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to whomever started this thread GREAT THREAD very entertaining cant wait to see the next reply must say after19 cruises alot of your stories sound so familiar even though we always attempt to secure a table for 2 even if you succeed it turns out to be a table for 6 ( seasoned travelers will understand} but far many postive interactions than negative

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When someone asks "what I do", I always say I am the food editor for High Times Magazine. Shuts them up every time.

There's been times at lunch/breakfast where we get seated with others. We're a pretty quiet couple overall(gay as well)so we kind of like sticking to ourselves. I've had a few nosey pax really try to "dig" into what I/we do(food services & owner of a catering co.)which always results in "How do you think the food is on this ship?" etc. which after the 10'th time tends to get boring. If they really get persistent I'll drop into my best "Vito Corleone" & reply "Oh a little bit of this & a little bit of that". Really seems to scare off some people.

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Although this does not pertain to dinner mates, I would like to add this very touching experience of ours.

 

As DH served in Vietnam (1966 – 1967), we chose to take the PCL Veteran’s Cruise (2013) which was fantastic.

 

On this cruise, a strange series of events occurred which told us that our fate was truly meant to be.

 

Maybe one or two times prior (in almost 40 PCL cruises) we have never gone to the MDR for breakfast . . . at least that we can remember. Somehow, on the next to the last day of the cruise we spontaneously opted to do so.

 

We were seated at a two top near the 2nd (not main entrance) set of doors that are typically used for excursion disembarkation. After being seated and placing our orders, an elderly (but spry) couple was seated at a table next to us and against the wall. Within no time, the gentleman asked my husband what branch of service he had been in and then if he had been in Vietnam. Initially, DH really "didn’t want to be bothered", but, as it turns out, all of us were so glad that the gentleman at the other table persisted.

 

When the gentleman stated that he had served in Tay Ninh, my husband immediately turned and said, “I was there”, with all his near-aloofness then fully abandoned. The man then informed DH that he was a Physician at the hospital. (This hospital attended to the 196th LIB in which my husband served as a grunt) To make a long story short, and after the two exchanging common experiences and knowledge, it turns out that Dr. B was the Anesthesiologist for my husband when he was shot in the Michelin Rubber Plantation and airlifted (in pitch black darkness) to said hospital. It was a very surreal experience with both Dr. B’s wife and I choking back tears.

 

For the first couple of years or so, they kept in touch. Although now it is a little harder, as Dr. B has moved several times and we are trying to find where to send the Christmas Card. I keep getting several different addresses from several different online sources. Oh well. We’ll send one to each address obtained and hope for the best that one of them will be the right one.

 

Kudos and many thanks to then CEO Buckelew for setting up such a wonderful cruise.

 

 

Had a few similar experiences, as in meeting people we knew, by name etc but never met. Then suddenly finding ourselves sharing a table with them.

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For the experienced cruisers we all have the stories in the MDR of siting with strangers and the crazy things that are discussed at the table. My last cruise we had people for the UK, Canada and the USA. As the week went on the one couple from the US started telling accounts of what went on during the cruise. The last night the couple told a story about a couple they met that would make even a sailor blush. The Canada and UK were really taken back. How about other table stories out there?

As a rule, being a gay couple, we book a table for 2. We don't wish to end up with tablemates who are less than sympathetic. Though we've not had issues, we know gay couples who have. That being said, the worst time we had at dinner was this past Jan. on the Eclipse. We were in Murano(a very nice specialty rest.)there was a table of 4 in the middle of the room. These people were from Chicago & just outside of Boston. I've lived in both places, so I was familiar with the locations. The couple from Chicago did nothing but talk about the crime, which was funny because they lived in "Downers Grove"(which was near Naperville)where I had lived for a number of years. Those 2 areas are rather far removed from serous crime. The other couple from the Boston area commented about all the "poor" people who lived along the Maine coast. Rather odd, as there is a LOT of wealth along the Maine coast. The Mass couple also kept bragging about the "beauty" of Eastern Mass. & it's mill towns. Then the Mass couple went on in glorious detail about the Priest sex scandals that have happened in Massachusetts(Gee, didn't that happen elsewhere, as well?)It got to the point where I stood up & said "Knock it off!" "We're trying to have a nice meal & not hear about the sordid details of your sorry lives." You had to be there. It went on the entire 2+ hours that we & other couples were going through that eve. Most cases it wouldn't have mattered, but that meal was pretty pricey & we didn't need the B/S from this obnoxious table. The other 3 tables gave me a round of applause. I kind of wish some of them had spoken up as well.

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On our first cruise we were waiting for our table mates. The two top beside us caught our attention—a newlywed couple were being very loud. When she stopped for a breath, he said “just give me five seconds. She stormed off in a huff. A few days later there was an instant replay in front of the elevator. For years we’ve used “just five seconds” between us as a conflict alert (in our vicinity—never between us) and occasionally we toast that couple, who we are certain didn’t make it!

