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Old 06-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
n8nally
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Dinner Question

I am sure someone has mentioned this before at some point, but I can't find it.

How long can I expect dinner in the MDRs to take each night? We are second seating on the Dream, if that matters.

Looking over the most recent Navigators and noticing some things we might enjoy at 9:30 and wondering what our chances are of making it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by n8nally View Post
I am sure someone has mentioned this before at some point, but I can't find it.

How long can I expect dinner in the MDRs to take each night? We are second seating on the Dream, if that matters.

Looking over the most recent Navigators and noticing some things we might enjoy at 9:30 and wondering what our chances are of making it.
1.5 - 2 hours
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by n8nally View Post
I am sure someone has mentioned this before at some point, but I can't find it.

How long can I expect dinner in the MDRs to take each night? We are second seating on the Dream, if that matters.

Looking over the most recent Navigators and noticing some things we might enjoy at 9:30 and wondering what our chances are of making it.
We had late dining a few weeks ago and our team managed to have us in and out in about an hour but we didn't have our kids with us. Last year it last atleast 1.5 hours but that was early dining. If I were you I would simply tell your servers that there is an activity that you are interested in at a certain time and see if they can move things along. They may not be able to but you won't know if you don't ask.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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We had late dining a few weeks ago and our team managed to have us in and out in about an hour but we didn't have our kids with us. Last year it last atleast 1.5 hours but that was early dining. If I were you I would simply tell your servers that there is an activity that you are interested in at a certain time and see if they can move things along. They may not be able to but you won't know if you don't ask.
Good advice! Thanks :-) My kids are DD12 and DS15, so not little enough to affect dinner timing. Especailly not my son, who can wolf down five courses in ten seconds flat!
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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We are getting ready to take our fifth Disney cruise and so far I would say we have averaged an hour and a half for dinner.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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So, since you have experience, maybe answer me this:

How exactly does dinner go? Why does it take so much time from being sat until food arrives, as some have mentioned? Why is it so crucial to get there on time, only to sit for a long time waiting for the food? Especially if you're pre ordering the night before (isn't that how it goes?). I guess, since I've never been, I'm just curious as to the progression. Is the entire dinning room served apps at the same time? What if one person at your table (maybe not even in your party) is a slow eater? Or a child dragging because they're tired or are being made to eat the veggies they hate or whatever? Is it faster if we request a table by ourselves, assuming we get it?
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Also, what if one night we have nothing we want to do and wish to linger and enjoy a slow, relaxed meal? Will we be holding up our table mates?
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8nally View Post
So, since you have experience, maybe answer me this:

How exactly does dinner go? Why does it take so much time from being sat until food arrives, as some have mentioned? Why is it so crucial to get there on time, only to sit for a long time waiting for the food? Especially if you're pre ordering the night before (isn't that how it goes?). I guess, since I've never been, I'm just curious as to the progression. Is the entire dinning room served apps at the same time? What if one person at your table (maybe not even in your party) is a slow eater? Or a child dragging because they're tired or are being made to eat the veggies they hate or whatever? Is it faster if we request a table by ourselves, assuming we get it?
You would only preorder if you have a food allergy - I did that for a gluten allergy. Otherwise you get a menu and order as you would at any restaurant. The time is just because you have 3-4 courses and a very full "restaurant". Depending on the night and the ship your DR may also have a show that takes some time. We brought toys for our 20 month old and never felt that dinner dragged on. We had first seating.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8nally View Post
So, since you have experience, maybe answer me this:

How exactly does dinner go? Why does it take so much time from being sat until food arrives, as some have mentioned? Why is it so crucial to get there on time, only to sit for a long time waiting for the food? Especially if you're pre ordering the night before (isn't that how it goes?). I guess, since I've never been, I'm just curious as to the progression. Is the entire dinning room served apps at the same time? What if one person at your table (maybe not even in your party) is a slow eater? Or a child dragging because they're tired or are being made to eat the veggies they hate or whatever? Is it faster if we request a table by ourselves, assuming we get it?
When you check in they will give you your restaurant rotation schedule. They have three restaurants that you will be rotating to. So, let's say on day 1 you are scheduled for Animators Palate, then day two you may be scheduled for either Parrot Cay or Lumierres. The dinners take so long because each person orders appetizer, entrée and dessert and your servers will rotate with you this gives them a chance to get to know you and your family enhancing their service.

There is also Palos, which is an adult only restaurant. You would need to make a reservation for here. If one night you either do not want to eat in your assigned restaurant or just are not ready to eat at that time. Up on deck nine where they have the breakfast buffet you go up there to eat or you could order room service. We had a couple of nights we didn't go to our assigned restaurant and either ate on deck nine or ordered room service.

