Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
MouseBerry

Does HAL try to match countrymen at fixed MDR?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

we are new to HAL (first cruise 12th of June on Koningsdam) and thus not familiar with HAL.

We are germans and although we like our countrymen (of course) on vacation and on a cruise we like to sit with people from different culture or at least from different countries.

So does HAL try to match people from the same country on larger tables in MDR on fixed dining? Or is it totally random and nobody cares?

We will enjoy our cruise and dinner anyway:-)

 

MBerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, MouseBerry said:

Hi,

we are new to HAL (first cruise 12th of June on Koningsdam) and thus not familiar with HAL.

We are germans and although we like our countrymen (of course) on vacation and on a cruise we like to sit with people from different culture or at least from different countries.

So does HAL try to match people from the same country on larger tables in MDR on fixed dining? Or is it totally random and nobody cares?

We will enjoy our cruise and dinner anyway:-)

 

MBerry

 

Now that’s an interesting question.

 

I can only share my experiences with you - we were never matched with fellow Canadians when we left the selection up to HAL.

 

But what we did find is that we had an interesting group of people who “clicked”.  Did HAL do this deliberately?  I doubt it but that seemed to be the way it worked.  For example, we had British, American and us at one table (a table of 6).  Another time - American, Australian & German to give you some examples.

 

I think it’s random and depends on the passenger mix.  My examples were on European cruises where there is a mix of cultures and countries usually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly think it's the luck of the draw. For most of our cruises, it was rare to find another Canadian couple at our table, although we had been told there were many Canadians onboard.  On our last sailing, we were seated with 2 other Canadian couples, one of which was from our own city.  The strangest thing was that although we'd never met each other before, we knew of one another, as we had worked for the same school division!

 

Strangely enough, the other couple said they usually ask to not be seated with Canadians so they could get a different perspective of the world from them.  I hope they weren't too disappointed with us!  LOL

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had both but mostly our experience is similar to Kazu's.  One time, though, we were at a table of four with a father and young son from a city a few hours away from us.  We asked to be moved, not because they were from our same province but because the son loved war and my DM, having been through WWII as a child, did not share his enthusiasm for the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nein, not at all, it' mix and mingle, immer...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ger_77 said:

Strangely enough, the other couple said they usually ask to not be seated with Canadians so they could get a different perspective of the world from them.  I hope they weren't too disappointed with us!  LOL

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

Wow! I've never heard of people asking not to be seated with a certain Nationality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One time on an Alaskan cruise, all five of us were in Neptune Suites.  The only reason we realized this was that our server had to call us by our names.  We have had  many  table mates from Canada and have stayed in contact.  On another cruise, which I refer to as our international table , three  of us were from the states, one China, one Germany, and two from Rumania.  We had to listen carefully to understand each other.  What a fun cruise this was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great question. I do not think HAL does this. Costa tried. Our last name is German and we were seated with Germans. Thankfully husband speak German and the delightful couple we sat with had some English so we had a grand time and even spent time together outside dinner. Lovely couple. On Carnival once we were at a table for 10 with 2 Chinese families. That was fun too though we speak no Chinese. Our kids had a good time. Play has no official language. :classic_biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our recent Noordam cruise, Sydney to Honolulu,  table of 6 in MDR we had us, 2 from USA (Chicago) and 2 from Vancouver.  All good. I like to sit with international people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a rule, I don't think so, because we once shared a table for four with a really delightful couple from Germany.  There were some language challenges, but we worked through them and shared a lot of laughs and a wonderful cruise together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thx for sharing your experience. From the roll call of the cruise we noticed a lot of people are from US, Australia and New Zealand. It is not school holiday season in Europe yet. So very likely the ship is not flooded with germans;-)

 

MBerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Have the feeling HAL doesn't assemble tables on nationality but rather on language. Hence they mix the english speaking guest but with other languages, mine is dutch, they put them together. Now for me I would not choose a table with all dutch, I see and talk to them every day. When on holliday in another country I want to feel it and it is very strange to me to be far away and still be immersed with my countrymen. 

There is a distinct difference/vibe with cruises out of Holland, compared to the carribean or Asia or South America.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to ask for tables for 4 but gave that up a long time ago.

