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Old 11-25-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
artsymom083
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Questions about cruise dining

My family and I are thinking about taking a Disney cruise next summer, but have never taken a cruise at all. My questions are regarding dining and how it works. I see that you have a choice of two dining times, but I'm not too keen on the idea of being told when and where to eat. From what I've read, and correct me if I'm wrong, but DCL gives you a schedule of what "restaurants" you'll eat at each night? Are there any other options for dining? I would just like more freedom when it comes to dining options. If anyone could tell me exactly how the dining works on the cruise ships since I'm pretty clueless about it, I'd appreciate it!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #2
kcashner
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You are correct that you choose main or late seating. You are then assigned to a rotation which tells you which dining room you are assigned to each night (with your serving team who moves in the same rotation). If you choose to not eat at your scheduled place and time, your other options are room service or dining on the pool deck. The "fast food" outlets will be open and the pool deck restaurant which is a buffet during the day becomes a sit down service with a salad bar in the evening. You can go there any time during the hours they are open (no reservations needed). This is not available the first or last night of the cruise.

Adult only dining is another option. This has an upcharge depending on the restaurant, requires a reservation, and is limited to one reservation per person before the cruise starts. Additional evenings may be booked after the first day of the cruise on a "space available" basis. THe idea is to allow everyone who wants a spot to get one before anyone is allowed multiple nights.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
bbn1122
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I am not a DCL expert, but have been on 3 cruises.

There are 3 dining rooms and you will rotate them. On a 7 night, one of them you will be assigned to 3 times.

There is also dining every evening at the buffet restaurant (Topsiders, Cabanas etc). At these restaurants it is set up for table service, not buffet. And you can go anytime during hours they are open for dinner.

There is also the option of room service, free and available.

Some of the counter service places around the pool are open around the pool areas.

Then, there is Palo....it is a small up charge...adult only and worth every penny of the $20 per person...LOVE IT!

We love all the dining rooms...every room is a show stopper....

The alternate Topsiders/Cabanas was a lovely change.

My boys love the room service.

I have only been on one other cruise line and it was a small ship with one dining room for everything. As, I understand other lines, there usually only one or two dining rooms for meals, all other places are up charges.

I find that Disney ship have just the right amount of choices. And the rotating dining rooms makes each evening very special and a surprise each night.

Good luck with your decisions and planning.....DCL is worth it!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:55 AM   #4
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I guess I am the opposite of OP. When on vacation, I hate having ot choose a place to eat. While on DCL, I love that I know every night what time and where we are eating. Much less stressful IMO. It helps plan the day so we know when we have to be back onboard to make our dinner time. I also looked forward ot seeing our servers every night.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyfaninaz
I guess I am the opposite of OP. When on vacation, I hate having ot choose a place to eat. While on DCL, I love that I know every night what time and where we are eating. Much less stressful IMO. It helps plan the day so we know when we have to be back onboard to make our dinner time. I also looked forward ot seeing our servers every night.
This sounds just like my husband. He always says, "I make decisions all day, everyday. The last thing I want to do on vacation is make another decision!"
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
jdb in AZ
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Some cruise lines are getting away from the assigned dining schedules. If you really don't like being scheduled, look into "free style" dining on RCCL or Princess.

We don't mind being assigned, and rotating with the 3 main dining rooms -- I think of it as a reservation where we know the table is ready for us, and the waiters are familiar with our quirks, er, preferences.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
over50visits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artsymom083 View Post
My family and I are thinking about taking a Disney cruise next summer, but have never taken a cruise at all. My questions are regarding dining and how it works. I see that you have a choice of two dining times, but I'm not too keen on the idea of being told when and where to eat. From what I've read, and correct me if I'm wrong, but DCL gives you a schedule of what "restaurants" you'll eat at each night? Are there any other options for dining? I would just like more freedom when it comes to dining options. If anyone could tell me exactly how the dining works on the cruise ships since I'm pretty clueless about it, I'd appreciate it!
Eat in the adult venues with a reserved time of your choice, it will be quiet, everyone is dressed very nicely, the food is really special.

Eating in the MDRs is on a schedule you'll be given, for (I hope) obvious reasons. You have great food, a nice menu, attentive waiters, and everyone (almost) dresses nicely.

Eat in Cabanas (or whatever "topside" restaurant is on your ship) at time of your choice (they are open reasonable meal hours), and wear shorts and t-shirts if you want.

Eat at the quick service counters on the top decks most any time during waking hours, more fast food, and there you can wear swimsuits.

Eat in your cabin 24 hours a day, sandwish-style menu, and feel free to wear anything (pajamas, birthday suit, whatever).

Plenty of options. You won't be hungry.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
GusGus77
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Although room service is free, it's customary to tip the person who brings you your food.
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