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Old 08-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #1
erogers
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Dining with an infant on the Fantasy

I'd like to know how those of you with infants handle dining on the ship.

We will have a 9-month-old on our December cruise on the Fantasy. I keep hearing about how long dinners take. Should we book nursery reservations for every night during dinner? Has anyone tried bringing an infant with them to dinner? Do you end up just eating at the buffet rather than a dining room?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by erogers View Post
I'd like to know how those of you with infants handle dining on the ship.

We will have a 9-month-old on our December cruise on the Fantasy. I keep hearing about how long dinners take. Should we book nursery reservations for every night during dinner? Has anyone tried bringing an infant with them to dinner? Do you end up just eating at the buffet rather than a dining room?
Well, for starters, the buffet isn't a buffet for dinner. It's a sit down table service. A bit quicker, perhaps.

Have you taken your child to other restaurants at home? How did he/she do?

I would suggest that you go ahead and book dinner nursery hours for the first couple of nights anyway. But take your child to dinner with you, and see how it goes. Your server can work with you to speed up service a bit. Or maybe take a short break between courses, so one of you can run the little one to the nursery, say after the appitizers before entree.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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Many parents take an infant in an umbrella stroller--the child sometimes falls asleep during the parent's dinner.....

As above, Cabanas is a sit down casual restaurant at dinner--the service is quicker than downstairs. I refused to go to a buffet when DD was an infant--too much effort! You can do sit down at breakfast and lunch if desired.

Do you take your child to restaurants at home? That's probably your best guide to behavior on the ship.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:59 AM   #4
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I have the same question. And yes we take my son out to eat all the time but not to anything that takes an hour and a half. His bed time is 7:00 - and it's a bedtime he chose, not us.

We decided to wing it and see how it goes. He eats much earlier anyways so when we get to dinner we'll just try all the options and see what works - cabanas, nursery (the challenge being whether he can sleep there) or room service if he's already conked out in the room.

Also, we have late seating (wait listed for early). I decided not to pick our cruise date based solely on the dining shift since we may never even go to our assigned dining.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:57 AM   #5
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On our two previous cruises with our daughter we booked late seating hoping she would sleep through dinner. On the last cruise she was 8 months old and it completely backfired. A couple times she eventually did fall asleep in her stroller at the table, however our server kept bumping her stroller repeatedly even though it took up no more room than a chair would have - annoying!! It was completely stressful for us.

On our upcoming cruise we are at main seating bc that is closer to her normal eating time. I have booked the nursery at 7pm a couple of evenings hoping that we can make a show this time. She did sleep in the nursery which I was surprised about since there is so much going on. They are really good!
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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We go on our cruise every year with our girls (now 2 & 4) We started cruising when they were about 8 months. Our most relaxing experience was when we had one child who was your daughter's age.
We would feed her, watch the show, go back to the stateroom and change her into jammies. Then, take her in the fully reclining stroller to late dining where she would sleep through dinner. We had 7 glorious nights of adult conversation with our little one peacefully sleeping. I think what worked the most was that I would put blankets over the sunshade as to block out all light and visual stimulation.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
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We were on a 3 night Dream cruise with DD in last Sept when she was just about 9 months old.
We had late seating and this worked out for us pretty well. Normally, DD bedtime is 7pm. We knew this obviously would not be since late dinner is at 8.

At the time she was still taking 2 naps a day. So we would put the 2nd nap off until late afternoon say 430 or so. She would wake up about 630.

During dinner she would sit in a high chair at the table with us. We would let her pick at some of our food but I would have already fed her her own dinner. She was usually ready for bed by the time we were done eating, which was perfect bc we were exhausted by that time too.

We did put her in the nursery for our Palo dinner.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:51 AM   #8
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DS was older than that this past year when we went, but we were seated with two other couples, each with one little boy. One of the boys was only ~7 months and he really did great. I actually thought I misunderstood his age, but realized later he was definitely young. Sat in his highchair each night and ate a little food from the kids' menu.

