Cruise ship etiquette: How to get the best table in the dining room without being rude

Cruise ship etiquette: How to get the best table in the dining room without being rude

  • Travel
  • March 16, 2023
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You’ve just boarded a cruise, found the dining room on your first night, and were escorted to your table by your table attendants. The moment of truth has arrived: will you like the table assigned to you?

Many cruise lines still offer ‘traditional’ dining that dates back to the era of overseas liners: a set meal time each evening at the same assigned table. This leaves passengers with a degree of uncertainty, e.g. B. where their table will be and who they will be sitting with. However, other cruise lines ask preferred table sizes at the time of booking, and generally seat guests at tables ranging in size from two to eight seats.

Cruisers have different preferences too. Some like to sit at tables with strangers, while others prefer to request tables the same size as their traveling party. A spokesman for Cunard – which has been in service since 1840 and has more experience allocating tables at sea than any other cruise line – noted that guest demand in recent years has led to an increase in the number of tables for two in the main dining rooms has led the ships of the company.

So what should cruise passengers do to ensure their preferences are met in advance? The secret is to visit the dining room early on the day of embarkation. It is common practice on most cruise lines for the chief steward to be available on embarkation day to confirm table assignments and accommodate last minute requests. It’s also a good time to confirm any dietary restrictions or requests. Cruise lines usually list this in their embarkation day itineraries. It’s usually only for a few hours in the afternoon, so if table assignments are an issue, make this your first stop after boarding.

How to share a table

Sharing a table can either significantly improve or detract from the cruise experience, depending on your preference. When it comes to manners and conversation, the rules apply on land – it’s polite to introduce yourself to your table companions and engage in polite conversation while you eat. Thankfully, there’s almost never a shortage of good safe topics among strangers aboard a cruise ship, including:

Whether they are sailing on a cruise for the first time, or with this cruise line or on board this ship, how a cruise compares to a holiday on land The shore excursions or activities on board the ship, anecdotes from other cruises or other non-cruise trips

Just like on land, there are topics to avoid (religion and politics are largely taboo). It’s also a good idea to resist the urge to comment on the eating or dietary habits of your dinner companions, such as: B. the number of courses or the number of calories of the ordered dishes. It’s also a good idea not to evangelize—a cozy dinner is not the place to attract converts to a fad diet or to promote your multi-level marketing products.

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