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Old 06-30-2019, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,493 posts, read 1,596,603 times
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I sailed on Carnival (out of Long Beach) in 2014. They have two dining times: "early" at 6:00 and "late" at 8:15 PM. I picked late time, because I knew there'd be fewer fussy kids in the dining room, and I never went to bed before midnight on my cruise, anyway. Having the same wait staff was a low priority for me. But I did like the structure of having an assigned table, because I was cruising solo and didn't want to eat dinner alone. The people I shared the table with were great to talk to.

Breakfast (port days) and brunch (sea days) are open seating; you're seated like in a normal restaurant. The dinner times should still be the same today, unless Carnival changed them.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:35 AM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,384 posts, read 21,937,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
I sailed on Carnival (out of Long Beach) in 2014. They have two dining times: "early" at 6:00 and "late" at 8:15 PM. I picked late time, because I knew there'd be fewer fussy kids in the dining room, and I never went to bed before midnight on my cruise, anyway. Having the same wait staff was a low priority for me. But I did like the structure of having an assigned table, because I was cruising solo and didn't want to eat dinner alone. The people I shared the table with were great to talk to.

Breakfast (port days) and brunch (sea days) are open seating; you're seated like in a normal restaurant. The dinner times should still be the same today, unless Carnival changed them.
That's so cool, Urbanist! Which cruise did you go on, do you remember the ship and ports of call? My last cruise out of Long Beach was in 2016 and it was a 7 day cruise to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Water was so choppy in CSL!

I've always wondered what it was like to cruise solo - any tips? I have a friend who is single and childless but is wanting to try a cruise.

As far as the OP's inquiry on Carnival's dining, aside from the early and late assigned seating dining, you can choose anytime dining where you are not assigned a table but are seated as you arrive. You can request a specific area if you wish. If you do the assigned time dining, you have a designated table and spot, and the rapport with the staff can be helpful if someone has a food sensitivity, remembering your preferences, and you can also build a rapport with the other diners at your table. We had such an interesting assortment at our last cruise, made for great conversation!

On all of my Carnival cruises, I noticed that breakfast and lunch seemed very under attended in the dining rooms. I guess the majority of the passengers preferred the buffets on the Lido deck for those meals. I found the selection in the dining rooms to be of higher caliber than at the buffets. I was able to order bagels with cream cheese and lox garnished with capers, filet mignon with eggs and fried potatoes served in a fancy stand, and the like. The selections at the buffet were nice too but more basic, like oatmeal, bacon, fruit.

For our next cruise this summer, I'm considering doing a vacation video and photo diary/montage - we always have a blast and this time we are doing the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham breakfast so will have lots to photograph and memorialize. I'm going to wear my "Teacher of Things" t-shirt! They will have Thing 1 & 2, Sam I Am, and Cat in the Hat characters in costume at the breakfast. Can hardly wait!
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,493 posts, read 1,596,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
That's so cool, Urbanist! Which cruise did you go on, do you remember the ship and ports of call? My last cruise out of Long Beach was in 2016 and it was a 7 day cruise to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Water was so choppy in CSL!

