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  #1  
Old July 14th, 2013, 10:51 PM
jm485 jm485 is offline
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Default River Cruise Dining

Hi experienced river cruisers! My DH and I are considering a river cruise for our upcoming anniversary. We're at the younger end of the age spectrum for these cruises from what I can tell (mid-40s) and we both work full-time, and we really don't have the opportunity to get away often.

That being said, one major concern we have is privacy,especially at meals. Do any of the river cruises offer truly private dining, or do all have tables of 6-8 at dinner? This is a deal-breaker, so I'm hoping the answer is yes ... but I suspect it's no.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old July 14th, 2013, 11:00 PM
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AMA and Scenic at least had tables for 2, but not private and very close to the next table. Some lines offer dinner in your suite or on your small balcony.
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  #3  
Old July 14th, 2013, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm485 View Post
Hi experienced river cruisers! My DH and I are considering a river cruise for our upcoming anniversary. We're at the younger end of the age spectrum for these cruises from what I can tell (mid-40s) and we both work full-time, and we really don't have the opportunity to get away often.

That being said, one major concern we have is privacy,especially at meals. Do any of the river cruises offer truly private dining, or do all have tables of 6-8 at dinner? This is a deal-breaker, so I'm hoping the answer is yes ... but I suspect it's no.

Thanks in advance for your help.
I think it varies by line and ship. On our cruise on the AMACello, there were 7-8 tables for 2. Most days (2-3 meals/day) we found one. Perhaps 2 meals total, we shared a table. I would expect this is true for most AMA ships (perhaps not for those cases where they charter another provider's ship due to local restrictions). I think that reviews of the newest Viking ships note that they did not have them.
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AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009,
Eurodam - Baltics - 2009, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005,
Star Princess - Mexico - 2002, Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001,
Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999,
Zenith - Bermuda - 1998, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997,
Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991,
Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989,
Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987

Last edited by MarkBearSF; July 14th, 2013 at 11:16 PM.
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  #4  
Old July 14th, 2013, 11:14 PM
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I think it varies by line and ship. On our cruise on the AMACello, there were 7-8 tables for 2. Most days (2-3 meals/day) we found one. Perhaps 2 meals total, we shared a table. I would expect this is true for most AMA ships (perhaps not for those cases where they charter another provider's ship due to local restrictions). I think that reviews of the newest Viking ships notes that they did not have them.
I should clarify a bit, if you truly want a private experience...
I assume most ships will have closely-spaced tables. Our favorite aspect of the dueces aboard was that they were against the wall and next to a table of 4. We would start by ourselves, but inevitably start chatting with the table next to us. The advantage was we had the choice. However, even if we didn't visit, our table wasn't really private.

Some lines (Tauck?) might allow you to take meals in your cabin, if this is essential. I know you didn't ask, but i would think that isolating yourselves might compromise the interaction with fellow cruisers and the "we're all in the same boat" camaraderie which I personally enjoy about river cruising.


Hope this helps.
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AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009,
Eurodam - Baltics - 2009, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005,
Star Princess - Mexico - 2002, Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001,
Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999,
Zenith - Bermuda - 1998, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997,
Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991,
Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989,
Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987

Last edited by MarkBearSF; July 14th, 2013 at 11:15 PM.
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  #5  
Old July 15th, 2013, 03:02 AM
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On Avalon's Expression the dining room has 6 tables for 2. There are 3 tables up against the wall facing the door. On our trip several couples regularly eat there. They do often talk between others at the 2 person tables. Hope this helps!

Pat


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  #6  
Old July 15th, 2013, 07:58 AM
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We just got off the AMACello and there were NO tables for two.
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  #7  
Old July 15th, 2013, 08:31 AM
caviargal caviargal is online now
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There were tables for 2 on AmaDante and AmaCerto. Also the new AMA ships have a specialty dining venue that you reserve, where you can definitely book a table for 2. It is available for all guests one evening guaranteed but we were able to book another later in the cruise.

We had no tables for 2 on Avalon's Luminary, Affinity and there were a few on Panorama. Hard to get though.
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  #8  
Old July 15th, 2013, 08:38 AM
alexandra cruiser alexandra cruiser is offline
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Thumbs down If this is indeed a "deal breaker"

sorry,but this type cruise may not be for you.We,also,prefer table for 2 ,but not THAT important that we can t enjoy river cruising.Will have to figure out HOW important it is,and chose accordingly.
I say,give it a try, many GOOD POINTs, then if not for you ....dont go again.Hard decision,right?
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  #9  
Old July 15th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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Sorry, I had the wrong boat . I was on the AMACerto and there were NO table for two (at least that I saw). Caviargirl saw some, but I didn't .

Last edited by H2Otstr; July 15th, 2013 at 09:03 AM.
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  #10  
Old July 15th, 2013, 09:47 AM
caviargal caviargal is online now
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Originally Posted by H2Otstr View Post
Sorry, I had the wrong boat . I was on the AMACerto and there were NO table for two (at least that I saw). Caviargirl saw some, but I didn't .
There were a number of banquettes in the MDR that were for two. Since we enjoy dining alone when not traveling with friends, we always look for these.
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  #11  
Old July 15th, 2013, 10:05 AM
jm485 jm485 is offline
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Thanks to all for the information. Confirms what I suspected about river cruising -- that part of the experience is interacting with fellow passengers. Without getting into a lot of gory detail, let me just say that I'm rather introverted and Mr. JM is extremely so, which makes dealing with folks we don't know stressful for us. We can't even stay at B&Bs for this reason! I wish we enjoyed it more, as reading these responses does make it clear that it adds to your experiences. And if it weren't so expensive, I'd be tempted to take Alexandra's advice and give it a go. But I know us well enough to know that we wouldn't enjoy it if we didn't at least have the option of keeping to ourselves.


