Reservations are important, even for My Time Dining, if you want to be seated during the peak times of between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. If you just showed up to wait for a table during that period you might be cooling your heels for a while.
Of course you are required to pre-pay tips if you choose MTD, since you may not have the same waiter each night. Note that if you like a particular waiter or assistant waiter you can ask the dining room manager to seat you at one of their tables every night.
I had My Time Dining on the Oasis and it worked out just great.....and yes, you can request the same table every night if you so choose.....I eat at 5:30 and it works just great...no big crowd....Happy Sailing...
Husband and I did MTD on Freedom this past October. Worked out great. I personally love having that option. We did go on a Disney cruise couple years ago, they did not offer MTD (not sure if they offer it now). Freedom was our 2nd cruise and decided to try it, Would do MTD all the time now. Gives you the freedom to eat when you want (within certain time frame of course). If there is a show that you want to see, or some activity going on onboard, or you just want to do nothing at all you don't have to worry about missing an activity (or part of activity) because of dinner reservation. (We had that with Disney)
On Freedom we only made reservations at restaurant twice and staff put us with same servers (we prepaid tips) so 1 set of servers received tips. Not sure that would of worked if we went everynight.
We made our reservation that afternoon for same evening (we would make reservation around noon for like a 6pm dinner). I don't think you can make reservations for MTD before you board ship?? (I did not do that so not quite sure).
Only downside is that you dont get same servers everyday and im not gonna lie, the service was not nearly as good. Food took much longer and they knew they werent getting your tips at the end of the week, so they didnt try nearly as hard to get to know you and provide as excellent of service. Was nice to be able to go when you wanted, though.
Having done both, we are going back to set dining time.. Not to rain on the parade or anything, we just missed the service we were used to.
Sorry to hear that, yagerbomb. We've not experienced that anytime we've had the open dining option. In fact, on our last Carnival cruise, we had the best service ever. These servers do share in the tip pool, though, if you use the auto-tip. We do leave extra, too, if we use the same wait staff each evening, which you can request.
Don't get me wrong, set dining does have it's merit, too. I guess we've just been lucky.