The husband and I always choose the second dinner seating when we cruise, which means we sit down to eat around 8 or 8:30. This is late for us, but it’s worth it for several reasons.
First, it gives us more time in port. The early seatings start around 6 p.m., which means that passengers with that seating have to get back on the ship by then if they want dinner in the dining room. On occasions when the ship will be in port later, that’s annoying.
Also, as we’ve found on our most recent cruise, the second seating is usually less popular. That usually means it’s less crowded in the dining roomk, quieter, and the waitstaff has more time for you. That’s never bad.
We’ve also found that the hours of the first seating, from 6 to 8 p.m., can be a great time to enjoy the public areas of the ship while it’s still early and half the passengers are occupied. Can you say “empty hot tub?”
Many people who are early risers find the second seating difficult, and I can understand that. Others worry that they’ll get too hungry, but that shouldn’t be an impedicment. Show me a cruise ship where you can’t get a snack in the afternoon.