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"This Is Our Table" - Do You Have a Different Way of Dealing With It?

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    "This Is Our Table" - Do You Have a Different Way of Dealing With It?

    On a Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise last year my wife and I went to the buffet at lunch time (it's buffet only then). I filled my plate and went looking for a table and found that many of the "empty" tables had crossed knives and forks at them, which apparently signifies that they are "reserved" by customers. I looked around and managed to find a table for two, so I put my plate down, put my coat over my chair and went find my wife to let her know where we were sitting. When I returned to the table and sat down, I was confronted by a short, angry looking woman who told me "Ziss iss our table, ve always haf ziss table". I reminded her that it was a buffet and open seating and that I was there first. Shortly after, at the time my wife arrived, the "lady" returned with a member of the crew, who told us that the woman had told her that she had "reserved" the table by putting her bag on a chair. That wasn't the case when I first arrived, but the bag must have appeared when I went to find my wife. The angry woman was getting so livid she was stamping her feet and the crew member was asking us to find another table, so we got up and left. We went round and round, finding many "reserved" tables and others with only two people at them, sitting diagonally from each other to keep their tables to themselves. With no apparent vacant seats and crew not trying hard to help us, we went to the side of the room out of the way and sat on the floor with our backs against the wall and started to eat. Within a minute a crew member had found us and directed us to seats they had miraculously found at a table with another couple on. They had managed to persuade the other couple to agree to share their table with us and we actually found the other couple to be very pleasant company. To be honest, we don't ever "reserve" a table, and whoever has got food first will then look for one, but we cannot agree with reserving a whole table, when only two will sit there. I know our "sit-in" was a bit naughty, but it worked.......and we noticed the little "German?" woman and her friend were always at the same table for every meal.

    #2
    That is why I hate buffets and avoid whenever possible. One of most organised buffet I have come across was on a P&O ferry sailing out of Hull. A waiter greets you at the door and shows you to a vacant table. He and his colleagues then know that table is occupied and will show then next passengers to another vacant table. Why cruise ships cant do this I don't know. It enables couples to go to the buffet together and those travelling alone to get their food without returning to their table to find it occupied.

    Comment


      #3
      How rude of her, like you say the buffet is open seating. Where possible we always try to find a table for 4 before getting food, one of us sits at the table while the others go for food and when one gets back the remaining one goes.
      Lorraine

      Comment


        #4
        She probably reserved the same two sun beds every day too!! She'd have stamped her feet at me for the whole time it took me to eat my lunch at "her" table.

        Comment


          #5
          There would be no point in me going on one these cruises as there would be quite a few Messerschmidt's shot down in flames.

          Crossed knives and forks to 'reserve' a table????? When are we going to see this a feature on UK/US cruiselines?

          Just another reason to avoid buffets on cruise ships.............Wilba
          Wilba

          Comment


            #6
            As we like different food and can collect at different rates we usually select a section of the buffet seating that tends to be quiet, it might take a couple of meals to find it, then we try to sit in that area every day, that is the meeting point after we separate to get food or if we are doing different things and will arrive at different times

            On Royal princess we found the section the the back port side would fill up last and the 2 tables next to the server station were not popular so we always arranged to meet there and got the same 2 tables most of the time, handy as the servers got to know us over the cruise.


            MY guess is Hurtigruten has some unique cultural practices given it is not a cruise line but more a ferry(a good one).

            Comment


              #7
              well, there is a reason for not sailing on the Hurtigruten. I know one would not expect cruise ship standard service, but they obviously have little regard for customer service. I suspect the crossed cutlery was for the benefit of regular travellers.

              We were surprised on our recent cruise to find a considerable number of couples insisting on a table for two, and one near the window. Some even queued outside the restaurant for 30 minutes before it opened in order to get 'their' table.

              Comment


                #8
                Cruisers never stop amazing me with some of the daft Ideas they get into there heads?
                Never heard of the crossed cutlery to reserve a place ,I have often seen Hat ,Bags etc left ,which is fair enough.
                As we rarely use the Buffet at peak times never had problems finding a seat to have a quite cuppa..
                I have over the years met people who thought they had certain rights regarding where they sat in public spaces,none ever managed to move me ??...Taffy
                ​Taffy

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ilovesunshine, east yorks View Post
                  That is why I hate buffets and avoid whenever possible. One of most organised buffet I have come across was on a P&O ferry sailing out of Hull. A waiter greets you at the door and shows you to a vacant table. He and his colleagues then know that table is occupied and will show then next passengers to another vacant table. Why cruise ships cant do this I don't know. It enables couples to go to the buffet together and those travelling alone to get their food without returning to their table to find it occupied.
                  This is how Fred Olsen works for breakfast and lunch in the main dining room. You are always seated by a waiter who makes sure that places are filled and there are always table kept to one side for larger groups who come along. You then can either visit a buffet station or order from the menu and the waiter will serve you. It all works very well.
                  Cruising my way through life!

