Dining Time…Whenever You Want?

 

Nobody's going to come right out and say so, but the sands appear to be shifting for My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean ships.

When Allure of the Seas goes in for refurbishing in the fall, it's suspected that more than half the dining room space will be allocated for My Time, as opposed to the traditional, fixed-time seatings. When the new Quantum of the Seas arrives in November, there's talk the whole ship will be My Time…and Anthem of the Seas plus two more Oasis Class ships are in the horizon.

My TimeWhy more My Time?

Two reasons come to mind.

One is there has been a definite change in cruise passengers' eating habits. On one typical evening at the three-tiered many dining room (Adagio) while we were on Allure of the Seas, the two "traditional" dining-room levels seated 1,100 and 1,400 diners. The My Time room had 2,067 customers that led to a waiting room full of hungry passengers, some delayed for as long as 45 minutes. The two floors below — both traditional seating — had empty tables.

The second reason contributes to the first. Entertainment on new ships is often not fixed…as in dinner, show, comedy — in that order. There is more happening throughout the evening on big ships, so fixed-time dining is much less desirable. In addition, with a younger demographic comes changing, less-rigid (i.e. less-traditional) eating habits that are the norm today.

What remains to be seen is if the entire cruise industry will adopt "my time" as the only time.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Carnival Miracle
16 nights
September 18, 2014
VancouverNawiliwiliKahuluiHonoluluKonaHiloLos Angeles
Inside: $1,399
Cost per day: $87
www.carnival.com

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