anytime dining question

Feb 2nd, 2009, 09:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
anytime dining question

i believe Princess offers a dining option of anytime between 5-10pm, as opposed to a set 8pm sharp.

my question is, do they offer the same food for this option as opposed to the set time one? i believe the anytime option applies to different restaurants in the ship, so how can the menu be the same?

very confused. any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

thank you.
eekthetripsina is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 402
Yes, the menu is the same. There is seldom more than one main kitchen for all restaurants on the ship - so it is easy.
charli is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
We had the anytime type option this summer on HAL. The nenu is the same, as you are sitting with those who are at scheduled seatings. Just try to figure out when their busy time is so you won't have to wait.
Aristotle is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
All food comes from the same kitchen.
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 03:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,210
A suggestion if you chose this option - busy times will be just that - busy. When we had this option on NCL and wanted to eat at a time we knew would be packed, one of us would go put our name in, then back to cabin to dress for dinner and back to dining room. Or planned to put in our name and then go have a drink.

Some complain about the wait - but we viewed it the same as trying to eat at a popular restaurant that did not take reservations on a busy Sat night - you have to wait.
gail is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,072
Just returned from 2 cruises(Princess and Holland America) within the year we did the anytime dining which we liked. Food in the dining room is the same as traditional dining. We never had to wait any length of time on either of these cruises to be served. You can call and reserve a time,but we never did. Both of these ships gave us a tour of their galley which was very interesting.
maryanne1 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2009, 02:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,926
agree w/maryanne1.
I personally like anytime as
1. as a single I dine w/different folks each night.
2. don't have to rush to get to a set-time seating if returning from shore late.
3. I am one of those who do not need to get to know the waitstaff so this works well for me.
Rhea58 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2009, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
Everything is correct, just one little thing: anytime dining restaurant is not the same as assigned sitting, it is a different restaurant.
spurs is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,072
Glad you added that info. On both ships the assigned was on a different deck expect on the Princess we liked the Palm(anytime dining). The only thing the elevator will not take you to that floor. You have to walk down a flight of steps.
maryanne1 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2009, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
Anytime dining is the way to go. You can still do the usual things, order a bottle of wine, drink some and ask to save it for the next meal. Different table, different server, no problem.

Food is the same as the pre-set time dining room. Standard hotel banquet a-lar-carte fare. With anytime dining, you can ask for same waiter or try different servers every night. We have done both and if you like a server, sticking with the same one has benefits. You sit down, drinks showed up, no need to order. If you don't like the service or the server, you won't get stick like in a pre-set situation. Best of all, you don't get stuck with lousy dinner campanions.

Recommendation is to make reservation. You will be guaranteed for the time you want. Some newer ships will give you a pager (like a restaurant) so you can go elsewhere until they page you when your table is ready.

Most of the time, we have our own table for 2. We met people on board and have made reservation for the group and have dinner together with new friends.

Another reason for reservation: You don't want to fight the crowd. Depending on yur trip, you may want to spend certain time somewhere else (Alaska scenic crusing would be a good example), watch the sunset, or staying longer at shore or do do something else, not having to rush back.

One disappointment: on the Dawn Princess, they don't take reservation on the first day and will only take up to 150 reservations per day (That's what they told me when I tried to make a reservation late) It kind of messed things up for us but we ended up going to the dining room right at door openning and had early dinner anyway. After 8 pm, the room starts to empty out so you can just walk in.

The menu is usally posted outside the dining room so you can "preview". On some ships with the themed dining rooms (Diamond), each theme room has themed specials: a stir-fry in the August Moon and something Mexican in another room.

Depending on the ship, they may have only one dining room for any time dining and that had created challenges for us. That's where the reservation come in to play. When in doubt, tip the matri'd on the first day.
Eschew is offline  
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