Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-18-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5

Early vs. Late Dining Seating?

Hi Everyone!

We currently have the late seating assigned to us for our 7-night Eastern Carribean cruise in May. My wife and I are wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are to having the late seating as we have two boys ages 6 and 5. Is this too late for them?

gjd215 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 10:27 AM   #2
DIS Veteran
KSDisneyDad's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thornton, Colorado
Posts: 6,477

At home, we eat at 5:30 or 6:00 pm each night and our kids are in bed between 8 and 9 pm during school times (even our older kids go to bed early as they have to be up so early).

On the cruise, we've done both early and late and now prefer the late seating. Our kids seem to adjust quite well to it as well.

We like it as we don't have to rush to return from excursions or can spend more time at the pools without the large crowds in the late afternoon. If you have early seating, you seem to cut off your day sooner.

If you want, you can arrange to have the kids club counselors get your kids about 1/2 way through the late meal. That way, they can eat with you and then leave to have fun at the clubs while you finish a leisurely meal.
Me (Christopher) DW DS17 DS15 DS10
WDW - BCV (Jun '12) BLT (Jun '11); Boardwalk (Sep '10); Poly (Aug '07), CR (Nov '06), AKL (Nov '04, Sept '06), Swan (Dec '05), POR (Dec '98, Mar '10), POFQ (Mar '05), CSR (Nov '02), CBR (Jun '03), Sports (Dec99, Oct '01, Dec '02), Music (Aug '09), Movies (Dec '00, Aug '07), Pop (Jun '04 Jun '05)
DLR - August 2008 and January 2013 at DLH
DCL Gold CC Member: Magic Western (Sep-05, Sep-06); Magic Panama Canal Repo (Aug-08); Wonder 4-night (Mar-10 and Sept-10) Fantasy Eastern (Jun-12)

Next Trip: 6/15/2013 - 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Fantasy and BLT!
KSDisneyDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 11-18-2010, 10:27 AM   #3
Pronounced "Symbolic" ;)
Simbalic's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 116

It's personal preference (and if Disney will let you switch!)

I think 8:15 is a wee-bit late to start eating your biggest meal of the day---but there are plenty of other places to eat on the deck or you can have room service bring you something if you are getting hungry.

I'm sure you'll hear of others that love having the second seating. But for us, we like the routine of eating at the earlier seating, and then catching the show in the Walt Disney Theatre before bed.

Have a great time!
Dan DW--Mary Beth DD--Ellen (16) DD--Claire (14)
Simbalic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 10:34 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 403

Hi - we did both - the first one my dd was 41/2 and we did late - and we liked not rushing around and most nights she was ok with it - but a few nights she fell asleep at the table - when we went last year she was 61/2 and we did the early - we had to rush from all the fun - had to leave the pool early to all go and get ready and dressed and stuff like that - so we did late this year - much more realxing in my opinion. And if the kids one to eat early they can go to the kids room and eat early. good luck!
Stacey from South New Jersey
1st Disney Cruise Dec 07 - Awesome
2nd Disney Cruise Oct 09 - wonderful
3rd Disney Cruise Dec 10 - perfect!
4th cruise on the Dream in Dec 2011 - What a way to ring in the new year!!!
5th cruise Aug 18 2012 Fantasy - beautiful
Vero Beach - 1st time - Aug 2013 - relaxing time - but missed my cruise!
6th criuise Aug 2 2014 - Fantasy - can't wait!!!!!
Daughter 10.5
Stacey6274 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 11:00 AM   #5
Princessandthemommy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 145

DD3 and I did second seating (we eat late at home anyway). It is not as many children or it wasn't as many children during second seating so she go a lot of extra attention from the assistant waiter IMO.... He played with her, feed her with the whole airplane fork thing, I was busy talking and turned around he had feed her most of her veggies, she was the youngest at our table the other kids were 7 and 9 I think, and I thought they all got alot of attention.

My only tip if you do late- Pirate night starts about 9 or so, so by the time you get to the party is is kind of crowded, then you are stuffed and can't enjoy the Pirate night buffet on deck 9 (they had the large Turkey legs, nachos, all kind of sweets and much more)

I would consider what works best for your family and what time the kids normally eat. And go from there...
Princessandthemommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
Disney Fans
Disney Fans
Disney Fans's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,368

For us we love early dine and have boys now ages 8 and 10. But we also like to dine with our boys as a family. And if we had late dine time then ours would be eating something like hambugers or pizza around 6:00pm and could not wait until after 8:00-8:30pm to get food so for us it would also be a waste of time because the only thing they would end up eating at late dine would be the mickey bar.

It is always easier to switch from main dine to late dine then the other way around.

