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What topics are off-limits?

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I can't say politics or religion have never come up in 20+ years of cruising but not often. For us it really spills over from our work environment where such discussions are strongly discouraged almost to the point of being prohibited so those are not subjects we generally discussion at home, work, or on vacation. I don't find talking about work or profession objectionable all but it depends how it's approached. For instance, we both work, or in my case worked until I retired, for the government. No problem saying that but if somebody starts into what grade are/were you then maybe they're fishing for how much you make or made and that's none of their business. Luckily I don't recall any specific conversation that has gone off in an unacceptable direction but then again I think we're usually able steer conversations in more acceptable directions before they become uncomfortable.

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Yes agreed. Add offensive to the list too.

 

I read one.of those here on CC. We don't care what

you believe in re spirituality. We.don't want to hear

about it anywhere. Work, social, on CC, or at the front

door

 

Thanx

 

So, if I am understanding you correctly, it's not the discussion that is bothersome but the re-iteration of things over and over again?

 

Sort of along the lines of drilling it home?

 

I agree.

 

We sometimes forget that we have many people of many different faiths on the boards here and I think we need to be sensitive to that.

Edited by kazu

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Ok, had my Martini and feel the need to vent (not the martini). While we can appreciate everyone's opinions we think our country (and other parts of the world) have regressed into a bad situation. Good discussion, intellectual conversation, friendly debate, can no longer happen (in some folks mind) because everyone now gets "offended" by just about everything. The word "offensive" has taken on a new meaning and seems to mean that "if you do not agree with everything I say then I am offended" ... Personally I am "offended" by folks trying to control the conversation (everywhere) by using using the word "offended" to cut off anything.

 

Hank

 

Hank,

 

I agree 110% with you on this one. Thanks for bringing this matter into clearer focus for me.

 

Smooth sailing,

 

Rod

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How about we get away from the mutual admiration stuff and get back on topic?

 

Careful, Lizzie68, you might offend people with comments like that LOL

 

Rod

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I don't find talking about work or profession objectionable all but it depends how it's approached. For instance, we both work, or in my case worked until I retired, for the government. No problem saying that but if somebody starts into what grade are/were you then maybe they're fishing for how much you make or made and that's none of their business.

 

In many countries what you make is public information. It is simple to find out what a neighbor makes, what a co-worker makes, or even a cruise table-mate. And since I, a taxpayer, paid you I could consider it definitely my business.

 

One cruise I was a beer taster for a large unnamed brewery. Another I was a cryptozoologist, celebrating finding a legendary beast- but since it was yet unpublished, it was all very hush-hush. In other situations I have been a financial advisor, a match maker, and a recently disowned, famous family, trust fund brat. I will never see any of these people again, so why do I care? You're all just lucky I wear pants.

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In many countries what you make is public information. It is simple to find out what a neighbor makes, what a co-worker makes, or even a cruise table-mate. And since I, a taxpayer, paid you I could consider it definitely my business.

 

One cruise I was a beer taster for a large unnamed brewery. Another I was a cryptozoologist, celebrating finding a legendary beast- but since it was yet unpublished, it was all very hush-hush. In other situations I have been a financial advisor, a match maker, and a recently disowned, famous family, trust fund brat. I will never see any of these people again, so why do I care? You're all just lucky I wear pants.

 

Like you style. How about

 

a: I'm gainfully unemployed.

 

b: I'm in charge of keeping out of the way.

 

c: We are independently poor.

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In many countries what you make is public information. It is simple to find out what a neighbor makes, what a co-worker makes, or even a cruise table-mate. And since I, a taxpayer, paid you I could consider it definitely my business.

 

Only in a general sense. What I specifically make is personal and not released without my permission. They can tell you, if you file the proper paperwork, that I'm in a particular position and grade and tell you the pay range for that position and grade is say $50,000 to $70,000. What I personally make in that range is not public record without some legal gymnastics. Yes, unfortunately there are other sources that have leaked onto the Internet. Bottom line is that I'm under no obligation to tell you what I make in a conversation over dinner on the MSWhatever. :)

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We would never discuss "what not to discuss." Having fixed and unyielding rules is a bit silly since they just do not work (in many cases) and one needs to tailor conversation to the tablemates. For example, somebody mentioned that its fine to discuss ports. Really? We have heard all kinds of heated arguments over ports and actually saw one lady brought to tears regarding the subject. For example, somebody might ask me which tours we are taking and our response would usually be "we do not take tours" which is true even when we take 2 months cruises to dozens of ports. Then there might be another who would quickly opine that they would never go anywhere (including their own driveway) without a tour guide. As to religion, although its usually a topic to be avoided there are some fun exceptions. We were on a long HAL cruise when we spent one long dinner at a large table with a Rabbi and a Catholic Priest. The entire conversation (for more then 2 fun hours) was about religion and everyone had a great time.

