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Main dining VS Late Dining


recife

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Having never cruise before my question is:

 

What are the pros and cons of the main dining vs the late dining. If you eat late - then are you staying up for the shows until 1:00 in the morning?

 

If you eat at the main dining time - Do you have enough time after getting back from port to get ready without being rushed?

 

Thanks for any opinions!

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Its a personal preference. Are you a bit of a night owl? Or early to bed, early to rise? I hate being rushed when we return from ports, but I also have to admit getting ready for late dining has been hard when I am already getting so tired.:o

 

Consider the time zone you live in also. Are you going to be adjusting more then 1 hour difference from your home time? When we cruise from the east coast late dining is easy vs. west coast departures, I struggle a bit more.:o I'm in Utah

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Having never cruise before my question is:

 

What are the pros and cons of the main dining vs the late dining. If you eat late - then are you staying up for the shows until 1:00 in the morning?

 

If you eat at the main dining time - Do you have enough time after getting back from port to get ready without being rushed?

 

Thanks for any opinions!

 

It's all about what you personally like. Are you hungry at 6 or 8? (BTW, you won't go hungry if you're waiting until 8 for dinner, there's plenty of places to snack to tide you over in the meantime). Most families will choose early seating, so you may find less kids at late. You'll find a mix of people at either one, really. Sometimes the shows for late seating are before dinner, sometimes after. You won't be up until 1am trying to see them, though, so don't worry about that! ;)

 

We always choose early, and we've never felt rushed getting back from a port for dinner. But it looks like you're going to the Med, which is where most people usually prefer late seating, because the cruise is so port-intensive with long hours at each stop. Late is often waitlisted on these cruises too. So you might want to keep that in mind while choosing. :)

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Its a personal preference. Are you a bit of a night owl? Or early to bed, early to rise? I hate being rushed when we return from ports, but I also have to admit getting ready for late dining has been hard when I am already getting so tired.:o

 

Consider the time zone you live in also. Are you going to be adjusting more then 1 hour difference from your home time? When we cruise from the east coast late dining is easy vs. west coast departures, I struggle a bit more.:o I'm in Utah

 

I used to live in Utah but am now in Washington and we are going to have a 9 hour difference - :eek:

Can you really adapt quickly? It has been years since I traveled and at 20 you can do anything! My real concern is the ports as we are in a port 8 days of the 11. I don't want to feel rushed to leave a port for dinner.

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Jema, its me TEX. We always booked early dining when cruising in the Caribbean.....but chose late dining for our last Med cruise. Mostly because of the timing for returning from tours. Just too rushed for us to try and get back, shower, dress and get to the dining room by 6:00. So we switched to late at 8:00. Would return from tour, nap for 30 minutes, shower, dress and even then have time for a glass of wine on our balcony before dinner. Was just more relaxed after a day of touring.

 

that said..... a snack in there was sometimes needed.

 

We did not get to one single show while our last cruise either..... when late dining you would have to catch the early show and that didnt work for us. We did see some of the late night fun - Quest etc.... but usually after dinner headed to the casino and lost a bit of $$$ then for a nightcap and off to bed.

 

So, if seeing the shows is a must for you....I would choose early dining. Just plan your tours/sightseeing to work with that schedule.

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We use the later seating for the simple reason that it gives us more time during the day to enjoy whatever the day brings.We don't sleep late but we like to putz around and take in the many ports of call and never worry about the eating thing.We will drink wine in the afternoon,have a snack around 2pm when the next round of feeding goes on.We stay at the pool later also being that everyone else leaves around 3pm to get ready for the early seating.We never have a problem finding a chair! It really works well for us having the later seating.You just have to know how you like to manage your day on a cruise ship.

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Late seating for me too:) And I agree with those who

say do what is best for you and your own wants and needs.

 

Main seating is at 6:00pm. Now, I don't take long to get ready

but in order to eat at that time, I would have to be back to

the cabin between 4:45 and 5:00 and that is not something I want to be

doing. That would be to shower, change clothes AND have

a pre-dinner drink in the Martini Bar.

I prefer to start getting ready for dinner about 6:30-6:45.

Late seating is 8:30.

Those extra 90 minutes-2 hours are my time:D I can be at

the pool bar, strolling around the shops, in the spa area,

and of course the pool area is way less crowded in the early

evenings because so many others ARE eating at main seating.

I can read a paperback on a lounge chair;)

 

I am not a show person so I really don't care if I see them

or not. Depends on what it is on the particular night but my

normal plans don't include them.

 

And another thing about late seating, many times, I have

been lucky enough to have wonderful tablemates and we

have been known to close down the dining room;)

When main seating finishes they need to scoot so the wait

staff can re-set everything for us!:D

 

Honestly, there is no right or wrong.....do what is best for you!

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We always, except once, choose late seating.Did early seating one time, on our second cruise, and did not like it. We always felt rushed. We have always gotten to any shows that we wanted to attend, either before dinner or after, depending when they are scheduled. Can go dancing and have a drink or ten in the Rendez-vous Lounge before dinner, most night. There is never any rushing. It's great.

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We use the later seating for the simple reason that it gives us more time during the day to enjoy whatever the day brings.We don't sleep late but we like to putz around and take in the many ports of call and never worry about the eating thing.We will drink wine in the afternoon,have a snack around 2pm when the next round of feeding goes on.We stay at the pool later also being that everyone else leaves around 3pm to get ready for the early seating.We never have a problem finding a chair! It really works well for us having the later seating.You just have to know how you like to manage your day on a cruise ship.

