Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Discussion Topics > Ask a Cruise Question
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Ask a Cruise Question Post your general cruise questions here.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old April 28th, 2012, 05:24 PM
bbwex bbwex is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,722
Default It's the question and the tone

Normally, it is suggested that you not discuss religion or politics because they are topics that can set off arguments. I agree that asking about someone's religion in order to learn about it is one thing. To start to proselytize is totally another thing, and totally inappropriate with strangers (or new friends). Sadly, many cannot discuss politics civilly either. We travel with one couple who has to be kept away from politics and the economy -- he cannot discuss it calmly. On the other hand, I frequently get in very civil discussions with people on the topic, keeping it a discussion rather than a rant.

In many ways, it is unfortunate that we can no longer discuss politics or economics in a civil way and have a full national discussion to arrive at some real, necessary national answers. It just seems that so many of us are so polarized and don't want to discuss any other alternatives. They are, sadly, topics that need careful handling.

Of course another problem would be if the new friend does not have the ability to keep the discussion within calm bounds, you have a problem on your hands.

I would never discuss someone else's weight unless they brought it up, that's for certain.

As for what someone paid for the trip, that too can cause problems only because there are so many different rates for everything. We made our reservations very early, got some early savings, and some others have come along the way. I'm not sure I even know what the current number is for our Med cruise in October. You might be very proud of yourself for having found a way to save x dollars, but the person you are bragging to about it will not love you for it. The same is obviously the case for airline fares these days. I might tell people where I found my fares, but a comparison isn't going to make one party to the conversation very happy.

The OP does state one good method -- asking the other person. If you are not telling them about yourself, but rather asking about them, you will make better friends.
__________________
Ben and Susan



Previous cruises:
Uniworld RIVER AMBASSADOR - European Splendors, June, 2013
Disney DREAM - 4-Day Bahamas - January, 2013
Oceania RIVIERA - Accent on Italy - Oct. 24 - Nov. 3, 2012
MV ECLIPSE - 7 days in the Galapagos - June, 2012
HAL STATENDAM - 7 day Glacier excursion - June, 2010
Disney WONDER - 3-night Bahamas - Dec. 27-30, 2009
Oceania REGATTA - Scandinavian Splendors - Aug 8-22, 2009
Carnival FANTASY - 3-day 1990 or '91
USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) Two WestPac cruises 1969-71 Oops those weren't pleasure cruises!

  #22  
Old April 28th, 2012, 07:40 PM
toxicfairy's Avatar
toxicfairy toxicfairy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,296
Default

Big Keith you can sit at our table any evening Our last cruise was so much fun and our table mates were great (with the exception of the couple who only showed up twice and barely spoke to any one) ! We all talked about the economy and our jobs and how they were effected by the economy. We hit on religion because of the president. We taked about politics and Obama. We talked about our kids and their schooling and/or jobs and our home lives. When we bumped into them in other places on the ship sometimes the dinner conversation would continue for a few more minutes. No we did not all have the same views but no one let that effect the evening. It was nice to hear others take on things. Yes we also talked about the port we were in that day and what we did or what plans we had for the next day. Some people have an open mind and can listen and not be offended by others not having the same ideas as them and some people close their minds to any thing or person different from them.
__________________



  #23  
Old April 28th, 2012, 07:48 PM
Don P Don P is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: sARASOTA
Posts: 659
Default I couldn't have said it better!

Amen sister!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty9 View Post
Why would anyone take the chance of starting a fight over what are such personal topics? Abortion? Are you kidding me? People have been killed over this topic and has no business in conversations with strangers. I've been involved in political discussions with travel companions from across the pond, and it always degenerates into name calling and accusations. My religious beliefs are no one's business.

The safest topics involve travel, cruise ships, shore excursions and basic generalities. I certainly would feel the need to change tables if one of my tablemates would have the gall to ask my views on abortion and religion.

Last edited by Don P; April 28th, 2012 at 07:49 PM.

  #24  
Old April 28th, 2012, 07:52 PM
lady_cruiser's Avatar
lady_cruiser lady_cruiser is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Church Point AKA Cajun Country
Posts: 10,336
Default

I can't understand why anyone would bring up most of these topics; religion, politics, weight issues, etc.

