Royal Caribbean My Time Dining: The Freedom To Dine Your Way

If you’ve been on a cruise, you’re probably used to being allocated a specific dining time and table throughout your voyage.

However, Royal Caribbean has introduced a more flexible approach with My Time Dining. This option allows guests the freedom to choose not only when they dine but also their dining companions.

Let’s break down what My Time Dining is, explore its advantages, and guide you through the booking process it if you decide it’s a preferable alternative to the traditional dining option…

What Does Royal Caribbean’s My Time Dining Mean?

My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean offers a versatile dining experience, providing guests the liberty to choose their dining time and companions, unlike the conventional dining setup which involves fixed meal times and consistent dining groups.

This option permits guests to dine in the ship’s main dining area at any time within designated dinner hours, subject to table availability. It’s advisable to make reservations in advance.

Typically, My Time Dining operates between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., although these hours can vary depending on the specific cruise. The precise dining times available under My Time Dining will be accessible to guests once they complete their cruise booking. This flexibility allows guests to tailor their meal times to their preferences.

For those who favor the structured routine of traditional dining, where dinner is served at the same time each night with the same group of people and a consistent waiter, this option remains available.

Nevertheless, My Time Dining serves as an excellent alternative for those seeking a more adaptable approach to their meal experiences.

How Does Royal Caribbean My Time Dining Work?

Are you tired of having a set dining time on a Royal Caribbean cruise? If so, My Time Dining might be the perfect option for you. With My Time Dining, you can book dinner in the Main Dining Room for any time you want or just walk in without a reservation.

However, it is highly recommended that you book a table to avoid waiting for a suitable one to become available.

To sign up for My Time Dining, you need to prepay your gratuities. Once you have done that, you can decide who you eat with and when. Unlike traditional dining, where guests may be seated with other parties to form a larger table, with My Time Dining, you can eat with your own family or friends.

Additionally, you’re not confined to the usual Royal Caribbean meal times of 5:30 pm or 8 pm. Instead, you have the option to dine anytime from 6 pm to 9:30 pm.

This adaptability lets you schedule your meals in a way that best fits your daily plans, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your cruise.

A potential drawback of choosing My Time Dining is the possibility of not having the same server each evening. The waitstaff on cruise ships are known for their exceptional service and ability to quickly familiarize themselves with guests.

If you happen to have the same server consistently, they can remember your name, dining preferences, and even suggest dishes based on your past choices, ensuring your favorite drink is ready for you if you desire.

Nonetheless, many guests find the advantage of selecting their dining time and companions outweighs this. With My Time Dining, you have the freedom to tailor your dining schedule and company according to your preferences, enhancing the personalization and enjoyment of your cruise experience.

Should you choose to dine without a reservation, it’s important to arrive on time. Being late might result in your table being assigned to someone else, leading to a wait for the next available one.

Plus, the dining options on board may be organized according to guests’ preferences; some restaurants might be specifically for traditional dining, while others cater to those opting for My Time Dining. You will be informed of the appropriate restaurant to visit depending on your selected dining plan.

Are There Any Special Menus or Dietary Accommodations With My Time Dining?

Yes, My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean cruises offers a range of special menus and dietary accommodations to cater to various dietary needs and preferences. This flexibility is part of what makes the My Time Dining option appealing to a diverse group of guests.

For those with specific dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or kosher diets, My Time Dining provides appropriate menu options. These special dietary menus are designed to ensure that every guest has a variety of choices that suit their dietary restrictions or preferences.

It’s important for guests to communicate their dietary needs at the time of booking or as early as possible once onboard. This advance notice allows the dining staff to prepare and ensure that suitable meal options are available throughout the cruise.

In addition to catering to dietary restrictions, My Time Dining also offers a range of culinary experiences. The menu features a selection of international cuisines, ensuring that there’s something to suit every palate.

Guests can look forward to a different menu each night, offering a mix of classic favorites and exotic new dishes to try.

This variety ensures that dining remains an exciting and satisfying part of the cruise experience, regardless of any dietary limitations or preferences.

Where Can I Eat When I Choose My Time Dining?

My Time Dining is only available in the Main Dining Room on your ship. This means that you can’t use My Time Dining in specialty restaurants or the buffet restaurant. The buffet restaurant doesn’t require reservations, so you can have dinner there whenever you wish.

However, specialty restaurants always require reservations, but they don’t have set traditional dining times.

Some cruisers prefer the buffer for most of their dinners. In that case, My Time Dining isn’t worth it.

However, if you want to dine in the Main Dining Room, it’s important to sign up for My Time Dining within the first two days of your cruise. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with traditional dining times.

