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realityland
10-20-2012, 09:16 PM
A quick question for the DCL regulars - what are the chances of changing from the late dinner seating to the early seating once we get on the ship?

I know that there is a location listed on the Navigator where this request can be made once you board the ship. I'm just curious what the success rate is. We are traveling with a 10 month-old and booked our cruise 2 months out, so only the late seating was available. Just want to consider all of our options. Thanks!

Four Bears
10-20-2012, 09:22 PM
Make sure you are wait-listed for the main (early) seating.

On our first cruise, we were able to change it on the ship. We had flown in the day before and were able to get onto the ship very early.

On our second cruise, we got early seating 3 days before we set sail.

On this cruise, we booked on board and got early seating from the get go.

I have heard that it doesn't always happen.

kcashner
10-20-2012, 09:46 PM
NOW wait list for main. Start calling weekly to ask if you have been moved to main (squeaky wheel logic). Then, after boarding, if your KTTW still shows late, try to change.

Success depends on the size of your group. Moving 4 people is usually possible. Moving 12 is a lot more difficult.

ededmd
10-20-2012, 09:54 PM
Don't count on it.
Our first cruise we we booked less than a year but more than 9 mos in advance.
Main sold out. Waitlisted at time of booking for main.
Party of 4 (2A and 2K (ages 3 and 5)).
Did NOT get it.

Be thinking about what your alternate plan is if you don't get switched.
While many here will report success it is far from guaranteed.

tvguy
10-21-2012, 12:37 AM
Just an observation from 9 years on this board. Most people forced to take late seating, never go back to early seating because they like it so much.

realityland
10-21-2012, 05:09 AM
Just an observation from 9 years on this board. Most people forced to take late seating, never go back to early seating because they like it so much.

I keep seeing that a lot. Really not a big deal for us ... we can make it work either way. We were just curious how much of an option switching actually was. We are just so glad to be taking this, our first cruise ... what time we eat is almost irrelevant. Besides, the baby's schedule is going to completely out of whack, so no telling what our schedule is actually going to look like until we get on board.

llqool
10-21-2012, 06:23 AM
Just an observation from 9 years on this board. Most people forced to take late seating, never go back to early seating because they like it so much.

This has been our personal experience. We were "forced" into late seating on our first cruise and now I can't imagine *not* having it!

I❤MICKEY
10-21-2012, 09:48 AM
Funny, I requested the later dining and TA made it sound like she would request but no guarantee.

ededmd
10-21-2012, 10:33 AM
Funny, I requested the later dining and TA made it sound like she would request but no guarantee.

Your TA is either not familiar with Disney or is trying to look like a hero for getting you something easy.

I❤MICKEY
10-21-2012, 10:48 AM
Your TA is either not familiar with Disney or is trying to look like a hero for getting you something easy.

It is DU so I'm guessing it was the latter. ;)

llqool
10-21-2012, 02:06 PM
Or just being extremely cautious -- I mean, *every* request is, by definition, only a request; even if it's been granted in the past, there's no guarantee it always will be.

dragonfly08
10-21-2012, 02:48 PM
On our last cruise we were unable to get early seating beforehand.

Went to make the change on board...I was the second person in line and the first couple was trying for Palo reservations, so basically I was first in line for a seating change.

They had nothing available for a party of 4. We were wait listed and told we'd get a call letting us know by 4PM. The call came and nothing so they offered a night-by-night basis where they would call if they had an opening due to someone going to Palo, etc. Even that didn't happen until the last night of the cruise, by which time we'd gotten so used to eating at the buffet or out on deck that we politely declined.

So basically we didn't see the inside of a single dining room for dinner on that trip. And for those who say once you're "forced" into late dining you never go back? Nope, not us. I have a Christmas 2013 cruise booked and you better believe I took early seating. I have no desire to eat at 8PM and that's not likely to change between now and then. We have always been an early to dine family; it's what works best for us.

tajz90
10-21-2012, 03:45 PM
On our last cruise we were unable to get early seating beforehand.

Went to make the change on board...I was the second person in line and the first couple was trying for Palo reservations, so basically I was first in line for a seating change.