What is wrong with; where are you from, are you enjoying your cruise so far, is this your first cruise, what are your favorite ports of call for this itinerary, etc.?
__________________
Rosemarie

  #25  
Old April 28th, 2012, 07:53 PM
Don P Don P is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: sARASOTA
Posts: 659
Default I didn't decide to go on a cruise

To listen to crap that I get exposed to everyday on the television or in the newspaper is not my idea of a relaxing vacation. Perhaps the concierge can arrange for a table for those who care to go in this direction. I'll take the quiet table please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKeith View Post
I wouldn't say I go out of my way to bang on about my religion but I find it an interesting topic. I don't purposely push any of these types of conversations. I like most people love talking about ships, excursions and ports of call. I have been in many situations though where I've heard people criticise Clinton/Bush/Obama. Whilst I have my views I am civil enough not to push my own ideas and love listening to other peoples perspectives and opinions. My opinions on religion might be worthless to you, but unlike you I enjoy learning about other peoples perspectives and beliefs (as long as they're comfortable to discuss). You may not wish to find out if you're sat with 'idiots for their beliefs', however I am not so judgemental.

I accept that talk about food doesn't interest you, we're all very different. Im thankful for how much I've learnt about wine from table mates and also interesting food knowledge to increase my understanding

  #26  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:12 PM
dave_k63's Avatar
dave_k63 dave_k63 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 545
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKeith View Post
I understand that and can see the subjects aren't for everyone and if that was your choice I'd respect that.

But let's say, one night after a few meals we were talking about our countries and I said "I've always thought it strange but, how come it takes so long to elect a President". Would you feel uncomfortable answering that?
I wouldn't feel uncomfortable at all. I wish our presidential "season" was much shorter.

  #27  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:28 PM
dave_k63's Avatar
dave_k63 dave_k63 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 545
Default

I think it would be great to have Keith and ToxicFairy at our table. It got me to thinking - I wonder if you could request to be seated in MDR with people from other countries? I love talking with people from all over. Very few subjects would be off limits to me, unless the other person was overly judgmental or self righteous

  #28  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:59 PM
dolittle's Avatar
dolittle dolittle is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: phil. pa.
Posts: 1,211
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don P View Post
To listen to crap that I get exposed to everyday on the television or in the newspaper is not my idea of a relaxing vacation. Perhaps the concierge can arrange for a table for those who care to go in this direction. I'll take the quiet table please!
Don may I sit with you. Great thread Keith, on my last cruise I was on the Anytime dinning plan and shared everynight met a lot of great people of all kinds Brits, U.S. and Canada .So the next to the last night a single older man sits down and he don't like Cathloics and Mormons and all Republicans are idiots, I kind of thought it was funny at first and I did not know how to react in this kind of situation I would normally try humor but I dont think this jerk would get it . It made the whole table quiet and un comfortable. So it is easy to say I like to talk about Relgion , poltics, guns whatever but one jerk like this will change your mind. I think we should leave debates to talk radio not the dinner table.

  #29  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:59 PM
room010 room010 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Melbn, 'Straya
Posts: 1,986
Default

Hot Topics like Sex/Politics/Religion are usually subjects we all have strong feelings about and it's very difficult to remain objective when someone's personal feelings begin to intrude, and they always do. We once spent a very uncomfortable evening as the only nonAmericans on a table of vocal Reps and Dems who just couldn't resist taking cheap shots at each other. Our evening with an evangelical Christian didn't end well either when he started the convo with "have you accepted Our Lord Jesus Christ into your life as your Saviour?". Hmmmmmm.

And speaking as a Brit/Aussie any discussion about income, cost of cruise, money in general is strictly out of bounds although Americans seem much less "uptight" about that sort of thing.

  #30  
Old April 28th, 2012, 10:07 PM
Cruisin' Chick's Avatar
Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In the Valley, CA
Posts: 19,624
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by I_heart_vaca View Post
I think the rules are to err on the side of caution when talking with those you don't know. Most of these topics are hote buttons and people have passionate opinions one way or the other. I enjoy intelligent conversations with open minded people - open minded as in willing to talk and discuss diffences of opinion, not open minded as in I can change their mind). Talking to people who think anyone who disagrees with thier opinion is an idiot, not so much fun.

So I would take a day or two and get to know your tablemates before delving into a deep hot topic. Or play it safe and talk about the wonderful places you have seen or will see. No need to offend or ruin your vacation or thiers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lady_cruiser View Post
I can't understand why anyone would bring up most of these topics; religion, politics, weight issues, etc.

What is wrong with; where are you from, are you enjoying your cruise so far, is this your first cruise, what are your favorite ports of call for this itinerary, etc.?
I so agree that there are certain subjects that are okay such as your cruising history. But I would be hesitant to bring up religion and politics -- and this is a good policy in any setting (unless of course you are at an occasion such as a political fund raiser, etc. in which you know most of the people there share your views).

One thing I like about traditional dining is that once you get to know your tablemates better you can start touching on general subjects such as your hometown or occupation but be aware that some people don't like to discuss even those subjects (maybe they have an unusual job that they don't like to talk about). Once someone says they prefer to talk about something else, that should be your cue to switch to another topic. Don't use this as a chance to psychoanalyze strangers.

