4 kiddos! main vs second seating?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by baleeve, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. baleeve

    baleeve "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere -- I

    Nov 8, 2004
    First Disney cruise!!! I love saying that!!

    About us: Three adults and four kids ages 8, 9, 10 and 11 traveling on the 4 night Dream cruise. We are from the east coast so time zone is the same. During the summer months we usually eat at 7. Early risers but also night owls on vacation. (Don't want to miss anything!!) :)

    I'm trying to decide which is better for the kids in regards to activities and shows -not so much full bellies as I know they will snack.


    Thanks all.
  2. Justacruiser

    Justacruiser Military Veteran

    Aug 29, 2011
    Because it is such a short cruise and you aren't going to be off the ship a lot, I would recommend the early dinner at 5:45. They will not be tired and enjoy the dinner more than if you have them sit down to eat at the late dinner. Myself, DW and DD always eat Main Dining, then hit the show and then grab some fries or pizza around 10:00 on deck 12 before hitting the room.

    Most folks want Main dining. Book the main dining and you will be able to switch easier if you change your mind. But stick the early dinner. You will not get finished with dinner till 7:30-8:00pm most nights.
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  4. mousemamma

    mousemamma Mouseketeer

    Mar 6, 2011
    We've done both with the kids (now they are 9 and7 ) but we definitely prefer the late seating. We just felt that the afternoon ended so quickly because we had to get ready for dinner at 5. With the late seating we could enjoy the day a bit longer. If the kids got hungry, we would snack them at the pool.

    Enjoy your cruise!
  5. cypressmom

    cypressmom Love my Disney vacations!

    Jun 10, 2009
    I would suggest late. We did the early and always felt rushed in the last afternoon.
  6. TgrFans

    TgrFans Fourth time around....

    Jan 18, 2011
    We had early dining on our 5 night cruise on the Dream in June 2011. when our DDs were 9 & 12. I wish we'd had late dining (and we do for our upcoming 7 night on the Fantasy). There's so much going on and so many opportunities to snack throughout the day that we just weren't hungry at 5:30pm!
  7. disneymagicgirl

    disneymagicgirl Been there, Done that, Going back!

    Dec 13, 2005
    We like the 2nd seating. It allows us to take a leisurely pace throughout the day and not have to rush thru anything to make it to dinner on time. Even with our young children we still prefer late dining, so kids the ages of yours should be fine.
  8. stsomewhere

    stsomewhere DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2008
    Late dining.

    You can sign the kids up for dine and play. The kids counselors will pick them up at 9:15 in the dining room.
  9. llqool

    llqool DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2006
    We love late dining and Dine and Play. We have a snack and go to the show beforehand (and I'm awake and kids are better-behaved :))
    Then we go to dinner and the counselors come and take the kids up to the clubs.

    One thing: on our Wonder sailing, the counselors just sort of stood at the front of the restaurant, you had to be looking for them or you would miss them. On our Magic sailing this summer, the counselors paraded through the restaurant, gathering kids as they went. We had a verrryyy slow serving team, however, and sometimes our kids hadn't been served their whole dinner before the counselors came in. It's a testament to my girls' love of the clubs that they agreed to go without eating dessert! (although we did promise to take them to get soft serve ice cream after we picked them up)
  10. hpsalb

    hpsalb Mouseketeer

    Jul 12, 2012
    With kiddos those ages I think you will be happier with late dining. We did early seating our last cruise because DS was only 21 months and needed it, but it was very early. DH and I usually do not eat by then. If I had older kids then it would really cut into the afternoon to go and get ready for dinner by then.
  11. SnipsNSnails

    SnipsNSnails DIS Veteran

    Jan 22, 2011
    With those ages and your normal routine, it sounds like late might be for you. For cruiser with young children I alwasy suggest early. We were given late on our last cruise (with Carnival) when my kids were 6 months and 3 and the first night they fell asleep at dinner which made it difficult not only for us to eat but we really wanted to enjoy dinner with our kids awake LOL We were grateful when our request to change was finally granted the second night. This time they will be 6 and 3 and we will still be doing early. At home we usually eat early though, between 5-6 PM and are settling down for bed around 8 PM. I would rather have them fall asleep during the show than dinner. But I don't think given the ages of your children that falling asleep during dinner would be a concern and you will most likely enjoy having the longer afternoon.
  12. bahacca

    bahacca Mouseketeer

    Aug 18, 2012
    I have an opposite take than snipsandsnails. I'd rather my kids(ages 6 and 7 when we sail) fall asleep during dinner than the show. I know I'll be hearing about it if they missed some of the show. Dinner-I don't think they'll care if they miss a corn dog.
  13. Brittmarie04

    Brittmarie04 Mouseketeer

    May 4, 2011
    If u have late dining do u see the show before? If so what time does the show start?
  14. Ajojo

    Ajojo Mouseketeer

    Aug 2, 2010
    We have done both and in a few weeks we are going back to the Main seating. We normally eat early (6 pm) and we just could not get used to eating so late in the day. Also, we seemed a bit rushed on the last night of the cruise (no one had packed) and on Pirate night (festivities were starting and we were still at our table).

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