Which seating would you recommend? 1st or 2nd?
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When do you normally dine at home? We prefer a later meal, so choose the second.
We chose the first simply because the 2nd was too late. Also that way we could eat and still enjoy the shows later.
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Any cruise I've been on has two seatings for the shows too. If you dine early, you go to the shows after the fact. If you dine later, you can go to the shows before dinner, and then do the club sorts of things after dinner...
It's truly a matter of personal preference. Sometimes dining later allows for more adult contact as those with children tend to prefer the early seating for dinner... but then other than the Disney Cruise, most cruises we've been on did not have a huge number of children.
I`d definitely go for the later sitting for dinner for two main reasons.
1. If there are loads of kids on your cruise then the chances are that those families will opt for the early sitting, especially if the younger children are involved, thus making it a more "adult" experience.
2. You will be under less pressure to finish your meal as the tables have to be reset between the early and later seatings.
As Tink said, you won`t miss out on any shows on board as they gear the timings around the dinner seating times, so you can see the show before you have dinner, while the early diners are having their meal.