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Hey Tina

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

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Good experiences or bad - the big tables seem to carry the day.

DW and I started cruising because of Free Style (and no Tux). We love to eat together - by ourselves. Our hearing is diminished now and that would make any conversation with strangers awkward. We are happiest at a 4-top sitting catty corner, but will gladly take a 2-top.

 

 

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We don't share a table with other's when we go to land based restaurants...why would we want to onboard.

 

I can think of quite a few reasons: because it's fun to meet others; because it's a tradition of cruising; because you might learn something new; because you might find out about a new place to visit for your bucket list (happened to me many times); because it's nice to meet someone and then see them around the ship later; because you might end up with an interesting story to share afterwards...

 

I'm not saying those reasons have to appeal to everyone, but my goodness -- there certainly are reasons.

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Love sharing a table, especially when I am on my own, solo cruiser. Only one time asked to be moved. We were seated at a four person table, they never spoke, answered all my attempts at conversation with one word answers, except to tell us the first night how they hate Australians! After second night spoke to Maitre D, moved to another dining room, big table and a complimentary bottle of wine for our "trouble". Enjoyed rest of cruise dining.

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All it took was to be seated with that one self-absorbed jack hole who can't stop talking about himself and how awesome he is, even while attempting to put food in his pie hole, to the point where the path from plate/table to mouth becomes a two-way thoroughfare instead of one way like everyone else.

 

We don't care to run that risk anymore. Always dine by ourselves.

 

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What are the pros/cons of getting a table in the MDR for just your family/group versus sharing a larger table with strangers.

 

Best/worst experiences for each way (alone/ with strangers)?

 

I like hearing others' travel experiences.

 

I dislike opinionated know-it-all's.

i also dislike complainers.

 

Luckily we've had more travel stories.

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With Anytime dining you have lots of flexibility. Not only do you choose when to eat, to a great degree you choose the size of your table (which you can change every night) and with whom you dine. Meet some nice folks....simply ask them if they would like to dine with you. Find a great waiter....ask the Maitre'd if you can reserve a table with that waiter. In the mood to socialize? Ask to share a large table. Want a quiet dinner? Ask for a 2-top.

 

I think that's the most logical way to dine, too. While we've had good luck with assigned seating on past cruises - family along with us filled an 8-top one time - and haven't been assigned to a table otherwise where there wasn't someone worth visiting with, the ability to choose is attractive... so this upcoming cruise we're going unassigned, and I'm looking forward to the variety (even if it does perhaps involve a short wait before being seated).

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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.....

 

 

This is 2 of the many reasons we wouldn't want to sit beside someone else at dinner. They may try to talk religion to us which I have no interest in. They may try and tell us how to raise our kid or exactly as lostchild said, may not let their child play their Nintendo DS at the table or whatever while mine is. May sit there and "oh you should try this, you shoudl try that... you ordered that last night, try something new, etc".. I don't know, I just find it very weird and odd. When we go to Chili's or Outback or Longhorn or wherever in our city to eat, we don't ask to sit with some random strangers. A ship is no different for us. We go to enjoy ourselves and have a great vacation and have fun, not sit with other people at dinner. If I want to meet someone on a ship, I'll do it at the casino or a show or something. Not to mention we like to go in, get our food, and get out. Hour max. Some people like to sit there and take 2 hours to eat appetizers, etc. I don't want my dinner slowed down because someone else is slow with their meals.

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I can think of quite a few reasons: because it's fun to meet others; because it's a tradition of cruising; because you might learn something new; because you might find out about a new place to visit for your bucket list (happened to me many times); because it's nice to meet someone and then see them around the ship later; because you might end up with an interesting story to share afterwards...

 

I'm not saying those reasons have to appeal to everyone, but my goodness -- there certainly are reasons.

 

Very well put. I think it is a bit sad that the traditional shipboard dining experience, which is truly unique, is so widely avoided. Of course, having people who are reluctant to interact with strangers select themselves out of the mix, significantly improves my chances of winding up with compatible table mates.

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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.

Thanks we feel that way also. sometimes i think people would think that's not being friendly. I just prefer to sit at a table for two also.

