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Kids and MDR


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On 2/22/2022 at 9:02 PM, flyingandcruising said:

Hit me with your best suggestions to keep them busy.


a tablet with cartoons/games. We started cruising with DS when he was 3 yo. A tablet with headphones has been the best thing ever.

We bought a small holder for it on amazon, like this:




It occupies the kiddo for hours. We've got comments that we have the quietest, most well behaved child in MDR ever. But the secret is not our exceptional parenting or our kid, but his ability to stay completely engrossed in whatever he is watching on his tablet, leaving us to enjoy our dinners in peace and quiet.


If you don't have 2 tablets, smart phones will work as well.


Now that he is 10 and can actually carry on a conversation at dinner, he will voluntarily put his tablet away in MDR half way through the cruise. But the moment he becomes bored and whiny, we have a magic solution.

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I completely agree about prioritizing the MDR over the buffet.  New little toys for each evening.  If you have first seating, waiters are pretty good about speeding along service for tables with kids. After the first night, our waiters made sure breadsticks were on the table when we arrived and kids meals came out pretty quickly.  By the time the kids were done with their dessert, I finished my entrees (if I wanted dessert, I then headed to the buffet).   Tablet on mute or with headphones can also work wonders.  I also always requested ahead of time a table to the side/in a corner/at a wall.   

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We ate in the MDR almost every night with our 2 year old almost 3 year old. We had a table sort of out of the way, and the ship was at super low capacity; so didn’t have anyone to bother. We had fixed early dining time. After the first night, the waiters would bring out a couple apple juices and fruit cups as soon as they sat down. They would also bring food out for them pretty much right away, then the phones would come out. The waiters were also a frequent source of entertainment 

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We always gathered up a ziplock bag of small toys and would have one for each kid to bring along.  Additionally, Dollar store typically had great finds that we would give one item that was new each evening at dinner to keep occupied during meal (colorforms, felt boards, magic ink tablets,etc). The “something new” always held attention for awhile.  For your 6 year old, Plus Plus is great toy to keep occupied but not sure if you’d want the small pieces around 2 year old.  Electric drawing pads are also good dinner table toy.  We first cruised when kids were 3 & 5 and ate in dining room every night so it’s totally doable.  We still did naps at that age which was a nice break in afternoon (I sort of miss that stage) and then would do 5:30 dining time which was usually shortly after finishing naps so kids were tolerant and good moods.

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