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Old 02-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
Mizzcoreta
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Kids in the dining room

I'm starting to worry a bit about how my two year old is going to do in the dining rooms. Lately, he is refusing to sit in high chairs or booster seats which leads to a big pain whenever we go out to eat so I can't imagine how its going to be on the ship. Plus we have his older brother to keep entertained as well, but he pretty much goes with the flow. How fast are dinners? I always have things to keep him entertained but he always ends up on one of our laps while we are eating because I don't him to have a tantrum in the middle of a restaurant. If I choose to put him in the nursery for one or two meals, do they bring their meals in there? He eats pretty much the same food as us.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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If you go at 'regular' pace, dinners average about an hour and half (sometimes as long 2 hours). But, you can tell your server you're in a hurry, and they'll speed things along. We've been done in about 50 minutes to an hour....(if we had something we wanted to rush to after dinner).

There will be crayons and coloring pages available, if that helps.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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If you're lucky, you'll get a great serving team and that can help a lot. There will be some who are excellent with entertaining kids, and some not so much.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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You could make a reservation for the last part of dinner in the nursery. Our servers have always brought the kids' food at a quicker pace and they were done with desert before our entrees arrived. One of us took DS to the club and then came back to enjoy the rest of dinner with the rest of the group. As long as your 2 year old isn't throwing plates and such around most people aren't going to even notice them with the noise in the MDRs. We did experience this one cruise and really felt sorry for the servers who had to dodge the objects and try not to trip over them. That was extreme though -- and rediculous.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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I've also been known to order dinner, then take the little one out of the restaurant to the lobby/hallway for a while. You know you're going to have to wait a little bit for even your apps, so might as well make the sitting still part as short as possible. Kind of resets the start clock. I've still got a 3YO, so I'm interested in other answers as well. I've had some dinners take even longer than 2 hours on previous cruises! We would have to rush to even get to the show.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:31 AM   #6
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We have always asked for an express meal for Jackson. He usually finishes before we have entree and his mother takes him to the nursery/club. It only takes a few minutes and then we take our time and enjoy dinner.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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I'm worried about this too. DD is 4.5 and my niece is 5.5 and I know neither will sit still for a 2 hour meal. Coloring will buy maybe 5 minutes or so and both are very picky eaters. I'll prob have to expedite their meals and take them to the Kids Club or something.

Frankly, I cant see myself sitting for a 2+ hour meal but we shall see.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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We also bring the youngest ones to dinner and then take the to the nursery when they are finished. They will feed them there but they eat early. I want to say they feed the kids at 5. So you have to take them in a good bit before going to dinner yourself. We preferred to take them later so they could join the rest of the family in meeting characters and also so they get a wider variety of food. My kids order from the adult menu and in he clubs it is usually chicken nuggets, pb & j etc.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:53 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the responses. Would I need to book the nursery ahead of time if I wanted to do that or is there usually time available?
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #10
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I believe that you can book up to ten hours before the cruise. I don't know how difficult it is to get additional time, though I don't recall anyone posting here that they couldn't get their child into the nursery.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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They can take walk-ins if they have space but your best bet is to schedule it. I know there were times when I would be dropping ds2 off for a scheduled time and people trying to do walk-ins were being turned away because there was no space.

What worked best for us was to take dd 5 and ds2 to dinner with us. As soon as they would finish their meal they would be begging to go play. So, in between courses we would drop them off at the nursery and kids club and they would stay there until after the show. Worked out perfectly. If they wanted to be picked up earlier they would text our wave phone.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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I think most young kids would rather go to the nursery/club than dinner. If you want to feed your kids early there are lots of places to get food. There is fast food pizza, chicken fingers, hamburgers, wrap sandwiches, milk and fruit all available on the pool deck. Most items from room service are free (prepackaged snack, soft drinks and booze are not) but you should tip.
Some families like to all have dinner together. We do now that the kids are older. When they were young they did not want to sit through a long dinner.

I feel it's like if your spouse love football and wants to spent family time watching the game. If your not into football it's no fun. There is so much to do on the ship for family time other than dinner. Book the nursery a head of time and have a good dinner.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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We just cruised in October with our granddaughter(4 at time of sailing), who was not fond of being in the clubs. So she joined us for dinner every night. We soon discovered she was also not fond of 2 hour dinners. Complicating our situation was that our server was responsible for a huge family (i'm talking 20+ people) who were always at least a half hour late for dinner. They also only spoke Spanish and needed an interpreter. We discovered that the servers like to have all of their tables having appetizers, then all having the entree, then all having dessert at the same time. To make this story much shorter, it took us 5 days to talk to the head waiter, who had our server give us our food much quicker, one course right after the other rather than waiting. DCL is amazing at all other things kids, but 2 hour dinners is not one of them.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #14
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You can take him to the nursery as mentioned above and probably should schedule that in advance. And if you want him to sit in a highchair or booster on the cruise, then I'd start making him do it EVERY meal at home. Sure, he'll have a tantrum but at lesat at home you're the only one who has to listen to it so you won't be stressed out about it. I'm sure that with 2 straight weeks of eating only in a highchair or booster that he'll be good to go for the cruise and you'll enjoy yourself too. Have fun!
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesemouse
You can take him to the nursery as mentioned above and probably should schedule that in advance. And if you want him to sit in a highchair or booster on the cruise, then I'd start making him do it EVERY meal at home. Sure, he'll have a tantrum but at lesat at home you're the only one who has to listen to it so you won't be stressed out about it. I'm sure that with 2 straight weeks of eating only in a highchair or booster that he'll be good to go for the cruise and you'll enjoy yourself too. Have fun!
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