I figured you could lay out the whole cruise at one time and tell them "8pm Monday, 7pm Tuesday" etc.
Well I think that may be possible. My point was that MyTime isn't as flexible as I anticipated, in that we still had to predict when we thought we'd want to eat, rather than just showing up when we got hungry. We could still do that at the Windjammer, but if we wanted plated service, we had to be mindreaders of our own minds.
On Princess, you can go down when you're ready OR make a reservation. If you made a reservation, you didn't have to wait. Some of those that didn't reserve had to wait for about 20 minutes, if they went at the popular 7pm dining time. Princess also wouldn't take a reservation later than 6:15 because it got so busy between 6:30 and 7:15. We would make our reservations each morning and never had to wait, but we usually made them for between 5:45-6:15. Since it's a relatively new option for RCI and Carnival, maybe they haven't had a chance to get it running smoothly?
I don't know what would have happened if we just showed up when we were ready for dinner. It's one of the criticisms I have of the whole "freestyle" concept. If you knew in advance what time you wanted to eat each day, you may as well go for traditional seating. I have friends who sailed on NCL, and it was always jammed at the more popular dinner hours. They'd give you pagers so they could call you when a table was available. My friends tend to eat early, in the 5:30pm range, so they didn't have a problem. But for those who have late snacks or late arriving shore excursions, or for those who don't know how their day is going to unfold -- after all, they ARE on vacation! -- having to decide in the morning what time they want to eat dinner or risk a long wait at the door, it's not the most convenient thing.
The alternative of just going to the buffet restaurant when the mood strikes you to eat dinner is appealing to some.
Regarding the Seafood Shack...from RCI Senior VP of Hotel Operations Lisa Bauer's blog.....
"...the menu is very playful, and entrees include everything from Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bowl, to sweet potato fries, crab cakes and fish sandwiches. Oh, and buckets of beer....Children 12 and under eat free and adults are $8.95."
If you knew in advance what time you wanted to eat each day, you may as well go for traditional seating.
This hits it on the head for me, Sandy. What's the point? I can see making reservations for, say, a special night at Sabatini's (on Princess); but making nightly reservations for Anytime is a nuisance. The only way I've enjoyed Anytime is just showing up and being willing to share a table; I've never waited.