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On 3/17/2021 at 3:16 PM, HeWhoWaits said:

You mean the "private" tables for two might no longer put you even closer to other couples than sharing a large table with them does?

This is our biggest issue on a cruise. We always get a “private” table but we may as well not have asked for one. The last cruise we changed table and waiter as he treated 4 private tables as one big group which we hated. We also hated random people joining our conversation. If we wanted either we’d have signed up for a group table. We were literally 2 inches apart from the next private table. 

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I have a lot of stories to tell about dining in main dining rooms. Most of them good. It's great way to socialize and meet new people but, if your looking for a quiet intimate dinner, that's a legitimately hard one. I suspect quieter more intimate dinning will be a lot easier when cruising resumes with table spacing both in the main and specialty dining spots.

We used to book the biggest table we could book. Met some really fun people who, after a glass of wine or so got more fun. That was great when most people dined in the main dining rooms but as specialty dining expanded and folks took that up, we had a couple of experiences where we were seated at 10-tops and we were it! No problem getting reseated with other guests but our first night at that 10-top for 2 we had a good time with our waiters sitting at opposite ends of this very long table as if we were the king and queen. They got a good laugh out of that.

We now take our chances with 4 and 6 tops. Most cruisers we've found are pretty gregarious but there's always the duds or complainers. We're loath to move around so, we smile and make the best of it. Had one guy pull out some floss and do his teeth after the meal - and not surreptitiously! Otherwise a nice guy who was partnered with a complainer. A double whammy of bad! Those are the exception though. We still favor the mains just to meet new people and talk over a good meal. Nothing better.

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

We now take our chances with 4 and 6 tops. Most cruisers we've found are pretty gregarious but there's always the duds or complainers. We're loath to move around so, we smile and make the best of it. Had one guy pull out some floss and do his teeth after the meal - and not surreptitiously! Otherwise a nice guy who was partnered with a complainer. A double whammy of bad! Those are the exception though. We still favor the mains just to meet new people and talk over a good meal. Nothing better.

 

I agree, a great place to meet new people is at dinner.  People who share almost nothing in common at first, but turn out to be really interesting.  I've eaten with: a professional landscape photographer, a blind photographer, a couple who owns a sheep station in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, a guy who'd owned a sporting goods store in Maine (and whose uncle ran United Artists and Orion Pictures), and a kindergarten teacher from Canada whom I'd marry if I was 30 years younger.

Everybody has at least one or two good stories to tell or hobbies shared by someone at the table.

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On 3/17/2021 at 6:54 AM, cruisellama said:

I wonder if the MDR will set up as many multi-couple tables.  There will always be a need to accommodate families or groups with the large tables, but the couple grouped tables will probably see some additional space between them.  Also resulting in an overall reduction in seating capacity at the start.

Reduced seating but also reduced number of passengers.  I think it will all work out fine

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7 hours ago, JeffB said:

I have a lot of stories to tell about dining in main dining rooms. Most of them good. It's great way to socialize and meet new people but, if your looking for a quiet intimate dinner, that's a legitimately hard one. I suspect quieter more intimate dinning will be a lot easier when cruising resumes with table spacing both in the main and specialty dining spots.

We used to book the biggest table we could book. Met some really fun people who, after a glass of wine or so got more fun. That was great when most people dined in the main dining rooms but as specialty dining expanded and folks took that up, we had a couple of experiences where we were seated at 10-tops and we were it! No problem getting reseated with other guests but our first night at that 10-top for 2 we had a good time with our waiters sitting at opposite ends of this very long table as if we were the king and queen. They got a good laugh out of that.

We now take our chances with 4 and 6 tops. Most cruisers we've found are pretty gregarious but there's always the duds or complainers. We're loath to move around so, we smile and make the best of it. Had one guy pull out some floss and do his teeth after the meal - and not surreptitiously! Otherwise a nice guy who was partnered with a complainer. A double whammy of bad! Those are the exception though. We still favor the mains just to meet new people and talk over a good meal. Nothing better.

We usually ask for larger tables also.  But last few years seems we are the only ones at the table.  Last cruise there  was another table near us with 1 person, plus an additional table near with 1 person.  We all got together to make 4 of us at 1 table.  It worked out.  But seems less and less people go to main dining room anymore.  Years ago the MDR was always packed.

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On 3/17/2021 at 12:09 PM, Pooch said:

I remember our first cruise, 2002, Windjammer was table service at dinner along the lines of My Time Dining.

Gosh, I remember table service at dinner in Windjammer, plus white tablecloths.   Had forgotten about that

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On 3/17/2021 at 10:51 PM, Pooch said:

Not sure why lines would be longer. I think having food served would be faster.  Stick out your plate, get a serving. Move on.

Agreed; probably it'll be quicker because some people will shame themselves into staying away from the buffet to request that third (or sixth) cookie from the same person who is so good at customer service they greet you by name each time.

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