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What Are the Best Tips for Dining with Kids on a Cruise?

Make the most of your cruise dining options with kids! Our Best Tips for Dining with Kids on a Cruise will have everyone raving about the food.

By Cruise Booking Team

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A family vacation means sharing new experiences together. As a parent, you may worry about your kids’ dining experience onboard a cruise ship. With restaurant meals every evening, will the children be bored? Well, here are some of the best tips that can help you make your kids’ dining experience more exciting.

Best Dining Tips for Kids on a Cruise

1. Ask for What You Want:

About every cruise line has an option to customize your meals in the main dining room. Just ask for what your kid wants,  if your kid wants a meal served with a side dish, if he/she wants only the side dishes, or if he/she wants a fruit at every dinner. Remember, not every type of customization is available, but many are.

2. Inquire about the Meals’ Entertainment:

Most cruise ships entertain in the main dining rooms. This might be live music or viewing scenes from films. Some children may be impressed by the entertainment, which may mean they leave their meals early. Some may be distressed if they miss the entertainment.

So, inquire about the entertainment on your cruise or ask your serving team to help measure what is best for your family.

3. Share the Kids’ Preferred Service Timing:

Most cruises have practices for families with small kids to serve the kids’ meals to the table as soon as possible. But some families want to enjoy their meal together with every member.

So, if you are cruising with your small kids, then you can share your preferred service timing – if you want your kids to be served first or if you wish everyone served simultaneously. Tell your servers what suits you the best.

4. Ask for Specific Beverages:

The main dining room has several beverage options, including milk, water, iced tea, juices, and some smoothies and mocktails, available at an extra cost. If your kids want to drink milk or water only, you can request that other beverage options not be mentioned.

5. Decide the Menu Version:

While on a cruise, the child menu version is generally offered to kids under about 10. It’s not necessary for younger children to order a kids’ meal only. Likewise, adults don’t need to order from the adult menu only. If you want chicken nuggets and your kid wants shrimp and lobster, then you can ask for both menus. Otherwise, you can request the adult version only if your kid also wants to enjoy an adult meal. 

6. Ask for Your Own Table:

If you feel that your kids’ behavior might affect other people dining at the same table, then you can ask for your own table. Though these requests are not guaranteed, they are often appreciated.

On the contrary, dining with strangers at the same table may not be stressful for some children. Even older kids may enjoy interacting with new people. However, you can decide what is best for your kids by evaluating their personalities.

7. Skip the Main Dining Rooms:

Almost every cruise ship has the main dining room available, but this is not the only option for dining. Sometimes, you can skip the main dining room and opt for room service or take a slice of pizza by the pool deck. 

Dining Options Onboard a Cruise Ship

There are plenty of dining options available on a cruise, including:

1. The Main Dining Room:

The main dining room is a regular restaurant on every cruise ship. It offers a three—to five-course menu every evening. Most cruise ships have fixed evening dining times: 6 pm and 8:30 pm. While booking your cruise, you can request your preferred evening dining time. 

Some cruise lines, like Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise LineCarnival Cruise Line, and P&O Cruises, offer a ‘flexible dining’ experience, meaning you can enjoy your evening dining at any time. 

The main dining room also offers a kids’ menu with meal options, such as sausages, chicken nuggets, and chips. You can also request a half-portion of the main menu as per your kid’s preference.

2. Specialty Restaurants:

Several specialty restaurants are available on each cruise ship. These restaurants generally have a children’s menu, but the costs and the meal availability will depend on the restaurant. Hence, it would be great if you enquire about the same on board.

3. The Buffet:

Cruise ship buffets are amazing for families. With plenty of dish choices from around the world, you will be able to find almost everything. Additionally, there is a kids’ area available that offers children’s preferences. The buffet is generally open for about 20 hours per day, offering a variety of dish options.

4. Snack Bars:

Cruise ships also have many snack bars that are always open so that kids can enjoy food anytime they feel hungry. There is a wide range of options available, such as pizza by the slice, poolside burgers and hot dogs, salads, and cakes. Not only kids but your entire family will love the dining options available on each ship. 

5. Room Service:

Most cruise lines offer free room service. You can get your breakfast delivered to your room at the time you order. This is a perfect option for those kids who demand milk and toast as soon as they wake up.


So, these are our best tips for dining with kids on a cruise. With a little research and some brilliant tips, dining on a cruise can be a wonderful experience not only for kids but also for everyone in the family. So, be prepared with these tips, and you are ready to start out your family vacation like no other.

So, book your family cruise now with and grab ultimate discounts!

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