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What type dining


Staff member
What type of dining do you prefer when on a cruise? Do you like a freestyle dining, traditional dining, eating in the buffet or the pay restaurants? If traditional do you like early or late dining?

For us we prefer traditional early dining. We like this because we are diabetic and it is just easier to stay on a regular eating schedule. We also like the fact that we have the same waiters all the time and they get to know our likes and dislikes. We also normally are at a table for 6. We like this because the noise level does not get to high at the table and with 6 people you can always find someone that you can get along with and talk to. With traditional dining you also get to know those dining with you pretty good by the end of a cruise.

Pam in CA

We've been steadfast late Traditional diners for almost all of our cruises. I've had Anytime dining on Princess a couple of times and didn't like it as we had very long waits every night. I've also had HAL's Open seating a couple of times and thought it was much better managed than on Princess (which allows Traditional diners to eat in Anytime if they wish which means they're each using two seats.)

On my very recent Diamond Princess cruise, we had late Traditional as usual and a great table for eight with good friends with whom we've cruised before. As we get older, dinner at home is tending to get earlier. We used to eat between 7:30-8pm but now, 6-6:30pm is more the norm. Most of us are cruising together again in October on the new Royal Princess and we will most likely give Anytime another chance. There are several new (free) dining options on the Royal and it will give us flexibility. With a very port-intensive itinerary with full-day tours for the first seven days before sailing across the Atlantic, early Traditional would be too early. We like to relax and meet friends for a drink before dinner and there wouldn't be enough time to shower and change.


Hubby and I are traditional late seating devotees. Where available it's what we always book. Like to have the same waiters every night. Eating at this time suits us for many reasons, one being that we always get to see the sailaways. If we ate on the early sitting we would end up going for midnight snacks, not good for the waistline.
We have on several occasions tried anytime dining, either because the ship only does anytime or because when we've booked late sitting was full, not our cup of tea. On one NCL ship we ended up going to the buffet most of the time due to the hassle getting a dining space at a time we wanted to eat.
So sure hope the cruise lines maintain traditional seatings, can't beat the same waiter every night, with the same table companions ( we always opt for big tables)


Well, with the 3 dayer it was because my parents' friends had late dining. On our cruise last year-with my nieces and nephews along for the cruise-we were glad for anytime dining.