 

Good Point!

:D My Favorite time at the pool is from 3 to 6 or even later.:o Love it! Everything is calming down. The sun is lower in the sky and its warm....and the cocktail service is great! We love taking advantage of this time of day at the pool.

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I always eat at main seating. I am diabetic and need to eat at a normal schedule. I usually eat at 6 anyway. We seldom get back late from excursions so there is no conflict. I like having the whole evening ahead of me after dinner. There is no way I could sleep on a full stomach :eek: and it takes several hours for my food to be processed.

As for the show times, usually late diners see the show at 7, then eat. Early diners eat at 6 and have the show at 9. Occasionally, the show for late seating is at 10:45, but not often. I'm not sure what the reason for the later show was. I haven't seen it on the schedule for the last 2 cruises. I do look forward to the shows. Most of them are very good, even the repeats.

 

1/02 Explorer E. Carib. 1/03 Explorer W. Carib. 8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour

2/04 Adventure S. Carib. 2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal 6/06 Jewel O.S. Brit. Isles/Nor Fjords

1/07 Mercury Mex. Riv. 1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ 1/09 Galaxy S. Carib.

6/09 Summit Classical Mediterranean

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We had always had the later seating but tried the main seating on our cruise last year. It was at 6:15 and we loved it. My dh said the best part was giving the huge meal we ate a chance to digest. He would often wake up and have heartburn or just feel lousy. We decided that we like not to eat so late (and we didn't even know it until we tried it out). I guess if you are one to be up until 2 in the morning dancing and enjoying the late night hours that is not such a big deal though. I loved being able to eat go then to the show, or back to our cabin and relax before bed! We always get up early and make the most of the day so we are never up too late (except for some special evenings). We decided that we would always go for main dining from now on!

 

I guess my advice is try it out and you will discover what works best for YOU!

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We do late seating. There have been several times after a long excursion in port where there was no way we could have gotten back and ready for early seating. This is when I like to go to the Thalassotherapy Pool and relax. Then, I love being able to take our time to get ready, have a glass of wine and leisurely make our way to dinner. I'm a night owl anyway so going to the late shows aren't a problem either. Another reason is because most families go to the early seating and it can be a little more quiet during the late seating. ;)

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I have always done late seating also. it is for all the same reasons others have stated. No rush to get ready, and usually an older crowd. Although I am an early bird at home, this is my vacation and if I want a quick nap before dinner I can take one and then be up late.

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Pick the time closest to when you eat at home. Your tummy will thank you! And, you won't need to "rush" to get ready for dinner. You have to be on the ship 1/2 hour before it leaves port, anyway!

 

 

On our Med cruise we left port almost every port at 7 pm..... all aboard would be at 6:30......

 

We returned from a few ships tours AFTER the first seating for dinner.....

 

I figured if I went all that way to see Europe.... I was going to spend as much time ashore as possible..... hence we chose late seating instead of our normal early seating.

 

You will be so messed up with time difference from flying USA to Europe anyway - you can tell your stomach what time it is and it may not believe it anyway :eek:

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When our kids were young and we cruised with them we did main seating.

As the kids grew up we found we really liked 2nd seating better for all the reasons mentioned.

Here's a new wrinkle though.....we just got back from Valpairaiso-Ft. Lauderdale through the Panama Canal and late seating dinner was at 8:45!

By the end of the cruise this started to feel too late (but somehow we managed....lol!)

Angela

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Thanks everyone for your comments. I think we are going to go for the late dining. The time difference is so large for us going to the Mediteranian area that time probably won't be a huge factor. I think with this being a port intensive cruise we will concentrate on the ports and take a breath before dinner and relax.

We'll just have to take a walk around the ship after dinner to get all the food to settle down before we go to bed. Heart burn is yucky!

Thanks again!

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Late seating for me too:) And I agree with those who

say do what is best for you and your own wants and needs.

 

Main seating is at 6:00pm. Now, I don't take long to get ready

but in order to eat at that time, I would have to be back to

the cabin between 4:45 and 5:00 and that is not something I want to be

doing. That would be to shower, change clothes AND have

a pre-dinner drink in the Martini Bar.

I prefer to start getting ready for dinner about 6:30-6:45.

Late seating is 8:30.

Those extra 90 minutes-2 hours are my time:D I can be at

the pool bar, strolling around the shops, in the spa area,

and of course the pool area is way less crowded in the early

evenings because so many others ARE eating at main seating.

I can read a paperback on a lounge chair;)

 

I am not a show person so I really don't care if I see them

or not. Depends on what it is on the particular night but my

normal plans don't include them.

 

And another thing about late seating, many times, I have

been lucky enough to have wonderful tablemates and we

have been known to close down the dining room;)

When main seating finishes they need to scoot so the wait

staff can re-set everything for us!:D

 

Honestly, there is no right or wrong.....do what is best for you!

 

Gosh, Lois, I'm still hoping to be on a cruise with you sometime so I can buy you a pre-dinner cocktail at the Martini Bar! I think your insights and comments on these boards are the best.

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We are taking our first Celebrity cruise and although our TA recommended late seating we opted for the main dining. I am an early riser, like to get to the gym by 7:30 at the latest, and did not think I could do that if I were eating until 10:30:eek:! Also we are travelling with preteens/teens and I thing they would not have enjoyed the late seating.

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