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CAPTAIN’S TABLE


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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

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.

 

I would prefer to spend my vacation time with my chosen travelling companions and do not consider an invitation to dine at the captain's table with an assortment of other strangers an appealing option or some sort of great honor or recognition.  Get the boat to where it is supposed to be when it's supposed to be there is all I need or want from the captain. 

 

 

Edited by K32682
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1 hour ago, K32682 said:

 

I would prefer to spend my vacation time with my chosen travelling companions and do not consider an invitation to dine at the captain's table with an assortment of other strangers an appealing option or some sort of great honor or recognition.  Get the boat to where it is supposed to be when it's supposed to be there is all I need or want from the captain. 

 

 

It is, of course, safe to stay within ones little cocoon - but for many exposure to others is one of the attractions of cruising.

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On 7/23/2021 at 12:00 PM, Reina del Mar said:

Stacy Sheehan asked a question .

4 mins  · 

When you watch the tv show the Love Boat you always hear about sitting at the captains table. Was there actually a Captains table at one time. I know there isn't now.

 

 

Yes, the Captain and senior officers each hosted a table on P & O many moons ago. Not sure about other lines. 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 !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

On 7/25/2021 at 4:46 AM, 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. 

We just enjoy hearing stories from different people and their countries as well as their travels. We also aren't snobs (directed to the top comment).

We always enjoy getting to know crew members and hearing all about their backgrounds, what led them to cruising, etc.😊

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5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

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.

 

Interesting difference between P&O and NCL, as all our Radio Officers, Pursers and Medical staff all wore the same uniforms as the Deck & Engineering Officers. Since P&O use straight stripe, rather than the traditional Merchant Navy, the non-officers even had the same stripes as us, only different colours:

  • Black - Deck
  • Purple - Engineering/Electrical
  • Green - Radio/Electronics
  • Red - Medical
  • White - Pursers

The Deck Dept had an entertainment budget, with amounts allocated to the Capt to 2nd Officer. The 3rd Officers, had no set allowance, but received whatever was left over. Every drink we signed for from a pax bar, automatically was reduced by 60%, then the balance was charged to the ent/budget. Don't recall the last time I had to pay for drinks from a pax bar.

 

Old Man set the "Rig of the Day" for the entire ship and if any officer was incorrectly attired, it cost them a case of beer in the wardroom. After 18:00 every night, if not on watch and on pax decks we had to be in Mess Kit.

 

On our last cruise, I discussed Viking's alcohol policy with the Captain and he mentioned all Officers/Supervisors with 3 or more stripes have a zero alcohol requirement the entire time they are signed-on.

 

Working on the coast, I never had a drink from the day before my first shift until getting home from the last one. Even though it wasn't live aboard, it just wasn't worth the risk.

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6 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Working on the coast, I never had a drink from the day before my first shift until getting home from the last one. Even though it wasn't live aboard, it just wasn't worth the risk.


Nothing like the days when everyone got a daily ration of grog. 

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15 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. 

 


Wow, you have such amazing insight into other people's motivations and values, for someone who eschews interacting with people outside their bubble.  I think most people can just enjoy a new and different experience without it evoking any psychological overtones.  Conversations with interesting people are . . . interesting.  Especially if you do more listening than talking.  True conversation skills, particularly with strangers, consists mainly of being a good listener, IMO.  

After 30+ years I've already heard all of my wife's stories and she has heard all of mine.  Having a conversation with a stranger, whether it is on a cruise ship or in a grocery store check-out life is a nice change of pace.

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Working on the coast, I never had a drink from the day before my first shift until getting home from the last one. Even though it wasn't live aboard, it just wasn't worth the risk.”


When I was on the oil tankers it was a similar case. One drink and if it went fubar and you managed a cargo cocktail you were classified as being drunk!

 

I once managed a five month trip without any booze whatsoever. Off course as 2/O and working 12x4 plus sights et al, you were classified as ‘unsocial’ if you adopted this approach 🙄

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Toofarfromthesea said:


Wow, you have such amazing insight into other people's motivations and values, for someone who eschews interacting with people outside their bubble.  I think most people can just enjoy a new and different experience without it evoking any psychological overtones.  Conversations with interesting people are . . . interesting.  Especially if you do more listening than talking.  True conversation skills, particularly with strangers, consists mainly of being a good listener, IMO.  

