OK, I read this in an article on this board - "When it comes to helping you understand why it may be better to have early sitting for dinner in Alaska but late sitting in the Caribbean, you need someone who knows what they are talking about." IS it better to have early sitting when cruising Alaska? I thought late would be best. What is the thought behind it? Thanks in advance for the input.
When my whole family did Alaska, we did the late seating and loved it. I'd say to look on your itenerary and see what times you are leaving ports. On our ship, we didn't leave ports until 6 or 7 pm sometimes. Therefore, we went on some afternoon tours that didn't get done until 4 or 5. It would have been kind of a rush to get on board and ready for dinner by 6. You could have done it, but I thought after the tours it was nice to rest for a while, take a swim or hot tub, and enjoy a leisurely dinner. The other thing is that Alaska is cool enough that you really couldn't enjoy a balcony very late in the evening, especially when the ship is moving. Therefore, using this time for dinner was perfect.
What we would do is get back from shore excursions at around 4 or 5, order a appetizer from room service, and enjoy our balcony view until around 7 or so, and then get ready leisurely for dinner.
Don't know if that helps, but that's what we did. We did have a variety of ages in the group though (14 up to 80 years old), so late was easier to get everyone together.
I did early the first few sailings- due to small children but then went to late and for me far far better. Although I have never blinked an eye at missing a meal- some people won't. Late seating allowed for late returns from port, and more important to me- the ability to enjoy evening sailing- probably no concern for most. But now I would go with freestyle or personal choice with factors being equal. There are so many dining options now that even for day or two the lido buffets, room service, shore dining etc would be options for me.
We also had the late seating last August on the Veendam. It was more relaxing to have the extra time between any excursions and dinner (especially with 2 teenagers to get ready!!). Many days we weren't back to the ship until around 5. Only thing is you won't be as hungry for the "midnight buffet"!!!