 

So perhaps the only rule should be to use your intelligence to feel out others to find topics of mutual interest.

 

Hank

 

 

i agree completely! To me, at least, it is not so much an issue of topics as it is the caliber of the other participants. One can usually tell after a few days if another person is apt to be opinionated, close-minded, or strident. Reading all the topic that some writers deem taboo, one wonders what topics are o.k. The topics that remain strike me as superficial conversations. That having been said, when we are on a short, 7 or 10-day cruise, we do not tend to get into deep conversations because it is too short a time to assess your tablemates' ability to converse logically an unemotionally.

 

But . . . one poster wrote that he/she doesn't want to reveal where they are from. Why! Who asks for street address,anyway? And what is the fear about revealing your town?

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Personally I don't mind the question "what do you do?". If you are meeting new people you often find things you have in common or can relate to. Therefore asking questions regarding what you do, where you live/are from, are you enjoying the weather, first cruise, plans in x port, x activity on ship, etc. seem to be quite benign.

I honestly don't think most people are trying to figure out how much I make or what I paid for my cruise based on what I do. I wouldn't walk up to someone and start a conversation with "Hi, what do you do?" but if it comes up over the course of the conversation I won't shut down and discontinue the conversation. A simple response is I don't like to talk about work while on vacation if you really don't want to discuss.

Also if you don't want to talk about yourself, remember that by asking open ended questions it gives the other party the opportunity to talk about themselves, which a lot of people enjoy doing.

 

Religion and politics I stay away from. Sports can also be a touchy subject depending on the season and if there are any playoffs approaching and where you are sailing from.

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But . . . one poster wrote that he/she doesn't want to reveal where they are from. Why! Who asks for street address,anyway? And what is the fear about revealing your town?

 

I think there are many who avoid announcing that their homes are uninhabited during the time of the cruise. Especially if someone has unusual names, using the internet, anyone can easily find an address ... an address that's more than likely an empty house which might be open to thievery.

 

As an example - we own a condo where the renters in the condo next door were having loud, verbally violent fights during which it sounded like they were demolishing the interior walls. Our tenants were becoming very upset and understandably nervous.

I knew the name of the owners ... and within 10 minutes, thanks to Google, I had their address and phone number to be able to advise them of the problems. Google even threw up a map showing me exactly where their home was in New Jersey.

 

I worry that often on Roll Calls people give out a lot of personal information assuming that everybody reading it is honest and going on their same cruise.

 

I don't think I'm paranoid ... just careful :)

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I absolutely love telling people where I live, Florida, what I do for a living, nothing at all, what are my favorite hobbies, hanging out at a beach, and so on. I'm offended if they don't ask me those pertinent questions.:)

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After reading all the posts I think we will stick with a two top - We know everything about each other - where we worked, what we did, how much the cruise cost, our political and religious beliefs, we can talk about our grands, the weather - whatever we want, without affending anyone by what we may or may not say.

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How about "so, have you been on a lot of HAL cruises"? So hard to know now what some would find a nosey question. I loved the answer I got on our last cruise. A very funny gentleman answered "this is our first......this year"(and this was March). Turns out they had been on a lot of HAL cruises, and this opened up more areas to talk about.

 

I love hearing where people have cruised, what lines, where they live (no, I do not ask specifics, although when people have asked me "what town" I certainly don't mind answering.

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After reading all the posts I think we will stick with a two top - We know everything about each other - where we worked, what we did, how much the cruise cost, our political and religious beliefs, we can talk about our grands, the weather - whatever we want, without affending anyone by what we may or may not say.

 

oh DAM, I thought we could talk you into a 4 or 6 top on Oceania since it's whenever we want dining :p:D

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<snip>

 

As to what we do for a living, we just prefer not to say - yes DH still works and he often prefers not to say what he does for a living - he simply says he pretends to work hard. and leaves it at that.

 

Those we know or get to know, know what he does but really, what does it matter? What you do for a living (or did do) doesn't define who you are.

 

 

My DH disliked being asked what he did for work because when he replied about his professional work, invariably it led to a 'let me tell you about what happened to me' when ...... He wasn't interested in their tale of woe, didn't want to hear all the tiny details and couldn't free himself fast enough. He was on vacation and his primary interest on vacation was to distance himself from his office. He worked horridly long hours and we vacationed for him to get R & R.

