Can you go to dinner twice? (Early AND late seating)

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#1
Michigan
82 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
I have a cruise booked on the Carnival Dream in January 2014 which will be with BF and a group of family. Our other cruises have been just the two of us, so we're really looking forward to spending time together with family on this upcoming cruise. Never been on Carnival either, so we're looking forward to experiencing that and comparing it to NCL and RCCL!

The thing is, even though we're the "kids" of this cruise (mid 20s), we're usually early birds and like to eat dinner early. We've always done MyTime/Freestyle dining, but usually end up going to dinner around 5:30-6pm. The rest of the family, though, wants to go with a late seating, like 8:30-8:45pm.

So I was wondering if it's possible to have dinner in main dining rooms twice each day? We'd have an early dinner ourselves and then a late dinner with everyone else. Hopefully we'd be having smaller dinners instead of just stuffing ourselves both times, but we're not too concerned about that while we're on vacation! We know that there's no danger of going hungry on a cruise ship, but we'd rather have MDR food instead of just scrounging or hitting up the buffet. But we want to eat when we're hungry without sacrificing dinnertime with family (after all, that's the whole point of a family cruise!) so we'd like to do both!

Anyone know if this is possible? If it's no problem, or if they might give you issue over it?

Also, would both times have to be scheduled seatings or could we have a scheduled late seating with everyone and wander in whenever we want ourselves for the earlier seating? Not sure how it works on Carnival with scheduled/flexible dining times.

Thanks in advance!
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#3
Arlington, Virginia
2,632 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
The short answer is "No". Your S&S card will indicate if you have early dining, late dining or anytime dining. If you have assigned dining (early or late), you will only be allowed in at those times. If you have anytime dining, you will not be allowed in at an assigned time. If you want to eat anytime early and again late, there's a some chance that you will be denied and a very good chance that they will give you an issue over it. They check your S&S card when you arrive for anytime dining, so if you try to go back again later in the evening, they will know that you already ate earlier.
#4
3,866 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
no you cannot, someone else will be at the table you are assigned to - they will not assign you to 2 different tables - early and late

You could choose late dinner to be with the family and go to the buffet for early by yourself
#5
271 Posts
Joined May 2013
In the same vein: I would assume you could however go to the DR for one seating and than go to one of the specialty restaurants for dinner as well ie steakhouse
#7
Syracuse, New York
50,455 Posts
Joined May 2000
The only way you could "maybe" do this would be if EVERYONE had the open dining. Anything assigned is NOT going to an option.

If you were to show up twice for my time, they still may question why you are there again? Not sure why you would need another meal, but going with an appetizer and desert would be an alternative option.? Again- maybe.
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#8
Portland Maine
4,244 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Wouldn't want to spend that much time in the dining room. You would miss out on too much.
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#9
Michigan
82 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Originally posted by Jimmy Geegitz
Wouldn't want to spend that much time in the dining room. You would miss out on too much.
Haha, well we like eating, and part of it is so we'll be able to have dinner with family, so it's ok. But we were a little concerned about missing showtimes, etc with late seating.

We're actually kind of surprised that the general consensus seems to be 'no' on this...guess we'll have to pick up stuff from the buffet to tide us over for late seating instead of trying to go to main dining rooms twice. I doubt we'd have room for two full dinners, but we were planning to do a full dinner early on ourselves and then maybe grab an appetizer and dessert during late dining with family. Didn't think it'd be an issue to go a dining room for dinner twice, since we're pretty much continuously eating a little bit here and there all day; instead of 1 lunch, we do probably 3 little snacks spaced out, and I figured this would be a similar situation.
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#10
Idaho
2,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Eat dinner twice, yuck. Just thinking about that makes my stomach hurt. With the portions and courses, you're looking at up to 6000 calories on dinner(s) alone. ick

That aside, is there a reason you can't all do any time dining?
Maybe compromise and all of you show up around 7?
#11
Western Australia
248 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
My answer is that I have no idea, however would u going twice mean that someone else may miss out on dining room dinner alltogether, as you booked and used the table in both sittings, as that wouldn't seem too fair in my opinion.

Enjoy your cruise.
#12
East Coast
6,584 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by skipsaur
Haha, well we like eating, and part of it is so we'll be able to have dinner with family, so it's ok. But we were a little concerned about missing showtimes, etc with late seating.

We're actually kind of surprised that the general consensus seems to be 'no' on this...guess we'll have to pick up stuff from the buffet to tide us over for late seating instead of trying to go to main dining rooms twice. I doubt we'd have room for two full dinners, but we were planning to do a full dinner early on ourselves and then maybe grab an appetizer and dessert during late dining with family. Didn't think it'd be an issue to go a dining room for dinner twice, since we're pretty much continuously eating a little bit here and there all day; instead of 1 lunch, we do probably 3 little snacks spaced out, and I figured this would be a similar situation.
Don't know why you would be surprised. Even with other dining options, the MDR has thousands to accommodate within a short period of time. Once is enough. I'm sure you all could meet elsewhere on the ship or as suggested by others, choose anytime dining, OR eat in the buffet together OR you eat first then meet your group later. You have other, more doable options.
#13
2,397 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by skipsaur
Haha, well we like eating, and part of it is so we'll be able to have dinner with family, so it's ok. But we were a little concerned about missing showtimes, etc with late seating.

