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What do you like and/or dislike about sharing a table with strangers?

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I have had it both ways but I always enjoy sharing at table with strangers. Depending on who you share you table with it can be lots of laughs. My best friend and I shared a table just the two of us and it was awkward only having her to talk talk compared. You get to know people.

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I really enjoy sitting with others. I like meeting new people and having interesting conversations. With that being said, we have had very little luck! Usually, they just seat us at a two top without even asking. When we have asked, we are usually told we would have to wait for others to show up (MTD) etc. and one other time when they did find someone to share a table with us, it didn't work out and was very awkward. They were very nice but spoke very little English so we really couldn't converse.

 

 

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We've mostly had good experiences with good tablemates. I like getting to talk to others about how they spent the day and what their plans are for the next day. We have had a few clunkers: the other couple at a four top that simply wouldn't speak to us at all (we asked to be moved), the woman who mentioned her Elite status in nearly every sentence (we get it - you're Elite), and some scattered instances of people showing up late. I think it averages out as good.

 

We've (my wife and I ) have had about the same experiences when we done the YTD. One time, on the Oasis OTS in 2013 we were seated at a four person table w/ a man and his, well I guess you could call her his long distance girlfriend, they had had this relationship for 10-12 years and both were from the same city in Canada. He was from middle of the country and she had moved and was living in Utah and he flew down to Orlando and she had driven from Utah. He dominated their part of the conversation, 'I've got so many (expensive cars and ranches) of this and that, I'm so wealthy,blah,blah I'm a world cruiser, an expert on RCL' When he asked if this was out first RCL cruise, I replied no, we had done the Navigator OTS twice. He squinted at me, for a second, and let out a loud cough, and asked 'WHAT ship was that?' I repeated it and he insisted, 'Ohhhhhhhh noooo, you're mistaken, I'm a 'expert' on RCL and I assure you, I've NEVER heard of THAT ship !' I faintly smiled and said, 'Well I AM getting up in years (63) so, perhaps my memory fails me'.:rolleyes: After dinner as we were walking back too the room, my wife said quietly,' NO wonder they're not married AND she moved too Utah!':eek: As I always tell my wife, 'IT takes all kinds of people to make up this old planet!'.:D

 

Mac

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I am one who prefers to NOT share a table. I have to talk all day long to strangers at work. The last thing I want to do on my vacation is to be forced to sit with strangers and engage in banal, meaningless chit chat while I try to enjoy my meal. I travel solo and I love it that way. I tried a cruise back before the anytime/freestyle/your time dining came about and I hated it because I was forced to eat at a specific time and with people not of my choosing. Why do people feel the need to ask why I'm cruising solo and give me the pathetic eyes and the "you are so brave" line??? Yes, there was the buffet, and I ended up eating there the last few nights. But, then, when I ran into those people, it was awkward to say "you know, I just don't like you and didn't want to eat with you." When non-fixed dining came about, I got back to cruising and I love it.

I had someone on CC say that I shouldn't cruise because I don't want to be with people. I do not see where my desire to eat solo, not attend Meet & Mingles, not engage in games, do my ports alone, is reason that I should not be cruising.

Edited by slidergirl

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When we first started cruising we were seated at tables with 6-8 people, that lasted 2 cruises, after that we now request table for 2. We found that usually the people we sat with had absolutely nothing in common with us and usually their point of view on life and many subjects were not even close. Table for 2 gives us the option to eat elsewhere when the menu has nothing to our liking which makes it easier for the table of 6-8 to order quicker and not have to see if we are going to show up,:cool:

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I don't mind eating with others at all. Some of my favorite memories are of the folks we've met and the lovely and lively conversations. I can also comfortably eat alone.

 

I mostly travel with my sisters and they can do either as well. Though they were originally more comfortable with just us, they both have become accustomed to sharing and are now pros at it.

 

Anyway, I always choose Anytime Dining for the flexibility. One thing I didn't like about fixed is having to "check in" regarding my plans to come to dinner or not come to dinner. Anytime allows me to eat where I want, eat alone, or with just us, or with a larger table or order room service. It's all good.

