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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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Default Sharing tables

You are enjoying a fun day at sea and have filled your tray for lunch on the Lido Deck. Now you began to scan for a seat and see no empty tables. Do you ask to join someone with an empty seat?

This seems typical or even expected in some countries, but is so typically un-American.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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If we see a table where there are two people sitting and four empty chairs we absolutely ask if they would mind if we join them. However, if it is just 2 people and two empty chairs we rarely ask because that seems like we might be in their space, somehow the empty chairs between us makes it more acceptable. And on the flip side, if we are sitting at a table and we see people looking for one we never hesitate to invite them over to join us if they wish.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:28 AM
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We too will sometimes ask if we can join folks at their table, if there are no available "empty" tables. I don't think I've ever had anyone say NO. On the other hand, if the area is filled up, and we see someone with their tray full, and obviously looking for a place to sit, we'll often ask them if they would like to join us. Once again, I don't think I've ever had anyone say no, unless they're being joined by another couple, and we only have two seats.

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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:33 AM
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depends upon how I read their body language :|:|:|:| most fellow cruisers who are now condition to "freestyle' or 'anytime" dining options seem to be very open to eating with different folks on the lido deck..it would be very rare (based upon the volumes of guest) to be on the lido deck at a table for more then 2 and not expect someone to ask to join you

like Sky, I am pro active and encourage folks to join us
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Absolutely I would ask if I could join. Don't want my cheeseburger getting cold!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Definitely would ask if seats were taken and also ask folks to join us if there is room at our table. And I agree that most Americans feel awkward asking as if they are invading some one else's space. Most other cultures aren't quite as shy:-). On the last 2 cruises (Carnival Miracle) in Nov 09 and Mar 2010) we noticed the Lido staff being very proactive in helping folks to find seats. It was a welcome relief to walking all around looking for a space with trays in our hands. We left positive comments on this.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Nope and nope. We don't ask to join someone's table and we don't invite someone to join our table. I would no problem. My hubby is not as outgoing with people he doesn't know. It will make he uncomfortable so we don't do it.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Dw and I shared a table in the MDR but the other couple must have been in the witness protection program. They were not willing or were unable to engage in a conversation. The same thing happened in the buffet restaurant. After that we decided to sit by ourselves and skip the aggravation and avoid the possible crossfire from the contract hit on the numerous witness protection participants that were on our cruise.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:48 PM
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BTB - I don't usually pack my flak jacket, maybe I should. May you intimidate them?
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Old May 11th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Cruising is that sort of thing, if people are not comfortable with others I can't think of a worse holiday to choose.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 04:11 PM
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:evil::evil::evil: INTIMIDATE! :evil::evil::evil:

Not likely, we are senior cruisers who just by the luck of the draw encountered couples who either were both introverts or both were socially shy. No big deal. DW and I like each other so a table for two suits us just fine.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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If there's no tables available, which normally there are, you may have to circle like a vulture to find one, but usually you can find somewhere to sit---I have asked people if they mind if we sit down with them--- I also have no problem inviting people to sit with us when it's obvious they're having a hard time finding somewhere to sit, especially if it's older folks.
If all else fails, just put your tray or plate back, grab a big spoon and start circling the food stations--- a bite here, a couple there, a nibble here and before you know it--you've reached the dessert bar where you can graze to your hearts content !!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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very interesting postings IMHO some of my best cruise experiences have been when we have the opportunity to break bread with our fellow cruisers that we would not see at dinner due to a different seating time or location, but I have experienced where the body language told me it might be better to look for seating elsewhere (or they will say they are saving the seats for friends (who never come)

April of last year we were on a river cruise in the South of France on Peter Deilmann Princess De Provence, which held 144 guest..we were one of only 12 Americans onboard and the balance where Germans (who almost all spoke English to some degrees)..for dinner the cruise line always seat the Americans together (2 tables of 6 each), but during the day we received very warm invitations to join our fellow German cruisers at open seating breakfast and lunch (on deck)..they wanted to practice their English and once they found out we were from New Orleans, wanted to know about Katrina and the City...of course it helped that I wore my VW beetle hat on shore excursions great conversations, great folks

on the full charter smooth jazz cruises, in order to coordinate the concerts at night, there are two open seatings for dinner which are joined by the artist and their families..during lunch on deck there are live jazz concerts and everyone is very open about invitations to sit with them, because of our love of that style of music..

i understand the value of a cruisemate group cruise...one will always have a place to sit and great company

I'm from the old school of cruising .. IMHO one goes on a cruise to meet new people and enjoy making new friends and seeing different destinations..but then again, i live by myself and eat dinner by myself almost every night, so i like the company
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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Just a thought, if you were in a witness protection programme would you tell anyone?
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Like others have said, we'll ask if the table has empty chairs and we often invite people to sit down.

It can be a cultural thing too - on a Celebrity cruise 10 years ago with my sister and her husband, we were seated at a table with one open seat at the breakfast buffet. This German fellow simply walked up and announced he would take the vacant seat, sat down with his tray and started eating. We were somewhat taken aback.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by by_the_board View Post
Dw and I shared a table in the MDR but the other couple must have been in the witness protection program. They were not willing or were unable to engage in a conversation. The same thing happened in the buffet restaurant. After that we decided to sit by ourselves and skip the aggravation and avoid the possible crossfire from the contract hit on the numerous witness protection participants that were on our cruise.
This happened to us once in the MDR. It nearly ruined the cruise- at least dinner.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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I would certainly ask, especially if there are no other tables and there are empty chairs. It may be that they are with others that are still getting their food, but if not, it doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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I've found most people are nice and are honored to meet a new friend.
To me it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone.
Once right after embarkation the lido was full as always on day zero, so I sat at a table with a lady who spoke no English. Since I spoke no Italian, we conversed in broken German. After that we would cross paths and say hello, of course we didn't converse after day zero....but at least we recognized and acknowledged each other.:neutral:
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