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bobnsofi

Dining Q, no random group dining still? If so, NOT FOR US

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Hi All, 

 

We were thinking of cruising on the GEM next season, and we typically avoid Norwegian,

 

due to a Norwegian dining policy, that jibes with one of our favorite reasons to cruise.

 

We enjoy the main dining room for every meal.

 

We enjoy sharing a large table with others on the cruise, other cruisers that we have not met prior.

 

Our typical protocol is to show up for breakfast and lunch at the main dining room, during regular service hours.

 

We approach the main dining room and ask to share a large table, with others.

 

We have had wonderful experiences doing this on many other cruise lines, but not Norwegian.

 

The few times I have tried this on Norwegian, we were turned down. Small table for the 2 of us, no exceptions.

 

Does Norwegian still have this policy of not seating cruisers in group dining tables?

 

!!! If so, no GEM for us !!!

 

Also dinner, 

 

No large table dining with our ship mates?

 

Only a small table for the two of us?

 

Not happening for us if this is still the Norwegian rule

 

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Shared a table for lunch on the Jewel.  Did two shared dinners.   Maybe you are going at the wrong time, if the dining room is busy perhaps its easier to get a shared table.

I personally am very shy and have trouble carrying on conversations, and really don't care to dine with people I don't know. NCL is for me.

 

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Posted (edited)

It would depend if others want to join a big table.  Sounds like, since it isn't for sure, this ship might not be the one for you.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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The issue is not serving your request but finding others that also want to eat with strangers.  I love meeting people on cruises.  We never ask to be seated with strangers but love striking up conversations with those near to us.  However, many don't share this and prefer to be left alone.  So that is why NCL is not going to seat you with strangers.

Once during a murder mystery lunch where everyone is crammed together at tables, my spouse and myself shared a table with a family.  We engaged them in conversation and they pretty much ignored us so we just kept quiet and stared away like they did.

 

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I read where they specifically put solos grouped together - maybe since there are only 2 of you, you could join..

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I’m the exact opposite.  I cruise only Norwegian because they don’t force you to eat at large tables with strangers.  

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2 minutes ago, Shidah said:

I’m the exact opposite.  I cruise only Norwegian because they don’t force you to eat at large tables with strangers.  

 

Me too, This would be my worst nightmare, thank goodness for the 2 seaters.

Sharing a table would be bad enough but anything more than polite introductions would not be welcome.

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We sailed on the Jade in Jan/19 & were always asked at dinner if we minded sharing a table with others.  We had some lovely meals with people we never would have met otherwise.  They may only ask when it is really busy?

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It sounds like the OP would be happier on another cruise line.

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1 hour ago, bobnsofi said:

Hi All, 

 

We were thinking of cruising on the GEM next season, and we typically avoid Norwegian,

 

due to a Norwegian dining policy, that jibes with one of our favorite reasons to cruise.

 

We enjoy the main dining room for every meal.

 

We enjoy sharing a large table with others on the cruise, other cruisers that we have not met prior.

 

Our typical protocol is to show up for breakfast and lunch at the main dining room, during regular service hours.

 

We approach the main dining room and ask to share a large table, with others.

 

We have had wonderful experiences doing this on many other cruise lines, but not Norwegian.

 

The few times I have tried this on Norwegian, we were turned down. Small table for the 2 of us, no exceptions.

 

Does Norwegian still have this policy of not seating cruisers in group dining tables?

 

!!! If so, no GEM for us !!!

 

Also dinner, 

 

No large table dining with our ship mates?

 

Only a small table for the two of us?

 

Not happening for us if this is still the Norwegian rule

 

Not to dispute what you state your personal experience has been, but I have no idea why you state you've been unable to get a shared table . 

 

We have cruised on NCL for many years and as often as not we're asked if we wish to share a table. In fact if you're dining at peak hours you're virtually guaranteed to be asked that question. If you're not asked you can  make the request yourself and they'll try to put you at a shared table. There's no guarantee that others dining at the same time as you will also want to share a table, but you're certainly free to request it.

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1 hour ago, C cruise said:

I read where they specifically put solos grouped together - maybe since there are only 2 of you, you could join..

This is likely done through the solo gathering that is scheduled prior to dinner (it was on the Bliss) so getting added to that group is not likely to happen.  The solo host checks the group in with the maitre'd so that host is only aware of how many they have from the meetup and gets a table for that number.  You may also not know what DR the group is in, I know at least 2 different MDR venues were used by the solo group when I sailed Bliss in April.

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It really is totally dependent on there being others arriving around the same time as you who also wish to share a table. Many people who cruise with NCL like that they're not forced to share a dining table with others, so often others will decline to share.

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No way in hell do I want to eat with people I do not know and try to entertain them or listen to their endless boring stories while I try to enjoy my meal, especially someone creeping around asking if they can join my family for dinner.  If you want to eat with strangers it is fine and dandy, just find someone on the ship each day to enjoy dinner with, but be careful that you do not become offensive in your quest.

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As others have said, I don’t think you’ll be happy on NCL.

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2 hours ago, bobnsofi said:

Hi All, 

 

We were thinking of cruising on the GEM next season, and we typically avoid Norwegian,

 

due to a Norwegian dining policy, that jibes with one of our favorite reasons to cruise.