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I can speak only as a part of a traveling couple (DW and myself) who have spent over 1200 days on numerous cruise ships over decades. While we sometimes will take a 2-top to either be by ourselves or because its the only option, we have long preferred to share a large table. While early in a cruise it might be strangers, on many cruises we will eventually make a few friends and often dine with some of those folks on other evenings. For us, the socialization that can happen at a good table is lots of fun and can be the beginning of a good friendship. Just this past weekend we had a 4 day visit from an English couple (they flew in from England are now on their way back on the Queen Mary 2) that we met on a cruise (in Asia) over 25 years ago. We have twice been to their home in England...and now they have finally made the long trek to our home. We have previously had other guests and its always been fun.

 

In the olden days when everything was fixed seating...we had a few bad tables...but it was just a matter of asking the Maitre'd to please move us elsewhere. But these days we always book Open Sitting schemes (Anytime Dining, Select Dining, etc) which gives us the opportunity to meet more folks. We simple show up when we want to dine...and ask to share a large table. On many cruises we eventually form our own table (after a few days) with others we have met who have a similar desire. Our tables are often a lot of fun and we are often among the last to leave the venue (we dine late). We have only 2 rules for our tables. If anyone starts texting or using their cell phone....we will avoid dining with them in the future. and we prefer not to be at tables with men who think its cool to wear a hat. In my world that is just rude behavior of which we want no part. DW would probably say "they must have been raised by wolves." Perhaps etiquette is dead for many....but not for us.

 

Hank

 

On my last cruise ,for the first time ever it was just my wife and I at a table for dinner and it was fine.

Most of our cruises have been with groups of friends.One cruise several years ago we had 3 couples at our dinner table for a 12 night cruise.One couple was very nice ,enjoyable to converse with until they found out our religion .After that they stopped talking to us .

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We had good experiences and bad. We ate one night with some British couples who felt it necessary to tell us about their luxury homes, cars and explain the menu to us. On the other hand, we had dinner with some couples from north Carolina who work blue collar jobs and gave us the biggest laugh and friendliness. Rudeness comes in all nationalities and income levels while kindness can also. Sometimes, we eat alone. To each his own. While we don't usually eat with strangers at home, we don't travel to see sights only .

 

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We like eating at traditional dining with others so that we have dinner conversation other than just between the two of us. And with traditional dining, we get past the first night's conversation (where people are from, what they do/did for an occupation, etc.) into deeper conversations. We've remained in touch with several previous tablemates.

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My husband and I are terminally social (we have friends who call us "joiners" which could not be more true) so we like meeting new people. We have had very good luck with tables for 6-8 and have stayed in contact with tablemates over many years. It makes me appreciate that cruise lines make sure they have plenty of two-tops for the shy and the introverted so that the fun and outgoing people who want to share and be social are the ones that end up with us!

 

 

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We choose to dine at a two-top.

 

While we enjoy talking to people throuout the day - at the pool, while walking on deck, etc., we prefer mealtimes to be just for us. Also, we can get through the meal in less time and get back to deck-strolling, reading, etc.

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We now only dine at a table for two unless traveling with friends and family. When we sat with strangers we encountered some of these types: the always late, so the waiter will not server until they come, the conversation hogs, they monopolize the conversation, the loud talkers, the "well I only brought a carry on " but forget my clothes stink type.

We have many friends and family at home and prefer to enjoy each others company. We have had opportunities of meeting people on board, and have shared specialty restaurant meals with them.

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We choose to dine at a two-top.

 

While we enjoy talking to people throuout the day - at the pool, while walking on deck, etc., we prefer mealtimes to be just for us. Also, we can get through the meal in less time and get back to deck-strolling, reading, etc.

We are exactly the same. After socializing all day, at dinner we choose to be alone. Our first couple of cruises, we sat at 8/10 tops and although it was nice...it can be exhausting and lengthy.

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

 

Thank you sooo much for such a kind remark,:D

 

I've met people like this pompous know-it-all, in every situation but can always manage to gently ease myself out of their 'royal' presence. But if you're sitting at dinner with them it's a little difficult to just quickly tell the wife, 'That's it ! We're outta HERE ! Or, 'Oh Goodness ! We've left the iron PLUGGED in the room!!' LOL ! I also realize some do not or worse, CANNOT understand why everybody does not want too hear about how IMPORTANT or RICH they are and how lucky we, mere mortals, are to be sitting actually with them. I have often wondered, WHO are they really trying to impress? Is it actually their tablemates, the passengers at the surrounding tables, or sadly, their selves:o As the old saying goes,' A legend in his own mind'.

