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Old 06-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
Buster131
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MDR with a Toddler

We have a DD2 and I am heavily stressing over dinner at MDRs. She behaves like a normal toddler. She can wait until her dinner arrives with minimal fuss and eat with minimal mess and maybe hang for a few more minutes while we finish eating. I know she won't be able to do a four course meal. We have main seating, for obvious reasons, and have planned to do other dinning options like cabanas and even room service. Would love to hear from parents with Todds on how they fared and if the survived a meal at MDR.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Buster131 View Post
We have a DD2 and I am heavily stressing over dinner at MDRs. She behaves like a normal toddler. She can wait until her dinner arrives with minimal fuss and eat with minimal mess and maybe hang for a few more minutes while we finish eating. I know she won't be able to do a four course meal. We have main seating, for obvious reasons, and have planned to do other dinning options like cabanas and even room service. Would love to hear from parents with Todds on how they fared and if the survived a meal at MDR.
We ate late dining and fed our DS before we went to the MDR. While we ate, he would be at the Nursery having fun. Then usually when they cleared the table and were getting ready to take orders, one of us would get him the other would order. We would always get a small treat for DS (usually a Mickey bar or cookie) and he would join our table while we all enjoyed our treats. It worked great. We could eat in peace for an hour and he would get nice an worn out before bed. A few times we went to pick him up and he sound asleep. So we just went back to for dessert and picked him up when we finished.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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Also, parents, I wanted to point out that we understand that your babies are babies!

I don't have any kids, and I am very grateful when a parent is aware that their lil one may be causing a scene. So what, these are fun dining rooms anyway, not a library. However, please do not stress over this. There is only so much you can do, although we want YOU to enjoy YOUR dinner. I always tell parents not to worry for my sake. (There is always Palo for people who canNOT handle it) and the other post sounds like a good idea.

We got late dining anyway which worked perfectly for us and there were some kids but it was fine.

My point, please don't stress over this. Make your baby happy with whatever she/he needs (our friends bring an iphone/pad for their toddler to play his games or watch his Neverland pirates ie when we go out to dinner, and he is usually happy as can be) but don't avoid the dining room if you don't want to just because you have a youngster. We know we are on a disney cruise!

Heck I had a great time with the lil kiddies and told them what nice princesses they were, etc. I had a great time with them...and then said "see ya, byebye!" (haha that's what great about not having any of my own, wahoo!) and I just LOVE to see families together.

(My one SERIOUS pet peeve is when a kid who is DEFINITELY old enough is seen hitting his parents. That I find much worse than a lil toddler fussing in their seat. )
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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I was concerned about DS, too, because he eats fast, and then is ALL DONE DOWN!!!! but for some reason on the ship he was occupied the whole time, and sat with us through all courses each night! Between the servers interacting with him, us bringing a few small toys, him getting a couple different courses to change up the scene, and sometimes having shows or dancing servers, he was occupied!
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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I have and 2.5 year old and a 16 month old who we are cruising with next month. It is a 7 night cruise, one night we are skipping the MDR for an excursion- so 6 dinners- main seating. Like you, I am worried. This is our plan:
2 nights of them eating the full meal with us
2 nights of them eating beforehand and playing in the nursery while we eat
2 nights I will ask for their meals to come out with our appetizers and when they finish- One of us will take them to the nursery, I have them reserved at 6:30 these nights.

They are decent in the restaurant setting at home, not rock stars, but average I would say. Like a PP said, they eat quick and them want down. I don't plan on using our Ipad with them (ha ha- let's see what happens after 90 minutes of dinner) but I am going to bring pipe cleaners one night and something else quiet and unobtrusive the other night. My older one isn't really a colorer and my little one just eats the crayons still!
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
time4dis
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Depending on the size of your family you could :
-take turns designating one person to leave early to entertain your tot.
-utilize the nursery during all or part of your meal.
-stay together and ride the storm, letting the staff do their job of entertaining you ALL, including your tot.

I do suggest you try to use the MDR as often as possible, you paid for it, your tot did too. We did, but we had several adults available to take turns entertaining ours.

you know they get unlimited dessert, right? 5-6 mickey bars a night should keep them entertained.

The only thing you CAN'T do, is show up significantly late to your assigned dining time.

