I like Freestyle for the same reason's Glenda likes high end cruising. If I am feeling social I can ask to be seated with other people but if DH and I want to be alone we can be. Before I tried Freestyle, I went on 3 traditional cruises. On 2 of those our tablemates were fine but on one - yuck (the drunken, bullying braggert and his bragging, social climbing trophy wife). Being stuck with truly obnoxious people for 2 hours a day for a week is not pleasant. It was Christmas - the ship was full - so we could not be moved.
Some of you dont know me,,,but actually on a dining table I am quite a quiet person for at least three nights on lets say a cruise of 10......Honestly.
I nod, laugh and chit chat with all. From that I can tell, who I can have a laugh with, who is just maybe a bit shy but could be part of the conversation if allowed to take part.
And those that are just bores that work on the basis of, me me me, us, we have, we've been too etc etc.
Once upon a time, I have react to these people, but found it made some of my fellow diners uncomfortable.
Now I just throw one liners when they try to take over
Yeah, thanks for that,,,and carry on other conversations
Is that right, ,,,,and carry on other conversations.
When they really get boring about money and cruises and will not give in. I've been known to throw...I'm so pleased for you., we got on this cruise as social services paid for it as part of my recovery treatment
I am going on a cruise in March to relax, I am not a social person.
I want to eat in the dinning room, but the thought of being sat at a table for 4 and to have to hold down polite conversation makes me very unconfortable.
I am be traviling post surgery and everybody has to ask how it happenned and what was it like. help!!! any advice????????
TIA, which line are you going on, there are several options for you based on which line you choose. There is always room service.On Princess there is the buffet dining room( which is more casual) and there is also Anytime dining where you can ask to sit at a table for one.
TIA, I do understand your reluctance to discuss your personal medical history. You simply don't have to talk about it, if you don't want to! If it is obvious because of your physical condition that there is something wrong, just say "I prefer to discuss something more pleasant" and smile, and thats it.
As far as being captured in a table for 4 the entire time of your cruise, again, as others have said, that depends on what cruiseline you are on. I said it before and I'll say it again - being part of a captive meal with strangers for days on end would be torture to me. On our cruises the Matre'd always asks when we enter the dining room if we would like a table alone, or to be seated with others, what size table, or if we would like to start a table................so many choices, depending on our mood............there is plenty of opportunity to strike up conversations with likely travelers on shore excursions, in the bar, at the pool, etc. etc.
If the rest of you forked out a bit more $$ for your cruise, you, too, could pick and choose and would not have to dine out for years on your "dinner table mate from hell" stories. Life is too short to be stuck in situations you can easily avoid.
I have seen this type of behavior all to often on ships. The art of conversation is dead. Why can't people talk about history, gardening, baseball and cooking. People must be turning narrow minded to think that everyone is motivated into making million and proclaiming themselves masters of the world. It has been almost two years since I returned to college to be a history teacher and have met some wonderful professors who have devoted their entire lives to the advancement of the human thought. It is too bad many people were not listening.
Glenda you wrote one of the best lines I've read in a long time
"If the rest of you forked out a bit more $$ for your cruise, you, too, could pick and choose and would not have to dine out for years on your "dinner table mate from hell" stories. Life is too short to be stuck in situations you can easily avoid".
Sometime on Gripes regarding cruising, I feel we have people comparing Apples to Oranges and reacting not knowing the difference.
True cruising, expectations, the people you meet , the attitude, the service,,,you do not get by picking up a deal on a bulk line for 5 days around the Carib at a throw away price.
Mike, you made a good point until you made it personal to you ie History.
That alone and its repercussions in conversation would or could be controversial depending on your age, state, color, religion, financial background, country of origin. True or not?
Actually so could the rest of the subjects on any dining table, can you imagine a debate on the best way to cook something "like your Gran" taught you as a child. Or the best way to grow certain flowers. Even on these basic subjects everyone will have a personal opinion
Baseball Iíll pass on
Regarding dinner conversation most things are open to me, apart from religion and the beliefs that go with it, that is too personal.
I live my life on open debate on most subjects. I've agreed and disagreed on numerous occasions with many people. Iíve had my opinion changed at a dinner table when someone explained it to me outwith my original thoughts
But it is how that conversation takes place that is the key and others ability to take onboard the alternative view.
Conversation is not dead, people are still intelligent itís just that sometimes, some people do not know how to relax the corsetís that is being seen as "being pc"
There is a great scene in the current film "The Aviator" where Howard Hughes has dinner with the family of his then girlfriend, Katherine Hepburn. All the members of her family are having deep conversations of art, history, politics, religion and other "deep" subjects. The only problem is that they are so self involved with what they are saying they pay little attention to what anyone, especially engineer Hughes, has to say.
This scene was overblown but I have been at business dinners that were somewhat similar. Luckily, I haven't had cruise dinners like this. If I had, I would only have had one of them.
I personally find that any subject can be of interest as long as it doesn't monopolize the conversation and it's purpose is to educate and not to convert. This is where you run into problems with the topics of religion and politics because when someone's ideas are different than someone else's that's when, inevitably, it gets personal and problems arise.