They had nothing available for a party of 4. We were wait listed and told we'd get a call letting us know by 4PM. The call came and nothing so they offered a night-by-night basis where they would call if they had an opening due to someone going to Palo, etc. Even that didn't happen until the last night of the cruise, by which time we'd gotten so used to eating at the buffet or out on deck that we politely declined.

So basically we didn't see the inside of a single dining room for dinner on that trip. And for those who say once you're "forced" into late dining you never go back? Nope, not us. I have a Christmas 2013 cruise booked and you better believe I took early seating. I have no desire to eat at 8PM and that's not likely to change between now and then. We have always been an early to dine family; it's what works best for us.

Us too. We made the mistake of not requesting early for our first cruise. We always request it now. Sometimes we are wait listed, but most of the time we book early enough that it's not an issue.

ededmd
10-21-2012, 04:07 PM
They had nothing available for a party of 4. We were wait listed and told we'd get a call letting us know by 4PM. The call came and nothing so they offered a night-by-night basis where they would call if they had an opening due to someone going to Palo, etc. Even that didn't happen until the last night of the cruise, by which time we'd gotten so used to eating at the buffet or out on deck that we politely declined.

So basically we didn't see the inside of a single dining room for dinner on that trip. And for those who say once you're "forced" into late dining you never go back? Nope, not us. I have a Christmas 2013 cruise booked and you better believe I took early seating. I have no desire to eat at 8PM and that's not likely to change between now and then. We have always been an early to dine family; it's what works best for us.

Us too. We made the mistake of not requesting early for our first cruise. We always request it now. Sometimes we are wait listed, but most of the time we book early enough that it's not an issue.

+1
our one experience with late did not make us converts either.
even when we go on other cruises with "open seating" we are still there at 6-630p.

realityland
10-21-2012, 05:40 PM
Some very good discussion here. Hard to say which camp we will fall in, early vs. late preference. We generally eat at 5 or 6 at home. But then again, we are all on our normal routine at home. Once we get on the ship and the baby's schedule goes upside down, hard to say which option will work better for us.

I could see us getting lunch at 2 or so, and the baby napping in the late afternoon - making a late seating attractive. Or, all of us not being able to make it until 8 o'clock and it being a disaster. The baby won't care which seating we have. He'll want to eat when he wants to eat.

Since we would be making a request about 21 days out, I would imagine the chances of getting a switch are highly, highly unlikely. We'll make the best of whatever we get. Considering the FL resident rate for booking at the last minute, there will be NO complaints allowed in my group. Without the FL resident rate, there would be no cruise on November 11th for us. ;)

Silly Little Pixie
10-21-2012, 06:33 PM
We have waitlisted 4 times for early dining. It came through twice. Once when it didn't, we were a party of 2 :confused3 and the other a party of 7. I myself really don't care about late seating any more, but DH does. At home we generally eat at 6. He is an early to bed/early to rise sort. Late dining has its advantages, if you end up with it, at least you can enjoy some less-crowded pool time during main dining!

Either way- enjoy the cruise!!

realityland
10-21-2012, 07:20 PM
Called to wait list for early seating, and found out that someone (at some point) had already added our name to the list. Not sure how it happened, but it was a pleasant surprise indeed. Looks like we may be a bit further up on the wait list than we expected. Only thing to do now is wait.

ededmd
10-21-2012, 07:25 PM
Congrats. Let us know how it goes for you (seating and cruise).

uscgrl93
10-21-2012, 08:36 PM
I liked late seating pre-kids. Now I prefer early seating. It's a deal-breaker for us. If early seating is not available at the time of booking, we don't book. I don't like to take the change that early will become available at the last minute. Good luck!

realityland
10-21-2012, 08:43 PM
For those that have had a seating change come through from late to early, is it typically a last minute thing?

