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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Default Specialty restaurants with children?

I am traveling on the Gem and was wondering how many of the specialty restaurants I will be able to try with a one year old child. Obviously the baby is too young for the evening care programs. Are there any options for me or am I destined to eat buffet food the entire two weeks??

Thanks for your input!
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Old February 4th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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you will probably be better off to stick with the main dining rooms. Only you know your child, but the sur charge dining is a very special meal and will take at least an hour and a half, can your little one sit still that long? Will others, who want to enjoy the atmosphere be disrupted by a restless child. My own opinion is kids under about 5 or even a little older do better with the main dining rooms, buffets and places like the Blue Lagoon. Are you traveling alone or with someone that can maybe fill in for you one or two nights?

I will add that the specialty dining rooms that do not have a sur charge are a little different, you may be able to try these with a one year old and enjoy yourself.

Good luck,

Nita
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Old February 4th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Please do not bring children into specialty restaurants on any cruise line as most of us feel that this is a special occasion and we do not need unruly children to spoil the extra funds spent . While eating in the Four Seasons on majesty recently a child was screaming right next to us and we were eating later in the evening and when I said something the response was that she was paying the same as me which am sure was not the case however there was no further comment by me in order not to have any more confrontation.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Feel free to eat in any of the specialty restaurants with you child. They all have highchairs. You may be better off in Tequila or the Itailian resturant. They are free and a little noise is not going to ruin the "sensitive" cruisers dinner.

What worries others is not kids in the specialty restaurants but parents that don't have the sense to take an upset child outside the dining room until they calm dowm. My suggestion it you do book, book early. The only time I had an issue with kids was in the Bistro at 10 pm. Parents on their 3rd botle of wine , kids exhusted, one screaming, the other sleeping on the floor and both invisable to the parents.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoreguy
Feel free to eat in any of the specialty restaurants with you child. They all have highchairs. You may be better off in Tequila or the Itailian resturant. They are free and a little noise is not going to ruin the "sensitive" cruisers dinner.

What worries others is not kids in the specialty restaurants but parents that don't have the sense to take an upset child outside the dining room until they calm dowm. My suggestion it you do book, book early. The only time I had an issue with kids was in the Bistro at 10 pm. Parents on their 3rd botle of wine , kids exhusted, one screaming, the other sleeping on the floor and both invisable to the parents.
Shoreguy, rarely do we disagree but I do on this one. Yes, they have high chairs but I do not think a 1 year old should be in a specialty dining room anymore than I think they belong at Ruths Chris or any other truely upscale dining room where a meal will last 90 to 120 minutes. Of course there are rare exceptions. Again, I am assuming the OP is referring to sur charge dining. I agree dining in the Mexican or Italian, no charge restaurant is a little different. That I have no problems with.

The comment tennisbum heard about we paid as well is true and has been said before, but common sense still has to play a part in this as well as respect for others. Let's get out of the M generation and go back to thinking about our neighbor as well as ourselves.

When people dicide to cruise with toddlers there are things they have to give up. It is like when we decide to have kids, we make adjustments.

I know this is going to start a really interesting debate, it is one of the subjects that always does.

Nita
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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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NMNita,
For what it's worth, I agree with you. I have 12 and 14 year old children now, but when they were very young, my husband and I rarely took them to upscale restaurants. We either got a sitter or went somewhere more family friendly. It wasn't just because we were concerned about other diners, but we couldn't relax and enjoy ourselves if we were worried about them.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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I'm with Shoreguy on this. Also even if you are uncomfortable going to the speciality restaurants, you and your child are more than welcome in the main dining rooms. You are not stuck with just buffet food.

We always took our children out to eat at nice restaurants when they were babies and had few problems. But we tried to plan ahead. We would bring snacks to help keep them occupied until the food started coming out and also asked the waiters to turn the kid's orders in first. We'd bring a few of their favorite high chair toys. Many of the waiters and waitresses have children at home they won't see for months at a time, so they usually will go ga ga over the little ones, which also helps keep them happy and occupied.

If you are concerned the little one will get restless during a long meal, let the servers know you'd like to get through dinner a bit more quickly and they will generally do what they can to serve your food in a timely manner.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
I'm with Shoreguy on this. Also even if you are uncomfortable going to the speciality restaurants, you and your child are more than welcome in the main dining rooms. You are not stuck with just buffet food.

We always took our children out to eat at nice restaurants when they were babies and had few problems. But we tried to plan ahead. We would bring snacks to help keep them occupied until the food started coming out and also asked the waiters to turn the kid's orders in first. We'd bring a few of their favorite high chair toys. Many of the waiters and waitresses have children at home they won't see for months at a time, so they usually will go ga ga over the little ones, which also helps keep them happy and occupied.

If you are concerned the little one will get restless during a long meal, let the servers know you'd like to get through dinner a bit more quickly and they will generally do what they can to serve your food in a timely manner.
Of course babies are fine in the non sur charge dining rooms whether it be the Italian ones, the main dining room or whatever. No one would expect families cruising with little ones to eat all their meals in the buffet, but I still feel very strongly about a one year old in Le Bistro or one of the upscale dining rooms. I guess we all have our own ideas and times have changed. That being said my granddaughter has a 1 year old, well almost. When she and her hubby want a romantic dinner, in a 4 star restaurant they don't want Abby with to go along nor would they want other toddlers in the restaurant. Again, I am talking tallking about a nice restaurant or taking a 5 year old, I am thinking about a 1 year old.