 

 

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I find it interesting that when "what do you do for a living" comes up. They always ask the DHs, but rarely ask the DWs.

 

What's up with that? Does everyone think that women don't work?

 

 

 

Like the grandmother book I was given to fill out. It asked why my husband did for a living and asked me what my hobbies were. Suggestions were sewing and cooking. This was in 1990 when my first grandchild was born.

 

 

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Wish I had been there. I would have enjoyed telling them, in French, that I preferred to speak French only to people who speak French properly.

 

I wouldn't have really meant it, but the Québécois have a very distinct accent, as well as some notable grammatical differences to classical French but it would have let them know what I really thought about their comment.

 

Classical French? Apparently, Québécois is held to be the most authentic and true to old French.

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Last week sat down at a shared four top in ATD. The other couple tells us that on their first cruise 6 years ago the DH gained lots of weight so now the DW orders for both of them and they share.

We thought that they were going to order an appetizer each, share an entree and share dessert. Nope, the DW orders 4 appetizers, three entrees and 5 desserts. It was interesting. Kudos to the waitstaff who knew how to pace their dishes so that they didn’t encroach into our section of the table.

 

 

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Last week sat down at a shared four top in ATD. The other couple tells us that on their first cruise 6 years ago the DH gained lots of weight so now the DW orders for both of them and they share.

We thought that they were going to order an appetizer each, share an entree and share dessert. Nope, the DW orders 4 appetizers, three entrees and 5 desserts. It was interesting. Kudos to the waitstaff who knew how to pace their dishes so that they didn’t encroach into our section of the table.

You WIN!!!:D:D

ROFL

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How would a cruise line know whether somebody speaks English/another language or not?.

 

It may not know if you speak English or not but in Guest Check In for the cruise, it does ask your preferred language. That definitely gives them some idea.

 

 

"Onboard Documents Language Preference

 

 

 

Select the language for your Stateroom Portfolio, dining menus, and In-Stateroom Services order forms."

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This was a few years ago, but we sat with a couple for dinner and all the husband could do was complain because the silverware may have been slightly turned, he was asked to many times by different wait staff if he wished pepper, lunch hadn't gone well. . Since this was our 2nd cruise, we didn't know enough that we could have requested another table. The other couple who started with us, never returned. We did enjoy two evenings with just the mans wife when her husband excused himself two nights early but then returned.

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It may not know if you speak English or not but in Guest Check In for the cruise, it does ask your preferred language. That definitely gives them some idea.

"Onboard Documents Language Preference Select "

lol, that didn't work for us. I chose Russian for my parents, and they still got everything in English. When I inquired at the Service Desk, they looked at me as if I had two heads.

 

Last year Russian subtitles were available on the on demand movies. Not this year, though.

 

The menus were available in Russian last year and this year, if requested from your waiter, but they were google-translated most of the time and it made for a very funny situation when I compared the English version to the Russian version.

 

Plus, Princess would not be able to determine whether I speak another language just going by last names or our language preference if I don't change it to another language.

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Although this does not pertain to dinner mates, I would like to add this very touching experience of ours.

 

As DH served in Vietnam (1966 – 1967), we chose to take the PCL Veteran’s Cruise (2013) which was fantastic.

 

On this cruise, a strange series of events occurred which told us that our fate was truly meant to be.

 

Maybe one or two times prior (in almost 40 PCL cruises) we have never gone to the MDR for breakfast . . . at least that we can remember. Somehow, on the next to the last day of the cruise we spontaneously opted to do so.

 

We were seated at a two top near the 2nd (not main entrance) set of doors that are typically used for excursion disembarkation. After being seated and placing our orders, an elderly (but spry) couple was seated at a table next to us and against the wall. Within no time, the gentleman asked my husband what branch of service he had been in and then if he had been in Vietnam. Initially, DH really "didn’t want to be bothered", but, as it turns out, all of us were so glad that the gentleman at the other table persisted.

 

When the gentleman stated that he had served in Tay Ninh, my husband immediately turned and said, “I was there”, with all his near-aloofness then fully abandoned. The man then informed DH that he was a Physician at the hospital. (This hospital attended to the 196th LIB in which my husband served as a grunt) To make a long story short, and after the two exchanging common experiences and knowledge, it turns out that Dr. B was the Anesthesiologist for my husband when he was shot in the Michelin Rubber Plantation and airlifted (in pitch black darkness) to said hospital. It was a very surreal experience with both Dr. B’s wife and I choking back tears.

