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Old 12-28-2012, 07:50 AM   #1
twinone
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Odds of early dining waitlist for party of 8?

We leave on the 20th on the dream, there are 8 of us and we've been waitlisted for early dining, I'm sooo nervous its not going to clear and honestly I feel like its going to wreck the vacation. Our kids are 11, 8, 7 and 3 and there all very used to eating at 5pm everyday. My nephew has adhd and takes meds and to be honest by 8pm he's not going to sit at dinner, I know we have the dine and play option but I feel like that cuts into the adult time after dinner to have a drink and relax on the ship (the kids normally go to bed at 730 and 830)

We went last Jan (just my family of 4) and by now it had already been changed so I'm nervous with such a large party it might not happen. I'd even be willing to do two tables of 4...ugh! So what do you think the changes are at this point? .
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:56 AM   #2
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I'm in the same situation for my party of 7 on the sailing leaving the 27th. I have 2 diabetics in my family and they need to be kept on a regulated schedule. If it doesn't happen, I'm not too worried as they can get snacks on deck to tie them over, but it'll still be inconvenient.

I went last January and was wait listed for 3 adults and was granted the request a few weeks before we left, so there's still time.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinone
We leave on the 20th on the dream, there are 8 of us and we've been waitlisted for early dining, I'm sooo nervous its not going to clear and honestly I feel like its going to wreck the vacation. Our kids are 11, 8, 7 and 3 and there all very used to eating at 5pm everyday. My nephew has adhd and takes meds and to be honest by 8pm he's not going to sit at dinner, I know we have the dine and play option but I feel like that cuts into the adult time after dinner to have a drink and relax on the ship (the kids normally go to bed at 730 and 830)

We went last Jan (just my family of 4) and by now it had already been changed so I'm nervous with such a large party it might not happen. I'd even be willing to do two tables of 4...ugh! So what do you think the changes are at this point? .
We didn't find out we had early dining until we were on the ship. I figured we didn't get it (our TA never emailed us), so I had made peace with it before we boarded. After lunch I asked my DH if I should at least try for early at the dining changes station, and he said yes. I happened to look at the dining rotation on the card and it showed early! I'm glad we had that conversation or we would have missed dinner!
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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We weren't notified of the change either. It just showed up on our reservation one day when I was checking details online. OP, when you first board, if your KTTW card says late dining, go to dining changes and see if they can help.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
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If your need for main seating is MEDICAL, have that noted on the reservation and it will be granted. To do this, call DCL or your travel agent.

If the request is a preference, there are other places where you can feed the kids and then put them in the programming while you enjoy adult dinner--or you can choose to eat with them. Specifically, Cabanas serves a sit down dinner except the first and last nights, the fast food outlets are open (some with healthy options), and you can order from room service.

We find that with late dinner, a late afternoon "healthy snack" is a must.

It is difficult to move a large group after boarding, but if your KTTW card indicates late seating, go to "Dining Changes"and ask.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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Feed the kids early

If you don't get early dining. There is plenty of food available. Feed the kids early and send them to the club and then go have dinner. You can pick up food on the pool deck there is milk and fruit available or you can order room service(there is no extra charge but you should tip).
I know a lot of people say they want the family time but you can do they earlier in the day and not torture your kids with a long dinner.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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I was adamant I wanted early dining on our first cruise, as like you, thats the kind of time we eat at home and I never thought the late dining would work for us. However, when there, we found it was too early, especially on port days, as there was too much rush to get back and get ready for dinner.

On our second cruise we tried late dinner, and I much preferred it. There are so many places to get food to help you wait that bit longer, and it was lovely not to have to rush from Castaway or other places, and be able to spend longer at the pool etc. The kids preferred it as well (admittedly they are older than yours at 14 and 13 when we cruised earlier this year).

My kids also have a strict bedtime which is early at home (or early compared to their friends). They really need their sleep and know it, so this doesn't cause a problem. Again on the cruise, they go with the flow and are up very late (later than me!) at the kids club, although they do sleep in the next day apart from port day.

One of my rules is that you can stay out late at Edge/Vibe as long as you're not grumpy. If you are grumpy, you aren't allowed to club the following day and you have an early night. Worked well for us as a family, but appreciate it wouldn't for others.

I suppose what I'm getting at is if you don't get early dining, give the late dining a good go and you might be pleasantly suprised.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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We are hoping for the same. Only late was available when we booked and our TA felt it was best. But as we talked more about it I got more worried. I think my older 3 will be fine but my 2 yr old will likely be crabby or asleep on me as I try to eat. She is incredibly afraid of people she doesnt know so I dont see her staying in the nursery. I hope our wait list request gets granted!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Hopefully you will get early. When you board, go immediately to dining changes, the further you are up in line, the better your chances. I would send one person from each cabin and be sure to let them know that you are flexible for having two tables etc. It's pretty much the same on every cruise ship. We've had twice where we were accomodated to change to early at the dining changes. On our last cruise on Carnival we joined my parents last minute and were bumped to late. We asked for the change but by dinner didn't have it. We went to late and both kids (6 m. and 3) fell asleep. I was so tired, it was miseable trying to eat and hold the baby and so late I didn't even feel much like eating, my mom felt the same. We usually eat at 5-5:30 for dinner, 8 is bedtime! The Maitre'D came by and took a look at us, and apologized again that he hadn't been able to swtch us but he would see again if anything could be done for the rest of the cruise. By the next night we had a table for 6 in early seating and it looked to us that they had added the table in a spot there normally wasn't one, we were between a door and up against the balcony rail on the upper level but we were ever so grateful and it was so much better for us. They don't want anyone to be miserable and will bend over backwards if possible.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madzac View Post
We are hoping for the same. Only late was available when we booked and our TA felt it was best. But as we talked more about it I got more worried. I think my older 3 will be fine but my 2 yr old will likely be crabby or asleep on me as I try to eat. She is incredibly afraid of people she doesnt know so I dont see her staying in the nursery. I hope our wait list request gets granted!
Feed the 2 year old early, and bring her to dinner in a stroller. If she falls asleep, not a big deal.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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We got our dining waitlist approved in early January for our Jan 21st Magic cruise and we were a group of 11
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
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We were a little bit worried about this too. Our first thought was to put in a request for early. We had early on our first two cruises (we had no children of our own at the time, but sailed with family who did).
I will admit that early seating was nice for the kids, but I would never personally choose it for us. As other posters said, we always felt so rushed to get to dinner every night.
Even now that we have DD (who will be 6 when we cruise), I think I'd rather keep the late seating. We're used to eating dinner around 6 central time, which will be 7 on the ship, so late dinner won't actually feel that late for us. And if we find that DD can't make it, we can always get her a little snack before dinner, or feed her and send her to the club.

But I can definitely see wanting early seating for a large group like yours, OP. It sounds like there's a good chance you'll be able to get it. But if you don't, try not to let it wreck your vacation. My biggest rule for a successful cruise vacation: "Relax and go with the flow"...
Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #13
twinone
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Just wanted to let everyone know we did finally clear the waitlist today (Wednesday) for our sailing this Sunday, I have to say I'm sooo happy since I was really thinking for our family the late was not going to work great for us at this point
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:08 PM   #14
Madzac
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So glad it worked out!!! I can appreciate your relief!!
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