I remember once the subject of cruise specials came up. Not necessarily about how much one paid for the cruise, but where one can find specials. That certainly would be okay for many people.

On another cruise, we were seated with a British couple and an Australian one. After one meal, hubby said we should try to avoid politics as he was guessing the Brits were probably 180 degrees from us. But further in the week, somehow politics did came up and as it turned out, the British man felt the same as us about the then current president.

As for subjects such as religion, if someone is wearing a cross or star of David on a chain, you may have an idea of their religion. But the topic can still be a minefield. If someone was insisting on talking about their religion to me, I might start thinking the next thing would be for them to proselytize, which is something I'm strongly against when unsolicited.

If it's something that could make someone uncomfortable, don't bring it up. If you had incorrectly felt a topic wouldn't make someone uncomfortable, drop it.
__________________
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
http://www.sites.google.com/site/holidayalohaii/home

  #31  
Old April 28th, 2012, 11:53 PM
Treven's Avatar
Treven Treven is online now
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 6,173
Default

This is why I insist on getting a table by myself.
__________________
If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

Grand Princess - 04.17.16 California Coastal
Golden Princess - 07.21.15 Back to Alaska
Grand Princess - 04.13.14 Hawaii (b2b)
Grand Princess - 04.06.14 Calif Coastal (b2b)
Sea Princess - 06.02.12 Alaska
Sea Princess - 05.07.10 Panama Canal
Emerald Princess - 04.19.09 Southern Caribbean
Celebrity Millennium - 03.02.08 Western Caribbean
Royal Caribbean - Serenade of the Seas - 10.21.06 Eastern Caribbean
NCL Star - 06.04.05 Hawaiian Isls, Fanning Island

  #32  
Old April 29th, 2012, 12:18 AM
Jasalth's Avatar
Jasalth Jasalth is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 412
Default

I agree with some other posters, those who bring up religion in a conversation, are normally... well not someone I want to talk to!

I will put it this way, one day years ago, my husband was just having a bad day at work. It happens to everyone. His work environment was one where he DID NOT have to interact with other people. Well, one lady he worked with saw he was in a bad mood. She followed him for 4 HOURS telling him to turn to God to solve all his problems. He asked her to leave him be many times w/o out success. In the end he ended up yelling at her, resulting in him loosing his job. All because someone decided THEIR God was the answer.

I cruise with my kids, if we had table mates who wanted to talk about sex during dinner, yeah that wouldn't work well either IMO! My kids are only 10 and 14, but they are well informed 10 and 14 year olds! We have no problems discussing powder keg topics with our kids, others have no business doing it! Sex topics go along with the Abortion topic in my mind. No offense, I want to talk about a medical procedure at all during dinner! Would you want someone telling you all about their surgery while you are eating with all the details?

My thoughts are there is nothing wrong with being civil. While there are some who loves their tablemates and keep in touch with them for years, most you will never see again after the week. To be honest, I just don't care what religion someone is, what they think about politics, or what they think on ANY topic!
__________________

Here we come Suite Life!!




  #33  
Old April 29th, 2012, 07:26 AM
helpthejuggler helpthejuggler is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Royal Wootton Bassett, UK
Posts: 1,909
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by room010 View Post
... Our evening with an evangelical Christian didn't end well either when he started the convo with "have you accepted Our Lord Jesus Christ into your life as your Saviour?". Hmmmmmm.
Made me lol. What a way to clear your table for the rest of the cruise.
Now about that weather....
__________________
Oceania Riviera Nov 14 Monte Carlo to Barcelona (7 nights)
P&O Aurora Oct 14 (3 nights)
Celebrity Equinox June 14 Rome to Barcelona (7 nights)
Norwegian Spirit Nov 13 Spain/Morocco/Arrecife/Madeira (9 nights)
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)

  #34  
Old April 29th, 2012, 11:00 AM
euro cruiser euro cruiser is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9,237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwex View Post
Normally, it is suggested that you not discuss religion or politics because they are topics that can set off arguments. I agree that asking about someone's religion in order to learn about it is one thing. To start to proselytize is totally another thing, and totally inappropriate with strangers (or new friends). Sadly, many cannot discuss politics civilly either. We travel with one couple who has to be kept away from politics and the economy -- he cannot discuss it calmly. On the other hand, I frequently get in very civil discussions with people on the topic, keeping it a discussion rather than a rant.

In many ways, it is unfortunate that we can no longer discuss politics or economics in a civil way and have a full national discussion to arrive at some real, necessary national answers. It just seems that so many of us are so polarized and don't want to discuss any other alternatives. They are, sadly, topics that need careful handling.