You have your set schedule but you are not locked in. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8nally View Post
So, since you have experience, maybe answer me this:

How exactly does dinner go? Why does it take so much time from being sat until food arrives, as some have mentioned? Why is it so crucial to get there on time, only to sit for a long time waiting for the food? Especially if you're pre ordering the night before (isn't that how it goes?). I guess, since I've never been, I'm just curious as to the progression. Is the entire dinning room served apps at the same time? What if one person at your table (maybe not even in your party) is a slow eater? Or a child dragging because they're tired or are being made to eat the veggies they hate or whatever? Is it faster if we request a table by ourselves, assuming we get it?
Ten cruises and it has always taken 1.5-2 hours for us whether we have been seated with others or just our family. It's not because the service is slow at all. Going to dinner in the MDR isn't like sitting down at your local diner, it is more of an experience. We get there close to the start time so that our servers can start the process. You are greeted, given the menus, drink orders are taken, recommendations are given, order taken, bread and drinks brought out, appetizers, soup/salad, entrée, desert menu presented, order taken, desert. The table is prepped for each course, which isn't a drawn out process and your server will be plating your table as you progress taking care of this as the meal progresses. They clear the crumbs after the entrée before desert.

Each course is prepped in the kitchen at the same time so if you skip the app and salad you won't be starting with your entrée right away. Last cruise we were amazed at our server. It had to have helped that we knew what we wanted fairly quickly, but he had our order in before most of the other teams around us because we always were the first tables to get our food that we could see. We never felt rushed at all. For us, there is a lot of food so we enjoy taking our time during dinner. During the meal your servers will be coming by, interacting, then your head server should also come by. Fitz was our head server last cruise and we saw him at least twice each night during dinner, not counting when we were entering/exiting the MDR. Our previous cruise we were not in his section but he still came by to check on us each night since we have known him since 2006.

You only get the menu the night before to preorder if you have a dietary issue such as a food allergy. You can review the menus here online before your cruise.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lbgraves View Post

Ten cruises and it has always taken 1.5-2 hours for us whether we have been seated with others or just our family. It's not because the service is slow at all. Going to dinner in the MDR isn't like sitting down at your local diner, it is more of an experience. We get there close to the start time so that our servers can start the process. You are greeted, given the menus, drink orders are taken, recommendations are given, order taken, bread and drinks brought out, appetizers, soup/salad, entrée, desert menu presented, order taken, desert. The table is prepped for each course, which isn't a drawn out process and your server will be plating your table as you progress taking care of this as the meal progresses. They clear the crumbs after the entrée before desert.

Each course is prepped in the kitchen at the same time so if you skip the app and salad you won't be starting with your entrée right away. Last cruise we were amazed at our server. It had to have helped that we knew what we wanted fairly quickly, but he had our order in before most of the other teams around us because we always were the first tables to get our food that we could see. We never felt rushed at all. For us, there is a lot of food so we enjoy taking our time during dinner. During the meal your servers will be coming by, interacting, then your head server should also come by. Fitz was our head server last cruise and we saw him at least twice each night during dinner, not counting when we were entering/exiting the MDR. Our previous cruise we were not in his section but he still came by to check on us each night since we have known him since 2006.

You only get the menu the night before to preorder if you have a dietary issue such as a food allergy. You can review the menus here online before your cruise.
Couldn't be any better put!!!!

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Old 06-22-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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We get there close to the start time so that our servers can start the process.
Okay, so it's a process. That says a lot.

Well, the thing we want to do is listed at 9:30 on the third day on the Navigator I was looking at (who knows if it will even be that on our actual cruise), so we'll have the first two nights to experience how this dinner process goes and see how important this activity is vs how much we're enjoying our dinner experience.

Or maybe, we'll luck out and find the thing we want offered at another time too!

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #13
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I always seem to get the pokey servers. Good, just not speedy.

This last cruise we were the table of 8 - except there were only 3 of us! The six top was all there, and the 4 top was a family with more often than not the 2 kids not there. So usually the server and asst were serving 11 adults. Nothing unusual except one person at the 6 top pre-ordered every night due to allergies.

At the station next to our, the big 8 top was always a course ahead of us, even if we sat first. Those servers were just in there fast, grabbing the food first. On lobster night, those people were eating their desserts before we even had our entrees, and the servers told us they were waiting for certain things like the lobster.

One night I did ask to hurry, and they were great about it.

Nancy
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:11 PM   #14
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Nancy, that is crazy! It seems that the more seasoned servers know how to get their orders in quickly and understand how that affects the flow for their guests. It probably also has to do with the head server and how he runs his team.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:51 PM   #15
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It can take as long or as short as you want! The responses here are typical, but if you ask your server to get you in and out quicker, or to slow down, they will.

We had one night on our Fantasy cruise were our kids were very tired and we got all three courses in and out in less than 45 minutes. We had another night were both our kids were in the kids club and we were their for nearly two hours.

Just tell your wait staff what your preference is and they will accommodate you.
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