Nita
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Old February 6th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Nano
NMNita,
For what it's worth, I agree with you. I have 12 and 14 year old children now, but when they were very young, my husband and I rarely took them to upscale restaurants. We either got a sitter or went somewhere more family friendly. It wasn't just because we were concerned about other diners, but we couldn't relax and enjoy ourselves if we were worried about them.
Nano, I am glad others or at least a few agree. I can't imagine how anyone would enjoy a meal in a 4 star restaurant if you had to worry about keeping little ones entertained. This isn't saying young children shouldn't be introduced to certain upscale experiences, but not when they are toddlers.

Nita
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Old February 7th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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growing up in a large family with a family owned moving company (my father had an extension for the business phone in the kitchen) we learned early to act properly. we had to be silent when the phone rang and it did ring during dinner often. we went out to dinner as a family frequently and if anyone acted up...out they went. i get frustrated when parents let other diners be their childrens entertainment, even in a burger joint..which for some people is all the luxury they can afford, they should behave and stay at their table and not bother the other people in the restaraunt. It is not about the level of accomodations it is about the level of class that everyone shows. If you are worrying about it and thinking about it now that tells me that you know how your child should behave and will be considerate of your fellow passengers. Use common sense and you will be fine. enjoy the Gem we were on her for New Years.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE11378
growing up in a large family with a family owned moving company (my father had an extension for the business phone in the kitchen) we learned early to act properly. we had to be silent when the phone rang and it did ring during dinner often. we went out to dinner as a family frequently and if anyone acted up...out they went. i get frustrated when parents let other diners be their childrens entertainment, even in a burger joint..which for some people is all the luxury they can afford, they should behave and stay at their table and not bother the other people in the restaraunt. It is not about the level of accomodations it is about the level of class that everyone shows. If you are worrying about it and thinking about it now that tells me that you know how your child should behave and will be considerate of your fellow passengers. Use common sense and you will be fine. enjoy the Gem we were on her for New Years.
my situation was similar: we had a small second business and like you the only phone was in our kitchen. Yes, when the phone rang we knew to keep our mouths shut. We also traveled during the second world war (other times as well) obviously I am giving my age away, not that I care. We ate at some very nice restaurants, I tried frog legs in florida when I was about 7 and learned to eat the top of the line steak at about the same age. I too get upset when I see kids raising holy H#ll regardless of where they are. That being said I doubt my parents took me to those types of eateries when I was a toddler. I still think it is unfair to the kids as well as the parents and the others enjoying a special experience. I don't care how many toys are brought along or what kind of activities parents bring to keep little ones quiet, a toddler can not be expected to sit and be quiet for 90 minutes or longer.

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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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Relax folks 8) The question was can I take my 1 year old to the specialty restaurants. The answer is yes without any question. Now the fact that many of us to do not want to share dinner with a screaming toddler that is another question.

My assumption is that that swisscruiser is a thoughtful responsible parent and is willing to risk spoiling her dinner to make sure the rest enjoy. I will say again I have no problem with kids in the specialty reataurants as long as their parents are willing to remove them when or if the behavior becomes disruptive to the others at dinner.

All of us that have cruiesed many times have had to put up with parents that have no brains. Those on their third bottle of wine while the kids either screem unnoticed or run thru the restaurant.

All that aside swisscruiser you can try the specialty restuarants with your toddler.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 05:26 AM
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I wanted to thank all of you for your replies. Shoreguy, thanks for pointing out my original question. I was asking what was permitted - not what everyone prefers. I happen to live in Europe and the chidlren are quite used to longer dinners. I would never subject other diners to rude behaviour and usually choose to eat on the earlier side when they are well rested and less tired. I guess I will figure it out based on the restaurants when I get on board. It is nice to know that I can go out for a nicer meal and just skip the dessert if need be.

Thanks again...
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Old February 14th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swisscruiser
I wanted to thank all of you for your replies. Shoreguy, thanks for pointing out my original question. I was asking what was permitted - not what everyone prefers. I happen to live in Europe and the chidlren are quite used to longer dinners. I would never subject other diners to rude behaviour and usually choose to eat on the earlier side when they are well rested and less tired. I guess I will figure it out based on the restaurants when I get on board. It is nice to know that I can go out for a nicer meal and just skip the dessert if need be.

Thanks again...
you are right and so is Shoreguy, but a couple of things come to mind: 1-if you didn't intend on taking your one year old in the restaurant you wouldn't have asked the question. Because you did ask it you are bound to get responses that may not be to your liking.
and 2-there are about 4 topics that are very controversial and always lead to intense discussions: 1-tipping policy 2-bringing booze on board 2-dress code and 4-children cruise period especially very young children. At least no one told you toddlers do not belong on cruise ships. That is usually the comment by many. I am not saying I agree, but I am saying many do respond that way.

have a great cruise and you have the answer; yes, your 1 year old can go to the specialty dining rooms.

Nita
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Old February 14th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Nita is the horse dead yet?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
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Nita is the horse dead yet?
We will see, as you know this subject will keep appearing, in different ways and on different threads, it is just one of those that will never totally die.

Nita
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