 

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As to where are you from questions....... :D

 

I cannot tell you how many times I've started a conversation with people who turned out to be ignorant and IMO not very well traveled when we spoke for a full 15-20 minutes and they appeared to understand my words very clearly. Yet, when they got to the question of "where are you from" and I replied Boston I got the stupid 'do you paaaak your caaaa in Havaaaaa Yaaaad'. No wonder I can't understand you what with your awful accent. It's funny how more sophisticated, better mannered, more educated and in general more interesting people can always find something a little more pleasant to respond. I got so tired of it, I don't even excuse myself if standing at a cocktail party and merely walk away. Let them figure out what fools they are making of themselves.

 

Sorry if I have offended ;) (wink, wink) anyone who has uttered such to Bostonians they meet in their travels.

Edited by sail7seas

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i agree completely! To me, at least, it is not so much an issue of topics as it is the caliber of the other participants. One can usually tell after a few days if another person is apt to be opinionated, close-minded, or strident. Reading all the topic that some writers deem taboo, one wonders what topics are o.k. The topics that remain strike me as superficial conversations. That having been said, when we are on a short, 7 or 10-day cruise, we do not tend to get into deep conversations because it is too short a time to assess your tablemates' ability to converse logically an unemotionally.

 

But . . . one poster wrote that he/she doesn't want to reveal where they are from. Why! Who asks for street address,anyway? And what is the fear about revealing your town?

 

I think people are taking this all too seriously. I took the OP question to be a lighthearted way to get out some excitement that they were packing for their cruise. I appreciated the different topic and to add what I have found to be topics that can become uncomfortable. But it all depends upon whom you are conversing with. Some people do not take a quick answer and move on. They start to drill for oil and that makes me wonder why. If you have been talking to the same person for a number of days, like at assigned dining, of course topics will be discussed that you would not with a complete stranger that you strike up a casual conversation in a line or in the Lido.

 

I now object to identifying the town I live in on this general board after a roll call member said they lived near me when I gave my usual "50 minutes north of a well know city's airport". They demanded to know where. I had a lapse in judgement and said and then the roll call member never came back to the roll call. That worried me as we have no family close to where we live and I didn't like the idea of someone who lives close knowing where we lived when they were not actually on the cruise. I red triangle the post with my answer and asked Host Walt to remove it as I was that uncomfortable knowing our home was identified and we would be cruising.

 

Generally if the person was satisfied with the province I would not object or even the general part of the province. There is no reason to know anymore than that in MHO. Same as if someone has manners and won't insult me if I tell them what I do as my career. It is just rude but it happens all the time.

 

Just like the women in the library once who had to voice every thought so everyone was included in her mental diatribe to her DH (who didn't utter a word). I didn't need to know when her Sears bill was due, how much it was and if she could pay it on time. Sometimes judgement is missing and you have to step in and provide it.

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As to where are you from questions....... :D

 

I cannot tell you how many times I've started a conversation with people who turned out to be ignorant and IMO not very well traveled when we spoke for a full 15-20 minutes and they appeared to understand my words very clearly. Yet, when they got to the question of "where are you from" and I replied Boston I got the stupid 'do you paaaak your caaaa in Havaaaaa Yaaaad'. No wonder I can't understand you what with your awful accent. It's funny how more sophisticated, better mannered, more educated and in general more interesting people can always find something a little more pleasant to respond. I got so tired of it, I don't even excuse myself if standing at a cocktail party and merely walk away. Let them figure out what fools they are making of themselves.

 

Sorry if I have offended ;) (wink, wink) anyone who has uttered such to Bostonians they meet in their travels.

 

Exactly. Thanks for providing an excellent example.

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Only in a general sense. What I specifically make is personal and not released without my permission. They can tell you, if you file the proper paperwork, that I'm in a particular position and grade and tell you the pay range for that position and grade is say $50,000 to $70,000. What I personally make in that range is not public record without some legal gymnastics. Yes, unfortunately there are other sources that have leaked onto the Internet. Bottom line is that I'm under no obligation to tell you what I make in a conversation over dinner on the MSWhatever. :)

 

 

 

I have to disagree with you on this. Public servants in the state of Texas have their names and salaries published here in a major newspaper. You have to look for the database on their website. I used to work for a state agency and every year, my name and income was published and surprisingly any bonuses or stipend were also included. My BIL works for the city of Houston (asst. fire chief) and his income and name are also published annually in this database. There are no forms to fill out or legal wrangling to find this info. It is public information. It is the taxpayers right to know.