 

We went to the MDR one day for lunch and got in line. The Maitre'd asked us if we would share. "Yes, of course" I replied. In this case, no one at the table bothered with more than an brief "hello", they were all so wrapped up in their individual groups. So no small talk, just lunch. Everyone was happy. Especially the Maitre'd who leaned in and whispered in my ear "thank you for sharing". Made me smile.

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After the second night, we asked the staff to take our orders at the appropriate time. They wouldn't. The next day we made a point of bringing the head waiter over and he apologized, but still our order wasn't taken at the appropriate time. We're now more than halfway through the cruise and I chased the head waiter down to complain about being kept waiting, and he officiously told me he'll be over to take our orders personally. He didn't. The next night we ate at the buffet, due to a late-returning excursion. The last night of the cruise, magically, our orders were taken at the appropriate time.

 

And, yes: The poor service we received from our wait staff and the head waiter was reflected in the amount of cash we put into the gratuities envelopes. That doesn't make it better.

 

Wow! That's way past annoying. Sorry to hear it.

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We've (my wife and I ) have had about the same experiences when we done the YTD. One time, on the Oasis OTS in 2013 we were seated at a four person table w/ a man and his, well I guess you could call her his long distance girlfriend, they had had this relationship for 10-12 years and both were from the same city in Canada. He was from middle of the country and she had moved and was living in Utah and he flew down to Orlando and she had driven from Utah. He dominated their part of the conversation, 'I've got so many (expensive cars and ranches) of this and that, I'm so wealthy,blah,blah I'm a world cruiser, an expert on RCL' When he asked if this was out first RCL cruise, I replied no, we had done the Navigator OTS twice. He squinted at me, for a second, and let out a loud cough, and asked 'WHAT ship was that?' I repeated it and he insisted, 'Ohhhhhhhh noooo, you're mistaken, I'm a 'expert' on RCL and I assure you, I've NEVER heard of THAT ship !' I faintly smiled and said, 'Well I AM getting up in years (63) so, perhaps my memory fails me'.:rolleyes: After dinner as we were walking back too the room, my wife said quietly,' NO wonder they're not married AND she moved too Utah!':eek: As I always tell my wife, 'IT takes all kinds of people to make up this old planet!'.:D

 

Mac

 

You're a better person than I am. I doubt I would have been so nice if that "expert" had said that to me.

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Out of our five cruises we've done "shared table with strangers" twice, 2-top twice and once with just family at an 8-top. Of the two "shared" tables the first was an 8-top with a mixed group of couples that were very interesting and we enjoyed it very much. The second "shared" we were seated with a family group who mostly spoke Spanish but did speak English too and were really interesting (all were Cuban refugees as children) but we felt a bit like outsiders crashing their party.

 

Of the 2-tops we did one as "any time" but had the same table and dined close to the same time every night. The second time (a few weeks ago) we did fixed late seating and the table was so close to a 4-top it was a virtual table for six and we got to know the couples (Mom & Dad and their daughter and her husband) pretty well. Really nice people and we saw and spoke to them a number of times around the ship. So even when dining "alone" you often really aren't. :confused:

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I think we have always had waiters who ask us if we want to order or wait for missing people. This doesn't happen as soon as we get to the MDR, it's after most people have gotten there. We always say order now unless we are positive the others are coming.

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This prompted me to think about this and hoping someone can answer this. We have early seating which will be good most days, but on the day we are in Havana, I don't want to be rushing back to the ship for dinner. I know we won't starve (between havana and other food options), but I wouldn't want potential table-mates to be waiting for us. Do we tell someone? At dinner the night before?

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This prompted me to think about this and hoping someone can answer this. We have early seating which will be good most days, but on the day we are in Havana, I don't want to be rushing back to the ship for dinner. I know we won't starve (between havana and other food options), but I wouldn't want potential table-mates to be waiting for us. Do we tell someone? At dinner the night before?

 

 

 

Yes, that would be considerate and helpful for the table staff. Simply tell the main table waiter the evening before, and mention it to others at the table.

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I did two cruises as a solo and so chose a large table. One night, no one showed up and I sat there alone on formal night. But, the people were nice and showed up the other nights. The next cruise, it also was okay, but not quite as great. After sharing lunch tables with some pretty obnoxious passengers, I decided no more of that bs. Now when we cruise, we always do ATD and get a two top. We are divers, aren't really interested in typical conversations, and don't really mesh well with others (no I don't want to see photos of your grandchildren, buy insurance, discuss politics or religion, etc.). Please give us a private table, and if we want a specific waiter, we'll request a table in his/her area.

