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Old 02-04-2014, 12:04 PM   #1
Vacation Kathy
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Questions about dining rotation.

We have never cruised with Disney and I don't understand how the dining rotation works. Any information would be helpful because we know VERY little about it. We are thinking of a 7-night cruise on the Fantasy, here are some of my specific questions: (1) Are there 2 or 3 main/traditional dining locations on the Fantasy (seems like we have seen conflicting info.)? (2) Do you know your rotation in advance? (3) Is you rotation random? (4) Do you go to each dining location mutiple times on a 7-day cruise? (5) If you want to do a signature dining once, is there any way to make sure you aren't missing your favorite non-signature location? (6) what if you want to do a signature rest., but don't want to miss an elegant (or whatever it's called) night in a main dining location? (7) It's just DH and I on this cruise - in the past, we have enjoyed assigned dining at a large table where we get to meet and eat with the same group of people each night, is that just not something that happens on Disney cruises? Thanks again and sorry for being such a novice! KK
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:11 PM   #2
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Hi,

(1) There are 3 main restaurants. There's also Cabanas where you can just dine at whatever time you want if you wish to change the times. Cabanas for dinner is not buffet.
(2) There are a couple of different rotations but you will not know which one you get until boarding - it will be printed on your KTTW.
(3) The rotation is preset but who gets it is random depending on table assignments.
(4) On a 7n cruise you will visit one of them 3 times and the other two two times.
(5) You should make a reservation but you will be able to change it or the rotation once you board
(6) See (5)
(7) For a couple of adults, you will be more than likely paired with other couples (one or two) similar age groups. The table number, table mates and wait staff will be the same for the entire 7n, across restaurants. If you request to be sat by yourselves, you will be by yourselves the entire cruise.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacation Kathy View Post
We have never cruised with Disney and I don't understand how the dining rotation works. Any information would be helpful because we know VERY little about it. We are thinking of a 7-night cruise on the Fantasy, here are some of my specific questions:

(1) Are there 2 or 3 main/traditional dining locations on the Fantasy (seems like we have seen conflicting info.)?

Three, Animator's Palate, Enchanted Garden and Royal Court

(2) Do you know your rotation in advance?

You will find the information on your key card when you check in.

(3) Is you rotation random?

It is reported that some rotations are assigned to different types of families. I have heard that the rotation with Animator's Palate 3 times is more often assigned to families with children. I have nothing to substantiate this.

(4) Do you go to each dining location mutiple times on a 7-day cruise?

Yes, you will visit each twice and one a third time.

(5) If you want to do a signature dining once, is there any way to make sure you aren't missing your favorite non-signature location?

Because you visit each at least twice you will have each main dining room at least once/

(6) what if you want to do a signature rest., but don't want to miss an elegant (or whatever it's called) night in a main dining location?

The nights for formal and semi formal nights are the same on each itinerary, make planning easy.

(7) It's just DH and I on this cruise - in the past, we have enjoyed assigned dining at a large table where we get to meet and eat with the same group of people each night, is that just not something that happens on Disney cruises?

In most cases you will be seated with other similar parties. If this is important to you call and request this. No guarantees, but they aim to please.
Thanks again and sorry for being such a novice! KK
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacation Kathy View Post
We have never cruised with Disney and I don't understand how the dining rotation works. Any information would be helpful because we know VERY little about it. We are thinking of a 7-night cruise on the Fantasy, here are some of my specific questions: (1) Are there 2 or 3 main/traditional dining locations on the Fantasy (seems like we have seen conflicting info.)? (2) Do you know your rotation in advance? (3) Is you rotation random? (4) Do you go to each dining location mutiple times on a 7-day cruise? (5) If you want to do a signature dining once, is there any way to make sure you aren't missing your favorite non-signature location? (6) what if you want to do a signature rest., but don't want to miss an elegant (or whatever it's called) night in a main dining location? (7) It's just DH and I on this cruise - in the past, we have enjoyed assigned dining at a large table where we get to meet and eat with the same group of people each night, is that just not something that happens on Disney cruises? Thanks again and sorry for being such a novice! KK
First, welcome!

