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Old 09-24-2007, 09:09 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Hello there, we are going on emerald on Nov 06/2007. Any comments on anytime dining vs assigned dining times. We had a bad experience with NCL free style dining. Is this any different. Thanks.Paul ,Canada
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:36 PM
f-mattox's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 4,740
Hello 14HUSKY and welcome to cruise-chat. I haven't been on NCL so I can't compare Freestyle Dining to Anytime Dining. You don't say what your problem was with NCL so I can't say if you will have the same experience on Princess.

I have had both Traditional and Anytime dining. They both have advantages and disadvantages. It just depends on which suits you best. I prefer Traditional mainly because I like to get to know the wait staff and them to get to know me. This way I don't have to explain every night that my wife likes coffee WITH her dinner and that we enjoy a bottle of S. Pelligrino at every meal.

There is always the possibility of being assigned to a table with people you would rather not dine with. No problem; ask for a new assignment or switch to Anytime at anytime.

From what I've heard and read on this forum, NCL and Princess are pretty much the same in Freestyle and Anytime; so you might want to try Traditional this time. And like I said, you can always switch. It's a little more problematic switching from Anytime to Traditional, so start with Traditional.

Have a wonderful cruise. Several of our long-time members are sailing on Emerald Princess in the near future, and I know they would appreciate a review when you return, if you would be so kind.
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:24 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
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!
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:31 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Thank you for your comments. I guess we have to try and enjoy this one. This will be our 9th cruise and first only with Princess lines.
My only concern was the service on anytime dining. Do you get the same courteous service from the waiters as you will get in the assigned dining room. Thank you again. Paul W. Canada
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:16 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
That's a tough one. I'm not going to lie, we had some that were less than courteous in Anytime and we had some that were outstanding. I just assumed the team we had that was not that great were just having a bad day. But, like I said we had some that were outstanding. We had a team with 2 ladies that were amazing, I actually thought they were reading my mind at times. I guess it could be a positive. If you don't like your wait staff, you don't have to have them again in Anytime. Just a thought.
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