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Small Talk & Table 'Mates'

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    Small Talk & Table 'Mates'

    What is it about small talk?

    Some people seem to be natural chatters, and other people, like oneself, find it hard to string a few words together to meer strangers, and to be honest I don't really want to make the effort as I'm probably never going to see them again. I know that seems harsh (I AM a nice person) but I'm just being honest!

    I'm not a Victor Meldrew, I have plenty of friends/family, but I just don't like the idea of sitting with strangers. I want to relax when I'm eating. I don't want to have to worry about making first impressions, keeping the conversation going, awkward silences etc etc..

    That's why I tend to veer away from a large table and request a table for 2. Does that make me boring?

    I mean, if you go to a restaurant on land, you don't sit with strangers do you?

    So why don't cruiselines offer more small tables?

    I feel I've gone off on a tangent but I think I've got my point across, haven't I?

    #2
    I agree completely, on my first cruise recently I sat next to someone who never stopped talking and must have invented one upmanship

    Comment


      #3
      Small tables and small talk

      Originally posted by neptuna, norwich View Post
      What is it about small talk?

      Some people seem to be natural chatters, and other people, like oneself, find it hard to string a few words together to meer strangers, and to be honest I don't really want to make the effort as I'm probably never going to see them again. I know that seems harsh (I AM a nice person) but I'm just being honest!

      I'm not a Victor Meldrew, I have plenty of friends/family, but I just don't like the idea of sitting with strangers. I want to relax when I'm eating. I don't want to have to worry about making first impressions, keeping the conversation going, awkward silences etc etc..

      That's why I tend to veer away from a large table and request a table for 2. Does that make me boring?

      I mean, if you go to a restaurant on land, you don't sit with strangers do you?

      So why don't cruiselines offer more small tables?

      I feel I've gone off on a tangent but I think I've got my point across, haven't I?
      Hello Neptuna. I'm starting at the end of your query first. The reason for the scarcity of tables for two is simply down to space available and the greater demands on staff. Generally those tables are fitted in to where a space may exist. Add to that the fact that the preference of the majority of cruisers is to sit at the larger tables, and engage in conversation, and you have your answer. To the majority dining is one of the delights of cruising. It does'nt make you boring wanting to sit by yourselves but if your frame of mind is such then it must be a great worry, prior to embarkation, with the fear that you will not get your preferred seating.

      In short it really is a form of social engagement, no different to any other social gathering except that food, wine and bonhomie are the ingredients that come together.

      Rest assured that if ever you found yourself on a table with me there would never be a dull moment, pregnant pause or lack of interest in the general trend of the conversation.

      As a slight aside, I'm always amused the way many guests at ships Cocktail Parties head straight for a chair, sit down and remain there throughout and make no effort to engage in social chat. Funny old world.

      Comment


        #4
        It really can be difficult as it depends who is at your table last time we had 2 of the biggest moaners and another 2 who did not speak to anyone my OH is very quiet and finds this sort of dining hard at times so I can understand why you would prefer a table for 2
        life is great :D

        Comment


          #5
          There's no answer to this one - there are so many variables. We've sat with people who've bored us to tears and others whose company we thoroughly enjoyed. We're happy to be unsociable on a short cruise but like getting to know lots of people on a cruise longer than a couple of weeks.

          Comment


            #6
            The answer is simple, if you end up on a table with dining companions whom you dont gel with, then you just ask the Maitre D to move you.
            As for conversation, it can easily be started with the words - did you go ashore today.....or did you watch the show last night.
            I agree with Richard on the cocktail party comment. Years back we took some friends on their first cruise. The female half of the couple we were with was horried at the fact I refused to sit down at the cocktail party and I had black stares from her for 10 minutes. It soon changed when a handsome officer came up and started talking to us. I know this wouldnt have happened if we'd sat down in a corner.
            I enjoy the mix and you can soon move on if you find them boring.

            Comment


              #7
              How sad the art of convivial conversation as gone the way of many things. Although these days, more often than not we travel as a family group, on the occasions that just the two of us cruise we always request to be on a table for 6 or 8, but never 4. With 6 or 8 there will always be interesting characters within the group and as said before, if you don't like 'em, move on. Why do people want to be so insular these days?........Wilba
              Wilba

              Comment


                #8
                We were lucky enough to have a circular table for ten on one cruise. Maybe we were lucky but it made a super end to the day. We swopped places every night to be extra sociable. Most enjoyable.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Wilba, N View Post
                  ...we always request to be on a table for 6 or 8, but never 4...
                  We shared a table for four with the same couple for over three months - lunch and dinner. Whilst we generally got on well it started to be a bit of a strain towards the end!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Table for 2 - but can still socialise.

