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Old 08-24-2009, 04:39 AM   #1
JoandWayne
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First or Second Seating for Dinner?

We have selected second seating for Dinner but don't really know if this is the right choice?

We wonder if it affects your on shore excursions - we are doing 10 day mediterranean cruise on 26th May 2010 and it is our first cruise. We thought second seating would give us chance to get back from our day out, get changed and eat dinner after all of the really young kids and families eat on the first sitting. Is this good thinking or not? My kids will be 14 and 10 when we go.

Also, on second seating will we miss the start of the shows?
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:38 AM   #2
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We have 2nd seating too.Your shows will be before dinner and I would assume most younger families will have 1st seating.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
JoandWayne
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Oh, not sure if I want first seating now if the shows are before dinner
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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I like first seating because I have young kids and this is the time we eat at home. It was a pain having the kids fall asleep or worse(crabby and winey) while I was trying to enjoy dinner. I ended up taking things to go and eating in the room more than half the time.

Since your kids are older-I'm sure you will not have this problem. You can choose whatever one you would like. I can't see how it gives you more time to get dressed tho unless you don't want to see the shows. I think it would make more sense to have both shows after dinner.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Our Med cruise in 2007 was the first time we had second seating ... that is our preferred time now. There were days when we would not have been back in time to change for dinner if we had early seating. You don't miss the shows because they have an early and later show. The only thing you need to think about is if 10:00 p.m. is too late for your children to finish dinner. My DD is 16 so it is not a factor for us.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcladdict-ohio View Post
Our Med cruise in 2007 was the first time we had second seating ... that is our preferred time now. There were days when we would not have been back in time to change for dinner if we had early seating. You don't miss the shows because they have an early and later show. The only thing you need to think about is if 10:00 p.m. is too late for your children to finish dinner. My DD is 16 so it is not a factor for us.
I am not sure if I would want to do the shows before dinner! If I have second seating would I definitely have to do the shows before dinner?
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JoandWayne View Post
I am not sure if I would want to do the shows before dinner! If I have second seating would I definitely have to do the shows before dinner?
There are only two shows per night. 6:30PM for the late dining and 8:30PM for the early dining. If you want to go to the 8:30PM show you will have to switch to early seating...which is 5:45PM or 6:00PM depending on the cruise.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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Oh well, if that is the case I think I might want to do early dining. We would end up snacking all the way through the shows and then not be hungry for the main dinner.

Thanks everyone for your help - I really appreciate it.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:51 AM   #9
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Well, the early dinner is 5:45 and early shows are 6:15....so late dinner does place your "early" activities a little later.

We do a late afternoon snack like at 4:30, then don't eat until late dinner. It works well...no snacking for us during the shows. The biggest downside to late is that you're not hungry for the buffets. Also, some of the best kid activities occur during late dinner. That one was tough before she got "old."

We strongly prefer late.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Ohhhhh - I am so confused!!!!! Everyone here seems to think second seating is best. Need to speak to DH and see what he thinks.

Please all keep your suggestions and ideas coming!

P.S. Do you pay extra to do character meals onboard i.e. character breakfast?
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:18 PM   #11
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From personal experience -- we have ONLY done late dining -- even when our daughter was 9 on our first cruise. First dining used to be at 6 p.m. and it was just too early for us to worry about rushing back while in port to make that dining time. After 7 cruises, we could never do anything but late dining. There are hardly any young ones at late dining and the dining room is SO much less hectic (you're not rushed out after dessert so they can set up for the next dining rotation).

As for the show being first -- I love it like that. Sometimes we go to the show in our shorts and tees, then go back to the room to change for dinner. I find it so much more relaxing not to have to rush to shower and change for a 6 p.m. dinner.

