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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 9th, 2004, 04:26 PM
beth94
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Default late seating w/child

We will be on the Galaxy next month with our 9 year old child. We chose late seating for dining because we really didn't want to rush to get ready as we enjoy the pool and just down time before dinner. I was planning to take my son to dinner on formal nights as well
(we rented him a tux ) since he enjoys steak , lobster etc. over pizza. He has been to many restaurants and knows how to behave. I thought he could take his hand held gameboy to dinner if he gets bored. I have 2 questions first, are there any children at dinner on formal nights? Second, I see many people choose late seating to be away from children. Do you think it will upset other members at our table to have a child seated? I understand it is their vacation as well.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

We had late seating with our 9 year old son (and again when he was 10a) as well and it was no problem. We did let him bring the gameboy (sound off) and he was fine if the dinner started to run long.

Also for a couple of nights the kids club had pizza dinner events so we let him go to those (hey, he's on vacation too and should have fun).

He's well behaved IMHO and as far as I know the other passengers in the area of our table had no problems at all (we had our own table however).

If your table mates have a problem with your son don't worry about it too much. If he's well behaved then it's their problem, not yours.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 06:13 PM
hcat
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Honestly, I would not like to be seated with someone using a gameboy at the dinner table..a well-bahaved child is fine but the gameboy just doesn't cut it for me. If he need that it means the hour is too late &/or service too slow.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Re: late seating w/child

Another reason you don't see many children at late seating is the childrens groups most nights close down at dinner during early seating and reopen during late seating. If you don't have a problem with him missing some of the group time, you should be alright but I would concur about not bringing a gameboy. Simply not the time or place for a gameboy.

Don
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Old February 10th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

I always pick late seating because I do not want to be rushed getting ready. My kids were 7 and 11 on our last cruise and we had no problem at all with them.
Well behaved children are always accepted. I would leave the gameboy behind though. The food comes at a steady pace and I would suggest you use the time to talk as a family and spend quality time together. If you are worried about other people at your table, request a table just for your party.

This may not go over well but.....In my opinion I take a family cruise to spend time together as a family. If other people on the ship do not want to be around children and families they should be taking adult only cruises.

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Old February 10th, 2004, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

I say let your son take the gameboy to dinner. On our most recent cruise there was a young family at the late seating and the little boy was sound asleep during the entire dinner. If your son enjoys formal dining, more power to him. It is true that many people choose late seating to be away from children.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Truthfully I think late seating is a bad idea with children younger than teens. Dinner won't even be over til 10pm or later. Of course early seating will rush you on occassions, but that might be a trade off necessary to keep everyone happy. Now, that I have said my peace only you know your child's sleep habits, ability to sit for long periods of time and how well behaved and mature he/she is. The later seating is usually a little more time involved than the early. Bringing the gameboy, I don't know how well that would go over with those around you. Consideration has to be given to the other diners.

NMNita
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Old February 19th, 2004, 01:24 PM
usmprez
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Beth94:

We will be travelling on the Millenium in early April with our 9 year old son. He has been on several cruises and we always take late seating for meals. He too is very well behaved and we always allow him to take his game boy, although he is smart enough to know that he needs to have the sound off. We have never had any problems.

I must confess I do get really irritated when some people take it upon themselves to advise you what is/is not appropriate for you and your family, when all they are really doing is telling you what they personally would like or not like you to do. In reality they probably would rather you were just not sharing their table with a child.

My view is that you know your family better than anyone else and if the cruise line, particularly one like Celebrity, thought something was inappropriate they would have let everyone know well before now!!

I hope you have a great time
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Old February 19th, 2004, 09:26 PM
sascol
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Leave the gameboy in the cabin. I would not appreciate that at the table (with or without sound).
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Old February 20th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Re: late seating w/child

Didn't see anyone telling these people what to do other than answering their question. The question of the gameboy affects others not the just the person playing it.

Don

Post Edited (02-20-04 07:22)
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Old February 20th, 2004, 08:10 AM
usmprez
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Default Re: Re: Re: late seating w/child

sorry it must be my command of the English language, as I saw two questions being posed and neither was related to her son's use of the game boy.

