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Old 10-05-2007, 09:44 PM
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My husband just told me that dinner in the dining room lasts about 2 hours, we will be on Freedom. My question is how on earth do small children stay occupied & quite for 2 hours. We have a 4 year old boy and he is a good boy, but only for so long. What do other parents do about this situation? It's our first cruise and want to experience the dining room instead of the buffet every night and we do have the early dinner seating.

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Old 10-05-2007, 10:06 PM
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I have not been on a cruise yet, but its my understanding from co-workers and such that a lot of parents take advantage of the onboard kids programs so they can go to an "adult" dinner. I have also heard that many parents just bring stuff for the little ones to do at dinner since it takes so long.

Anyhow, I'm sure your son will be fine! Hope you guys have a great time!
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:11 AM
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Two words....Game Boy. That carried us through several cruises. Prior to that we always brought along a bag of small toys which our son would play with. The waiters usually have a good sense for which kids are getting restless and may try to distract them with some tricks or just talk to them. They'll usually bring food out for the kids quickly too, and when our son was little it was common to see him happily eating his hot dog or pizza while we were still on the salad course.

I'd also say that first seating dinner on the Freedom won't last two hours. More like 90 minutes or even a little less than that.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
They'll usually bring food out for the kids quickly too, and when our son was little it was common to see him happily eating his hot dog or pizza while we were still on the salad course.
That's been our experience, too. Of course, depending on how quickly or slowly he eats, it also means that he might be finished by the time your main course is served. What we did was to order an appetizer for him (carrot sticks/celery were always available), and that spaced his meal more closely to ours.

We also practiced at home by having longer meals in our own dining room starting a week or so before the cruise, and having a trial run in diners or other restaurants, so he'd know what to expect.
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:27 AM
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We often got something from the adult menu for Jacob too - this is how we found out he liked things such as conch fritters and escargots! If they had some sort of noodle soup we'd get that for him too.

I can only recall one dinner, on one cruise, where he acted up to the point that I had to take him out of the dining room. This was when he was 4 and we were on the Grandeur Of The Seas. Thankfully we had a nice couple and their grandson as tablemates, and they "understood" and didn't appear to be annoyed. Actually that cruise as a whole missed the mark - the crew was really out of sync and things just "weren't right". We were not alone in this opinion. Perhaps Jacob was expressing his displeasure and I didn't realize it.
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:15 PM
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You all have given us some great ideas. Thank you so much!
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