How to Maximize My Time Dining on Your Next Royal Caribbean Cruise

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If you have yet to experience a Royal Caribbean cruise, you may be unfamiliar with the conventional dining schedules. Recently, there has been a shift towards more flexible dining preferences, leading many cruise lines to completely abandon traditional dining times or introduce an alternative.

Royal Caribbean’s My Time Dining offers guests the convenience of choosing a dining time that fits their schedule while still maintaining options for those who favour traditional dining.

In this post, I’ll explain what My Time Dining is and how to book.

Key Points

If you don’t have time to read all the details, here are the main points you need to know:

  1. My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean offers flexible dining times, contrasting with traditional fixed-time dining schedules.
  2. This dining option allows guests to choose their meal times and companions, providing a more personalised experience.
  3. My Time Dining generally allows for dinner between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., although times can vary depending on the ship and itinerary.
  4. It offers the freedom to plan meals around personal schedules and still enjoy the main dining room experience.
  5. Guests can book dining times in advance through the cruise line’s website or onboard services.
  6. It applies to the Main Dining Room, excluding buffet and specialty restaurants.
  7. Reservations can be made online, through a travel agent, or Royal Caribbean’s dining hotline.

Read on to find out more details…

What Is My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean?

A grand and opulent multi-tiered dining room on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, featuring elegant circular tables set for a meal, a striking central chandelier, and ornate balconies with railings overlooking the main dining area.

My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean Cruises is a dining option that allows you to choose your meal times and dining companions.

Unlike the conventional dining approach with fixed times and consistent group seating, this option offers flexibility and personalisation for your dining experience.

My Time Dining contrasts with traditional dining, which typically has set sitting times, often around 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm. Instead, My Time Dining usually allows for dinner any time between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. However, these hours can vary slightly depending on the ship and its specific itinerary.

Here’s what I appreciate about My Time Dining:

  • Flexibility: Holiday schedules can be unpredictable. With My Time Dining, you are not constrained to a set time and can choose when to eat based on my plans for the day.
  • Main Dining Room Experience: You still get to enjoy the ambience and menu variety of the main dining room without being restricted to traditional dinner times.

While I value the flexibility My Time Dining offers, it’s worth noting that, unlike traditional dining, you might not have the same wait staff each evening. Which is something I’m personally not bothered about. 

To participate in My Time Dining, gratuities are typically pre-paid, a slight difference from the traditional dining setup.

This dining option enhances my experience on a Royal Caribbean cruise, giving me more control over how I plan my evenings, particularly since I have a child. 

How Does My Time Dining Work?

Here are key details of My Time Dining:

  • Reservations: It’s recommended that I book dining times in advance, which can be done through the cruise line’s website or guest services once onboard. While not compulsory, reservations help secure a spot at a preferred dinner time.
  • Menu: The menu options are the same as those offered to guests with traditional dining times, featuring a variety of choices that change daily.
  • Flexibility: One of the main advantages of My Time Dining is the ability to fit dinner around my evening plans, be it a show, activity, or simply my mood.
  • Availability: Due to the natural ebb and flow of the dining room capacity, availability is subject to change, so you need to factor this in when deciding whether to reserve or walk in.

What Restaurants Are Included in My Time Dining?

My Time Dining primarily applies to the Main Dining Room within Royal Caribbean cruises. The Main Dining Room itself is a vast space, sometimes spread across multiple floors or located in different areas of the ship, depending on the particular ship.

The My Time Dining option does not include the buffet or any specialty restaurants on board. These venues typically offer a different dining experience and often specialise in specific types of cuisine, such as Italian, Asian, or steakhouse fare, which can be enjoyed for an additional fee.

What Is the Dress Code for My Time Dining?

A smiling couple dressed in evening attire seated at a table in a sophisticated dining room, with a classic portrait and other diners in the background, capturing a moment of a Royal Caribbean dining experience.

In my experience with Royal Caribbean’s My Time Dining, I understand that adhering to the dress code is essential. Although My Time Dining allows for a flexible dinner schedule, the cruise line maintains a dress code to keep the dining experience enjoyable for all guests.

During the day, the dress code is quite casual. Comfortable attire like jeans, polo shirts, sundresses and blouses is absolutely fine for the main dining room. However, swimwear should be kept exclusively for the pool deck.

Dress Code for Evenings:

  • Casual Nights:
    • Trousers or jeans
    • Blouses or casual dresses
    • Polos or casual shirts
  • Formal Nights:
    • Suits or jackets for men
    • Cocktail dresses or evening gowns for women

The cruise planner will detail the number of formal nights during the sailing. At least one formal night is common on most cruises, where guests can showcase more glamorous attire.

Make a Reservation With My Time Dining

When planning your cruise with Royal Caribbean, reserving My Time Dining is an important step in the booking process. You can make reservations through several channels. Here are the methods I have used:

  • Online Booking: After selecting the ship and itinerary, you can select the My Time Dining option before completing the online checkout.
  • Travel Agent: You can also contact a travel agent who will handle the booking details, including the dining reservations, on your behalf.
  • Dining Hotline: Royal Caribbean provides a dedicated dining hotline which I can call to make or adjust dining reservations.

Booking as early as possible is essential to secure your preferred dining times, as availability is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

How to Change Your Time

On your Royal Caribbean cruise, you can modify your dining times through the Cruise Planner available on Royal Caribbean’s website before your journey begins or while onboard. Additionally, there is a dedicated dining hotline accessible from your stateroom’s phone for reservation adjustments.

To switch to My Time Dining or to revert to traditional dining, contact Guest Services within the first two days of your cruise. Remember that availability is limited, so delaying this decision might mean that changes are not always possible.

Wrapping It Up

Royal Caribbean provides a great option for flexible dining through My Time Dining. If you prefer deciding your meal times daily and like the spontaneity of dining based on your appetite, this is an ideal choice. To avoid waiting for a table, especially during peak times, it’s wise to make a reservation, even with this flexible option, to prevent any hungry waits for a free table.

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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