We're actually kind of surprised that the general consensus seems to be 'no' on this...guess we'll have to pick up stuff from the buffet to tide us over for late seating instead of trying to go to main dining rooms twice. I doubt we'd have room for two full dinners, but we were planning to do a full dinner early on ourselves and then maybe grab an appetizer and dessert during late dining with family. Didn't think it'd be an issue to go a dining room for dinner twice, since we're pretty much continuously eating a little bit here and there all day; instead of 1 lunch, we do probably 3 little snacks spaced out, and I figured this would be a similar situation.
I think the reason why the general consensus is no is because they check your room when you enter. if you have early seating, you will be on the early seating list and they will cross you off when you enter. if you are not on the late seating list they will not find you and you wont be able to join. Its just the way they manage the crowds. I dont think they will allow someone not on the seating list to come in.
#14
Phila. PA
19,846 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by skipsaur
Haha, well we like eating, and part of it is so we'll be able to have dinner with family, so it's ok. But we were a little concerned about missing showtimes, etc with late seating.

We're actually kind of surprised that the general consensus seems to be 'no' on this...guess we'll have to pick up stuff from the buffet to tide us over for late seating instead of trying to go to main dining rooms twice. I doubt we'd have room for two full dinners, but we were planning to do a full dinner early on ourselves and then maybe grab an appetizer and dessert during late dining with family. Didn't think it'd be an issue to go a dining room for dinner twice, since we're pretty much continuously eating a little bit here and there all day; instead of 1 lunch, we do probably 3 little snacks spaced out, and I figured this would be a similar situation.
I also am not sure why you are surprised. First thing that comes to mind would be where would you sit at late dining if you are assigned to early dining?

They certainly aren't going to assign you to both.

As someone else mentioned they have to assign 2500 to 3000 guest between early, late, and anytime dining.

Bill
#15
Virginia
859 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Dinner in the MDR is NOT a fast experience, it takes a looong time from seating through courses to desert. IMO even if they allowed such a thing, you'd be bored out of your mind by the end of the second seating. It would literally be your WHOLE night doing it that way. Why not see if the family would agree to "my time", and look for a compromise, like 630-700?
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#16
New York
1,022 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I too traveled with family this past August but they did choose early seating, which I enjoyed. Having 2 seatings for dinner is just way too much time in the MDR imho. Have a big lunch then a light snack to tide you over till dinner. Make the sacrafice and eat with your family, they'll appreciate and it will be for this cruise only. When you and bf travel alone, then do as you please.
#17
iowa
750 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I have done that many times. had the grandchildren eat early because they would never be able to wait til late. I wanted to give them the experience of good dining, table manners ect. The rest of our adult party had late dining. I just asked when I went to the late dining and they let me in as our party had an extra seat at their table and got desert with them.
when the kids order off the childrens menu it comes right away and we are out within an hour or less.
I have seen on many cruises where someone meets another and they dine together if there is room. The staff is very flexible if they have extra room.

debkjw
#18
Massachusetts
5,005 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
If the other family has assigned late dining then they are probably going to be sitting with others. Even if you go at the same time, I'm not sure you will be able to sit with them if the table is full. Usually anytime dining is even in a totally different dining room.

If you really want to eat with them, then I would switch to late dining also and have all the bookings linked so they will sit you all together at one table. If you are too many people for one table then I would hope they would try to sit you all on different tables in the same area.
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#19
217 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by Jimmy Geegitz
Wouldn't want to spend that much time in the dining room. You would miss out on too much.
That is exactly what I was thinking. Too much going in around the ship for you to spend hours in the dining room.
#20
1,281 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by skipsaur
Haha, well we like eating, and part of it is so we'll be able to have dinner with family, so it's ok. But we were a little concerned about missing showtimes, etc with late seating.

We're actually kind of surprised that the general consensus seems to be 'no' on this...guess we'll have to pick up stuff from the buffet to tide us over for late seating instead of trying to go to main dining rooms twice. I doubt we'd have room for two full dinners, but we were planning to do a full dinner early on ourselves and then maybe grab an appetizer and dessert during late dining with family. Didn't think it'd be an issue to go a dining room for dinner twice, since we're pretty much continuously eating a little bit here and there all day; instead of 1 lunch, we do probably 3 little snacks spaced out, and I figured this would be a similar situation.
Also uncertain as to why you would be surprised. When you book your cruise, you are assigned a time and table. It will be printed on your Seapass card. There will be no second opportunity officially provided. As others have pointed out, the rest of the family at the later seating will have their own assignment and their own table. Seat assignments fill a table; it is not a "drop-in-and-join" arrangement as you seem to be viewing it.