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Old 06-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
jenhelgren
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Early/Late Dining Positives/Negatives

I currently have late dining and I cannot decide whether or not to waitlist early dining. Can anyone share their personal positive/negative aspects to either one of them. I do like the idea of not rushing to dinner after a day in port, but I am thinking that 8 will be late to eat on sea days

How do the shows work? We have never cruised DCL before and I know we want to participate in the Pirate Party after dinner and watch all the shows we can. Would early or late dining be better suited for parties/shows?? We are also cruising over Halloween and I know there will be a party that night that we want to participate in. Are all the activities timed just right so that dining is not an issue?
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:51 PM   #2
DisLyd2008
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I vote late

We happen to love late dining (and we have kids). They go to the club, or the nursery and sleep, and we get quiet time to eat. We like doing the shows earlier because they can handle it better. We usually still have to rush a bit to get ready for the shows but its not bad. I think those usually start in the 6:00 hour when dinners start at 5:00 something. The late night parties start after the last dinner is supposed to end, but if you are concerned based on the pace of the first few nights, you can let your servers know you want to leave early to get ready for pirate party or whatever and they should move you along a little faster. We are early eaters in our home life (5-6 normally) but you somehow get used to it on the cruise and it doesn't give us any ill effects to eat late. Just have a snack mid afternoon! Its a good excuse to try the other eating spots on the cruise!
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
nicbic97
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We have done early and late dining and preferred late. We were always too tired to go to the shows when we had dinner first and only went to 1 on the 7 day cruise. There is about an hour lag time between the end of dinner and start of the 2nd show and we would always end up going back to the room and falling asleep.

When we had late dining we went to every show. Shows start at 6:15 if you have late dining, but early dining starts at 5:45 so you have an extra 30 min of free time when you do late dining to get back from port, change, etc. If you get hungry you can get a snack from room service or the pool deck, but most of the time you are so busy you don't even realize you are hungry.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #4
PrincessShmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhelgren View Post
I currently have late dining and I cannot decide whether or not to waitlist early dining. Can anyone share their personal positive/negative aspects to either one of them. I do like the idea of not rushing to dinner after a day in port, but I am thinking that 8 will be late to eat on sea days

How do the shows work? We have never cruised DCL before and I know we want to participate in the Pirate Party after dinner and watch all the shows we can. Would early or late dining be better suited for parties/shows?? We are also cruising over Halloween and I know there will be a party that night that we want to participate in. Are all the activities timed just right so that dining is not an issue?
JMO, but we prefer early dining. Eating that much food that late at night is hard on our tummies.

Generally, early seating will have more/younger children at it, so can be a bit noisy. Although I found that on the one cruise we did do late dining, it didn't seem to make a difference, I thought the MDRs were pretty noisy generally. Late dining has the option of the kids club staff coming in about 45 minutes into the dinner time and taking the kids to the club/lab.

The shows and dinner seatings are roughly at the same time. If you have early dining, you go to the late show. Late dining goes to the early show. The pirate shows/party are between the dinner seatings and after the late seating (that's the one with the fireworks).

For the most part, scheduling of the "big" events doesn't overlap. But you may have to make some choices.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
wdwlover25
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I ended up with 2nd rotation for the first time this past spring break. Even though we booked a year in advance 1st rotation was already full. I called several times throughout the year and was unable to switch. So glad we couldn't switch... We loved 2nd rotation! The first show is not as crowded (except last night) and starts a little later than the 1st dining rotation. 2nd rotation felt less rushed and being so late was not an issue. Did not interfere with pirate party at all. The best perk of all is the 2nd rotation gets 2nd breakfast time on disembarkation day! No alarm necessary and got to enjoy the balcony one last time.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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I ended up with 2nd rotation for the first time this past spring break. Even though we booked a year in advance 1st rotation was already full. I called several times throughout the year and was unable to switch. So glad we couldn't switch... We loved 2nd rotation! The first show is not as crowded (except last night) and starts a little later than the 1st dining rotation. 2nd rotation felt less rushed and being so late was not an issue. Did not interfere with pirate party at all. The best perk of all is the 2nd rotation gets 2nd breakfast time on disembarkation day! No alarm necessary and got to enjoy the balcony one last time.
100% Agree with Above. Always do 2nd seating.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
lovedisney123
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We have done both, and we tend to go with Main dining because we don't like eating so much that late at night.

On the other hand, I did like having the show early. We didn't worry about dressing for the show and just went right in from whatever activity we were at, and then had time to change for dinner. It was nice when we were in Key West so we could stay onshore longer (missed the show that night).
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
Wshop
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We have done the late seating with a then 5 year old and a then 7 year old. It worked well for us. We saw the show every night except when we wanted to hang out in the empty goofy pool.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:34 PM   #9
amyh13
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I am so happy to hear this. We have late seating too. DH and I can deal with that but the then 8 yo DS and 4 yo DD are used to eating earlier. I want them to at least eat in each of the dining rooms once but on other days, we will do the shows together, send them to the club to eat, and enjoy a few dinners alone!
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:40 PM   #10
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We had 2nd seating this month on the Fantasy and I really liked it. My kids are 6, 8, & 11 and did fine with it. We especially enjoyed the sea days. We would go to the matinee that afternoon and then have a big chunk of time to enjoy the ship. The pools and Aquaduck start to empty out at about 5, so we could get in a couple of hours of fun before dinner.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
trickiwoo
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We always do early dinner. But one thing we dislike about it is that you miss the sunset every night! The sun always set while we were at dinner, so we never got to see it!
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #12
tajz90
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We enjoy early dining. Never feel rushed. Our family is an older family so age isn't a factor. I find when we eat too late, we can't enjoy an evening cocktail because we're too full.

I never notice an abundance of kids running around early dining and have witnessed quite a few melt downs by kids at late dining.

It's a personal choice. That being said, it's easier to get late dining. If you ever have the choice, choose early until you absolutely decide.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #13
Zeppelin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhelgren View Post
I currently have late dining and I cannot decide whether or not to waitlist early dining. Can anyone share their personal positive/negative aspects to either one of them. I do like the idea of not rushing to dinner after a day in port, but I am thinking that 8 will be late to eat on sea days

How do the shows work? We have never cruised DCL before and I know we want to participate in the Pirate Party after dinner and watch all the shows we can. Would early or late dining be better suited for parties/shows?? We are also cruising over Halloween and I know there will be a party that night that we want to participate in. Are all the activities timed just right so that dining is not an issue?

always do late...don't have to rush back from excursions and can stay on Castaway Cay till the very last minute...you finish dinner and there's not a long wait until the Pirate party...1st cruise my daughter was 4YO and it was no problem...
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
aanderson5
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We do late seating because that is closer to when we normally eat. We usually eat at 7-7:30 so 6:00 would be really early for us. We cruised when DS was turning 5 and the only night he fell asleep at dinner was on his birthday. He had had a big day at CC and was exhausted. He made it till just before dessert was served. Our servers kindly wrapped up a piece of cake for him to go.

We went to an all inclusive when DS was a toddler and chose early times for our meals. It just did not work for us and we vowed to never do it again.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #15
gumbypee
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I prefer early dining. I am used to eating earlier than early dining and could never wait til late to eat. I have never had to rush back from an excursion or felt rushed at dinner. Personal preference
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