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CAPTAIN’S TABLE


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1 hour ago, zekekelso said:


That’s fine with me. All I want from the officers is for the ship to run safely. In fact, the less social the officers the better. 

 

We all expect different things, which is one of the benefits of cruising. However, learning the art of meeting and mingling was a necessary skill for cruise ship officer, especially on attaining senior positions, where they manage a large crew.

 

The skills I learned as a Cadet, also worked well during emergency situations and dealing with pax, both face to face and when making pax announcements. In an emergency situation you require the certified officers to communicate effectively, which are skills that should be learned as Junior Officers/Cadets.

 

Not having officers at tables in the MDR & in pax bars is totally different from an occassional attendance at a cocktail party. Both Bridge & E/R watches were all effectively manned at all times, so off-duty officers attendance at the Captain's Cocktail Party had no impact on the safety of vessel operations.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Once the receiving line was complete, we were not permitted to be in a group of more than 2 Officers or Cadets. We were also expected to mingle between groups, so we couldn't find 1 group of pax and stay with them for the remainder of the party.

 

Interesting post; thanks for making it.  Different cruise lines; different times.  

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5 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Interesting post; thanks for making it.  Different cruise lines; different times.  

 

Definitely different times.

 

Even with Princess, the standards changed before we stopped cruising with them. I recall attending the returning pax cocktail party, and almost all officers were in groups to themselves around the rear of the room. Not one of them attempting to chat with pax.

 

I went up and tried to chat with a few Deck Officers and they couldn't handle it. Totally sad, if they can't meet & mingle, they should work cargo ships, where they would make more money.

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52 minutes ago, shipgeeks said:

And recently we have been wondering if the art of conversation has been lost or diminished due to the lockdowns.  I hope not.

It certainly has when people would rather spend time with their phone than converse with another person.

 

I'm afraid the Captain's Table will become another shipboard amenity that will pass on into memory  like Bon Voyage parties.   Rightly or wrongly so many passengers today don't want to dress for dinner, have fixed dining times, or dine with people that they don't know. 

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On 7/23/2021 at 3:00 PM, Reina del Mar said:

When I was younger was delighted to be invited to sit at the Purser’s Table on several cruises. We were also invited to ‘Pour Outs’ in his cabin and on officers’ decks. Now I have ‘grown up’ not so sure I want to pay cruise prices to eat with the crew !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I'm sure I don't want to eat with the crew.  An invitation to dine at the captain's table is an artifact from an earlier era that today only appeals to pretentious social climbers who think the invitation gives them some sort of special status. Personally I could not care less and have no interest in making polite conversation over dinner with the people who steer the boat. 

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On one cruise we were invited to sit at the Pursers table for dinner. We had a prior booking in a speciality restaurant (where tables were like gold dust) so we politely declined the invite …. Surprisingly enough we have never had another one 🤔

I’ll survive 🙄

 

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Dinner on most cruise ships has evolved into more of a belly-filling exercise than a leisurely social event - and most of the minor traditions (such as having the opportunity to dine with ships’ officers) which used to make cruising enjoyable have evaporated.  

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We were seated at the Captain’s Table on the QE2 15 years ago. During the 14 night trip we had several evenings with different officers and a couple of nights with the Captain including his wife and 2 daughters who were traveling with him at the time. The conversation was anything but cruising.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

I'm sure I don't want to eat with the crew.  An invitation to dine at the captain's table is an artifact from an earlier era that today only appeals to pretentious social climbers who think the invitation gives them some sort of special status. Personally I could not care less and have no interest in making polite conversation over dinner with the people who steer the boat. 

Wow, sour grapes?
 

My husband and a ship captain developed a lifelong friendship after a dinner in which they partly discussed the trials of operating a large passenger vessel (ship and airplane.) Possibly they were discussing passengers who thought the captain's only job was to “steer.”  

I am amused you find the idea of meeting someone new at dinner “social climbing.” There is no blue book of dining with officers.  Of course, no need to do it if you’re not interested. Denigrating others who do go is a real head scratcher for me.

 

Edited by Pudgesmom
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22 minutes ago, Pudgesmom said:

Wow, sour grapes?
 

My husband and a ship captain developed a lifelong friendship after a dinner in which they partly discussed the trials of operating a large passenger vessel (ship and airplane.) Possibly they were discussing passengers who thought the captain's only job was to “steer.”  

I am amused you find the idea of meeting someone new at dinner “social climbing.” There is no blue book of dining with officers.  Of course, no need to do it if you’re not interested. Denigrating others who do go is a real head scratcher for me.

 

 

Don't fall for the trap and take it seriously. Better to chuckle and move on.  

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2 hours ago, Glaciers said:

We were seated at the Captain’s Table on the QE2 15 years ago. During the 14 night trip we had several evenings with different officers and a couple of nights with the Captain including his wife and 2 daughters who were traveling with him at the time. The conversation was anything but cruising.

 

Any chance you can remember who was Captain?

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44 minutes ago, Pudgesmom said:

Wow, sour grapes?
 

My husband and a ship captain developed a lifelong friendship after a dinner in which they partly discussed the trials of operating a large passenger vessel (ship and airplane.) Possibly they were discussing passengers who thought the captain's only job was to “steer.”  

I am amused you find the idea of meeting someone new at dinner “social climbing.” There is no blue book of dining with officers.  Of course, no need to do it if you’re not interested. Denigrating others who do go is a real head scratcher for me.

 

 

Brliiant response. 

 

I also got a good laugh about the Captain steering. Got me thinking when I last steered a "ship", but the memory wasn't that good.😁

 

We met lots of interesting pax, some of who we kept in contact with. I'm still married to a pax I met in the 70's, when I was a lowly Cadet. Lots of others also married pax.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Any chance you can remember who was Captain?