                  Sue

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've not heard of the crossed cutlery either, so would have sat down, not realising.

                    Touch Wood, I've never had a problem in a buffet, and usually find if you don't mind walking a few steps away from the immediate area, you can usually find some-where. If not, then we just join another couple sitting at a larger table............................................. .........Carol

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Border Reiver, Durham (2) View Post
                      On a Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise last year my wife and I went to the buffet at lunch time (it's buffet only then). I filled my plate and went looking for a table and found that many of the "empty" tables had crossed knives and forks at them, which apparently signifies that they are "reserved" by customers. I looked around and managed to find a table for two, so I put my plate down, put my coat over my chair and went find my wife to let her know where we were sitting. When I returned to the table and sat down, I was confronted by a short, angry looking woman who told me "Ziss iss our table, ve always haf ziss table". I reminded her that it was a buffet and open seating and that I was there first. Shortly after, at the time my wife arrived, the "lady" returned with a member of the crew, who told us that the woman had told her that she had "reserved" the table by putting her bag on a chair. That wasn't the case when I first arrived, but the bag must have appeared when I went to find my wife. The angry woman was getting so livid she was stamping her feet and the crew member was asking us to find another table, so we got up and left. We went round and round, finding many "reserved" tables and others with only two people at them, sitting diagonally from each other to keep their tables to themselves. With no apparent vacant seats and crew not trying hard to help us, we went to the side of the room out of the way and sat on the floor with our backs against the wall and started to eat. Within a minute a crew member had found us and directed us to seats they had miraculously found at a table with another couple on. They had managed to persuade the other couple to agree to share their table with us and we actually found the other couple to be very pleasant company. To be honest, we don't ever "reserve" a table, and whoever has got food first will then look for one, but we cannot agree with reserving a whole table, when only two will sit there. I know our "sit-in" was a bit naughty, but it worked.......and we noticed the little "German?" woman and her friend were always at the same table for every meal.
                      Sorry she could have stamped her feet and screamed and shouted all day, if there was no sign of occupancy and I had arrived first at the table I would not have moved. Would she have moved??

                      I generally scout a preferred area for eating in the buffet and I may have a preferred table but only if it is unoccupied.

                      Annie

                      Comment


                        #12
                        One of the other problems with the ships buffet is that people will sit for hours on dull days drinking coffee or tea chatting for England. We only visit the buffet for snacks at lunch so one of us stays at the table. One good meal a day is fine for us. As far as the German lady was concerned I would have said "underpantn nutten crackun." or similar.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by History Addict, Alfreton View Post
                          This is how Fred Olsen works for breakfast and lunch in the main dining room. You are always seated by a waiter who makes sure that places are filled and there are always table kept to one side for larger groups who come along. You then can either visit a buffet station or order from the menu and the waiter will serve you. It all works very well.
                          I didn't think that worked very well. I was seated at a table where people had been served and were eating, and had problems getting a waiter to take my order.
                          2018-
                          Queen Victoria - Mediterranean Explorer

                          2019 -
                          NCL Getaway - Norway and Iceland
                          Adventure of the Seas - Fall Foliage

                          2020 -
                          Jewel of the Seas - Abu Dhabi & Dubai
                          Magellan - Panama Canal

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I also have never heard of crossing knives and forks as a "reserved" sign. I do like a buffet for lunch and breakfast but if it's busy and no tables for two are available, I will always enquire whether occupied tables with capacity are happy to share- I've never been denied [yet!]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by alandrover, beccles View Post
                              I also have never heard of crossing knives and forks as a "reserved" sign. I do like a buffet for lunch and breakfast but if it's busy and no tables for two are available, I will always enquire whether occupied tables with capacity are happy to share- I've never been denied [yet!]
                              Same here, but I have to own up to "reserving" a table with a handbag or doing the one person goes then another.Don't like doing this but the alternative can be wandering around helplessly while your food gets cold!
                              Perhaps buffets could use a green/red card system to show if a table is occupied?
                              Don't know how staff know when it's o.k. to clear a table.
                              As for the "it's our table" because we always have it argument, lets not encourage cruiselines to see this as another revenue stream...want to reserve your table in the buffet?...$10 a day pp

                              Comment


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