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NicoleToussaint

Specialty Dining- with toddler

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Is it frowned upon to do specialty dining reservations with a toddler? The unlimited dining plan is a very good price right now so I'm tempted. She does pretty well in restaurants for the most part, but definitely has her moments. How long should we expect to spend in restaurants? We would probably use the daycare one or two of the nights. 

 

Also, the way I understand it they book a reservation for you night oen, but we can't book anything else until onboard? Is there a special desk for this or we actually have to go to each restaurant? We would need to dine on the earlier side (probably 5:30). Curious if we will have a hard time securing reservations

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We have never had a problem with an early time at specialty restaurants.  I think it is great you want to take your toddler along.  Depending on age you might take some things to keep her busy while waiting.  Also, I would tell the waiters if you want a little quicker service.  We took my granddaughter along all the time and had very little trouble, but one person was always ready to leave for a few minutes if she would start to act up.  Have fun.

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14 minutes ago, NicoleToussaint said:

 

 

Also, the way I understand it they book a reservation for you night oen, but we can't book anything else until onboard? Is there a special desk for this or we actually have to go to each restaurant? 

The way I understand it is, ANY specialty dining restaurant can make your reservations for the entire week  🙂 

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Just now, ryano said:

The way I understand it is, ANY specialty dining restaurant can make your reservations for the entire week  🙂 

Correct. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, shipshape sam said:

Never seen a toddler in a speciality restaurant and would think it is not a problem.

Have experienced a toddler in a speciality restaurant and it was certainly a problem for some of the other guests

Edited by hallasm
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I am not anti children but many people go to the specialty restaurant for a quieter experience or for a special occasion. Only you know your child and if they will be able to tolerate sitting for over an hour.

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33 minutes ago, hallasm said:

Have experienced a toddler in a speciality restaurant and it was certainly a problem for some of the other guests

Since they are sailing on a cruise line that promotes families they should expect to see toddlers and children in general at any given time in any venue on the ship. I'm past that stage in my life and know that if I want a limited amount of children as passengers to never sail  on a family based cruise line or during times when schools are not in session.  If they had a problem with a toddler being in the restaurant it was on them. 

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22 minutes ago, Iamcruzin said:

Since they are sailing on a cruise line that promotes families they should expect to see toddlers and children in general at any given time in any venue on the ship. I'm past that stage in my life and know that if I want a limited amount of children as passengers to never sail  on a family based cruise line or during times when schools are not in session.  If they had a problem with a toddler being in the restaurant it was on them. 

There is a difference between seeing children on a ship and a toddler acting up in a restaurant and no one taking them out.

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44 minutes ago, Spunky946 said:

There is a difference between seeing children on a ship and a toddler acting up in a restaurant and no one taking them out.

That happens at home as well. I would never go to an AppleBee's on a Saturday afternoon. Adolescents can be unruly at times as well. If you sail a family based cruise line expect to see well behaved as well as cranky kids in the MDR, Specialty restaurants and the buffet. I have heard toddlers crying during shows as well. It is what it is. We mostly cruise Princess and Celebrity off child season.

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Our almost 4 year old grandson sat through one specialty restaurant dinner then realized he could go to the children's club at dinner time. He was all about that instead of sitting with us. 

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I would say it’s better to leave it at the oasis adventure or what else is called. Maybe have dinner early with her, and enjoy your dinner. 

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1 hour ago, Iamcruzin said:

That happens at home as well. I would never go to an AppleBee's on a Saturday afternoon. Adolescents can be unruly at times as well. If you sail a family based cruise line expect to see well behaved as well as cranky kids in the MDR, Specialty restaurants and the buffet. I have heard toddlers crying during shows as well. It is what it is. We mostly cruise Princess and Celebrity off child season.

I have to agree with Spunky on this.  We generally cruise in the off season to avoid massive amounts of kids. But we also do holiday cruises, etc.  I shouldn't have to tolerate unruly children.  A well behaved child is always welcome. But if I take my wife to a specialty restaurant for an anniversary dinner on Formal Night, I don't want to feel like I'm in "AppleBee's on a Saturday afternoon."  There are lots of eating options that are completely family oriented.  But Specialty restaurants are set up for a nice intimate evening.  

We took our kids and their families on Oasis in 2017.  We were all in Crown Lofts.  When we did Coastal Kitchen, the parent fed the kids (aged 7-12) early and the adults went to Coastal Kitchen.  And our Grandkids are extremely well behaved.