But also I think it is where you are from, if you are from Calf. or West coast you may want late dine due to time change would fit about right for those from the west coast and not much adjusting to time when you get back home.
Mom of 2 Wonderful Disney boy fans
Disney Fans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 02:50 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 275

We are on central time, so are used to being an hour behind, so while we thought we'd hate the later seating, it worked out great for us. Since you can get food any time, we would just get a later snack and it would tide us over until dinner just fine. Plus, the kids were better at the early show because they weren't so tired.
andrewsmommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #8
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 597

We MUCH prefer late dining. We had always been assigned late, until our last cruise, we book super early and decided to try early dining. We hated it. We should have switched the second night. Last trip my kids were 1.5 and JUST turned 5. I don't know why it felt different but we felt rushed having to get ready for dinner. Where as when we go to the show first and then dinner, even though we get ready for the show that doesn't feel rushed. LOL Our evening routine involves us getting dressed then going to the Promande lounge for a coctail (kids get kiddy coctails) and a snack (chips with salsa and guac). Then to the show. Then to dinner. The snack holds us over to dinner time. The kids are wide awake to watch and enjoy the show and they are happy with all the attention received at dinner too! I don't see us ever choosing early dinner again.
1/2001 Carnival Destiny Southern Caribbean | 1/2002 Royal Caribbean Nordic Empress Western Caribbean
2/2005 Disney Wonder Bahamas | 1/2007 Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean | 2/2009 Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean with St Croix
2/2011 Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean | 2/2012 Five nights at Port Orleans French Quarter and 2/2012 Disney Dream 3-night Bahamas
3/2013 Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean with San Juan

11/2014 Wine & Dine half marathon followed by
11/2014 Disney Dream 4-night Bahamas
jbuckent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 04:30 PM   #9
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 1,891

I prefer late seating when sailing off the east coast, since I live on the west coast and times are three hours off for me.

And for me, the 'so you don't have to rush' line doesn't work. I actually enjoy and look forward to attending the shows, so I would have to be ready at the same time either way - each group dines while the other group has their show time.

My mother and her husband eat far more than I do. They like late seating because the kitchen is no longer holding back food for the second seating, and have boasted about eating four or five lobster tails at one dinner. So late seating might be your preference if you like to pig out.

Disneyland more times than I can count.
WDW 8/2008
Disney Magic - Western Caribbean 8/2009
Disney Wonder - West Coast repo 4/2011
trimix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 04:36 PM   #10
Question anything the facts don't support.
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Carmichael, California
Posts: 18,816

Originally Posted by trimix View Post
And for me, the 'so you don't have to rush' line doesn't work. I actually enjoy and look forward to attending the shows, so I would have to be ready at the same time either way - each group dines while the other group has their show time.
Yeah, Disney does throw a monkey wrench into things for those of us who like late seating so we don't have to doing the late seating show before dinner instead of after like other cruise lines.
At least with the Golden Mickeys they did a 3rd, 11 pm show for folks who either didn't want to attend their scheduled show, or wanted to see the show a second time.
tvguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 04:59 PM   #11
My DS loves rice. I call him my "international child".
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,461

Late is great. We'll get ds something around 6ish (fast food from Plutos or room service) to tide him over. Go to the show, then dinner. He'll probably eat a little something and either go to the club or fall asleep.

No big whoop. It's vacation--we go with the flow.
mattmommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #12
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5

Thank you for all the recommendations. Sounds like the late seating will work best for us especially since we do not like to rush to get ready for dinner
gjd215 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
paraflier's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Graham, Washington
Posts: 187

We're west coasters that eat at 7 most nights. So eating at 8 will actually be EARLY for us. Also our kids are very flexable, they adapt quickly to changes and can go with the flow easily.
paraflier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 08:01 PM   #14
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1

We are taking out 5th cruise in March and we always had early dining, but this time we are thinking about switching to late because of the fact we did feel rushed to get ready. We won't be attending all of the shows, since we have seen them many times already and my daughters are older (23 and 18). On the navigators there doesn't seem to be much activity between 8 & 10pm so we thought we might like to try late dining. My question is has anyone done this and still were able to make the 10:15 live act (comedian etc.) without rushing through dinner? We like to go to the clubs after.
luvthebeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2010, 08:09 PM   #15
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 79

We love the late seating. It gives us time to really enjoy the day, have a nap so the girls are not to tired at night and if need be enjoy some room service, always a treat!!
BWV 1998 OKW 2004

Disney 1986,1988 ,1990,1995 AllStar Sports,1996 Carribean Beach,1998AllStarSports,1999BWV,2000 OKW,2001BWV,2002CB,2003BWV,2005SSR,2006OKW,2007SSR ,2009OKW,2011AKV
Disney Magic Eastern 2001
Disney Magic Western 2003
materise is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.