February 2, 2015
(6 p.m. EST) -- Following negative feedback from passengers about its new Dynamic Dining concept, Royal Caribbean will add a "Classic" Dynamic Dining option to new ship Anthem of the Seas when it debuts in April, allowing cruisers who prefer a set-time experience to have dinner with the same tablemates and waiters each night.
Under the original version of Dynamic Dining, which first rolled out on Quantum of the Seas in November, the line did away with set seating times and venues and allowed passengers to eat at any of several onboard restaurants -- some free and some for an additional charge -- by making reservations.
The idea wasn't initially well received.
"If it were just two or three of my friends and I, I would definitely have not enjoyed the [Dynamic Dining] concept because I really like to meet other people at dinner," explains Cruise Critic member jrljel. "I also found that an average dinner was close to 1.5 hours in any restaurant and that wasn't thrilling to me. It seemed like Royal needed a lot more work on the specifics or training, not sure which. I like my MDR experience and having the same waiter. REALLY missed that. It's so much easier just to have a time set for dining."
Recent feedback has been more favorable, though.
"I loved the flexibility of DD on Quantum," says little britain. "I love having 32 choices for entree for dinner instead of the boring same old same old limited choice MDR menus."
"After 10 days on Quantum I was actually one who went into DD with concerns and found I enjoyed it," says emmy.
"I hope they aren't scrapping DD," says sullyair. "I loved it on the Quantum NYE cruise."
A statement from the line says that, when Anthem of the Seas launches in April, it will allow fans of the main dining room to dine at one of two set times (early or late) with the same group and waiters each night, albeit at a group of four main restaurants that will rotate throughout each sailing. This option can be pre-booked, beginning in early March.
Although Quantum of the Seas' dining room staff numbers have been increased and menu options have become more varied, Harrison Liu, Royal Caribbean's manager of brand communications, says the "Classic" option won't be added to Dynamic Dining on that ship before it relocates to China in May. (When the ship makes its move, Liu says something new will be implemented in place of Dynamic Dining, but no details have yet been released.)
Plans to expand the Dynamic Dining program to other ships in the fleet, including Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, have been put on hold. Liu says no concrete dates have yet been set for implementation.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Ports & Copy Editor