View Full Version : Options for skipping late seating?

06-27-2004, 12:57 PM
We have been given the late seating for our cruise. We're waitlisted for the early seating from when we made our ressies in January. I have two young boys and there are 15 young kids in our family group.

Anyway, especially after hearing some say that they don't get out of dinner before 10:15, there is no way I am doing the late seating every night. My kids couldn't stay awake--or they would be miserable for all involved and my husband couldn't wait that late to eat either.

What are the options? Where should we eat earlier? Is it inferior to the dining room? If we skip the dining rooms, will we feel we've been shortchanged and missed a great part of the cruise?

My kids do want to see the Animators Palate light thing. Is there any way if we show up at the early seating that they would seat us if another family didn't show?


Mary Anne
06-27-2004, 01:45 PM
You cannot just turn up for early seating; sadly it just doesnt work that way.

Your options are as follows:

You seem to be part of a fairly large group, I'm not 100% sure you'll all get changed to early seating. If it doesn't go thru before you sail, I would get to the port early and go directly to the change area. You might get lucky.

If not, I understand topsiders does a nice dinner and you could always have a snack earlier to hold you off till late dinner.

Good luck.

06-27-2004, 02:13 PM
I would think that young kids would especially enjoy the atmosphere of Animators Palate and Parrot Cay so I would try not to miss those dinners. Be aware however, if this is a seven day cruise that the show in Animators Palate is only run the first time you are in that restaurant. The next time it stays black and white.

DH and I really enjoyed Topsiders for dinner. We only went there once for dinner and felt that it was one of the best dinners of the cruise. When we cruise in Sept. we will definitely eat there more than once. The atmosphere is also very nice. Very peaceful and quiet. The rotation dining rooms sometimes seem a bit noisy and hectic.

Oh, by the way, there is no buffet for dinner available on the three and four night cruises. Your only other options would be room service or pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers or whatever else is available at the food stands on Deck 9.

06-27-2004, 02:21 PM
<<Oh, by the way, there is no buffet for dinner available on the three and four night cruises.>>

Does this mean that Topsiders is not open for dinner on the 4 night cruises or that it is not a buffet?
Thanks for info.

06-27-2004, 02:40 PM
Sorry, Topsiders is not open for dinner on the four night cruise. I sure wish it was though!

06-27-2004, 07:12 PM
On our first cruise we requested early seating. Our boys were 4, 8 and 11. For us it was a big mistake! I felt so rushed to get all three of them (and myself) ready to eat at 6:00 pm. This was especially hard if you were late coming back from an excursion or if they wanted to stay at the pool! Also, we're on the West coast so eating at 6:00 pm was more like eating at 3:00 pm. On our next cruise, and every cruise since, we've opted for late seating. There is always something to eat somewhere on the ship -- Plutos, Scoops, Pinnochio's Pizza and/or room service. As for getting out of the dining room at a reasonable time, I think it truly depends on your server. On our second cruise, our server had four large tables of 8+ plus a couple of smaller tables. We were always the last table to be served and late getting out of the dining room every night. I should have spoken to our head server. After all, he was the one responsible for the section and oversees the servers/assistant servers. We just got off the Magic and had the best servers ever. Alex from the Phillipines (server) and Shontal from Jamaica (assistant server). We were always out of the dining room by 10:00 pm. HTH

06-27-2004, 07:36 PM
Do they really frown on you getting up and leaving? 2 hours for dinner just seems about an 1 1/2 to long for me :( Really what can they do if you did?

Beginning to wonder if I'll even bother with the rotational dinners.


Mary Anne
06-27-2004, 07:50 PM
You have to keep in mind that you're getting served a course at a time. Everything is not just put on your table, family style. Plus your server is serving other tables of people. It takes awhile.

What we have learned is to be on time for dinner and all be at the table at once so we eat served first and early. That seems to cut down on the time if you're in a hurry and want to get to another activity.

At a minimum it's going to take an hour.

06-27-2004, 08:19 PM
I realize its one course at a time..guess I'll give it a shot the first night. 2 hours just eats up too much time, plus I literally don't eat a lot at one sitting anyway. Plus I have no idea who I'm going to be sitting with. :( Being a singleton and all... room service or topsiders might be a better option for me in the long run. Will see. Thanks for the quick reply.


06-27-2004, 09:13 PM
I think dinner in the dining rooms is one of the more relaxing aspects of the cruise...we are on the go all day and I look forward to just sitting in one place and having someone wait on me...it is a great time to catch up with the days activities and we have always been very interactive with our wait teams...they appreciate when you ask about their home countries and show an interest in them.

We love the dinner times....especially late dinner. If it looks like dinner is running a bit late on one night I will skip dessert and head out.


06-27-2004, 11:31 PM
We cruised last year and got late seating, which I was pretty sure I wanted anyway... and specifically asked for it again this time...we would NEVER have it any other way...

we feel we get more downtime between excursions and dinner...

As far as being hungry... stop by Plutos for a quick bite to tide you over until it is dinner time...

and don't think for a second that you all will be too tired to stay up that late... there is no concept of "time" on a DCL!!!

My kids are 15 and 6 and neither one had a problem with the time or being hungry...you will feel like you are eating nonstop on the ship anyway, if anything, the extra time is great to work up to an appetite again...!!!

I read over and over again the stress of late dining...and don't really see the problem...

07-02-2004, 02:54 PM
I've done a search for "room service dining" and this thread was one that came up. We will try the late seating on the first night of a 3 night cruise. Unfortunately, this is one disadvantage of an inside cabin, I don't think we'd like to eat there. Is there any alternate dining that doesn' t just have hamburger-type things.

The "problem" for us is that we eat at 5 at home, we always have, I can see waiting until 6, but 8:30 sounds too close to my bedtime.


07-02-2004, 03:49 PM
We had both early and late seatings with our kids on all different lines and our kids did great with late seating on all of them...even our little one who was 2 at the time was up and wired.

We would get a "snack" from room service like cheese, cookies and milk or something about 4. By then it was time to hit the show which the kids weren't that hungry for anything during the show and then we'd head to dinner where by then they were hungry again. We also asked our waiter to bring our kids dinner out asap and then if they got unruly after they would eat one of us would ask for a lid for our dinner and we'd take them to the room and we'd eat in the room and then the waiter would send the dessert that we'd already picked out and told the other one with the person that stayed. It sounds like you are eating so late but really there is no concept of time on a cruise...it sounds bizarre but there isnt. And if you decide that it is too late you can always do room service for the kids and let each parent trade off nights in the dining room so that you do get to experience SOME meals in the dining room.


07-02-2004, 04:16 PM
we got late seating on our last cruise and really wanted early seating. When I decided to booked the REAS Package I asked if they could give us early seating and she got it for us. Is worth the try and you will love the REAS package anyway.


07-02-2004, 07:07 PM
It has never taken us 2 hours for dinner. We usually request late seating, and request our favorite server. On the first night, he always asks that we be at dinner "2 minutes early." That way, he can get our orders in promptly "so that we can enjoy our evening." We have always been thru by 10, frequently a little earlier.

No one frowns on young people leaving the dining room--it happens all the time. They'll usually hurry dessert for the kids if they want to leave and the parents want to linger over coffee.

07-02-2004, 07:27 PM
I'm kinda undecided...it would be nice to have late seating so you could have more time during the day for excursions, etc., but early dining would be nice to have more time in the evening for the clubs or shows, seems strange to me to go to a show THEN dinner..... p.s. can I have the late breakfast with the early dinner?

I am soooooooo not a morning person, can't ya tell by my picture??? ---> :crazy: