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Old 11-06-2012, 10:31 PM   #46
cgolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbgraves View Post
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.

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Old 11-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgolf

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...
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:12 PM   #48
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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....
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:15 PM   #49
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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.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #50
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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!*
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #51
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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.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addictedx5 View Post
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!
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by sskem96
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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Old 11-13-2012, 11:16 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addictedx5
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!
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