I have been reading on the boards about all the things we should do when we first board - like checking on our table assignment with money in hand for the Maitre d' to assure or better our chances of a "good" table. What makes a bad table? What makes a good one? When booking our travel agent requested a small intimate table because our trip is for our anniversary. Are there good and bad small, intimate tables as well?
As far as small tables being good and bad, it really depends on what ship you're going on. Some have tables for 2 along the rail on the second floor of the dining room (which offer a nice view), others have them under a staircase where someone spotted some extra room and have no view.
Oh my - we don't want to be a bother. I really had just read that one should do this but didn't know what made a good table or a bad table on a cruise ship. We are not picky people and wouldn't ask unless like someone mentioned - we were stuck under steps or something like that. Thanks for the heads up!
You asked what constitutes a bad table: We are empty nesters and like to meet new people. A table right next to the kitchen doors is one - Noisey! A table for four but we are seated alone! A large table but everyone else speaks another language! A table where others just come to eat and don't even speak to you. We have never had this happen on a cruise! Most people are in such good moods as they are on vacation!
As mentioned, if you are not happy with your table after the first evening, ask to be seated elsewhere. The sooner this is done the better chance you have of getting a change.
Just recently on the Holiday were was assigned to the late seating which there is no way we are going to eat every night that late so went to the Maitre D as early as they were open and people were already lined up for changes. The people in front of us took forever and told us we wouldn't get it changed. I would never go in advance to check out the table and asked to be switched just because we didn't get an oceanview table or any other reason except the fact we don't eat that late as the poor Maitre D had his hands full as it was. He just told us to come the the dining room at 5:45 and I assumed that meant we would have to wait and see if there was tables left or what but we were just shown to our table immediately.We never got a new Sail and sign card he just gave us a yellow slip of paper that we had to use for the first couple of meals and after that everyone knew us.
We was never asked what seating we wanted??Next time I will call Carnival about two weeks before we leave to find out our seating.
That was one heck of an article you wrote ... the "what to expect" article. You're description of everything was great. From the mobs of people at the terminal, to the lifeboat drill, to the "gourmet" style food that's better described as very good banquet food, to the immensity of the ship that requires a preview tour just to find your dinner table. That 1st day is incredible, exhausting just reading about it. I have 4 more months for that experience again and I'm going crazy.