Pros and Cons to early vs late dining

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by lsenquiz, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    We generally didn't eat breakfast until 10:30 am and lunch until 2:30 to 3 pm anyway, so we didn't find a need to snack.
     
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  3. kbceman

    kbceman Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the insights :goodvibes With the late dining, you sit through the shows first, right? Maybe that will be enough to help the kids wind down a bit before dinner. We can try it the first few nights and if it doesn't work out, we can always feed the kids earlier from the quick-service restaurants. Looking forward to figuring it all out! :thumbsup2
     
  4. Phil'sFrontier

    Phil'sFrontier DIS Veteran

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    Our dd 10 did ok with late dining. I thought it was great and so did DW. We were never rushed getting there and while the first group is at dinner you can go places that at other times are very busy like the duck or the shopping.
     
  5. Zeppelin

    Zeppelin DIS Veteran

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    the early show starts about 6:15- usually closer to 6:30 once all the announcements are made by Brent....then its usually a walk straight to late dinner after the show...
     
  6. kaseyC

    kaseyC Mom to 3 lovely Princesses

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    We've sailed NCL quite a few times including the first year Freestyle dining was offered and it was never a "mess", long waits or rushed meals...at least for us. We absolutely loved having the freedom of dining when and where we liked on port intensive cruises in Europe and Alaska. Have never sailed NCL in the Caribbean, so can't comment on that.
     
  7. drsg

    drsg Mouseketeer

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    We are doing early this time. We were just too full at bedtime with late dining, and how to put this delicately, got tired of getting up in the middle of the night to make a run to ease the tummy rumbles. :scared:
     
  8. raceboymom

    raceboymom Earning My Ears

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    We did early dining on our last cruise and we are doing late dining this time. I think the late dining will be better for us. The problem with early dining was that our kids were so tired from the daytime activities, they were ready to nap at 5pm. Late dining will allow for them to take a late afternoon nap and then have a nice dinner. I also felt that we were really rushed with early dining. After a day of excursions we had to rush back to our room and get ready for dinner.
     
  9. Moby

    Moby Mouseketeer

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    If my memory serves me right, after the early show (approx 6:15 to 7:15), you have about an hour or so before late seating at 8:15 p.m., so we never went straight to dinner right after the early show since there is a break between the two.
     
  10. Zeppelin

    Zeppelin DIS Veteran

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    we would stop at the shops for a bit but there really wasn't much time to do anything...
     
  11. eva

    eva <font color=blue>Often uses her unique ability to

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    We are the same way. We are only 40 something people, but we still find eating that late at night is horrible for our digestion. We did late seating for 5 cruises before we realized that eating that late just didn't work well for us. Getting out of dinner at 10:15 or later meant that we were so full very late in the night. We had a hard time even staying up to enjoy the clubs and such. And going to bed shortly after eating such a big meal was awful. I wish they had a 7pm dinner time. 5:45 it a bit early for us. But after 7 cruises, I would pick early over late anytime.
     
  12. StephC1217

    StephC1217 Mouseketeer

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    We currently are signed up for late dining on our June 2013 cruise to the Caribbean. Our son will be 7 when we go. I have been stressing over whether to keep our late dining or try to get main dining....

    At home, we do not usually eat dinner until 7-8pm due to our schedules so we are used to eating later (although we could adapt either way). I signed up for late dining because I didn't want to be rushed coming back from ports (it can take me a long time to get ready when I have to blowdry my hair straight! :scared1: )

    But now i am worrying that late dining might be too late for my son? On the one hand, he is used to eating fairly late and stays up late most nights (9-10pm- sometimes later).... On the other hand, because of this, I thought he would have no trouble on our WDW trip last week. Turns out all that excitement made him pass out much earlier than normal.... Do you think I should keep my dining or try to get main dining?

    If we do dine n' play- will it be a problem if he falls asleep there?? (If he is not already asleep!)

    When we do AP- will he miss anything going to dine n play?

    TIA!
     
  13. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

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    We are a group of adults and always do early dining for this reason!
     
