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  #1  
Old June 24th, 2013, 11:52 PM
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jlk806 jlk806 is offline
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Default To share a table or not share a table?

Last summers cruise was 6 girlfriends, in our 20s. We are all fun, outgoing people who like meeting new people so we kind of hoped to be seated with others, but they gave us a table for just the 6 of us, and of course we had a great time. On the cruise, we did make several friends we have kept in touch with from all over.

This cruise (this coming Sunday!) there are only 4 of us girls going. We are doing late dining again, and of course the thought that we might get tablemates this time around (thinking it would be really awesome if they found and paired us up with another group of girls travelling together!). I am kind of nervous tho, especially after reading the "awkward table mates" post.
- We like to have a drink with dinner, we like to talk and laugh and have fun. We are not loud, nor are we trying to draw attention to ourselves, but we are on vacation so having a drink (though we are all lightweights so we dont drink a ton!) and laughing and having fun is what we do. After reading that post it seems having a drink talking and laughing may offend some people.
- Though we are completely open-minded (very liberal) and could care a less about a persons sexuality, race, religion, etc. we would be upset if seated with people who dress like theyre at a baseball game (shorts, tshirts, hats, flip flops) or a farm (overalls). We by no means dress in ball gowns, but we do dress nicely for dinner (cocktail dresses for elegant night and sundresses and nice sandals or heels on the other nights) and really feel people should have respect for the dress code and at least look presentable and would feel awkward if we are in our dresses or skirts sitting across from someone wearing a backwards baseball cap.

- Though no one is perfect, I can also say I will lose my appetite if seated with someone with gross bad manners (chew with mouth open, talk with mouth full, etc) I can ignore those who put their elbows on the table and pass things across the table, but I cant eat dinner with someone who chomps with their mouth open or talks with their mouth full.

- I will never start a conversation about religion or politics with people I dont know well, but if someone else started one and their views were opposite of mine they will not like my answer. Like I said, I would NEVER bring it up with strangers but if someone else felt the need to....

- Since we are travelling with no husbands and kids, would rather not get seated with a family with kids.

Please dont read me wrong, We really are nice, fun, girls and made lots of friends on our last cruise. We really want to meet new people and make friends this time around too, but are kind of nervous at the same time, after reading that other thread, about getting a bad match and having it ruin the dining experience, which we loved so much last year.

Should we chance it or just request a table for just us?
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  #2  
Old June 25th, 2013, 12:28 AM
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Hello Jlk806,

Dining with table mates is one of the highlights of the cruise. We have made life long friends with previous table mates and have since booked multiple cruises with them.

You will plenty of time to spend with your girlfriends during the day, but, at night it's nice to look forward to seeing your dinner pals, see what they've been up to and share your adventures.

If you have duds you can always switch, but, I think you should sit at a table with other people you'll have a blast.

Jonathan
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  #3  
Old June 25th, 2013, 12:58 AM
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I would ask for a table for 8 (or 10 if they have them). Try it the first night and see what the computer has done choosing you seat mates. If it is too horrible, speak with the maitre d' and see what he can do. As cruiserking said, it's nice to hear other people's take on the day and a great way to meet people.
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  #4  
Old June 25th, 2013, 01:09 AM
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It's really a personal choice. In our case because we really do enjoy meeting new people we therefore always ask to be seated at a table for 8 and for breakfast and lunch we always tell the head waiter we like to share. Sure on the odd occasion we get with someone who is not going to be our new best friend but most part we meet some very wonderful people.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 01:29 AM
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I would also request a larger table; that way, if one couple doesn't show, you still have others to talk with. Same reason applies if you find you don't particularly get along with one or two of the others - it can happen.

Have fun!
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  #6  
Old June 25th, 2013, 03:18 AM
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I mean this with all due respect.

Remember if you were seated with two other people they might feel out of it because the four of you are so close. So if you are seated with others I would hope you all would make them feel a part of the table. I say this because I have seen situations where two people are at a table with others traveling together and are shut out of the conversation.

My only point is there are two sides to every situation.

Given that the four of you enjoy the company of one another I would either ask for a table for four or go with a table of 8 or 10.

Have a great cruise.

Keith
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  #7  
Old June 25th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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I noticed that you mentioned that you are worried about having people at the table with bad manners.

A lot of this can be avoided by choosing longer cruises on more upscale lines that cater to people that are more well traveled. And those cruise lines do tend to enforce the dress codes. Try RCI for your next cruise.

For now -- ask for a table for 8 or 10 and hope all goes well.

Good luck.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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jlk806 jlk806 is offline
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Thank you everyone! I guess I spent too much time reading that 12 page long post about bad tablemates. LOL though I did get some good laughs out of it. We will give it a try and hope they pair us up with another group of girls travelling together!
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Old June 25th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith1010 View Post
I mean this with all due respect.

Remember if you were seated with two other people they might feel out of it because the four of you are so close. So if you are seated with others I would hope you all would make them feel a part of the table. I say this because I have seen situations where two people are at a table with others traveling together and are shut out of the conversation.

My only point is there are two sides to every situation.

Given that the four of you enjoy the company of one another I would either ask for a table for four or go with a table of 8 or 10.

Have a great cruise.

Keith
I understand how that could happen, but we are nice to everyone. We all pretty much made new friends the first day last year just chatting with others. We will not shut anyone out. We WANT to meet new people just a little nervous they will throw us people who have never eaten in a restaurant or have no clue how to behave.

