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View Poll Results: Parents with young children. Which do you prefer?
Main dining and request a table to ourselves. 19 44.19%
Main dining and dine with other families. 11 25.58%
Late dining and request a table to ourselves. 3 6.98%
Late dining and dine with other families. 5 11.63%
Feed kids early and send them to the programs to enjoy your dinner by yourself at own table. 1 2.33%
Feed kids early and send them to the programs and dine with other families. 1 2.33%
Do late dining and then send kids to the programs after they eat. 6 13.95%
Avoid the dining room altogether. 1 2.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
mickey7879
Stay at home mommy to a Disney baby Tyler (3 yrs old) and anniversary baby Jackson (9 months old). Happily married to the love of my life, Mark, for 10 yrs.
 
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Dining with young children

At time of travel our kids will be 3.5 yrs and 15 months and right now have the main dining time.

Need some opinions on others traveling with young kids.

Please vote and leave your opinions.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
MarieH.
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After many reasearch here on the Dis, I picked late dining for the convenience it will give us when coming back from excursions. We won't have to rush to come back for dinner, plus, my kids are used to eating dinner past 6 cause we wait for my husband to get home from work so we can all eat together. He usually gets home around 7 or 8. Then, there's the Dine and Play
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
mickey7879
Stay at home mommy to a Disney baby Tyler (3 yrs old) and anniversary baby Jackson (9 months old). Happily married to the love of my life, Mark, for 10 yrs.
 
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We're not planning on doing any excursions. Only taking the kids off the ship in Key West and we may go on shore by ourselves in Cozumel. My kids usually eat early with our youngest usually in bed by 7.....he's only 9 months right now and can't keep his eyes open any longer. I sometimes eat with the kids or I'll wait and eat after they go to bed....sometime I'm just too busy with them to eat before. DH works a crazy schedule being gone a day or so at a time, so we don't all eat together very often. They do ok in restaurants.

I guess the main thing is I also want to enjoy myself and if we chose to take the kids to the clubs during the meal, I don't want to be at a table with other peoples kids. But if they were to stay at the table with us, then I'd think the other kids there would help keep each other busy. (Not that the other people at our table or the other kids were there to watch our kids or entertain for us. That's our responsibility.)
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
TNShellBelle
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We had late dining the first time we cruised and dd was 5 months. It worked out well because she would fall asleep during the show and then sleep in her stroller at the table while we had a nice meal.

Second time we cruised she was 17 months-ish and we had early seating. Glad we did because she never would have eaten dinner since she was cranky and fell asleep early. At that age she never would have fallen asleep in her stroller like she did the cruise before so at least she ate some before crashing early.

Third cruise dd was almost 2 1/2 (ds was 9 months) and once again we had early seating. Ds was easy and fell asleep in his stroller at times, where as dd ate and then was ready for bed. DH and I did go to Palo one night, we just fed the kids a little earlier than usual and then they played in the club/flounders for a while.

No doubt, for us, we need early dining. At least until the kids are older.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
paceyswife
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Right now we have late dining but waitlisted for early. There is no way my boys, 2 and 5, will make it past 8 to eat. There are in bed by 7:30 nightly and I know that while on the cruise they'll be up later, they will do it better if they eat, have entertainment and then bed (of course, after a snack from room service)!

If we are unable to get early dining, I suppose we'll give it a try maybe for a night or two, and if it doesn't work, we'll just do the buffet the rest of the eve's.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:28 PM   #6
chrisdar1
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This is something that my wife and I are nervous about. We have a 4 year old (perfect Angel) and an 18 month old (not-so perfect Angel). The 18 month old is the wild card. Our experience dining out has been less than ideal as she doesn't sit still for very long, likes to climb on the table, and usually gets more on the floor than in her mouth...

We are hoping that over the next five weeks (we sail at the end of October) we can get her into "dining room" shape...

If we could request a table for just the four of us, we may be able to control her. If we have to eat with other diners, we may just ruin their cruise....
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
dragonfly08
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My preference would have been a combo...early dining with our own table, and once or twice feeding the kids ahead of time or letting them eat in the club so that DH and I could dine alone.

Of course, on our last cruise we got late dining (and were unable to switch), had table mates, and DD #2 hated the club after the first day and a half. We didn't eat in the dining rooms at all and had one dinner alone, before DD gave up on the club. We even had to cancel our Palo brunch, because by that day just hearing about the club even if we weren't talking about taking her was enough to cause problems.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
disnewbie108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdar1 View Post
This is something that my wife and I are nervous about. We have a 4 year old (perfect Angel) and an 18 month old (not-so perfect Angel). The 18 month old is the wild card. Our experience dining out has been less than ideal as she doesn't sit still for very long, likes to climb on the table, and usually gets more on the floor than in her mouth...

We are hoping that over the next five weeks (we sail at the end of October) we can get her into "dining room" shape...

If we could request a table for just the four of us, we may be able to control her. If we have to eat with other diners, we may just ruin their cruise....
chrisdar1, you took the words out of my mouth!

When we sail one DS will be turning 8, and our second son, 'not so perfect angel' will be a month away from being 2. I really would not want to ruin anyone's dinner, so would prefer a table for just the 4 of us. Right now we are late, wait listed for early. I hope that the nursery will have a spot for DS2 no matter what time we end up with, that may be our only hope. As of right now, we only go to places that have quick service and may even be a little loud when we eat out. Our hope is to have him learn how to behave each time we venture out for dinner now, and maybe he will be ready by the time we sail.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:21 PM   #9
mickey7879
Stay at home mommy to a Disney baby Tyler (3 yrs old) and anniversary baby Jackson (9 months old). Happily married to the love of my life, Mark, for 10 yrs.
 
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Thanks everyone. I've decided to put a request into our TA for our own table. I'm not much for talking with people I don't know and if I was to put the kids in the clubs I'd like to enjoy a meal just DH and I.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:00 PM   #10
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On embarkation we went to meet with the head servers about dining requests. I asked for a table to ourselves as our DS was 3.5 and very antsy. We knew he would be very distraction to another family. We asked for a table to ourselves and got it at main dining which was fantastic.
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