ddixon1
10-21-2012, 08:58 PM
We booked an August NYC cruise REAL late, and got second seating. I hate eating late, and my DS7 and I are early to bed/rise types. Never cleared the pre-boarding wait list, and had a PAT of 11:30 am (I think?). I believe that we were first to put our names on the wait list on board. We struggled through the late dinner the first night, only to learn that we had been assigned the first seating! Whew. It was so much easier.( There were a ton of kids falling asleep at their tables at the second seating). Good luck!

stitchlovestink
10-22-2012, 04:26 AM
Something else to consider is some people have situations where it really isn't advisable/healthy for them to eat such a heavy full meal at such a late hour so close to going to bed. If you have ever suffered from severe reflux or GERD, you will know what I mean. Drs strongly advise not eating that late when you suffer with this. Actually, I have a friend who isn't supposed to eat anything at all after 6pm because of her issues. Mine aren't nearly as bad as hers but I double dose nexium (none of the others work) and it is quite costly!! I really can't afford physically to dine at the late seating or I'm going to be miserable all night and into the next morning... not knowing when I'll see relief! So sometimes people need early dining for other reasons. :)


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realityland
10-22-2012, 05:57 AM
Something else to consider is some people have situations where it really isn't advisable/healthy for them to eat such a heavy full meal at such a late hour so close to going to bed. If you have ever suffered from severe reflux or GERD, you will know what I mean. Drs strongly advise not eating that late when you suffer with this. Actually, I have a friend who isn't supposed to eat anything at all after 6pm because of her issues. Mine aren't nearly as bad as hers but I double dose nexium (none of the others work) and it is quite costly!! I really can't afford physically to dine at the late seating or I'm going to be miserable all night and into the next morning... not knowing when I'll see relief! So sometimes people need early dining for other reasons. :)


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Hopefully, they would be able to accommodate a health-related seating request such as that. However, with other "anytime" dining options available on-board, I guess they are not technically under an obligation to do so.

ludari
10-22-2012, 08:06 AM
A quick question for the DCL regulars - what are the chances of changing from the late dinner seating to the early seating once we get on the ship?

I know that there is a location listed on the Navigator where this request can be made once you board the ship. I'm just curious what the success rate is. We are traveling with a 10 month-old and booked our cruise 2 months out, so only the late seating was available. Just want to consider all of our options. Thanks!

I'm not sure how many in your party but I would guess from the message above they are three of you. Anyway, in the past five Disney cruises I have been on I was able to get all the dining changes I had requested 100 percent of the time. Although I've never changed from late seating to early seating or vice versa I would nearly always change my dining room rotations and in most cases seating table assignments.

realityland
10-22-2012, 08:20 AM
I'm not sure how many in your party but I would guess from the message above they are three of you. Anyway, in the past five Disney cruises I have been on I was able to get all the dining changes I had requested 100 percent of the time. Although I've never changed from late seating to early seating or vice versa I would nearly always change my dining room rotations and in most cases seating table assignments.

2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant in a high chair

What dining rotation do you prefer?

snykymom
10-22-2012, 01:37 PM
The feeling I'm getting from this thread is that early seating is the preferred and goes to wait list? The reason I ask is that we are late seating folks. It'd be great for me if that's one less thing I need to worry about!

minniewitch01
10-22-2012, 01:42 PM
The feeling I'm getting from this thread is that early seating is the preferred and goes to wait list? The reason I ask is that we are late seating folks. It'd be great for me if that's one less thing I need to worry about!

I've been on three cruises and changed everytime so we could eat with family or friends and we never had a problem:)

Momma2Jax
10-22-2012, 07:25 PM
We booked our May 2013 Wonder cruise early this month, and asked to be on the wait list for main dining (it was full, and we have a 3yo who needs the early time). We got confirmation today that we have been assigned main seating, along with our linked reservations (7 of us total)

shezfrombermuda
10-22-2012, 07:35 PM
On our first cruise, only the late dinner assignment was available and we didn't know you could waitlist or try to change onboard. We went to the late dinner on the first night. My daughter fell asleep with her head on the table before appetizers were served. My mom and I were tired from a long day of travel and I was feeling a little sea sick. The head waiter took one look at us and said we could definitely go to the early dinner the next night.

