Maybe, as I'm middle-aged (OK, I'm planning on living to be 100!), I've missed something. We had a wonderful New Year's cruise on Grand Princess. We had Anytime Dining, which we loved, BUT, about 80% of the people we dined with could only talk about how much money and how many "toys" they had. I always thought that this was not a proper subject to discuss with people you had just met. While I enjoyed hearing about other's cruises, do I really need to know that they made $100,000,000 last year? Or that they own 3 BMW's a couple of Harley's and a cabin cruiser? We even had someone say to us that they were sorry they were talking about their many cruises and "toys", implying that the rest of us couldn't "keep up"! Also, being lectured by a woman who looked anorexic, about what everyone at the table was eating, and about smoking was not an enjoyable conversation. Am I "out of the loop" on this?
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
I haven't done this yet, but next time going to have an envious gleam in my eye and turn to my wife and say "wow"!
I agree with hazel'saan that they are more pitiable than anything else.
I should, being a banker, ask if they happen to have their tax returns on them so that I may verify it.
I heard this story once (I apologize in advance for the lengh of this story but I think it's relevant)
In ancient India a mid level, mid class land owner started to gain recognition among his villiage as a wealthy man. This started getting to his head. He actually started believing he could mix with the local Kings that owned entire villiages with palaces and lots of wealth.
When a couple of the kings heard about this man they started to laugh. They knew they had many lands with jewels and servants and elephants and stables, obviously far beyond this villiage man who thought he was at their level.
So they wanted to teach him a lesson. One of the kings invited this man to his palace, sat him down, told him that they knew he was an up and coming land owner. They toyed with him and told him that having cows for milk and ox to plow fields was just for average village people, and that now that he had become one of "them" he should have elephants and stables full of horses. Not wanting to look like he didn't belong and wasn't one of them, they convinced him to sell his farm animals and get a couple of horses.
This man went back to his villiage, sold his farm animals, bought some jewels with the money to adorn his wife, and bought a couple of horses.
The farm animals he had were used to earn him income. His cow's milk was sold to the villagers, and his oxen plowed the land he had for grain and corn that he sold.
His horses now, started to graze on his land, so he had little to sell, he didn't have ox to plow the fields so there was no more crop, and the man had to start selling his land to pay for feeding the horses. He soon lost most of his wealth.
The kings sat back and laughed.
So my point is I guess, get someone like this who makes so much money, to literally put their "money" where their mouth is. Tell them that you admire their wealth, and get them to pay for bottles of wine and drinks at dinner!
As for me when people go on and on about how rich they are I think I'll start bragging about my new doublewide and how the smell of tater tots really gives it a homey feeling.
I'll talk about how we converted our walk-in closet into our 14 year old daughter's baby's room and how I never let more than two of the dogs sleep in there too.
Hey, if they want to feel important and better than others.......who am I too stop em? I'll give em something to talk about.
I think these people are just ego maniacs with inferiority complexes anyway.
MS Noordam HAL 1987
Elation CCL 1998
Norwegian Star NCL 2003
Conquest very soon CCL
I went out with a guy like that ONCE! He took me to the fanciest restraunt on the coast and proceeded to tell me about his airplane, yaght, new truck etc. I guess he figured I would be impressed. He was wrong. I figured he was half a man trying to make up for it by having "toys". He tried to get me to go out with him again 3 times and I said "I'm not interested in dating mechanical toys".
After that first date, I had to go home and make myself something to eat! Those restraunts serve you sample size decorations, not food! That was probably the worst date I ever had! I never did find out anything about HIM.
MOST OF OUR TABLE MATES WERE TO DRUNK OR HUNGOVER AND EITHER DIDNIT SHOW OR COMPLAINED ABOUT WHAT THEY DIDNT HAVE!ITS ENTERTAINING EITHER WAY AND IF THEY TELL YOU SOME INFLATED STORY DO YOU CARE IF ITS REAL OR NOT?PLAY ALONG MAKE UP YOUR OWN STUFTHAT USUALLY SHUTS THEM UP.
FREESTYLE, FREESTYLE!!!! RE: all of the posts above. This is why I find it an absolute chore to "chat" with strangers for a week to 10 days! Its my vacation!!! I run out of neutral talk by the third dinner! I literally do not think I can possibly tell you how opressive it is to try and accomodate COMPLETE STRANGERS during dinner time! It is not my job on my vacation to meet others expectations of what they think a cruise dining companion should be! Did the Celebrity Horizon once, cannot emphasize how wonderful the 2 coupls at my table were, but, I felt exhausted trying to be on my best behavior each and every night of the cruise. I may be the millionaire your resent! I may be the one that had to smuggle booze on board because I spent my savings for the cruise! I may be the born again, or enlightened Ra Ma (made that up) that only wants to talk about religion. I might be the completely wasted cruiser, or worse, the one that raises eyebrows if you had a drink! Ugh, can you imagine dining with ME, EVERY NIGHT OF YOUR CRUISE? I can't, that is why, in my experience of 2 (count them, 2) cruises, freestyle, or some sort of optional dining accomodations are my only choice. I am better off having seating for 2, because, I truly do not know the "rules" of conversation at mingled stranger dining! And I don't want to know. PS, want you all to know that in my double wide...I have the biggest satellite dish y'all ever saw!!!! TOP THAT!!! heehee.
