Princess Cruises has announced a change in its dining structure. The new dining times will apply across the entire fleet after testing on the recently launched Sun Princess.

The cruise line said the change was to give guests more choice when it comes to their onboard dining experience.

And the reaction from Princess fans has been overwhelmingly positive.

There will now be three methods of dining; traditional, reservable, and walk-in anytime. The brand has also announced a new OceanNow “anywhere” service, based on your location on the ship.

The line will now have separate dining rooms on each ship, with each of the three options. One for traditional dining offering early or late seating, one with reservable dining times, and another offering seating you can walk into at any time.

Through Princess’s app OceanNow, guests can now order any food, at anytime, and receive it anywhere on the ship.

“Our guests have been delighted with the dining flexibility aboard Sun Princess and we’re pleased to extend the concept to all the other ships in our fleet,” said Sami Kohen, Princess Cruises vice president of food and beverage.  

“Now whether guests prefer an early seating every evening, or change things up every night, or even change their mind, these flexible dining options ensure that their dining preference is effortlessly accommodated.”

The changes will apply to all Princess sailings after September 14, 2024. If you have a cruise after this date and have already made reservations, your reservations will now be cancelled to accommodate the new system.

From June 17 onwards, through OceanNow all guests can use the app before their voyage to choose traditional seating, even able to select the waiter and same table.

These changes don’t affect specialty dining or reserve collection accommodations.

Cruisers React

The initial reaction from Princess Cruisers has been overwhelmingly positive.

Kay Elbourne wrote: “Don’t know why it has taken so long. That was the only thing that disappointed me on Royal & Majestic last year. I am doing reposition from LA on Royal in September, so it will be great to be able to book same table same time every night.

“On 29 nights it will mean we get to know dinner companions and the waiters. I have made long lasting friendships in dining rooms. Looking forward to this new/ old way of dining.”

Shaun Lesslie said it would be a relief not having to book every night.

“Good! I hate booking dinner time every night when you don’t know what you are doing before you even set foot on board.”

One cruiser expressed concern about what could happen if cruisers don’t have equally divided dining preferences.

“Well that will work well IF passengers are neatly divided into three groups, that will be able to evenly spread over the three options. However, if it is a cruise where a large number of passengers all want the same type of dining the system in that dining room is going to be overloaded.”

However, the majority of reactions to the news feel positively that Princess dining will be more convenient and flexible from now on.