PeteC put it in the simplest and most accurate terms in his response above
"If your table mates have a problem with your son don't worry about it too much. If he's well behaved then it's their problem, not yours."
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Old February 20th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Other than our NCL cruise with Freestyle we had no choice and had to take late seating. We tried to change to early but to no avail.

As far as the Game boy usage we had our own table and it was put away when the food arrived. We probably wouldn't have allowed it if we were sharing a table. But I can't see why, with the sound down, it would annoy anybody. I've seen adults reading at tables and to me that's the same thing.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

You asked two questions-
First, yes of course the children should go to the formal night. My kids never miss it . We all consider it a highlight and get our portraits done.
We have only shared a table one and then with another family.
Some people prefer to sit with adults, others dont care. There will be some people at the late seating with kids, but not as many as it doesn't interfere with the evening programs. I sure that it will all be worked out. Sounds like you are trying to do the right thing.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Re: late seating w/child

We are going on our first cruise in June. We have two well behaved & articulate children, 11 & 13. We chose the early seating and will dine as a family. At our house this means conversation, both listening & participating. Reading books or playing games is always considered rude. During formal (or informal) nights they will attend the childrens program if they do not feel like participating in a polite manner, their choice. Children should not be made into adults until they are ready. Also sometimes...it is nice to have dinner with other adults...as adults. We have also asked for a table for four. This way we will not interfere with anyone preferring a childless meal.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 01:16 PM
MEL OLMERT
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Default Re: Re: Re: late seating w/child

The hour of dinner very much depends on what a family wants to do and how late they are comfortable staying up.... especially after eating. That said, if one is considering "sharing" a table with other cruisers then .... I would say a resounding "NO" to the game boy. They are mindless toys that have no place in social situations. If they child can not sit politely through dinner then please let them eat in the alternative dining venue and make everyone happy
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Old February 24th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Schatz, boy do I love your attitude especially the part about eating as a family with conversation not to mention children not being made into adults until they are ready. I will probably get blasted for this, but I think there are way too many adult situations that now include kids. I don't know how many cruises your children have taken; I do know this is about the age my daughter started taking her girls on cruises (the little one was 10 I believe) they were at the perfect age and loved every minute of their experience.

Happy cruisin

NMNita
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Old February 24th, 2004, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Let me put on my asbestos undies before I post this. There is no way to say this without coming across as a bad guy.

I think having young children at the late seating and sharing a table with strangers is improper. Yes, all your children are perfect, of that there is no doubt. The problem I have with this is that I choose late seating for adult conversation and interaction. I do not want to be forced to continually mind my p's and q's because tender ears are at table.

Don't try to make up for your absence during those late office nights and business trips by dragging a child to an adult environment. If you want "quality time" do it on your time, not mine.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:17 PM
peter frank
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Oh boy! More parents with well behaved children! If all the children I have read about lately on these boards are so well behaved then who is in charge of the little hellions that I see running up and down the decks, throwing towels (and other thngs) at each other, screaming, and generally making me wish my sense of hearing was not quite so acute still? Their parents are obviously not on our boards but are some witless strangers we will never meet. Let's face it, everyone thinks their little 'darlings' are perfect and most of the things they do are 'cute'. Obnoxious is not in a parents vocabulary when talking about their own children. Now before you blast me good, and I'm fully expecting it, let me tell you that I was one of those children who could sit at a formal dinner from the time I was 6, order my own dinner, use the proper utensils and make conversation with the adults. I was a late life child born to parents who had their family dynamics firmly established when I came along.
I never went to play with the other children, I stayed with the adults because I 'was just so grown up'. Years of therapy later I now know what I was missing. Just MHO from one who has been there, done that!
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

We've never had the choice for early seating. Oh, we requested it but on two cruises with our son, we were forced to have late seating. And yes we tried to change it but couldn't do it. This is one reason we enjoyed NCL's Freestyle so we could dine when we wanted.

It seems that the consensus on these message boards is all kids are hellions and underfoot and trouble. We've been on 5 cruises (3 with and 2 without our son) and found that the majority of kids were well behaved. Yes, there are some out of control kids, just like at the local supermarket, mall, etc but to be fair most kids behave. In fact I've noticed many more rowdy adults (after a few umbrella drinks especially) than I have rowdy kids.