jeniamt
10-23-2012, 12:04 AM
Such a personal preference. We were talked into early seating on our first cruise and it was awful for our family. Even 8 mo was miserable and half the time he fell asleep being wheeled into dining room, it was too close to his nap time! *Our family are all night owls and we don't normally eat dinner before 7pm at home. Truthfully, i listened to too many people on this board who said Main seating was preferred. *I just switched our group, 12 of us, to late seating for our upcoming NYE Dream cruise. Went to make final payment and noticed we had Main dining and freaked out. Called TA and had that changed! *My point is, there is hope for those on wait list b/c there are folks like me who prefer eating later.*

realityland
11-05-2012, 02:04 PM
Just got an email that our seating has been changed to Main. We depart in less than a week. Woot!

Toria
11-05-2012, 02:24 PM
A quick question for the DCL regulars - what are the chances of changing from the late dinner seating to the early seating once we get on the ship?

I know that there is a location listed on the Navigator where this request can be made once you board the ship. I'm just curious what the success rate is. We are traveling with a 10 month-old and booked our cruise 2 months out, so only the late seating was available. Just want to consider all of our options. Thanks!

38 days out and I was able to change to early dining. Have a blast on your cruise.

Summerl30
11-05-2012, 02:51 PM
We have main right now and DH wants me to change it to late. We always do either late on other cruises or the flexible hours and eat late. we love sleeping in on a cruise, so everything is pushed back and we stay up late. With the kids, I thought this wouldn't be the case, but DH is fairly adamant, so maybe someone will benefit?

jahber
11-05-2012, 03:39 PM
We booked 30 days out for the 10/28 Dream. We requested early and found out when we got our kttw cards that we got it. Our TA never emailed us, but I'm not surprised. He was not on top of things at all.

In fact, I had pretty much made peace with late dining when my husband suggested we try for early while we were eating at Cabanas. If he hasn't, I would never have noticed we already had it and we would have missed dinner!

Patrickprincess
11-05-2012, 04:34 PM
Some very good discussion here. Hard to say which camp we will fall in, early vs. late preference. We generally eat at 5 or 6 at home. But then again, we are all on our normal routine at home. Once we get on the ship and the baby's schedule goes upside down, hard to say which option will work better for us.

I could see us getting lunch at 2 or so, and the baby napping in the late afternoon - making a late seating attractive. Or, all of us not being able to make it until 8 o'clock and it being a disaster. The baby won't care which seating we have. He'll want to eat when he wants to eat.

Since we would be making a request about 21 days out, I would imagine the chances of getting a switch are highly, highly unlikely. We'll make the best of whatever we get. Considering the FL resident rate for booking at the last minute, there will be NO complaints allowed in my group. Without the FL resident rate, there would be no cruise on November 11th for us. ;)

I was able to change from late to early when i requested the change i very poilety explained that i did not care for the table mates. I found that i liked the early dinning and if i got hungery a few hours latter then i could get room service or go upto the pool deck and have a snack. good luck

ZoeBell
11-05-2012, 07:16 PM
Speaking of requests, what are the chances my request for my party of 3 to eat alone? It's for a late dinner sitting.

I know a request is only a request and not a gaurantee, but it's probably the only thing we really want. We'll sleep anywhere. Dinner anytime.we're really not fussy. We just want to eat alone. That's the only pixiedust: we're hoping.

jahber
11-05-2012, 10:28 PM
Speaking of requests, what are the chances my request for my party of 3 to eat alone? It's for a late dinner sitting.

I know a request is only a request and not a gaurantee, but it's probably the only thing we really want. We'll sleep anywhere. Dinner anytime.we're really not fussy. We just want to eat alone. That's the only pixiedust: we're hoping.

It might not be a problem, really. Especially late seating, where they likely have more flexibility. Be sure to request in advance. Then, go to dining changes first thing and see if your request was already honored. If not, let the person making changes know how important it is to you. It never hurts to ask (nicely, as the pp stated :))

bpokornik
11-05-2012, 11:24 PM
Is it possible to request a table for two. We are on the 12/1/12 cruise celebrating a 35th wedding anniversary (late seating). How do I request that preference. If I have to share my table with strangers for our anniversary cruise I think I will just cry!

bats
11-06-2012, 06:35 AM
Is it possible to request a table for two. We are on the 12/1/12 cruise celebrating a 35th wedding anniversary (late seating). How do I request that preference. If I have to share my table with strangers for our anniversary cruise I think I will just cry!

