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Queen of Oakville February 27th, 2011 06:49 PM

Crayons in the MDR?
Do kids get colouring mats/menus and crayons in the MDR?

They did on Carnival, but I'm figuring HAL is more upscale!

Would I offend anyone if I brought my own?

Trip February 27th, 2011 07:47 PM

Not sure but here is an idea, if they don't.

I have seen some top flip style smaller coloring books could remove them from the binder, so they would take up less space on the table,and, make a game of letting them pick a couple to take to each meal. I think you and the tablemates would appreciate the time you took, to have happy kids, in the midst of many adults.

sail7seas February 28th, 2011 12:12 AM

Are you planning to join a large table of others assigned to dine with you and your family or will you have a table to yourselves?

I've never seen children coloring in the MDR on a HAL ship. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened but in many cruises on HAL, I am sure to not have seen HAL give out crayons/coloring page in the MDR.

Lakers Fan February 28th, 2011 12:19 AM

I would hope not

Trip February 28th, 2011 08:23 AM

I have been fortunate,and never had any bad experiences with kids in the MDR....I would be thinking, thanks Mom, for thinking of others...:)

MercedMike February 28th, 2011 11:27 AM

Kids in MDR
Well, I guess I will be the Grinch here ...:twisted:

In all honesty, if your kids are not up to the Dining Room experience, which is a big part of cruising --

Well, then leave them at home with Grandma and treat yourself to a nice relaxing cruise experience alone.

Or, if you really want to vacation with the kids, postpone cruising until they are ready for it and go to Disney World and eat with Snow White in the kids restaurants.

A cruise is a cruise, and is to enjoy, not to worry about how your kids are behaving.

Be good to yourself.

DeeDee February 28th, 2011 12:25 PM

How old are your children? Have you booked early or late seating?

As we always book late seating we rarely see young children at the tables because 8:pm is usually too late for them to eat. Consequently we have never seen children with crayons or colouring books and I don't think HAL has placemats, like they do in restaurants for children to colour.

We have seen older children with video games which keeps them occupied.

If your children are old enough for Club HAL, why not feed them early in the Lido, then they can go to Club HAL and you can have a nice peaceful dinner in the dining room. :)

Trip February 28th, 2011 12:37 PM

I think maybe Grinches should always take the later seating, this way it lessens the horror of lots of kids at dinner.;)

Even the best behaved kids can get nudgy, while dining..Obviously it's a lot longer than supper at home. I can see maybe having the kids go off to the kids club, once or twice, but why deny kids have a learning experience while enjoying a dinner with their parents. Having the parents care about the other tablemates, is a nice consideration.

Now if there were loud, obnoxious kids whining at every turn, that would make for a totally different scenario. I have not heard anything like that though, at my early seatings..phewww:)

anniegb February 28th, 2011 01:45 PM

Queen of Oakville,

2 points:

1. HAL traditionally has an older age demographic and dare I say it potentially more grinches.

2. As a child, I don't think I would want to have dinner with grinches.

Having said that, my sister and I on our European hotel holidays, ALWAYS took the children to the MDR. Maitre d' made a huge fuss over them and there was never an issue. Yes we had paper and pens in our bags and toy cars etc


ps the children were 2 and 4. It could just be that Europeans are more tolerant of children in MDR esp in Italy.

Skipper's Mom February 28th, 2011 07:26 PM

Going back to when I was a child, there were never any coloring books, etc. We were expected to sit quietly with the rest of the family and enjoy each other's company. We were so pleased to be out to a restaurant, which was a rare occsaion, so that we always behaved ourselves. If we had not, we would have been unceremoniously removed from the dining room.

I think that children should be exposed frequently to dining in a restaurant and their parents should explain the finer aspects of same. How else would they learn?

Queen of Oakville March 1st, 2011 11:21 AM

wow. Some of the responses surprised me.


to answer some questions ... we are on the early seating AND we have asked for a private table; not sure if that will be honoured or not. I might follow-up with HAL for that one.

This is not their first cruise. On their first cruise, they were given crayons by Carnival - so this may be something they expect. I would never think of letting my kids bring gamign devices to the the MDR (somehow for me; that is crossign the line - probably because of the audio component).

My kids are 3 and 5, and well-behaved and will honor/exceed the dress code (just in case anyone was wondering). I just find that dinner service can be long, and the crayons help them pass the time.

As for leaving them at home; that is not an an option. This is a family holiday; and well quite frankly, our kids love cruising.

Queen of Oakville March 1st, 2011 11:35 AM


glad I called - they have us at a table of 8 [I KNOW I asked the agent for a table of 4].

I'm on hold now ...

Queen of Oakville March 1st, 2011 11:44 AM


we're at a table of 4 now.

ya'll will think this is kind of hypocritical .... but I didn't want to get paired with another family of 4. I assume they would not sit 2 couples with us (but you never know). I also didn't want to end up with a couple who had teenagers or a couple with two poorly-behaved kids.

someone had asked early about club HAL. On our last cruise, my daughter enjoyed camp carnival; my son not so much. He's a year older now, but I'm not counting on him loving club HAL. Besides, we booked this as a family vacation; so we want to spend time with our kids especially during meals.

In case anyone is wondering why we booked with HAL when we have two young kids .... they had the best price going and I booked my kids for $199 each (port charges and taxes included).

Queen of Oakville March 1st, 2011 03:04 PM

I just had to come back and share this.

I read/post on a disney cruise forum. There is a thread going posted by a mom who wants to bring a DVD player into the dining room.

See, crayons aren't that bad :p

anniegb March 1st, 2011 03:14 PM

QoE - you are correct!

Crayons ain't all that bad.

As long as you are not seated next to grinches, you'll be fine.

I'd rather be seated next to children any time.

Enjoy your cruise.


MercedMike March 1st, 2011 03:20 PM

Video games at the table??

Originally Posted by DeeDee (Post 1356021)

We have seen older children with video games which keeps them occupied.


Now that would really Grinch me out. I really would not share a table with a video game. The kid and his parents would probably both hate me.

And incidentally I LIKE kids -- decent well behaved well trained polite kids. I would love to share a table with them.

Mike M March 1st, 2011 04:06 PM

I would never to expect any child, under the age of 10, to endure a 1.5 to 2 hour formal dinner without some sort of distraction. Especially if there were a majority of adults at the table with adult conversation. I also believe children should be exposed to formal dining as often as possible. They will never appreciate it or learn the protocol without being exposed to it. Color crayons and a couple of coloring pages would be fine for small children. I would take Trip's advice and bring your own crayons and a couple of pages out of a coloring book for the children.

I commend you on changing your table to a four top. If you are ever on my cruise you and your children are more than welcome to dine with my wife and I.

Heck, sometimes I can't handle a two hour dinner if there is boring conversation.:D

Take care,

Queen of Oakville March 1st, 2011 05:06 PM

Awww thanks Annie and Mike M ~ my kids and I would be glad to dine with you! But I would never be so presumptious as to assume that others would want to dine with our young family. I think I would be mortified if a couple asked to be removed from our table.

My kids, honestly, are very well behaved, and although shy at first, will engage in conversation with other adults. I can't imagine them offending anyone; and yes, the have good table manners too!

We often have people come up to us in a restaurant and compliment us on our kids, which is one of the best compliments a stranger could give us. It makes me beam with pride. And they know [we go out often enough for dinner] that if they were not to behave, that it would be the end of restaurants for them!]

I do agree on the gaming devices/dvd; because the child is focussed 100% on that device, and fully disengaged socially. I guess that is the nice thing about colouring; the kids can still actively participate in the conversation.

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