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Thomas September 27th, 2002 07:19 AM

Pardon me, may I sit there?
Have you ever been through the breakfast buffet and stood with your loaded tray in hand looking for a place to sit and not find any empty tables? And then you see people, usually some single person, sitting at a 4 top with a book and a cup of coffee. This inconsideration really irks me. May I please sit and eat breakfast at this table? You can read your book in a lounge chair for Pete's sake.


David Starkey September 27th, 2002 08:45 AM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
While sailing the Galaxy on a recent cruise I saw that situation over and over again... Those of us trying to eat a meal were having to go out on deck and eat in a chair ( no tables left on deck)because all the single's were taking up space by lingering(forever) over coffee and reading. It's not fair for those people carry around a tray full of food hoping to eat breakfast or lunch seated at a table. I wanted to suggest to the offenders that they move along as they have already finished there meal and make space for the rest of us. I said really is so inconsiderate not to move on and let others eating a meal have some space too.

Don G September 27th, 2002 09:00 AM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Why not just sit down, spread out, then ask if they mind if you join them? If they don't, you will probably enjoy each other's company. If they do, too bad.

If they appear offended, just say this is the custom in my country. Let them figure out where you are from.

tiffany September 27th, 2002 09:47 AM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
There are so many great ideas on this board, I am going to have a wonderful time trying out some of them on our next cruise, especiall yours Don. I am definitely going to try that one, sounds like fun. I am being serious.

jomama September 27th, 2002 09:59 AM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I'm single and I agree about using a buffet table to read. But please don't begrudge me a place to eat.


Thomas September 27th, 2002 10:28 AM

Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Sometimes I want to just "accidentally" trip and spill the whole tray of coffee, eggs, and juice on them, but I've yet to grow such a mean streak. But someday.............OOOPS!!!


worktocruise September 27th, 2002 12:44 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
As a single cruiser, I'd be more than happy to have someone join me. I usually try to find a table for 2. However, I don't sit there and read my book and drink coffee!.....I move on as soon as I'm finished!

Jim Bragg September 27th, 2002 07:59 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
This was one of my biggest gripes while onboard the Legend a few weeks ago. In the middle of breakfast and or lunch when the Lido deck area was the busiest and there were many people wandering around looking for someplace, anyplace to sit and eat, there were a number of people, (usually at least 4 or 5 tables), whose occupants were seated there reading books or playing cards! These people were not even drinking anything! They just plopped their lard butts down and sat around because they liked the view! I did see one gentleman actually ask if they minded if he sat and ate his breakfast and they told him not to sit with them! Talk about inconsiderate!
Community Staff Leader

Thomas September 27th, 2002 08:43 PM

Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Wouldn't you feel like a jerk occupying a table when someone else needed a place to sit to eat. Sheeeeesh, what inconsiderate fools. But then we go back to the debate about dressing in the dining room, and smoking on the wrong side of the ship, and saving deck chairs and the mantra that "it's my vacation and I'll do whatever I want" bit!

Many years ago I dated a girl from Ireland who was over here on a student exchange program. We went out to dinner and after dinner I noticed a waiting line to get into the restaurant. After paying the bill I suggested we leave and this lovely girl from Ireland insisted we stay so she could enjoy a cigarette. I mentioned that there were people waiting to sit down and dine and her comment was a bit of astonishment that "you Americans are so considerate!" I'll always remember that. I haven't chalked up many "thumbs up" and have to bank all that I get.


susancruzs September 28th, 2002 04:30 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Traveling as a single, I try not to take a table for four but generally if it's busy people will ask to join me and I say fine. In recent years, I've noticed the card playing, readers, crossword puzzles, etc. using the buffet area.

I don't get it when almost all ships have areas with views for cards, reading, etc. I think I noticed it more on the Summit because that ship was very short on windows and places to sit with a sea view.

I've sat with people who got up and left which becomes their problem and not mine. I refuse to balance a tray of food in a lounge chair! I haven't been on one of the bigger ships yet so I'll be curious to see what it is like on the Golden at T-time. Sue

Kuki September 28th, 2002 05:33 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I may be the naive one in the bunch, but I'd think 99% of the people you approached and asked if they minded if you joined them at the table would be delighted. Likely put down their book and carry on a nice conversation.

