We just returned from a cruise on the Star Princess (11/11 to 11/18). When we booked the cruise, we signed up for traditional dining -- as did our neighbors who were travelling with us. When we arrived at the ship; we learned that we were assigned "anytime dining" by the cruise line. We have cruised alot, with 6 previous cruises; the first this time for Princess line.
We attempted to get the dining assignment moved. We were told several times by the personnel that we could go to "any" dining room "anytime" we wanted. We had different servers every night at one of the other dining rooms; and could not even get seated in the Amalfi dining room -- as it was full and the only traditional dining room on the ship. We had waiting, with buzzers, different servers, different tables every night.
We were told 2 nights before the cruise ended by two other customers that Princess kicked everyone out of the traditional dining so that a company identified as "Shaklee" could have the entire traditional dining room. The Shaklee people raved about the dining room's service, design etc.
If this is true; that is pretty terrible for Princess to have done; we all paid full fares and were denied what we consider to be one of the nice things of a cruise - getting to know your waiter / waitress for the week. We spoke to several different people who were also bumped and they were all very very disappointed. We were made to feel that we were less than first rate customers as we were denied access to the best and only traditional dining room.
anybody else have similar experience with Princess?
No, only been on 5 Princess cruises, but have always been treated like a special guest. Even though, we surely don't book the most expensive cabin and most surely don't have money. Sorry they made you feel this way, we personally love anytime dining because we get to meet new people every evening. I hope the rest of your cruise was good.
This type of thing occasionally happens on all cruise lines - even to the extent that a large group comes in and charters the entire sailing! Sorry it had the result it did for you and others who wanted traditional dining. As Penny said, I hope the rest of your cruise went well.
Sry to hear you had such a bad time with "anytime dining". Like Penny I have sailed with Princess 5 times & on each we selected "anytime dining" Never had a problem. We even had the same table all week. We dine early as I have the GERT, bless nexium, and would see others eaiting for a table when we left. But in talking with them they said the wait was similar to that of a popular restaurant in their area. I agree that Princess should not have closed off the restaurant for a special group the entire cruise. There should have been some tables for other guest. Don't give up on "anytime dining" I think if you try it again you will find the flexability a real treat.
The more I read here and in other postings about "anytime timing" the less I understand what should be positive about. Can anybody explain?
you will find the flexability a real treat.
So a supposed advantage is that you dine when you want to. But in reality you either go at certain times when the demand is low - gone is your flexibility - or you have often to face a waiting time - how great is that to hang around waiting, not even knowing when you will be able to dine but having to jump when you are called? Maybe just after having ordered a drink in a bar? Oh yes, a buzzer is what I need on vacations.
the wait was similar to that of a popular restaurant in their area.
Sorry, I already do not feel it appropriate having to wait for a table in a landbased restaurant. If the restaurant is popular I make a reservation for the time I want and expect them to honor this.
But for sure I am not going on a cruise to be treated like an arbitrary bypasser in an unknown city every night again.
Sorry about your bad dinning experience, hope the rest of your cruise was great.On our last two Princess cruises, (Sun and Island), we chosed anytime dinning. We did not like it because of the service from the wait staff so I can sympathize with you. On both cruises we were able to change to traditional dinning after the second day and ended up with excellant servers. We did not have to go to a different dinning room though we just set a time with the head waiter and he saved the same table for us with the same servers every night, it worked out fine. When we go on Princess again we will pick traditional dinning, hope we can reserve it.
We have sailed our last 4 cruises with Princess mainly because of anytime dining. We like the opportunity to meet different people. On our last cruise, we met 2 couples from Canada that we ended up dining with the remainder of the cruise. We called the head waiter and reserved the same table, same time each night. We therefore had the same waiter and assistant waiter. It worked out great for us.
Just a note from my previous message, on the Sun there was 9 people at the table, on the Island there was 4. On both ships there was no problem accomdating us. Don't be afraid to go to the Head Waiter or the Matre'd if you aren't satisfied.