Dining Times w/ children

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mlemmons, May 5, 2006.

  1. mlemmons

    mlemmons Earning My Ears

    May 5, 2006
    Thanks to everyone for all the great advice and shared experiences. It will help us make our decision.

    I'm taking by family and my brother-in-laws family on our first DC in November. Between both families we have 7 children ages 3-10. Looking for advice on which dining time to request. Is it better to eat early and then attend the shows or vice versa? There are 3 early seating times, if we take the last one will we have trouble getting decent seats for the shows afterwords since we will be the last of the early seatings to finish dinner? Any advice is appreciated.
  2. mott

    mott DIS Veteran

    Jul 28, 2005
    I'm surprised that you have not recieved any responses yet. This question will get a very veried answer. Personally for my family (DD's 9 & 6 who normally go to bed by 8:30 even in the summer), the early dining is the only way to go. We could not take a chance with the girls being over tired and over hungry for the late seating. Over tired at dinner would make for no fun for anyone! I'd rather miss shows than dinner if they had to go back to sleep. Now, that said, the first couple of nights of our 4 night curise, the girls were up with no problems. By pirate night, our younger one was exhausted and missed the fireworks. The older one barely made it. Also, since my DH and I are not night owls, we would have hated to eat between 8:30-10 and then go straight to bed on such a full stomach.

    Really it boils down to what works best for all the kids. If they stay up late and sleep in, then it probably does not matter. However, if you are going this november, the early dining might already be full.

    One more thing, unless it has changed, you are assigned either main or late seating and within those seatings, you can only request one of the 3 times within that seating.

    Now, many people like to have more of the day to play and then eat dinner later.
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  4. lorrainesy

    lorrainesy Mouseketeer

    Nov 7, 2005
    We always go with the late Dining, if we were to have early seating we would have to get ready at 5pm, we are usualy having too much fun for this. Also on port days we would be too rushed. Besides with the late seating it is easier to get seats for the shows.
  5. CGC33A

    CGC33A DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2002
    if your trip is this November, early dining might be all taken (goes quick) though some opens up at the 75 day point (final payment due-people cancel). It is easy to switch from early to late but not from late to early (due to all of those kids wanting to eat at 6 PM). So if you still have a choice, pick early and change if you decide you want late.
  6. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    Also, while there are 3 early dining times, they are set by rotation, you only pick "main" or "late" what restaurant you start your cruise in will determine your specific time for early dining. Rotations can be requested, but are not guarenteed.
  7. LoveMyLAP-BAND

    LoveMyLAP-BAND Banded 2/18/05

    Aug 30, 2005

    We just cruised in January and I insisted on the early seating. My kids- ages 3, 4 and 8 go to bed early (7:30 for the yound ones and 8:30 for the older one) when we are home. I knew they would be staying up later on the cruise, but I still figured the main seating was best. Well, we were scheduled for 5:30. While that is our normal dining time at home, it was WAY too early on the cruise. We had to rush back from port so we could get ready for dinner. It seemed to really cut our day short.

    The next time we cruise, I am definitely going for the late seating.

    BTW, the kids stayed up most nights until midnight! They just kept going and going and going and..........
  8. Lindy Loo

    Lindy Loo DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 2005
    Havent done this yet, so dont know how it will work out. We figured late dinning, so we can enjoy the whole "day" if our DD 4 is hungry at say 5pm she can either eat in the club or by the pool. We will go to the shows as a family at say 7pm ish............ we will then eat. She can either go to the club or eat with us. ( her holiday, her choice) I guess the clubs will win, as the meals seems quite long for a kid. We can always get room service, at any point, so she wont starve! Whilst the meals may be a bigish part of an adult cruisers holiday, my DD eats when hungry and then gets on with exploring" "playing" etc. She will get no pleasure out of sitting at a table for ages ( Except perhaps AP, if there is a bit of a show)
  9. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    Highly personal choice, and actually you are going to have to make an educated guess.
    But if you get late seating, and the kids get hungry early, assuming you are on a 7 day, the Topsiders buffet is always an option, or on all the cruises, a snack from Plutos, Pinnochios, or Scoops (I hear they have sandwiches now) or room service.

    As west coasters, with active children, our problem on east coast cruises has always been that late seating is too early for our body clocks. When DS was in high school playing baseball, on game days he usually wasn't home until 8 pm if it was a home game, and one road game was a 90 minute drive from here, and he got home at 10:15 pm!!!! So if we're lucky, dinner is at 7:30 at the earliest in our house. And since Disney doesn't have a midnight buffet nightly like other cruise lines, and only Pinnochos is open past 10 pm, our meal options are limited.
  10. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Feb 25, 2003
    We go with early seating. It wouldn't make a big difference to us with getting ready because we would have to dress before the shows...which start 6:15/6:30. The kids can sit thru a show at 8:30 but forget about dinner. They do well for the almost 2 hours during early. :)
  11. RCBA

    RCBA Dreaming of Castaway Cay

    Jun 19, 2005
    I'm a little stressed about seating times right now. 2yo DS is going w/ us and we have 8:30 seating :( We have waitlisted for early seating...if we end up getting it I will have to go in and rearrange our Flounders ressies.
  12. dreamcometrue

    dreamcometrue <font color=blue>Laughed on her wedding night<br><

    Apr 17, 2006
    when it comes time for us to book our cruise, I will definitely book late seating. We usually don't eat dinner until 7:30 around here because of DH's work schedule, plus, we are coming in from the West Coast and with the time difference, if we were to do the early dinner seating, we'd be eating dinner at 2pm pacific time, which would be esp. difficult the first night or two! And even after getting used to the time change, I honestly don't think any of us would be hungry at 5pm.
  13. Mom24Princesses

    Mom24Princesses DIS Veteran

    Feb 7, 2005
    Early is too early and late is too late.

    We had to rush like mad sometimes for early BUT Even I can't imagine eating at 8:30-9:00 as we are East coaster who have dinner before 7:00, at the latest. NOW that the older DDs are into stuff THEY may eat later...but I do dinner for the younger two and DH between 6-7. I think I'd have tummy trouble waiting.

    IN HINE SIGHT...now, I will require all 4 DDs to some meals next time (formal and Pirates) AND the clubs won't take them on the first night...BUT all others will be their choice. DD who turned 6 the day before we sailed quit eating by the 3rd night. She ate an adult pasta dish one night and they brought her caesar salad every night and she picked at it. THAT's NOT WORTH THE HASSLE TO ME. She did not even want desserts.

    SO as you plan...keep in mind that while they try real hard...the dinners are for adults. (some kids don't care) NOW DD who was 8 1/2 loved every night, went with DD 13 when DH and I went to Palo and ate a lobster on lobster night.

    My rule for next time is EVERYONE DO WHAT YOU WANT (ALMOST) :goodvibes .

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