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Dynamic Dining’s Classic Change

You may recall that we wrote last summer (okay, we hope you recall that we wrote last summer) how something had to change with the dining rooms on Allure of the Seas, then Royal Caribbean’s newest ship.

Our reasoning (in the unlikely event that you have forgotten) was that when you have two traditional dining rooms with 1,100 and 1,400 guests and a lot of empty tables, and one pick-your-time-to-eat dining with 2,067 guests — many of them waiting to get in — then you had a problem.

Or at least a change waiting to be made.

The change will happen on Anthem of the Seas, the next new Royal Caribbean ship, scheduled to arrive in April. This is not exactly the Dynamic Dining concept the cruise line Grandeur dining roomannounced months ago, whereby instead of one main dining room, diners could choose from smaller rooms and eat when they wished.

The “traditional crowd” evidently objected.

So Royal Caribbean creatively designed an off-shoot of Dynamic Dining and is calling it Classic. It’s for people who want to eat at fixed times: early or late. It gives these traditionals a chance to experience all four complimentary restaurants, each of which has a distinctive menu. It means their “wait staff” will move with them. And it gives the cruise line a better opportunity to avoid line-ups at one dining room when there are empty tables at another, by controlling how much of a restaurant is dedicated to early/late seatings — remember, people have to sign up for it in advance.

What Royal Caribbean really did was listen to its customers and, if this more-flexible Classic concept works on Anthem of the Seas, expect it to be rolled out over the fleet in time and refurbishments.

Remember this time where you read it first.

Just like last time, right?

Today at portsandbows.com: Perks continuing for Norwegian

Carnival Elation
4 nights
September 10, 2015
New Orleans (return): Cozumel
Inside: $289
Cost per day: $72

Royal Caribbean's Dining Changes

Okay, so we didn’t connect ALL the dots when telling you the “sands appear to be shifting” with dining on Royal Caribbean ships. It was logical to us, while on an Allure of the Seas cruise, that something had to change because there were line-ups to get into My Time Dining and empty tables in the main dining room.

The suspicion, we said, was that more space would be allocated to My Time Dining.

We underestimated Royal Caribbean.

The change is more dynamic. Hey, there’s a good word. And so it was that the venerable cruise line went about introducing Dynamic Dining or, as the press release says, its Oasis-dining room“flexible dining” program. The My Time Dining concept is history, replaced by one where “passengers can decide when, where and with whom they want to eat each night.”

Hmm, isn’t that like “my time?”

The Dynamic Dining reservations system, for all 18 restaurants (11 with fees, seven without), will be launched next month on Quantum of the Seas and next spring on Anthem of the Seas. Right now, Oasis of the Seas is in drydock and being refurbished to accommodate the Broadway show CATS and…Dynamic Dining.

Allure of the Seas will be next. Not wanting to usurp the buzz of a new concept on the new ships — Quantum and Anthem — Oasis will not actually roll out Dynamic Dining until after the newbies do, even though it will be physically ready this month.

That means “next year.”

The cruise line probably would have preferred waiting until then to make the announcement, but word leaked out of the shipyard where Quantum is being built in a tweet, and was later confirmed by Royal Caribbean. Nothing has been said about Allure of the Seas. That’s just our educated guess, and…

We’ve been wrong before.

Today at portsandbows.com: Carnival Live news

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
5 nights
January 24, 2015
Port Canaveral (return): Cozumel, Grand Bahamas
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $79

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