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I have to disagree with you on this. Public servants in the state of Texas have their names and salaries published here in a major newspaper. You have to look for the database on their website. I used to work for a state agency and every year, my name and income was published and surprisingly any bonuses or stipend were also included. My BIL works for the city of Houston (asst. fire chief) and his income and name are also published annually in this database. There are no forms to fill out or legal wrangling to find this info. It is public information. It is the taxpayers right to know.

 

It may be your right to know while sitting at home in your living room, but it is very tacky in a social situation to try to find out what a person earns. Very tacky indeed.

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I realize the primary subject of this thread is conversation in the MDR. Others have mentioned the Lido, so I will chime in on these table mates of a different sort. We try to sit at a table for 2, but since those are limited, occasionally sit at a table for 4 when none for 2 are available. There have been times when the Lido is so crowded that others will ask if they can join us.

 

I don't want to seem uncaring, and generally don't mind sharing our table space, but there have been occasions where it has been intrusive. It's just been the 2 of us, having an important discussion, and then a total stranger interrupts us, joins us and either jumps in our conversation or shuts it down. And often the mood changes with some topic that the original occupants of the table did not ask for nor desire.

 

If we are wanting to share our table in the Lido, we will look for those searching for a table and make eye contact. We make it clear that our table is available for sharing. Those searching for a table should not interrupt people enjoying a private meal, appearing to be in deep conversation! For some passengers, cruising is a precious respite from a demanding job that requires being on call many hours in a day. Being able to dine with privacy in one's hometown can be rare, and a cruise is an opportunity to have a small break from the norm.

 

Coming back to the original topic of what's off limits, for this situation I find it best not to insert oneself into a conversation where one hasn't been invited.

Edited by syesmar

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After reading all the posts I think we will stick with a two top - We know everything about each other - where we worked, what we did, how much the cruise cost, our political and religious beliefs, we can talk about our grands, the weather - whatever we want, without affending anyone by what we may or may not say.

 

I think it's more a question of the individual personalities of your tablemates and the personality of the group as a whole. (we normally get fixed seating table for 6 or 8) Because of the "personalities" on various cruises different table groups have discussed various topics mentioned on this thread. (except cost of the cabins :D )

 

After the 1st night's general conversation it's pretty obvious, if you're attentive to the vibes at the table, where most everyone is coming from. I don't feel I'm too far off as, except for an occasional foray to a specialty restaurant, our groups seem to look forward to the nightly lively conversations. :)

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I think there are many who avoid announcing that their homes are uninhabited during the time of the cruise. Especially if someone has unusual names, using the internet, anyone can easily find an address ... an address that's more than likely an empty house which might be open to thievery.

 

As an example - we own a condo where the renters in the condo next door were having loud, verbally violent fights during which it sounded like they were demolishing the interior walls. Our tenants were becoming very upset and understandably nervous.

I knew the name of the owners ... and within 10 minutes, thanks to Google, I had their address and phone number to be able to advise them of the problems. Google even threw up a map showing me exactly where their home was in New Jersey.

 

I worry that often on Roll Calls people give out a lot of personal information assuming that everybody reading it is honest and going on their same cruise.

 

I don't think I'm paranoid ... just careful :)

 

Like you, I am also surprised with the amount of personal information that some folks willingly share. Some people seem to think that they are okay as they are not using their real names, but I am guessing that many frequent posters on this site would be very surprised to learn of how little protection that aliases actually provide.

 

Nothing is ever deleted on the internet and it is relatively easy for anyone to search the "archives". I know I have been criticized in the past for raising the red flag on the sharing of personal information, yet I wonder how many of the frequent posters on CC truly understand that it would take less than 5 minutes for relatively inexperienced viewers to find their personal address, property values, pictures of the home or even property tax values, just to name a few?

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It may be your right to know while sitting at home in your living room, but it is very tacky in a social situation to try to find out what a person earns. Very tacky indeed.

 

 

I never stated that I would ask someone their income while in a social setting. I would never. I would never ask that question in any setting. I think it's very tacky of you to accuse me of doing such a thing.

Edited by lovesublime

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I have to disagree with you on this. Public servants in the state of Texas have their names and salaries published here in a major newspaper. You have to look for the database on their website. I used to work for a state agency and every year, my name and income was published and surprisingly any bonuses or stipend were also included. My BIL works for the city of Houston (asst. fire chief) and his income and name are also published annually in this database. There are no forms to fill out or legal wrangling to find this info. It is public information. It is the taxpayers right to know.

 

I can't speak for state employees, we are Federal civil servants and not subject to state or local disclosure laws.

Edited by Randyk47

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