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Anytime dining': matter of choice

March 15, 2009

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Regarding Catharine Hamm's "Take Your Seat" ["On the Spot," March 8]. Based on my experience with traditional cruise-ship dining (early or late seating), if you go in person to the maitre d' and ask to be seated at the time of your choice, he will undoubtedly find a table for you. I have done this and always been successful. Also, you rarely have to remain at a table with unsuitable table mates. Just ask the maitre d' to move you to a different table. He is usually understanding. We did this on our recent trip and moved to a table where we had good conversation for the rest of our cruise.

Barbara Walker

Encinitas

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A word of warning to people who choose the "anytime dining" option. I've spent 150 days at sea in the last four to five years, so I've acquired some experience. Sadly, "anytime dining" is often a farce, because the wait for a table when you show up "anytime" can be 90 minutes or more.

I'm not sure whether the explanation is smaller ships, larger dining areas or better planning, but Azamara and Silversea pull off "anytime dining" with style. Waits are short; staffs are gracious; the experience is memorable. I haven't seen this level of efficiency on mega-ships.

Jay Gordon

Willits, Calif.

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