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Old 05-23-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
feelthenspeak
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Should we do early dinner or late?

First time on DCL in October and I have no idea what to do. Should we book late dinner or early?

We have 3 children-8 years old, almost 4 yr old, and a then 18 month old...our 18 month old will be staying with us the whole time but my other two, boys, would love the kids clubs. I've heard that the late dinners will take the kids with them for some of the dinner time??? However, my youngest is not a chill toddler. She thinks she runs the show so I'm not sure how long she will stay put for dinner.

Pros and cons of early and late dinner times- Go!
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
MikeAndNick
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With that age of kids I do not think it matters as much. Lots depends on how late your kids stay up. When they get older they will want early dinner so they can eat and then run off to join their friends.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
cpc430
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We chose late dinner. Our kids are 9 and 7. The biggest reason though is we are coming from California and are on PST. I know we'll eventually adjust to the time change but eating dinner at 8:30 or 5:30 our time seemed good.

And we'll be able to enjoy a full day in the port without having to worry about coming back early to get ready for dinner.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
feelthenspeak
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You bring up an excellent point. I didn't even think about having to come in from our port to get ready. We typically eat dinner early at home but I thonk we could handle eating later.

?-what if the kids get hungry before late dinner...are buffet still open at 5 or 6??
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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Honestly, book early. There's always a waitlist. You can change to late if you change your mind before.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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I booked early but am going to change to late. My DS will be 12 and we love our sunshine. I hear the polls empty out about 4:00 with people going to get ready for the first seating. I don't want to feel rushed during the day.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelthenspeak View Post
You bring up an excellent point. I didn't even think about having to come in from our port to get ready. We typically eat dinner early at home but I thonk we could handle eating later.

?-what if the kids get hungry before late dinner...are buffet still open at 5 or 6??
The buffet changes to sit down dining in the evening and there are options on the pool deck also (pizza, chicken tenders, wraps, burgers, etc.) and room service.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
posey74
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My kids were 6 and 3 on our first cruise and we had early seating. I thought there was no way they'd last until 8pm (and honestly no way I'd last either...I like to eat early!) but once there I realized we could have easily done second seating and it maybe would have been better. You're on vacation, everything moves at a slower and later pace naturally so pushing back dinner time becomes normal. It was a pain to have to stop everything at 5:00 or so to go get dressed...and often none of us were really that hungry. We are going on our second cruise in October when my kids will be 7 and 5 and main seating was already gone when we booked so I'm happy to take second seating this time.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
cheribelle
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My kids are 12, 9 and 4 and I chose the early dining. We are only doing the 4 night cruise so I figure I have to get them dressed early no matter what. If we did the late dining, we would see the shows at 6. I would rather see the shows after dinner, then have the night free. I am sure my kids would have to have a large snack during the show to hold them till late dining. And then they probably would not want dinner.
However, if we plan anything longer than a 4 night, I probably would do late dining. With more ports to explore, I might just say the heck with the shows some nights!
But since this is our first cruise and only a 4 night, I know I want to see most of them.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
feelthenspeak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheribelle
My kids are 12, 9 and 4 and I chose the early dining. We are only doing the 4 night cruise so I figure I have to get them dressed early no matter what. If we did the late dining, we would see the shows at 6. I would rather see the shows after dinner, then have the night free. I am sure my kids would have to have a large snack during the show to hold them till late dining. And then they probably would not want dinner.
However, if we plan anything longer than a 4 night, I probably would do late dining. With more ports to explore, I might just say the heck with the shows some nights!
But since this is our first cruise and only a 4 night, I know I want to see most of them.
So what times are the shows generally?
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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We are travelling with two 5 year olds who usually have dinner about 4pm and then a snack before bed so I though it was best to keep them in a routine. Plus I liked the idea of going to the show after dinner. x
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelthenspeak View Post
So what times are the shows generally?
6:15 and 8:30.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:25 PM   #13
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We normally eat dinner at home early, about 4:30-5, but we opted for late seating on the cruise. We went to the early show at 6:15 and there were always seats available, even when we were late. The kids club folks will arrive at the dining rooms at 9:15 if the kids want to go play. Or, you could always take them up yourself if they're done prior to that. They also feed the kids in the clubs, but at a different time. Check the navigator.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:48 PM   #14
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I agree with booking early. See how it goes for a day or two. If you want to change to late, you can easily do that. But you will not be able to change from late to early (or almost always will not be able to...).
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #15
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We had late on our may Dream cruise - wait listed - and got the change to early for our three year old. On a 4 night it worked out well and we never felt rushed. We only attempted one show and my little guy fell asleep during it so late dining would not have been a food fit for us. I like the suggestion if keeping early and switching on board if it doesn't work out. It's really about what will work best for your family dynamic.
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