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sapphire_407

Sitting with strangers in the MDR

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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.

 

Ten years ago, MTD, YTD or ATD was virtually unheard of. Now it's all the rage and soon fixed seating will be hard to find. If these polls you allude to point to the popularity of this non-fixed style of dining then that I can understand and agree with their mention.

 

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?

 

Where did you get the idea that the OP "had a reticence or phobia around strangers"? This is about dining preferences pure and simple.

 

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.

 

Eating with my lovely wife is never a "crap shoot"; it's always a pleasure. Nuff said!

 

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.

 

I beg to differ. It IS a jail sentence and time seems to drag until the release time. Better to choose tolerable table mates instead of having to sit through a bad audition.

 

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

 

And how kind of you to add this little tidbit!

 

With the introduction of Dynamic Dining at RCCL, I believe we are seeing the end of traditional dining looming. We still prefer a table for two at fixed dining but as long as the option to dine with chosen tablemates exists, we'll be pleased. Like the OP, we'd rather eat alone.

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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?

 

I certainly understand your preference, but can't help but wonder why you think it needs to be changed? It seems like you are getting the table you want.

 

Clearly, different people have different feelings about this. You should not have to sit with other people if it bothers you, but why can't I?

 

Is the issue that you want to be able to book your preference at the time of reservation? I would agree with that. You should be able book your preference without having to hunt down the Maitre D'.

 

We have had to switch tables before, because we were changing dining times. It was done without issue. Ran into the family we were originally with at the movies, sat right next to each other. We talked about the cruise, and exchanged experiences. The topic of switching never came up.

 

If we were changing tables because we "didn't like" our table mates, I would not care if I was in the elevator with them alone. I don't really worry about the opinion of someone I disliked enough to switch tables. My wife would take the stairs, or pretend she forgot something and turn around. We are all different thank God.

 

As far as people disappearing. One of the things that surprises me when I read reviews is how many people don't eat in the main dining room. Or eat there infrequently. Honestly I could not tell you what is on the buffet for dinner.

 

To me this is like the question of getting dressed up. We enjoy both sitting with strangers and getting dressed up, but I am not the least bit bothered by people who don't. To each their own.

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My boyfriend and I thought we wanted a table for just the two of us on our cruise in May. In fact we hunted down the Maître D on embarkation day and they told us they would send a confirmation to our cabin if our request was granted.

 

We went to dinner that night with our 6 table mates who were the same age as us and were couples themselves. We ended up having such a great time and really enjoyed them that we went back to the maître D and told them to cancel our request. Funny thing we thought we would never have to admit us wanting to change tables until our waiter got word of it and looked at us the 3rd night and said he thought we were changed out - we had to hang out heads and admit we wanted to change out.

 

We will be going on liberty in May with one of the couples from our table! Needless to say, we made some really great friends!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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Our last three cruises (and probably all future cruises) have been on small ships with open seating. Some nights we wanted to dine with others, other nights we wanted to dine alone. Open seating solves that dilemma.

 

We have had a couple of table mates we didn't care for, fortunately with open seating it was only once and we were able to avoid them moving forward. most of our table mates were lovely and interesting and we had a lot in common with them.

 

ETA: When I see empty seats at a table on a fixed seating ship, I assume that the people didn't feel well, were eating in an alternate restaurant, or were tired and ordered room service.

Edited by ducklite

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No, I don't think it 'needs to be changed' because the system offers enough flexibility to please most passengers: if you wish to dine alone or with your partner you can do so; if you wish to sit at larger tables with different companions every night you can do so with the flexible dining packages; if you wish to sit at a set table with the same companions you cad do with the fixed dining packages.

 

It's a system which has evolved to meet the needs of the majority of customers. I don't think it's broken, so why fix it?

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With the introduction of Dynamic Dining at RCCL, I believe we are seeing the end of traditional dining looming. We still prefer a table for two at fixed dining but as long as the option to dine with chosen tablemates exists, we'll be pleased. Like the OP, we'd rather eat alone.

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I mostly agree with you. But I think the total end of traditional dining is a little further off, if the responses to threads like this are any indication. Lots of people prefer set seating and it's perks.

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Did the shared -assigned seating on the Conquest three weeks ago. This was my first since about my fifth. Needless to say I had serious trepidation about sitting with a large group of people... my fears evaporated within ten minutes of sitting down to dinner. We introduced ourselves, with everyone admitting that they were poor with names and it was all fun from thereon in. Couldn't have asked for better tablemates... we had a blast every single night. In short, it can be fun.

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We prefer ATD we can meet new people each night or if we just want to be alone we ask for a 2 top

We enjoying meeting new people though so not really a problem for us

 

We eat alone at home it is a nice change to have others to chat with & have met some nice people that way

 

YMMV

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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.