After 30+ years I've already heard all of my wife's stories and she has heard all of mine.  Having a conversation with a stranger, whether it is on a cruise ship or in a grocery store check-out life is a nice change of pace.

 

The reason invitations to the captain table are desirable isn't to talk to interesting people and learn something but to preen and attempt to impress fellow cruisers.  "Well, when WE were invited to dine with the captain...."

 

If I really want to learn something about the boat my preference is a ship tour.  I find them very educational and far more appealing than the prospect of swilling plonk at the captain's dinner table with a random assortment of social climbers. YMMV.  

 

 

Edited by K32682
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jwattle said:

 

We just enjoy hearing stories from different people and their countries as well as their travels. We also aren't snobs (directed to the top comment).

We always enjoy getting to know crew members and hearing all about their backgrounds, what led them to cruising, etc.😊

And probably like you, I too am  bewildered by a person(s) that take it upon themselves to preordain social class status based on an invitation to a social event.    

Edited by c-boy
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15 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

The reason invitations to the captain table are desirable isn't to talk to interesting people and learn something but to preen and attempt to impress fellow cruisers.  "Well, when WE were invited to dine with the captain...."

  


Things That Never Happened for 800, Alex.

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21 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

The reason invitations to the captain table are desirable isn't to talk to interesting people and learn something but to preen and attempt to impress fellow cruisers.  "Well, when WE were invited to dine with the captain...."

 

 

 

 

That would be your interpretation... Our reason IS to talk to interesting people and learn something, as discussed in my previous answer.

The ship's tour is a great way to learn about the different departments.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Interesting difference between P&O and NCL, as all our Radio Officers, Pursers and Medical staff all wore the same uniforms as the Deck & Engineering Officers.

Andy, we didn't have R/O's by then, but Pursers and Medical are under the Deck Department, so they wore uniforms.  NCL uses the straight stripe as well, with hotel staff having silver between the gold, medical has red.  The technical officers were differentiated by insignia;  anchor for deck, propeller for engine, lightning bolts for electrical, snowflake for HVAC, globe for environmental, and Security had the crossed Kukris of the Gurkhas that NCL uses for their international ships.  The one anomaly was the 3-1/2 stripe officers, which don't have equivalency in Naval ranks.  This was the Staff Chief, Chief Electrical Engineer, and Food and Beverage Manager.

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2 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

Working on the coast, I never had a drink from the day before my first shift until getting home from the last one. Even though it wasn't live aboard, it just wasn't worth the risk.”


When I was on the oil tankers it was a similar case. One drink and if it went fubar and you managed a cargo cocktail you were classified as being drunk!

 

I once managed a five month trip without any booze whatsoever. Off course as 2/O and working 12x4 plus sights et al, you were classified as ‘unsocial’ if you adopted this approach 🙄

 

 

That was the best part of the 12-4, having a few beers after watch with the Engineers until breakfast was served, then a few hours kip before going back for Noon. On pax ships, on 12-4 we didn't have to complete a morning sight, as 8-12 did the sights.

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2 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

The reason invitations to the captain table are desirable isn't to talk to interesting people and learn something but to preen and attempt to impress fellow cruisers.  "Well, when WE were invited to dine with the captain...."

 

If I really want to learn something about the boat my preference is a ship tour.  I find them very educational and far more appealing than the prospect of swilling plonk at the captain's dinner table with a random assortment of social climbers. YMMV.  

 

 

It is rather arrogant to ascribe motives to other people ---- particularly for a person whose goes on record as being disinterested in meeting new people.    

 

You might just consider the possibility that folks who would like to have dinner at the captain's table are interested in expanding their "bubble" - rather than protecting it.

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13 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

It is rather arrogant to ascribe motives to other people ---- particularly for a person whose goes on record as being disinterested in meeting new people.    

 

You might just consider the possibility that folks who would like to have dinner at the captain's table are interested in expanding their "bubble" - rather than protecting it.

 

It must be quite the achievement for those preoccupied with onboard social status and other trivial matters to boast about having the captain in their "bubble."  

 

I do have some sympathy for the captain who instead of enjoying an evening meal must do customer service duties pandering to the frequent cruiser class on their line while being subjected to their petty complaints and advice on how the boat should run. 