I've always wondered what it was like to cruise solo - any tips? I have a friend who is single and childless but is wanting to try a cruise.
The ports of call were Catalina and Ensenada. I don't remember the ship's name. I know it was an older, smaller ship, and the name ended in "-tion". Cruising solo is incredibly fun. You can do whatever you damn please, and not answer to anyone. Cruisers tend to be very friendly, and accepting of solos. Only a few people gave me the side-eye for traveling solo, but I didn't care. I made friends with a group of people in their mid 20's to late 20's, some of whom actually met during the cruise. I was the oldest, and I guess they were cool with that. After our respective excursions in Ensenada were done, we met up by the ship, and partied at Papas & Beer. Good times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
As far as the OP's inquiry on Carnival's dining, aside from the early and late assigned seating dining, you can choose anytime dining where you are not assigned a table but are seated as you arrive. You can request a specific area if you wish. If you do the assigned time dining, you have a designated table and spot, and the rapport with the staff can be helpful if someone has a food sensitivity, remembering your preferences, and you can also build a rapport with the other diners at your table. We had such an interesting assortment at our last cruise, made for great conversation!
I picked the 8:15 PM assigned dining. I didn't want eat dinner alone, and since I've been going to Meetup groups since 2011, the notion of sitting down with a group of strangers didn't faze me. Most people at the table was close to me in age (31), even, except for one older couple. We exchanged introductions, and the rest went smoothly. It was nice having a group to compare the day's events with at dinner. Having the same waitstaff was a nice added bonus: they remembered my food preferences, like wanting steak sauce on the table. (Grilled dishes were a little on the bland side.)
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:19 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,909 posts, read 959,043 times
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I like the "anytime dining". I don't have a burning desire to strike up a relationship with my waiterstaff. As long as I get what I want, when I want it, it doesn't bother me that we won't be joining hands and singing Kumbayah at the end of the cruise.


Besides, six o'clock is too early and 8:30 is too late.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,493 posts, read 1,596,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamary1 View Post
I like the "anytime dining". I don't have a burning desire to strike up a relationship with my waiterstaff. As long as I get what I want, when I want it, it doesn't bother me that we won't be joining hands and singing Kumbayah at the end of the cruise.

Besides, six o'clock is too early and 8:30 is too late.
I'd probably do anytime dining if I went with a significant other or a group of friends. But since I went solo, I didn't want the awkwardness of eating dinner alone in a sea (ha!) of groups, or resign myself to the buffet. So I liked assigned seating; in the past, it was the only choice, anyway. Besides, once people sit down together on the first night, most people tend to be friendly and welcoming. The ones not looking to meet new people don't pick assigned seating in the first place. Oh, and while we didn't sing "Kumbayah", we did go see a jazz band in the promenade after dinner one night, after I showed it to them in the ship's daily newsletter, and I swing danced with one woman from my table.

Most cruisers would disagree with you about times. 6:00 works well for families, since it lets them eat dinner together before the kids' bedtime, and 8:30 works well for party types, who are up half the night. Plus, it lets these two groups self-segregate, since they don't always enjoy each other's company, I'm sure.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,920 posts, read 83,581,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamary1 View Post
I like the "anytime dining". I don't have a burning desire to strike up a relationship with my waiterstaff. As long as I get what I want, when I want it, it doesn't bother me that we won't be joining hands and singing Kumbayah at the end of the cruise.


Besides, six o'clock is too early and 8:30 is too late.
We are with you on this. No, the service isn't quite the same as in the days of assigned seating, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We don't need to spend a week or more, sitting at a table with people we have nothing in common with. There are lots of places on the ship to meet people and strike up a conversation. It doesn't have to be at dinner.
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Old Today, 10:10 AM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,909 posts, read 959,043 times
Reputation: 10176
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
I'd probably do anytime dining if I went with a significant other or a group of friends. But since I went solo, I didn't want the awkwardness of eating dinner alone in a sea (ha!) of groups, or resign myself to the buffet. So I liked assigned seating; in the past, it was the only choice, anyway. Besides, once people sit down together on the first night, most people tend to be friendly and welcoming. The ones not looking to meet new people don't pick assigned seating in the first place. Oh, and while we didn't sing "Kumbayah", we did go see a jazz band in the promenade after dinner one night, after I showed it to them in the ship's daily newsletter, and I swing danced with one woman from my table.

Most cruisers would disagree with you about times. 6:00 works well for families, since it lets them eat dinner together before the kids' bedtime, and 8:30 works well for party types, who are up half the night. Plus, it lets these two groups self-segregate, since they don't always enjoy each other's company, I'm sure.
I guess I should have made it clearer and said "FOR ME, six is too early and 8:30 is too late", but then I'm pretty sure you knew that I was talking about my personal preferences.....
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