This is not so much a gripe but an observation. I have been at various levels on the ship when cruising and found that the better staff was at the more expensive rooms. Do they seat people in the dining room according to level and price paid? When I pay less I am at the back of the dining room. When I was on an upper deck, I sat more toward the front and remember a better waiter.
The last time we went, we had a cheap room and had terrible service. Maybe it is just the line going downhill so I have not been on a cruise for awhile. I was a bit disappointed. Or maybe it is the automatic tip which has made it worse. But anyway, to my original thought, do you guys think the staff is put in area's according to job performance? Best staff to best rooms and tables?
Ultimately, the only power to which a man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.
I'm really not sure how the seating is arranged. I have heard that seating assignments are made shortly after the cruise is booked. Category (supposedly) doesn't have anything to do with it. It is probably a combination of both, if I were to guess. One of our cruises had a table next to the captains table and included very good service. We didn't have one of the more expensive suites, but we did book very early.
The last two cruises we have taken included our 2 year old grandaughter. Each time we were seated at a table for just the 5 of us. This was not requested, but it was certainly the best for everyone. This last time, we were the first table as you entered the dining room. This enabled us to step out if she became a little restless.
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Mariner of the Seas
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I've cruised in cabins ranging from insides to suites and have never noticed a correlation between the cabin level and dining room service. In fact, some of the worst service was on a cruise in a suite, and the best was when I was in an inside cabin.
Jodi agreed to an extent, but what I am finding more and more when seating plans are drawn up, is the Maitre'D or "computer" places what they think is "like with like" ie speak the same language, and maybe on geographic "this bunch" have something in common. Sitting them together, in a way makes sense, as individuals they may have a common bond that they can talk about, and enjoy each others company when dining
My last cruise confirmed that for me 75% full of Americans / Canadians. We end up on a table for eight and guess what all British ...chance?
Not a problem as they were all lovely people, but it seemed we had all been "profiled" in how the table was allocated, And to be honest maybe money does come into that profile as well, how much did they pay, sit them with people paying similar!
If people think they are not "profiled" when joining a ship, then they should sail on the good ship "Yellow Brick Road" 8)
And the business head would say, hit your best waiters etc towards the "money" regulars and give your reduced price clients, the new or trainees for service.It happens in every other customer account walk of life, why not cruising?
Profiling, so much a part of todays society 8) , and lots of people make money doing it for large company's.
I believe that they do try to group together people of similar age or nationality, but that, with a group cruise, the travel agent who knows his or her clientale may have a big input.
I do believe table placement may be related to when the cruise is booked but is largely the luck of the draw.
When I sit down at the dinner table I have no idea if my companions are rich or poor, lords or ladies, sick or healthy. However, I don't know if I would enjoy being seated with a young family with several children, crusty old soul that I am. Fortunately, that has never been the case.
I have experienced the gamat of table companions. I have not been terribly disappointed. The waitstaff has been wonderful on all of my Carnival cruises. The Princess waitstaff was a disaster as it went from a staff of three to our 8 place table to the asst. waiter by the end.
Cruised more times than I can remember.
Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
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Now that I think of it, I do get placed with college students or singles when I go with my sister and couples when with my husband. The last cruise was a bore when we were stuck in a table for three when we brought my little guy. We faced the mirror in the corner.
Ultimately, the only power to which a man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.
We have been seated in the back, in front and in the center, I don't think it mattered in relationship with what type of room we booked and the service we have encountered has been varied but it was the luck of the draw in my opinion.
Our first cruise we were seated with a family, travelling with a child, as we were travelling with children too and they lived within 150 miles of us, so definitely midwesterners.
On our second cruise we were seated toward the front, but had the most unpleasant young woman waiting on us and about 30 minutes into the experience I had a meeting with the Maitre D and asked to be moved so we would not have to endure this the entire 8 days of our cruise. Fortunately he very graciously obliged and we went to the back of the dining room and had terrific service for the rest of that cruise. Funny though, we found out later that if we had stayed at the original table, we would have been sharing a table with a family from our little town here in Indiana (population about 2500) and one of their kids was a classmate in my son's kindergarten class. Coincidence? Doubtful. They definititely put some thought and effort in to grouping dining companions.
Hi beenie weenie , of course they do. It is one of the most basic functions that a Maitre D has to do for each cruise.
