Carnival Cruise Lines will begin testing a new flexible dining option with the Carnival Legend’s June 29, 2008, departure that will enable guests to choose an open seating option for dinner.  Guests who opt for flexible dining can  dine at whatever time they wish between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly in the ship’s main restaurant.

           The new flexible dining pilot program aboard Carnival Legend will in no way replace Carnival’s popular classic dining system which provides a choice of either main or late seating.  Under classic dining, guests dine at the same table with service from the same wait staff  throughout the full voyage.

Guests will be asked to designate either flexible/open seating or classic, assigned seating prior to departure and their choice will be in effect for the full cruise.            

            The new open seating dining initiative is the latest addition to Carnival’s Total Choice Dining and designed to provide guests with additional flexibility in their dinnertime options. 

            Carnival will begin contacting guests sailing on the Carnival Legend’s June 29 departure and beyond to advise of the new dining initiative beginning later this month.  

            Carnival Legend sails year-round seven-day western Caribbean cruises from Tampa.


 I personally like the traditional dinning. I like having the same servers everyday who after the first day know your likes and dislikes. Having the same table mates every day eliminates the doing the introducing thing every night. After the first day you can get right down to chatting about what each of you did that day on your shore excursions.

Also once everybody is seated the only people walking around your table is your servers. You don’t have people squeezing around you saying “excuse Me” as they get in and out of their table. Your servers can time your meal easier because everybody is on the same course.
People say it’s nice to be able to eat later on port days. You don’t have to rush to eat when you get back on the ship. You can rest a little before going to eat. Well so will everybody else that went ashore. So now you stand in line waiting for a table for 2 or a table for a party of 8 or 10 because everybody decided to eat at one time.
Now what about tipping??? I think the service will suffer with anytime dinning. The waitstaff will get the attitude why bust my butt I will get the same share of tips no matter what now. If you have a bad server one night how do you adjust your tips for that one night and just the opposite if you have a good server that would get tipped extra. Do we have to start carrying money to give that extra tip everyday. I’ve never had a server that I would have cut his tips but I always find myself handing the server something extra on the last night.
Give me the traditional seating with the same servers and table mates and I’m happy.



6 responses to “ANYTIME DINNING?? NO WAY

  1. retirementman

    Good morning Big Ed. I totally agree with you about the traditional dinning. Everything that you’ve said about it I found correct especially having the same servers. I find them like members of the family and they treat you as one. I’ve enjoyed the late dinning because I can go throughout the entire day doing whatever I want to do knowing that at 08:00 I plan on sitting down to a great meal after usually after my wife and I go to the late show. I do hope that they don’t change that aspect of the dinning arrangement. As you said to Mr. Heald, NO,NO,NO,NO,NO,. Stay with the original setup for dinning. I agree with you my friend. Ciao.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  2. i also agree ed!!! i LOVE the whole dining room experience “just the way it is” and i already have a choice of early or late, that is enough. or i can always go to the lido if i want also. leave the dining room alone carnival!!! please!!!

    smiles, bee

    ps: hi pat!!!

  3. Jane and Tom

    Way to go, ED!!! We had the anytime experience on an NCL ship and even though we thought maybe it was a good idea – no way !!!! We ate at a normal 5:30 to 6:30 range when most others decided to eat too. After signing in at the receptionist’s desk where you gave them your name, you had to sit in an area with very little seating & had to wait for your name to be called. If you were given beepers, it would have been better as you could then move around the ship, but no, you had to hear them call your name. Of course, then, you were seated & the servers had no
    incentive to treat you like you’re usually treated on Carnival. You were just “another table to feed & move out”.
    Gosh I hope Carnival listens to our arguments. I agree with Empress Bee – we can always eat on Lido deck (lots of times we went there for extra helpings after we had already eaten in the dining room – we’re bad.)

  4. I also like the traditional dining as we like knowing we will have a seat each night at a certain time and not have to wait in line until a table becomes available.

    We also like that we get to know our table mates over the cruise and the waiters as well. I think the idea of anytime dining is ok for some (and maybe on port days) but in reality most people will turn up at the same time and this causes the queues.

    If Carnival brings in anytime dining then I suppose we wont have the same experience as we have had in the past as it will be all about the eating and not about the social aspect of it that we love so much.

    A fellow cruiser and traveler

  5. I have to agree with this, we had a wonderful time when we went and knowing that we had the same server was very nice. If people want flexible go eat at the buffet…….. We should all send in a letter to Carnival so they hear our voices. We can’t all be on the trial run to tell them what we think. How many bloggers are there? We could help sway the decision!

    Ed. Sorry it took so long but I have that picture for you!


  6. Linda (Mom of DJ)

    We also love traditional. Of course, with DJ’s autism…he has to eat at the same time every day.
    He does not do well with “change”.

    As long as they offer both, we will be ok. My main concern is that the “anytime” will mess up the timing of our traditional meal’s arrival from the kitchen.

    Eating to us is just something that we do. We don’t view it as an event. We like our courses to come pretty quickly.

    Time will tell…

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