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sapphire_407

Sitting with strangers in the MDR

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Does anyone else have a problem with that? Every time we walk on a cruise ship the first thing my husband and I do is hunt down the maître D and request a table for 2. I have noticed throughout the cruise the tables near me begin to have missing people and I have often wondered if they didn't like their tablemates and began eating up on the Lido deck.

 

What happens if you don't like your tablemates and request another table? Then you have to hope you don't bump into them on the ship because that would be awkward.

 

This is one thing about cruising I think needs to be changed. Am I the only one who feels this way?

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I've never disliked my table mates. The only time we get a table for two is when we have ATD, which h has been on two cruises.

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We have become very good friends with many of our previous table mates. Its a great way to meet people. We do not take tables for 2 ever. We have a table for 2 every night at home:p

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One of the things I like about cruising is sitting with people I do not know. I love meeting people and having conversations with others I would never have met in my 'regular' day to day life. I've met a couple, traveling from Norway on their first visit to the states. And another couple from hong kong, who had recently emmigrated to Austrailia. A mother & daughter from the Bahamas, whom I still keep in touch with. Sisters from Louisiana, who cruise to expand their horizons. Oh more newlyweds than I can count (they are very very cute!). I even met someone on a short cruise who became my '5 day friend' and I attended his wedding the following year. ' And many many others.

 

I'd never meet these people otherwise. I think I'm a better person for having known them.

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I can't say I have ever not liked talking to the people at my table. I guess you could ask to change tables if there was a problem.

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We ALWAYS get a table for 2. My husband and I both have highly stressful jobs...wait a minute, doesn't most people? :) We cruise to get away from everyone and just spend time with each other. We are not anti social by any means, but I am not comfortable with small talk. Years ago we did sit with others and it became a circus with everyone trying to "one up" each other. I know that people do form many friendships and have a great time meeting others, but when we cruise we just like meeting our cabin stewards, dining room staff, bar staff, gift shop staff, casino staff, etc :)

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I've always had very good luck with tablemates and enjoy the experience. And if you don't like your tablemates and change, it's a big ship.

 

Mom and I are both very social and tend to talk to people wherever we are though.

 

I don't think it's something that needs to be changed because I think a lot of people do enjoy it. Those who don't can request a table alone.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Ehpride

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You're not alone in this. We do the same as you. We haven't had good luck with table mates, and prefer not to have to make conversation with others during dinner. We go on a cruise to relax, and find that stressful. We meet people and do small talk other places on the ship and ashore, but aren't stuck with the same people for 2 hours every night of the cruise.

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Does anyone else have a problem with that? Every time we walk on a cruise ship the first thing my husband and I do is hunt down the maître D and request a table for 2. I have noticed throughout the cruise the tables near me begin to have missing people and I have often wondered if they didn't like their tablemates and began eating up on the Lido deck.

 

What happens if you don't like your tablemates and request another table? Then you have to hope you don't bump into them on the ship because that would be awkward.

 

This is one thing about cruising I think needs to be changed. Am I the only one who feels this way?

 

You aren't the only one who feels that way, but recent polls report that the existing seating arrangements in the MDR are very popular and therefore not likely to change anytime soon.

 

I would ask, why anyone would book a vacation where they would be in close proximity to 2-4,000 other people, all strangers, if they had a reticence or phobia around strangers?

 

As for MDR seating, it is a 'crap shoot'. You can eat with stuffy people, or over-zealous people, or quiet people, or people with whom you share things in common. Part of the excitement of a cruise is the adventure of meeting new people.

 

As for the possibility of being seated with people you find intolerable, it is not a jail sentence. You can be reassigned or you can eat in the Lido.

 

Conversely, you could be the reason people want to reassigned! LOL

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I have only been at a big table once, and it was no problem at all for me. Of course, I have never met a stranger, so that makes it a little different.

Also, just because you chose not to meet others does not mean that Carnival needs to change their ways of doing things. I believe the vast majority of cruisers do not have a problem with meeting new people.

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I have been cruising since 1976 and have lost track of the number of cruises I have been on.

 

In all those cruisers, we have only had trouble with one couple on our table who were "born again" Christian "Taliban." They wanted to start every meal with holding hands and praying and proceed to "witnessing" throughout the meal.

 

We tolerated the praying the first night. No go on the witnessing.

 

Second night, when they looked around and said, "Shall we join hands?" My response as I picked up my fork was: "We did that last night; I'm good to go for the next ten years."

 

The rest of the table snickered and started eating. They behaved themselves for the rest of the meals.

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Does anyone else have a problem with that? Every time we walk on a cruise ship the first thing my husband and I do is hunt down the maître D and request a table for 2. I have noticed throughout the cruise the tables near me begin to have missing people and I have often wondered if they didn't like their tablemates and began eating up on the Lido deck.

 

What happens if you don't like your tablemates and request another table? Then you have to hope you don't bump into them on the ship because that would be awkward.

 

This is one thing about cruising I think needs to be changed. Am I the only one who feels this way?

