Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by lsenquiz, Oct 5, 2012.
What are the pros and cons to early versus late dining? It will be DH, DS8 and myself.
Since you are from Georgia, the whole time change issue doesn't get involved. And you don't MISS anything regardless of which dining time you have--activities are either repeated or happen between the two times.
Main--more kids, more families request this time. Dinner MUST stay on schedule as the servers, etc. need to have time to reset for late. Better for kids who need to be in bed. Depending on excursions and port times, can be a little rush getting ready after an excursion. A bit noisier in the dining rooms with more kids. Show after dinner.
Late--you (we) need a healthy afternoon snack with dinner this late. Sleepy time for some kids. You have the option of how fast dinner moves if you want to linger over coffee or whatever; it is just a little more relaxed. Fewer little kids, but still plenty. Dine and play program (the CMs will take participating kids from the dining room to the OC and Lab--parents don't need to take them) You'll never be hungry at the pirate buffet. No hurry to get ready for things. You can ride the DUCK while those early people are eating.
The main pro for us to doing late dining is that you don't have to scramble to get ready right after excursions or leave the pool deck when the crowds start easing. We can leisurely get ready after we finish our day and are ready in plenty of time for the first main shows.
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If you are used to a schedule, llike my kids... go with that. We eat dinner right after school each day as my husband has to take his lunch break at 11am... so dinner is always finished by 4pm. So waiting until 6pm is a bit of a stretch, we could never wait until 8. I also don't like goign to bed on a full stomach.... so early dining works for us. Might be a bit of a rush on port days, but not really an issue. We get dressed quickly too,
This is why we love late dining. No rushing and you feel like you have more freedom to chose what you are going to do through out the day. Your son will be fine. Just feed him a late second lunch/snack around 5. Believe me, with all the activities on board your son will be hungry again around 8. So will you and your hubby.
Another pro to late dinning is you can use dine and play. Your child's meal will be brought out with your appetizer and about 45 minutes later counselors from the kids club come and pick up kids and take them back to the kids club. Just let your server know when you are seated.
You don't have to use this option every night or at all but it's good to know it exists.
agreed here- four cruises, four late dinings and it always works...plus you can leisurely get to the 6:15 show at the Walt Disney Theater before dinner versus rushing through dinner to get to the late show...
edit- the firs three cruises we took my daughter was 4YO/5YO/6YO and she had no issue with late dining...
Totally Agree... Something else to consider
When we did our 1st cruise with Disney our DDs were 7 & 9, and we selected early seating thinking it would be better for them to eat early; WRONG. They hated it, they thought there were too many loud "little" kids running around the dining room. Since then it's been late dining & we've never looked back.
Thanks for the advice. I was leaning toward late dining and glad most confirmed that. My son is a night owl just like his dad. I am usually in bed before either of them so he will have no problem with late dining. I also love the fact that we can go to the early show before dinner(which I would not want him to miss) but he can still go to the kids club after dinner.
if your son is a night owl, as is my daughter, you don't want early dining as their will be too much time on your hands after dinner....
The only downside to late dining for me is that it rarely ends before 10pm. When you're old like me, your stomach doesn't do well with eating that late.
I tried late dining for the first time on a Disney cruise and hated it. Give me "anytime dining" (on other cruise lines) or early dining.
We haven't done late dining before (this is our 2nd cruise) but we will be doing it for the first time in Jan. The kids in our group range from 5 to 13. We ended up with late dining because early dining was full, but I think we are actually going to like it better.
Our kids are night owls so shouldn't be a problem, and I think our only plan will be to make sure they have a healthy snack late afternoon/early evening. I think as long as they aren't starving, the staying up won't be a problem.
We love Late Dining. On our first cruise we had Main Dining and we realized that we would have to be getting ready for dinner when the ship was leaving. We decided that we didn't want to miss the port departures because we had to go shower/change, etc. We love watching the activities when we leave ports. So we changed to Late Dining and it worked perfectly (and we were glad to give up our spot for families with younger kids that needed it more).
My DS was 7 on the first cruise and enjoyed Dine and Play. He would get his meal earlier and would then watch for the Kids Club CM's to come around. It also helped him remain respectful during the meal (2 hours was a long time for him to sit still). Plus we had time to relax after excursions, etc. If we needed to, we had time between the first show and dinner to go back to the room to change. If we had Main Dining, we would need to be completely ready by 5:45 and we just didn't want to have to do that so early.
So for those reasons, we have always picked the later dining time
Only early and our kids aren't children. We never see that many young children and we are never rushed to get to dinner. If its a late port, dinner is usually held up for a bit. We figure we have to get dressed for shows so might as well get dressed for dinner and then none of us are too stuffed for the evening activities. When we eat too late, we are ready for bed.
My 6 year old is a night owl too. We definitely took late dining. If he gets hungry, we will order a snack or something. That way we don't have to rush back from Castaway Cay or anything to dress for dinner.
Have done early dining on both cruises with DS 4 then 5. Worked really well as it never takes us more than about 15 mins to get ready (and we do change for dinner) and if DS was going to fall asleep I would rather he missed a show because of it than his dinner. We never felt rushed at dinner, were always in time for the show. We never considered sending DS to the clubs after dinner, he just came to the shows or activities with us. In fact on our first cruise he slept all the way through a very loud show sat on my lap. DS carried him back to our room, we put him to bed and he hardly stirred! A very busy full day makes for a very heavy sleeper!
DH and I chose late dining. It worked better for us especially since we didn't have to make the choice to rush back to the ship when going ashore.
But that being said, we don't have kids either so that helped with out decision. There were times when I was absolutely starving by the time our dinnner rolled around but a good snack would have fixed that. lol
Just a note--on Caribbean and Bahamas cruises, the concept of "rushing back to the ship" is not typically a big deal as most of the time the "all aboard" time is early enough to give you time to change for dinner.
In Europe and Alaska, this is a bigger deal.
True. the European and Alaskan dinner schedules are usually held a bit later.
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