 

For the first couple of years or so, they kept in touch. Although now it is a little harder, as Dr. B has moved several times and we are trying to find where to send the Christmas Card. I keep getting several different addresses from several different online sources. Oh well. We’ll send one to each address obtained and hope for the best that one of them will be the right one.

 

Kudos and many thanks to then CEO Buckelew for setting up such a wonderful cruise.

Love this story!! Thanks for sharing.

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I have to say in all our years of cruising we have been very lucky with our tablemates. Some have become life long friends and others were just great or fair company. We like to sit at a large table 8-10 so we have the opportunity to get to know someone!

We've only had one negative experience on our last cruise we sat at a table with 2 young ladies and this very grumpy couple who did not smile and barely talked. We were traveling with another couple and after the second night (14day cruise) I told them I felt bad for the young ladies but we were moving!! The head waiter gave us a wonderful 4 top. I watched the table and soon noticed that no one was sitting with this couple -- of course I felt bad for them -- but you can't expect people to ruin their vacations because you are a grump -- So Grumps stay home or sit at a table for 2!!!

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We sat at a table for 10 one evening...the topic started with politics. Part of the group strong liberals, the other half strong conservatives. As the topic progressed it became more heated. Someone finally said we’d best change to a more neutral topic. One lady, several drinks into the evening said, “who here has taken Jesus Christ as their Savior?” Ok...politics straight into religion. Two topics best not discussed with strangers IMHO.

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A couple of examples....

 

-ATD, table of 8...with the customary go around with intros and where are you from.....Lady from Texas says to me "Wow, for Canadians, you speak really good English!"

 

-Got seated in ATD on embarkation night with two couples who were #1 and #2 most travelled. They proceeded to spend the entire meal whispering to the Head Waiter and demanding special food to be brought out for the table, which arrived on platters and was not eaten. Very uncomfortable situation.

 

-Were assigned to a table for 8 on the "little" Royal (with only traditional dining), and one couple seemed a bit odd. As it turned out, she was the "nanny/mistress", and he had recently murdered his wife. Read more about it here... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Michele_MacNeill. (This is always a good story to tell if dinner tends to be a quiet one).

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I find it interesting that when "what do you do for a living" comes up. They always ask the DHs, but rarely ask the DWs.

What's up with that? Does everyone think that women don't work?

 

Reminds me of one of my 'interesting' tablemates. This guy was sitting on one side of me, DH on the other side chatting with the person next to him. The guy says to me 'What does your DH do for a living?" :o Not like I would have a career or anything.....

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I have dipped into this thread from time to time and although there are some good stories, there are just to many bad and weird situations. I don't want to "roll the dice" and then have to go through trying to change tables. Our best mixed situation came back in the 90's on Golden and I think the host was doing a great job matching up people. We caught on with two other couples, one especially, and we all agreed to meet same time for dinner each night and the host gave us the same table pretty much every night. Earlier days of AT and it worked out great. Also, we just don't want to wait for lengthy serving at larger tables. We often travel with our friends now, so we get a 4 top together. If I was alone with my wife, I think we might try AT again, but only 2 tops... or just stick with the early TD as we do when with our friends.

 

I am mostly interested in having a great wait team and a decent location - doesn't have to be a window as it's usually dark, or going dark anyway.

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Well now... Thank you for asking!

 

Worst, worst, Worst experience was the couple from Canada who looked me in the eye the first night at our traditional dining table that told me: "we prefer to sit with French -speaking people." I looked at them as I thought to myself: "GO Find YOURSELVES... another table!"

 

They read my mind and did so the next evening. I dined with another pleasant couple who was at the table."

 

I suppose it depends on how it was said, but normally I would take that as meaning, "English is not our first language, we apologise in advance for our poor conversational skills".

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A couple of examples....

 

-ATD, table of 8...with the customary go around with intros and where are you from.....Lady from Texas says to me "Wow, for Canadians, you speak really good English!".

 

:D:D:D As Australian's we get that all the time! We live in a small rural area, a long way from any cities, and it's great to say with all honesty that where we live we do have kangaroos in the backyard :cool:

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Last time I sat at a large table a man on my right said “your potatoes look goodl” reached over with his fork and took a piece! Now we ask for a table for two.

Lucky it wasn't at my table. I would have smacked him on the knuckles with the blunt end of my knife! It's stories like this, which is the reason we do 2 tops. In 2008 we booked kind of a last minute a cruise on the QM2. We were placed at a table for 6. Richard & I spoke English. One couple spoke French, the other German. Real odd ball pairing. This was probably due to the late booking. We spoke to the Maître D & the next night we had our 2 top for the rest of the trip.

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My favorite response to those who ask me what I did for a living is "I did drugs" (no explanation). It is a true statement as I worked in the unit of a regulatory agency that handled drug products.

 

People either laugh or get very quiet.

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