After Royal Caribbean announced a flexible dining option for ships in its fleet, it was only a matter of time that its subsidiary, Celebrity Cruises, would follow suit. Today Celebrity introduced a flex dining option that allows passengers to choose when they dine — in open, single seating or the traditional assigned seating — in the main dining room onboard or on a day-by-day basis. And you may select your specific program prior to departure at the cruise line’s website.

Celebrity’s passengers can go online to choose their desired dining time – anytime between 6 and 9:30 pm – for each day of their cruise, up to four days prior to boarding. Reservations also can be made onboard with the main dining room’s Maitre d’. Pre-cruise reservations are strongly encouraged in order to ensure the best possible dining experience. Guests can pre-book their dining times online. All dining times are subject to availability, and guests who elect Celebrity Select Dining must pay gratuities.

Guests sailing on Celebrity’s newest ship, the 2,850-guest Celebrity Equinox, beginning with the September 26, 2009 sailing, will be the first to experience Celebrity Select Dining. Online booking for pre-cruise day-by-day dining reservations for this sailing opened today. Guests who are already booked on Celebrity Equinox’s sailings taking place on or after September 26 can choose to switch to Celebrity Select Dining.

The new flexible dining program will be available on the following ships:

Celebrity Solstice – January 10, 2010 sailing
Celebrity Constellation – January 17, 2010 sailing
Celebrity Century – January 23, 2010 sailing
Celebrity Millennium – February 1, 2010 sailing
Celebrity Summit – February 13, 2010 sailing
Celebrity Mercury – February 15, 2010 sailing
Celebrity Infinity – February 28, 2010 sailing

Individuals who elect to take advantage of Celebrity Select Dining before cruising will be required to pay (before cruising) Celebrity’s recommended gratuity amounts for their waiter, assistant waiter, dining room management and stateroom attendants. If guests wish to choose to change from traditional dining to Celebrity Select Dining after they have boarded, they can do so within the first 24 hours of their cruise, on a space-available basis. Guests who choose Celebrity Select Dining while onboard or who are otherwise not eligible to be charged prior to sailing will automatically have gratuities added to their onboard portfolio account.