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Dining on HAL for Solo Cruisers

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I am considering a cruise on HAL but, as I travel solo, I would like to know if there are tables in the main dining room where I could join others so I do not have to eat alone. Thanks.

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Yes, if you are selecting fixed dining you can request to be assigned to a large table and in as you wish dining( anytime) you would make that request at the podium.

Have a great cruise.

 

 

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Yes!

 

You have two options. If you opt for either early or main (late) dining, you can be assigned to a table for the duration of the cruise. It's a good way to get to know a few people better. As your booking agent to put you at a table of 6 or 8.

 

If you sign up for anytime, you can go to the dining room when you want. Ask the dining room manager to seat you with other people.

 

I do the latter, particularly on longer cruises. It's a good way to meet more people.

 

You will be surprised at how many people cruise alone

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I am considering a cruise on HAL but, as I travel solo, I would like to know if there are tables in the main dining room where I could join others so I do not have to eat alone. Thanks.

You can sign up for early or late dining and will be seated at the same table with the same fellow cruisers and waiters each evening. If you prefer not to have to do that, you can request open dining and when you show up each evening, you can request to share a table and the head waiter seats you with others who have also requested to share.

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I traveled solo on the Koningsdam in July. I found it easier to make reservation for dinner two or three nights at a time. I did not want fixed dining but wanted to sit with other people. If you just show up, you may be seated with people who have already eaten their appetizer!

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I traveled solo on the Koningsdam in July. I found it easier to make reservation for dinner two or three nights at a time. I did not want fixed dining but wanted to sit with other people. If you just show up, you may be seated with people who have already eaten their appetizer!

I have always been seated with people who are entering at about the same time so we order together.

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I have always been seated with people who are entering at about the same time so we order together.

 

That was only an option if I wanted to wait. When I arrives for dinner, I want to eat!

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I have tried both styles of dining when cruising as a solo. I prefer fixed. I enjoy getting to better know people with whom I am dining rather than the nightly open dining routine of "How are you? Where are your from? What is/was your job?, etc."

 

I have also learned that if I am seated at a fixed dineing table where my table mates are not to my liking (or I am not to their liking), I am not bashful about seeing the DRM or an Assistant and getting this issue rectified.

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I started out just doing Lido, but have since moved to Open Seating in the MDR. It gives me flexibility if I am feeling shy one night, (as I can get a table alone), or allows me to go to the Lido if we are scenic cruising during dinner. You just can't beat the windows in the Lido.:) :):):D:D

Edited by TiogaCruiser
Oops. Emoticons don't show up in my browser and I can't remove them now.

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I've done open dining many times as a solo and they always put me with other diners, but it was hit or miss, was ignored a couple times; the best one was a family with college age sons, their youthful vigor and enthusiasm made for a memorable evening.

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Thank you to all of you who have posted. I'm very close to booking the Veendam transatlantic to Rome in April 2019. Though I have cruised many times before, this would be my first solo - so your experiences are tremendously helpful. I confess that the evening dining is the only thing about traveling solo which concerns me. I'm leaning toward fixed dining and late seating.

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I prefer doing the open seating when travelling solo. I have seen/hear of several instances where someone at a table of 6-8 on traditional were left sitting by themselves on a particular night (or even a few nights) because their table mates decided to do lido, specialty, room service etc. By doing open seating I can always ask to share a large table and have dining companions, or if I meet people whom I get along with can join them on subsequent nights, etc provided they also have open seating.

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That's a shame, and aren't people with fixed stuck with it? I thought I heard they can't do open dining once their confirmed for fixed, true?

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I have tried both styles of dining when cruising as a solo. I prefer fixed. I enjoy getting to better know people with whom I am dining rather than the nightly open dining routine of "How are you? Where are your from? What is/was your job?, etc."

 

I have also learned that if I am seated at a fixed dineing table where my table mates are not to my liking (or I am not to their liking), I am not bashful about seeing the DRM or an Assistant and getting this issue rectified.

 

These are my feelings, too.

 

On a number of cruises I have been placed with most or all solo travelers and with fixed seating you become quite close.

 

It is also nice to have the same waitstaff each night that you don't get with open dining.

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These are my feelings, too.

 

On a number of cruises I have been placed with most or all solo travelers and with fixed seating you become quite close.

 

It is also nice to have the same waitstaff each night that you don't get with open dining.

I've been sailing solo on HAL for 8 years and prefer late fixed. My experience mirrors Kathi's in that I've found that the DRMs will usually make an effort to seat the solos together. So far I've had mostly great tablemates and have never had to request placement at another table. <---and I hope saying that doesn't bring me bad luck on my next cruise clear.png?emoji-wink-1685.

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I travel solo and always request fixed large table and late. However, the late four cruises, even though I have been assigned to a table of 6 or 8, people drop out and I end up sitting with 1 couple or even 1 person. My last cruise, it was a table for 8 where it ended up being only one couple and they did not come every night. So the waiter found me a backup table of another couple that I would join if my tablemates did not make it. The best tablr I had was 5 other single people, all older by 20 years and very seasoned travelers, who told me of all their world adventures. I prefer fixed as I am picky and I like having the same waiter every night and like getting to know the people at the table well. That being said, it seems like many more people pick fixed main and then just eat in the Lido and you can end up alone at a table for 8, as I did one cruise, and had to ask to get moved to a table with companions.

