrhea for a few days. Lesson learned.

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We always make reservations with the  head guy at the  MDR entry. We tried to make a reservation according to the book with a staffer elsewhere on  the ship once and were told our desired time wasn't available. So we just went to the MDR at our desired time and were immediately led to a table.  We're always asked if we want to sit at a table with others. And in our experience,  they usually wait until the table fills before taking orders.

 

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