In inclement weather the areas to sit and relax with a cup of coffee, and a view of the seas can often be in short supply. On our recent cruise aboard the Constellation... though she's a huge ship, outside of the buffet area, there's really a shortage of tables and chairs, and I find that true on many ships.

pamda September 28th, 2002 06:42 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Another way to approach it is, "Would you mind some company?"

Thomas September 28th, 2002 08:11 PM

Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
But would you ask someone if you could share their table if you were a family of 4? With the little ones in tow. I agree that a couple of adults might be welcomed by someone sitting alone reading a book, but would that apply if you were bringing a small army?


pamda September 28th, 2002 09:31 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Good point, Thomas.

Table hogs are just about as bad as chaise hogs. If not worse.

I think the crew should have their collective eyes open for tables, especially for families.

There are plenty of lounges around the ship where people can go to read their books.

On the upside, I think there are plenty of cruisers who, if noticing people with trays looking around for a place to sit, wouldn't ask, "Would you like to join me? I'm just reading a book."

Thomas September 28th, 2002 09:43 PM

Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
What drives me crazy (short trip, anyway) is these people probably have no idea of their inconsiderate behavior. It probably never even crosses their mind. I doubt they can even rationalize a couple making three trips through the sitting area with a tray of food and their occupying a table reading a book as being linked.


CruzNut September 28th, 2002 10:40 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I think you're coming at this from the wrong direction. I travel alone - and often bring a crossword book or the ships news to the breakfast or lunch buffet. When I'm througn eating, I leave. It's just something to pass the time - and I'm entitled to sit at a table as much as anyone else. Most of the time, it's me asking if I can take an empty space at a table. But, if I sit at a table alone, I have no objection to anyone asking if they can join me. If it's a family of four, why not. I've met a lot of nice people this way - and I hope they've felt the same way.

Why should I have to go out to a lounge chair?

pamda September 29th, 2002 08:17 AM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Janie ...

You are doing the polite thing. When I used to travel a lot for business, I was never without a book to keep me company.

I finally got brave enough to ask the maitre d' in a nice hotel restaurant if there were another person dining alone who might like company. I met some wonderful people that way.

What the complaint is here that people who are NOT eating, drinking, etc. are hogging tables for people who want to EAT and can't find a place to sit because there are no empty tables.

Of course, this could be remedied by going to the main dining room.

Don G September 29th, 2002 04:52 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I can't imagine why a single on cruise would want to be alone.

mbuckellew September 30th, 2002 11:16 AM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?

I think Thomas is referring to people who sit in the dining room doing activities other than eating while others are struggling to find empty tables so they can eat with their families. I don't think he is talking about people who eat their meals at a leisurely pace.

Thomas, I don't mean to speak for you, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Michelle B.

Bernie September 30th, 2002 08:32 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I guess I must be taking the right cruises because the open seating area is rarely filled at breakfast - at least for early birds. As a single traveller, I relish the opportunity to share a meal with a stranger or two. What better way to start a conversation? I often share a seat just for the sake of company, even when there are empty tables around.

Lunch is a little harder. Singles sometimes have to wander to poolside tables just to find an open seat. As far as reading at the table goes, I was taught it was bad manners to do that and put down the paper when someone joins me. If I'm the latecomer, I ignore it. But if it was the reader who joined me, I'll excuse myself soon as I'm finished.

The one thing I find rude, however, is someone sitting alone at a table for six without a tray who informs me that the other seats are 'reserved'. The idea of saving space for others who are still going through the serving line seems pretty inconsiderate. It's like the kid with the empty shopping cart in the grocery checkout who is joined by his mom with a cart full of merchandise. To me, that's akin to 'line cutting' and a major faux pas.

