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Old 06-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
jimsubry
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Meal seating question

During the meals, can you seat yourself, or do you have assigned seating? Are you seated with the same people each time? If so, does Disney try to seat families of the approximate same age together? Thought it'd be nice if our son could have other kids his age at the table. Long time ago when we took a RC cruise, (pre-kid) I do remember our table mates were the same at each meal, and we were put with other grownups around our age, no kids at all at our table.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
jdb in AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimsubry View Post
During the meals, can you seat yourself, or do you have assigned seating? Assigned seating at dinner. Other meals you can sit by yourselves at the buffet up on deck, or be escorted to your own table in the dining room. They often ask you if you want to share a breakfast/lunch table but just tell them "no" if you want to be alone. Are you seated with the same people each time? Yes. If so, does Disney try to seat families of the approximate same age together? Yes, tho it's not always possible to get an exact match. Thought it'd be nice if our son could have other kids his age at the table. Long time ago when we took a RC cruise, (pre-kid) I do remember our table mates were the same at each meal, and we were put with other grownups around our age, no kids at all at our table.
Have a great cruise!
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimsubry View Post
During the meals, can you seat yourself, or do you have assigned seating? Are you seated with the same people each time? If so, does Disney try to seat families of the approximate same age together? Thought it'd be nice if our son could have other kids his age at the table. Long time ago when we took a RC cruise, (pre-kid) I do remember our table mates were the same at each meal, and we were put with other grownups around our age, no kids at all at our table.
DCL does have assigned tables for dinner. You may or may not have others seated with you, depending on how large your party is.

On your KTTW card that you get when you check in, your dining rotation (the order you will dine in each MDR) and your table number will be printed.

You will be seated at the same table number in each MDR, however, the specific location within each MDR won't be exactly the same (similar, but not the same). If you are seated with others, you will be seated with the same people every night. Your servers (as well the everyone at your table) will "rotate" through all 3 MDRs during your cruise.

Our experience is that DCL will, as much as they are able, seat similarly comprised groups together (that is couples with couples, families with young children with other families with young children, etc). Sometimes it's difficult to do this. I think they try to match up kids ages within the tables first.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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I'll tell you my experience with the one time we were sat with other cruisers - which happened on our last cruise.

We have cruised 8 times and the kids seem to get to know each other and keep in touch via facebook between cruises. DD was waiting in the terminal before embarkation to meet up with her friends. Two of them were there and the third was flying in that day and getting on-board later. The three of them created such a scene in the terminal when they spotted each other.

Fast forward to dinner. The three of us (DH, DD and me) get to our table first and find it is a table for 8. Oh no, we are seating with at least one other group. I've never found it to be a bad experience on other cruise lines but the thought now had me concerned. After a few minutes, a family of 4 (DW,DH,2DS) shows up and starts to sit down and do introductions when another girl comes over to the table and my DD and her start screaming at each other like long lost relatives. It was the third girl who was part of the foursome group. She was part of the family we were seated with (but late as always). DCL put us together even though they had no idea we knew each other. It was great getting to know the parents of the girl that DD hangs with all day and night! It turned out great.

DCL does try to seat like groups together. Sometimes they have some groups that don't match up but more than likely you will get someone around the same age as your child. It may be the opposite sex though. Not an issue for my teen DD but a younger child might not be as thrilled.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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I think so, last week we were seated w an extended family of 5, and 2 of the girls were near DD age,, it also happens they were in the rooms next to us, LOL,,, the 3 girls got along great and we enjoyed the oth adults pretty well.
last dream cruise we went w friends so a non issue.
quite some time ago just DH & I went on a RCL cruise and as a 30s married couple was seated at a table w 4 single young girls. I REALLY think RCL missed the mark on that one, we had ZERO in common w those girls except having a meal, lol.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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Om my last cruise I was a single mom traveling with my teen DD. We were seated with another single mom and her DD ( the girls were only 2 years apart in age) and a single dad and his DS( a lil older that the girls).
After the first night the "boys" were never seen again. Us girls got along great and enjoyed every meal together.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:14 PM   #7
jimsubry
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That sounds great! Thanks for sharing your experiences!
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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I may be in the minority here, but we prefer to NOT be sat with other families. We've been in a few awkward positions that now have me waiting for 1:00 on port day when they open dining requests to make sure we are sat alone.