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We prefer to be alone...don't mind meeting folks around the ship casually but do not cruise to meet people or make friends.

We usually do ports on our own. Prefer to have room service for breakfast and generally get just a table for 2 for dinner.

 

We have shared tables in the past, when we first started to cruise, okay but not something we really enjoyed.

 

We totally agree with you. We decided several cruises ago to eat at a table for two. We found our tablemates a little too "nosy" and asking too many personal questions. Like you, we enjoy meeting people around the ship, but love to do things with just the two of us.

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We LOVE sharing a table! We are "empty nesters", and eat every meal together at home...every day! It's nice to have others to talk to! We've yet to have any "horrible" tablemates, but that might be because WE are easy to get along with. Sure...some have been better (more fun or animated...whatever), but we've never encountered anyone we couldn't stand for 90 mins!!! We actually look forward to dinner with our tablemates!

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We LOVE sharing a table! We are "empty nesters", and eat every meal together at home...every day! It's nice to have others to talk to! We've yet to have any "horrible" tablemates, but that might be because WE are easy to get along with. Sure...some have been better (more fun or animated...whatever), but we've never encountered anyone we couldn't stand for 90 mins!!! We actually look forward to dinner with our tablemates!

 

 

 

Well said! We totally agree with you!

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It is kind of awkward when the other family started praying before meal and your family just watch them silently... every night... for 7 nights....

 

It is also awkward when their kid is not allowed to play video games or watch internet video and your kid wanted to tell their kid how cool this new game is.....

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It is kind of awkward when the other family started praying before meal and your family just watch them silently... every night... for 7 nights....

 

It is also awkward when their kid is not allowed to play video games or watch internet video and your kid wanted to tell their kid how cool this new game is.....

 

Since their behavior annoyed you, why didn't you ask to be moved to a different table? :confused:

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Since their behavior annoyed you, why didn't you ask to be moved to a different table? :confused:

 

Maybe lostchild was not at the time familiar with CC or hadn't read threads about traditional dining protocol... I'm sure there was a time when I'd have thought that once assigned, fixed was fixed. Also, on our two river cruises, there would not have been any way to switch, as the boat had groups from different countries and English-speaking was a decided minority.

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We always request a shared table, whether fixed dining or otherwise. We both enjoy meeting new people and, I'm glad to say, haven't run into people who insist on discussing politics, religion or how much they paid for their cruise once we have made it clear that we prefer not to.

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We always request a shared table, whether fixed dining or otherwise. We both enjoy meeting new people and, I'm glad to say, haven't run into people who insist on discussing politics, religion or how much they paid for their cruise once we have made it clear that we prefer not to.

We sometimes agree to share a table with others at breakfast or lunch and then have dinner at a table for the two of us. Depends on the day and how we feel. It is nice to have the choice.

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This prompted me to think about this and hoping someone can answer this. We have early seating which will be good most days, but on the day we are in Havana, I don't want to be rushing back to the ship for dinner. I know we won't starve (between havana and other food options), but I wouldn't want potential table-mates to be waiting for us. Do we tell someone? At dinner the night before?

A polite thing to do is let your waiter know you may not be there for dinner

 

You could also mention it to your tablemates just so they are not waiting to order but then they may be ashore as well

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Since their behavior annoyed you, why didn't you ask to be moved to a different table? :confused:

 

It is not annoyed. It was more awkward. It would be more awkward if we asked to be moved. They are nice people just we have nothing in common other than our kids are the same age. But I felt like my kid is corrupting their kid with evil temptation.

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We always request the table size depending on how many extended family members are cruising with us...If it's just the two of us...always a table for 2....We don't share a table with other's when we go to land based restaurants...why would we want to onboard.

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We used to eat with large groups when we started cruising, but we eat less and less in the MDR nowadays- we stick to the buffet and speciality restaurants. I think our next cruise, which is only 9 nights, on a small ship, only has fixed dining, so we'll manage, but will have nights off for speciality restaurants.

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