On our first two cruises we sat at tables of 8. And both times we were stuck with some obnoxious yahoos (no kids). No, not all the tablemates but 2 each time was plenty. Heck, they probably didn't like us either.

On our last 3 we've made the point to sit by ourselves. We met plenty of nice folks on other parts of the ships where we weren't forced together.

I think I'm in the minority here. The majority of posters seem to like to meet new friends at the dining table.

But we all have different likes and dislikes and opinions. This is why cruising can be so fun and interesting. Usually it's not a matter of right or wrong....just we're all different.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:40 PM
beth94
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Default Re: late seating w/child

I wanted late seating so we had more time when we were in port. After reading some of these replies I think if you choose late seating to be away from children you really should go on an adult only cruise.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old February 26th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Beth -

I'm in the same "boat" ;-) I have late seating (which we prefer) with my daughter. She is a real night owl, and we tend to eat later in the evening at home, so the time doesn't bother me.

For the 1st formal night, when the kids' club has Pizza night, my Mom and I are booked for the Olympic. I will bring my daugher on the 2nd formal night. As for the others, I'll leave it up to her.

I was corresponding with another Mom with a late seating on a previous cruise. She said that sometimes, she would take her daughter to the alternate dining, order a shrimp cocktail for herelf, feed her daughter and then take her to the kids' club. Then, she and her husband would eat at the late seating. Just play it by ear.

This seems to be THE hot topic on many boards. I actually got caught in the middle recently on the Cruise Critics board. For those of you who have to "mind your p's and q's" at the dinner table, you might want to consider that some adults might not like to hear your p's and q's either. I agree with other posters that I've met many more loud and obnoxious adults (bores) than I have children on my cruises (pre-child and post-child).

My thought is that if you don't want to sit with my child then you can move to another table. I'm not out to ruin anyone's vacation, but I don't think the naysayers should ruin the mine either.

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Old February 26th, 2004, 02:10 PM
mds
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Horseracer.....

A cruise is only an adult situation on an adult only cruise. If you don't like families and children, then find one of those to go on.

I take my kids along with me each time I cruise and neither my husband or my self have late meeting and business trips. We do it because we love our children and want them to experience the world one ship at a time.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 02:25 PM
Liz R
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Default Re: late seating w/child

We never even ate dinner at home when I was a child at 6. Just not natural in my opinion. Whatever is better for you is what you choose. (of course neither children or adults should be disruptive. We just got back from the Summit and saw not one child misbehaving. There were some little princesses at the late seating and they looked adorable all dressed up with their tiaras. Just enjoy your cruise.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 02:35 PM
usmprez
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Well now we all know what “Horseracer” believes is proper and improper, and we understand why he chooses late seating. He has also given us a wonderful, although I’m not sure totally educated, psychological insight into why he believes “dragging” children to a late dinner seating is solely the parents’ effort to make up for their normal absences. And he finishes by admonishing those parents for impinging on his time, and causing him to mind his p’s and q’s.

I’m not at all sure it will alter his outlook but he might want to consider the following, which would certainly apply if my family and I were on the same cruise as him:
This would be our vacation too and we really wouldn’t have to concern ourselves with what he believes is right or wrong. I strongly suspect that we would not care to hear what he had to say even if there were no children present. Nor is it likely that we would have the slightest interest in why he chose or did not choose something.

But don’t worry Horeseracer, in spite of your self-expressed fears you didn’t come across as a bad guy. In fact you appear just as you obviously are - a completely self absorbed and self-opinionated gentleman who in his own little world really believes that everyone else should be mindful of his thoughts and preferences.

I sincerely hope you find your perfect environment, but I suspect you might enjoy your time on the water more if you simply stayed at home and ate a sandwich in the evening while sitting in your bath tub and expounding your likes and dislikes, including p’s and q’s, to anyone who happens to be there and cares to listen

And as a final word to beth94, please do not let the comments of this gentleman or those with similar “pearls of wisdom” spoil your anticipation of your trip. My family and I have been on many cruises, our children have always accompanied us to late seating meals and we have always enjoyed ourselves immensely and met many wonderful people.

