Early Dining or Late Cruise Dining?

Dinner mates on Carnival Sensation

Checking my email earlier today, I received an email from Maggie in Dallas, TX asking about formal dining times and which one would be suitable for her. She went on to tell me it was her and her husband, both in their early 30’s.  This is a total matter of preference.

There are two dining times on a ship if you are doing the formal sit down dining,  6:00 pm and 8:15 pm.  You will have to pick one when you book your cruise.  Once you get on the ship if you don’t like your dining time and want to be switched, your Maitre de can assist you.  Keep in mind the tables seat between 4-10 people and yes if you are a couple on the ship, chances are you will be sitting with a complete group of strangers.  The cruise lines do a good job of putting people in the same age at the same tables.  Here is my breakdown of the dining times ….

The early seating would be considered 6 pm.  All I can do is tell you why I don’t do the early dining anymore.

  1. To many kids in the dining room
  2. I stay up really late
  3. Being rushed back on the ship by 5 pm to get ready isn’t my idea of fun

Generally folks tend to migrate to the early dining option because they want to catch the first show of the evening while letting their food settle.

On the other end, you have late dining which is somewhere around 8 pm.  This is my dining of choice for a few reasons.

  1. Most families eat at 6 pm. No screaming kids!
  2. I am not rushed back on the ship from the port
  3. You can stay in the dining room as long as you want, there is no other seating after you … except breakfast 🙂
  4. I stay up really late and usually close the ship down, love the late night fun

I really hope this sheds a little insight on the dining times.  Do know that most cruise lines offer “MY TIME,” dining nowadays too.  “MY TIME,” is a flexible dining time for whenever you want to go eat. When you do your own dining time the gratuities usually have to be paid up front.

If none of that sounds good, eat the buffet!

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