Although I'm an adult autie, I can't stand screaming, bratty children. (I understand those who are like me or something like that, but it's the neuro-typicals that largely bug me.) They just comprise the bulk of an environment's sensory input and causes sensory overload inside me.
Fortunately, in a cruise ship where kids seem to rule the roost and loudly whine a lot (I'm talking about Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder, folks), there's an oasis - when cruising in August '08, I went to a specialty dining venue, Palo, and was amazed by its placidity. Compared to that atmosphere in Animator's Palette, Parrot Cay, and even formal Triton's, I neither heard nor seen any brats in the dining area. Thank goodness for its policy that bars Guests under 18!
If you are cruising on a ship geared towards all walks of life, don't be afraid to seek out places that have age restrictions like the restaurant on a DCL ship. You'll be glad you did