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Do I want early or late seating for dinner? Argh!

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean International' started by GloBug, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. GloBug

    GloBug Guest

    Ok, so, this newbie has realized that if we choose the early seating, we might have to be back early enough from the shore excursions to wash up and change for dinner.. but we could make the midnight buffet! BUT, dinner won't be over until almost 8?

    But, if we take the later seating, we won't miss some great shows, and we can relax after the shore excursions, and really, I don't need to eat at midnight, do I? I'll probably be asleep, won't I? I am usually by 11pm!?!

    And if we go ashore every day we won't be eating all day like we might on the boat, or am I in denile?

    What do you usually pick, and why? And do you eat every night in the dining room, or do you prefer the other choices for filing that bottomless pit you develope during a cruise?
  2. mom2kanda

    mom2kanda Guest

    Well, I have only been on 2 cruises, so I am not exactly an expert, but here is my experience. On our first cruise we had early dining. It always seemed too early for us and did feel rushed, however at the time we were very young and more late night people.
    Second we had late dining, on a 4 night carnival cruise. We missed most of the shows and it seemed late to eat for us. We had to go for a snack in the late afternoon, which we didn't mind.
    Our next cruise we have requested early dining again, as the two port days we should be back on the ship early anyways. Honestly it is probably 6 of one half dozen of another. You will probably find good and bad about either seating.
    Remember, you don't have to eat in the dining room every night, so if you get early and don't make it back, you can just go alternative. Or, if you get late and are hungry go have a snack.
  3. Ali

    Ali Guest

    I always take first seating because it fits our schedule that we have at home. I can't eat that late at night as on second seating. Getting out of the dining room at 10pm, I'm ready for bed. Midnight buffets are a thing of the past, so don't plan on eating at them every night. They will usually have the Gala one with all the ice sculptures. Lizardstew just got off the Monarch, so maybe she will be able to answer that one for you.
  4. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    I always choose late seating. I usually eat late at home and I like to get my nap in after the shore excursions! :) Plus, there are usually more small children at early seating and I prefer to eat with a little more peace! :grin I am usually able to catch the shows afterward without too much difficulty, but I am a night person so...as long as I didn't have to get up too early that AM, I can usually make it!

    There was only one midnight buffet, and we didn't make it. I think we were enjoying one of the shows! :lol :lol :lol
  5. Kevin Mc

    Kevin Mc Guest

    My wife and I have been at odds on this one for the last 5 cruises we have been on. I seem to think the early seating will let us be able to enjoy the food at the 11:30 or 12:00 "pool side party / midnight buffet". Howevewre, I have to admit I believe she is correct in choosing the late seating. (don't tell her I said so). Here's why; if you choose do do the later excursions during the day you will be rushed to be ready for early seating. On the other hand, if you choose late seating you will probably not be ready to eat again at the late time. Here is the key. Relaxing at the pool after an excusion is very nice. Also, staying awake after a day's excursions is NOT easy. ( even if you are young).
  6. Vicar

    Vicar Guest

    We prefer the late seating for a lot of the above reasons. Gf and I like to take a little nap after a day ashore and then not be rushed showering and getting dressed.

    We usually just have the buffett on deck for breakfast and lunch and have dinner in the dining room because that is always really nice.

    There are always two shows at night one for early and late seating so you don't have to worry about missing a show.

    And as much as we say we are so full after dinner we always manage to have a little something at the midnight buffet . *LOL* We usually just make a plate and bring it back to our cabin.

    In the end its your vacation and you do what feels right and what you enjoy . You feel like showering and getting dressed , go have dinner in the dining room

    You are tired after a day on shore and just want to bum around, go to the buffet on deck.

    That is the beauty of a cruise , nothing is set in stone and there are so many options at so many times. I live by a clock every day of my life. i like the options a cruise gives you.

    Enjoy and have a great time
  7. tgrove

    tgrove Guest

    We prefer the late seating for many of the reasons listed by others. First, you are not rushed as you get back from your excursions. As far as shows go, there was always either a show during first seating, or after late seating.

    The other thing that we really enjoyed on our last cruise was we had an absolutely wonderful group at out table. After dinner, we would just sit and talk for another half hour or better. A couple of nights we all went to the late show. And, we never really felt rushed to leave the dinning room.
  8. JRudy33

    JRudy33 Guest

    We prefer the late seating for all of the above reasons plus, one of my favorite parts of the cruise is when we set sail. I love being up on deck to watch. If you have the first seating, you have to rush to get ready, practically as soon as you leave a port, or in some instances you are getting ready when you are leaving and you miss the whole thing.
  9. Hucc

    Hucc Guest

    I prefer early seating, too. It's around when I eat at home. Beside, if you go late dining, you're not out of there until after 10 o'clock. I don't like being at dinner that late. :)
  10. cfurry

    cfurry Guest

    Okay Glo, you're getting lots of feedback on this one because it relates to food. So naturally, I have to weigh in as well.