Of course another problem would be if the new friend does not have the ability to keep the discussion within calm bounds, you have a problem on your hands.
Bingo. Talk radio and tabloid journalism are the worst offenders, and unfortunately many of their adherents have accepted their model of "shout it louder" and "reduce the most complex issue to a ten word mantra" and mistake this for discourse. It is neither educated nor educational, which ought to be the point of conversation, to learn something!

I guess I'm a bit of a trouble maker; when confronted with a blowhard who insists on shoving his/her views down my throat (regardless of topic) I'll bait them and argue the opposite point, regardless of what I actually think or feel.

Among calm folks (not like those I mentioned above) if wonder why, if you are only willing to discuss the most innocuous of topics (and even those at only the most superficial level) one would choose to sit with strangers? Why not just stay among yourselves where you can discuss what you want?

  #35  
Old April 29th, 2012, 11:36 AM
trish1c's Avatar
trish1c trish1c is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 6,379
Default

Hot button issues can be the basis for lively interesting conversation but ONLY if everyone involved in the discussion wants to be there & the tone remains civilized. Many people do not enjoy discussing these subjects & don't want to debate during vacation so it's safer to avoid them.

The key to any dinner conversation is being polite. Stay away from subjects that make people uncomfortable.
__________________
Trish

  #36  
Old April 29th, 2012, 01:14 PM
euro cruiser euro cruiser is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9,237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by trish1c View Post
Hot button issues can be the basis for lively interesting conversation but ONLY if everyone involved in the discussion wants to be there & the tone remains civilized. Many people do not enjoy discussing these subjects & don't want to debate during vacation so it's safer to avoid them.

The key to any dinner conversation is being polite. Stay away from subjects that make people uncomfortable.
Yes, but some people seem to have an extremely narrow set of comfortable topics. Must everyone at the table accept the constraints of the least flexible among them?

In another thread on this topic someone posted that they refuse to discuss where they live, what they do for a living, etc. He/she didn't leave much room at all, which again leads me to wonder why they would want to sit with strangers at all.

Last edited by euro cruiser; April 29th, 2012 at 01:15 PM.

  #37  
Old April 29th, 2012, 05:04 PM
bonsai3s's Avatar
bonsai3s bonsai3s is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Surrounded by oranges, grapes, and blueberries
Posts: 651
Default No politics or religion...

First, we would love to sit with eurocruiser! Just want to thank you again for helping us with great port information on our Med cruise! Hope to meet you on one of our cruises...

On one cruise, we shared a table in the MDR with a wonderful mother/daughter who loved politics. The mother spoke for several nights about how she adored (really) Pres. Bill Clinton. One night, I said: "All Bill Clinton will be remembered for is Monica Lewinsky". The next evening, we asked the daughter where her mother was. She said her mother was not feeling well. We never saw the mother again for dinner.

  #38  
Old April 29th, 2012, 06:34 PM
marco marco is online now
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New York
Posts: 3,287
Default

Almost any topic is worthy of "talking about". Almost any topic is NOT worthy of "arguing about". There's a difference!

  #39  
Old April 29th, 2012, 07:55 PM
Tralynn's Avatar
Tralynn Tralynn is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southeast Louisiana
Posts: 4,283
Default

In all of my cruises, none of these subjects have ever come up at dinner. It's mostly vacation conversation. I would think that most people having fun on vacation are not interested in bringing up all the mess and stresses going on in the world.......Heck, you go on vacation to get away from all of that.

Just relax, smile, and say, "How are you enjoying your cruise?".......I bet none of that other foolishness is mentioned.
__________________
Tracy





Celebration, 1998
Carnival Destiny, 1999
Carnival Destiny, 2000
RCCL Serenade of the Seas, 2004
Crown Princess, 2007
Carnival Fantasy, 2008
Ruby Princess, 2008
Carnival Sensation (Abbie), 2009
Carnival Fantasy, 2009
Caribbean Princess, 2009
Carnival Triumph, 2010
Emerald Princess, 2010
Golden Princess (Alaska), 2011
RCCL Voyager of the Seas, 2011
NCL Spirit, 2012
Emerald Princess, 2012
Carnival Freedom (Girls' Trip), 2013
NCL Sun, 2013
NCL Jewel, 2014
Celebrity Summit, 2014
RCCL Oasis of the Seas, 2015

  #40  
Old April 29th, 2012, 08:26 PM
lahlah57's Avatar
lahlah57 lahlah57 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: california
Posts: 355
Default

Abortion......what ninkumpoop would consider that an appropriate dinner topic. Lets just throw in venereal diseases as well as prostate issues.......sheesh!

Closed Thread

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:59 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.