 

Your time dining is the way to go, as you can always get a table for two, and not have to start each cruise wasting time tracking down the Matre D

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I prefer table with those I cruise with or just me and hubby. I love YTD and refuse to be seated with others. If I want to chat with strangers there are plenty of other opportunities, and that is good. If chatting with someone I don't seem to "click" with outside the dining room I can simply walk away - not that easy over dinner.

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I'm a jerk myself and don't want the chance of sitting with other jerks like me so in the MDR it's just the 2 of us or however many people are traveling with us only!

 

We are very social and like to have fun everywhere else other than the MDR. Again, trust me, not only do I not want to sit with you, but you definitely do not want to sit with me! :D

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I do have a problem with tablemates, we don't like it! We do ATD and a table for 2. We've had too many nightmare tablemates. Imagine sitting with a couple that doesn't speak English or tablemates who ask how you paid for your cruise?

Edited by elliair

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25 cruises and only had one almost problem. She was the one that left the table and I did run into her. I was happy she left.

 

If someone was so bad that I felt the need to request a new table and I ran into my old table mates later, it would not be awkward for me.

 

On the flip side, many people have meet life long friends that they meet as table mates. You are passing up the same chance based on the small percentage (in my case 4%) chance that you will not get along with your table mates.

 

This is no different than meeting new co-works for the first time, or meeting your neighbors for the first time.

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We've enjoyed being with our assigned table mates on almost all of our cruise but we did request a change two or three times. We were seated at a table for 16 once and 14 were from the same family. We felt like we didn't belong and got a different table. We also requested a different table another time. We used the excuse (true) that our cabin was at the very front of the ship and Carnival seated us in the rear dining room DH is elderly.

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Your time dining is the way to go, as you can always get a table for two, and not have to start each cruise wasting time tracking down the Matre D

 

Exactly! You can always get a table for two in Your Time Dining. ;)

LuLu

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We are fairly new to cruising but since the first one have chosen Anytime Dining. I do not want to feel obligated to make small talk when I am trying to enjoy dinner with my family. The tables are so close together anyway that if we feel the need to converse with those around us it is not difficult.

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We are very sociable! We talk with folks while waiting in line, while sitting on deck, while sitting at the buffet, everywhere on ship!

Dinner is a time for us to connect with each other and perhaps to chat further with folks we have met in other areas of the ship. We do not enjoy sitting down to dinner at a large table of strangers where you try to get to know them and also need to wait for all your orders to be taken.

Those sorts of meals are totally unpleasant for us!

Nowadays we only do YTD so we can get a table for 2 OR a table for 4 if we meet other interesting folks. We find that any larger table doesn't really allow for good conversation.

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We have always done anytime dining. When we get to the dining room and are asked if we are willing to share, our answer depends on our mood that night. Sometimes we just want to be by ourselves and other times feel more social. Over the different cruises we have had mostly good table mates. There have been a few exceptions - the woman at a table for 6 who totally monopolized the entire conversation. She never shut up the whole meal. We felt sorry for her poor husband who barely got a word in. Another cruise we were at a table for 10 and everyone was great except for one couple. He was a "one upper" type of person, very full of himself. Funny, everyone at the table that night chose to go without dessert. We couldn't get away from him fast enough!

The beauty of anytime dining is that even if you get a not so great tablemate, it's only for that one meal. The next night you get another chance to meet some nice, interesting people. It's part of the great adventure that cruising is for us.

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I now take your time dining when I can get it, even if it means dining solo when I travel solo. I know many don't understand me, but all I can say is that you only need one bad experience, to make you not want to take that chance again.

 

If YTD was not available, I would take the other, and just hope for the best, and more than likely it would be fine, but just prefer the other.

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When we get to the dining room and are asked if we are willing to share, our answer depends on our mood that night. Sometimes we just want to be by ourselves and other times feel more social.

The beauty of anytime dining is that even if you get a not so great tablemate, it's only for that one meal. The next night you get another chance to meet some nice, interesting people. It's part of the great adventure that cruising is for us.

 

This is exactly what I was going to say. That's why we choose ATD and make the choice when we get there.

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We try to do Anytime Dining and get a table for 2. Many years ago, we were traveling with family and another couple was seated with us. We tried to not talk family things so the others would be comfortable. The wife was the most egotistical person I have ever met, but we tolerated her. The husband was an angel.

 

Near the end of the cruise, a photographer came to take pictures of all of us at the table. She told him that "she didn't know us well enough to have HER picture taken with us." I just laughed.

 

Other times we have met some really nice people. We have also been seated at a table for 10 and no one else showed up all week. That, to me, is the main reason when DH and I travel without family, we ask to be at a table for 2. As someone else posted, the tables for 2 are so close to each other, we, at times, have conversations with those sitting next to us.

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Introduce yourself first thing and your table mates are no longer strangers. My wife and I enjoy the one uppers and like to see how long it takes for someone to mention their second home, Harvard education, etc.

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