By choosing My Time Dining, you’ll have the flexibility to choose the time you want to eat in the Main Dining Room, even if you only plan to dine there a couple of times during your cruise.

Keep in mind that reservations are strongly recommended, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and make a reservation.

Is There A Dress Code For My Time Dining?

When it comes to My Time Dining, there is no special dress code. The dress code for My Time Dining is the same as traditional dining, except for formal nights where more formal attire is recommended. The recommended attire is smart casual with some caveats, like no tank tops.

Although it’s not strictly enforced, many people do uphold the dress code. If you turn up in a t-shirt and shorts, you may look out of place.

It’s important to note that some people assume that My Time Dining has a more flexible dress code because it offers more flexible dining, but the suggested dress code remains the same.

How Do I Reserve My Time Dining?

To secure My Time Dining, you have the option to add it during your initial cruise booking or later by modifying your booking on the Royal Caribbean website.

This process will include pre-paying your gratuities. If you decide to opt for My Time Dining after boarding the ship, you can make arrangements at Guest Services.

Once My Time Dining is set up, you’re free to either make specific restaurant reservations or simply arrive at the dining venue anytime between 6 pm and 9:30 pm, though you may need to wait for a table if you haven’t booked in advance.

What Happens If My Time Dining Reservations Are Full?

If My Time Dining reservations are full on a Royal Caribbean cruise, there are still several alternatives available to ensure guests have a pleasant dining experience.

Guests are encouraged to check for last-minute cancellations, as these can open up unexpected dining opportunities in the My Time Dining venues.

In cases where My Time Dining is fully booked and no immediate openings are available, guests have the option to be placed on a waiting list.

This list is often managed on a first-come, first-served basis, and guests will be notified if a table becomes available.

Additionally, Royal Caribbean cruises offer a variety of other dining options. These include the ship’s buffet, which is typically open for extended hours and does not require reservations, and specialty restaurants, which might have availability even when My Time Dining is full.

While specialty restaurants usually require an additional fee, they offer diverse culinary experiences that can enhance the overall cruise dining experience.

Finally, guests should also consider adjusting their dining times slightly if possible. Sometimes, dining outside of peak hours increases the chances of finding available tables.

The guest services or the dining reservation team onboard can assist in finding alternative dining arrangements and provide recommendations based on the current availability and guest preferences.

How Do I Change My Dining Time on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

Changing your dining schedule on a Royal Caribbean cruise is a straightforward process, available both before setting sail and while on the cruise. Changes to dining plans can be conveniently made through the Cruise Planner on the Royal Caribbean website. As an alternative, guests have the option to call the dining hotline using the phone provided in their stateroom.

To switch to My Time Dining or revert to traditional dining, it’s necessary to contact Guest Services. This should ideally be done within the first two days of the cruise. Keep in mind that availability for dining options might be limited, so it’s advisable to request any changes early to secure your preferred dining arrangement.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when changing your dining time on a Royal Caribbean cruise:

  • Use the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean’s website or call the dining hotline to make changes to your dining reservations.
  • If you want to switch to My Time Dining or back to traditional dining, speak to Guest Services within the first two days of your cruise.
  • Spaces may be limited, so make changes as soon as possible to ensure availability.

By following these simple steps, you can easily change your dining time on your Royal Caribbean cruise and enjoy your dining experience to the fullest.

Can Guests Mix My Time Dining with Traditional Dining?

You can’t switch between My Time Dining and Traditional Dining.

Guests can only participate in only one dining style per sailing. This means that if a guest initially chooses ‘My Time Dining’, they are expected to continue with this style for the duration of the cruise. The same applies if they choose Traditional Dining.

However, Royal Caribbean does offer some flexibility. Guests can request to switch from one dining style to the other, but this change can only be made once and is entirely dependent on availability.

This policy is in place to ensure smooth operation and accommodate as many guest preferences as possible within the constraints of the ship’s dining facilities.

Carefully consider your preferred dining style as switching while onboard will be highly unlikely.

Do I Need To Inform Staff If I Won’t Be Dining One Evening?

If you haven’t made a reservation for a specific table in your assigned dining room, there’s no need to inform the dining staff if you won’t be able to make it.

However, if you have made such a reservation, it’s courteous and appropriate to cancel it.

Is My Time Dining Or Traditional Dining Right For Me?

Choosing between My Time Dining and Traditional Dining on a Royal Caribbean cruise largely boils down to personal preference.

Each option has its unique advantages and drawbacks, tailored to suit different styles and expectations of cruise dining experiences.

