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Old 11-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
debbs0723
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Got late dining seating. What is your experience with that?

We will be going with 8 and 5 year olds. We don't have any excursions planned and we plan on them spending a good amount of time in the kids clubs. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on late dining seating. Early isn't available right now but I thought late might not be so bad if they got an early snack. We also put in for a table for 4 so do you think our chances will be better with that?

Have any of you gone with younger kids and done the late seating? My kids don't stay up super late but it isn't unheard of them to have energy around that time. Thoughts? If it is bad should I be getting on a waitlist for earlier seating?

Thanks,
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:25 PM   #2
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We had late, and found it did give you more time during the day to eat poolside or room service without spoiling your dinner too much. We also liked not having to sit and watch the shows being "stuffed like a thanksgiving meal" lol. granted our two are older (14,17) but my brothers youngest (9) was fine with the late seating and seemed to prefer it as well. The other thing we enjoyed was that we were never rushed at dinner (since no one else was coming), and had some GREAT conversations with our servers and really enjoyed that. It was the end of their day too, and they really seemed to kick back and chat with us over dessert, which was a nice treat each night.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Hi, I'm the one with the 9 yr old, and believe me I'm glad we had the late seating.....not only for the reasons my brother just said, but I just don't like running to dinner. After a day of runing around Nassau, and especially after running around Castaway Cay, I just wanted to come back to the boat and wind down some, spool down a little before I sat down to eat; watching the shows was perfect for this!

My advise....stay on the late dinner, and when you get back from whatever you're doing to dress for dinner and the show, call room service and get a few mickey bars or even a sandwich/burger if you want to hold the kids (and you!) over until dinner. Dinner itself will be more relaxed too, as you won't be herded out! After a great meal, you may find your little ones are ready for some shut eye, which could add some free time for you and the DH, so it could be a bonus for you......good luck!
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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Thank you both for responding. I was thinking along the same lines when I booked the late seating then once I started to second guess it, it was too late. I've been on two cruises before we had kids and we had early seating and it was always a pain to cut the day short and get there ontime, but again, that was before kids. I figure we will give it a shot the first couple of nights and if it just isn't working we'll feed the kids early then put them in the kids clubs and go by ourselves. Might work in some small naps before dinner or something.

Thanks again,
Debbie
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:00 PM   #5
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Our kids are 6 and 9 and we love late seating. Early seating is just too early for us. While late is a bit later than our normal at home eating time, when we are on the cruise, we shift our schedule pretty quickly (sleeping in in the morning)...so it works out.

I do plan to use the kids thing where they eat and then are taking to the Kids Club!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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Once you have had late seating you never want early again! As others have said - it is great to be able to shower/relax/have a cocktail in your cabin and not worry about running late to dinner after a full day. Order room service, watch a bit of TV and dont forget about the kids club eat and play option. We sailed in October with an 8, 9 and 11yr old and they all loved leaving us at 9pm and we loved it too!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:46 PM   #7
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We've only been on one DCL cruise and had the late seating with our 3 kids (19 months, 4 yrs and 6 yrs old) and it was great. If we had the early seating we would have been rushed, even with the late seating there was a couple of times where we were rushing to get everyone ready for dinner (there was so much to see and do on the Magic!). We are from the west coast though, so our kids were used to eating around that time.
We did use the service of the kids club counsellors picking up the kids at the dinner at 9 pm and our older ones did go to the kids club a few nights as they were done their dinner by 9 pm. That was a really nice service.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:07 PM   #8
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Just a note to add to the comments about the kids' eat and play. They serve the kids quicker when you are planning for that instead of having them wait for everyone to get food. That makes it really nice. My kids are a little older and actually wanted to hang out with us at dinner this time. But I like the option.

Also, like others said, dinner is more relaxed if you want it that way. On our first cruise it was great. Our server came by toward the end of the meals and did magic/science tricks for the kids. Or, if you don't want to linger, just let your servers know that you also want service a bit faster and they will accompodate that as well. (With the kids in the clubs, the adults have fun events planned also!)
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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We did late seating last year and early seating this year. I have to say, I will never go back to late seating. I really enjoyed seeing the shows after dinner and not going to bed on a full stomach. I did not feel rushed at any time with early seating. The only negative that I noticed with early seating is that it was harder to get character photos. The lines seemed to be much longer so we ended up not getting many photos taken. Not a big deal for us since we can get our character fix at Disneyland several times a week if we want to.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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LOVE late seating!! NO WAY I'd want to cut my afternoon short to get ready to eat at 5:30/6:00. That's when the pools empty out!! It also would mean sticking to somewhat of a schedule all day with meals so we'd be ready to eat that early. I'd rather "wing it" for breakfast & lunch.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Please help! What am I not getting here?

For those that are staying late seating gives you more time, can I assume none of you go to the main shows?

