Carnival’s Steakhouse Change!

Sometimes, spilling a secret can get you into a bit of hot water. That was certainly the case where a post from John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line’s popular senior cruise director, was concerned this week!

“While we don’t really advertise it,” he said on Facebook, “we are seeing that now and then some families like to bring younger children to the steakhouse. And so we have now decided that we will have a children’s menu for which there is a charge of $10.” He then filled followers in on what the menu included before asking, “Would you bring your children to the steakhouse?” and asking for thoughts.

Well, be careful what you ask for!

Cruisers To Carnival: No Kids!

By Tuesday evening, over 1,000 people had weighed in on the topic, with a vast majority making it clear that they were not in favor of this particular innovation. “The steakhouse should be an adult venue only,” wrote Susan Richardson. “We like to go there for a quiet dinner and enjoy ourselves. We love kids, but feel the whole experience would be ruined [by] unruly children.”

Connie Alvord Stebbins agreed. “I have kids, I love kids, but until you start offering some adult-only cruises, there need to be places of peace and quiet,” she wrote.

Others felt that the $10 price would serve to encourage people to bring their children, suggesting that kids should pay the full price as a way of at least making parents think twice. “When they are old enough to eat what is on the adult menu,” declared Shella McLuskey, “they are old enough to eat in the steakhouse.”

Added Lynn Richardson, “If it is cheap, more kids will come. Then it will just be another loud restaurant onboard [leaving] nowhere for adults to enjoy a great meal.

Not Everyone Agrees

While most people weren’t thrilled with the idea — and many cited that “even Disney Cruises” offer adults-only options — there were those who didn’t see a problem. And others pointed out that even before the existence of a kid’s menu, many passengers brought their children to the venue. Missy Eby said that taking her children to nice restaurants was “how we have taught them the art of treating their future spouses, and the appreciation of excellent food/service.”

Carl Reinhardt posted to suggest that people complaining about the lack of child-free zones should “find an adults-only cruise. We cruise as a family and if we choose to eat at the steakhouse as a family, then it is our choice. We cruise Carnival because they are so kid friendly.”

In case you’re wondering, the adult price in the steakhouse is $35.

What’s your take? Should Carnival allow children to dine in the steakhouse? Does having a kid’s menu open the floodgates to families who might not ordinarily have chosen this option? Will this impact whether or not you dine in the steakhouse on your next cruise?

Read our Carnival Vista Live Blog here.

photo: Carnival

28 Responses

  1. I cruise Carnival but will no longer go to the Steakhouse if that is the policy and a childs menu is provided at a price that would encourage children. Save the $10 and send the kiddos to Dr Seuse camp while mom and dad have a dinner. I like kids but geeze louise give those of us that want a paced romantic dinner a break.

  2. I absolutely dislike this change, My biggest issue with carnival is the ill mannered, unruly children that are allowed to roam the decks like packs of wild hyenas. I already prefer to cruise Holland America and my experience on Magic later this year will determine if I ever book with Carnival of my own accord. So far I’ve only sailed on anything larger than a Fantasy Class ship when I was joining friends or relatives for a cruise.

  3. I agree, having kids at the steakhouse I’ll pass going there. I usually go for dinner at least twice a cruise, but won’t do it anymore. I love kids and I know they learn by experiencing, but you can teach the same skills, same manners even at Denny’s. The steakhouse should stay adult and chance to relax.

  4. As a parent of 3 children who often get acknowledged by total strangers in public for their excellent behavior, I am disappointed by the comments. Seriously…children are not 2nd class citizens. Judging a whole group for the behavior of some (complete lack of parenting) is wrong. Shall I judge all of you based on the inappropriate behavior of many of the scantily clad drunks on the ship who talk like they are in a locker room. Carnival is known for their inclusion of children and I love them for it. My 9 year old twins have been to 9 countries and believe me…there are many fellow cruisers and carnival staff who fell in love with my boys.

  5. So transgendered restrooms are now ok but I can’t bring my kids to the steak house by these comments? I have taken my kids several times on our cruises. If you can pay you should be able to play. Period

  6. Carnival is wrong on this change. They need to have at least one adults only dining option. Let’s see how quick the revenue drops off.

  7. I posted there and will say it again. Yes I will take my child there so she can learn to be a lady. It’s good training for her, and the staff nornmally brings out the best in her. If she were to misbehave, I would just take her to camp ocean. children are little versions of who they will become so they should be exposed to finer settings though with a little control from parents so as not to disturb other guests. On my last cruise I was assigned into a pay for venue as the ship was full. My daughter surprisingly handled it very well, more than I could have expected. I now know that I can take her just about anywhere without fear.

