this hasnt been a problem for us in the past....but there were times when the boys would want to be somewhere at a given time...and we would excuse them from dinner early. they always grabbed some late night pizza if still hungry
I personally prefer late dinner but decided to do early 2 years ago on the Pride so our teens would have more time with their new friends. They didn't participate in the activities (not many do) but the disco was only open for teens until 11:15. I figured that if we didn't get out of dinner till almost 10:00, that didn't leave much time. I just booked the Miracle for next March so I asked the kids which dinner they wanted. DD said she didn't care. DS said he wants early so we went with early again.
I'm a teen and I can say I prefer late just because I like having time before dinner to be outside when the ship is leaving port or having a bit more time at the pool. I know others who like early for equally good reasons. As far as friends I've met, it seems an equal number usually have early and late. As far as making it to activities, I'm not one to stay at the disco all night but I do like to participate in things. While I do miss some, the people with early seating miss others. Like someone else said, if there's something one night they really want to do, they can eat by the pool and miss dinner or leave early.
Basically, I think you should ask your teens what they want to do. If they have no preference, stick with late and it will be just fine.
Holiday Baja Mexico 8/98
Disney Wonder Bahamas 8/00
Ecstasy Baja Mexico 8/02
Carnival Spirit Alaska 7/03
Ecstasy Baja Mexico 8/03
Adventure of the Seas Southern Caribbean 12/04
Carnival Pride Mexican Riviera 8/05
We sailed with our two kids Christmas 2003, we had late dinner. Our rule was that the kids check in during the day and they HAD to eat dinner with us. Our daughter, 13 at that time, would gobble down her meal, then beg for us to let her go do her own thing. We would eat dinner, try to make the whole show then off to bed. We got up early , we didn't do any latenight activities because we were too tired.
We are booked on the Miracle for Jan 1/2006, we have decided to do early dinner, it will be more relaxed and we wont have any teenagers wanting to leave so quickly. We are planning to make the latenight activities without being too tired and too full from dinner.
I would advise you to book early dinner.
Good luck with whatever you choose.