If you do attend the show I fail to see how you save time. You either goto dinner then the show or show then dinner.

Personally I would rather go to dinner then the show.

Also on Pirate night the buffet is a big deal. You go to dinner then go to the buffet?
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Presentation View Post
Please help! What am I not getting here?

For those that are staying late seating gives you more time, can I assume none of you go to the main shows?

If you do attend the show I fail to see how you save time. You either goto dinner then the show or show then dinner.

Personally I would rather go to dinner then the show.

Also on Pirate night the buffet is a big deal. You go to dinner then go to the buffet?
This has always confused me as well. Early seating is 5:45 on the Magic and the shows start at 6:15, so you really only gain 1/2 an hour by having late seating. I guess some people like to go to the shows casual then use the time in between to get ready for late seating. If you do this though, you miss out on the activities in between.

Last edited by sharen24; 11-24-2009 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Presentation View Post
Please help! What am I not getting here?

For those that are staying late seating gives you more time, can I assume none of you go to the main shows?

If you do attend the show I fail to see how you save time. You either goto dinner then the show or show then dinner.

Personally I would rather go to dinner then the show.

Also on Pirate night the buffet is a big deal. You go to dinner then go to the buffet?
We do not go to all of the shows. Unless it's a NEW one like the Toy Story one which debuted last summer we have seen them before. We maybe go to one during 7 nights. I personally do not like to rush back onto the ship in order to shower & change for either dinner OR a show. I'd rather chill & relax by the pool with a cocktail or two. We have the Med cruise booked for 2011 and in 2 of the ports the onboard time isn't until 9:00 pm. Darned if I want to cut my one & only day in Naples or Rome short in order to rush back for dinner or a show!!!

(FWIW I do not care about the Pirate's buffet nor do I consider it a big deal to miss. I do not want to miss the show & fireworks but I couldn't care less about eating yet again! I find there are very few buffets in this world that are THAT good that I need to break my neck to get to (Boma at AKL is one that IS good but it's about the only one I've enjoyed THAT much). The sit-down dinners are quite filling and are ENOUGH calories for my day thank you very much!!)
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #14
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Well, FWIW that's why they have 2 seatings. Not everyone will prefer one over the other, and there's not going to be a unanimous choice, so they cater to all groups.

As for saving time, or gaining time, I never really looked at it that way. The main thing for us, and someone who preferred early even commented, we come out of dinner feeling VERY full. Combine that with the ship rocking and rolling, and sitting for a show after that just didn't appeal to us (ymmv). So it really wasnt about saving time.

But, As for rushing back onboard yes you do still have to go to a show instead of dinner (for those of us who choose to go) but, again just speaking for us, once we were back and showered and such, none of our gang was then ready to pull up a table and eat right then. So it was nice to have the show first, and just sit and unwind a bit from the events of the day, and then have a nice leisurely dinner.

As for going to bed full, we usually went shopping after dinner as trying to get into the stores after the show and before dinner was just flat out nuts. WAY too many people in there then as you had both the late AND early seatings both done their respective first 1/2 and that made for a lot of people in the shops.

Cant comment about walking off the full feeling, although we usually did. But then we usually ordered some mickey bars from room service at night and went to bed full anyway.

It's funny about the pirate buffet. We were actually back home for a few days and I said to my wife "You know, we never DID check out the pirate buffet" lol. We were on deck 10 for the party and fireworks, and even walked down the steps to deck 9 and still never even noticed it. Yes I hear it's great, but even a portly gentleman such as myself wouldnt plan my day around what and when I am eating. So yes, we were full and we did forego the buffet, but we didn't miss it. It IS a shame that we flat out forgot about it though, as that night we ended up ordering a couple burgers at midnight. It would have been nice to grab a little something from the buffet and take that back to the room instead, as I imagine the food was a bit better than the burgers (although the room service burgers were much better than even the ones we got on deck, but I digress lol)

So, cant speak for anyone else, for us it wasnt about saving time, but more just being able to sit and unwind a bit at the show, then grab dinner. Different strokes eh? Nothing wrong with preferring early, we just preferred the late.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:43 AM   #15
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This has always confused me as well. Early seating is 5:45 on the Magic and the shows start at 6:15, so you really on gain 1/2 an hour by having late seating. I guess some people like to go to the shows casual then use the time in between to get ready for late seating. If you do this though, you miss out on the activities in between.
It's not just a half hour difference if you think about it. If you have early dinner (5:45) you HAVE to get dressed beforehand. If you have late seating and do the show first (6:15) you have the option of dressing in between. If you figure that you'd start getting ready for dinner at 5:15, that's an hour of extra time to do other things.

That all said, personally I always do late seating but still get dressed before the big show. There is always some 20-30 minute show at 7:30, giving you a perfect interlude before dinner. Some examples are Mickey Mania, cabaret acts, and Who Wants to Be A Mouseketeer.
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