Early or late sittings - that is the question! I have yet to resolve this dilemma. There are pros and cons to each. Let me first describe our prototype.
We're destined for a Baltic cruise mid summer. We're both in the mid 50's. My wife usually retires by 11 p.m. - although would be willing to stretch it for the cruise. I'me taking losec for Reflux (heart-burn). Yet, we would also want a chance to rest after a day of excursions and mix with a relatively young crowd.
Any ideas out there?
We like late seatings...
1. After touring, it's nice to get back, relax and get a little R&R before dinner. Maybe decompress a bit.
2. The midnight buffet is nice to look at, but, well, do you/we really need it?
3. A late show, after the late seating is kinda really relaxing.
4. As for the Losec, check with your doctor for this change in schedule. I'd bet that after a week of the cruising style of life, you may not need it.
Don't worry about the schedule and when to eat. It's a holiday from the normal everyday "hub-bub". Relax, absorb the culture and surroundings and let the locale and atmosphere dictate your outlook on life & "what to do".
I, personally, always do the "early" seating. I have never had a problem with getting back to the ship after an excursion and getting ready for dinner. Always seems to be enough time. I, too, take medication for acid reflux disease and I perfer to let my dinner digest a little before retiring for the night. Either choice has it's advantages. If you are sailing on a ship that has "Personal Choice Dining" I believe you could try eating at different times to see which suits you best.
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Early or late sitting? We have had at least 8 cruises. All late except ths last one in spite of the fact that I said that I would never have an early dinner.
But at age 51 (not so old) I was surprised!!!!!!!!
Pro for early: You do not go to sleep with a full belly, you do not fall asleep at the shows and still have energy after the early show to dance at the disco.Also, you might indulge a little at the buffet (very little) but at least you have the courage to view it without it turning your stomach. Also, if you have a balcony you might be tempted after the show to take a glass of wine and enjoy the view. Whereas, the late sitting you get off the table so late, go to the show, try to see the buffet and then drop into a deep sleep with your full belly.....
Also, one last note...........We had young adults at our table so don't worry about the myth that only old people eat early.
Cons: Depending on the itinerary ........you might a alittle rushed especially on formal nights.
But all in all I must say that we enjoyed the early sitting and might make that choice again.
Hope that I helped!!!!
If you have a lot of intense shore excursions - which I'm sure you probably will on this particular cruise, the late dining might be best.
We learned from experiencing 3 Medit. cruises that some of the shore excursions are so long and so intense that we relish returning to the ship and just chilling out and plain old relaxing for 1-2 hours before starting to get ready for dinner.
However, on the last cruise on Infinity to Hawaii, we rented cars and did our own thing - no guided shore excursions - so we were always back at the ship early afternoon. So on that cruise, we could have very well signed up for the early seating. No big deal though. Also took advantage of Infinity's alternative "casual" dining in the Oceanview.
Just seems like when traveling in Europe the later seating is best for us.
I take Prilosec for reflux and eating late does not affect me one way or the other - may be different from what you are taking.
Enjoy your cruise - which ever seating you select - it won't be your last! We returned just last week from Hawaii and are planning our 4th trip to the Medit. right this minute!
We cruised Europe last year on Celebrity. We prefer and had late seating. Tours often return late; Rome, Paris, Monte Carlo, etc. It was much less stressful to know we had time to freshen up before going to diner or missing diner altogther if our tour returned late. With early departure times for scheduled tours, you may not get to enjoy as many nightly shows as on other cruises. Touring in so many foreign countries was the most important issue for us and I am very glad we did late seating.
I'm going on my 5th cruise this November and every cruise so far we have had the early dinner seating and I will not make that mistake this November, we're switching to the late seating. If you dparticipate in any kind of shore excursion I would recommend not eating early as we had to rush around waaayyyyy to much to make it on time! Enjoy your cruise!
You mentioned that your wife likes to retire by 11p.m. A late seating, followed
by an evening show will surely put you long after 11. In many cruises we have
never had a problem with late return of tours. The early seating always give us
plenty of time to enjoy dinner and then to make the first show in the evening.
Different strokes for different folks--we will ALWAYS go for the first seating
We much prefer the early seating, since we eat early at home. Better for digestion! We never eat much at lunchtime so that we'll be hungry for dinner. Also, it gives us more time to enjoy the evening activities on the ship. We've never had a problem with returning to the ship and getting ready for early dinner. After many cruises, we know exactly how to pace our activities.
We had late seating on the Millenium in Feb-Dinner started at 8.45 and we were not out of the dinning room until almost 11. While we enjoyed the downtime before dinner, by the end of the week, the late dinners were getting a bit old.
I think I mentioned in my note above that we enjoyed the late seating when traveling in Europe. Simply because of the shear LENGTH of the shore excursions in almost every single port. However, during the cruise to Hawaii, we rented cars on the islands and were back on-board in plenty time to have made the first seating - but we didn't.
Guess it depends on your itineraries. When we did our first Medit. cruise and spent some time in Barcelona prior to boarding the ship - we were told in no uncertain terms by our "host" at the hotel the first night out that the chefs in Europe don't even show up until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.! (!) - Europeans are notorious for eating late. We just got into that habit when in Europe. However, at home, we are 5:00 P.M. on the dot dinner type folks.
We'll be on the 6/29 Infinity to Alaska and requested early seating. However, it
was already full by January, and so we have been wait-listed. I really don't
care what time I eat. Before we always requested late and have always received
early seatings, and that suited us just fine. Now when I finally request early,
I'm getting late, and that's fine too. And like the above poster, my dinnertime
is 6:30-7:30 at home, but when in Europe or Mexico it suddenly becomes
10 or 11:00.
I guess I was looking forward to early, because I just love going to the buffets.
But I also like the thought of having some leisure time between side-trips and
My wife and I wil be talking our first cruise though the Panama Canel in November on the Mercury, we have elected for the late seating. Will we miss the entertainment in the showroom with the late dinner seating? This is one bit of information that I have not been able to find.
Late seating usually means 8:30 with the 2nd evening show beginning at
10:45. If midnight is the usual bed time, you will have no problem since the
shows are about one hour in length. For some of us who are "seniors", we
prefer the early seating and the 1st show. In any event you will have a great
time on Infinity.
Nothing is more relaxing to my wife and me than having late afternoon time on our balcony with a drink, Cuban cigar for me, and reading material. While the early diners are rushing, we relax. Later we dress and find our way to a bar for a glass of wine or champagne before late dinner. We are both in our 40's and swore we would always have late dinners after our first cruise when we ate early. We have been on 11 cruises, the last 10 with late dinner. Rarely do we go to a late buffet, but we do enjoy after dinner drinks and a cigar for me.
The choice you make should really be based on your life style and what you want to enjoy on a cruise. I get up at 5 am for work, get home after 6 and eat then, On a cruise, I like the change to more of a night owl.