Second, good news: DCL has done this a lot, and everything works out completely fair, with no one missing anything.

Third, to answer your questions:

There are three MDR's on all disney ships. On the Fantasy, it is Animator's Palate (A), Enchanted Garden (E), and Royal Court (R).

You will learn your rotation when you get your key to the world card (KTTW Card). On the bottom will be a string of letters, perhaps something like AERAERA. In that case you would dine at Animators the first night, Enchanted Garden the second night, Royal Court the third night, etc.

The rotations are not random, and everyone on the ship will get to dine at each restaurant twice, with a third time at one restaurant. On seven night cruise, you will get the signature menu at each restaurant (for a total of three dinners) a Welcome Aboard menu that will be the same and served at all the restaurants the first night, a Pirate Menu on pirate night that will be the same menu at all the restaurants, a farewell menu that will be the same and served at all restaurants on your last night, and I think a Captain's Menu that will be the same and served at all restaurants the same night.

Truly, no rotation is better than another, except perhaps getting Animator's Palate on Pirate Night. The video screens at Animator's have some pirate themed pictures that evening. You can request rotations in advance, and this is done by people who like to have a certain menu on a certain day that they prefer to skip and go to Palo or Remy. We have done 9 cruises and never requested a rotation, and we have always been happy.

Do go to a signature restaurant, be sure to reserve a spot before sailing if at all possible. If not, you can likely sign up once you are on board, but go do that first thing. Talk to a castmember as soon as you get on board to find out where and when the Palo and Remy people will be. Get there early. They will help you choose a night that is right for you.

Typically on DCL, you will be assigned a table with other people. You and your tablemates will have the same numbered table each night in the different restaurants. So, Table 42 in Animators, then Table 42 in Enchanted, etc. Your tablemates and your servers will all be on the same rotation, so they will all go with you.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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Hi!

First of all, welcome to Disney Cruise line! I think I can safely say you will be stuck with us for life! There truly is nothing in the world like a Disney cruise, and I am betting good money you won't want to go back to any cruise line after you sail DCL

Kudos also for reaching out! I have never had a question that at least one person on this forum didn't have the answer to.

On that note, let's get started

There are three main dining locations on the Disney Fantasy: Animators Palate, Royal Court, and Enchanted Garden. All three provide a very different dining experience, and it is safe to say that there will be at least a small group of people on here who prefers each of the three as their favorite (Animators for me!)

You can call and request a particular dining rotation in advance of your sailing. We did that and got what we requested. While you probably will not know what rotation you have for certain until you get your keys to the world at check in, it is fairly safe to assume that you will get at least something close to what you're asking for.

The rotations are not random. You will start with one, rotate to the second, then the third, and then repeat the rotation doubling up with one on the sixth night. For example, AERAEER would be Animators, Enchanted, Royal, etc.

As for your signature dining, formal night is the night number two and a semi formal night tonight number six. I would plan on being in your assigned location that evening. I also strongly recommend that you attend animators palate the second time you are assigned there. That's the night you get to watch your art come to life! DON'T MISS IT! You can also request to be any specific location on a specific night. For example, you could say "I really want to be in royal court for formal night." If you do that, they will try to arrange your rotation to accommodate your request.

All in all, I think the smartest plan is to book night three or four as your Palo/Remy night. Night Five is pirate night and the first night of your "double stop" at the same location. It is also a port call day, so many people will be ashore making it easier to get spa reservations if you want a pre-Remy pampering.

I hope this helps. If not, feel free to ask a clarifying question and I'll be thrilled to help.

And PS: Remy is an absolute to die for experience!
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:43 PM   #6
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I should point out if not clear, that the rotation that has Animator's Palate three times includes Pirate night. The two main shows in AP are: Undersea Magic (including talking with Crush), and Animation Magic (where your drawings come up to life). On pirate night, there's no show, however the screens will have a pirate theme display. Those dining on AP during Pirate Night, will be under the corresponding rotation with 3 visits to AP.

