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Old 10-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #46
drsg
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We are doing early this time. We were just too full at bedtime with late dining, and how to put this delicately, got tired of getting up in the middle of the night to make a run to ease the tummy rumbles.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:12 PM   #47
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We haven't done late dining before (this is our 2nd cruise) but we will be doing it for the first time in Jan. The kids in our group range from 5 to 13. We ended up with late dining because early dining was full, but I think we are actually going to like it better.

Our kids are night owls so shouldn't be a problem, and I think our only plan will be to make sure they have a healthy snack late afternoon/early evening. I think as long as they aren't starving, the staying up won't be a problem.
We did early dining on our last cruise and we are doing late dining this time. I think the late dining will be better for us. The problem with early dining was that our kids were so tired from the daytime activities, they were ready to nap at 5pm. Late dining will allow for them to take a late afternoon nap and then have a nice dinner. I also felt that we were really rushed with early dining. After a day of excursions we had to rush back to our room and get ready for dinner.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #48
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the early show starts about 6:15- usually closer to 6:30 once all the announcements are made by Brent....then its usually a walk straight to late dinner after the show...
If my memory serves me right, after the early show (approx 6:15 to 7:15), you have about an hour or so before late seating at 8:15 p.m., so we never went straight to dinner right after the early show since there is a break between the two.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:00 PM   #49
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If my memory serves me right, after the early show (approx 6:15 to 7:15), you have about an hour or so before late seating at 8:15 p.m., so we never went straight to dinner right after the early show since there is a break between the two.
we would stop at the shops for a bit but there really wasn't much time to do anything...
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:27 PM   #50
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The only downside to late dining for me is that it rarely ends before 10pm. When you're old like me, your stomach doesn't do well with eating that late.

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We are doing early this time. We were just too full at bedtime with late dining, and how to put this delicately, got tired of getting up in the middle of the night to make a run to ease the tummy rumbles.
We are the same way. We are only 40 something people, but we still find eating that late at night is horrible for our digestion. We did late seating for 5 cruises before we realized that eating that late just didn't work well for us. Getting out of dinner at 10:15 or later meant that we were so full very late in the night. We had a hard time even staying up to enjoy the clubs and such. And going to bed shortly after eating such a big meal was awful. I wish they had a 7pm dinner time. 5:45 it a bit early for us. But after 7 cruises, I would pick early over late anytime.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:44 PM   #51
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Keep Late or Change to Main?

We currently are signed up for late dining on our June 2013 cruise to the Caribbean. Our son will be 7 when we go. I have been stressing over whether to keep our late dining or try to get main dining....

At home, we do not usually eat dinner until 7-8pm due to our schedules so we are used to eating later (although we could adapt either way). I signed up for late dining because I didn't want to be rushed coming back from ports (it can take me a long time to get ready when I have to blowdry my hair straight! )

But now i am worrying that late dining might be too late for my son? On the one hand, he is used to eating fairly late and stays up late most nights (9-10pm- sometimes later).... On the other hand, because of this, I thought he would have no trouble on our WDW trip last week. Turns out all that excitement made him pass out much earlier than normal.... Do you think I should keep my dining or try to get main dining?

If we do dine n' play- will it be a problem if he falls asleep there?? (If he is not already asleep!)

When we do AP- will he miss anything going to dine n play?

TIA!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:49 PM   #52
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We are doing early this time. We were just too full at bedtime with late dining, and how to put this delicately, got tired of getting up in the middle of the night to make a run to ease the tummy rumbles.
We are a group of adults and always do early dining for this reason!
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:37 AM   #53
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Our DD was 6 on our last cruise and we had early seating, during every dinner she put her head down and took a nap. The servers were great they would bring over an extra tablecloth and an extra chair so she could lay down. They would even hold her meal til the end so she could eat while we had dessert. This worked out for us because she was then able to stay up late and she would never lay down in the room to sleep. At home she is usually in bed early so this made it easier to go to the shows and do some other things at night. This actually has happened on our 2 previous cruises as well.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:44 PM   #54
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Depends on your itinerary and desires:

In the med, which has exciting ports that can be an hour from the ship and ship departure times in the late evening, I choose the late seating so that I don't have to leave Rome two hours early just for dinner!

In the Bahamas, you are on the boat before first seating anyway.

With first seating, the servers move a little faster to get everything done and ready for the second seating. "Faster" still results in a relaxed two hour meal. Second seating can stretch a little longer. Second seating dinner can sometimes start to overlap with the Pirate Party or other evening parties/activities. Even if it doesn't overlap, it is pretty hard to leave dinner completely stuffed and then enjoy the foods at the Pirate Party! So if I don't have to hurry back from ports, I tend to prefer the first seating.