    We're relatively new to this as well, so maybe our experience will be relevant to you. We tend to eat dinner around 6 pm at home, so on our first (and only) cruise we chose early seating. We found this had some benefits (we tend not to be night owls, so eating earlier in the evening means you don't go to bed stuffed with food). However, my wife tended to go to bed pretty much immediately after dinner anyway, so we missed all but a couple of shows in the evening. That was a negative. Also, we did arrive back late from Cozumel and missed dinner that night, so we just went ot the Windjammer and enjoyed dinner there.

    And with cruises being a constant process of food consumption, we often found that we weren't sufficienctly hungry at 6:15 pm.

    So...next month we're trying the second (or later) seating. We're making the conscious effort to shift our typical schedule a bit . Perhaps sleep in a bit (we're usually up by 5:30 am), nap in the afternoon, do our daily walk around 6 pm instead of 6 am...that kind of thing. This way we can catch the shows before dinner, then eat, and then do whatever, even if it's just going back to the cabin, which is fine with us.

    If after reading all these posts, you still are wondering what to do, perhaps you should try this: request second seating (the later dinner schedule). See how that works for you. If it doesn't work out, you can always request earlier seating. I understand it's easier to transfer out of the more popular later seating than it is to go from early to late.

    And remember, there are the other dining options, like (depending on the ship) Johnny Rockets, Portofinos, Chops, room service, and Windjammer, so if you find you simply prefer to eat at 7:12 every night....you can!
  11. Hucc

    Hucc Guest

    you never really have to 'miss dinner'; it's available in the buffet and also via room service; there is also alternative dining options

    as you can see, Globug, it's all really preference

    one thing about the earlier seating; that will be the one with more kids... something you may want to consider
  12. sailingrose

    sailingrose Guest

    We pick the late seating because we can catch a nap or a soak in the hot tub after a long day on shore. My DH prefers early because it's closest to our normal time. I book the trip, I pick the dinner. LOL
  13. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Funny... back a few years ago, when I asked this question on the board most said they liked the early seating. Now more seem to prefer the late. Personally, I prefer the late as well (for all of the above mentioned reasons). I really like having dinner in the main dining room, especially if our table mates are enjoyable. So I dont like to miss it when we have late port hours. It will all just depend on what suits your family best.
  14. GloBug

    GloBug Guest

    ok, just the fact that the early one has most of the younger kids clinched it for my daughter. She's already convinced that the cruise will be "lame" so I don't want to add to the "lameness" for her, so late it is. Every single one of you had really good arguments, but the promise of a quieter dinner later on, and being able to rest, and maybe nap after shore, sure sounded good. Ok, later on... but does it really go until 10 pm????
    What happens if you show up for an early dinner if you are assigned to a late dinner?
  15. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    They don't open the doors for late dinner until the early seating is finished. And yes....I have been to some dinner that last until 10pm. So...I guess that means you get to sleep in the next morning! :grin
  16. GloBug

    GloBug Guest

    Full belly, glass of port after dinner, I guess I wouldn't make it to the midnight comedy show....sleep in... what's late on a ship? Do they blow the whistles that tell you it's SIX BELLS or anything like that?
  17. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    You asked what happens if you show up at the early seating when you are assigned late seating... you wont be allowed to dine then. Everyone is assigned a table which is printed right on your cruise card. So, all the seats are accounted for. To switch times you would have to see the maiter 'd and possibly be put on a list (or there could be openings and he could change you for the very next meal). But if you somehow get into the dining room and sit, someones gonna throw a fit that you are in their seat (sorta like sitting in the wrong seat on an airplane).
  18. Cruzman

    Cruzman Guest

    Tried late seating once out of 16 cruises, and I almost went to sleep before desert arrived. Never again! On most sailings, the ship departs a port before 5 PM, leaving plenty of time to get ready for main seating dinner.
  19. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    I'm a woman who works full time,maintains a house, and got 4 kids through out of state colleges, in 5 years... husband and I are up average to 10 PM every night then TV..and crash..we have raised 5 kids.with all that entails with dance class,catechism,SPORTS up the kazoo x 5 ,etc etc..we did not have Social lives. :grin...when we cruise we eat on purpose 2nd seating so we can enjoy all the evening things available...dancing,casino,shows,walking the deck, sitting on our balcony at night watching the world go by,....If I ate at 6:30 every night.. the fancy food would then be more apt to have me be like at home , go watch TV and fall asleep.We also like to relax after excursions,take a quick nap, go to tea, whatever catches our fancy.So on purpose we change our habits a couple days at our pre-cruise hotel and by the time we're on ship ,our body clocks are adjusted and we have a blast..the later dinner seating enforces the schedule to stay up later and get to do things..my =twocents in how it works for us..Enjoy Globug,go with what suits your lifestyle and it's a cruise..:grin..Joanne
  20. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    Early dinner for us and we have not been bothered or overrun by kids.Sure there were kids but there were no problems. Like Hucc said you never have to miss dinner, you can have the dinning room menu delivered to your cabin and order from it during the hours the dinning room is open for dinner.If you don't want to eat in the privacy of your cabin you can also go to the Windjammer for dinner :thumb so no matter what seating you choose you still have other options available.We prefer going early and then catch a show or take a walk around the promanade etc. Yes dinner really does go till around 10 pm for second seating and for us that is just too late to have all that food :lol

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