This feels like a good place to interject a point about my recent Island Princess cruise.
We had requested second seating, traditional dining, at a large table. Our first night there were six of us at a table for ten. We assumed that some had chosen not to come on the first night. The second night we were alone--the four others had gone to first seating, which is what they had wanted in the first place. We asked the Maitre'd to please put more people at our table or move us to another table. He said not to worry; they were making adjustments and we would have more at our table the next night.
The next night it was my wife and I alone, again, at a table for ten. We asked for a deuce or a quad but none was available.
I spoke to the Maitre'd again and he told me the same thing as the night before. He may have been holding out for a tip but it didn't work--I tip for extra or exceptional service; not for what I feel I am entitled to.
I gave the tip instead to our waiters of the previous nights, who were excellent, and just started showing up at Anytime Dining.
And guess what! We loved it! I'm not saying we'll never do Traditional again; but we very much enjoyed Anytime. Which brings me to my reason for the post: as BJS points out, the service is going to be what it's going to be--and with no expectation of an extra tip, you really see what the waiters are made of. Over the next twelve nights the service ranged from extrodinary to indifferent with most being in the good to excellent range.
The biggest dissapointment was the Matre'd himself and his head waiter; they could have accomodated us right away, but chose not to--and it was reflected in our comment form.