Late Seating Dining
What's your preference?
decisions! Your travel agent
will ask you a number of questions, but one that can set the tone
for your entire cruise is your dining selection.
Which is best? Early
dinner seating is generally scheduled between 6:00 and 6:30 pm,
while late seating can begin from 8:15 to 8:45 pm.
Your answer—the “best” seating—depends on you, your
lifestyle, and your personal preference.
Each seating has advantages for different passenger needs and
You may wish to
choose early seating if:
- You have small children accustomed to an early meal and
- Your personal routine calls for meals at an earlier hour.
- You retire earlier in the evening and are an early
- You don't want to experience that "full" feeling at
- You want to attend the early shows, enjoy the casino and other
activities, and take in the midnight buffet.
Late seating may be better if:
to consider before you make up your mind:
and groups lean toward early seating, particularly when several
generations are traveling together and ages vary widely.
passengers tend to select early seating.
are more apt to select early seating than European and South
American cruisers who are accustomed to later meal times.
seating diners are encouraged not to linger too long over
dessert and coffee; the dining room has to be readied for late
seating is viewed by some passengers as more romantic and less
Cruise lines understand
that strict schedules don’t satisfy the desires of all modern
cruise passengers. Many
cruise lines now include alternatives to the set schedules in the
dining room, including casual versions of their dinner menus in
their buffet facilities where more flexibility is allowed in dress
and meal times. À la
carte restaurants are showing up on more ships and offer yet another
choice, although a small charge or gratuity is often suggested.
seating” is an amenity primarily associated with more upscale
lines, which allow passengers the flexibility to dine any time
during restaurant hours and be seated with whomever they please.
Led by Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle Cruising”
concept, more contemporary and premium cruise lines are exploring
this alternative to offer variety and a more personalized experience
for their passengers.
matter what you opt for—Early, Late, Open Seating, or a version of
sure to enjoy menus without a price column and the pleasure of
On most of their ships Princess Cruises now offers “Personal
Choice Cruising” with full service dining available around the
clock and Carnival Cruise Line has added a new twist with four
seating times instead of the usual two, plus casual evening dining
in the lido buffet.
find print... some cruise lines advise that, while dining
preferences may be requested by your travel agent, no requests
are guaranteed. Table assignments are generally not confirmed
until embarkation; however, every effort is made to satisfy all
guests. Should there be a problem, see the Maitre d' for assistance.
Cruising on NCL -- How
Cruising” work? Pretty well, according to George Leppla's report.