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sapphire_407

Sitting with strangers in the MDR

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I didn't even know that it was part of a mâitre d's job to find dinner guests for those unable to. Perhaps the mâitre d's who neglect this function are trying to protect those who are, from those who are not, and vice versa.

 

Not being aware that one of the Maitre D's primary functions is to oversee the seating of diners who do not have assigned seating (which obviously must include assigning solo or shared tables as requested) is, I suppose, a predictable symptom of one's having almost exclusively sailed on a line with dismal MDR service.

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I think NCL has focused very much on their alternative (added fee) restaurants -- to the detriment of the quality of the food and service in the included dining rooms.

 

I don't know, we tried a specialty restaurant once on our last NCL cruise and all in all it was okay, but the spaghetti side (in an Italian restaurant) was literally overcooked spaghetti covered with tomato soup (and both DW and I enjoyed the same dish much better on our Carnival cruise and it was of course served in the MDR). A very sour note indeed. The service was acceptable, but not much better than in the MDR.

 

And to the topic, one of the reasons that we travel is to see new places and meet new people so we don't mind sitting with others, so we've never given any time dining a shot.

 

We also tried a specialty restaurant, Moderno, on our cruise. I'd agree with acceptable but not much better than MDR. The salad bar was actually quite good, but the meats were very disappointing (and that's kinda the whole point of a Brazilian BBQ:().

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We also tried a specialty restaurant, Moderno, on our cruise. I'd agree with acceptable but not much better than MDR. The salad bar was actually quite good, but the meats were very disappointing (and that's kinda the whole point of a Brazilian BBQ:().

 

I agree wholeheartedly, the Moderno concept is abysmal. It, and Teppenyaki, are the speciality restaurants I avoid.

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...must include assigning solo or shared tables as requested...

 

I'm sure the maitre d' has been doing his job just fine, it's just that it never occurred to me to ask him to help me find table-mates. I've never struggled as much as you seem to.

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I agree wholeheartedly, the Moderno concept is abysmal. It, and Teppenyaki, are the speciality restaurants I avoid.

 

The concept of both styles is awesome and certainly not NCL'S creation but best experienced on land. Any Moderno critics should try the real deal in Portugal (or on a rare Brazlian cruise stop of course) which is amazing and I am guessing there may be a few good spots in other countries too.

 

We adore Teppanyaki restaurants on land (well Japanese in general) and always wonder if ships can really match more exotic and unusual styles of cuisine . We are cautious about trying speciality venues on ships because we feel we have been spoilt by living in the UK and its very diverse food culture and our general travel .

 

Although I do realise some venues may nail it but one can never tell and it is really great to see many options on ships at the moment.

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The concept of both styles is awesome....

 

I think we differ here, neither style is to my tastes, having tried both in their native countries.

 

Personally, I like to order what I want, and then receive it. I'm not interested in seeing it cooked by a singing/performing chef, and I'm not interested in being brought my meat my roaming passadores. I prefer to have my dinner set quietly in front of me, and enjoy it over conversation with my friends.

 

BUT! I'm not saying that anyone elses tastes or preferences are 'wrong'! I'm sure there are people who prefer those dining experiences. Whether the cruise versions of these 'cuisines' are up to the native versions I don't know - it seems unlikely.

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Horses for courses as they say. :) I am just into unusual flavours and experiences but not keen on anything too cheesy.

 

Athough I do worry people will try a bad version of cuisine and declare it horrible...I especially feel this way about Indian food. Our American friends found it amusing as on the first visit to us I was immediately on curry mission with them.

 

I believe the 'dance of the Teppanyaki' as it were is an American concept/tourism technique that seems to have caught on. The best ones don't need to perform. Dancing and dining certainly hasn't taken off here...even in Teppanyaki spots.

 

Then again you can get beefburger sushi in Japan now.

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We also tried a specialty restaurant, Moderno, on our cruise. I'd agree with acceptable but not much better than MDR. The salad bar was actually quite good, but the meats were very disappointing (and that's kinda the whole point of a Brazilian BBQ:().

 

We had really looked forward to Moderno but were very disappointed. Again salad was good, meat not so much.

 

And customer service sucked. When they screwed up printing boarding passes and luggage tags for easy disembarkation (can't remember what it's called.) After waiting in line for half hour to talk to customer service and another half hour for her to find the paperwork, I was told that we were just supposed to share the boarding pass and luggage tags. This was just one of 3-4 wasted trips to Guest Service.

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I'm sure the maitre d' has been doing his job just fine, it's just that it never occurred to me to ask him to help me find table-mates. I've never struggled as much as you seem to.

 

It never occurred to me to "ask for help finding table mates," but when I started cruising (fairly recently - 2012) it seemed that diners were given the option of being seated alone or with others in any-time dining. We had this on our first two cruises, but NCL never seemed to have this model for dinners (I think we did join others for breakfast once). We had at least one evening with a long wait and said we would gladly share with others but that does not seem to be something that NCL encourages. While it did seem normal on our early cruises to both share or eat alone in the MDR, I would not have expected to share at O'Sheehans or any other specialty dining.