 

We enjoy the main dining room for every meal.

 

We enjoy sharing a large table with others on the cruise, other cruisers that we have not met prior.

 

Our typical protocol is to show up for breakfast and lunch at the main dining room, during regular service hours.

 

We approach the main dining room and ask to share a large table, with others.

 

We have had wonderful experiences doing this on many other cruise lines, but not Norwegian.

 

The few times I have tried this on Norwegian, we were turned down. Small table for the 2 of us, no exceptions.

 

Does Norwegian still have this policy of not seating cruisers in group dining tables?

 

!!! If so, no GEM for us !!!

 

Also dinner, 

 

No large table dining with our ship mates?

 

Only a small table for the two of us?

 

Not happening for us if this is still the Norwegian rule

 

 

 

It isn't a Norwegian rule or policy...you are free to eat with whomever you wish...as long as they wish to eat with you. Norwegian will not force a guest to eat with other people if they don't want to.

 

FWIW...If being sat with strangers is such a desirable thing, have you ever wondered why all of the restaurants on land haven't adopted that policy???

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We call and make our dining reservations before we sail. Yes, even for the mdr . Perhaps you could your pcc or general reservation folk and ask them if being seated with a number of others diners is possible .

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As a solo cruiser, I'm constantly asked by the hostess if I'd like to join a group table. It makes no difference what ship you're on, IMO, they will frequently ask if you want to share a table. 

Sometimes I'll agree to share and sometimes not.  However, if I request to dine alone the first night, unless I ask to share the next, I'll be automatically assigned a 2-top.  

 

For large groups, you can even make reservations same day in the MDR, so, have you tried that?  

I'm not really one to enjoy dining with a group of strangers but hey, if it's what you like, perhaps try a different cruise line. 

Cheers, 

Hope you enjoy your cruise not matter which line you choose. We all make choices that will hopefully ensure our enjoyment of our cruise. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Shidah said:

I’m the exact opposite.  I cruise only Norwegian because they don’t force you to eat at large tables with strangers.  

Agree. 

 

Even Royal’s traditional dining is dying. More and more request My Time Dining to avoid group seating,,, which is further impacted by high numbers of specialty dining. Sometimes you se a couple alone on a 10-top. 

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At breakfast, I usually arrive alone and ask to share a table. Most often, I've been seated at a table for four or six and within a few minutes others have been added to the table. On some ships, including the Gem, the dining room used for breakfast is configured with quite a few large tables and hostesses may ask parties of one, two, or three to share a table for six.

 

I have never asked to share at dinner, because I usually join the group of solo passengers sharing a large table in the MDR.

 

In contrast, recently on RCI, I was seated alone at a two-top every night. I had requested fixed seating at a large table, but was reassigned to MTD. On NCL you can ask to share and often it will work out, but not always.

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Posted (edited)

OK, I called NCL and confirmed that there is no policy of seating small requesting parties together (if they request, and many MANY cruisers do request this, on other lines).

 

On NCL, by policy, NCL will turn you down.

 

The NCL rep did say that the NCLTeppanyaki restaurant does (by default) serve to large tables only, so everyone can enjoy the Benihana style chef, at the table experience. So if you do choose NCL Teppanyaki, and are in a small party, you will dine at the same table, as some of your other fellow cruiser diners.

 

Thanks for all your tips, as selecting the main dining at rush hour, may be the way to go, for us, cast of characters entertained folk, to get to know as many fellow passengers as possible. 

 

I think having an early-n-cruise chit chat with the Maître D on this topic, couldn't hurt either.

 

Think we will give it a try, cause it's been several years since we NCL'd

 

Cya aboard... and maybe, just maybe... get to chit chat with ya

 

 

Edited by bobnsofi

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4 hours ago, C cruise said:

I read where they specifically put solos grouped together - maybe since there are only 2 of you, you could join..

 

Ugh. I despise solo dump tables. Just because I am cruising solo does not mean I want to be dumped at a table with other solos.

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5 hours ago, david_sobe said:

 

Once during a murder mystery lunch where everyone is crammed together at tables, my spouse and myself shared a table with a family. 

 

What ship was this offered on?  Is it something you could prebook? And if so, where?

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Posted (edited)

This is the only element I am not looking forward too on my upcoming MSC, fixed time dining and shared tables.

 

OP - MSC might be a good choice for you.

Edited by ziggyuk

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The funny part is that since the Breakaway class ships, the tables in the specialty restaurants are crammed right next to each other so you are basically eating with strangers at your table.  A table for 2 at Cagneys on Getaway is about 3 inches next to the next table.  So its really a table for 4.  For some it can be awkward.  We got lucky and had an amazing couple from CA next to use that we made friends with.  Since they are basically eating with you, you might as well make friends LOL.  It turned out they were on 2 of our excursions later that week.  Small world

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6 hours ago, HOSKI said:

What ship was this offered on?  Is it something you could prebook? And if so, where?

This was years ago on Epic.  NCL used to have the Murder Mystery luncheon on most/all of their ships. It cost money, and the cast of second city put on a play and in the end you had to guess who dun it.

I don't remember hearing about this anymore and not sure Second City is affiliated with NCL anymore.

IMHO it was not that great anyway.  The food was less than MDR quality and the show was a basic sketch show.  Was not worth the upcharge IMHO.

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