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You should state your preference on numbers at table and 1st or 2nd sitting at time of booking. Whenever we cruise we request 1st sitting and 8 to a table and thoroughly enjoy the company. We also find this very handy to share transport when not doing a ship excursion.
Tradionally people sit at shared tables for dinner on most cruise ships. The cruise line decides who to sit you with, and trys to get a mix of young and old, as well as couples and single travellers. MOST people see cruising as a sociable thing. I, together with many others, actually prefer to sit with others, as, lets face it, you can sit on your own any day of the year at home can't you? Nothing very adventurous about that! MOST people are very friendly and interesting once you get talking to them and, after all, it is only for an hour or so a day! You can spend the whole of the rest of the day in your own company both on and off the ship if you wish can't you! There is nothing worse than just the two of you sat at the table if you have been argueing all day, or maybe you never argue? The trick is to get on as large a table as possible, usually 8 or 10. This way you are guarenteed to find at least a couple of people that you hit it off with, unless YOU are very strange indeed? There are always one or two that will be difficult where ever you go! Many people make friends for life this way, and keep in touch after the cruise, sending Christmas cards, and even meeting up on future cruises.
If you feel that you really, really don't want the company of others at dinner, then you now have a few options.
Firstly, if you book EARLY enough, you may ask for a table for two at either the first or second sitting, and will probably get one, but they are very limited usually.
Secondly, you can eat in the buffet restaurant which you will find on most ship. and many are now open 24/7. You would be missing one of the main attractions of a cruise if you were to take this option though!
The third option, which I am sure most cruise lines would like you to take is to go to one of the celebrity chefs restaurants that are now appearing on most cruise ships. You have to book a table in advance, as in a normal restaurant here. You also have to PAY a cover charge. This can be as high as £25 per person! A bit silly to pay again for meals that you have already paid for me thinks!
Finally, have a look at Norwegian Cruise lines. They offer what they call "Freestyle" cruising. I believe that this lets you walk into a number of different venues as and when you like to eat. There are probably a couple of other lines that have started this by now also. Check it out!
Most ships now have a variety of options.set dining where you are allocated a time,early or late,and a table,and share this with the same people for the duration of the cruise.this is not an option for you.also there is any-time dining,where you turn up at the resturaunt and are seated by the head waiter.using the sea princess as an example we were seated at a different table meeting different people every evening at various times to suit us.on this ship you were able to request a table for two,which we did a couple of times,but had to wait,but if you book your table in advance,there is no waiting-however this defeats the any-time dining option,that said this is your best bet--or the 24 hour buffet.
You are not guaranteed your preferred seating but if you request it at the time of booking most lines try their best to oblige. Always make the restaurant your first stop after embarking and check your seating. If you are not happy they can change it then.Dont wait until you go down for dinner.
No problem if any time dining, just asked for a table for 2 when you are being seated.
We have just returned on Sunday from Sea princess. Its wonderful.
The good lines mostly have tables for 2 people and you can request the seating when you book.
However think about sharing as you meet some interesting people and if you want to change just see the restaurant manager and they will arrange it.
We always ask for a table for 8 and on many cruises now we have met some very intereting people.
We had a table with 10 people in the med last year .. after 7 days two of the people said they were getting a table for two for the rest of the trip and left ... after two days they were back as they said 'we missed you all'.
Whatever you are sure to have a great time ... have fun.
There are a limited number of tables for two you should put the request in when you book your cruise as a preference. When you arrive on the ship there should be a card in your room advising your table number in the diningroom. There should be advise on this as to where you can go and check but do this on the day you board well ahead of going down to the diningroom before your first meal onboard. If not ask your stateroom attendant.