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Thank you to all of you who have posted. I'm very close to booking the Veendam transatlantic to Rome in April 2019. Though I have cruised many times before, this would be my first solo - so your experiences are tremendously helpful. I confess that the evening dining is the only thing about traveling solo which concerns me. I'm leaning toward fixed dining and late seating.

 

I think you are making the right decision. Assigned dining means that conversation will not be limited to introductions each evening; and, at a large table (8 or 10), you are more likely to have compatible dining partners.

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Most of my cruises have been with Cunard, so fixed dining is what I know - and I'm leaving toward it here for the reasons you all have mentioned. And I do like to know the waiters - and have them know me. I realize every cruise is different, and it is the luck of the draw who you're seated with.

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I've done open dining many times as a solo and they always put me with other diners, but it was hit or miss, was ignored a couple times; the best one was a family with college age sons, their youthful vigor and enthusiasm made for a memorable evening.

 

On a Princess cruise using fixed seating, I was seated at a table with a family of both parents and 2 early and mid-adolescents. That first evening, when seated with them as the only solo at the table, I was concerned. Our dinner progressed well, I was included in the family's conversation, and the children left as soon as they consumed their dessert allowing the parents and me to continue conversing while we finished our meal and coffee. This dining room table proved to be one of the most pleasant that I have had.

 

I surely echo your comments about your dining experience with a family.

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That's a shame, and aren't people with fixed stuck with it? I thought I heard they can't do open dining once their confirmed for fixed, true?

 

Not necessarily true, although ours was a special circumstance. DH, DS and I were traveling with another family who had 5 members. We asked for and received early fixed. We told the other family, who had never cruised before, that they should arrive on time @ 5:15. We also explained why this was important.

 

The first evening, they didn't show up until 5:30. We had already ordered. The next night, they showed up at 5:45. The next night, they arrived at 6:00. We were shocked the DRM allowed them to join us. We had ordered and were already eating the main course.

 

Their continued tardiness was disrespectful to the wait staff who did the best they could. When one of their group decided the main course wasn't to her liking, she asked for something else. The waiter politely told her the kitchen couldn't accept the order due to the fact that it was now close to 7:00! She got angry with me because I had told them before we sailed that if "you don't like something, just ask for something else. They'll gladly accommodate you." DH tried to explain that the kitchen accommodates people who show up on time.

 

The following evening we apologized to the waiter for their rudeness. They hadn't shown up yet, and it was close to 5:30. Next thing we know the hotel manager introduced himself to us and asked if we'd like to dine downstairs. He offered us a choice of keeping our fixed time at a fixed table (and he promised us a good table) or we could move to the anytime dining. Since our waiter staff was so good, we hated to give them up, so we declined. Also, we wondered about whether they'd get the proper tip. We endured our table mates tardiness through the rest of the cruise until the last night when we had Pinnacle Grill reservations. BTW, we've never cruised with this family again, despite their suggestion that we "enjoy another HAL cruise together." NO WAY!

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On one cruise I was seated with three couples. When I walked in I thought I was going to be the "odd one out". Turned into one of my best dining experiences and we still are in touch with each other. Having that empty seat was nice because we often had an officer host our table.

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As a single I requested late fixed dining on the Westerdam this summer. Bad idea as I requested a table for 4. Couple I was seated with was okay, but they didn’t show two evenings. No attempt was made to move me and there was a vacant seat at a table of singles (several of whom I knew) that was just two tables away. I really liked my waiter, so just had dinner by myself.

 

Next cruise I will request table for 6 or 8.

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As a single I requested late fixed dining on the Westerdam this summer. Bad idea as I requested a table for 4. Couple I was seated with was okay, but they didn’t show two evenings. No attempt was made to move me and there was a vacant seat at a table of singles (several of whom I knew) that was just two tables away. I really liked my waiter, so just had dinner by myself.

 

Next cruise I will request table for 6 or 8.

 

Even at a table for 6, your experience of being the sole diner that evening can happen. However, the advantage of this is the service and attention by your Stewards that you will receive.

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As a single I requested late fixed dining on the Westerdam this summer. Bad idea as I requested a table for 4. Couple I was seated with was okay, but they didn’t show two evenings. No attempt was made to move me and there was a vacant seat at a table of singles (several of whom I knew) that was just two tables away. I really liked my waiter, so just had dinner by myself.

 

Next cruise I will request table for 6 or 8.

 

We have twice requested reassignment - once from a table for six when others repeatedly did not show; and once from a table of eight when the others were French Canadians traveling together who were not interested in interacting - the M’d promptly cooperated. You do not need to stay at at unsatisfactory table — for any reason,

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Even at a table for 6, your experience of being the sole diner that evening can happen. However, the advantage of this is the service and attention by your Stewards that you will receive.

In 2014 I was at a table for 10 and one night I was all by myself. I got great service that night.;):D

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