Me October 7th, 2002 04:19 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I suspect single travelers might bring a book to the table to avoid feeling conspicious or uncomfortable as they dine alone. I would think most would welcome the opportunity to put the book down and chat a bit. :)

MarieA October 8th, 2002 01:51 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Bernie, I have to disagree with your lunch table scenario. When six of us go through the buffet line, the fitst one through goes and gets the table for the others to join. Otherwise, you'd have 5 of us standing in your way, waiting for the sixth, and then the whole mass of us wandering the isles "en group" looking for a table. Seems to make much more sense, and is probably more considerate in the long run, for the first person to get the table and let each arrive on his/her own.

Bernie October 9th, 2002 02:28 PM

Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Marie, my scenario was that I have already gone through line and I'm standing there with my tray trying to find a place to sit. Now I find an empty table with one person sitting there holding the table for the party still in line. That table is unused the whole time your party is going through the line. Doesn't sound like the more considerate thing to do. It's only a minor gripe, but I wanted to do a little "consciousness raising".

Post Edited (10-09-02 14:28)

MizSuzannah October 9th, 2002 05:04 PM

Re: Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Hi Bernie,
This exact scenario happened to me last Jan. on the Century....I walked outside tray in hand...table for eight and only two women sitting there...Excuse me (smile) may I join you? snob #1: "ABSOLUTELY NOT....WE DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU" mouth dropped open and I tried again, "Well, you're don't....but perhaps it might be nice to ..." snob #2: "DIDN'T YOU HEAR WHAT SHE (snob #1) SAID??? SHE SAID NO."

In answer, I plunked my tray down and sat to enjoy my lunch. They kept yelling me and I pretended not to hear them....I finished my lunch in twenty minutes and left. The next day, I saw Snob #1 and Snob #2 at the Pool bar...I sat down next to them...."HI!!!" I said, with a big grin....Snob #1: "Do I know you??" Me: "YES!!!!! WE MET YESTERDAY!!!! Let's do lunch tomorrow, shall we???" (still grinning ear to ear).....She recognized me and nudged her friend, Snob #2...."Let's go"...she said..... The bartender raised an eyebrow and I told him what had happened.....he spoke to his supervisor....I got a free drink!!! :P)

Thomas October 9th, 2002 05:40 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
I like your style! Friendliness in the face of brashness is biting.


L8inAZ October 11th, 2002 03:06 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
Thats great MizSuzannah- My kind of gal and you got a free drink. GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Stephanie

MizSuzannah October 14th, 2002 09:41 AM

To Thomas and L8inAZ
Honestly, I couldn't believe it!!!! These ladies were older than I , and perhaps because of that, I expected better "form and etiquette" from them. But it has only made me even MORE determined to be one of the world's friendliest cruisers...the next time someone asks me if they can sit with me, I'm going to stand, wave to the empty chair(s) and say, "But of course, please be my guest...." And I'm going to smile and make sure they have everything they need, as if they were my guest, and not a guest of the cruiseline. Because then, that person will repeat it for another person, and so on and so on and so on! :) And if those ladies ever show up on a future cruise, I'm going to send them a handwritten invitation to lunch and I'm going to show them how it's done!!!! :)

Marnie October 15th, 2002 07:16 AM

Re: To Thomas and L8inAZ
MizSuzannah, that's a very interesting story, truly amazing. Boy, I hope they didn't try to have a lunch in the dining room. The hosts automatically sit strangers together. And what happened if they went to the show lounge or to a the pool deck. No matter where you go on a cruiseship (except your cabin), there's bound to be lots of strangers around. Isn't that expected?

george October 15th, 2002 03:06 PM

Re: Pardon me, may I sit there?
On our cruise last week, we were getting into the ports at 10 in the morning. Of course everyone was in the Horizon Court that morning to get a good view. A nice woman asked if she could join us. She was delightful company.

My gripe about the Horizon Court/Windjammer areas is people saving tables while others in their party go through the line. I noticed one group that sat at a table beside us one morning. By the time everyone had gotten back, they had moved their things twice to better tables.

Thomas November 23rd, 2002 03:57 PM

Re: To Thomas and L8inAZ
Good for you MizSuzannah. I can't believe the rudeness of some people. It doesn't take all that much to be cordial. And it sure makes life a bit smoother.


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