 

An exception of course would be Chef's Table or something similar. Teppanyaki on land tends to be a shared area also, so I would not be surprised to share there. I would not think it would be my responsibility to find other passengers to fill the table, just I do not feel it is expected for me to find others to share a table with at MDR but rather be prepared for whoever they seat us with.

 

The concept of both styles is awesome and certainly not NCL'S creation but best experienced on land. Any Moderno critics should try the real deal in Portugal (or on a rare Brazlian cruise stop of course) which is amazing and I am guessing there may be a few good spots in other countries too.

 

We adore Teppanyaki restaurants on land (well Japanese in general) and always wonder if ships can really match more exotic and unusual styles of cuisine . We are cautious about trying speciality venues on ships because we feel we have been spoilt by living in the UK and its very diverse food culture and our general travel .

 

Although I do realise some venues may nail it but one can never tell and it is really great to see many options on ships at the moment.

 

I'm one of the Moderno critics, and probably because I did have a very good experience with it on land. We haven't tried Fogo or any of the other chains but I would expect them to be not as good as Europe or SA but better than a cruise ship.

 

I wouldn't think to try Teppanyaki on a ship with the fire issues. We can get decent locally for not much more than the cruise price would be anyway.

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I didn't even know that it was part of a mâitre d's job to find dinner guests for those unable to. Perhaps the mâitre d's who neglect this function are trying to protect those who are, from those who are not, and vice versa.

 

It sounds like you don't fully understand how most cruise lines handle this. It is indeed the front of house person, whether that be the maitre d' or one of the capos, whose job it is to seat people according to their preference. On most lines there are efforts made (for passengers not choosing Traditional dining with fixed table mates) to seat passengers when they arrive according to their preferences. On most lines that means you'll be greeted with "Would you care to join a table of others tonight or do you prefer to dine on your own?" or something similar.

 

In my experience, this is not done nor encouraged on NCL. I haven't sailed all lines but it is standard on Princess, Holland America and Celebrity.

 

I am with navybankerteacher in that I found it harder to connect with others at dining time on NCL than any other line I've been on. That's not the main reason I've not been back, but it's one of them.

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...

 

In my experience, this is not done nor encouraged on NCL. I haven't sailed all lines but it is standard on Princess, Holland America and Celebrity.

 

I am with navybankerteacher in that I found it harder to connect with others at dining time on NCL than any other line I've been on. That's not the main reason I've not been back, but it's one of them.

 

Because complying with requests for shared tables would appear to be a more efficient use of both available tables and wait staff, it seems counter-intuitive for Maitre d’s to not do so, it occurred to me that perhaps experience has shown them that the NCL demographic in large part prefer not to share — that would not be the only unusual aspect of NCL.

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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?

 

Okay, sometimes it is not anything to do with disliking the tablemates, it is more to do with just not clicking or even being otherwise occupied (i.e Sailaways, specialty restaurants etc.).

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I prefer Freestyle, Anytime Dining, Select dining, My time Dining or whatever else you want to call it to the traditional seatings, one is generally too early and the other is too late.

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We try to get a table for two because DH has a bad back that hurts him if he sits too long at dinner. Table for two helps with that. But, having said that, I'll also say that we've been lucky with tablemates. We got put at a four top once with a couple who wouldn't speak to us at all, and we moved to another table. Another time, at a four top, we got stuck with a couple where the wife worked the fact that they were Elite into every sentence. Who care about that? We stuck that one out. I really have no problem sitting with strangers.

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Not a big deal to share tables as surely they would not be strangers after the first meal.

 

That’s part of the point of travel: interacting with people outside of your regular circle. If day-one does not work, change tables; if it does work, enjoy the interaction.

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That’s part of the point of travel: interacting with people outside of your regular circle. If day-one does not work, change tables; if it does work, enjoy the interaction.

Exactly, that said, most often we dine with a group of friends who are travelling with us or we have made on the ship (but prior to dinner) or we dine alone.

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That’s part of the point of travel: interacting with people outside of your regular circle. If day-one does not work, change tables; if it does work, enjoy the interaction.

 

Absolutely not part of travel for everyone. And I don’t need to eat with them to interact with them. I’m not in a dorm. I’ve paid thousands for my vacation if I want alone time with my spouse I think I’ve earned it. I’m not anti social, I would share a table with Mick and his lovely wife anytime, but it’s my choice.

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Less there is someone we have got to know, on or before the cruise, we do a table of two.

 

After about 200 nights on cruises, probably sat with total strangers less than 10. (sometimes a few have been strangers but friends have invited us to their table)

Edited by GUT2407

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Absolutely not part of travel for everyone. And I don’t need to eat with them to interact with them. I’m not in a dorm. I’ve paid thousands for my vacation if I want alone time with my spouse I think I’ve earned it. I’m not anti social, I would share a table with Mick and his lovely wife anytime, but it’s my choice.

Cheers for that, we still need that catch up drink as well.:)

I think it is really about options so that people have a choice.

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