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CowPrincess

What topics are off-limits?

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I have the same group of friends since high school and even earlier. My work "family" have all been together for between 20 and 30 years , There are no taboo subjects , no secrets , and political correctness is more offensive than any good natured ribbing or one liner we could think of.

 

 

Today everyone seems to walk around with both fists clenched waiting to jump on the first thing you say and pick it apart. I am waiting for the day we find "Hello" is some ancient code word for racial genocide or sexual harassment in some culture or language, and soon we will have to be careful of other feelings when we say "Hello"

 

I like to stay in the comfort zone of my own circle . Especially on vacation. I enjoy eating too much to have it spoiled by some stranger with an agenda . So we tend to get tables just for our group. Like others have said we enjoy meeting people throughout the ship and engaging in chit cat . But At the dinner table , we don't need the hassle.

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... Do you still refrain from discussing money, politics and religion? Are there other topics that you refuse to discuss?

 

Cow Princess,

 

Looking back at this Thread, I have a few observations that I'd like to share:

  1. Virtually every topic that is of interest to some people will offend others - as such, there are no universal "safe" topics;
  2. Highly opinionated people are seldom swayed by facts that do not support their own opinions;

  3. Many people who preach tolerance are the least tolerant of anyone whose opinions/views do not agree with theirs;
  4. People generally do not wear tags or labels identifying their particular idiosyncratic biases and areas of sensitivity;
  5. Very few people (myself included) are mind readers or possess a sensitivity divining rod and thus have no readily available means for determining other peoples' sensitivities; and

  6. It is probably best (not only on cruises but in life generally) to socialize and eat with people you already know to avoid mentioning something that might offend a stranger.

None of the foregoing should come as "news" to anyone who has completed at least 1 year of grammar school. It is JMO!

 

Thanks again for starting this Thread, as it has afforded many hyper-sensitive folks an opportunity to vent about their particular "pet peeves" and, thus, it was a good thing.

 

Smooth sailing,

 

Rod

 

P.S. If our paths should ever cross, please feel free to start a conversation on any topic you'd like to discuss - if I don't want to discuss that topic, I can (probably will) choose not to participate and will politely excuse myself. And if I should act out of character and start talking to you, please extend the same courtesy to me.

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cow princess,

 

looking back at this thread, i have a few observations that i'd like to share:

  1. virtually every topic that is of interest to some people will offend others - as such, there are no universal "safe" topics;
  2. highly opinionated people are seldom swayed by facts that do not support their own opinions;

  3. many people who preach tolerance are the least tolerant of anyone whose opinions/views do not agree with theirs;
  4. people generally do not wear tags or labels identifying their particular idiosyncratic biases and areas of sensitivity;
  5. very few people (myself included) are mind readers or possess a sensitivity divining rod and thus have no readily available means for determining other peoples' sensitivities; and

  6. it is probably best (not only on cruises but in life generally) to socialize and eat with people you already know to avoid mentioning something that might offend a stranger.

none of the foregoing should come as "news" to anyone who has completed at least 1 year of grammar school. It is jmo!

 

Thanks again for starting this thread, as it has afforded many hyper-sensitive folks an opportunity to vent about their particular "pet peeves" and, thus, it was a good thing.

 

Smooth sailing,

 

rod

 

p.s. If our paths should ever cross, please feel free to start a conversation on any topic you'd like to discuss - if i don't want to discuss that topic, i can (probably will) choose not to participate and will politely excuse myself. And if i should act out of character and start talking to you, please extend the same courtesy to me.

 

like

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I don't expect privacy for a conversation but do expect to be able to speak with my husband without strangers who sat down with us jumping in and offering their two cents worth.

I also often use the time I am eating breakfast to check my email etc and don't appreciate being interrupted to tell the newcomer where I am from, what excursion I am taking, how many cruises I have been on ---and so on.

 

Why do people feel the need to do that anyway?

 

 

Regarding your morning routine of checking email, perhaps if you say to the newcomer when they sit, excuse me if I am not very talkative I am in the middle of something, most people will not have an issue with that.

