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So there have been a lot of posts here lately about getting tables for two. I figured I'd turn it on its head and ask about being a party of only two or four, but wanting the biggest table possible so we have that "classic" experience of meeting new people and having good, long, fun conversation (hopefully with a lot of laughs).

Getting a table for two apparently requires sending an email request or making a phone call to RCI. Does wanting to be at a big table also require this? On my cruise on Freedom we're a party of four and I seem to remember reading that this size party is normally placed at a table for four even with traditional dining.

Also, from what I remember of the photos of most MDRs in Royal's lineup, those big tables are typically on the lowest floor in the central open area at the bottom of the stairs. Has anyone been seated at these who can describe the foot traffic around there during the dinner rush? Are you shouting over the bustle of dozens or hundreds of wait staff and passengers moving around you, or once everyone is seated does it reasonable settle down and you can have a good meal with good conversation?

Side question -- do they have live music (piano, string quartet, etc.) during the meals in MDR? I've seen some photos that do show a piano in the center hall area on the lowest floor of the MDR, but just because the instrument is there doesn't mean it's actually played. :10_wink:

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On Liberty this summer on MTD, there was a table of 12, and it was right in the middle on the bottom level (Appeared to be 1 large family), but it seemed like foot traffic was minimal, everyone that was coming in from the main door either turned left or right to their area of the dinning room. As far as live music, the normal lately seems to be no music, I have seen it in the past but don't remember the reasoning behind it, seemed like it was on formal night. My last 3-4 cruises I have had at least 3 nights eating in specialty dinning, so there is the possibility that live music might have been played on one of those nights.

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It has been my experience that they try and accommodate almost any reasonable request as far as MDR seating.  It is generally easy to do the "sharing" thing as it's easy to group people together and fill up the big tables.

As with all other MDR issues, I would just visit the MDR level where you are being seated on the fist day and let them know your preference.  They will make it happen.  They are very good at it.

As far as foot traffic is concerned, there are some parts of the dining room that are more prone to traffic than others.  The very front of the dining room, obviously, where people are entering and exiting, do tend to have a lot of traffic.  I have found the best tables to be near the back of the dining room (but not too close to the kitchen doors !!!) near the windows.  Sometimes you get a choice and sometimes you don't.  All you can do is ask !  They will accommodate you if they can.

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I was at a table for 10 on vision.   I enjoyed meeting people,  but it was a problem with people ending up by themselves.   2 people left for a different seating immediately and then specialty dining made several nights being only 2 or 4 people at that huge table.   It was awkward...  

  We didn't request any size,  but I'm sure you can.   We haven't found traffic to be a problem,  however on freedom last time we got stuck in a small back area.   No traffic but it was almost clausterphobic!  Give me the open room lol!  Jane

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When we cruise we always ask to go on a larger table (we're asked this at the time of booking when asked which dinner seating we'd like). As there's only two of us we like chatting to others etc.  This year we were on a table for 8 but only 4 people present.

When I first started cruising, only 7 years ago, so not long, there was a pianist in the main dining room.  This hasn't been the case for quite a while and the only music / entertainment I recall is the chefs & waiters parade

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Magic, but based on personal experience, I'm convinced age and cruise experience are considered.  (Kids are probably a factor as well but I don't have any yet).  On our Enchantment cruise last fall, we had a table for 6 with 3 couples:

Couple 1 - My girlfriend (now fiance) and I are mid 30s, first cruise ever for me, second Royal cruise for her (3rd overall)

Couple 2 - Mid 30s couple approaching 10 year anniversary, first cruise on Royal (2-3 overall)

Couple 3 - Mid 20s couple on their honeymoon, first cruise ever

Couldn't have picked a more logical combination if you ask me.

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I've asked, it's definitely demographics, I have asked the head waiter before when I felt like I had a less than desirable table mates, at the time I was in my 40's and they sat us with 2 other couples in their 70-80's, nothing against them, they were wonderful people, but dinner conversation was very limited. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Adventure of the Seas 2016 - Table for 8 in the MDR. I went with a friend who was meeting up with a few people she knew,  a pair of sisters and another couple. I never paid attention to the foot traffic, to be honest because I was never getting up. It was loud but it didn't bother me. I really enjoyed the experience of meeting new people and wound up really liking everyone. Also did not pay attention to music as I was engaged in conversation every night.

Our MDR table was 2 americans 39, 45

2 Swedes- mid 40's (my friend had met these two on a previous cruise MDR with her husband and became very good friends)

2 Canadians -mid 40's

2 from The Isle of Man - mid 50's.

 

We happened to all be very friendly, slightly boisterous and possibly annoying to people sitting around us but no regrets on my end. ]

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Big tables are a nice way to meet people.  If you get stuck at a table that you are not comfortable at they will gladly move you as others have stated.  Best yet the first thing we do upon boarding is go directly to the MDR and see where our table is.  If you are not happy just get it changed.  Sitting at a window table is a great way to avoid the foot traffic.

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  • 2 years later...
58 minutes ago, Elaine Mark said:
  1. Booked today Adventure of the Seas, January 29th 2020. The trip is 8/11/20.  They told up early dining is booked only diner at 8:00 to late for us.  Should I cancel trip.  RC does not seem too accomodating

 

Welcome to the boards!

Unfortunately 7 months out can sometimes be considered "last minute" so your choices might be fewer. However, you can ask to be waitlisted for early seating or My Time Dining and Royal will do their best to accommodate you. You will also always have the option of eating in the Windjammer at your leisure for meals. 

If you're using a travel agent, they can take care of the waitlist for you. If not, give Royal a call and they will add it to your reservation.

Finally, you can log into your Cruise Planner and monitor for available changes (I haven't done this in a while so I can't advise on the exact mechanism but I'm sure someone can speak to this).

Enjoy your cruise!

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On our only RC cruise so far,  we had MTD. We had another couple we knew on the same cruise (just a random thing... we both booked separately without knowing), so when we ate in the MDR, we were seated at a table for 4. The one night we were in the MDR without the other couple,  we were asked if we were happy to share a table. We said yes, and were on a table with two other couples. Great meal, with good conversation. 

For our next cruise (58 days and counting), with just the two of us, we have again gone for MTD, and will again happily share a table. We're thinking that we will get tables for 6 or 8, and probably not with the same people each night. On that basis, if we happen to get some boring people,  it's only for a couple of hours at dinner, and only for one night, so not a big deal. 

We also have the three night dining package, one night in Chops for my other half's birthday,  and the Mystery Theatre dinner. It's an 11 night cruise, so we'll pretty much be alternating between MDR and specialty dining.

Part of our holiday, whether they be cruising or land based,  is meeting and chatting with other people. For land based,  it's usually at happy hour in the pool bar, and for cruising, it's dinner in the MDR. It was amazing how many times we bumped in to the two couples we shared a table with on our last cruise after we dined with them. 

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