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Old 10-06-2012, 01:13 PM   #31
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When I travel, I try to adjust to a new time zone as quickly as possible. I think the time you eat dinner at home is more important than the time difference between home and the Caribbean. I don't eat dinner at midnight or 1 a.m. when I'm in Europe - just because it's 6 p.m. at my house!
This! Unless you plan to get up at 10am or 11 am every day, and go to sleep at 2 to 3am, eating dinner in the Caribbean at the same time as the West Coast is pretty meaningless. It will only cause your body to be upset & jetlagged for the entire cruise!

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #32
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We leave in the middle of the week, so I can just start adjusting our time to East Coast time little by little since the kids are out of school for Spring break. Seeing as my kids seem to ALWAYS be hungry, I think we'll wind up OK either way.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:03 PM   #33
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We love the extra time to have around the pool in the afternoons. I would really hate having to rush to the room to shower at 4:00 every day. There's still so much DAY left to enjoy! The pool finally empties out at 4:00 when all the early diners leave to go shower. Prime lounge chair time for moi!!

We also keep a very late schedule at home all year long (often don't eat dinner until around 10:00 due to busy practice schedules etc) so we're used to having late lunches to match. (I often don't have lunch until around 2:00.) Simply cannot imagine HAVING to eat dinner at 6:00 when it would be just after my lunchtime.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:19 PM   #34
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After further thought, I had my MIL change our dinner time to the late seating. I liked what someone said about the kids being awake for the show. If they fall asleep at dinner, not like they are missing a huge part of what a Disney cruise is about for a little kid.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #35
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After further thought, I had my MIL change our dinner time to the late seating. I liked what someone said about the kids being awake for the show. If they fall asleep at dinner, not like they are missing a huge part of what a Disney cruise is about for a little kid.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #36
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We currently have late dining, wait-listed for early dining. It seems like most people prefer the late dining. My concern with the late dining was that my 5 year old would be so worn out by the activities of the day that he would be cranky and tired by the time we get to late dining. He typically is a night owl, so maybe this won't be a problem. Do kids usually do well with the late dining?
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #37
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We love the extra time to have around the pool in the afternoons. I would really hate having to rush to the room to shower at 4:00 every day. There's still so much DAY left to enjoy! The pool finally empties out at 4:00 when all the early diners leave to go shower. Prime lounge chair time for moi!!

We also keep a very late schedule at home all year long (often don't eat dinner until around 10:00 due to busy practice schedules etc) so we're used to having late lunches to match. (I often don't have lunch until around 2:00.) Simply cannot imagine HAVING to eat dinner at 6:00 when it would be just after my lunchtime.
and if you're on the Fantasy the lines for the Auquaduck really drop as you get closer to the 1st dining, which leaves more opportunity for 2nd diners...
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:35 PM   #38
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I haven't sailed on NCL, but have had anytime dining on Princess, HAL, RCI, and Celebrity. I love it.
It's fine as long as they leave the option for set dining too, which is what HAL does. We worked around it on NCL by making a reservation for the next night at dinner each night. We only made the mistake of doing walk up dining once, and had the long wait. Although on NCL the staff said the big issue they are having is more people than expected are choosing the main dining rooms over the extra cost dining rooms and they didn't make the main dining rooms big enough.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:54 PM   #39
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We currently have late dining, wait-listed for early dining. It seems like most people prefer the late dining. My concern with the late dining was that my 5 year old would be so worn out by the activities of the day that he would be cranky and tired by the time we get to late dining. He typically is a night owl, so maybe this won't be a problem. Do kids usually do well with the late dining?
We are all night owls around here, but long exciting days cut into that quite a bit. Kids are up first thing and ready to do more Disney... keep that pace all day. Nearly all the young children at late dining fell asleep somewhere during the meal (those that stayed, can not account for Kids Club ones). This has just been our experience on a few late dining DCL cruises. Our children don't peacefully fall asleep, there's a period of extreme crankiness when they continue to be stimulated by their environment beyond what they can handle. All that being said, it's a personal choice based upon circumstances (west coast residents, for example), and the characters (your family, not those of the Disney sort) involved.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:11 AM   #40
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I'd just like to add that the late dining creates a need for a between meal snack. This makes for a perfect time in the mid afternoon to enjoy the All Hands on Deck platter. Just sayin'
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:01 PM   #41
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We generally didn't eat breakfast until 10:30 am and lunch until 2:30 to 3 pm anyway, so we didn't find a need to snack.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #42
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Thanks for the insights With the late dining, you sit through the shows first, right? Maybe that will be enough to help the kids wind down a bit before dinner. We can try it the first few nights and if it doesn't work out, we can always feed the kids earlier from the quick-service restaurants. Looking forward to figuring it all out!
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #43
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Our dd 10 did ok with late dining. I thought it was great and so did DW. We were never rushed getting there and while the first group is at dinner you can go places that at other times are very busy like the duck or the shopping.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:39 PM   #44
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Thanks for the insights With the late dining, you sit through the shows first, right? Maybe that will be enough to help the kids wind down a bit before dinner. We can try it the first few nights and if it doesn't work out, we can always feed the kids earlier from the quick-service restaurants. Looking forward to figuring it all out!
the early show starts about 6:15- usually closer to 6:30 once all the announcements are made by Brent....then its usually a walk straight to late dinner after the show...
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #45
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Let's hope Disney never ever ever does that. Freestyle is a mess.

Okay, went on HAL in June, you had a choice of early or late or anytime, that was okay. Anytime only on NCL. MESS. Long wait, rushed meal.
We've sailed NCL quite a few times including the first year Freestyle dining was offered and it was never a "mess", long waits or rushed meals...at least for us. We absolutely loved having the freedom of dining when and where we liked on port intensive cruises in Europe and Alaska. Have never sailed NCL in the Caribbean, so can't comment on that.
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