 

Christopher Rynd.   Hamish Elliott was the Staff Captain.

Edited by Glaciers
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13 minutes ago, Glaciers said:

 

Christopher Rynd.   Hamish Elliott was the Staff Captain.

 

Brilliant Master, who came through the P&O system. Sailed with him a few times on SS Oriana and MV Sun Princess, when he was S/2/O.

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2 hours ago, Glaciers said:

We were seated at the Captain’s Table on the QE2 15 years ago. During the 14 night trip we had several evenings with different officers and a couple of nights with the Captain including his wife and 2 daughters who were traveling with him at the time. The conversation was anything but cruising.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread, we had the opportunity to dine with the ship's sanitation officer on a cruise.  Since she was in the sea born (not Seabourn) poop business and I was in the land based poop business, we had a very interesting conversion although I am certain that the other people at the table were not that interested in discussing the difference between handling poop at sea and poop on land.

 

DON

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7 hours ago, BlueRiband said:

It certainly has when people would rather spend time with their phone than converse with another person.

 

The lockdowns probably will have contributed to the lack of one's ability to converse with others.  But, at least for people of certain ages, they have spent so much time texting with their phones that it is a challenge for them to carry on a conversation.  A have a Niece-in-Law in her late 20's that is an example of that.  

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22 hours ago, Pudgesmom said:

The captain and other officers routinely eat with invited passengers. We have enjoyed many of these meals. One of the most fun was when the chief engineer canceled on us due to upcoming bad weather and sent two engineering interns, nice young people who were very worried about messing up in the dining room. 

When our son attended the US Merchant Marine Academy the midshipmen had required lessons in dining etiquette that concluded with a formal dinner in dress uniform. The lessons have served him well in his career as an officer in what chengkp75 refers to as the "Gray Funnel Line."

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9 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

I'm sure I don't want to eat with the crew.  An invitation to dine at the captain's table is an artifact from an earlier era that today only appeals to pretentious social climbers who think the invitation gives them some sort of special status. Personally I could not care less and have no interest in making polite conversation over dinner with the people who steer the boat. 


I am always excited to dine with anyone whose life path is significantly different than mine.  And I find that people are generally pretty open, usually commensurate with my own openness.  But I know that there are people who just don't care to make conversation with a stranger.  But for us, that is one of the greatest charms of traveling.

I've sat at a Captain's Table one time, as I previously said.  I didn't do anything to get the invitation.  I didn't seek it out.  Getting the invitation didn't boost my ego or self image.  I didn't look at diners at other tables and mentally congratulate myself on my superiority by dint of sitting there.  I got the invitation out of the blue and rather than taking a churlish attitude I just enjoyed myself.

 

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2 hours ago, nybumpkin said:

When our son attended the US Merchant Marine Academy the midshipmen had required lessons in dining etiquette that concluded with a formal dinner in dress uniform. The lessons have served him well in his career as an officer in what chengkp75 refers to as the "Gray Funnel Line."


Kings Point?  My godfather's wife, my aunt, was the Commodant's (?) secretary for something like 25 years.Many's the time a friend and I would ride our bikes over, visit the museam, maybe watch some football if it was a fall Saturday, and visit the Old Grist Mill.  Then a stop at "Bruce's, Baker to the Stars" to pick up some of their amazing onion rolls before heading home.  Good times, Good memories.

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9 hours ago, Pudgesmom said:

Wow, sour grapes?
 

My husband and a ship captain developed a lifelong friendship after a dinner in which they partly discussed the trials of operating a large passenger vessel (ship and airplane.) Possibly they were discussing passengers who thought the captain's only job was to “steer.”  

I am amused you find the idea of meeting someone new at dinner “social climbing.” There is no blue book of dining with officers.  Of course, no need to do it if you’re not interested. Denigrating others who do go is a real head scratcher for me.

 

 

I also have no interest in spending my free time dining with the manager of a hotel I might be staying at or the nice people who fly the airplane I was on or my Uber driver. Dining at the Captain's table seems to be a desirable event among the easily impressed. 

 

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On 7/24/2021 at 5:23 PM, zekekelso said:


That’s fine with me. All I want from the officers is for the ship to run safely. In fact, the less social the officers the better. 

Regardless of whether or not there is a social gathering with officers and staff or not, the ship is going to be run safely.  Due to regulations starting in the 90's, blood alcohol testing is done randomly on the ship, and most lines do not allow deck and engine watchstanding officers (those who actually are in charge of "steering the boat" or "keeping the lights lit" to have any alcohol at any time while assigned to the ship.  They are tested, and must show a 0.00% BAC at all times, whether on duty or not.  This same typically applies to the top 5 ship staff (Captain, Staff Captain, Chief Engineer, Staff Chief, and Hotel Director).  When at "cocktail" parties, they are holding ginger ale or soda water.

 

Prior to the 90's, NCL used to give officers a stipend to use to buy drinks for passengers when mingling with them.  At that time, only the deck and engine officers were in "military" uniform, the hotel staff were in "civilian" attire.  Once officers were not allowed to drink anymore, the stipend went away, and the officers were less inclined to want to mingle with the pax.  The pax then complained that they no longer saw "officers" around the ship, so the hotel supervisors were given rank and uniforms, and instantly the visibility of officers was restored.

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11 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

I also have no interest in spending my free time dining with the manager of a hotel I might be staying at or the nice people who fly the airplane I was on or my Uber driver. Dining at the Captain's table seems to be a desirable event among the easily impressed. 

 

Are you saying you would prefer to take your chances spending time with people of whom you know nothing ?   An interesting approach to avoiding learning experiences.

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