I cruise with another couple and we both have daughters who are now 8-years-old. It took us until the second cruise together to realize that EVERYONE has a better time when we feed the kids first and send them off to the kids program while the adults enjoy their dinner. The kids would rather have some kid friendly food and be in the kids club than have us asking them to sit quietly while we have dinner and drinks with friends. It may sound mean, but believe me, if you ask the kids what they would rather do, they will probably tell you that they would prefer to sing songs, play games and run around than sit at the dinner table trying to act like little gentlemen
Perhaps, but the other side of this coin is that experience of sitting at the dinner table and acting like little gentlemen (or ladies) is a wonderful learning experience for all youngsters.
FWIW, I'm also aware of couples who bring the children to dinner in the dining room but have the waiter bring the children their meal served with the early courses of the adult meal, then take their children up to the children's program between courses of the adult meal. This seems to offer the best of both worlds.