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Old December 27th, 2007, 07:24 PM
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Default Destiny Dining Questions for Previous cruisers

What nights are the formal nights?
Are there two or four seating times? Which dining room is the nicest.
We normally request a large table and find it fun however, I read that someone was put at a talbe with only spanish speakers and that most of the cruisers were spanish speakers. I find that hard to believe. Since we do not speak Spanish, we are thinking of requesting a table for two.
thoughts?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 27th, 2007, 08:46 PM
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The Destiny currently leaves out of San Juan, PR. For that reason there are many more hispanic passengers than you find on ships leaving from mainland ports. This is either a good or bad thing for many reasons.

I suggest this:

Keep your request for a large table (it is much more fun). However, as soon as you get on the ship, go directly to the Maitre D's station and ask him to pull up your table to see who you are seated with. He can look on his computer screen and see the name, age, cabin number and gender of everyone at your (or anyone else's) table. If all (most) of the names sound like they are Latino names, ask the Maitre D to change your table to a table with english speaking passengers. (Use the last names to identify latino/non-latino). This is common request on the Destiny and when I cruised on this ship, I did this both for dinner and during open seating breakfast.

The thing about the Destiny is that since there are so many Hispanics aboard and the ship makes some allowances for this, many (not all) of the Hispanic passengers find they are more comfortable speaking in their native language. I found that even though they speak spanish at every turn, a vast majority of them can speak english quite well if they want to.

This "different" balance of cultures has caused some negative issues. Whether the person speaking spanish is aware that they are excluding anyone who doesn't speak spanish from the table's conversation is open to debate. (I think most (not all) know full well how rude it is but do it just because they can - IMHO)

There is a bit of a "them" and "us" mentality on this ship between the spanish and english speaking passengers.

However, the Destiny is not about the ship. It is so port-intensive that this particular itinerary is all about the ports. You will spend far less time out and about on this ship so whatever difficulties the language barrier causes will be minimized.

I was on this ship in October 2006 and found some discomfort regarding this situation. However, I have decided to cruise this ship again in June, 2008. I am aware of the situation on this ship and am going more for the ports than the interaction with the other passengers and packing an extra load of patience and tolerance.

Good luck and happy cruzin'
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Old December 28th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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We were on the Destiny last Jan. and headed again in 7 days!!! We had NO issues with language. There were alot of Puerto Rican's on the ship, but I didn't come across anyone who didnt' speak English. Which by the way I understand is a required subject in school. I loved the Latin flair, the clothes, the fun, etc. . . .

As far as dinner there was early and late with two 15 min apart seatings each, so it looks like 4, they just don't want everyone for the early arriving at the same time and getting impatient, so they do it two waves.

We were seating with a similar family to ours, with a daughter our sons age, they happened to be from FLA. I'm sure if your tablemates were incompatible a request would be honored for a change.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for that good bit of information for us to ponder. I actually lived in two spanish speaking countries in the 80s and could get by. But my brain is fried from work, I just want to have fun, not have to think of my words before they leave my mouth. funny you reference last names, my daughter asked if it would be politically incorrect to call Carnival TA and ask if we can sit with the Fitzpatricks, OSullivans and not the Lopez' and Hernandez. I said yes, that would be horrible. So I believe we are going to opt with a small talbe 8 oclock seating if available.
Yes, my 24 year old wanted this cruise for the ports and she's a diver. Me, I just want to find some nice sandy beaches and warm water and pina coladas and a good book. We'll be hooking up for dinner to share our day stories, so its probably best to speak english.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 11:29 PM
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Lamento mucho. ¡Yo no sé español! Alguien habla conmigo por favor.
It must be tough to spend a week on a cruise with a table full of people who don't speak the same language and literally get left out of the conversations. I'm booked on the Destiny in April, so here's hoping that Carnival is mindful of languages differences. One should hope that they attempt to put English with English, and Spanish with others Spanish.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth
Lamento mucho. ¡Yo no sé español! Alguien habla conmigo por favor.
It must be tough to spend a week on a cruise with a table full of people who don't speak the same language and literally get left out of the conversations. I'm booked on the Destiny in April, so here's hoping that Carnival is mindful of languages differences. One should hope that they attempt to put English with English, and Spanish with others Spanish.
I think with the new port-intensive itinerary (no sea days), the passenger load is becoming more balanced. Also, it is now no more expensive to fly to PR than it is to fly across the country.

Don't get me wrong. The cultural difference had its perks. I learned to salsa and by the end of the cruise, I found myself speaking one or two words of spanish without even realizing I had slipped into a foreign language.

I think Carnival attempts to match languages up at the dining room. However, it only takes a few minutes to swing by the dining room on your way to your cabin when you get on the ship and check out your tablemates. I do it with just about every cruise. I never actually sat with any diners who spoke only spanish.

At one breakfast on the Destiny, I was led by the hostess to a table where others were already seated. As soon as these people started to speak spanish I got up and asked the hostess to put me at a table with english speaking passengers. I was put at a table with two other women (latino). At first, it was just myself and these two ladies at the table. As soon as I sat down, these ladies also started to converse in spanish. (I am Caribbean-American and obviously not Latino). The "Fitzpatricks" and "Washingtons" were then seated along with us. The English speakers at the table began our own conversation exchanging fun "what we did yesterday" stories. After a few minutes, the two original ladies realized that by speaking spanish they had excluded themselves from joining the fun and laughter. Miraculously, both of them switched to perfect english in order to join the conversation. Come to find out both of them were school teachers from NYC and were just in PR for the cruise.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth
Lamento mucho. ¡Yo no sé español! Alguien habla conmigo por favor.
It must be tough to spend a week on a cruise with a table full of people who don't speak the same language and literally get left out of the conversations. I'm booked on the Destiny in April, so here's hoping that Carnival is mindful of languages differences. One should hope that they attempt to put English with English, and Spanish with others Spanish.
I think with the new port-intensive itinerary (no sea days), the passenger load is becoming more balanced. Also, it is now no more expensive to fly to PR than it is to fly across the country.

Don't get me wrong. The cultural difference had its perks. I learned to salsa and by the end of the cruise, I found myself speaking one or two words of spanish without even realizing I had slipped into a foreign language.

I think Carnival attempts to match languages up at the dining room. However, it only takes a few minutes to swing by the dining room on your way to your cabin when you get on the ship and check out your tablemates. I do it with just about every cruise. I never actually sat with any diners who spoke only spanish.

At one breakfast on the Destiny, I was led by the hostess to a table where others were already seated. As soon as these people started to speak spanish I got up and asked the hostess to put me at a table with english speaking passengers. I was put at a table with two other women (latino). At first, it was just myself and these two ladies at the table. As soon as I sat down, these ladies also started to converse in spanish. (I am Caribbean-American and obviously not Latino). The "Fitzpatricks" and "Washingtons" were then seated along with us. The English speakers at the table began our own conversation exchanging fun "what we did yesterday" stories. After a few minutes, the two original ladies realized that by speaking spanish they had excluded themselves from joining the fun and laughter. Miraculously, both of them switched to perfect english in order to join the conversation. Come to find out both of them were school teachers from NYC and were just in PR for the cruise.
Thanks for the encouragement. I think it will all work out.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth
Thanks for the encouragement. I think it will all work out.
It will work out just fine and you will have a blast!!!!
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