But yes, you do finish late -- sometimes you don't get out until 10 p.m. If you have a sensitive stomach to eating late, this may bother you. We always take a walk around the decks after dinner to let the food settle.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:44 PM   #12
JoandWayne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSox68 View Post
From personal experience -- we have ONLY done late dining -- even when our daughter was 9 on our first cruise. First dining used to be at 6 p.m. and it was just too early for us to worry about rushing back while in port to make that dining time. After 7 cruises, we could never do anything but late dining. There are hardly any young ones at late dining and the dining room is SO much less hectic (you're not rushed out after dessert so they can set up for the next dining rotation).

As for the show being first -- I love it like that. Sometimes we go to the show in our shorts and tees, then go back to the room to change for dinner. I find it so much more relaxing not to have to rush to shower and change for a 6 p.m. dinner.

But yes, you do finish late -- sometimes you don't get out until 10 p.m. If you have a sensitive stomach to eating late, this may bother you. We always take a walk around the decks after dinner to let the food settle.
Thanks for the advice. Really appreciate this.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #13
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No, you do not pay extra for the character breakfast on board. The only meal you'll pay extra for is Palo dining.

I agree with PP...sometimes we dress for dinner before the show, sometimes we go to the show in shorts and change between the show and dinner. It's nice to have the flexibility.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:56 PM   #14
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I guess I'll play the opposing role. I would absolutely HATE 2nd seating. I probably wouldn't ever go to the dining room if I had 2nd seating. DH and I could not stand to eat that late at night. We would be miserable all night and into the next morning. I like going to dinner and then seeing the show. but that's JMHO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSox68 View Post
From personal experience -- we have ONLY done late dining -- even when our daughter was 9 on our first cruise. First dining used to be at 6 p.m. and it was just too early for us to worry about rushing back while in port to make that dining time. After 7 cruises, we could never do anything but late dining. There are hardly any young ones at late dining and the dining room is SO much less hectic (you're not rushed out after dessert so they can set up for the next dining rotation).

As for the show being first -- I love it like that. Sometimes we go to the show in our shorts and tees, then go back to the room to change for dinner. I find it so much more relaxing not to have to rush to shower and change for a 6 p.m. dinner.

But yes, you do finish late -- sometimes you don't get out until 10 p.m. If you have a sensitive stomach to eating late, this may bother you. We always take a walk around the decks after dinner to let the food settle.
bolding is mine...
We were NEVER rushed out. Actually, a couple of times, I wished that they would've picked up the pace some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoandWayne View Post
Thanks for the advice. Really appreciate this.
I think that this is something that you need to figure out what works for you and your DH. When this question has been asked before, some people have suggested keeping your dining time as close to what time you would eat if you were home (also taking into consideration if you are from the west coast now visiting the east coast, there's already a 3 hr time difference, so later would probably be better). It does seem though that early dining is more popular. I have not heard of anyone not getting 2nd dining that wants it. But I have seen people post what to do as they wanted 1st dining and got 2nd.
Good Luck w/ your decision and enjoy that 10 day cruise! Lucky you to have such a long cruise.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:09 PM   #15
JoandWayne
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Originally Posted by stitchlovestink View Post
I guess I'll play the opposing role. I would absolutely HATE 2nd seating. I probably wouldn't ever go to the dining room if I had 2nd seating. DH and I could not stand to eat that late at night. We would be miserable all night and into the next morning. I like going to dinner and then seeing the show. but that's JMHO.

bolding is mine...
We were NEVER rushed out. Actually, a couple of times, I wished that they would've picked up the pace some.


I think that this is something that you need to figure out what works for you and your DH. When this question has been asked before, some people have suggested keeping your dining time as close to what time you would eat if you were home (also taking into consideration if you are from the west coast now visiting the east coast, there's already a 3 hr time difference, so later would probably be better). It does seem though that early dining is more popular. I have not heard of anyone not getting 2nd dining that wants it. But I have seen people post what to do as they wanted 1st dining and got 2nd.
Good Luck w/ your decision and enjoy that 10 day cruise! Lucky you to have such a long cruise.
I think I agree with you. My instinct tells me first dining will be better and do the shows later - we are from East Coast - we live in England. Only concern is on days where we are off the boat on excursions - would we be back in time for dinner? Presumably they do get you back in time?
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