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Old March 6th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Default First or Second seating for dining room?

Hi there:

can you recommend a sitting for dinner? we are booked on mercury for alaska cruise in May. previously we've been on Holland America and if I remember correctly we had the second seating.... fewer kids, and less rushed... and we were still able to see the stage show.... do they do two stage shows or do you opt to see the show either before dinner (late sitting) or after dinner (early sitting)? thanx.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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An Alaskan cruise is quite port intensive and my "personal" preference for port intensive cruises is to have late seating. This gives me time to unwind after a busy day on shore before having to dress for dinner.

It also avoids having to rush back to ship in order to make it back for dinner.

Take care and have a wonderful Alaskan cruise. Alaska is my favorite.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: First or Second seating for dining room?

rodent,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
can you recommend a sitting for dinner? we are booked on mercury for alaska cruise in May. previously we've been on Holland America and if I remember correctly we had the second seating.... fewer kids, and less rushed... and we were still able to see the stage show.... do they do two stage shows or do you opt to see the show either before dinner (late sitting) or after dinner (early sitting)? thanx.
I prefer second sitting, but YMMV. Many passengers obviously prefer first sitting.

And every show is performed twice -- once for each seating. The show for first seating is always after dinner, during second seating. The show for second seating may be either before dinner, during first seating, or after dinner, depending upon the scheduling of other events.

Norm.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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I choose my dining times based on itineraries. Alaska - I would go with late seating for all the reasons Mike suggested.

Caribbean itineraries, where you're leaving most ports by 5 or 6 PM, and lots of sea days, I choose to eat at early/main seating.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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We prefer first seating because we like the evening to go to the show, dancing, gamble, or just take a nice stroll around the ship after dinner. And because the food is so wonderful it's not good to go to bed on a full stomach for us. We plan our excursions as early as possible, but if we return late we either have room service or a light meal.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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We always take 2nd seating.
In general less kids and also most elderly people also opt for 1st.
Shows are either before or after dinner, you will always be able to go if you want to.
If you return to the ship after excursions you will have more time to relax, dress, have a drink etc.
In case you are hungry before dinner, there are always sushi at 6, sandwiches at 4 and pizza etc. all afternoon and part of the evening.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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I prefer late seating, but for an entirely different reason than most. My favorite part of a cruise is to observe the sailaway and navigation in and out of each port. As the sailaway is often right at the beginning of first seating, I would have to choose between it and having dinner in the dining room.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Take the second sitting if:

You don't have children with you
You don't like unruly/unruled children
You want to maximise your time during the day
You want to maximise your time ashore
You don't mind sleeping on a full stomach.
You prefer a less-rushed meal
You like to chat with the wait staff
You don't mind missing bingo
You like a late lunch
You want to maximise your calories burn during the active daytime
You don't go to bed early
You feel you are more sophisticated
You are a night owl
You like to kick back after a good meal
You don't mind missing art auctions
You enjoy and look forward to formal nights
You feel you might well order a second main course
You like to linger over a glass of port or cognac
You don't mind skipping the midnight buffet
You don't mind dancing on a full stomach
You like to meet people who like to do the things above
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Old September 10th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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Canuk,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Take the second sitting if:...

You don't like unruly/unruled children...
This probably is good advice on the "mainstream" cruise lines, but...

In nine cruises with Celebrity, I have yet to see an instance in which the children onboard were in any way disruptive. Rather, the children that I have seen on Celebrity -- often hundreds of them, BTW -- have been very polite and considerate youngsters who conducted themselves as young ladies and young gentlemen when they were around adults. The only infraction of the rules that I observed was a group of young people who entered the disco before the restriction went into effect at 11:00 pm and quietly sat in one corner talking quietly among themselves while sipping on sodas. One of the bar servers became aware of the violation when they attempted to order soda refills at 11:15 and called a member of the guest relations staff, who surveyed the situation and decided to waive the rule because they really were not bothering anybody.

