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JJsmama
03-19-2004, 06:57 AM
We recently made our reservations for a cruise the end of October. We've already been waitlisted for the main dinner seating. We are a group with 13 little kids who can NOT wait til 8:30 for dinner.

ANyone have any tips to help secure the early seating? I can't believe it is full seven months in advance.

DisneyBill
03-19-2004, 07:04 AM
Main dining does book-up early on most cruises, but the waitlist does often bring results. We booked our last cruise at 11 months and were wait listed. Ultimately we did get early seating. There is some element that is related to the TA you used having some ability to get you main dining, you may want to ask. Also, many people will decide not to cruise shortly before the final payment is due and this opens up their spot in line for dining preference. Good luck!

mickeyboat
03-19-2004, 07:05 AM
We booked our March cruise in September and was wait-listed for early seating. My TA said there was a good chance we would get early seating. When we got on board, we were put in early seating. There was no way our two little ones could have lasted through late seating.

If you still have late seating when you get on board, go to dining changes and try to switch. I am sure they will be more than accomodating.

Good luck!

Denae

jeanniec
03-19-2004, 07:07 AM
I can't tell you much about the wait-listing, but I have heard many people say that they have gotten the seating they were requesting when they were on the list. As for the seven month ahead reservation, that would be an early reservation for most cruise lines probably, but not on DCL. We are going on an October 2004 DCL cruise and we made our reservations at the beginning of August 2003 (14 months ahead of time). We also just reserved a June 2005 cruise this past February (16 months prior to sailing). Did this to get the early booking discount. So far our October cruise has gone up $1000 from the price we got last August!

SweetSpot
03-19-2004, 07:13 AM
Is it the 10/30 Eastern? It would make sense if it was that cruise because that's the week NJ has off and the ship is generally pretty full. I would think you won't have trouble getting the seating you want having booked so far ahead. I'm sure groups holding main seating will cancel around the 60 day mark giving you their spot.

Ima Princess
03-19-2004, 07:59 AM
Not to be a downer, but we were waitlisted for our May cruise (party of 3, and DD was 4) and NEVER got it. We also checked after boarding and even then could not get it changed.

However, you can make the late seating work if you have to. Use room service to get some snacks, etc. for the kids, or get pizza or burgers on deck. If your kids are in the kids club, they can go to an early dinner with the club. If you want to have family time at meal time, they can still go with you to your late seating and just have apps and dessert or something.

I hope you get the early seating, but also wanted to give you hints on how late can work if you have no choice...

Good luck!

--CC

dis4me
03-19-2004, 08:24 AM
I agree with Ima Princess. We also booked in March for last years Nov 1 cruise and were waitlisted for main seaing. I was very uspset and was assured that I would get it not to worry. Friends ofours booked after us and they were given main seating(they were only 2 we were 5) so I emailed my TA to have them contact DCL but they were still saying it was full. On board we had a probelm witht the room so I never made it to try on board but I did check with ou head server the first night and they said teh ship is full and they couldn't help but told us about our dining options.
eedlss to say we wound up eating at 830. It was OK although I wouldn't do it again.We would feed them at 6 at Pluto's then they would have appetizers and dessert with us. A few nights the kids ate quickly and we ran then to the club because they didn't want to miss what was going on.My 18 mos old was the mst difficult becaus he would want to eat again but his stomach didn't want him to.
Good luck with Main seating I just don't want you to be unprepared.

trip
03-19-2004, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by JJsmama
We are a group with 13 little kids who can NOT wait til 8:30 for dinner.


How many are in your group? Perhaps the overall size is a factor.

JJsmama
03-19-2004, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. To answer a few of your questions:

There are 26 of us and I wondered if the size of the group was making a difference too.

It is the Oct. 24, Disney Wonder cruise.

As you pointed out, I guess seven months ahead isn't much for DCL. I thought since it was the 'off season' it wouldn't be full yet.

Thanks for the suggestions about checking after we board and what to do if we don't ever get the main seating.

I will be very disappointed though. With that many people in the group and all the little kids, the seating time will make a huge difference in our trip.

moinab
03-19-2004, 12:39 PM
I do hope you are able to get the seating you want, but if not, you may be surprised. We had late seating with an almost 3 year old and a 5 month old. We loved it! The kids were on completely different schedules anyway, because we were on vacation. DS had no interest in napping (he usually takes a 3 hour nap every afternoon) and yet he still was able to stay up until 10:30-11 PM every night without a problem. Of course, it was only 3 nights, but we were really surprised by how well he did. We got him pizza (his favorite) every afternoon around 5, followed by ice cream, and then he was fine until dinner.