 

A couple of times we were seated with people who didn't speak any English and as a result there was no communication -- boring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

Wow! I've never heard of people asking not to be seated with a certain Nationality.

Neither had we - we were quite surprised by it!  Initially I was a little put off by their attitude, but I guess the couple decided we were "international" enough, and we had many pleasant dinners with them throughout the cruise.

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very interesting topic, I like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being German ourselves and choosing HAL and other cruiselines like Azamara or Cunard for the international crowd you meet we only once were seated with fellow countrymen when we were mistaken for part of a large group.

As I usually mark "Preferred language on board: English" in order to practise my English we always had no trouble to be either placed at an "international" shared table or to get a table for two if we preferred that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

We used to ask for tables for 4 but gave that up a long time ago.

 

A couple of times we were seated with people who didn't speak any English and as a result there was no communication -- boring.

It has been a long time since we've had set dining, but one memory is of the 4 in our party being seated with a  family of 3 who spoke no English.  Even my attempts to communicate in French (they spoke French to our waiter) didn't make any difference.  We ended up giving up any communication with them, it was pretty obvious they would have preferred a table alone.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak for HAL, but on the one Carninval cruise I took, all of us at the same table had a big laugh the first night when we were seated for dinner. Everyone turned out to be a Japanese national. 🤣  That is, everyone except for me, a US national. But because my address and my traveling partner's address are in Japan, I got lumped together with all the Japanese cruisers. Five of the Japanese were living in the States even, with US addresses. So this was definitely a move by Carnival, in my opinion, to cater to language needs and facilitate communication. We had a fun week together at dinner time and around the ship. Personally, I don't care with whom I sit, as long as everyone is enjoyable and fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had the experience of being seated with fellow Canadians on another cruise line.   I once went to the dining room just after embarkation in order to check on the table that we had been assigned and discovered that we would be at a table for 10. One of the waiters expressed surprise at my dismay, asking why I would not want to be seated with 8 of my countrymen. Luckily the Maître D' was able to accommodate us at a smaller table with another Canadian couple and three lovely Australians.

 

On another cruise, when travelling as a group of six, we were all seated in the "overflow" dining room at a large table with four other Canadians. When we surveyed the rest of the small room it appeared that all of the Canadian passengers had been relegated to the separate dining space. Management tried to make us feel "special" but I felt rather insulted at being shunted away from the rest of the passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

Wow! I've never heard of people asking not to be seated with a certain Nationality.

I specifically ask not to be seated with people from the UK if possible ... it’s the same reason I would never sail a UK cruise line. Once bad experience was enough ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lovely other said:

I specifically ask not to be seated with people from the UK if possible ... it’s the same reason I would never sail a UK cruise line. Once bad experience was enough ...

You are dismissing an entire country and it's people over one bad experience? Wow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

You are dismissing an entire country and it's people over one bad experience? Wow.

After the past 3 days, I dare say that UK may be dismissing the US over one bad experience ;-)

(sorry, I just couldn't resist that one)

 

I'm not sure if HAL does any matching under any circumstances.  I got stuck with some older people who thought I was "so brave" for traveling solo.  "Didn't you have a friend who could come?"  "What do you do when you're at the beach/pool - who watches your bag?"  After that, I dine alone at a 2-top...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've always had a mix of people at the table. One time, we were at a table for 6, but one couple asked to be moved to the earlier seating, so it was 4 of us for the duration of the cruise. The other two were British (senior mom and daughter), and it wasn't until the last night when we discovered that their last name was the same as my Grandma's maiden name. Of course, since the father wasn't there, we couldn't match any information, but it made us smile to think that here in the Caribbean was a connection from the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

You are dismissing an entire country and it's people over one bad experience? Wow.

 I’m from that country too, so yes I am! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just want to add our experience.  OH and I are from England and we also like to meet other nationalities on our cruises.

HAL isn't one of the top choices for Brits and so far, with anytime dining, we've met  American, Australian, Canadian, Dutch, German, NZ and citizens from many other countries (very few from our own). 

Have a great time!

 

Lily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...