Norm.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Norm - I would have agreed with up until our last cruises on the Zenith. It was a 14 day cruise in the middle of November and we were at second seating. There was a table near us with a young couple who had 2 small children. The kids were getting up and running between the tables, hanging on the railing and acting up at the table. They really were disruptive enough for our table to notice and comment on them.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 07:56 PM
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I would go for the late seating, especially for an Alaskan cruise. It gives you more time to take tours when in port, instead of being rushed to get back for dinner. That said, it is only fair to say that we are late eaters anyway.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Default A sure way to avoid going to bed on a full stomach

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Every night!
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Old September 16th, 2007, 12:26 AM
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we always do second setting for dinner no kids around more of adult setting and after dinner you can go to a show
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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It all depends on your needs. We need to eat at our regular time (6:00) due to our diabetic schedule. There's no way I could lie down, let alone sleep, on a full stomach.
We've never had a problem with kids in the dining room on any of our 7 cruises. There are two shows, so no need to miss. The one for the early seating is at 9:00 Usually the one for late seating is at 7:00, but sometimes it's at 11:00--a bit late for us, but great for night owls.
We never feel rushed at the early seating and like having the whole evening ahead of us. The excursions we take bring us back to the ship in plenty of time to get to early sitting without having to rush. We don't hang out at the martini bar beforehand. We sometimes take a short nap so we can be ready for the evening.
Just thought I'd chime in with another point of view.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Second seating is the way to go!!
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Old October 18th, 2007, 09:33 PM
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My husband and I (ages late 50s) took the Alaska cruise in Aug. 2002. We opted for the late dinner seating to avoid unruly children. We are cruising next week on the same Mercury and chose the early seating this time. Why? First of all, there are not too many children on Celebrity, or at least, very young children. I think we counted maybe a total of less than 30 from teenaged and down. Could be the destination also. And each port that we stopped at, we were ready to head back to the ship by 5 each evening. There was plenty of time during the day to do whatever. So we had to kill a couple of hours before dinner, and always went to the cabaret shows. But then dinner was over at 10:30 at night, so we were pretty full and sleepy. The nightclubs were emptying by then and things were getting pretty quiet. This time we will eat first, then go to the shows after which always sets off the evening and we will be ready to go and party!!
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuk
Take the second sitting if:

You don't have children with you
You don't like unruly/unruled children
You want to maximise your time during the day
You want to maximise your time ashore
You don't mind sleeping on a full stomach.
You prefer a less-rushed meal
You like to chat with the wait staff
You don't mind missing bingo
You like a late lunch
You want to maximise your calories burn during the active daytime
You don't go to bed early
You feel you are more sophisticated
You are a night owl
You like to kick back after a good meal
You don't mind missing art auctions
You enjoy and look forward to formal nights
You feel you might well order a second main course
You like to linger over a glass of port or cognac
You don't mind skipping the midnight buffet
You don't mind dancing on a full stomach
You like to meet people who like to do the things above
You like to hit the Sushi bar about 6pm.
You like to get in a late swim as the ship pulls away from the port.
You like to take your time getting ready for dinner.
You can relax and enjoy the music on the back of the ship.
You get to see the sun go down.
You like to people watch as they move to the main dining room.
You have a game you like to play without a lot of extra noise about your ship area.
You like to find that special quiet spot on the ship.
and on and on......
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Old November 14th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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I am going to soak in Alaska so much during my limited time in Alaska that eating is going to be an afterthought. You will probably find in the casual dining up on the top in the evening or in my room late at night chowing down room service food.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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Default Totally your preference

There is nothing wrong with either sitting. Sure there may be more kids at the early seating, So? I have found the more upscale the cruiseline the better behaved the children are.

We like second seating and we have 2 children. They know how to behave and it is expected of them. On nights they don't want to behave they go to the buffet.

My #1 rule, take all the advice you want online but do what you want to do or what you think might be best for you. Nobody knows what you want out of your cruise but you.

We love 2nd seating for the wonderful list in the previous post, plus at 5:30 or so we get to sit on our balcony sip some beverages (alaska: hot cocoa) and enjoy what we did during the day and what wonderful things we will do at night.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 09:52 PM
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Second seating definitely for all the reasons previously mentioned , but mostly to allow more leisurely dining and more time to get ready for dinner
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Old July 14th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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We have only experience the late dining on one cruise, every other one we have had "main dining". Like others, we enjoy a walk / swim / show or gamble after dinner.

I would say if you're a 'late-bird', go to bed late and a late-riser, the late dinner may be best.

As Norm stated, I have never witnessed unrully children. There don't seem to be as many children on X as other lines, but the children we have seen, have all been very well behaved.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Default 1st or 2nd seating

I like the 2nd seating!! More time, not so rushed.
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