Just my opinion. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Iamcruzin said:

Since they are sailing on a cruise line that promotes families they should expect to see toddlers and children in general at any given time in any venue on the ship. I'm past that stage in my life and know that if I want a limited amount of children as passengers to never sail  on a family based cruise line or during times when schools are not in session.  If they had a problem with a toddler being in the restaurant it was on them. 

Agreed.  It's a family cruise line, so I expect and have no problem with children of all ages being in various venues on the ship.  I often find that some of the adults on cruises are far more annoying than children at times.

Edited by time4u2go

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7 minutes ago, papaflamingo said:

I have to agree with Spunky on this.  We generally cruise in the off season to avoid massive amounts of kids. But we also do holiday cruises, etc.  I shouldn't have to tolerate unruly children.  A well behaved child is always welcome. But if I take my wife to a specialty restaurant for an anniversary dinner on Formal Night, I don't want to feel like I'm in "AppleBee's on a Saturday afternoon."  There are lots of eating options that are completely family oriented.  But Specialty restaurants are set up for a nice intimate evening.  

We took our kids and their families on Oasis in 2017.  We were all in Crown Lofts.  When we did Coastal Kitchen, the parent fed the kids (aged 7-12) early and the adults went to Coastal Kitchen.  And our Grandkids are extremely well behaved.

Just my opinion. 

We always fed our kids in the buffet took them to the kids club and ate in the MDR with the other adults. That had to do with us wanting to enjoy our meal without dealing with fidgety kids. I'm not sure if that option is available for toddlers because I wouldn't even consider traveling on a cruise with one. We did different things when they were that young. However I do understand that not everyone has the option to do this.  I remember one Christmas Eve my mother insisted that we go out for dinner. We had a 3yr old and a 6yr old. The 6yr old was fine. However it was late and the 3yr old was acting up. I couldn't deal with it so I scooped him up took him home before my meal was served. My mother wanted me to stay and I just walked out leaving my wife and son with my parents. Be that as it may not everyone is bothered enough to pick up and leave and I accept that. The specialty restaurants do not have an age limit so it happens. As long as it's not my child cutting up I don't care. Now that they have the all you can eat plans it's probably worse.

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I don't have any issues with young children in specialty restaurants as long as the parents are responsible enough to take care of the child if they act up. Sort of like church, take the child out until they calm back down.  

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6 hours ago, NicoleToussaint said:

Is it frowned upon to do specialty dining reservations with a toddler? The unlimited dining plan is a very good price right now so I'm tempted. She does pretty well in restaurants for the most part, but definitely has her moments. How long should we expect to spend in restaurants? We would probably use the daycare one or two of the nights. 

 

Also, the way I understand it they book a reservation for you night oen, but we can't book anything else until onboard? Is there a special desk for this or we actually have to go to each restaurant? We would need to dine on the earlier side (probably 5:30). Curious if we will have a hard time securing reservations

The fact that you are asking implies to me that you are a polite parent who respects her fellow diners. I imagine that you would be the type to remove the child immediately if necessary. I appreciate that.

 

I did not cruise when my kids were young, but I did always make sure their behavior never negatively impacted others. I do not think that I would have taken mine to a venue where people were paying extra for an extra special experience. That said, I appreciate and respect that you are concerned with others.

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Some of these replies really baffle me. I know many families enjoy having their children with them on vacation and feel dining together is important. When my children were young I was thrilled to have a night out alone with my husband but I know that is not what others want to do. 
We usually only eat in the specialty restaurants and if a family with children is sitting next to me that in no way would upset me. I can’t figure how this would ruin my meal. When I go out on land I don’t check if there are children in the restaurant before I go in. 
Because you pay extra for your meal no where does it say that children aren’t allowed. Do you expect on a family cruise line with water slides, kiddie pools, bumper cars etc. to not have kids in the restaurants? 
Nicole, enjoy your cruise and I hope you and your family have a great dining experience. 

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1 hour ago, mariefisher said:

Some of these replies really baffle me.
We usually only eat in the specialty restaurants and if a family with children is sitting next to me that in no way would upset me. I can’t figure how this would ruin my meal.
Because you pay extra for your meal no where does it say that children aren’t allowed. Do you expect on a family cruise line with water slides, kiddie pools, bumper cars etc. to not have kids in the restaurants? 
 