 

IMO people make small talk to be polite. It is awkward to sit at a table with strangers.

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Regarding your morning routine of checking email, perhaps if you say to the newcomer when they sit, excuse me if I am not very talkative I am in the middle of something, most people will not have an issue with that.

 

IMO people make small talk to be polite. It is awkward to sit at a table with strangers.

 

I have found it's pretty easy to know by body language, eye contact, etc. whether or not someone feels like being chatty or not. Like most here, I don't go looking for conversation with strangers (or heaven forbid butt into their conversation, that's just strange!)

 

It can feel awkward when someone comes and sits down when you are already sitting -- do you welcome them, do you ignore them? I usually make eye contact as a welcoming gesture, and then go back to what I was doing. If they make conversation, it doesn't bother me and if they don't, that doesn't bother me either.

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I think it's just boring to hear how much money someone else has and going on about it.

Politics is fun but you have to know your stuff, not just party line.

 

At one table, we were all solos. There were 7 of us. Once we were talking about OJ going to jail and I commented I wondered how he'd fare in jail. A guy who was a retired postal worker said "Why, he just murdered a Jew and a woman?"

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Geez lambcom, I would have found our conversations pretty interesting and educational. Too bad others aren't as easy to get along with...... Their loss not yours! Would be happy to dine with you any time.

Karen

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I have found it's pretty easy to know by body language, eye contact, etc. whether or not chatty or not. Like most here, I don't go looking for conversation with strangers (or heaven forbid butt into their conversation, that's just strange!)

 

It can feel awkward when someone and sits down when you are already sitting -- do you welcome them, do you ignore them? I usually make eye contact as a welcoming gesture, and then go back to what I was doing. If they make conversation, it doesn't bother me and if they don't, that doesn't bother me either.

 

Not everyone reads body language well and depending where someone is from body language may mean something different to both parties involved.

 

I agree with you about it being awkward for all. I will smile as a friendly gesture and am happy to converse or go about my business. It's not a big deal and it won't ruin my vacation.

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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 :)

 

summersigh - I too am a bit paranoid about posting any vacation information on social media. One time (one of the few we didn't have a house sitter) one our relatives said to "have a great trip and see you on x when you get home". We were leaving the next day so I posted a public note that told her we had a Marine on leave staying at the house and our two (BIG) dogs would be with him. He was going to be there every day since he loved the county and our home." At least I felt a little better about leaving our house. From then on, we've just had a house-sitter and things have been great. Living in the country has its problems when someone could spend hours breaking in and nobody would ever see them. I rest much easier when I know that I'm not such a target. I never have understood anyone that posts their trip logs on social media..... don't they know not everyone is honest?

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My experience in Lido is when people joined my table - they have always asked and never engage in conversation and treat the one table as separate. When crowded, I will ask someone if they mind me joining them, but I will not start a conversation.

 

This is different than MDR when everyone starts at same time and conversation is expected.

 

Most people can read the room and engage is appropriate conversation. The longer the cruise, more in depth discussions are possible. Inquires as to vocation, location are usually innocent probes to finding common ground for discussion as opposed to seeking private information.

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Not everyone reads body language well and depending where someone is from body language may mean something different to both parties involved.

...

 

I'm sure you're right about some people not being in tune with body language, but from my experience smiles (or scowls) are universally understood -- but I could be wrong. :)

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I'm sure you're right about some people not being in tune with body language, but from my experience smiles (or scowls) are universally understood -- but I could be wrong. :)

 

This is true!!:) Hopefully no one is scowling on vacation though ;)

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It is amazing the range of topics you may discuss at the dining table if you are careful how you say it. Tricky topics include; cricket, offside rule and the class system.

 

I find the range expands as the cruise continues and set diners get confident each other. It is helpful when you have got a mix of people who do not wish to push their opinions on others but are interested in finding out about the rest of the world, cultures etc. I just find people interesting, on our last cruise around the British Isles there were two American couples of different ages and a British Couple, myself and my daughter (11). British guy was a professional footballer and during discussions with my daughter he punched her on the bicep, like footballers do with each other, making her say ouch. I explained that's how guys are and he thinks of you as a peer. She was all right with it and as an aside a competition developed during the cruise to get to MDR first and nab their seats while they did the same. All good fun. It had been discussed early and agreed that all the seats were unallocated and moving round in couples was encouraged. This is a good issue to bring up on day one.