To summarize, regardless of the rotation you get, you will see the two main shows. If your rotation has AP 3 nights, then one of them (not necessarily the third one) will be the pirate theme display. The other two nights will be one of the shows.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:44 PM   #7
Vacation Kathy
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Thanks so much!

WOW! Thank you so much for the wonderful responses! It's almost too much to take in! You wouldn't have any advice about cabins - the interior with magic porthole sounds great to me (how cool is that?), but DH is leaning toward a veranda. I think the veranda would go to waste as I (as a Disney fanatic) would probably want to be out and about all the time and the last time we had a balcony (on a different line) our neighbors smoked pot and cussed loudly on their balcony 20 hrs a day, so we stayed inside and that kinda turned me off a balcony.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:45 PM   #8
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Still need a bit of help here.
We are on Fantasy Eastern B itinerary.
Supposedly this is what our dining rotations will look like.

FANTASY DINING ROTATIONS

Western A/Eastern A/Eastern B:
RAERAER
AERAERA
ERAERAE

Which night/s are the formal nights? - I'd really prefer not to be in AP that evening.
Do people request certain rotations, and what kind of luck have you had getting a request fulfilled?

Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Vacation Kathy View Post
WOW! Thank you so much for the wonderful responses! It's almost too much to take in! You wouldn't have any advice about cabins - the interior with magic porthole sounds great to me (how cool is that?), but DH is leaning toward a veranda. I think the veranda would go to waste as I (as a Disney fanatic) would probably want to be out and about all the time and the last time we had a balcony (on a different line) our neighbors smoked pot and cussed loudly on their balcony 20 hrs a day, so we stayed inside and that kinda turned me off a balcony.
The verandahs do cost more and are a little bigger. Cat 11 (inside) do not have a split bath, which is always helpful. Cat 10 (inside) do have split bath so I would suggest that instead.

The magical portholes display a live HD video feed of the side of the ship, so it's nice to look at it.

Most of the oceanview tend to have a big porthole. There's also the secret verandahs (just a handful) which are categorized as ocenview but do have a partially obstructed verandah, and if available, are a bargain.

Hope this helps...
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacation Kathy View Post
WOW! Thank you so much for the wonderful responses! It's almost too much to take in! You wouldn't have any advice about cabins - the interior with magic porthole sounds great to me (how cool is that?), but DH is leaning toward a veranda. I think the veranda would go to waste as I (as a Disney fanatic) would probably want to be out and about all the time and the last time we had a balcony (on a different line) our neighbors smoked pot and cussed loudly on their balcony 20 hrs a day, so we stayed inside and that kinda turned me off a balcony.
DCL has a new and very strict "no smoking on the balcony" policy. We had a 4A Deluxe Family Oceanview with Verandah and I loved it. I watched the sunrise every morning while sipping coffee and listening to my kiddos snore If you aren't an early riser and don't think you'll spend time in the room, definitely save $ and get an inside room but book quick: they sell out super fast!
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacation Kathy View Post
WOW! Thank you so much for the wonderful responses! It's almost too much to take in! You wouldn't have any advice about cabins - the interior with magic porthole sounds great to me (how cool is that?), but DH is leaning toward a veranda. I think the veranda would go to waste as I (as a Disney fanatic) would probably want to be out and about all the time and the last time we had a balcony (on a different line) our neighbors smoked pot and cussed loudly on their balcony 20 hrs a day, so we stayed inside and that kinda turned me off a balcony.
Welcome to Disney cruising For our last cruise on the Fantasy we had a balcony room across the hall from an inside (DD and her BFF stayed in the inside room). It was fun to watch the magic porthole but it did not take me long sitting in the room with the girls to feel too closed in. But that is just me. Many others prefer the inside room so it really is a personal preference. The girls were fine with the inside room. My DD said she was fine without the verandah but they did come over and hang out on ours a few times during the cruise

For me, I need to be able to get up and walk outside on my verandah first thing in the morning (in my pjs, LOL). I also like to sit outside every night before bed. I am just a verandah person and can't cruise without one.