Last edited by time4dis; 06-13-2013 at 03:58 PM. Reason: more info.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
kelly2013
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We just did a 4nighter on the dream with a 2yo who is known for not eating, screaming for no reason and throwing a tantrum on a moments notice. Good thing is he is used to going out to eat once a week so it wasn't a first time thing. I had a bag with our kindle which is filled with toddler apps and his fave movies, coloring books and some toys which he likes and the iPhone which is a last resort item.

I made sure he napped most days so he wasn't crabby. One night we fed them early and sent him to nursery so we could go to Palo and he didn't have to sit again. Our server always brought all the kids food earlier so they could pick. And even thought at home he never does, for every meal on the boat he was in the high chair meaning he was contained.

I will say my son is not an easy kid but for us everything about the cruise was made for him. He loved it and it all went so much smoother, including dinner, than we ever thought.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry too much. There is always lots of activity going on. Your family *could* be sat with another family, and that may or may not be a bad thing. (really think that over if you do or do not mind being sat with another family. Personally...I don't like being sat with strangers. You can request being sat alone)

The servers are usually really good about entertaining little ones. If they see a child out of sorts, they do their best to try and help without being overbearing. My favorite is when they start feeding my son. And of course the Mickey shaped ketchup on the plate(i have to do this every time we are in a restaurant now)
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:50 PM   #9
Scleary
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Glad to hear most toddlers are entertained. My DS, 3, normally does fine at dinners. However, 4 course meals with a 3 hour time difference may present a new challenge. If the Oceaneer Club is open, can my DH or I go drop him off after he is finished eating?
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #10
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Glad to hear most toddlers are entertained. My DS, 3, normally does fine at dinners. However, 4 course meals with a 3 hour time difference may present a new challenge. If the Oceaneer Club is open, can my DH or I go drop him off after he is finished eating?
Yes. Or you can just send him there since they will feed the kids dinner during certain hours. If you have late seating, they will come to the dining room and pick the kids up.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #11
Scleary
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Thanks! I wasn't sure if it was frowned upon to take him to the kids' club half-way through dinner. Hopefully, it won't be an issue!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #12
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We took my daughter on the Dream at 20 months, and on the Magic at 28 months. On both cruises, we requested Animator's Palette for the first night, and she was entertained during the whole dinner at that restaurant. However, she was not so amused/entertained in subsequent nights. Probably due to a mixture of being tired, and the other restaurants not being quite as exciting for kids.

We tried to book her in the nursery for as many dinners as possible--either feeding her with room service before hand, or letting the nursery staff feed here there during her time. Everyone was much happier that way!

Heck, even my 5-year-old had issues sitting through dinner on our last cruise. 90 minutes is tough for small kids!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by boogabuzz View Post
I wouldn't worry too much. There is always lots of activity going on. Your family *could* be sat with another family, and that may or may not be a bad thing. (really think that over if you do or do not mind being sat with another family. Personally...I don't like being sat with strangers. You can request being sat alone)
I debate this myself! I normally wouldn't mind and like to chat, but I know they sit alike groups together. So, my fear is the nights I send my kids to the nursery, the other toddlers are there negating the point of sending mine away for some quiet time. But, there are 6 of us- so I am gonna late fate deal the chips where they lay and see what happens!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #14
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I debate this myself! I normally wouldn't mind and like to chat, but I know they sit alike groups together. So, my fear is the nights I send my kids to the nursery, the other toddlers are there negating the point of sending mine away for some quiet time. But, there are 6 of us- so I am gonna late fate deal the chips where they lay and see what happens!
I see it as they sit alike couples as in "kids close in age." I've been sat with others twice and was not happy either time. Never again. I can deal with my own kid. I don't go on vacation to deal with others kids. And when they are at your table, like it or not, you're dealing with them.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #15
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We just got home from a 7-day cruise to Alaska with my son who is just barely over 2 yrs old. We brought headphones and a nexus that played some of his favorite movies. That kept him thoroughly entertained. We never pulled it out until he appeared restless. We also brought his comfort items - his binkie and his blanket - which he's not normally allowed to have until bedtime, but that also kept him calm. It was terrific. So, we didn't have any problem with him and he is terrible at sitting still.
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