WHY is late seating best?

Mar 7th, 2000, 06:35 PM
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WHY is late seating best?

First timer here, but I've read enough to know that second seating is the preferred slot to get for dinner. Is there a reason for this? Do you miss something if you get the earlier one? Pardon me for being stupid. We usually eat around 6 p.m. at home and am just wondering.....
Mar 7th, 2000, 07:10 PM
Gary T
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It is?

On my 1st cruise my TA strongly suggested the 1st seating. We did and it was great. We saw the long hungry faces every night when we left the dining room. It is true that most children that are on board are at the 1st seating. The difference is basically do you want to spend more time doing the day activities ie going ashore etc and have plenty of time to get dressed for dinner or do you want to get back to the ship, quickly get ready eat and then be able to enjoy all the nightly activities on the ship. The second is what we enjoyed, we ate, saw the show , strolled the deck and danced the night away. The late seating seemed to eat , see the show and then see what time was left to do things.

Remember, either will work because you are on a cruise and who cares about anything else.
Mar 8th, 2000, 04:39 AM
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It's really a matter of personal choice and what works best for you. We've been on 16 cruises and always choose late seating. We eat later at home so this is the norm for us. We prefer more time to be on shore and not have to rush back for dinner. Late seating also allows for a nap before dinner if we've had a busy day in town. If it's a concern for you, most children on board are at early seating. Whichever you choose, you won't miss out on any of the evening's activities, as there is there is an identical show in the main show lounge for each dinner seating plus all other activities are available all evening. After late seating, we see the show, dance, walk the deck, check out the casino, usually end up in the disco or one of the smaller lounges. The choice for dinner seating should be based entirely on what fits best with your schedule. You won't miss a thing no matter which one your choose.
Mar 8th, 2000, 08:01 PM
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I must say that as a confirmed "late-seater", I liked the arguments put forth in favour of early seating! Indeed, once on the ship it probably does not matter but I liked the notion of being able to enjoy the evening activities more. Then again, it's also nice to be able to take in as much of the outdoors etc.....

Mar 9th, 2000, 03:54 AM
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Hi -- I've had late seating (and DEEP inside table) on all 5 cruises I've taken, until the last one (just returned from Nordic Empress). We requested late seating, but couldn't get it. Just before dinner first night, we received a card in our cabin with a table reassignment. It ended up being right next to a window! We had a table for 10, and only my partner and I and one other couple used this table the entire time. One night they didn't show up, so we had a windowside table to ourselves (couldn't get that with anyone upon request or with bribe!). It was great--my partner and I had a window seat with view of the sunset or leaving port every night. We enjoyed having the extra time in the evening. Plenty of time to see the show and stroll or gamble a while before bed. I did not think I'd like early seating, but we couldn't have asked for or done better on this one. enjoy!
Mar 9th, 2000, 07:17 AM
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Dinner seating seems to be the #1 pain in the neck about cruising - I've not know anyone who got what they asked for, I think the cruise lines pay no attention to requests, if you get what you want it's luck, I am positive they assign dining in some random way that only they understand. We only took one cruise (didn't care all that much for it frankly, too many people in port at the same time, too many kids, etc.) and we booked 1 yr in advance, requested late seating and got first. I raised a fuss and really got upset and we were told to come to late seating that night and we'd have a table. Not only did we get late seating but we got a wonderful table for two next to a window!!! It was the only really good thing about the cruise, we ate all our meals in the dining room as a result. Tables were fairly close so if you wanted to talk to someone you could so we were not isolated, but it was marvelous to have a table to ourselves and not be forced to make converation with someone we did not want to all the time.
Mar 9th, 2000, 07:33 AM
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I know that more people request late seating, but the reason for that is still a mystery to me. I don't personally see an advantage to it. We don't eat that late at home anyway, and we like to have more time after dinner to dance and romance. (and digest!) I don't want to finish my dinner at 10 pm, and be too stuffed to even LOOK at the midnight buffet, much less sample it.
Mar 9th, 2000, 09:05 AM
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We did early seating on our one cruise and loved it.