Pick people, pick tables, place them together, help make it work for the dining room staff and passengers. But its guess work based on what "profile".
I would love to know their basic "thoughts" or "criteria" when they place people together and hope it works.
They have to have an initial plan that they feel will work, if not most of the dining room could potentially be playing "musical chairs" as the initial table did not work and will then give them grief, the odd one or ten demanding re-sits when they get it wrong, I am sure they can handle.
I cannot find any rhyme or reason where I have wound up in the dining room and with whom. Different levels of cabins, age, residence, all did not seem to matter. In the last two years we have been with 30 year military people, retired British executives, top level deep sea divers, a gay couple from Mass., a retired firefighter and his wife, two married women w/o their husbands, a couple with two children, and wheat farmers. So it's a case of go with the flow. We always eat dinner in the main dining room, I feel that is part of being on a cruise not gobbling fast food for dinner. But - to each their own.
On two of our cruises we sat with the friends we came with, but on the other cruises we were assigned with strangers. The first cruise tablemates were the best, a British couple, a Canadian couple and an American mother/daughter. We still keep in touch with the Brits and Canadians and spent a day with the Brits in London last summer.
On the second cruise two couples showed up and were very nice, but we didn't stay in touch past the first few weeks. The fourth cruise we were stuck with an older couple (77 and 90) and an older man (92) who did nothing but complain about their ungrateful kids/grandkids and the world in general. But the other two women who didn't stay would've been really bad--constant complaining about the location of the table and got moved within a few minutes. Two years ago we asked for a table for 8 and got one for 4. The other couple was very nice, but we didn't stay in touch. On the cruise we just took we had 4 other people at our table for 8 and they were just kind of wierd.
I don't ever want a table for 2, so will keep asking for larger tables and hope for the best. I can't see that any sort of matching has been done at our tables.
1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour cruised w/friends
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords cruised w/friends
1/07 Mercury Mexican Riviera
1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ
Since we only have one cruise experience, I don't know how common our experience was. We actually got a private table for just my wife and me. It was near the middle back of the dining room, which was fine with me as we had a good view of the ocean outside. It was actually a four-person table, but no one actually showed up to sit with us at the table. I don't know if they just didn't eat in the dining room or had requested reassignment before the first dinner, but by the third evening, they had stopped setting the other two places. So, I don't know if should be glad that we had our private meals just like a fancy restaurant, or disappointed that I didn't have the experience of really meeting and getting to know any of our fellow passengers. But we do tend to be more shy than others, probably, so in a way, I'm thinking it's a good thing for us.
There are very few tables for two comparatively speaking. When I cruise with an elderly relative who is deaf in one ear, I always ask for a table for 2 because she gets very frustrated not being able to converse with our tablemates and becomes quiet and does not enjoy the dining experience at all. We have never been assigned a table for 2, luckily the last time we cruised together, our tablemates showed up only once for dinner and never came back (much to the dismay of our head waiter).
Keldug, Request a table for two. If you used a TA let him/her know you would like a table for two. If you booked directly contact the cruiseline. Hopefully they can accomodate you. DW and I had a table for two on one of our cruises it was nice.
Carnival does group people to people. I cruze solo and have always been assigned to one of the "solo" tables. Everyone at these tables are sailing solo. It works wonderfully.
Besides that, Carnival will put mother/daughter sailing parties with other mother/daughters. Couples go with couples of similar age and geographical hometowns. But the most important assignment is . .
Small children will be put with small children. They also will probably not put young children in the middle of the dining room. They tend to sit the children in the parameter tables and near the exit. It is not only for the other passengers but if you are trying to get your picky/fussy/oversimulated 3 or 4 year old to eat, you don't want to be the centerpiece of the dining from when Jr. spills his milk or flips his broccoli onto the floor.
It is rare you see couples sitting with young families unless they are part of a group. I think that is kind of forbidden.
As for me, children are o.k. but I do not want to dine with them.
(cruzin' solo by design)
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
On our upcoming cruise, 6/17/07 on the Legend, there will be 10 of us family members going (5 adults, 5 grandchildren<<<<WELL-behaved btw). I'm betting we'll be taking one of those large dining tables so no worry for us about "how will we like our tablemates"....lol, actually the answer is, pretty darn well.
RCCL, 1992, 3 days, Empress of the Seas
CCL, 1997, 7 days, Celebration
CCL, 2007, 7 days, Legend (first family cruise)