I will take a look at the couple of ships some of you have mentioned as having "couples" tables ... and maybe at some other options for seeing the area we're interested in (the Rhine/Moselle region in Germany). A driving trip might be fun, too. Again, many thanks for the quick and informative replies!
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  #12  
Old July 15th, 2013, 10:22 AM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Just returned from a trip on the Avalon Vista and there were 8 tables for 2, 3 on each side near the entrance to the restaurant and 2 midway down each side but almost touching a 4 seater. The 3 2seaters next to each other were within about 16 inches of each other so you could carry on a conversation with those next to you or just yourselves. We found that there were many groups travelling together and they'd often take the same tables, same chairs, morning noon and evening. We were alone and sometimes sat at a 2, other times joined others. If you want to be very private one night you can always ask for room service. There is a small charge
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  #13  
Old July 15th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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jm - you sometimes have the option of dining in port on your own. Yes, you are paying for meals on board but it is nice to have a meal here and there in port.

Also, you will find that you can probably find a table for just the two of you for breakfast and possibly for lunch.
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  #14  
Old July 15th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H2Otstr View Post
We just got off the AMACello and there were NO tables for two.
Interesting. Because when we were on her in April, there were tables for 2 along each of the the banquette dividers, next to the windows, with 4 tops next to them. We sat in them almost every meal.
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AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009,
Eurodam - Baltics - 2009, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005,
Star Princess - Mexico - 2002, Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001,
Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999,
Zenith - Bermuda - 1998, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997,
Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991,
Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989,
Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
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  #15  
Old July 15th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBearSF View Post
Interesting. Because when we were on her in April, there were tables for 2 along each of the the banquette dividers, next to the windows, with 4 tops next to them. We sat in them almost every meal.

Maybe these can be separated for tables of 2???


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Old July 15th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H2Otstr View Post

Maybe these can be separated for tables of 2???


Actually, I think we've mixed ships again. I was talking about the AMACello which you originally mentioned (and later clarified you meant AMACerto - which I didn't initially see).

And, although the section with round tables didn't look familiar for the AMACello class ships, yes, I suspect that the table for 6 in the first pic can be split. Likewise, in the foreground in the bottom photo, you can see irregularly spaced chairs which would look like we found aboard with adjacent tables for 4 and 2.
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AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009,
Eurodam - Baltics - 2009, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005,
Star Princess - Mexico - 2002, Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001,
Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999,
Zenith - Bermuda - 1998, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997,
Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991,
Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989,
Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
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Old July 15th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBearSF View Post
Actually, I think we've mixed ships again. I was talking about the AMACello which you originally mentioned (and later clarified you meant AMACerto - which I didn't initially see).

And, although the section with round tables didn't look familiar for the AMACello class ships, yes, I suspect that the table for 6 in the first pic can be split. Likewise, in the foreground in the bottom photo, you can see irregularly spaced chairs which would look like we found aboard with adjacent tables for 4 and 2.
I either had a Senior Moment or not enough coffee when I posted this .
LOL
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  #18  
Old July 15th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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We just got off the AMA Prima in May and I can verify there were no specific tables for 2. That being said, there were times, especially at Breakfast and Lunch, where we ate as a couple because the dining room was not full or had the continental breakfast/”Lite Lunch” in the lounge.
Just remember, cruising tends to be a social experience. The good news is you are not assigned a table. The first week, we tried to sit next to different people at every meal mainly to see who we would want to spend an hour or so with again and who we would not. By the 2nd week, we had a core of 8-10 couples we would seek out because we knew they were folks that we enjoyed.
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  #19  
Old July 15th, 2013, 07:13 PM
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I don't know how this may apply to other cruise lines but when you cruise with Tauck you have the option of dining in their Lido Restaurant. It is situated at the stern and accommodates just 20 people with tables mainly for two. The menu is not as elaborate as the one in the main dining room but you receive the intimate attention by a wait person and may be what the OP was looking for.

Rod
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  #20  
Old July 15th, 2013, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLRDUKS View Post
We just got off the AMA Prima in May and I can verify there were no specific tables for 2. That being said, there were times, especially at Breakfast and Lunch, where we ate as a couple because the dining room was not full or had the continental breakfast/”Lite Lunch” in the lounge.
Just remember, cruising tends to be a social experience. The good news is you are not assigned a table. The first week, we tried to sit next to different people at every meal mainly to see who we would want to spend an hour or so with again and who we would not. By the 2nd week, we had a core of 8-10 couples we would seek out because we knew they were folks that we enjoyed.
But the OP finds it more enjoyable to not socialize. Cruises do tend to be social, but it's not a requirement. It looks like from the pictures, you could sit at one of those booths and tell the "host" seating you, that you just wish to be alone so he would not seat others with you.
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