                    Originally posted by Wilba, N View Post
                    How sad the art of convivial conversation as gone the way of many things. Although these days, more often than not we travel as a family group, on the occasions that just the two of us cruise we always request to be on a table for 6 or 8, but never 4. With 6 or 8 there will always be interesting characters within the group and as said before, if you don't like 'em, move on. Why do people want to be so insular these days?........Wilba
                    We have a number of reasons for wanting a table for two. Firstly I talk for a living, plus socialise with course members during 'free time' and when running residential courses - evenings as well, including all meal times! So it's a nice change for me not to have to talk at Dinner, other than to my husband.
                    Which brings me to the next reason, I am a fairly lively, outgoing & chatty type & he is far more reserved (opposites attract!) he is also loosing his hearing, which makes listening very difficult for him, in a noisy Dining Room! However, we have met lots of interesting people, in the Bars and on excursions etc.. I guess, as in all things, we are all very different individuals. Regards, Lizzie.
                    Lizzie sigpic

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Wilba, N View Post
                      How sad the art of convivial conversation as gone the way of many things. Although these days, more often than not we travel as a family group, on the occasions that just the two of us cruise we always request to be on a table for 6 or 8, but never 4. With 6 or 8 there will always be interesting characters within the group and as said before, if you don't like 'em, move on. Why do people want to be so insular these days?........Wilba
                      We always have a table for two. My husband and I both have very busy careers and we have a hectic social life with a great circle of friends so when we go on holiday we want time alone to relax and talk. After 18 years we still enjoy each others company, we want to discuss the past and the future. Personally we do not need other people to entertain us as we have each other for that.

                      I find with cruising you chat to people at breakfast, at lunch, on trips, in the bars and even whilst having a stroll on deck which I really enjoy, however dinner for me is the perfect time to spend quality time with my husband.

                      Each to their own, but dinning as a couple is not insular Wilba, it's just romance with some of us is still alive and kicking.
                      Last edited by redwinegirl2, Lake District; 12th October 2009, 07:08 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by redwinegirl2, Lake District View Post
                        We always have a table for two. My husband and I both have very busy careers and we have a hectic social life with a great circle of friends so when we go on holiday we want time alone to relax and talk. After 18 years we still enjoy each others company, we want to discuss the past and the future. Personally we do not need other people to entertain us as we have each other for that.

                        I find with cruising you chat to people at breakfast, at lunch, on trips, in the bars and even whilst having a stroll on deck which I really enjoy, however dinner for me is the perfect time to spend quality time with my husband.

                        Each to their own, but dinning as a couple is not insular Wilba, it's just romance with some of us is still alive and kicking.
                        Very well put RWG2 (if I may be so familiar). We had a table for two for the first time on our last cruise and wondered why we hadn't done it before.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Dave, Whitstable View Post
                          We shared a table for four with the same couple for over three months - lunch and dinner. Whilst we generally got on well it started to be a bit of a strain towards the end!
                          I have the same problem with a table for two :D shared for thirty years now!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by neptuna, norwich View Post
                            What is it about small talk?

                            Some people seem to be natural chatters, and other people, like oneself, find it hard to string a few words together to meer strangers, and to be honest I don't really want to make the effort as I'm probably never going to see them again. I know that seems harsh (I AM a nice person) but I'm just being honest!

                            I'm not a Victor Meldrew, I have plenty of friends/family, but I just don't like the idea of sitting with strangers. I want to relax when I'm eating. I don't want to have to worry about making first impressions, keeping the conversation going, awkward silences etc etc..

                            That's why I tend to veer away from a large table and request a table for 2. Does that make me boring?

                            I mean, if you go to a restaurant on land, you don't sit with strangers do you?

                            So why don't cruiselines offer more small tables?

                            I feel I've gone off on a tangent but I think I've got my point across, haven't I?
                            Would love to share a table with a Victor Medrew, you would be able to dine out for months on the stories.

                            In my experience if you don't click just request a change of table.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I agree entirely, my wife and i cruised this year for the first time on Grand Princess and we had no difficuilty in getting a table for two. Why should you have to sit with some boring person, thats done 20 or so cruises and knows everything about everything, and from day one tries to organise your cruise for you. I'm sure wev'eall met people like this.

                              Comment


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