Dinner Seating for Mediterranean Cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by anjuan, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. anjuan

    anjuan Mouseketeer

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    We're going on the Mediterranean Cruise this upcoming June. For my previous Disney Cruises I had always booked the main seating and enjoyed it so I booked main seating for this cruise. However, I noticed that for most of the stops we don't leave port until 6:45pm. Also, I noticed that many of the excursions we are interested in are pretty long so now I'm wondering if we might not be back on the ship in time for the main seating and if it might be better to book the late seating.

    What has been the experience of others who have done this cruise?
     
  2. JayhawkCruiser

    JayhawkCruiser Earning My Ears

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    If you’re going to maximize your day at port, I’d highly recommend choosing second seating. We had to be on a waiting list for second seating to open up actually for our Med. cruise this past fall, that’s how much more popular it is over the main dining time for this particular itinerary.
     
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  4. Disneymadhouse

    Disneymadhouse Always planning a Disney holiday!

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    We did the med cruise in 2016. We did the DCL Rome excursion and were not back on ship until around 6.30pm. That was the only long day we had. The previous evening we had said to our table mates and servers to go ahead and carry on without us in case we were back late. I would have felt guilty if I were turning up late every evening.

    Claire :)
     
  5. aggiedog

    aggiedog DIS Veteran

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    I’d also recommend second seating. It gives you the leisure to get back to the ship without rushing. You’ll have time to rest a bit before dinner if you get back a bit early. We would have a late afternoon snack, which would tide us over until dinner. If I’m in Europe, I want to maximize port time.
     
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  6. MNBadger

    MNBadger Earning My Ears

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    We did a Med cruise in 2015 and the Dover to Barcelona cruise in 2017. Both times, we selected the late seating. For Rome, Florence, La Harve excursions we weren't back on board until after 6:30 pm. We were very sweaty after Rome and Florence (it was 95+ and humid in both cities) and loved the opportunity to shower and change clothes before dinner. DD(6 and later 8) would have a snack to tide her over for dinner.
     
  7. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    We usually go for early dining. But on our Med cruise we opted for late, for just those reasons. Long, late port days.

    We didn't worry about missing the shows, though. We were booked on the WBTA following and figured we'd catch anything we missed on that leg of the trip.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  8. GPaLarry

    GPaLarry Have earned one ear!

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    We did the Med. cruise in Sept of 2016 (first leg of B2B WBTA) and had the early seating. It was a bit tight twice, but our servers were used to it and we had no problems getting fed. We also wanted to see the stage shows in the evening and if you are a bit late and only prep for second seating, you miss out. Choices, choices...
     
  9. TestingH2O

    TestingH2O DIS Veteran

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    We've always liked early seating, but we chose late for Alaska and opted for it again in the Med. We enjoyed having time between our excursions and dinner.

    Which Med sailing?
     
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  10. sambycat

    sambycat DIS Veteran

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    We did this cruise last September. We are normally late dining, but did early dining. Though it was tight, I think it was best. Main dining will begin after the all aboard, so it won’t start before tours return, although if you are on a Disney excursion and arrive late, it may have started. We did long excursions at every port, and one night we did arrive on board with not a moment to really change. My feeling was we came back really hungry and really tired. No way we would have made it to late dining at all let alone any shows because we would have eaten and passed out! Which is also an option! Some of the shows are on the closed circuit TV so we did that twice. Also, since we always have done late dining, we have noticed that late dining seems to go astray sometimes in terms of timely service? We didn’t want that either. Anyway, we ended up just feeling that main was easier - also we are two adults, no kids
     
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  11. dclpluto

    dclpluto DIS Veteran

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    I was on a med cruise in 2010. One of my excursions got back late. Lots of guests were boarding after dinner had started. Crew members were telling people if you had early seating to go straight to dinner. I’m thinking 45 minutes after dinner had started. We wasn’t going to go to dinner until they said it was ok to go. I wouldn’t count on that thou.
     
  12. Jason Martin

    Jason Martin JDM

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    I was on the Med cruise this past August and had full length excursions all port days. We did 1st seating which is at 6 vs 5:45. They totally expect the delays and it is no issue. At 6 most night the dining Room was half full. We just dropped our stuff at the Room and went straight and had no issue getting there by 6:15
     
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  13. anricat

    anricat DIS Veteran

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    Just be aware that the seatings for the European cruises are later than normal. As @Jason Martin points out, early is at 6. Late is at 8:30, I believe.

    We are normally second seating people. We tried early on a cruise and did not like it, but I am worried about an 8:30 seating. Especially since we've already seen the shows a couple of times and are likely to skip them. Most of our days are looking to be full, but we have some early mornings so I'm wondering if we're better with early. It's such a tough choice! If we have one later day, I'm okay either letting our servers know we'll be a few minutes little later (we always know what we want and I wouldn't be more than 15 minutes late) or just skipping and going to Cabana's.
     
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  14. anjuan

    anjuan Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much for all of the great advice! It really is a hard decision but I think I’m going to stick with the main seating for now. Knowing my teenager she’ll probably be hungry when we get back to the ship. I think it’s also a great point that we could alway eat at Cabanas a night or two.
     
  15. cheermom2four

    cheermom2four DIS Veteran

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    Our family of 6 did the Med cruise this past September and chose 2nd seating. We wanted to be able to relax, shower, and rest before 2nd seating and it worked perfectly. We had a wide age of people (54 yrs to 6 years of age).
     
  16. kiford

    kiford DIS Veteran

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    We always do the later seating anyway but definitely preferred that in the Med. We did note, however, that several of the days they moved both dining times slightly later to accommodate common return times for a lot of excursions as well as the all aboard. So even the early dining tends to be a bit later than, say, those cruises in the Caribbean. If you plan to take a lot of very long excursions, then you're probably best to opt for later dining. I tend to book the longest of the tours so early dining, even if it was what we generally would prefer, really wouldn't work.

    Do note that late dining can sometimes start as late as 8:45 pm if they are trying to accommodate a lot of people doing long tours. I'm pretty sure Civitavecchia was one port where early dining was moved about 1/2 hour later to accommodate a lot of long tours. If you are OK with a couple that run a bit long, you might still be able to do early dining even if a bit late for dinner once or twice, or the seating time might be moved a bit that day. If you do early dining and know that a tour the next day might run a bit late, let your servers know the day before and they will do what they can to accommodate everyone at the table so that no one is waiting.
     
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  17. mrsp1030

    mrsp1030 DIS Veteran

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    We went this past August and did the 2nd seating. The only issue we had is our 5 year old was often hungry so we ordered room service and he rarely made it to the Main Dining. Instead he went straight to the kids club. In fact, on another night our older two children did the same. We actually enjoyed the 2nd seating and would often swim once back in port vs feeling rushed to get to dinner.
     
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  18. emilymad

    emilymad DIS Veteran

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    We could only get late seating for the cruise we booked for this summer. We are planning on eating in Cabanas most nights if we can't get first seating. 8:45 is too late for us to eat with the early morning starts.
     
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