View Full Version : Changing dinner seating time

07-15-2011, 10:46 AM
We are looking at booking a cruise for March 2012 on the Dream but the only seating available is the second seating. We have a 5 year old and this is just too late for us to be eating supper. Can anyone tell me how easy it is to change your seating time once you are on board the ship? Thanks

07-15-2011, 10:51 AM
I just did a search for this information yesterday - I know I've seen relevant threads before, but can't locate them. I'm interested in the same information, but we have main dining and we're considering switching to late! Our boys are ages pre-school to pre-teen, but we tend to eat dinner later in the summer (wasn't thinking of that last fall when I selected main dining!)

07-15-2011, 11:04 AM
From what I've read, it's really easy to change from 1st seating to 2nd but the opposite is difficult to impossible.

Maybe you can contact DCL and request a change to first seating or, if it's not possible now, maybe they can note your reservation. You can also try to switch as soon as you board the ship. I can't remember what desk/area that you need to go to to request a dining change but I'm sure someone will post that info soon.

07-15-2011, 11:08 AM
I just wanted to say that on our first cruise dd was 5 and we did early dining and hated it. Too much rushing around trying to get ready for dinner and, as we aren't morning people, hated having to do breakfast at 6:45 the last morning! :scared1: (we wanted to do the sit down breakfast rather than the buffet) We've done late dining ever since and really enjoy, especially since the kids club counselors will come in and pick up the kids that want to go to the club midway through dinner.

07-15-2011, 11:45 AM
I wouldn't wait until you are onboard to try to get early dining. Get on a wait list now. As people change plans or cancel reservations, people on the waitlist will be given early dining. If you have to wait until you are onboard, there is no answer to how easy it will be. It will depend on how many openings are available or are made by people moving to late seating.

Remember if you are late seating with children, they do serve the kid's menu quite quickly to get the kids ready for the 9pm dining room pick-up service that they offer. Or it is possible to feed the kids from room service or the fast service places before late seating and then have them in the clubs during your dinner.

07-15-2011, 12:29 PM
pixarmom - maybe we could swap times :)

07-15-2011, 03:06 PM
You need to call DCL, or have your TA call DCL, ASAP to be put on the wait list for main dining. The seating chart is made up two weeks before your cruise sails so it could take until then for your online reservation to show this switch. Of course, you are less than a year out from the cruise and the Dream has been selling out. It is quite possible that you will not get switched to early seating. If you still show second seating, go to dining changes when you board and request to be moved. It is not guaranteed, but could happen. There is the option to eat at Cabana's for dinner but that is not available the first or last night of the cruise. Of course, you could try it the first night and see how it goes. The show would be before dinner. If your child wants to go to the club, you could get their dinner first and then send them with the counselors who come about an hour into dinner to get the kids. You could also get them something to eat on deck before the show and sign them into the club after the show so you and DH can enjoy dinner together.

07-18-2011, 05:24 PM
I agree with PP - at least get on the waitlist for main dining now, but don't be surprised if it doesn't happen soon, because they don't officially assign tables, rotations, etc. until a couple of weeks before the cruise. I've also heard 1st to 2nd dining is easy, but 2nd to 1st is hard. If you still have 2nd when you board there will be a place listed on the Navigator as to where to go and try to change. (For us it was the D Lounge at 1:30 on embarkation day.) Get there early and hope for pixie dust!

I must also say we had 2nd dining with a 7 year-old and were worried about the late time, but it worked out great. There is PLENTY to eat on the ship all day long (including room service), so it's not as if you have to wait until 8:30 to eat. Our daughter was so busy having fun that there is no way we would have made a 5:45 dining. And at second dining they do feed the kids very quickly - and even come to pick them up and take them to Oceaneers around 9:00 - 9:15. A great, safe service - and then Mommy and Daddy can finish their dinner alone!

07-20-2011, 09:43 AM
We were fortunate enough to find out a few weeks ago that our request for main seating was honored, we were on the waiting list, for our Oct 27th Cruise.

Our kids are 9 and 12, so not too young, but we all wanted to eat dinner at a more "normal" time for us....I know there may be some rushing to make it, but my husband and I preferred that to eating dinner at almost 9pm!

This IS our first cruise though, so who knows, we may end up regretting this decision....and just HAVE to cruise again to see if late seating is better for us! :0)

07-20-2011, 10:02 AM
:thumbsup2 Just thought I'd post my 'two cents' also. When we first booked with the TA, I really didn't contemplate my choice. She said do you want main dining and I said " I guess". But after looking on the boards, I thought perhaps we'd want late, so I changed to late within the first two weeks. THEN, I talked to my dh, realized that we are EARLY risers, and I prefer to NOT eat after 8pm, so I called the TA again. This time, it was 2 months into our ressie. While being kind, she said I'd have to be put on a waitlist. About 123 days out, I checked our ressie on DCL and noticed we had been changed to early dining. I wonder if it was because there had been cancellations?:goodvibes And we had 3 cabins changed!:woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:
So my 2 cents? Get on the waitlist and see what happens! Can't hurt at all!:goodvibes (and lesson learned? KNOW what you want when you book..lol )

Angelic Jennifer
07-20-2011, 10:37 AM
I booked in the beginning of March for a November cruise. Main dining wasn't available, so we took late and waitlisted that day. I got an email June 30th confirming we'd been switched. I'm pleased, because I'm already in the Eastern time zone, and we eat dinner around 6 normally.