Personally, I find this thread complicated in as much as you are "captured" on a ship with X hundreds or X thousands of people to dine with. It is the luck of the draw who you end up with out of all those people in the dining room
People who do not want to mix I find buffet eat or request the limited two or four seating tables. But for me a big part of cruising is meeting and listening to the people I cruise with, love the chat.
Yes I will have an opinion on a subject (surprise) and they will have as well. But for me that is one of the more attractive reasons for formal dining.
I will decide who I can relate too, how far I can go in this company re subject and who I cannot for whatever reason relate too.. You can tell these things.
So enjoy those around that you can relate to at dinner. What happens is that slowly but surely the "obnoxious boaster" will see they are being ignored as everyone else is chatting and they may change their position as no one has taken the bait. For them it may just be a confidence thing or lack of social mixing. I always give a chance to become normal .
or if they are just look at me people
In my experience because everyone else ignores their boasting they request a new table and new blood to "impress". Nice one out of my face
I must admit I have encountered some people who are so lacking in self esteem and decent personal values that they think what they "have" whether it's money, toys or social status could interest other people at all. They make the MOST boring tablemates. This is one of the reason why I like Freestyle cruising. We have met some truly interesting people while cruising traditional style who had great stories to tell but we have also met obnoxious self-important bores who rattle on and on and on about how much their latest bit of jewellery costs or their new car or even better cut up other diners whose appearance is not up to their standards. Hey if you are seated next to me - I want to hear about your travels ( I LOVE to hear about other people's travel adventures) , your hobbies(once had a fantastic conversation with an amateur archeologist), your grandchildren (that can get dull if carried to extremes but I love to hear a few details and I do understand that grandparents like to talk) but I REALLY don't give a damn where you got that enormous rock on your hand or if your gown is a designer original or if your son is the president of XRON Corp.
Carol, you can have him, his plane and his truck but I get his yaght!
We had great table mates on our last cruise. Everybody banned together one night and each ordered something different from the menu. We all took turns sampling it then each ordered our favorite. The conversation was mostly our plans for the ports, where we were from etc. No complaints here. Great bunch of people.
I work as a police officer and my buddy is a fire fighter everytime someone brought up how much they made we told them what we made and they would ask what we did for work, we would tell them and finish the sentence with something along the lines of you would think your house or life would be worth more than that too you.
It is always good though if you want to get to the husband in the relationship because me and my buddy are single and we would just tell war stories and the wives would forget about what there 6 figure a year paper pusher of a husband did for work and they would want to hear how we both saved someones life.
I was once told by a wise trooper " know your opponet." I don't think they did much research before they would speak. Money is not a subject to be talked about on a ship where a lot of people worked hard and saved every dime to take the trip.
This is what has always puzzled me about people who cruise often. The very definition of cruising means that you will be interacting with people - many people. You will be saying "excuse me" in hallways, and make polite chit chat with people you will probably never see again. If other's conversations and habits bore or annoy you, why cruise? You are bound to be steamed by the people you have to spend time with!
We like to cruise for the ports, being on the sea, the fine dining, the music - not so much for the other people.! My solution to getting the most out of a cruise for our enjoyment, is to ONLY cruise with the luxury lines where the ratio of staff to pax is very low, the small number of pax, and where you ALWAYS have the option of dining alone, or with others at a small or large table. Anywhere in the dining room. Or being served course by course in your cabin.
Just back from another of our fabulous cruises. Took the top deck of the ship, to insure a bit of privacy. Blocked off the center section of the dining room....the Captain asked to join us one evening, we declined....why should we eat with the help?
We are back from our cruise, had a table of eight...eight folks with totally diverse backgrounds, professions, and points of view....had a truly wonderful time with all. Touched on jobs, politics, families, past cruises...the whole gauntlet of topics...but no one ever got intrusive, or bragged, or pushy....
Any topic can be discussed, but show a degree of respect for others, don't dominate the conversation, and most importantly, if something is said that may not be 100% to your liking, let it slide, part of the joy of cruising is sharing others excitement about being on a ship and not at home shoveling snow, cooking meals, cutting the grass of cleaning up the dirty bathrooms!
We have been lucky with almost all of our dinner companions and have not experienced braggarts at the table.
I do agree with a post here that some topics should be avoided. My list includes:
Politics - especially touchy these days
Number of cruises and what I paid
Religion - this is a big no no for me and one that probably would cause me
to change tables if I experienced someone on an evangelical bent
I have to say that we tried free-style last fall and it didn't work for us - since your tablemates change with each meal in the dining room, you never got past the preliminaries and we really enjoy spending time with the same people at dinner.
I think my response to those who try to impress would be a simple "How nice for you". That usually shuts them up.
Generally, we have found that the people who brag about what they have or how much they make have had it all given to them, and/or they owe everyone and their dog. The people who don't bring it up and don't brag most of the time, have a lot more than the people who brag about it and they have worked, scratched and saved for everything they have, these are the people we most admire and find the most interesting, and with the most class.