How does Disney handle late dinner arrivals?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by pooh_mania, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. pooh_mania

    pooh_mania Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Messages:
    183
    On our last cruise we witnessed an 8-top table have chronically late guests for dinner (15-30 min). The server would wait for all guests to arrive before serving the table. This resulted in the on-time guests having to wait and wait for their table mates.

    We are chronic on-time people. I understand this is vacation and some people prefer not to feel tied to a schedule, and that's okay! But it seems rather inconsiderate for the server to expect the on-time folks to wait for their dinner. Plus, at what time does the server decide the other guests must be dining elsewhere that night?!

    Just curious what others have experienced? How did you handle the situation?
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. pooh_mania

    pooh_mania Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Messages:
    183
    bump...hoping to get some advice before we leave.
     
  4. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,057
    If they are dining in Remy or Palo your main server will already now. In regards to waiting for the whole table to be sat before you get served is policy. So basically if you want your food fast and first all your table needs to be right on time and before other tables.

    Basically the later your table gets sitted the later your orders get taken in and then they are behind all the other orders in the kitchen so you will wait longer.

    I think its about 15 minutes they wait for people late, after that they assume you are a no show. Now if you or someone at your table knows they will be running late the next night let the server know so they can go ahead and take the dinner orders and such.

    If you are skipping dinner, you should also let them know so they don't wait for you.

    In my 6 cruises I have really only had 1 table (total of 6 people) where 2 people ran late almost every night (11 night cruise) and it took forever to get our food.

    I have always wished Disney stressed how critical being on time is and telling your servers if you are going to late/skip dinner. Something that could be put in the navigator or mentioned on your first night.
     
  5. skylynx

    skylynx DIS Sponsor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,077
    The only explanation I can think of is that perhaps the folks at the table with the latecomers were all part of the same traveling group, and the server just figured everyone would want to wait for Grandma or Aunt Carol and Uncle Ted.

    If it had been my table and we had chronically late tablemates we hadn't asked to sit with, I'd just ask the servers to serve our meals on time. What if the tablemates decided to just do Topsiders and didn't tell anyone? You could be sitting there all night staring at your empty plates and playing with your water glasses. It's your vacation...no need to be a victim to anyone's bad manners!
     
  6. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,057
    Thats why they wait about 15 minutes for everyone to show up, after that they don't worry. Also if it becomes a pattern they will sometimes start to take orders before the people who are always late. If you get those late type of tablemates just talk to your head server about your concerns.
     
  7. dlhvac

    dlhvac THE BEAST

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    242
    MAKE THEM WALK THE PLANKpirate:
     
  8. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    49,257
    I would tell the servers that you do not want to wait for your tablemates to order and if it is a problem request to be moved or have them moved.
     
  9. KSDisneyDad

    KSDisneyDad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,479
    I agree with this advice. This is the job of the head server to help make sure you're happy with your dinner service!


    My issue with those who were chronically late occured when DCL had the staggered start times. We had the earliest late dining time so ate immediately after those who started with the earliest main dining time of 5:30. We found out that many felt it was okay to wait until 6:00 pm to show up. This ended up affecting those of us in late dining as we had to wait just to get into the dining room as it wasn't quite ready at our start time.

    Fortunately, this isn't as big an issue anymore now that all the dining times start at the same time again.
     
  10. one princess

    one princess Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    462
    We are chronically on time people as well and once we had table mates who decided that 5:45 was too early for dinner so they would just show up when they felt like it. Our servers would take our orders when we got there and then would start all over when the others arrived. I felt sorry for the servers as it made them work twice as hard. They would usually have the rude ones caught up with us by the time dinner was over.
     
  11. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    33,285
    Basically what happens when people are late is that it screws up the whole system, but the serving team will hustle to make it work for everyone. It is incredibly rude and inappropriate. If someone knows they are going to be late for whatever reason, they should alert the head server in advance (a phone call to guest services or dining services will accomplish this!)

    As above, if you have people missing, the server will generally wait about 15 minutes, then start the system without them. You will get your beverages and menus during this time.

    I guess my favorite server just trained me well. He had a little first night speech where he said that if we could all be right on time or even 2-3 minutes early, he could get our food orders in quickly. Then it would be up to US how fast or slow the meal progressed. He emphasized that he wasn't trying to rush us, only to make sure that the choices were ours. If he was at the end of the line with getting orders in, we might be waiting a lot longer than we liked.

    I totally agree with Lisa that you are welcome to tell the servers that you don't want to wait for tablemates.
     
  12. flexsmom

    flexsmom <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,949
    This wouldn't work for being "late", but in the case of people planning on not coming to their main dining for various reasons, it would be nice if there was an extension you could call to notify someone you wouldn't be at your rotation that night. It would be easy to automate (just punch in your stateroom number, and the number of people in that room NOT attending dinner - so that takes care of when mom/dad go to Palo but the kids are planning on going, for instance), then a print-out could be given to the waitstaff. That would alleviate those 15 minutes of "will they or won't they show up", too.

    I'd much rather do that than have to plan to go to the restaurant. And is just as courteous if not moreso by giving advance notice.
     
  13. sunburnin

    sunburnin Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    414
    On our last cruise a few weeks ago (Magic) we were seated at our own table, but 2 of the 4 tables in our group were always late. All nice enough people, but on a different schedule. A group of 7 were always 30 minutes late showing up at 6:15, and a group of 4 were always about 20 minutes late.

    It took me until the 3rd night to realize our service was slowed up as a result since its understandably easier for the servers to put orders in and work systematically with a large group.

    The problem for us was that our kids wanted to do fun things in the kids club after dinner (and before the show) that always seemed to start around 7:15 and we weren't finishing dessert until 7:30. Our tables were always some of the last ones leaving the restaurants.

    The staff was GREAT at resolving it. I asked our server and he said he completely understood and that we shouldn't be slowed down because of the others. The next 4 nights we were served right away (along with the other on-time table) and out with the rest of the passengers at a normal time. Our servers were obviously having to work harder as a result, but they did a great job of accomodating us. Or should I say accomodating the late arrivals.

    Bottom line - Please arrive at your assigned time. The dinner service is intented to take a while so you can relax and its a defined process for the servers. Late arrivals mess up the whole thing for other guests and the wait staff.

    Now if it was a shared table, I'd request to have our own set up and I bet the head server would do everything he/she could to try and solve the problem.
     

Share This Page