IMO they do a good job of keeping things moving for the sake of the little ones. When we got to dinner each night there were highchairs set up and cups of water for the kids. If you choose to order any food for the little ones it comes with the adult salads/soups. Seating at 5:45 and I would say we were done 7ish each night. If we needed to leave before then, the other couples understood.

We had early dinner. Originally waitlisted and we booked late. But got it a few weeks before leaving.

Buffet meals were harder on us than table service, in a way. Trying to juggle the kiddo and get food and find a chair...plus go back and get something you inevitably miss - it was challenging. But DS could walk and run away or grab food off the buffet, so 9 months should be an easier age!

Despite all that, I wouldn't hesitate to book nursery time to give yourself a quiet dinner together. Also, keep in mind that your 5 month old will be different in 4 months when you go.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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I'm glad I saw this post as we will be aboard the Fantasy Sept. 2013. Our niece will be traveling with us with her infant that will be a toddler by that time. I am nervous about how our late seating will be with a toddler in tow.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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Thanks, everybody, for some great advice! It is a little hard to imagine what DD will be like in 4 months since she's our first. As lorenni posted, we take her out to eat, but never somewhere that takes an hour and a half.

Right now we have late dinner seating, but maybe that would work out well if she could sleep in a stroller during dinner. We'll definitely be booking the nursery the night we do Palo, and I may try to book some time a couple of the other nights and see how it goes.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenni View Post
I have the same question. And yes we take my son out to eat all the time but not to anything that takes an hour and a half. His bed time is 7:00 - and it's a bedtime he chose, not us.

Also, we have late seating (wait listed for early). I decided not to pick our cruise date based solely on the dining shift since we may never even go to our assigned dining.
This is exactly our baby. 7pm bedtime. we cruised last year and he was 9mos old. We took him to a few dinners, it was 6pm seating (main). they do bring out food for them early - they can mash up food for him, applesauce, mashed potatoes, steam vegs, rice. Sometimes they cannot sit there that long, esp if its pirate day where waiters do a show etc.
So ya 1 parent would walk him in the stroller after eating together for half hour or so. Be flexible.
a few nights we put him in Nursery during dinner til 10pm or so. Usually they fed him there, and he just slept anyway (No guilt! lol)

and we do go out to eat a lot at home. i dont think that matters at all.
After a day of activity they may or may not be tired/over stimulated, not into sitting thru a long dinner. and also depends if/how he napped that day.

SO be flexible and be OK with missing dinner or some of it, taking turns, or eating elsewhere as well - we did that too There's lots of people iwht similar babies/toddlers.

Thsi also applies to sit down lunches like Character signing.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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I think it comes down to what you think. You know your child. We did a WBTA when our son was nine. He was so excited by the action, waiters, other people at the table, etc. that he loved it. He typically would fall asleep after dinner and we would either put him in an umbrella stroller or hold him while finishing wine, desert, coffee, etc.

We booked him in the nursery for dinner while at Palo and it was awesome but don't be surprised if you talk about your child all dinner!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by christianweecare View Post
I'm glad I saw this post as we will be aboard the Fantasy Sept. 2013. Our niece will be traveling with us with her infant that will be a toddler by that time. I am nervous about how our late seating will be with a toddler in tow.
If late seating is a concern, waitlist NOW for main. Call DCL (your TA needs to do this if you used one) about once a month to inquire as to whether you've been moved to main. If you don't get it in advance, go to "dining changes" after boarding and see if they can move you then.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #14
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We cruised on the Fantasy in May when our youngest was 5 months old. We always took the stroller to the table with us. She wasn't eating solids, so it was easy to feed her and she'd either play with some toys or fall asleep in her stroller. Occasionally she'd fuss and we'd pass her back and forth, but generally she's pretty relaxed.

We'll be cruising on the Magic in 16 days and she'll be 10 months old. Our plan is still the same because we have late seating and she'll likely fall asleep, although now that she's on solids she may surprise us and want to be in a highchair and interacting. Her schedules already going to be off, so we'll play it by ear. We chose late seating this trip however for her 4.5 year old sister. She was falling asleep during early dining last trip. This time we hope we can squeeze a nap in before dinner and then she can Dine and Play.
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