I'm sailing by myself from San Francisco to Alaska this July and am wondering what the etiquette is for ordering wine at dinner. I will be at a table for 8 and will usually want some wine with dinner. I love to share, but with a group so large, it will be too costly on a daily basis. Can anyone tell me what a table for 8 ususally does? Do I just order and consume from my own bottle?
What I like to do is order a bottle of wine the first nite and share it. You can then see who actually will drink wine and if so, hopefully another couple will order the bottle the next nite and so on. We did have once where actually no one wanted any, so then after I'd just order a glass as needed. Hope this was some help, you certainly don't want to have to order/pay for a bottle every nite :-)
There is no expectation that you share wine with your tablemates, particularly if they are seasoned cruisers.
Last year on Rottie VI, our table of seven all loved a small wine that was hiding in the list and did take turns buying it since we all wanted the same thing. That's unusual. We all drank about the same amount with each meal, so it was "fair". (I still think the price was a misprint on the wine list. It would have been cheap at twice the price.)
If you don't down an entire bottle at one sitting, the sommelier will happily store it for you to consume the rest another night. Wine by the glass, while convenient, is tres expensive. Better off with a bottle.
Last week on Summit, we had dinner in the Normandie with new friends. The husband and I preferred white, the wife and my husband preferred red. We ordered the two bottles and asked that the price be split evenly. That worked.
I have no problem ordering a bottle of wine for just my wife and myself. I do not always drink wine with dinner and therefore the sharing thing does not work as well. In addition I do not know my tablemates preferences and habits and as such do not want to pressure anyone into a sharing situation they do not want to be in. (any more than I want to be pressured into an escalating round of sharing). Buying for ourselves on the first night establishes that everyone else is free to buy without needing to include us. I have had situations where once we were into the cruise a bit I felt more secure in ordering wine for the table but I do not expect that it be reciprocated. If it is great, if not, I will go back to ordering for my wife and I again.