I heard it was just random, but you can't go by what I've heard because when I went on the Holiday - a small ship, we sat at a table for 4 with the other couple we were cruising with and last May on the Conquest, we requested a table for 4 so we could at least have dinner with my boyfriend's daughter and her friend. As suspected, dinner was the only time we really saw her. That's okay, she had a blast!
Oh, but if you are cruising with a group or another couple, you can request to be seated with them. And if you are going as a couple and want to sit alone, you can request a table for two.
My sister and I are in the late 30 early 40 age brackett and we were paired with 4 other women traveling in pairs, one was a mother/ daughter 60/30ish and two friends that were 50ish. We had a good time at dinner but I have a hard time believing that it was random.
It probaly is random. My husband and I were seated with a young couple in their early 20's. We are in our mid 40's. Also, we were at a table for 10 and there was only 4 of us. But we had great leg room.
I totally believe it is not random at all having had 2 bad experiences.
On our last cruise on the Victory, we had specifically requested an international mixture for dinner in the midrange age group (we are both mid 40's, on 2nd marriage with 4 teenagers between us).
We ended up with a table for 10 - and 10 British people!!!!! How ridiculous to put all the same nationality together, especially when we had specifically requested a mixture of cultures. To be honest, it would be the same as putting a table of 10 together of americans all from the same state!!!!
Anyway, we complained and were moved to a wonderful table with a mixture of Americans (couples from both East and West coast, Canadians, Russians and ourselves - it made for fantastic conversation and a great deal of laughs). Different cultures give different perspectives of all views of life and it does make the conversation flow.
Many people seem to believe that you cannot ask to have your table changed, but believe me you can.
Also on our previous cruise which was with Royal Caribbean, we were on our honeymoon having just got married at Tamarind Cove in Barbados. Again, the cruiseline knew that we were on our honeymoon, both 40 and had requested a similar age group of an international mix.
What we ended up with was ourselves and 8 teenage Puerto Ricans!!! They couldn't even have a drink being under 21 to celebrate with us They were students and on their first cruise and spoke to each other in Spanish so we felt very much isolated. Not really conducive company when you are celebrating and wanting to tell the world! Again, asked to be moved and ended up with some wonderful people who are now firm friends of ours and since we have visited in both Arizona and Chicago.
So I personally do not feel it is at random, how would they have put 5 british couples together if that were the case, but I also feel that they do not take your requests, age into account either.
In the end, I think alot of people change tables themselves as they meet new friends etc.
Also, espeicially on the Victory, by changing tables we realised how you can really be very lucky or unlucky with your waiters and level of service. The first was absolute rubbish, no other word for it - East European block and they were very sullen indeed. The second table had much superior waiters who tried hard, so it is purely the luck of the draw and to the table you are assigned on how good the service you receive is.
I think in future, we are going to take the ships that offer 'open dining' so you can chose each evening dependent upon your mood etc.
Hope this helps from my own personal experiences. 2 previous cruises, the table mix was fine with part American/European mix.
Of course, some people prefer to dine alone as a couple and that is fine. For me, I like to have some interaction being a bit of a livewire!!!!
I'm pretty sure it is random as well. My sister and I, both over 40, just returned from a sailing where we were placed at the dinner table with two young dating couples, each about 20 years old. They were nice enough, but we felt serioulsy out of place both coming from different places in our lives than them.
I doubt that it is random. When I went on the jubilee with my wife and 3 kids, we were at a table with another couple with 3 kids. When we were on the RCCL SOS with just myself and wife, we were seated with 3 other couples aged 30-40 with no kids.
Our first cruise there were 15 of us so we got two tables of 8. Our second cruise we were seated at a table with the wildest funloving family of 4 i have ever met. We both have 2 teenagers , mine girls, theirs are boys. The kids are still keeping in contact on instant messanger. We also had a wonderful time with the parents, they are close to our age. The kids are trying to talk them into coming on our next cruise with us as well.
Next up Elation Aug 23 '10
then the Miracle again Feb 7,2011
It has to be random... We've had awesome table mates where the whole table was a barrell of laughs and we've had bad experiences and have asked to be moved... But not ever have we ever been paired with only our age and similar backgrounds - as in where we live.... So I think they may try a little - not - but it is probably random... Just my opinion after 17 cruises. Sometimes I think they are the best table mate pickers and sometimes I wonder if their head was on backwards when they put us with these people! Debbie
After my last cruise, I'm convinced that it is not random... my friend and I were both single women in their mid-twenties from NY. We were seated at a table for 4 with two single men in their late twenties from NY, whose cabin happened to be right around the corner from ours. Coincidence? I think not. (and by the way, it was a completely unsuccessful matchmaking attempt... we had fun anyway!)
I can only hope that it is not random. DH & I are taking our next to youngest DD on a cruise for her 21st birthday. A girlfriend of hers is traveling along as well. I would love for both girls to meet males and females near our area and the same age range or a little older. Neither of these girls seem to want to venture out of their comfort zone to meet new people. Both girls are beautiful and fun-loving but seem to have theirselves convinced that only kids from the neighborhood are worthy as friends. I'd love to enlighten them and this cruise is as much that as it is a birthday cruise.
A few years ago my wife and I were seated with 3 ministers and their wives. After 2 nights of watching them pray before every course and frowning at the wine we drank, we made a move to a different table. They were very nice, but they made us feel very uncomfortable.
Actually, the Matre'd assigns the seating. He is responsible for placing people in the same age range, like interests, married, singles, those with kids etc. together. As Kuki said there is time and thought put into this. On our last cruise, there was a couple that switched to our table because they didn't like the one they weer originaly seated at. They were put at their first table because the Matre'D knew that they were all university professors. How he knew that I do not know, but he did. So dinner seating arrangements are not random at all. This however, does not make it fool proof.
I went on a cruise last year, and my ex girlfriend was on the same one. They gave the cruise line our confirmation number and they were able to sit with us. FUN. lol but my buddy and I were also sitting with 6 girls total. We were all between the ages of 21 and 30. We were two single guys so there were no complaints there.