It's not the sight of a child or children that is the bother. It's the screaming and crying that gets irritating. I was on Explorer Dec. 13-22.....there was a child in the MDR in a high chair with a family group of about 14. That child sat there with her mouth open screaming and crying nearly all the way through dinner. The parents ignored her. I don't know the circumstances..perhaps that's their way of disciplining her. Maybe there was food on a plate and she didn't like it or wouldn't eat it.....so she kept on screaming. A waiter finally went over to talk to her...it calmed her down for a few minutes...then she started up again.  Believe me, it bothered me.  This happened for about 4 nights that I saw it....I don't always eat in the MDR. The last night, they didn't show up...I was so happy.  I'd like to meet the people who are not bothered by an hour of screaming children....perhaps they are deaf people!!

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Too many people leap to conclusions here. Nowhere did OP ask "is it ok to take my screaming, shouting, crying toddler?" Maybe that's how your kids would have behaved but not all kids do. 

 

OP, as there is no age limit it proves you are just as entitled to eat with your family as those who feel they are entitled enough to eat with no kids around.

Ignore the cruise grinches. 

I'm sure some people go on cruises to just find things to complain about: "we went to Mexico and the locals spoke spanish", "we went to the beach and it was sandy", "we went on a family cruise line and there was a child eating 😱". 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, GarlicBread said:

Too many people leap to conclusions here. 

I'm sure some people go on cruises to just find things to complain about:

Both sides are jumping to conclusions.  No one is saying children shouldn't be allowed in specialty restaurants, we're just saying that if the child is fussy, etc. they shouldn't be in there.  Sorry if not wanting to dine in a restaurant set up for intimate dining like Chops, with fussy kids around makes you think we're "grinches," but it's our cruise too.  And sorry if we cruise on a "family" cruise line while "families" are there, but it's also an "adult" cruise line with "adult only" areas and "adult only" comic shows.  Many of us would love to go only when no kids are on board (could you please tell me which week that is?) and on adult only cruise ships (can you tell me which ships they are?).  But OUR vacation times also are at certain times of the year and our budget only allows a certain amount for cruising.  One could just as easily say if you really want a "family" cruise, go on Disney.    

No one here goes on cruises "just find things to complain about:"  That is an absurd comment.  And I'll bet if you are seated next to the table with the fussy child like ladysail was, you'd be complaining for sure (we've been at "that" table too, and it was no fun at all)..

 

OP, of course you can take your toddler into specialty restaurants.  Just be aware that some go to these restaurants for a nicer, quieter,  intimate dinner and you'll have no problem. 

Edited by papaflamingo

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It is fine to bring your child.  RC wants you to, that is why 5 and under is free.  Don't book the package for them and get refunded onboard as OBC.  That's a hassle.  Just bring them with you.  We take our son to specialty dining and never had a problem.  

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At one time children under a certain age were not permitted in specialty restaurants. Then they were allowed but only up to a certain time. Eventually the bean counters decided it would be profitable to allow them at any time. We tend to eat late so rarely encounter little ones. I do remember one formal night when we were seated at a table next to a couple with two toddlers. One started acting up soon after being seated. The father scooped him up and removed him from the restaurant. The mother stayed and ate dinner while the other child slept in her lap. Not the greatest experience for them. 

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We did unlimited dining recently and there were children just about everytime in the specialty restaurants.  It was a nothing burger.  Totally normal. Had no effect on our enjoyment any more than children being at a restaurant when we go out at home. Would you bring your child to restaurants at home?  This is no different.

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16 hours ago, NicoleToussaint said:

Is it frowned upon to do specialty dining reservations with a toddler? The unlimited dining plan is a very good price right now so I'm tempted. She does pretty well in restaurants for the most part, but definitely has her moments. How long should we expect to spend in restaurants? We would probably use the daycare one or two of the nights. 

 

Also, the way I understand it they book a reservation for you night oen, but we can't book anything else until onboard? Is there a special desk for this or we actually have to go to each restaurant? We would need to dine on the earlier side (probably 5:30). Curious if we will have a hard time securing reservations

 its a 2-3 hour  experience generally speaking.  of course you can skip courses or tell the waiter you want to be served quicker.   we find that the  wait between courses is  quite a bit longer than  MDR .

 

   keep in mind that a well behaved toddler is still disruptive( worst sound IN THE WORLD is a 2 year old shrieking.. whether in happiness, frustration or  anger.  it actually causes physical pain to my husband ) to those around you.  

 

you will have equal numbers of people  telling to never ever  bring children until they are 16 or to say to heck with anyone else around you and you do what you want.     are you prepared to leave  in the middle of dinner if she becomes restless?  

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