You can make any request, but whether its possible or not is quite another matter.
We didn't think we'd like sharing our table, but honestly, we've met some wonderful people who we still stay in contact with now. Strangers are only friends you've never met!!
Would you really be so upset at sharing a table? Make you cry? Honestly? If that's how your truly feel, I hope Disney can help you or you best get the tissues ready!

lbgraves
11-06-2012, 07:30 AM
Is it possible to request a table for two. We are on the 12/1/12 cruise celebrating a 35th wedding anniversary (late seating). How do I request that preference. If I have to share my table with strangers for our anniversary cruise I think I will just cry!

The only way to ensure that you have a table for two at dinner is to make reservations at Palo/Remy every night. You can only make one online, but if you go to dining changes and find that you do have tablemates you can put in a request to be placed on the waitlist for Palo and be called each day if there is an opening.

skierrob
11-06-2012, 12:56 PM
LOL.... I wanted the exact opposite on my last cruise to Alaska! We always love dining with others, and have had great experiences doing so. So the two of us were very disappointed that we had a dinner table to ourselves on the cruise.

Robert

Speaking of requests, what are the chances my request for my party of 3 to eat alone? It's for a late dinner sitting.

I know a request is only a request and not a gaurantee, but it's probably the only thing we really want. We'll sleep anywhere. Dinner anytime.we're really not fussy. We just want to eat alone. That's the only pixiedust: we're hoping.

holula
11-06-2012, 01:50 PM
Is it possible to request a table for two. We are on the 12/1/12 cruise celebrating a 35th wedding anniversary (late seating). How do I request that preference. If I have to share my table with strangers for our anniversary cruise I think I will just cry!

On the 10/21 Dream cruise, my boyfriend and I were seated alone on late seating and didn't even ask for it. So it is possible, it just will depend how full the cruise is.

Aurora l
11-06-2012, 02:16 PM
On last summer's Alaska cruise we were set for the late setting. We changed it as soon as we got on board, to early, with no problem and our family of 4 had a table of 4 without asking. :)

snykymom
11-06-2012, 06:17 PM
Is it possible to request a table for two. We are on the 12/1/12 cruise celebrating a 35th wedding anniversary (late seating). How do I request that preference. If I have to share my table with strangers for our anniversary cruise I think I will just cry!
We were on a cruise for our 30th anniversary, at a table for 6 and quite enjoyed it. One of the other couples also had the same anniversary! We had a good time sharing our celebration!

sskem96
11-06-2012, 08:36 PM
I'm glad to hear late dining is easier to get, as that's what we're planning to request. My dad goes to bed very early, and if we had early dinner I don't think he'd ever make it through the shows afterward. I would rather he be able to see the show early, and then he can grab a quick bite or order room service and go to bed while the rest of us go to dinner. My mom and I work nights, so we're used to eating at strange times, and the rest of my family is flexible.

I'm another one who wouldn't be comfortable with table mates. How many do the tables seat? If there are already 6 of us traveling together, are we likely to have other people at our table? Dinner is our family time and that might be about the only time we see our kids the whole cruise! I expect to get to sit down with them at dinner and talk about what they've been doing all day, new friends they've met, etc. and not have to worry about making conversation with another family.

cgolf
11-06-2012, 10:31 PM
The only way to ensure that you have a table for two at dinner is to make reservations at Palo/Remy every night. You can only make one online, but if you go to dining changes and find that you do have tablemates you can put in a request to be placed on the waitlist for Palo and be called each day if there is an opening.