Ultimately, you and other posters have pointed out to these people an indisputable fact:
If they choose to book a cruise with a company where all passengers are welcomed to dine at whatever time they wish, then the problem if there is one, as well as the solution, is totally in their own hands!!
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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

There have been a few mentions above of Adults only Cruises. That wouldn't interest me but I'm curious. Where does one find these? I get flyers and look in the Cruiseline sites a lot and have never seen, or maybe I should say never noticed, a cruise that said it was for adults only. Maybe I'm just not observant.

Are there a lot of these available?
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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Peter -

They are called Escape Cruises. You can find a review of one of these aboard the Mercury on the Cruise Diva website (http://cruisediva.com/mercury5.htm).

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Old February 26th, 2004, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: late seating w/child

Thanks, I'll look up that review.
I enjoy my sons company too much to be interested but if other folks kids get on your nerves...why not?
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Old February 29th, 2004, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: late seating w/child

The solution is really easy. For those who love to bring their children to late seating they can request a table of their own for their family or by all means request to be seated with another family so they can enjoy other peoples children as well as their own. I raised four children and have seven grandchildren. When my grandchildren are old enough to enjoy a cruise I will certainly take them, but would not think of seating them at an adult table. I'm sure being with our family or with others with children would be their preference as well.

The only time I saw small children in the dining room for late seating, they were at the next table. Every night at least one of them cried and at least one was falling off the chair asleep by the end of the meal. It was torture for the children...too bad their parents were so ignorant. They didn't really bother us except for the fact that we felt very sorry for the kids.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: late seating w/child

I might find another seat because I wouldn't want to subject my children to some grouchy adult who thinks they are the only ones who paid for their cruise. Children have just as much right at late dinner as they do at early dinner. Let the individual who doesn't like it move. Show me where in the cruise documents it says children cannot eat at late dinner.

Don
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Old March 1st, 2004, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: late seating w/child

My boys are 11 and 13 and we will be taking our third cruise as a family with them in April. We always select the early seating but if they were nights owls like some of our friends children, I would have no qualms about doing the late seating as a family. Although they have outgrown taking their gameboy to the table, we did allow it when they were younger while dining on cruise ships and eating at certain restaurants. While I do value family time at the dining table and prefer it for family conversation the bottom line is that a two hour dining experience is just too long for younger children. It is unfair for them not to have something to help keep them entertained. When they are happy everyone is happy. Of course the sound would have to be turned off and the game boy would not be allowed while food was served. Almost every restaurant you go into offers crayons and coloring books or a color in placemat for children. How is the gameboy any different? And for that matter, as a previous poster mentioned it is no different than the adults you see reading at the table. When they are young and have short attention spans this is fine and don't worry they will outgrow this. Mine already have and yes they are well behaved (really quite a few of these kids actually are believe it or not! We are complimented frequently on this), considerate of others around them and are doing very well learning social skills as pre-teen boys.

On our previous Celebrity cruise several years ago we found the children's program to be wonderful. Although it was April vacation week there were only 150 children on board. All were wonderfully behaved and looked so adorable on the formal nights. Our kids wore tuxedos and it made for some precious family photos. Our kids would go to the children's program after dinner and on certain nights the kids would be taken as a group to the shows. We could observe them having a wonderful time with their friends and all were behaving like little ladies and gentlemen. The excitement on their faces at having these experiences was apparent. The kids counselors would then have them back in the kids club by 10:00 for a movie and nap time with lights dimmed. They could nod off and we would carry them back to our cabin (luckily a family aft one floor above) when we were finished with our evening. At the end of the week the kids performed a talent show and it was apparent at how well the counselors interacted with the children and how much effort they had put into getting to know them and become their friends. We had quite a different experience with RC and their kids program. Almost 500 kids on board and it was a zoo. Not enough counselors and they ones there spent more time chatting with each other while kids were bouncing off the walls until all hours of the night. Just my few experiences but my kids were actually happier on the Celebrity cruise and I found all the kids better behaved on this particular Celebrity cruise too.

Enjoy your vacation and don't worry, your kids will have a wonderful time!
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