On our last cruise, we were seated at a 6 person table. One couple at the table would always be the first there every night. Deb and I would be seated in the Martini Bar outside the dining room (Celebrity Constellation) about 15 mimutes before the Dining Room doors were opened to allow seating. We would always see this couple ( our table-mates) standing at the the doors waiting for it to open. Every night this couple would change seats clockwise at the table. I found it annoying and after a couple nights of talking to the husband at dinner (general dinner conversation), I thought it obvious that he was a wanna-be control freak in general. The seating change was just a control thing in that he controlled where we and the other couple sat from night to night. On all our other cruises, everyone always sat in the same chairs each night. Has anyone else experienced this seat change every night? On the 6th night of the 11 night cruise, we asked for and were given a a new table. I was told that about 300 people had already changed tables for one reason or another. We had no idea that that many table changes could be made ...lol. Out of 15 cruises on a Celebrity Ship, this was the first time that we ever asked to change tables.
If we are seated at larger tables, 8 , 10, or 12, we'll often switch chairs in the dining room.... just so everyone gets to talk to one another during the course of the cruise.
Now this wouldn't be necessary at a table for six, but not sure I'd find it a big deal if others moved, as long as the company was otherwise good. Sounds like there's more about the tablemates that got on your nerves than just moving over a chair or two.
This why we no longer like to cruise on ships with "fixed time/fixed seating" dining. first, the "fixed time" is a major pain. Second, the "fixed seating" gives rise to way too many personality clashes for me to endure on a vacation. Many times, my wife and I simply like to dine at a table for two. Other times, we want to join others for dinner.
When we used to cruise on lines with the seating situation that Celebrity has, we would occasionally encounter tablemates with whom we were incompatable. Our solution was to simply say as little as possible and eat!
On our RCI cruise last month, we sat at a table for 6 for the whole week and really enjoyed the 2 other couples we sat with. None of us really considered any chair at the table as "assigned" to one person either formally or informally..We all just sat and didn't even think about it.
I've just never felt like having one meal a day (dinner) with an assigned seating time was any big deal but I know some feel it's restrictive somehow. It seems on most ships where the freedom to choose thing seems to be the big theme, that you have to either wait in a long line for alot of the restaurants or have a reservation anyway...So I'm not sure how that is really offering up that much more freedom. To each their own.
Carnival Holiday (1999 ?)
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2007
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 2009
When we are at a table of 6, 8 or 10 and happen to be the 1st ones seated, we always opt for a different position at the table each night. Likewise, when we have not been the 1st to arrive, it is RARE that any of the other couples seated at the table already are in the same seats they were in the night before. It's nice to have a different view each night and to mix up the conversation. I think you're over analyzing this.
My wife and I usually sit a table for 8 and we all tend to sit in diferent places each evening so we can view the dining room from a diferent angle. We are happy with a fixed time and table, and have made lasting frienships with some tablemates.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Independence of the Seas 12/29/2013 Top-notch!
We have always rotated dining room seats and have never considered the first night seating as assigned seating for the remainder of the cruise. We recently had a window table for 8 but only 6 of us showed. We rotated seats also on this 9 night cruise. We enjoyed sitting by one couple more than the other but it was fine if it didn't happen. On the 5th night, the missing couple showed for the 1st time. They were a lovely couple who had a lot in common with the 6 of us. They had been eating in the Horizon Court every night. They didn't show up the next night so when I saw them at the show, I inquired why. The lady informed me she was disappointed in the dining room food and they decided to eat in the HC for the remainder of the cruise. Each to their own.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
So what, the guys a control freak. I'm not. If he gets his jollys by moving around the table, hey, more power to him, as long as he is otherwise pleasent company. I'm ok with fixed dining as well. I kind of like to be able to set my daily schedule of events around dinner. I rarely cruise in a small group. I usually have lots of friends and/or family along. By having fixed dining, we can be sure to have at least one time a day we can be together. It works for us.
__________________ I'ld Rather Be Cruisin'
Disney Magic February 4 2006
RCCL Freedom January 20 2008
Disney Wonder October 2009
I'm afraid I was one of the Musical Chair people on our 21-day cruise.
We had a table for 8 and the first night I had the misfortune of sitting across from a guy who monopolized the entire conversation. I know his background, from his divorce and the fallout from that, how he met his new wife, how wonderful his kids are, how many cruises they'd been on and what they thought of them......and this was the first night!! I can't recall if his wife got a word in edgewise! I don't even think he asked what my name is, but I sure know HIS. It got worse to the point that I started going to the buffet instead.
The next time I decided to chance the dining room, I held back a bit and jumped in once I saw he had been seated and took the chair at the far end away from him. It was the best dinner ever! I got to chat with the others at the table and find out a bunch of "it's sure a small world" info that I couldn't have otherwise.
Please don't judge us too harshly, we may have a truly good reason to want to switch our seating!
We have had our table assignment changed. Usually, we just look to get to know whomever we are seated with, but on one cruise, we were at a table for 4 and the other couple displayed blatant abuse problems. The husband kept putting his wife down in a very mean way. She refused to speak. She had bruises and a broken arm. Don't know if they were from him or not, but I knew that I could not keep me mouth shut for an entire week with these people. Better all around to move.
On my last cruise, we had a large group of people who took up three tables for 8. The first two nights, everyone sat at their assigned tables, the third night, they all switched tables and every night thereafter. The wait staff at all three tables were more than a little flustered. The wait staff had two nights to remember everyone's name, likes and dislikes, beverage requests, etc., then everyone played musical chairs for the remainder of the cruise. This totally disrupted the flow and precision that the wait staff try to adhere to. There was no opportunity for the wait staff to personalize their services, they had different people every night.
Sorry, in my previous post, I forgot to mention that this large group was not our group. Their three large tables surrounded ours. I think the waiters just gave up after a few days trying to remember names and faces and just took the food orders, delivered it and cleaned it up.