Disadvantages: Less time for afternoon activities. Missing sunset/sailaway.

Advantages: Evening starts earlier, so lots more time for lounges, disco, strolling the deck and anything else ;-) one might want to do in the evening.
Mar 9th, 2000, 09:53 AM
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As you can see, lots of pros and cons stated by posters, everyone seems to have their favorite based on different things. As I stated before, we have been on 16 cruises and have almost always gotten our second seating preference for dinner. When we didn't we simply checked with the maitre'd and they always do all they can to get you your first choice. They want you to be happy and bend over backwards to accomodate your request and hav eheard the same thing from many other cruisers. We always request a large table, as we feel that makes dinner (the only meal we eat in the dining room) so much more enjoyable. We have met SO many wonderful people from all over, many we have cruised with again and and keep in touch with the and have even visited their homes and they have visited us. We can eat alone at home, this is the time for fun and meeting new people. It always makes dinner something we reeally look forward to. Midnight buffets are never a consideration for us (unless it's just to look at), as that's too late to eat, no matter what time we've had dinner. Bewsides, we're busy with other activities at that time of night. We partake of all the fun evening activites on the ship - shows, dancing, disco, lounges, strolling the deck, casino and never feel we miss a thing. Again, it really boils down to what works best for you - that's why you have a choice!
Mar 9th, 2000, 10:02 AM
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Hi: We are going on our fourth cruise in May. This is the first cruise we have asked for the first seating. These are my reasons for chosing the early seating this time around. We have only 3 ports this time so early dinner will not interfer with port time, both this ports have 4;30 departure time. The third port is cozumel and we are there very late and will spend the evening on shore anyway. Because we will not need to cut any shore time be being on the ship early we thought we would be able to take advantage of more of the ships evening entertainment. Although they do offer repeats of the big shows ect. I do believe that we missed out on dancing ect. Also I had a hard time staying up for the very late shows and still getting up early to get to the islands.Midnight buffets were not neccessary when you eat at 9:00 either.When we went on 5 port cruises and they were the primary focus of the trip then late seating worked great. However with a 3 port holiday the days at sea will be relaxing and even a bit long for me so having an early seating and more night life seems like a good trade off to being a bit rushed on formal night. Having a good holiday has alot to do with planning and knowing what priorities you have. have a great cruise. Karen
Mar 9th, 2000, 12:22 PM
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If you have few ports and the ship leaves ports at 4:30, it's no big deal. I think early seating is better because you're ready to eat by then after shore excursions all day, and then you have the whole evening for shows and dancing, etc. But if you have a lot of ports that you don't leave early from, late seating would be better so you won't have to miss out on anything on shore. ALSO a big consideration would be if you have children or not. They like the early seating and if they don't have early seating, they will miss out on a lot of the children/teen activities during the evening. Late seating would be right in the middle of them.
Mar 11th, 2000, 03:39 AM
Parrot Mom
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hi-let me toss my two cents in..I vote for first seating for us..because we have been and are early diners at home.. We go to the maitre d (even though we have requested a large table and earlying seating when booking) and make sure we have a table by the window and no children.. There has never, ever been a question of tipping to get what we want... In some ports we are still able to leave the ship after supper and "smooze" around. We very rarely go to the midnight buffet, except if on NCL when they have the Chocolate Buffet... As for children at the first seating fortunately there haven't been any "difficult"situations.. I do feel sorry for the parents whose children are fussy from being off their schedules and the waiters and bus boys seem to try to pamper them with tricks..sometimes even walking around with the infants..
Mar 18th, 2000, 06:56 AM
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By all means, ask for early seating if you are used to eating early at home. If there are any ports that you stay late in and you are concerned that you won't make the early dining time, make a reservation for the alternative dining room that night. Make the reservation as early as possible as they fill up quickly.

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