I suppose it depends on the kid, but it is definitely too late for mine as their bedtime is just about the time late seating begins. I think it would be a horrible experience for us. However, it may not be an issue for older kids. I really try to be considerate of other cruisers and realize that many people select late seating to avoid dining with young children who might be disruptive to a nice romantic dining experience, so even if I thought we might be able to pull it off, I would still opt for early seating and just not take the chance.
Now if late seating appeals to you, you could always take the kiddos to the buffet at any given time for dinner then drop them off at the kids club when it re-opens at 7:00 in evening to party while you and your significant other share a relaxing dinner together. D/H and I have done this on an evening when we have opted to eat at the Harry's and Chop's and it worked out beautifully. Since you will be on the Liberty I highly recommend Harry's. I loved it!
The kids club on Liberty is absolutely marvelous too, and the staff is wonderful with the kids. I wanted to take them all home with us and adopt them.
What some parents do when they have second seating is to take the kids to the buffet dinner, then put them in the club while they enjoy dinner and a show. It all depends if you want to eat as a family.
For us, we tried 2nd once (before kids) and have never done it again. We normally eat early so its too late for us. We would grab something at the buffet then would either not be hungry by the late dinner time, or overeat. Many people like 2nd because they dont feel like they have to rush back from shore and get dressed for early seating (course you could always go to the buffet then), and they dont feel that theyre being rushed through their meal to make room for the later seating guests.
If you have late seating, go right to the matre d' as soon as you board (usually in the main dining room on embarkation afternoon) and request first seating. You won't be done with dinner until at least 10 p.m. which was always too late for my kids -- plus they miss a lot of fun kids' activities in the youth program.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
We take the early seating when we cruise with the kids. They love eatingin the dining room and we found after our first cruise with them that the late seating was just much too late for them. If you can't change it, make sure they get a snack late in the afternoon and a nap for the younger ones.
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