If you’ve ever been proposed to by a 10-year-old, offered the Book of Psalms after ordering wine with your meal or watched someone hand-inspect every single roll in the basket before selecting one, welcome to the club. You’ve broken bread at sea with a crazy tablemate.
Stretching 550 posts, readers have been sharing their most memorable experiences from cruise ship dining rooms. Strangers or not, politics, religion, love and why the fella to your left refuses to eat anything that’s not white are all acceptable topics of conversation. We like to think stories like these propelled the transition from the classic assigned-seating crapshoots of yesterday to the more flexible focus of today.
Here are a few highlights from the thread:
“They loved the cruise,” said Adriennerm of her sister’s recent sailing on Liberty of the Seas. “But they had a problem with a party of four at their table.
“It was a 10 top. The first night for dinner everyone ordered wine.
“Once the server left, the husband in the group of four said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but we prefer to keep this table dry.’ My sister’s fiance tried to be diplomatic about the situation. He explained they would be ordering wine and apologized if this wasn’t their preference. The other couple at the table apologized if the liquor bothered anyone, but said they had no intentions of not ordering either.
“Once the wine arrived, a female in the group of four told the other couple to move their glasses. She began implying that the smell was causing her to have a sour stomach.
“The husband from one of the couples who ordered wine said something like, ‘Let’s get through dinner tonight and perhaps you guys can request a private table going forward.’
“Nothing else was said, but the other lady in the group of four kept her napkin over her nose throughout dinner. Whenever a server asked her what was wrong, she said she was sensitive to the smell of alcohol.
“When the group of four were leaving, the husband placed the Book of Psalms in the middle of the table. He said they should read this tonight and maybe they will change their ways before it’s too late.”
“Several years ago we were seated with a very nice couple in their 70′s – 80′s,” wrote Yazoo cruiser. “Every night she would ask her husband what he wanted. He would say something like, shrimp cocktail, green salad and the prime rib. When the waiter would come, she would say, ‘My husband would like the Caesar salad, French onion soup and the lobster — entirely different from what he said. This happened every night and he never complained. Great people and we really enjoyed meeting them.”
“One woman [we ate with] had absolutely no filter,” posted cyntil8ing. “She had millions of stories and told them all well. She didn’t monopolize the conversation or make everything about her, she was very charming. But some of the things she told us! More than once a tablemate would catch my eye and we would just laugh in shock.
“These stories were so farfetched, we figured most of them were made up. Her husband was the ‘captain of the captains’ for a major cruise line. She had lived onboard ships for years. Her daughters were actors and had been in commercials and TV shows. Her house was the set for some movie. So, when we got home, we Googled her. It was all true.
“But we also heard of her affairs. Her traveling companion was one of them and both of them were married to other people. The TMI stories just went on and on.”
“My best story was being proposed to by a 10-year-old,” posted maighdeanmnar. “He even bought me a ‘betrothal’ gift in Grand Cayman — a marble dolphin. I still have it somewhere.”
“Our crazy dinner companion claimed to be a travel agent, then told everyone to order wine by the bottle because it was ‘free,’” wrote GottaLuvCruising. “He ordered and ate only white foods — huge amounts of white foods (spaghetti with no sauce, multiple dishes of mashed potato) and his wife had a bottle of some kind of seasoning he sprinkled on top of all his white food.”
Posted 19snapshot: “We sat at a table with a couple that were whisperers. We sat down, they looked at us, leaned toward each other and whispered. We ordered … they whispered. Someone talked … they whispered. They weren’t laughing, just staring and whispering. One of the other couples was so creeped out that they stopped coming to the main dining room. It was completely creepy, like a Stephen King novel, but we ended up laughing about it. I wonder what they were whispering about?”
Have your own memorable MDR story? Join the conversation on the boards or share it in the comments.
Want to avoid the main dining room? Check out the nine best cruise ship alternative restaurants.
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