  14. actnkidz

    actnkidz Mouseketeer

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    Our DD was 6 on our last cruise and we had early seating, during every dinner she put her head down and took a nap. The servers were great they would bring over an extra tablecloth and an extra chair so she could lay down. They would even hold her meal til the end so she could eat while we had dessert. This worked out for us because she was then able to stay up late and she would never lay down in the room to sleep. At home she is usually in bed early so this made it easier to go to the shows and do some other things at night. This actually has happened on our 2 previous cruises as well.
     
  15. Four Swampers

    Four Swampers Picture is Disney Wonder at Cabo San Lucas

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    Depends on your itinerary and desires:

    In the med, which has exciting ports that can be an hour from the ship and ship departure times in the late evening, I choose the late seating so that I don't have to leave Rome two hours early just for dinner!

    In the Bahamas, you are on the boat before first seating anyway.

    With first seating, the servers move a little faster to get everything done and ready for the second seating. "Faster" still results in a relaxed two hour meal. Second seating can stretch a little longer. Second seating dinner can sometimes start to overlap with the Pirate Party or other evening parties/activities. Even if it doesn't overlap, it is pretty hard to leave dinner completely stuffed and then enjoy the foods at the Pirate Party! So if I don't have to hurry back from ports, I tend to prefer the first seating.

    Of course, children's schedules and bedtimes can influence the decision as well.
     
  16. betsy918

    betsy918 Mouseketeer

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    My DD(8) and I found that we prefer late, much to my surprise. We find that we do a lot more, keeping busy right up until dinner, then finding things to do after because we don't want to go to bed on a full stomach. With early dining, we'd eat, do the show, then we'd tend to go right to bed.

    Don't forget the other great advantage to late dining is that you're assigned the later breakfast time on debarkation day. We like to see our servers one last time, and FAR prefer the 8:00 am to 6:30am on the last day.
     
  17. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    We skip the last day MDR breakfast and eat at the buffet. That way you control when you eat and how long it takes. It's a great option.
     
  18. bitlerzx4

    bitlerzx4 DIS Veteran

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    yup

    & yup
     
  19. jahber

    jahber DIS Veteran

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    You may find that the atmosphere of the cruise is not quite as over-stimulating as WDW. Yes, kids are exited and may be go go going the entire day, but it's not like the parks at all. It's hard to explain :). Many parents have shared that their kids are so excited to see what happens next that they are able to stay up much later (and then crash and sleep like babies at night). This may or may not be true for you, but I wouldn't stress if you aren't able to get early.

    However, I would try for early dining, personally, just because we ARE night owls, and we like to explore what's happening on the ship after dinner. My kids (8 and 5) really look forward to going to the clubs after dinner and we let them stay until 10 or 11. If we get hungry, we order the cheese plate.

    If you don't get early dining, keep an eye out for the dine n play counselors. We never saw them on our first cruise, as they don't put on a show or anything ;) If your son is tired, he can plop down on a bean bag and watch a movie in the club. No problem.

    He will likely miss the show in AP if he leaves for dine n play. But I will say that my kids found AP the most interesting and they were well behaved there as they enjoyed the scenery, the paint cup, the cute paintbrush bread knives, etc. You can still bring your son to the clubs after Crush visits if you want. It only takes a few minutes. :)

    I hope that helps!
     
  20. ilovebassets

    ilovebassets Animal Kingdom fanatic!

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    We love late dining. This will be our seventh cruise--4 have been late dining and 2 were "anytime dining" (hated that, will not be doing it again). The only reason we are doing early dining this time around is that we will have our two children with us, ages 2.5 yrs and 5 months, and they have an 8pm bedtime. We love the early evening feel of the ship when everyone else is at dinner. The hot tubs and pool are empty, you can enjoy beautiful sunsets. Dinner becomes an event. We love taking 2+ hours of lingering over dinner. When dinner is that long, indigestion isn't such an issue! I would not want to rush back from an interesting excursion or port just to make it to dinner. So IMO, if you're adults only or have older children that can handle the late dinners, then I would definitely choose late dining.
     
  21. StephC1217

    StephC1217 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks Jahber- that really helped- well, at least it gave me a lot more to consider when making my decision. I am really going to have to weigh it out!
     

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