One other concern I forgot to mention since we are sailing from San Juan though we would have no problem if they sat us with people from San Juan as long as they didnt JUST sit there speaking Spanish the whole time. That would be uncomfortable...
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Old June 25th, 2013, 09:25 AM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
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We, too, enjoy tablemates! Ask for a BIG table..that way, you have a better chance of having other folks to talk to nightly.
We get along with almost everyone...so far, we haven't had any tablemates that offended us or made us need to change tables! Sure...some are better than others, but so far...so good!
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Old June 25th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk806 View Post
I understand how that could happen, but we are nice to everyone. We all pretty much made new friends the first day last year just chatting with others. We will not shut anyone out. We WANT to meet new people just a little nervous they will throw us people who have never eaten in a restaurant or have no clue how to behave.

One other concern I forgot to mention since we are sailing from San Juan though we would have no problem if they sat us with people from San Juan as long as they didnt JUST sit there speaking Spanish the whole time. That would be uncomfortable...
If you are seated with people who only speak a language you do not understand, just ask the Maitre 'd to move you.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 10:03 AM
Zach1213 Zach1213 is offline
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It's definitely a personal choice and only you know what you (and your friends) would enjoy most. I personally find dining with strangers on vacation to be torture, as I'd rather just be with my wife. Obviously, many people are the opposite and use the cruise to meet new people. Only you know what your group will enjoy.

I am definitely an extroverted person who enjoys meeting new people, just not in that forum.

Last edited by Zach1213; June 25th, 2013 at 10:03 AM.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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Re politics at the dinner table: Because I know that this can be a very touchy subject, and because I know that my views tend to be liberal, I will try to sidestep political questions. Notice I said try! On our last cruise, the conversation was getting very one-sided and was beginning to "get" to me. My husband, knowing my disposition, was quietly saying, "don't do it!" as I got itchier! Eventually I gave in and joined the debate - initially it was a little tense, but by the end of the week, we had all enjoyed the friendly discussions - probably didn't change anyone's minds, but it did make for lively conversation.

I concur with the others in the thread - ask for a large table!
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Old June 25th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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My thoughts on this are that I have never encountered gross table manners in others on a cruise. It no doubt happens, but I think it is rare. I travel solo and always join a table. Many suggest a larger table but I would also note that exchange is limited at large tables because of distance from one end to another. I don't mean to be sexist here, but 4 girls together can be very chatty and unknowingly exclude others. You mention a preference to join other girls, and if that doesn't happen, maybe you 4 will be better of at your own table. Finally, as for politics and religion in the conversation, to me, bring it on, just be civil and knowledgeable.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamessemaj View Post
My thoughts on this are that I have never encountered gross table manners in others on a cruise. It no doubt happens, but I think it is rare. I travel solo and always join a table. Many suggest a larger table but I would also note that exchange is limited at large tables because of distance from one end to another. I don't mean to be sexist here, but 4 girls together can be very chatty and unknowingly exclude others. You mention a preference to join other girls, and if that doesn't happen, maybe you 4 will be better of at your own table. Finally, as for politics and religion in the conversation, to me, bring it on, just be civil and knowledgeable.
We were just thinking since we are on a fun, girlfriends trip (which naturally just has a different focus/vibe than a fun family trip or a fun husband/wife trip) it would be super fun if we could be paired up with other girls travelling together, or even sisters travelling together, etc. because we would be more on the same wavelength. With that said, we did make friends with 2 completely different husband/wife couples on the last trip and have kept in touch with both, and also a mother/daughter we met on an excursion. We will be open minded and see what happens! The first night on our cruise is open seating anyhow, since we are sailing from San Juan and dont sail till 10PM.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Request a large table and if you find it does not work, speak with the Maitre d' or Dining Room Manager and request a change. No reason for you to remain at a table where you are not happy.

Enjoy. Have a great cruise.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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You might want to consider doing Any Time Dining and saying you want to share at a large table when you go in each night.

That's what we do. Fun meeting different people each night.

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Old June 25th, 2013, 07:03 PM
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Sometimes, when you have "weird" tablemates, they make for the best memories. On one cruise we sat with a couple where the man would lick his ice cream plate, every single night. He said the melted residue was the best ice cream---his wife was appalled. My family and I still laugh about that.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
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Sometimes, when you have "weird" tablemates, they make for the best memories. On one cruise we sat with a couple where the man would lick his ice cream plate, every single night. He said the melted residue was the best ice cream---his wife was appalled. My family and I still laugh about that.
No doubt she wasn't all that appalled, having seen him do that the whole time they had been married.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 03:01 PM
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You can check with the maitre'd when you board and find out how many are at your table. If its just the 4 of your he will change it while you are standing there.
I'd suggest you never sit next to each other. Sit next to some one you don't know. Then the 4 of you won't monopolise the conversation and can meet new people easier.
I always email the maitre'd before our cruises and make a table request. We are in our late 60's and DO NOT want to sit with people our age or older. (We have had tables where all they talk about is what medications they take for ailments and diseases. We are healthy and take only a some time Tylenol.) We ask for a table of 6 or 8, tablemates in their 40's, 50's, maybe 30's, that is not round, usually by the window. On round tables the only one you can really hear is the person next to you.
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