 

Exactly, although we tend to prefer sharing. We have met a lot of very interesting people that way. Many times we will go to breakfast in the morning and a couple we met at dinner will come in. It brings a feeling of togetherness that is really a part of cruising,

 

FWIW, we find it enjoyable and an important part of cruising.

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We LOVE table mates....once you introduce yourselves, you're not "strangers" any more!! We tend to get along with almost anyone...that's the key...you have to be a bit flexible!!! Plus, it gives us something to talk about later...and after 40 years of marriage, that's a good thing!

 

We find PLENTY of "alone" time...having dinner with others is a huge plus!

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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?

 

I'm not going on a cruise to be with 2000-4000 people, I'm going on a cruise to be with my wife and enjoy our time together. Those other 2000-4000 just happen to be going to the same places we are - doesn't mean I want to talk to all of them. And it's not a "phobia" - it's just not something I wish to do :D

Edited by Raxter54

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...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."....

This is exactly the reason I enjoy dining with others. I wanna be at your table! And I am willing to wade through the boring, boastful, shy, detached and foreign languages just so I can run into gems like you.

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We love to share in Anytime Dining! Mostly, we meet wonderful people. :)

If not, it's only for one night! :D .. :rolleyes:

LuLu

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We don't like to share. Going on holiday is a place for us to actually spend some quality time together. As we both still work and often have to spend time with family and friends, we get precious little time together at home so our vacation is all about enjoying each others company (and seeing new places!) more than meeting new people.

 

That being said, I have cruised on 4 different lines now and I have never had a problem with this. If we eat in the main dining room we have always managed to find a 2 person table on request. Often we eat in the buffet or take room service or speciality restaurants depending on the line. We've always felt that we are catered for as a couple so I don't see why anything would need to change as there are dining options to suit everyone.

 

Perhaps we've been lucky with our cruiselines but a bit of research in advance should tell if 2 person dining is a possibility. I'm guessing in the majority of cases these days it is.

Edited by Cruise_Christy

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I love a big table with 8 - 10 people. But once we had a really "snotty " lady & her husband or whatever he was at our table for 10. First of all she had an evening gown on every night. He was in a tux. Then she watched how everyone was holding their utensils. If you got soup she made it her mission to inform you that you push your spoon away from you when filling your spoon. I was in shock that someone would tell people how to eat. She also only took 2-3 bites of any course. She seemed appalled that people were eating every bite on their plates. There was a lot of eye rolling. We ate elsewhere on night 2. Night 3 we came into the dining room and everyone else was missing. Found out later they all asked to be moved. So on night 3 she informed my husband that he had placed his butter knife on his plate incorrectly. He looked at me and hoped I would just keep my mouth shut. But I can't do that. So I took my fork in one hand and knife in the other, looked her square in the eye and said, " My husband can put his knife anywhere he wants. But me, I'm gonna stick mine up your tight ass if you come to this table tomorrow night." I thought she was going to have a stroke. She looked at her man who didn't say a word. They just got up and left. We never saw them again and we asked the original table mates to come back, which they did. They also bought me a drink for telling her off.

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I love a big table with 8 - 10 people. But once we had a really "snotty " lady & her husband or whatever he was at our table for 10. First of all she had an evening gown on every night. He was in a tux. Then she watched how everyone was holding their utensils. If you got soup she made it her mission to inform you that you push your spoon away from you when filling your spoon. I was in shock that someone would tell people how to eat. She also only took 2-3 bites of any course. She seemed appalled that people were eating every bite on their plates. There was a lot of eye rolling. We ate elsewhere on night 2. Night 3 we came into the dining room and everyone else was missing. Found out later they all asked to be moved. So on night 3 she informed my husband that he had placed his butter knife on his plate incorrectly. He looked at me and hoped I would just keep my mouth shut. But I can't do that. So I took my fork in one hand and knife in the other, looked her square in the eye and said, " My husband can put his knife anywhere he wants. But me, I'm gonna stick mine up your tight ass if you come to this table tomorrow night." I thought she was going to have a stroke. She looked at her man who didn't say a word. They just got up and left. We never saw them again and we asked the original table mates to come back, which they did. They also bought me a drink for telling her off.

 

 

 

I like you.......I like you a lot. :)

 

 

You and me together on a cruise could be what my DW would call "trouble making buddies" *LOL*

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We enjoy meeting new people and have stayed in touch with tablemates. One couple we met in 2006 has cruised with us every year since then, some B2B. They have even driven from Flint, MI to our house on the coast of NC 3 times. Then we have traveled to the ship together. We have eaten together for 52 years so why keep eating by ourselves this when we can meet fun interesting people?