Out of six cruises, I have only had one where smoking was a problem on neighboring verandahs. And recently, DCL changed the smoking policy so that smoking is prohibited on verandahs. So I'm looking forward to my two upcoming cruises to see how the new policy is working.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #12
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Sorry, duplicate post.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sippican View Post
Still need a bit of help here.
We are on Fantasy Eastern B itinerary.
Supposedly this is what our dining rotations will look like.

FANTASY DINING ROTATIONS

Western A/Eastern A/Eastern B:
RAERAER
AERAERA
ERAERAE

Which night/s are the formal nights? - I'd really prefer not to be in AP that evening.
Do people request certain rotations, and what kind of luck have you had getting a request fulfilled?

Thank you.
Western A/Eastern A/Eastern B/Eastern C:
RAERAER
AERAERA
ERAERAE

Night 1 - Rotation menu /Crush if in AP
Night 2 - Rotation menu [formal night] /Crush if in AP
Night 3 - Rotation menu /Crush if in AP
Night 4 - Pirate menu
Night 5 - Prince & Princess menu / Animation if in AP
Night 6 - Captain's Gala [semiformal night] / Animation if in AP
Night 7 - See You Real Soon menu / Animation if in AP

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2931947
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbgraves View Post
Western A/Eastern A/Eastern B/Eastern C:
RAERAER
AERAERA
ERAERAE

Night 1 - Rotation menu /Crush if in AP
Night 2 - Rotation menu [formal night] /Crush if in AP
Night 3 - Rotation menu /Crush if in AP
Night 4 - Pirate menu
Night 5 - Prince & Princess menu / Animation if in AP
Night 6 - Captain's Gala [semiformal night] / Animation if in AP
Night 7 - See You Real Soon menu / Animation if in AP

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2931947
Thank you for the link to the thread - very helpful!
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Vacation Kathy View Post
WOW! Thank you so much for the wonderful responses! It's almost too much to take in! You wouldn't have any advice about cabins - the interior with magic porthole sounds great to me (how cool is that?), but DH is leaning toward a veranda. I think the veranda would go to waste as I (as a Disney fanatic) would probably want to be out and about all the time and the last time we had a balcony (on a different line) our neighbors smoked pot and cussed loudly on their balcony 20 hrs a day, so we stayed inside and that kinda turned me off a balcony.
Welcome! I found the DISboards before our first cruise and it helped me a LOT, so ask away!

On our first cruise we got a verandah (figured it may be our only cruise) and we loved it. Even on a 3 night cruise, it was worth it for us. I am up before the rest of the family, so enjoy being out there with my Navigator or my Nook and watching the sunrise or us pull into port. Often I would order room service so we could enjoy a light breakfast on the verandah while everyone was getting ready as well (of course then we often hit the buffet after as well).

we also used it while getting ready for the show/dinner. It's nice to have the extra space and always enjoyable to order a cheese plate (or 2) from room service with a glass of wine while getting ready.

At night, I would often sit out there as well unwinding from the day while the rest of the family fell asleep. DH has been known to nap out there during the day. We love being able to watch the ship pull into port (especially Castaway Cay) from our verandah as well.

It's totally personal preference. Once we had a verandah, I can't imagine sailing without one. On our last cruise, we did a cabin crawl where we got to see all different categories of rooms. After seeing an inside room, while the virtual porthole was cool, I noticed how very small it was (we are a family of 4) and I would not do well in that room.

As PP said, the inside/virtual portholes do fill up quickly, and are often more expensive than an oceanview room, so just price out the options and make your decision.

Whatever you choose, you will love DCL...we are heading on our 4th cruise this fall and I can't wait!
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