We are cruising on RCI for a family reunion cruise in July. There will be 17 people including 3 young children. My receipt from the TA came back as "late seating" for dinner. I immediately called the TA; she said she'll see what she can do, since the RCI computer automatically assigns it.
Huh!?! It's over 5 months before the cruise and she said she'll have to let me know. We need early seating! Should I anticipate a problem for our group? I would like to see this fixed before we board.
Personally I would contact the company directly and explain your situation. They should understand that young children should not be placed in late dining. It seems that if you don't book about a year ahead you can't get the early dining these days. On a Hawaii cruise we sat for an hour watching people begging the Maitre D for early dining and not one was able to be changed. If they would change the late dining to about 7 it wouldn't be so bad.
If all else fails perhaps someone in your group can get a doctor's letter stating that they need to eat early for medical reasons. We both have reflux disease and must have 4 hours between dinner and bedtime so we have a letter from our doctor and have never had problems getting the early dining. I do think though, that it is wise to have this settled before getting onboard - if the ship is full there may not be any chance of changing. Our TA always makes a point of emphasizing our need for early dining and tells them that if we can't get it, we don't go.
Can't believe that they wouldn't automatically put your group in early dining when you have three young children with you.
Good luck with getting that early dining assignment!
Just a thought in case you are not able to change the seating to early - just feed the kids early at the buffet (or room service), then send them off to the kids' club when it opens at 7 while you enjoy a quiet leisurely dinner with the adults.
Yes, really weird. The TA says the RCI computer automatically selects late seating. Is this true or is it just when early reaches capacity? The departure is over 5 months away; this seems really strange. My daughter's bed time is 8:30pm, so I would have to get private in-cabin babysitting just to make dinner. There's no way she could stay up to 10:30pm even if she tried. I guess we could all eat at the buffet.
I don't believe that they select late dining electronically - they have to respect people's preferences. If your cruise is is full I can see the early dining filling up six months ahead - some people book a year ahead. With HAL, when early dining fills up they have a waitlist so that if people cancel, the people on the waitlist get those early dining spots.
If you go to the RCI website there should be "contact us" button and you can email them about the situation. Or most cruise lines have a toll free number, which is even better.
Yes, just spoke with my TA. She said that that is, in fact, what occurred. Early seating was filled due to July 4th week -- very popular. She spoke with RCI who have made us a priority due to 3 young children and a diabetic who must eat early.
Thanks for the input.