I really would like someone to clarify the difference between anytime dining and set time option. Currently, I am scheduled for the 6:15 dinner seating. However, I think that some nights I would benefit from going to dinner at a later time. Can I go between the two options, or do I have to choose one and stick with it?
I actually don't know if you can alternate but the flexible seating is there for those who want that flexible dining ability. By taking a fixed seating time you would be taking something that some people want desperately and can't get. The courteous thing to do if you know you want the choice of times open, is to take Personal Choice dining, not take a spot at a fixed seating and just show up when you want to. It's also more courteous to your other table mates if you take fixed to not leave them at a table without social benefits from those at the table who just don't show up. Its not fun to be at a table for 8 and be alone at the table on some nights and have 4 there the next. If they do offer those with fixed seating the choice, I don't think they should or that its fair to others on the cruise.
Dave is correct: you may go to anytime even if you have traditional first or second seating. You can not do it the other way around, since the seats are "assigned".
And Neil is also correct. Please don't do it; especially first seating. The wait list is very long for first seating and to get a reservation and then not use it is really unfair to someone who very much wants it. If you have first seating and expect to be late from a shore excursion, or you make a reservation for Sabatini's or Sterling Steakhouse, let your waiter or one of your tablemates know so everyone is not waiting for you.
My wife and I like second seating but have just about given up on it for anytime because, like Neil says, it's no fun to have 8 one night, 4 the next, then be alone on the next.
Rick is correct too! If I had an assigned seating I wouldn't abuse it. Using the personal choice dining room one night is fine, since this is not really different than having a reservation for the upscale restaurants or using the buffet. But I'd make an effort to stick with the assigned seating.
The Personal Choice dining is really pretty decent. We always managed to get seated in just a few minutes, or more often immediately.
It is also imperative to not leave your assigned seating table mates and staff hanging. Get word to them if you won't be there.
Just another thought here; the wait staff really go out of their way for the youngsters, especially if they get to know them, so I think your son would really benefit from the traditional seating. And you could vary that with a night or two at the buffet.
We tried the Personal Choice dining 3 years ago and have not gone back. But, as everyone has stated, please let them know ahead of time if you're going to change. Main seating is premium and many are wait-listed for it. With a 7 year old, Rick makes a great point. When the wait staff know your likes/dislikes, they go out of their way to please. If they're any good at all. So getting to know your wait staff is much easier with traditional dining. You can request a table in Personal Choice, but you might be waiting longer for it. Just my opinion, with a 7 year old, I'd stick to main seating. Best wishes and have a great cruise!
When were were on Princess in '05 if you switched from Set dining to anytime you could not go back to set dining.
They were checking your S&S card at the entrance to be sure you were "Anytime" or they sent people to the buffet.
Maybe things have changed
Some people thought the Anytime diners were getting better meals!!
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress