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  #121  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by secret1122 View Post
Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America. At times, it seems we're becoming a country of little girls.
In my America, good manners, discretion, and respect for others has ALWAYS been appropriate behavior. Nothing "panzification" about it. It takes an adult to know when to practice those traits. "Little girls" and little boys are the ones who don't know when or how to practice good manners.

Last edited by boogs; May 2nd, 2012 at 02:41 PM.

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  #122  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cruisemom42 View Post
Why must conversation devolve to the lowest common denominator?
Have you ever had a conversation with a complete moron?

  #123  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:13 PM
Amberle3 Amberle3 is offline
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Originally Posted by rsfunk View Post
And for that matter, please don't assume I have children at home and when I tell you I don't, please don't look at me like I have a genetic defect.
I chose not to have children.

OP-great topic! Thanks
If I can add, if someone says they don't have children please don't make any assumptions about it. Just accept the fact and move on. If you decide that you absolutely HAVE to know then perhaps wait until you know them a little better before asking it. For some people not having children is a choice, others are desperately trying to children, and some can't have children either due to genetic or medical problems. If this is your first or second meal with them, they might not feel comfortable giving you their medical history.

  #124  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:25 PM
Amberle3 Amberle3 is offline
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
You might consider raising subjects about which you have things in common:

The ship you are sailing
The ports you are visiting
The entertainment on the ship
The good or bad weather you've enjoyed or not during the trip
The menu/dinner you are at that moment eating
My fish is delicious, how is your prime rib - probably will bring you to conversation about foods you/they like or not
Ships and travel in general

Those topics are bound to bring you to 'safe ports' to continue the conversation in a comfortable direction.
If your table 'clicks', it's great and your conversation will evolve. If the table does not 'click', you have offended no one.
My inlaws have cruised a few times, always with family which I think is a fantatic thing because the thought of someone having to share a table with them depresses me. They are the kind where nothing is EVER right, or good enough. So dinner conversation with them is something like this:

"What do you think of the ship?" - it's too large/small/pointy, things are too cheaply made/too expensive, and it's too hot/cold/wet/dry/bright/dim.
"What did you think of this port?" - too expensive, all the sellers are just there to take advantage of tourists, the locals are too pushy/quiet/foreign, it was too hot/cold/wet/dry/sandy/rocky.
"Have you seen any of the shows?" - they're too boring/loud/busy, the performer is too weak/loud/short/fat, the theatre was too cold/hot, the seats were too hard/soft.

You get the idea.

Of all of their vacations over the last decade+, I've never heard them say a positive thing about any of them. I really pity anyone who has to sit with them at dinner.

  #125  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Amberle3 View Post
My inlaws have cruised a few times, always with family which I think is a fantatic thing because the thought of someone having to share a table with them depresses me. They are the kind where nothing is EVER right, or good enough. So dinner conversation with them is something like this:

"What do you think of the ship?" - it's too large/small/pointy, things are too cheaply made/too expensive, and it's too hot/cold/wet/dry/bright/dim.
"What did you think of this port?" - too expensive, all the sellers are just there to take advantage of tourists, the locals are too pushy/quiet/foreign, it was too hot/cold/wet/dry/sandy/rocky.
"Have you seen any of the shows?" - they're too boring/loud/busy, the performer is too weak/loud/short/fat, the theatre was too cold/hot, the seats were too hard/soft.

You get the idea.

Of all of their vacations over the last decade+, I've never heard them say a positive thing about any of them. I really pity anyone who has to sit with them at dinner.
I travelled with a couple like that once. Never again!

I'd take a discussion about religion or politics over that any day.

Lois
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NCL Dawn 10 day Feb-Mar 2012
NCL Jewel Oct 2011
NCL Pearl Feb 2011
MSC Fantasia Dec 2010 New Years Med cruise
RC Legend of the Seas May 2010 Asia
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MSC Orchestra Mar 2008 Med cruise
Carnival Victory B2B Jan 2007
Land trip to Italy March 2006
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  #126  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 06:00 PM
room010 room010 is offline
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Reading this thread and seeing the hackles it raises proves my point exactly.

  #127  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 06:13 PM
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A sense of humour is called for at dinner tables- I think most of us will have had the best laughs of the cruise when eating with others. Laugh, enjoy the company, and live and let live- that's always been my cruising motto.
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  #128  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 07:29 PM
secret1122 secret1122 is offline
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Originally Posted by Don P View Post
It seems to me a person has multiple choices if at this table. Contribute to the discussion is one choice. Another would be to ignore the question, and yet another would be to ask the Maitre dei for another table. In other words do whatever you want. A lot of these posts are trying to make fine points. They remind me of my kids. Oh waiter! Table change please.

UOTE=secret1122;33606484]As extreme as those examples are, I can see you not wanting to discuss them or finding them inappropriate for dinner. That would be your choice. My comment was not about what you find appropriate, but more along the lines of how as an adult, that would cause you to feel offended or uncomfortable. Those are extreme feelings that shouldn't be brought on by simple dinner conversation. Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America. At times, it seems we're becoming a country of little girls.
[/quote]
I don't see how this relates to my comment at all. Unless you quoted me by accident...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
They may find the subjects boring but they will not find them offensive.

And therein lies the difference.


Thank you, someone gets it. If you get OFFENDED by some of these topics, then you need to see someone about your sensitivity issues. I bet even an 8 year old girl wouldn't be bothered by a conversation about politics. Bored maybe, but not offended or hurt by it.
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  #129  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 07:35 PM
secret1122 secret1122 is offline
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Originally Posted by boogs View Post
In my America, good manners, discretion, and respect for others has ALWAYS been appropriate behavior. Nothing "panzification" about it. It takes an adult to know when to practice those traits. "Little girls" and little boys are the ones who don't know when or how to practice good manners.
You're 100% correct and I agree with you. Unfortunately I never said anything about manners. I was discussing people getting OFFENDED over subjects.

I'm starting to see why certain topics can be considered in poor taste for dinner. I've already had two people quote me only to then respond to a comment that I never made on a totally different subject. Maybe that's where the problem lies. You bring up religion in conversation, and the other person only hears you say how ugly they are
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  #130  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by secret1122 View Post
You're 100% correct and I agree with you. Unfortunately I never said anything about manners. I was discussing people getting OFFENDED over subjects.

I'm starting to see why certain topics can be considered in poor taste for dinner. I've already had two people quote me only to then respond to a comment that I never made on a totally different subject. Maybe that's where the problem lies. You bring up religion in conversation, and the other person only hears you say how ugly they are
So now you are calling me ugly??? Let's take this out to the parking lot right now!

  #131  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:38 PM
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So now you are calling me ugly??? Let's take this out to the parking lot right now!
That's funny.
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  #132  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 09:26 PM
PennyAgain PennyAgain is offline
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We are just home from an expensive small ship cruise where there was very little dinner table conversation due to the size of the tables (nearly all were for 8 people) and the age of most of the passengers.......very old.

It was difficult to hear over the general din in the dining room and the distance across the large tables made the situaiton more difficult.

Most people visited with the folks closest to them and ignored those across the table.

Conversation as such was rare.

As far as bringing up religion, politics, abortions, sex and/or the elections......forget about it.

Last edited by PennyAgain; May 2nd, 2012 at 09:37 PM.

  #133  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 12:54 AM
pris993 pris993 is online now
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We solve the problem, we get a table for 2. That works best.

  #134  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 01:32 AM
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We solve the problem, we get a table for 2. That works best.
We were once at a table with two very pleasant people, who were a little bit evangelical.

My DH just said: "We don't share your religious beliefs, but we still want to dine with you. Can we talk about something else?" Being nice people, they agreed, and we continued to enjoy their company for the rest of the cruise.

On the other hand, at a sailaway, one woman, after asking where I came from, replied: " Oh, New Zealand! We were there for 2 weeks, at a camp to bring Christianity to the Mayorees" (she meant Maoris). What? Maori aren't savages, many of them are already Christian, and our country doesn't need someone from the US to come over and convert us!

I just said: "I'm sure they appreciated that." She didn't notice the sarcasm. I walked away. There is no way that I would have considered having any further dialogue with that person.
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Last edited by celle; May 3rd, 2012 at 01:41 AM.

  #135  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:22 AM
Don P Don P is online now
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"but more along the lines of how as an adult, that would cause you to feel offended or uncomfortable. Those are extreme feelings that shouldn't be brought on by"

I would feel uncomfortable with a stranger asking me to respond to your above statement. My perception is that this stranger felt that they were above the fray and that they were so sophisticated and intellectual that they could deal with most any subject brought up at the dinner table. That's a bit smug and condescending for my taste. To end this discussion, at least from my side, I simply would change tables. We're done. Enjoy your cruise. I know I will enjoy mine.

simple dinner conversation. Again, it's seems all part of the "panzification" of America.QUOTE=secret1122;33612328][/quote]
I don't see how this relates to my comment at all. Unless you quoted me by accident...

Thank you, someone gets it. If you get OFFENDED by some of these topics, then you need to see someone about your sensitivity issues. I bet even an 8 year old girl wouldn't be bothered by a conversation about politics. Bored maybe, but not offended or hurt by it.[/quote]

  #136  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:45 AM
helpthejuggler helpthejuggler is offline
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On a European cruise many of the highlights in ports will be the great religious buildings. I'm not religious, yet appreciate them for their architecture and symbolism.

It is very hard to not talk about these amazing places you are seeing. Prior to our visit to Istanbul's Blue Mosque we discussed what to expect with a muslim couple, who had greatly enjoyed seeing other churches earlier in the cruise. Very informative.

We travel to learn about other cultures and hope curiosity is welcome.

Maybe "What should not be discussed at dinner", should be added to the list of topics not to raise as it has got people more agitated than it should.
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  #137  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 06:25 AM
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It seems to me that a lot of Americans, in particular, are overly sensitive to what in most other cultures would simply be considered a discussion. I keep reading over and over in this thread about folks feeling "attacked" or that others "demanded" that they "defend" positions, etc. I work with French colleagues daily and also have traveled quite a bit for business reasons and I find many times that discussions with Europeans tend to be much more direct and in-depth and range over many of these topics -- even with business associates I barely know. Same with Australians and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Canadians.

I've sat at many different tables on many cruises (I prefer open seating to fixed and so will sit with different folks most nights) and only once can I say that someone at one of those tables attacked or even heatedly discussed a "hot button" topic in an insensitive way.

Why must conversation devolve to the lowest common denominator? Can't we all get out of our comfort zone just a little for the happiness of all? I'm willing to hear how delicious your fish is or how precious your grandchildren are if you'll reciprocate by indulging in some more substantial conversation as well.

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I am with Cynthia on this. I can discuss, and I have discussed every "taboo" subject listed here with total strangers. Not once has there ever been a heated disagreement or arguement. It is interesting to see how others think. I had the best converation with a young lady in Paris who was working for EgyptianAntiquities at the Louvre. We talked about what is what like for her, as a Muslim, living in Paris. We talked about Obama. We talked about politics. We talked about her dog. We never tried to change the others views. Two hours later she gave me her business card and invited me to see the collection that is not on display. From what I understand this was a huge honor.

This is not the first time, nor the last time ( I hope ) that I have such a conversation. Perhaps it is because we were both willing, both respectful, and both curious about each other??

I enjoy people. I like meeting them and learning about our differences..however, if someone was not like-minded I would not " go there" .

Denise

  #138  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by IndyDenise View Post
It seems to me that a lot of Americans, in particular, are overly sensitive to what in most other cultures would simply be considered a discussion. I keep reading over and over in this thread about folks feeling "attacked" or that others "demanded" that they "defend" positions, etc. I work with French colleagues daily and also have traveled quite a bit for business reasons and I find many times that discussions with Europeans tend to be much more direct and in-depth and range over many of these topics -- even with business associates I barely know. Same with Australians and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Canadians.

I've sat at many different tables on many cruises (I prefer open seating to fixed and so will sit with different folks most nights) and only once can I say that someone at one of those tables attacked or even heatedly discussed a "hot button" topic in an insensitive way.

Why must conversation devolve to the lowest common denominator? Can't we all get out of our comfort zone just a little for the happiness of all? I'm willing to hear how delicious your fish is or how precious your grandchildren are if you'll reciprocate by indulging in some more substantial conversation as well.

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I am with Cynthia on this. I can discuss, and I have discussed every "taboo" subject listed here with total strangers. Not once has there ever been a heated disagreement or arguement. It is interesting to see how others think. I had the best converation with a young lady in Paris who was working for EgyptianAntiquities at the Louvre. We talked about what is what like for her, as a Muslim, living in Paris. We talked about Obama. We talked about politics. We talked about her dog. We never tried to change the others views. Two hours later she gave me her business card and invited me to see the collection that is not on display. From what I understand this was a huge honor.

This is not the first time, nor the last time ( I hope ) that I have such a conversation. Perhaps it is because we were both willing, both respectful, and both curious about each other??

I enjoy people. I like meeting them and learning about our differences..however, if someone was not like-minded I would not " go there" .

Denise

Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.
When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

Lois
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Previous Cruises
NCL Dawn 10 day Feb-Mar 2012
NCL Jewel Oct 2011
NCL Pearl Feb 2011
MSC Fantasia Dec 2010 New Years Med cruise
RC Legend of the Seas May 2010 Asia
NCL Jewel Nov 2009 sisters cruise
Celebrity Summit April 2009 TA
MSC Orchestra Mar 2008 Med cruise
Carnival Victory B2B Jan 2007
Land trip to Italy March 2006
NCL Sea Feb 2005
Celebrity Horizon Nov 2004
Canrival Paradise Feb 2004
Carnival Paradise March 2003 with DD

  #139  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 08:37 AM
secret1122 secret1122 is offline
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Originally Posted by Don P View Post
"but more along the lines of how as an adult, that would cause you to feel offended or uncomfortable. Those are extreme feelings that shouldn't be brought on by"

I would feel uncomfortable with a stranger asking me to respond to your above statement. My perception is that this stranger felt that they were above the fray and that they were so sophisticated and intellectual that they could deal with most any subject brought up at the dinner table. That's a bit smug and condescending for my taste. To end this discussion, at least from my side, I simply would change tables. We're done. Enjoy your cruise. I know I will enjoy mine.
Wow, I really think you keep responding to someone else's comments, but you keep quoting mine. I have not once mentioned that I would bring up ANY conversation at dinner, so I'm not sure why your perception of me would be something negative based on something I never said. Are you even reading the same thread as everyone else?
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  #140  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 08:46 AM
helpthejuggler helpthejuggler is offline
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Originally Posted by electro View Post
Would you, CruiseMom42 and helpthejuggler all come on my next cruise and be our table mates?

This trip is to celebrate my DD completing her masters degree, it will be interesting when people ask what she studied.
When I tell people I usually get an "Oh", and then they change the subject.

Lois

What a kind and generous offer, do you include any OBC?
Where are we going?
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Celebrity Equinox June 14 Rome to Barcelona (7 nights)
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Celebrity Equinox July 13 Venice Redentore Festival (12 nights)
P&O Azura April 13 Zeebrugge and St Peter-Port (4 nights)
Cunard Queen Mary II Nov 12 Beer-n-chocs (4 nights)
Celebrity Silhouette Sept 12 Adriatic from Venice(13 nights)
Cunard Queen Elizabeth May 12 Spring Getaway (5 nights)
Cunard Queen Mary II Oct 11 to Cherbourg (2 nights)
Celebrity Solstice July 11 Barcelona to Venice (12 nights)
Celebrity Eclipse May 11 to Cork (4 nights)
P&O Azura Oct 2010 to Bruges and Le Havre (3 nights)
RCI Independence of the Seas Jun 10 Med (14 nights)
Celebrity Equinox Preview Jul 09 (1 night)
Norwegian Jewel Aug 08 Baltic Capitals (12 nights)
Norwegian Jewel Sept 07 Barcelona to Istanbul (12 nights)

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