Let’s break down some of the pros and cons of both options…

Advantages of the Traditional (Set Time) Dining

Here are some key highlights that guests appreciate about Traditional Dining on Royal Caribbean:

  • Consistent Dining Experience: One of the main benefits of Traditional Dining is the consistency it offers. Guests dine at the same time each evening, which can provide a sense of routine and stability throughout the cruise.
  • Same Table and Wait Staff: Guests enjoy the familiarity of sitting at the same table with the same wait staff every night. This consistency allows waiters to understand and cater to your personal preferences, dietary restrictions, and build a rapport over the course of the cruise.
  • Opportunity to Build Camaraderie: Traditional Dining often involves sharing a table with the same group of fellow passengers. This setup can foster a sense of community and provide an opportunity to form lasting friendships.
  • Structured Evening Schedule: Having a fixed dining time each night makes it easier to plan other evening activities, such as shows and entertainment, as you know exactly when you’ll be free.
  • Less Planning Required: Once your dining time is set, there’s no need to worry about making daily reservations. This can be particularly appealing for those who prefer not to deal with the logistics of planning meals each day.

Disadvantages of the Traditional (Set Time) Dining

But not everything is all roses and dandelions, here are the common complaints about traditional dining:

  • Lack of Flexibility: The most significant drawback of Traditional Dining is its rigid schedule. Being tied to a specific dining time each evening can be restrictive, especially if it clashes with other activities or if guests prefer to dine at varying times based on their daily plans.
  • Fixed Companions: While dining with the same guests every night can lead to new friendships, it can also be a downside if the dynamics at the table are not harmonious. There’s little room for change if guests find they don’t connect well with their assigned tablemates.
  • Limited Exploration of Dining Options: Traditional Dining confines guests to the same dining room each night, potentially limiting their experience of the ship’s diverse culinary offerings.
  • Potential Rush to Meet Dining Times: Guests may find themselves rushing to make their assigned dining time, particularly if they are enjoying an excursion or activity that runs close to their dining hour.
  • Less Privacy: For those who prefer a more intimate or private dining experience, the communal nature of Traditional Dining might not be as appealing, as most tables are designed to accommodate several guests.

Advantages of the My Time Dining

Here are the primary benefits that guests who book the My Time Dining option on Royal Caribbean enjoy:

  • Flexibility in Dining Times: The primary advantage of My Time Dining is its flexibility. Guests can choose when they want to eat each evening, allowing them to tailor their dining schedule to their daily activities, excursions, or simply their mood.
  • Ability to Choose Dining Companions: Unlike Traditional Dining, where guests are assigned a table with the same companions, My Time Dining allows guests to dine with whomever they choose each night. This flexibility is ideal for those who prefer to dine alone, as a couple, or with different groups of friends or family.
  • Opportunity to Experience Different Wait Staff: Each dining experience can be unique, as guests have the chance to be served by different wait staff each evening. This variety can enhance the dining experience with new interactions and service styles.
  • No Rush to Meet Fixed Dining Times: Guests don’t have to worry about rushing back from a day of excursions or activities to meet a fixed dining time. This can reduce stress and contribute to a more relaxed vacation experience.
  • Potential for Shorter Wait Times: For those who choose to dine during off-peak hours, My Time Dining can offer shorter wait times compared to the rush hours of Traditional Dining.

Disadvantages of the My Time Dining

And of course, the drawbacks of the program:

  • Need for Reservations: While My Time Dining offers flexibility, it often requires guests to make daily reservations, especially during peak dining times. This necessity can add an element of planning that some guests may find inconvenient.
  • Potential Wait Times: Without a reservation, guests might experience wait times for a table, particularly during popular dining hours. This uncertainty can be a drawback for those who prefer a guaranteed table at a specific time.
  • Lack of Consistent Service Staff: Unlike Traditional Dining, where guests are served by the same wait staff each evening, My Time Dining often involves different servers each night. This means losing out on the personalized service and rapport that can develop with a consistent wait staff.
  • Less Opportunity to Build Camaraderie with Fellow Guests: The flexibility of choosing different dining times and tables each night may limit the chance to form deeper connections with fellow passengers, as is often the case in Traditional Dining settings.
  • Variable Dining Experience: Since dining times and tables can vary each night, the overall dining experience can be less consistent compared to the predictable routine of Traditional Dining.

In general, Royal Caribbean’s My Time Dining offers an innovative and flexible dining experience that caters to modern cruising preferences.

This option is perfect for those who value the freedom to choose their dining times and companions and want to enjoy a varied culinary journey each day of their cruise.

With the ability to tailor dining schedules around other activities and preferences, My Time Dining stands out as a forward-thinking approach to cruise dining.

However, it’s it’s important to weigh this against Traditional Dining, which remains a popular choice for many.

The predictability and familiar structure of Traditional Dining, coupled with the opportunity to develop a rapport with the same wait staff and fellow diners, offers a sense of comfort and community that many cruisers appreciate.

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