Hi 14Husky, welcome aboard. We'll be boarding after your return. I'm so excited to cruise the Emerald. We've done this itinerary before, but this is a brand new ship. My hubby can't wait to try the sushi bar, I'm hoping the casino is friendly. She sure looks like a beauty and I've been watching her webcam every day.
We've done Anytime the past 2 cruises on Princess and are doing it again this time. We like the fact that we don't have to rush back from excursions or rush to get ready for dinner. We enjoy sitting with different people so we can meet more of the passengers. It is true that you don't get to know your wait staff, which is a down side. Also, you don't get to know your tablemates as well, which is a down side. We'll be on Costa in January and they only offer traditional dining, but we enjoy that as well.
F-mattox is spot on, if you go with traditional and don't like it, it's easier to switch to Anytime. We used to do late seating, but had to switch to main due to health reasons. At least with late seating you don't have to rush to get to dinner.
Whichever you choose, you'll have a wonderful time. The cruise lines will do their best to fulfill your requests.
We'd love to hear your review when you return. Happy Sailing!