 

Mac

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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.

If you want Greeks to be on time for diner you have to tell them to come an hours or 2 early. Gross generalization Yes But True. lol

I have to admit we are usually late for the MDR.

George has worn a ball cap because he feels self conscious about his lack of hair. lol

And i have blown my nose at the table because my nose was running snots down my face.

And i do prefer to sit by ourselves.

Although i am friendly and love people i enjoy eating alone and not talking at the table, or feeling as if i have to contribute anything to entertain others.

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I read that on 2 or 3 ships, Carnival will CLOSE the dining room after 15 minutes and anyone who tries to come in will be told it is closed and they have to go to the buffet.

 

Haven't heard if this is happening and what feelings are from passengers about this! We LOVE this!

 

When we started cruising 30+ years ago this is what happened and there was no buffet then. No one was ever late.

 

Men should NEVER wear any kind of hat inside, anywhere- and never in a dining room. Maître'ds are supposed to tell men doing this to remove their hat! Lots of men have bald spots so what's his problem?

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Men should NEVER wear any kind of hat inside, anywhere-

 

Good luck with that. It ain't the 1920s anymore. Should we go back to wearing suits to watch a movie, baseball game, etc.?

 

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I read that on 2 or 3 ships, Carnival will CLOSE the dining room after 15 minutes and anyone who tries to come in will be told it is closed and they have to go to the buffet.

 

Haven't heard if this is happening and what feelings are from passengers about this! We LOVE this!

 

When we started cruising 30+ years ago this is what happened and there was no buffet then. No one was ever late.

 

Men should NEVER wear any kind of hat inside, anywhere- and never in a dining room. Maître'ds are supposed to tell men doing this to remove their hat! Lots of men have bald spots so what's his problem?

Oh ,my i guess that is why we like to sit by ourselves.

Are women allowed to wear hats??

And some people feel self conscious about being bald.

I think too many people are concerned about what everyone else is doing. I never even notice what other people do. And i am reading these posts and am amazed about how many people get offended by such trivial things.

I don't feel that judgemental.

I would not enjoy my vacation if i had these feelings.

I know what is proper etiquette

I feel it's more important for my husband to feel comfortable then to please a couple of nosey people. lol.

I certainly wish you have a wonderful experience on your upcoming cruise.

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Good luck with that. It ain't the 1920s anymore. Should we go back to wearing suits to watch a movie, baseball game, etc.?

 

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And woman should extend their hand first in a handshake not the man. I could go on and on . I was brought up in a strict family about etiquette because my father was in a school for fatherless boys Girard College in Philadelphia in 1940 My father grew up in this boarding school where they were very strict about etiquette.

My father thought it more important to have manners then to be academically astute. He thought integrity was important and so do i. I see people all the time in normal everyday situations who practice less than perfect etiquette. I do not call them on it THAT WOULD NOT BE POLITE.

I never let anyone spoil my good time. I do hate tee shirts with offensive lingo LIke@#&* you. But besides that i feel it's everyone's vacation . And they should please themselves. Maybe dressing as if you're going to a BBQ on dress up night is not the way to go.

But like i said i am too busy having a good time to have this on my mind for more than 1 minute.

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Oh ,my i guess that is why we like to sit by ourselves.

Are women allowed to wear hats??

And some people feel self conscious about being bald.

I think too many people are concerned about what everyone else is doing. I never even notice what other people do. And i am reading these posts and am amazed about how many people get offended by such trivial things.

I don't feel that judgemental.

I would not enjoy my vacation if i had these feelings.

I know what is proper etiquette

I feel it's more important for my husband to feel comfortable then to please a couple of nosey people. lol.

I certainly wish you have a wonderful experience on your upcoming cruise.

lol carnival closes the dining room

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My husband and I are terminally social (we have friends who call us "joiners" which could not be more true) so we like meeting new people. We have had very good luck with tables for 6-8 and have stayed in contact with tablemates over many years. It makes me appreciate that cruise lines make sure they have plenty of two-tops for the shy and the introverted so that the fun and outgoing people who want to share and be social are the ones that end up with us!

 

 

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I think it's just because you people seem to get along with everyone. That is a good thing.

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