Of course, children's schedules and bedtimes can influence the decision as well.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:36 AM   #55
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My DD(8) and I found that we prefer late, much to my surprise. We find that we do a lot more, keeping busy right up until dinner, then finding things to do after because we don't want to go to bed on a full stomach. With early dining, we'd eat, do the show, then we'd tend to go right to bed.

Don't forget the other great advantage to late dining is that you're assigned the later breakfast time on debarkation day. We like to see our servers one last time, and FAR prefer the 8:00 am to 6:30am on the last day.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:22 PM   #56
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We skip the last day MDR breakfast and eat at the buffet. That way you control when you eat and how long it takes. It's a great option.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:51 AM   #57
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The main pro for us to doing late dining is that you don't have to scramble to get ready right after excursions or leave the pool deck when the crowds start easing. We can leisurely get ready after we finish our day and are ready in plenty of time for the first main shows.
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Another pro to late dinning is you can use dine and play. Your child's meal will be brought out with your appetizer and about 45 minutes later counselors from the kids club come and pick up kids and take them back to the kids club. Just let your server know when you are seated.
You don't have to use this option every night or at all but it's good to know it exists.
& yup
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:19 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephC1217

If we do dine n' play- will it be a problem if he falls asleep there?? (If he is not already asleep!)

When we do AP- will he miss anything going to dine n play?

TIA!
You may find that the atmosphere of the cruise is not quite as over-stimulating as WDW. Yes, kids are exited and may be go go going the entire day, but it's not like the parks at all. It's hard to explain . Many parents have shared that their kids are so excited to see what happens next that they are able to stay up much later (and then crash and sleep like babies at night). This may or may not be true for you, but I wouldn't stress if you aren't able to get early.

However, I would try for early dining, personally, just because we ARE night owls, and we like to explore what's happening on the ship after dinner. My kids (8 and 5) really look forward to going to the clubs after dinner and we let them stay until 10 or 11. If we get hungry, we order the cheese plate.

If you don't get early dining, keep an eye out for the dine n play counselors. We never saw them on our first cruise, as they don't put on a show or anything If your son is tired, he can plop down on a bean bag and watch a movie in the club. No problem.

He will likely miss the show in AP if he leaves for dine n play. But I will say that my kids found AP the most interesting and they were well behaved there as they enjoyed the scenery, the paint cup, the cute paintbrush bread knives, etc. You can still bring your son to the clubs after Crush visits if you want. It only takes a few minutes.

I hope that helps!
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #59
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We love late dining. This will be our seventh cruise--4 have been late dining and 2 were "anytime dining" (hated that, will not be doing it again). The only reason we are doing early dining this time around is that we will have our two children with us, ages 2.5 yrs and 5 months, and they have an 8pm bedtime. We love the early evening feel of the ship when everyone else is at dinner. The hot tubs and pool are empty, you can enjoy beautiful sunsets. Dinner becomes an event. We love taking 2+ hours of lingering over dinner. When dinner is that long, indigestion isn't such an issue! I would not want to rush back from an interesting excursion or port just to make it to dinner. So IMO, if you're adults only or have older children that can handle the late dinners, then I would definitely choose late dining.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:20 PM   #60
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You may find that the atmosphere of the cruise is not quite as over-stimulating as WDW. Yes, kids are exited and may be go go going the entire day, but it's not like the parks at all. It's hard to explain . Many parents have shared that their kids are so excited to see what happens next that they are able to stay up much later (and then crash and sleep like babies at night). This may or may not be true for you, but I wouldn't stress if you aren't able to get early.

However, I would try for early dining, personally, just because we ARE night owls, and we like to explore what's happening on the ship after dinner. My kids (8 and 5) really look forward to going to the clubs after dinner and we let them stay until 10 or 11. If we get hungry, we order the cheese plate.

If you don't get early dining, keep an eye out for the dine n play counselors. We never saw them on our first cruise, as they don't put on a show or anything If your son is tired, he can plop down on a bean bag and watch a movie in the club. No problem.

He will likely miss the show in AP if he leaves for dine n play. But I will say that my kids found AP the most interesting and they were well behaved there as they enjoyed the scenery, the paint cup, the cute paintbrush bread knives, etc. You can still bring your son to the clubs after Crush visits if you want. It only takes a few minutes.

I hope that helps!
Thanks Jahber- that really helped- well, at least it gave me a lot more to consider when making my decision. I am really going to have to weigh it out!
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