We actually found a more expensive way to guarantee what dinner seating you get and how many at the table. We were set for late dining, and were cringing, because I was the only one in the family that could really deal well with it. We happened to upgrade to a concierge room and when the DW called to inquire about our dining time and request a table for 4, she learned that these rooms automatically get their dining time choice and the only other diners to be seated with them are linked rooms. So by shelling out the extra bucks we got our table of 4 and the dining time we wanted.

The table of 4 was key for us, because we have been about 50/50 on table mates, and would just prefer to sit as a family. Next cruise we book we will make sure we have early when we book so we don't have to hope, or spend the big bucks, the concierge is a one time (we hope) splurge for us.

cgolf

jahber
11-07-2012, 12:14 PM
We actually found a more expensive way to guarantee what dinner seating you get and how many at the table. We were set for late dining, and were cringing, because I was the only one in the family that could really deal well with it. We happened to upgrade to a concierge room and when the DW called to inquire about our dining time and request a table for 4, she learned that these rooms automatically get their dining time choice and the only other diners to be seated with them are linked rooms. So by shelling out the extra bucks we got our table of 4 and the dining time we wanted.

The table of 4 was key for us, because we have been about 50/50 on table mates, and would just prefer to sit as a family. Next cruise we book we will make sure we have early when we book so we don't have to hope, or spend the big bucks, the concierge is a one time (we hope) splurge for us.

cgolf

Hm. I wonder if I could use that as an excuse to convince my husband to book concierge...

belkisima
11-13-2012, 02:12 PM
We did the early seating on the Dream Cruise and found that it was really hard because you had to go and get ready for dinner at 4pm for a 545 dinner so you miss out on a lot of the activities and have to rush everything, (coming back from Castaway Cay, etc) and the kids were always hungry a couple of hours later and we would end up getting room service or hitting the snack bar. It was decided that the next cruise we would do the late seating.

We did late seating on the Fantasy cruise this year and we felt more relaxed and we did not feel rushed to eat our dinner like we did with the early seating and we could enjoy our servers company more.

If anything, our kids for the Dream were 10 and 5 and then 11 and 6. The younger child fell asleep only a couple of times at dinner and we would actually give her something to eat earlier, so that if she fell asleep she would not be hungry. She tended to wake up afterwards and go play in the kids club.

Another note - if you do the early dinner and then go to the show second, chances are the kids are going to miss out because they will fall asleep. Going to the show before dinner ensures the kids get to see the show and not miss out...

Just my two cents....

lbgraves
11-13-2012, 04:15 PM
I think that it just depends on your family. We have never had a problem getting ready for dinner at 5:45, and a couple times when it was 5:30. The kids were 3 & 5 our first cruise and they took a nap a couple afternoons. Occasionally over the years they have needed to be dressed and put in the stroller because they did not wake up in time for dinner but after finishing their nap at the table, the servers were quick to bring them their drink and dinner. They were then fresh for the rest of the evening. There were a couple times we hoped DD3 would fall asleep during the show, but she hardly blinked while watching them.

addictedx5
11-13-2012, 07:13 PM
We've always had the early seating, but this time (cruise coming up in 12 days!) we jumped on a fl resident offer & only 2nd seating was available :( I was highly disappointed because when you have young children they are often tired & cranky come 8pm. HOWEVER... once I started thinking about it & reading more, we will have more time during the day without having to rush back to get ready for dinner (we always dress nice for dinner & sometimes after a sweaty day at the beach everyone needs a shower first) AND I also read that my older two (ages 4 & 6) can eat immediately upon entering the diningroom & then a youth counselor will escort them to the oceaneers club to play or do whatever they want until we've finished our meals. We're still stuck with the problem of the 2 year old, but we're training her to stay up till 10 now just so vacation won't be so rough on her ;) We know we can always eat dinner elsewhere, but we LOVE the diningrooms & dinner menus!!!!
I'm not sure if we'll try to switch or not... but everyone I know who's requested has always gotten their wish. I have a feeling we may be one of those "never going back" 2nd seaters... *I hope!* ;)

Funky Chicken
11-13-2012, 07:29 PM
We were wait list for early dining on Fantasy 1/12/2013 and today we noticed that our assignment

was now for main seating. Yay.

