Are you sailing out of Venice on the Grand by chance? We are...party of 5. Just a thought on late dinning. Late dinning is around 8 or 8:30 p.m. If you want to take in a show..they start around 10 p.m. If you have a early morning tour, it makes for a short evening..if you know what I mean. We picked the early dinning choice 6 or 6:30 p.m. Figuring we'll be up anyway.....we didn't want to wait for the later dinning and you usually have enough time to shower and go to dinner and then an 8 p.m. show or casino, etc.....getting you back to your room (if that's your choice) for a restfull nights sleep. But, it's up to you. Full days tours are tiring but you see lot's of scenic areas. This is my 6th cruise and my 4th on this particular trip and the 3rd on the Grand. Be glad to answer any questions you might have. We're 55 days away from our embarktation.
I always take the late dining. But, then I normally eat about 9:30 -10pm & go to bed about 12m-1a & am up M-F about 6am.
1st seating doesn't give you much time after you return to the ship (or the onboard activities) to shower & dress for dinner. I also like to enjoy a drink in one of the lounges before dinner. And, I'd NEVER want to go to a show before dinner.