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16 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

It must be quite the achievement for those preoccupied with onboard social status and other trivial matters to boast about having the captain in their "bubble."  

 

I do have some sympathy for the captain who instead of enjoying an evening meal must do customer service duties pandering to the frequent cruiser class on their line while being subjected to their petty complaints and advice on how the boat should run. 

Can't you realize that you are the one "preoccupied with onboard social status" -- given your fixation on judging the interests and motives of others who you do not know?   

 

"...advice on how the boat should run..."?????   

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1 hour ago, K32682 said:

 

It must be quite the achievement for those preoccupied with onboard social status and other trivial matters to boast about having the captain in their "bubble."  

 

I do have some sympathy for the captain who instead of enjoying an evening meal must do customer service duties pandering to the frequent cruiser class on their line while being subjected to their petty complaints and advice on how the boat should run. 

🤣   your gettin' an early start

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19 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

When I was on the oil tankers it was a similar case. One drink and if it went fubar and you managed a cargo cocktail you were classified as being drunk!

 

Was this pre or post Hazelwood?

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Was this pre or post Hazelwood?”

 

Well it was before random testing that’s for sure.


If you are referring to USS Hazelwood? Certainly post?

Although I once had dealings with an old WW2 T2 tanker called Fort Fetterman. 😁 ….. shortly after one of our senior officers was sacked due to ‘alcohol misuse’. Unfortunate as a junior officer was also involved in the same incident and he too met the same fate 😄

Made watchkeeping a pain until they were replaced. 🙄 Six on six off for a couple of weeks.

 

 

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I had the pleasure to once be invited to the Captain's Table.

 

On a Caribbean Cruise we had the opportunity to be invited to the Captain's Table that was about 12 seats large.

 

We even had the opportunity to meet the CEO of the Line that was sailing also on the ship. So the Captain, CEO & spouse and 9 others including us had a wonderful meal. The interesting part of the meal was with the Captain or an Officer, they have a wine with each course brought to the table on the ship as a treat.

 

It was a wonderful experience.

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As a Hotel Manager on 30 different cruise ships for the past 40 years, one of my greatest pleasures is hosting dinner tables. My staff always manage to pick really interesting people, and we usually talk so much during dinner that my table is often the last to depart the dining room.

I always manage to arrange a few very special food items for my table, that are not available to the other guests, and some extra special wines that I have hidden away.

Inevitably one of the table guests is able to convince me to give them a personal back of house tour that includes places that the other back of house tours do not include.

Many of these people have stayed in touch with me for years.

The cruise industry is a rather small one - despite being spread all over the planet. People in my position regularly contact our colleagues on other vessels, arranging a bottle of wine, an upgrade, a free tour, or something special for old friends. On several occasions, I was able to arrange successful cruise job interviews for family members of guests I met at a dinner table.

And one of my greatest joys is seeing an old friend walking up the gangway again. We get the opportunity to have another nice dinner on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, while re-telling stories about the last great dinner we had together on a ship that was sailing around the World, or to Antarctica, or some other exotic place.

Every year a few of these people visit me at my home in Tokyo. I proudly get to take them on a real tour of Japan.

I cannot remember a single one of them being particularly snobbish or phony about being invited to have a pleasant dinner with the Hotel Manager on a cruise ship.

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1 hour ago, MBP&O2/O said:

Well it was before random testing that’s for sure.


If you are referring to USS Hazelwood? Certainly post?

Joseph Hazelwood from the Exxon Valdez. Just a little oil tanker humor.  I heard things tightened up a bit onboard after that.

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On 7/26/2021 at 12:05 PM, K32682 said:

 

 

If I really want to learn something about the boat my preference is a ship tour.  I find them very educational and far more appealing than the prospect of swilling plonk at the captain's dinner table with a random assortment of social climbers. YMMV.  

 

 


There's the problem right there.  There was virtually no discussion of the boat and how it operates.  We talked about each other's lives.  Made a human connection.  

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Joseph Hazelwood from the Exxon Valdez. Just a little oil tanker humor.  I heard things tightened up a bit onboard after that.”


Ah … that’s why it went over my head 🤪

 

In that case … pre Hazelwood. The comments were referring to the ship on the avatar …

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