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If people are reluctant to interact with others (who are, of course, initially strangers) they are free to try getting a table for two at traditional dining or go to ATD -- but to want traditional dining done away with (for everyone) because of their personal preferences is the height of self-obsession.

 

I think it is fine to want "quality time" with spouse or significant other while on vacation, but what is wrong with trying something new on vacation? My wife and I enjoy our quality time most of the year - and find the chance to dine with a group of people for two weeks or so to be one of the real pleasures of cruising.

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I love a big table with 8 - 10 people. But once we had a really "snotty " lady & her husband or whatever he was at our table for 10. First of all she had an evening gown on every night. He was in a tux. Then she watched how everyone was holding their utensils. If you got soup she made it her mission to inform you that you push your spoon away from you when filling your spoon. I was in shock that someone would tell people how to eat. She also only took 2-3 bites of any course. She seemed appalled that people were eating every bite on their plates. There was a lot of eye rolling. We ate elsewhere on night 2. Night 3 we came into the dining room and everyone else was missing. Found out later they all asked to be moved. So on night 3 she informed my husband that he had placed his butter knife on his plate incorrectly. He looked at me and hoped I would just keep my mouth shut. But I can't do that. So I took my fork in one hand and knife in the other, looked her square in the eye and said, " My husband can put his knife anywhere he wants. But me, I'm gonna stick mine up your tight ass if you come to this table tomorrow night." I thought she was going to have a stroke. She looked at her man who didn't say a word. They just got up and left. We never saw them again and we asked the original table mates to come back, which they did. They also bought me a drink for telling her off.

 

Awesome!

 

Except for really nasty/rude stuff like chewing with an open mouth, talking with a full mouth, purposely belching, taking food off someone else's plate unless it's offered, etc., not having perfect table manners doesn't bother me. Feel free to scoop your soup however you want. I don't care if you use a dinner knife to butter your bread, or the wrong fork to eat your salad. I won't even get upset if you use my bread plate or water glass, I'll just discretely ask the server for another. :)

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If people are reluctant to interact with others (who are, of course, initially strangers) they are free to try getting a table for two at traditional dining or go to ATD -- but to want traditional dining done away with (for everyone) because of their personal preferences is the height of self-obsession.

 

I think it is fine to want "quality time" with spouse or significant other while on vacation, but what is wrong with trying something new on vacation? My wife and I enjoy our quality time most of the year - and find the chance to dine with a group of people for two weeks or so to be one of the real pleasures of cruising.

 

Not everyone gets that amount of time with their spouse. We get about 75 dinners a year together, so yes, sometimes on vacation we want to dine alone. Frankly if anyone has a problem with that, it's their problem, not ours.

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Obviously, the responses break down as I would expect. Some like sharing and others don't. I got to thinking maybe it has to do with how we grew up. I was raised in a large family-I had 5 brothers plus mom and dad made a busy table every night for dinner for many many years. on holidays we had my grandparents as well. So, I am comfortable eating with a crowd.

 

OTOH, I can imagine people who has small families are more comfortable eating at a table for two...

 

I wonder if this makes sense to anybody else?

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My parents and I usually get a table for three. If I'm traveling alone I don't mind being seated with new people on anytime

 

Copyofth_Carnival-VIFP-Platinum_zps41db4d4e1_zps02e438c7.jpg

 

Sent from my iPod

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Obviously, the responses break down as I would expect. Some like sharing and others don't. I got to thinking maybe it has to do with how we grew up. I was raised in a large family-I had 5 brothers plus mom and dad made a busy table every night for dinner for many many years. on holidays we had my grandparents as well. So, I am comfortable eating with a crowd.

 

OTOH, I can imagine people who has small families are more comfortable eating at a table for two...

 

I wonder if this makes sense to anybody else?

 

 

Makes perfect sense to me :)

 

Grew up in a very large family. And that is just immediate family , lets not get started on aunts and uncles and cousins. No such thing as small intimate dinners. *LOL*

 

One of my brothers in law came from an extremely small family . Basically just him and his mom all his life. So when he started dating my sister and came to our "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" type parties :) it was a shock for him

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Obviously, the responses break down as I would expect. Some like sharing and others don't. I got to thinking maybe it has to do with how we grew up. I was raised in a large family-I had 5 brothers plus mom and dad made a busy table every night for dinner for many many years. on holidays we had my grandparents as well. So, I am comfortable eating with a crowd.

 

OTOH, I can imagine people who has small families are more comfortable eating at a table for two...

 

I wonder if this makes sense to anybody else?

 

Not at all. I had five brothers and a sister, my husband had two sisters. We both enjoy dining both with others AND by ourselves--depending on our mood and various circumstances.

 

There is no one size fits all.

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