mmi
11-13-2012, 08:44 PM
We've always had the early seating, but this time (cruise coming up in 12 days!) we jumped on a fl resident offer & only 2nd seating was available :( I was highly disappointed because when you have young children they are often tired & cranky come 8pm. HOWEVER... once I started thinking about it & reading more, we will have more time during the day without having to rush back to get ready for dinner (we always dress nice for dinner & sometimes after a sweaty day at the beach everyone needs a shower first) AND I also read that my older two (ages 4 & 6) can eat immediately upon entering the diningroom & then a youth counselor will escort them to the oceaneers club to play or do whatever they want until we've finished our meals. We're still stuck with the problem of the 2 year old, but we're training her to stay up till 10 now just so vacation won't be so rough on her ;) We know we can always eat dinner elsewhere, but we LOVE the diningrooms & dinner menus!!!!
I'm not sure if we'll try to switch or not... but everyone I know who's requested has always gotten their wish. I have a feeling we may be one of those "never going back" 2nd seaters... *I hope!* ;)


We've never experienced our kids eating 'immediately' upon entering the dining room....depends on your servers as to how quickly they get your kids' food. The last time we had 2nd seating, our server brought our kids food with ours, no matter how many times we told him we wanted them to go ahead and eat. We are wait listed for 1st seating for this weekend leaving on the Fantasy, fingers crossed!

stitchlovestink
11-13-2012, 10:07 PM
I'm glad to hear late dining is easier to get, as that's what we're planning to request. My dad goes to bed very early, and if we had early dinner I don't think he'd ever make it through the shows afterward. I would rather he be able to see the show early, and then he can grab a quick bite or order room service and go to bed while the rest of us go to dinner. My mom and I work nights, so we're used to eating at strange times, and the rest of my family is flexible.

I'm another one who wouldn't be comfortable with table mates. How many do the tables seat? If there are already 6 of us traveling together, are we likely to have other people at our table? Dinner is our family time and that might be about the only time we see our kids the whole cruise! I expect to get to sit down with them at dinner and talk about what they've been doing all day, new friends they've met, etc. and not have to worry about making conversation with another family.

You should be fine!! The tables are 4, 6 and 8 tops. So as a family of 6 it would be HIGHLY unlikely for them to seat you at something other than a 6 top. It 'could' happen but usually the 8 tops are filled by 2 4's or a 5 & 3 or a 4 & 3 (doesn't have to absolutely fill the table) see what I mean? But honestly, I really think they'll put your family at your own 6 top automatically. Good Luck!! :)


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zealandsmom
11-13-2012, 11:16 PM
We've always had the early seating, but this time (cruise coming up in 12 days!) we jumped on a fl resident offer & only 2nd seating was available :( I was highly disappointed because when you have young children they are often tired & cranky come 8pm. HOWEVER... once I started thinking about it & reading more, we will have more time during the day without having to rush back to get ready for dinner (we always dress nice for dinner & sometimes after a sweaty day at the beach everyone needs a shower first) AND I also read that my older two (ages 4 & 6) can eat immediately upon entering the diningroom & then a youth counselor will escort them to the oceaneers club to play or do whatever they want until we've finished our meals. We're still stuck with the problem of the 2 year old, but we're training her to stay up till 10 now just so vacation won't be so rough on her ;) We know we can always eat dinner elsewhere, but we LOVE the diningrooms & dinner menus!!!!
I'm not sure if we'll try to switch or not... but everyone I know who's requested has always gotten their wish. I have a feeling we may be one of those "never going back" 2nd seaters... *I hope!* ;)

We just had 2nd seating and loved it! Our service wasn't superb yet our kids hd plenty of time to eat before the kids club crew came at 9:15. We loved being able to finish desert and coffee alone as adults and stroll around before grabbing kids about 10ish.
We put chicken fingers and fries inside drink cups and fed the kids a snack during the waiting of the shows to start. Put lids on the cups and threw them in my bag :)
Kids didn't have much time to get dessert so we ordered cookies from room service (or mickey bars) and let them eat while watching tv.

Good luck with whatever you decide!