 

Later on in the cruise they booked a world sector which was interesting as all the Americans were thinking of booking. At one point everyone else, apart from me brought out images of their houses or holiday homes which surprised me but I don't have a smart phone. The younger American guy said he lived in a virtual world at home too. This seemed beyond the comprehension of the British lady. Apparently as he explained he designed and paid for stuff virtually and lived in a community on line. We found this hilariously funny but very interesting especially as it was not understood all round. Everybody seemed very comfortable with each other I think it was because no one was pushing an opinion or comparing what is the best...

 

There is not much I would not discuss over dinner but you have to be a bit careful how you say things and how they are received.

 

Regards John

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LOL offside rule....I will have to remember to ask who can explain icing in hockey or the infield fly rule for baseball..

 

That's easy ... any Canadian or Russian over the age of 3 :D

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I have no problem at all if someone wants to sit at an empty place at our Lido table. Most people however, just ask politely if they can sit without adding the ultimatum you are suggesting.

Nobody here has suggested that people are not welcome to sit. They just don't want to make a new best friend that they will never see again every time they sit in the Lido. This is your first cruise so I can't expect you to know what I mean but after a few hundred days of cruising the ritual gets tiresome and pointless.

 

Not making new best friend might go double for me then being from so far away in Australia, but I must add we met people while travelling in Vietnam years ago and we are not best friends but friends all the same.

Happy Travels

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That's easy ... any Canadian or Russian over the age of 3 :D

Say... Wasn't the last Canadian team to win Lord Stanley's cup the 1993 Montreal Canadiens?

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Say... Wasn't the last Canadian team to win Lord Stanley's cup the 1993 Montreal Canadiens?

 

I don't know and I'm Canadian :p:D:p:p

 

pretty much guaranteed it wasn't the Toronto Maple Leafs. It's been a while since their last Stanley Cup

Edited by kazu

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Off limits to me is "What do you do?" (for a living). I find that offensive and turn the conversation to something else, or just answer "enjoy my cruises" and on to another topic.

I disagree, I never found questions about one's field of work offensive in any way. Most of us spend a better part of our lives working in some capacity, and some people have very interesting professions or at least interesting remarks about their profession. And no, it's not necessarily code for "how much money you make".

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Very,very simple., Do not ask anything of anyone....Simply be nice, and say a positive thing about the cruise. Any personal opinion should be left in the cabin.

Opinions are like .....you know the rest...

 

Anyhow we dine alone as a couple in a four top, and invite another couple after we know they are cool.

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I don't understand people who post on FB they are out to dinner and going to the movies. Doesn't take hours to clean out a house. Tell everyone next day you had a nice dinner but be in your house when you say it. :)

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Say... Wasn't the last Canadian team to win Lord Stanley's cup the 1993 Montreal Canadiens?

 

Yes sir it was. :o

 

We were so proud that so many Canadian teams made the playoffs this season but alas... they are no more.

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Gosh, reading this thread has made me feel bad about myself. I like striking up conversations with people at my table, both Lido and MDR. I like meeting new people and finding out what interests them. I usually ask where they're from. It might turn out to be a place I want to go or maybe I have some connection with.

 

I don't want to know what you make but if you go on a lot of cruises I might want to know what your career is so maybe I can make enough to go on a lot of cruises too.

 

So if you meet me on a cruise and you're a private type of person then you better head the other way because you can be sure I'm going to give you a big grin and strike up a conversation.

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I guess I am like the last poster. I have always booked large tables in the MDR as both my wife and I really enjoy meeting new people and chatting with them. Maybe we are too easy going, but we have yet to find anyone objectionable (in 25 + cruises) and find that no subject is "off limits".

 

We DO however ease into conversations, and after a day or so can usually discern if something is a taboo subject. (If a table mate is passionate about their religion for example, I would steer clear.)

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