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Old 03-28-2013, 08:03 PM   #16
UtahCruise
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Thanks for your imput I hadnt taken into consideration that we are 2 hours ahead. So I think we will change to the later dinner time. Good point about rushing back from shore excursions and as someone else pointed out we dont want an early breakfast on the day on disembarkation as we are staying in Florida a few extra days.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:33 PM   #17
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We chose early dinner with our 6 and 9 year old. I really wish we would have chosen later...just because of having to come in early to get ready
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:02 AM   #18
caribbeandreaming
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I haven't read the responses, so I apologize if I'm duplicating. Something to think about is how much time you need between completely stuffing yourself silly from a 4 course meal and going to bed. I know for me personally that I cannot go right to bed after eating. If that's not a problem for you or you typically go to bed really late anyways, the later seating should be fine. However, if you like to let your food settle first, the earlier seating may be a better option.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:15 AM   #19
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how difficult is it to see the shows with a late dining?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:26 AM   #20
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how difficult is it to see the shows with a late dining?
show starts at 6:15 and lasts 1 hour. Your dinner is at 8:30
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:34 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by UtahCruise View Post
Thanks for your imput I hadnt taken into consideration that we are 2 hours ahead. So I think we will change to the later dinner time. Good point about rushing back from shore excursions and as someone else pointed out we dont want an early breakfast on the day on disembarkation as we are staying in Florida a few extra days.
Just keep in mind that you will stay have to rush back for the shows if you want to see them... it's either early dinner/late show or early show/late dinner.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #22
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We prefer early dining since we tend to have dinner around 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. at home. We don't like to eat late then go to bed a couple hours later. Early dining also gives us a chance to get a little hungry before the Pirate Night buffet!
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:20 PM   #23
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We preferred late dining because it didn't seem like we had to rush around so much, especially on days we had excursions. When we did main dining, we always felt like we were trying to catch up.


Quote:
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how difficult is it to see the shows with a late dining?
I'm not sure about all the ships, but on the Fantasy, they had three stage shows. (3:00pm, 6:15pm, and 8:00pm, if I remember correctly) We would go to the afternoon show, swim or relax, then go to dinner. We also took advantage of no lines for the AquaDuck because most people were either at dinner or the show.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:52 PM   #24
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Here's a question: is your preferred dining time guaranteed?

What if there are more people that want late seating vs early? Or vice versa?

Does DCL reserve the right to stick you wherever they need to to even things out? Or can there be a larger group at one or the other? Just curious, because even though they ask at time of booking, lots of people seem to switch before the time comes for the actual cruise.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:11 PM   #25
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Here's a question: is your preferred dining time guaranteed?

What if there are more people that want late seating vs early? Or vice versa?

Does DCL reserve the right to stick you wherever they need to to even things out? Or can there be a larger group at one or the other? Just curious, because even though they ask at time of booking, lots of people seem to switch before the time comes for the actual cruise.
From what I've seen, they remove the option for one of the seatings when it is full and nobody is allowed to change to that seating unless there's newly-opened space. Typically, the Main Seating fills up and new bookings can only select Second Seating.

I've never heard of someone booking a seating and then being told they can't have it later.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #26
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My DW and I were on lthe Sept Fantasy Eastern and had the late seating. The problem with late seating was when we went to the adult shows in the evening, they were full with very little seating room.

We are doing a Feb 14 Fantasy Western and have requested early. We you like to atten the adult shows.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:29 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Here's a question: is your preferred dining time guaranteed?
That is the problem many people have. You pick early or late dinning when you book the cruise. When early or late dinning is full you do not get a choice when you book, you get what is left. I always hear about early dinning filling up but I have never heard about late dinning getting cut off.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:11 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by UtahCruise View Post
Thanks for your imput I hadnt taken into consideration that we are 2 hours ahead. So I think we will change to the later dinner time. Good point about rushing back from shore excursions and as someone else pointed out we dont want an early breakfast on the day on disembarkation as we are staying in Florida a few extra days.
I'm on PST time, and on our first 7 night cruise we did LATE dining. Yes, it was more relaxed, there were fewer children in the DR, and the shows were also less crowded, BUT, I disliked feeling so stuffed late at night (dinner was done around 9:30-9:45 p.m.) because it made me feel like I just wanted to go to sleep afterwards. We were always hungry when we got back from excursions, so we wished we could eat right away rather than grab a snack to tide us over until it was time for late dining which meant more eating = more weight gain.

Folks talk about being rushed on excursion days if you do early dining, but in reality if you attend the show each evening, it starts at 6:15 p.m. for late dinners while dinner starts at 5:45 for early diners, which is only a 30 minute difference. Now if you don't plan to attend the shows each night than late dining definitely gives you more time to relax before dinner.

Our 2nd cruise was the Eastbound 14 night Panama Canal cruise, and I decided to try early dining which I ended up preferring. Because we ate early, we had the time and the energy to go for a walk after dinner each night which helped offset weight gain. We didn't feel so stuffed and tired when we ate earlier, so we actually stayed up a lot later to enjoy the entertainment. We enjoyed being able to eat our big meal as soon as we returned from port excursions, and we didn't feel rushed getting ready. My husband always showered in the spa (free of charge) while my daughter and I got ready in our cabin (split bathroom), so we had plenty of time to prepare for early dining.

The other advantage of early dining for me was that I often only ate two big meals a day (late breakfast and early dining) plus a small snack in-between, if needed, so I gained less weight on a 14 night cruise (early dining) than I did on the 7 night cruise (late dining) because on the latter, I went to bed each night with a full stomach, and it made me feel too tired to get out and walk each evening.

As for having early breakfast on the last morning if you do early dining, that is true, but the alternative is to eat breakfast at Beach Blanket (Deck 9 on Wonder) at whatever time you choose before you disembark instead of eating in the dining room.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:43 AM   #29
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We prefer early dining. We always skip the shows, so we like having our evenings free after dinner. We usually go to the pool after dinner. It's the best time to go because half the ship is at dinner and the other half is at the show! So you pretty much get the whole pool all to yourself! And if you're on the Dream/Fantasy it means you can ride the Aquaduck over and over and over again with no lines!

So yeah, if we had late dinner, we'd probably go to the pool before dinner, and then we'd have to keep track of time to make sure we got to dinner on time. So we just prefer to eat first, then have the whole evening to do whatever we want without worrying about time.

There are a couple downsides to early dinner. Occasionally you are rushing to get to dinner after you get onboard. One time we had an excursion that ran late (it was through DCL though, so the ship waited for us!) so when we got back on board we were literally running through the ship to get to the dining room for dinner! And we were still late!

Another downside is that you miss the sunset every evening with early dinner! Going through my photos from my cruise, I noticed I have several sunrise photos, but not a single photo of those beautiful Caribbean sunsets!
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:30 PM   #30
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If there is one night that you feel rushed to get to early dinner just go to the buffet place. They serve the same food as the MDR's.
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