Hey, it's sort of like a message board. :-)
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
next time you have tablemates like that, tell them you work for the IRS and in charge of tax audits..see how quickly the conversation changes (smile)
I once won a cruise (with a suite) to Greece back when I was very young and my then GF and I flew to Athens the day before to catch the ship...Everyone else onboard was in their 50's and up, we were both in our late 20's and people were more curious (but didn't dare ask), how we could afford the cruise, less alone stay in the suite. We kept them guessing for the entire cruise
There are just too many other wonderful topics to discuss rather than income and toys
I am an under-educated Southern person, and I am aware of that. I have been around flying and aircraft most of my life, and I would guess 80 to 90 % of pilots have their planes and little else. Flying is a sickness, a fever, like alcoholism or gambling fever. I have seen thousands of pilots with gym bags making $250 per week sleeping in hangers just to say...I am a pilot. I have friends that are, or have flown, with major airlines. That number is small. Trust me, do not be impressed by airplanes.
Maybe your bragging table mate is making it all up!! Just like many ppl do that sit behind these computers every day! My hubby is a very intelligent man and knows a little bit about any subject you could come up with...Once we were in Las Vegas,and this man next to him start bragging...and my husband topped everything ...shut that man up in a hurry! Dot
I don't think anybody owns an airplan anymore. If someone says they do, they are probably lying. Are there people with pilot's licenses around? Of course. For less than the price of a decent cruise, I could get mine! But nobody owns an airplane. A CPA friend says: "If it floats, flys, or something else I can't remember, rent it!"
You, sir, think wrong. Not many with good sense choose to own one, but we are out there. One friend owns three, and will not sell them due to hating to part with them. Some planes are cheaper than cars. I have a balloon due to lack of a tie down fee, but do fly . For info only, you can purchase a parachute and lessons for about $2500 and start flying regularly, cheaply, and it is great fun, so quiet up there away from the noise.
Don't judge people by what they say they have or what they outwardly display
My mom and dad use to work private dinner parties both serving the guests and parking cars as a side job to earn extra $$$$. One couple that use to employ them alot lived in a very unassuming home, drove a 15 year old volvo, if you saw the husband on weekends he use to dress in old clothes, very low key folks, yet they would often entertain very very very powerful people. The wife use to shop in the local second hand store. When the husband died, the local paper publish his obituary and he was a multi millionaire from Norway who was a retired CEO of a Fortune 500 company(and also was a hero in the underground in Norway who was captured by the Nazi's and tortured)
My parents worked for them on weekends for over 20 years and they treated us very nice (once a year they invited our family to have dinner with them and other people waited on my parents)
My Dad once told me that people with "real money" don't brag about it
FYI, Don Smith is right about pilots and airplanes..My son is a F-15 pilot for the air force and his dream is to own a Cirrus 22 for his own use and I am sure he will figure out a way to do it. Flying is his passion and his mistress and I am glad it is
I have friends who have planes and they set them up in partnerships with other people. That is, 4 people will share ownership and each has priority of a week at a time on a rotation. They figure out how much it costs for major overhaul and other maintenance and calculate a per hour rate for flying. That's what goes into the fund so those who use the plane the most will end up paying the most for the maintenance.
It works out to about $100 per hour of flying time. Considering we would pack 6 guys in the plane and take it to a Colorado ski resort for about 8 hours roundtrip it was a pretty good deal and most convenient. And the cost of ownership was less than a cruise per year.
Two years ago my husband and I cruised on the Grand Princess. We had the best tablemates. The couples at our table entertained us with wonderful tales of lives spent in all different corners of our country. We laughed so hard and enjoyed our new group of friends so much that we were often the last people sitting in the dining room. Interestingly noone talked about money or toys or how successful they were. I actually looked forward to eating with these folks each evening. They certainly added to our trip.
I truly love the story telling of those who have lived a life I can only imagine...My story is run of the mill ...no real drama, no riches to brag about...I know how to work hard...and how to play hard...cruising is cool...we are all captive together in an enclosed society on a cruise ship, and we must behave as such . But to thine own self be true. I am shy, an introvert. It causes me stress to adapt to many, many expectations of strangers. That is why freestyle works for me. Went on a 10 day cruise with NCL Dawn. Chatted with a variety of people for short peroids of time...but, didn't feel like I had to dress up every night and party with them. There is SO MUCH diversity among cruisers, it seems that we all forget there is a cruise for everyone! I know I will keep exploring different ships and adventures...I look forward to them all.
...your comment cracked me up. Been there done that. My husband has been a Branch Chief/Manager with the IRS for over thirty years. That really shuts people up.
I'm sure through the years many have changed tables just for that reason.
We enjoy the large tables and usually have good luck with tablemates. Most of the talk is usually about the cruise and excursions. I enjoy hearing about everyones expieriences for the day and especially a sense of humor.
My favorite was on a Hal cruise. No bragging there. It wasn't until the end of the cruise that we found out our tablemates were in the Penthouse Suite and that he was an international banker and had worked with Ross Pirot during the election. All very interesting but he found his tablemates interesting also. I thought that was a real class act.