Originally Posted by Paul Motter
Cruznut, I agree it is rude, but unfortunately it is often hard to avoid.
Sometimes you don't decide until the last minute that you aren't going to dinner. I guess you could call, but except on a top cruise line I doubt the maitre d' would think "oh, I should check the table and make sure no one is sitting alone."
All I can say is that if you know you won't be at dinner some night you should try to tell your tablemates directly as soon as you know. If it late you could visit ther table and just say "hi, I won't be here, but usually you arent there because you dont fell like getting dressrd for dinner.
If you find yourself sitting alone, I think you could just get up and go back to the maitre d' and ask to be seated at a different table. I never thought about it before but it makes sense.
Let me ask you this - as a person who often does NOT go to dinner, do you think I should tell my tablemates that the first night?
Also - as a single I now think you do better with anytime dining. That way you can always request being seated with other people, and they will be different every night.
These days people just dont show up in the dining room as regularly as they used to.
Paul - yes, I think you should tell your table mates that you don't always show for dinner if you know that from day one. (Had that experience on the Ruby in November when I ran into the only four at a table for ten in the afternoon who said they would try other venues - I said "you decide that at the last minute" answer, "yes". So that night I got the maitre d' to move me to another table.)
I've travelled alone for quite a while and the way I get to meet people is to take Traditional Dining (ASSIGNED) to meet people. It's one of the many reasons I take Princess to have that option. Going to Anytime Dining can be awkward feeling for a woman (at least this woman).
When you choose a Traditional table of 8 or 10 (this last trip I got 6), then it would be reasonable to expect that at least half may show. The table I joined for 10 - only had 2 who came every night after the first night. And, NONE of them let the wait staff know they weren't coming back - let alone the other guests.
I choose these larger tables to avoid this kind of situation - and yet this table for 10 had the same problem I had a table for 6.
I found myself sitting alone (but not sure of it for about 40 minutes - about 9 PM as the people who came the night before came 30 minutes late) this one night. Very much wish the headwaiter, maitre d' had moved me but they didn't realize that I didn't know any of the other people assigned to the table.
My feeling is that if you choose Traditional Dining (at least on Princess), then show - at least the first or second night. And, if you make plans for the Specialty Restaurants for another night, let your table mates know ... as I did. And, if you're going to be on again/off again, then let your table mates know that.
If you choose Traditional - then show, if you're going to be an Anytime person because you don't want to get dressed for dinner, then don't take the spot of so many people who want Traditional and can't get it because those are the spots that are signed up first and when they're filled, they assign the others to Anytime.
I think you're looking at this strictly as a couple rather than understanding it from the angle of a single traveller ... plus from the aspect of someone who travels on many different cruise lines (i.e. - NCL, etc. - no assignments).
I've travelled on many cruise lines over the years (way before Anytime Dining).
And, YES I think people are VERY RUDE who don't give their fellow guests and wait staff a clue of their plans.