  8. Stupid decisions being made daily. Are they trying to run customers away? I won’t be going there anymore

  9. I totally agree with many of you. If I were to attend the steakhouse and pay the extra amount for a relaxing dinner with adults, I would certainly not want children present in the dining room. There need to be some adult only experiences. That’s what the kids camps are for, the children. However, having cruised for many years, I strongly feel that there should be NO extra charge for restaurants on cruise ships since 20+ years ago a cruiser was served all of that gourmet, amazing food each night for dinner, no extra charge.

  10. We travel with our children (my grandchildren ) on every cruise and if we wanted to go to thw steakhouse we would and bring our children. However the children are frequent diners inany fine dining restaurant as my husband was an executive chef for 30 years and the kids were taught from a young age that they must behave or they are not allow playtime after. However even the best behaved children have meltdowns and need to be excused and return to the cabin for a bit of behavior modification such as nap or bedtime early
    How do the people expect children to learn to behave on restaurantsniff they are not exposed. As I said before we start them very early and are prepared for whatever happens.

  11. Sounds good in theory however some families actually do teach manners and table etiquette and our childrennow grandchildren have been exposed to fine dining as my husband was an executive chef at 5 star restauranta and for about 10 years for Bert Reynolds and rhe children were taken to these restaurants without any issues. Often people stop by the table and have said wow I didn’t even know they were here they were so quiet. So before people group all children in a category maybe they could look at the adults that do not know how to act. Such as the people that drink too much become beligerant and contact lu berate their wait staff. I don’t see that all adults have any business in a fine dining or steakhouse setting. But that’s my opinion

  12. Older children that act accordingly wouldn’t be a problem. From what I’ve seen too many people let their children run wild and create a scene on cruises. I say let them in and if they don’t act properly ask them to leave and let them take their dinners with them.

  13. If your children act well you are welcome. Too many people let their kids carry on and scream. How many times in the main restaurant have this happen (we dine your time) and your neighbors change daily. I have seen people whose children are well behaved and it was nice to see the family eating together. I’ve others that made dinner miserable.

  14. If ALL cruising children were well-mannered, then I would agree with family oriented for-fee dining. . .but, unfortunately, they are not ALL well-mannered. It would be a shame for someone to pay extra for a nice, quiet dinner only to be sitting next to someone teaching their little ones table etiquette and quiet-zone dining. All-inclusive dining should be limited to the main dining room.

  15. After sitting at my car dealership today and having to endure multiple fit throwing meltdowns my opinion is that they should keep it Adults only. Children today generally don’t have any boundaries set by parents. Then the parents want to throw their own fit. By the ignorant fit throwing in these comments, I have proven my point!

  16. Rather than make it a binary All Kids/No Kids choice, why didn’t they simply set a reasonable age limit – say, 10 years old – for the restaurant, and no kids menu (which would serve as a financial deterrent)? Seems like a better solution that keeping out anyone under 18.

  17. Are you saying you cannot teach your children how to behave in restaurants in the main dining room? If so……nonsense.

  18. Equating transgendered adults to children is incredibly demeaning. You have shown yourself to be a bigot.

  19. Sorry but apparently many people can’t for fear of upsetting the little darlings.

  20. No Sit that is not what I said, I said if they allow children in the steakhouse and should we decide to go in the steakhouse we would be comfortable taking our chikdren/grandchildren in there and they would mind their manners just as they do in the MDR.. Just as they have in several 4 and 5 star restaurants since they were young. I am not saying all children can tolerate the structure of having to sit through several courses of a meal, however if we felt the child or children were not going to tolerate the length if time in a course meal then we would bypass the dining and go to the lido deck or return to our room and order room service. Our kidd are not perfect but they do have enough patience to sit for a meal

  21. This is why we quit cruising on Carnival. The whole “kids rule all” attitude makes it no more appealing than hanging out on a playground. On our last Carnival cruise, we couldn’t find a kid-free hot tub and even saw teens in the “adults only” Serenity area. Now it’s the steakhouse, too? No, thanks.

  22. The steakhouse has never been adults only. The meal for a five year old was the same price as an adult meal.

  23. They do. The Serenity Lounge has a salad bar on sea days. Perhaps they could section off a location on the Lido for an adults only.

  24. David, not sure if it’s you or me that is wrong but thankfully there were no children in the steakhouse when I went. Times have changed and I stand by my first statement when I say that most parents today don’t set boundaries for their children even when it’s not just them that are witness to it.

  25. Royal Caribbean allows kids in their specialty restaurants with pricing similar to Carnival. I haven’t heard of complaints about unruly kids in them. If the kids don’t behave, they should be asked to leave.

  26. If your child can’t learn to be a little lady in any other environment, then she cannot be a little lady or your parenting lacks the skills required. A child can learn to be a gentleman or little lady in the buffet for all that matters. Otherwise, you are teaching bad habits anyway – that the venue is what determines whether she behaves or not.

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