Poll Position: Time to Dine

August 27, 2012 | By | No Comments

There are lots of nuances when it comes to dining times. If you’re more traditional, you likely opt for a set time. However, there are issues to consider when requesting particular seatings. For example, earlier dining times will probably have more children, and later dining times can mean you have to wait an extra couple of hours to eat. We were curious which most passengers prefer.
What we asked: I prefer the ___ seating for dinner onboard.
What they said: Of more than 2,700 people, 40 percent prefer anytime dining, 32 percent prefer dining early at a set time, and 25 percent prefer later set-seating. Just 3 percent said they dine at the buffet.
What it all means: The times have changed, and folks prefer the convenience of eating when they want — particularly as ships offer a wider range of nighttime activities.
On Facebook, Shari Kroll Koeper shares some of the pluses and pitfalls of flexible dining: “We liked being able to decide day-to-day what time to eat, but we always ate alone. We kind of missed the friendships we made on previous cruises when we’d eat with the same people every night.”
And, of course, there are still those stalwarts who like more regimented dining times.
I “prefer early, as it is closer to when we eat at home,” says Lisa Sanchez Wiggs. Talia Knezic also prefers earlier seatings, which she says allow her to meet other families and have enough time to digest her dinner before grabbing late-night slices of pizza.
Melissa D Quinn says she prefers a later seating “so we have time to get back from excursions and ready for dinner without hurrying.” Meanwhile, Brian Collins weighs in: “Late for us, we gather in the bar near the dining-room access, have a few pre-dinner drinks and catch up with the daily activities of friends not at our table.”
And, last but not least, there are those who enjoy other options.
Edith Musch describes the buffet like this: “better views and way more relaxed, without waiters fussing over you.” Sandra Bickel agrees; “buffet works for us, picky eaters can always find something good.”
What’s your preference? Leave your comments below.
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