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Old 10-20-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
realityland
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Success rate for changing dinner seating?

A quick question for the DCL regulars - what are the chances of changing from the late dinner seating to the early seating once we get on the ship?

I know that there is a location listed on the Navigator where this request can be made once you board the ship. I'm just curious what the success rate is. We are traveling with a 10 month-old and booked our cruise 2 months out, so only the late seating was available. Just want to consider all of our options. Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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Make sure you are wait-listed for the main (early) seating.

On our first cruise, we were able to change it on the ship. We had flown in the day before and were able to get onto the ship very early.

On our second cruise, we got early seating 3 days before we set sail.

On this cruise, we booked on board and got early seating from the get go.

I have heard that it doesn't always happen.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #3
kcashner
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NOW wait list for main. Start calling weekly to ask if you have been moved to main (squeaky wheel logic). Then, after boarding, if your KTTW still shows late, try to change.

Success depends on the size of your group. Moving 4 people is usually possible. Moving 12 is a lot more difficult.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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Don't count on it.
Our first cruise we we booked less than a year but more than 9 mos in advance.
Main sold out. Waitlisted at time of booking for main.
Party of 4 (2A and 2K (ages 3 and 5)).
Did NOT get it.

Be thinking about what your alternate plan is if you don't get switched.
While many here will report success it is far from guaranteed.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:37 AM   #5
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Just an observation from 9 years on this board. Most people forced to take late seating, never go back to early seating because they like it so much.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:09 AM   #6
realityland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy View Post
Just an observation from 9 years on this board. Most people forced to take late seating, never go back to early seating because they like it so much.
I keep seeing that a lot. Really not a big deal for us ... we can make it work either way. We were just curious how much of an option switching actually was. We are just so glad to be taking this, our first cruise ... what time we eat is almost irrelevant. Besides, the baby's schedule is going to completely out of whack, so no telling what our schedule is actually going to look like until we get on board.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy View Post
Just an observation from 9 years on this board. Most people forced to take late seating, never go back to early seating because they like it so much.
This has been our personal experience. We were "forced" into late seating on our first cruise and now I can't imagine *not* having it!
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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Funny, I requested the later dining and TA made it sound like she would request but no guarantee.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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Funny, I requested the later dining and TA made it sound like she would request but no guarantee.
Your TA is either not familiar with Disney or is trying to look like a hero for getting you something easy.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ededmd

Your TA is either not familiar with Disney or is trying to look like a hero for getting you something easy.
It is DU so I'm guessing it was the latter.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:06 PM   #11
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Or just being extremely cautious -- I mean, *every* request is, by definition, only a request; even if it's been granted in the past, there's no guarantee it always will be.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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On our last cruise we were unable to get early seating beforehand.

Went to make the change on board...I was the second person in line and the first couple was trying for Palo reservations, so basically I was first in line for a seating change.

They had nothing available for a party of 4. We were wait listed and told we'd get a call letting us know by 4PM. The call came and nothing so they offered a night-by-night basis where they would call if they had an opening due to someone going to Palo, etc. Even that didn't happen until the last night of the cruise, by which time we'd gotten so used to eating at the buffet or out on deck that we politely declined.

So basically we didn't see the inside of a single dining room for dinner on that trip. And for those who say once you're "forced" into late dining you never go back? Nope, not us. I have a Christmas 2013 cruise booked and you better believe I took early seating. I have no desire to eat at 8PM and that's not likely to change between now and then. We have always been an early to dine family; it's what works best for us.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly08
On our last cruise we were unable to get early seating beforehand.

Went to make the change on board...I was the second person in line and the first couple was trying for Palo reservations, so basically I was first in line for a seating change.

They had nothing available for a party of 4. We were wait listed and told we'd get a call letting us know by 4PM. The call came and nothing so they offered a night-by-night basis where they would call if they had an opening due to someone going to Palo, etc. Even that didn't happen until the last night of the cruise, by which time we'd gotten so used to eating at the buffet or out on deck that we politely declined.

So basically we didn't see the inside of a single dining room for dinner on that trip. And for those who say once you're "forced" into late dining you never go back? Nope, not us. I have a Christmas 2013 cruise booked and you better believe I took early seating. I have no desire to eat at 8PM and that's not likely to change between now and then. We have always been an early to dine family; it's what works best for us.
Us too. We made the mistake of not requesting early for our first cruise. We always request it now. Sometimes we are wait listed, but most of the time we book early enough that it's not an issue.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly08 View Post
They had nothing available for a party of 4. We were wait listed and told we'd get a call letting us know by 4PM. The call came and nothing so they offered a night-by-night basis where they would call if they had an opening due to someone going to Palo, etc. Even that didn't happen until the last night of the cruise, by which time we'd gotten so used to eating at the buffet or out on deck that we politely declined.

So basically we didn't see the inside of a single dining room for dinner on that trip. And for those who say once you're "forced" into late dining you never go back? Nope, not us. I have a Christmas 2013 cruise booked and you better believe I took early seating. I have no desire to eat at 8PM and that's not likely to change between now and then. We have always been an early to dine family; it's what works best for us.
Quote:
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Us too. We made the mistake of not requesting early for our first cruise. We always request it now. Sometimes we are wait listed, but most of the time we book early enough that it's not an issue.
+1
our one experience with late did not make us converts either.
even when we go on other cruises with "open seating" we are still there at 6-630p.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
realityland
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Some very good discussion here. Hard to say which camp we will fall in, early vs. late preference. We generally eat at 5 or 6 at home. But then again, we are all on our normal routine at home. Once we get on the ship and the baby's schedule goes upside down, hard to say which option will work better for us.

I could see us getting lunch at 2 or so, and the baby napping in the late afternoon - making a late seating attractive. Or, all of us not being able to make it until 8 o'clock and it being a disaster. The baby won't care which seating we have. He'll want to eat when he wants to eat.

Since we would be making a request about 21 days out, I would imagine the chances of getting a switch are highly, highly unlikely. We'll make the best of whatever we get. Considering the FL resident rate for booking at the last minute, there will be NO complaints allowed in my group. Without the FL resident rate, there would be no cruise on November 11th for us.
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