I love the dinner experience on a cruise. Getting dressed up, royal treatment, excellent food you don't typically order when out for dinner, exquisite desserts, coffee with dessert. The whole thing is just a nice dinner! I really feel like our dinner experience on one of our cruises was ruined by the other families crabby kid. Seriously, the kid cried every night at dinner. The parents had a bigger threshold than I do when it came to removing him so he was disrupting others. Not to mention, the kid was just miserable. And to top it of, it was DH, DS(3 at the time) and myself. The other family was same as us, traveling with a set of grandparents. I totally felt like we were imposing on their family cruise. And the seating arrangements were very awkward so.

We had another very awkward time when we were seated with a family of 5. Mom, dad and 3 kids. The mother(bless her heart) was deaf. They had twin 2 year olds and another toddler that was 3. Wow! It was chaotic with the little ones. Since we couldn't really communicate with mom, and dad spent the meal tending to the littles. Um wow is all I can say. It was just very awkward and not really what I have in mind when it comes to my enjoyable cruise dinners
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:46 PM   #9
disneynme
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We had a great experience being seated with another family on our first cruise. This last cruise...not so much. DH and I decided it's best we sit alone. Do we have to wait till we board to do that?
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:11 AM   #10
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Boogabuzz & Disneynme: I'm completely with you. Before my DD arrived, Dh and & I used dinner time to connect. Chat about our rose & thorn and really involve ourselves in hearing one another. I don't vacay to make "friends." I may be a complete brat but I don't care where you're from or what you do. I'm here to focus on my husband while we are both disconnected (literally) from work. And now with DD's arrival, it's all about our family and connecting. I do enjoy meeting people and network/meet people all the time. At a bar, listening to music in the lobby, or in line for the aquaduck, I do want to learn about and from you. Dinnertime though is family time.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:23 AM   #11
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You can call and request your own table. We have always gotten our request on Disney
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:10 AM   #12
Aby
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On our first cruise in 2011 to Alaska my hubby and I called DCL and asked to be seated alone at dinner. We love going out to dinner together and feel it's our romantic, special time, so we thought it would be best if we could sit alone, but I didn't bother checking at the dining requests to see if it was granted, we just figured we'd go with the flow whatever it was.

When we got to dinner I was initially disappointed as there was already another couple sitting at the 4 top. When we got talking to them, we found out that they were supposed to have early dining but something got mixed up and DCL just told them to come to late the first night and they would get them switched by the following day. I'm shy at first, but they were a nice older couple and we found them very friendly and generally good company at dinner. The next day, we expected to be alone, but they were at our seating again and told us that they enjoyed our company so much that they requested to stay on late dining. We had a good time all week, and both us and they skipped Palo dinner (booked on different nights) so we could eat together every night. So it all worked out just fine!

That being said, I have requested a table to ourselves again this time to have dinner alone with my hubby and will follow through by checking in with dining changes when we board. Although our experience was positive, I would still like some special memories of dinner with just the two of us.

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:59 AM   #13
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My daughter and I had no intention of doing the MDR but I met a lady the 1st night who was seated alone with her son. We went to guest services and had our dinners combined and I enjoyed it way more than I ever thought I would. We started out as late dining but were switched to early and I will say I would never do late dining because of how long dinner takes. I believe we are early dining next year so we will give it a try but if it is uncomfortable I have no problem with the food on the pool deck.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:21 AM   #14
omalley1118
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I recently called and requested dining alone for my family as well. I did this for my DH. He is a very private/shy person. I feel torn, as you can certainly meet interesting people this way. But as he really never asks for much...it seemed the least I can do. Also I'm always afraid that we will be seated with a group that would make dining less pleasant...you always read those stories here. LOL!!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:38 AM   #15
sue8528
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Five cruises with my niece from ages 7 to 17. We have always been seated at tables with at least one other girl close to her age. It has made it much easier for them to go to the clubs and activities together the first night. Even if it was just the first night hurdle and they made new friends in the club to hang out with more. Some in later years have remained close through facebook. We have also never had a bad experience where we just couldn't have a pleasant meal with our table mates. Honestly one of the biggest reasons we have only cruised Disney. Next year when it will be adults only we'll probably try celebrity.
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