Good luck!

talicskai
03-19-2004, 01:44 PM
We were on the Magic Jan 31/04 and two nights we didn't feel like "dressing up" so at 6:30pm we went to Topsider's (deck 9 aft). They served the same menu as the main restaurants and it was very casual. This would work out very well for your group. check the navigators where they list the times for the restaurants and see if the Wonder has the same thing.

Good luck with your request. We had a group of 60 and half of the group was waitlisted for early dining. All but two people cleared the waitlist and the other couple loved late dining because they were never rushed when coming back from an island.

cropperbecky
03-19-2004, 06:00 PM
Hi JJsmama! Just a quick hello to let you know that I will be on the same cruise! Hope to talk to you soon!:wave2:

pth
03-19-2004, 06:11 PM
Is there any pattern to who gets the main seating? Like families with children figuring that they would more likely need the earlier seating while couples can wait until the later seating? I booked 6 months ahead and me and my wife are booked for the later seating.

clh2
03-19-2004, 08:56 PM
It's me asking a dumb question again - are there any smaller groups of tables available? If early seating is so important to your timing - why not try to split your group up in the dining room. Maybe they would be able to even split your group into the different dining rooms?

KyBuckeye
03-19-2004, 09:14 PM
I really doubt if it is the group's size that's a factor. We booked the Western/Magic cruise for Oct 9 and have been waitlisted as well. There are only 4 of us and we booked about 3 weeks ago. I, too, was shocked and upset that we couldn't get the early seating that far in advance. We have a 4 and 6 yr old and they are definately not night owls. Our TA put us on the wait list but I even called Disney myself to inquire. To put it mildly the person I spoke to wasn't at all nice. In fact the message was quite clearly "tough luck". Still, I'm hoping that we will luck out and get the early slot at some point. Good luck to you as well!

TammyC
03-19-2004, 09:25 PM
Just for my own knowledge - do they tell you that you are waitlisted before you make your reservation or after?

clh2
03-19-2004, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by TammyC
Just for my own knowledge - do they tell you that you are waitlisted before you make your reservation or after?

We made our reservations with DCL directly. We knew right away from the beginning that we had an early seating for dinner.

quote: Is there any pattern to who gets the main seating? Like families with children figuring that they would more likely need the earlier seating while couples can wait until the later seating? I booked 6 months ahead and me and my wife are booked for the later seating.

I believe the seatings are determined by first reserved - first pick.

DisneyBill
03-20-2004, 01:50 PM
KyBuckeye & JJsmama, please revisit this forum if something changes and give us an update or outcome! Thanks, enjoy your cruise. OOT, I just booked (on 3-19-04) the 2-13-05 4 day Wonder and rec'd early dining. Was told main dining was about 80% full.

makaylee
03-20-2004, 02:21 PM
We were waitlisted for our cruise in May that we had booked about 9 months in advance. We never got moved, it ended up working out good for us though. With all your kids i bet if you went to guest services when you got on the ship they could help you. We never bothered and it worked out well, we were living in the pacific time zone at the time though I think that helped.

walczak4
03-20-2004, 02:46 PM
We are booked on the 7 night Western 02/26/05 & have early dinner seating. I booked this trip last October (so 16 months ahead of time) to celebrate hubbies 40th b-day. Since then my MIL & FIL have decided to join us & they have also been waitlisted for early dinner. I am hoping we can somehow get them in for early dinner seating with us so we don't have to split up our group. Our DD princess: will be 5 at time of cruise and DS pirate: will have just turned 2---don't think they could handle late dinner seating.

NYGiantsRule!
03-20-2004, 02:46 PM
If this is one of the first cruises after the Wonder comes out of drydock there may be a large number of people who want to sail during that time.

JJsmama
03-20-2004, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by NYGiantsRule!
If this is one of the first cruises after the Wonder comes out of drydock there may be a large number of people who want to sail during that time.

I was thinking that too. It is the second one after leaving drydock. We are requiring 8 staterooms and they couldn't even get us on the first one.