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Fins2TheRight
01-05-2003, 05:23 PM
I would like to surprise my wife and three kids with a Disney cruise this summer. I've been reading some of the travel books and this website, but I have a serious question regarding the pre-planned dinner arrangements. My wife is quite anti-social when eating. She CANNOT eat at tables with other people. She's been to counseling about it, but unfortunately, her problem is more than just worrying about someone watching her chew food. I've tried saying "Try it once and see if you like it" but she won't budge. So basically, unless we can somehow get around this, we just won't go.

I really want us ALL to have a good time and I don't want her to worry about this. If we have to eat snacks out of the refrigerator for the entire cruise, then so be it, but I'd like to have something that resembles a dinner with my wife and kids every evening if we can have it.

So, two questions. One, can you go to the main three restaurants on the ship and eat alone as a family, and two, are there other places aboard that you can eat "a la Burger King".

I appreciate any advice you can give me!!!

Windermere
01-05-2003, 05:36 PM
Yes you can eat at Topsiders/Beach Blanket as a sit down meal for breakfast and lunch at your own table. You can also eat at Pluto's and Pinnochio's if you burgers or pizza but that is near the pools (there are tables). You can also do room service which is no charge except for drinks and a tip. Palo's is adult only but you dine alone there as well.
As for the main dining rooms, for breakfast and lunch you would probably be seated with someone. You would have to request each time to dine alone. You can put on your reservation that you want to dine alone as a family. Maybe get a medical form to fill out since she has done counseling. The request may or may not be granted. You could go to the seating assignments thing once on board the first day to again request dining alone. Since you will be 5 persons, it may not be too difficult to get what you request. There's really only an 8-top or 10-top that would accomadate your family with another family.

alexandrew
01-05-2003, 05:39 PM
In 3 cruises, my family of 4 has never been assigned tablemates....I think you will be assigned a table for just your family...if not, I think you will be accommodated with little or no hassle...

Michelle
01-05-2003, 05:43 PM
As a family of five you can request a table for six and it's highly unlikely that they would seat a single person with you. If your wife has a medical condition that REQUIRES that you have the table alone you can document that in advance with a Medical Clearance Form and DCL will almost certainly grant your request for a private table.

Definitely plan the cruise, I'm certain you will be able to accommodate your wife's needs. :)

One note on lunch, avoid the table service restaurant for lunch as they do sometimes seat you with others there in an open seating (not an assigned table) arrangement. That's easily done, just go to the buffets or order from the "fast food" lunch places on Deck 9, or even choose room service.

Enjoy! :)

Buckaroo's Dad
01-05-2003, 05:56 PM
Hi Fins. Without going into a long story, I can relate to your wife's challenge regarding eating. As others have said concerning medical conditions, if you alert Disney to this fact I am sure they will graciously accommodate her needs. Perhaps a corner table "apart" from the mixed atmosphere but not completely abandoned of all social familiarity. You can also schedule a private dinner or two at Palo's. If a cabin with a verandah is affordable, you can enjoy a most romantic dinner together. It is wonderful to dine amid all the beauty inherent in the waters of the Carribean when shared with your love for one another...

Go for it.

TeamMom011
01-05-2003, 05:59 PM
I used to work with someone with what sounds like a similar issue and that meant no restaurant dining at all. If that's the case of Mrs. Fins2TheRight, that eliminates the dining rooms and even eating in the buffet rooms. Room service on the ships is very extensive. Dave's site http://www.dcltribute.com/ (http://http://www.dcltribute.com/) has the latest room service menu but it is my understanding that in addition you can also get just about anything that is being served in the regular dining rooms.

Hopefully, you can convince the Wife that eating in the room with a view of the ocean going by (and even on the veranda if you can swing one of those rooms) is really not such a bad idea. I'm sure you're considering the 7 day Western. Anyone with the screen name Fins2TheRight deserves a cruise that docks in Key West where you would be able to enjoy a Cheeseburge In Paradise at Margaritaville ;) . Good Luck.

Irishmom23
01-05-2003, 06:17 PM
Definitely try to rquest a table for only the five of you. Our family of five was seated with another family of three. It turned out fine for us, but I wouldn't take a chance if you really need to eat at your own table. Good luck, and the cruise is a blast!!

Hopkins
01-05-2003, 06:23 PM
Best wishes! I'm sure DCL can accomodate you. Give them a call. I'd hate for your family to miss out on such a magical cruise.

Happy cruising.
Tina :)

>>^..^<<
01-05-2003, 06:28 PM
One other option - although - EXPENSIVE - is to book category 3, 2 or 1.

These are suites with concierge service and one of the big privledges is dining in your cabin with the same full menus offered at the restaurants.

The cabins are so spacious you have your own dining table or can eat on your nice big verandah.

westjones
01-05-2003, 06:35 PM
We don't want tablemates either. We are just not 'talkative' people and are not comfortable with the whole tablemate arrangement. We have been on three cruises, the first one we lucked out and was not assigned tablemates. The second one was the week after 9/11 and many people canceled their trip (it was a very nice cruise because the boat wasn't full). Our last one we 'requested' a table alone, but when we were about to be seated we saw that we were being taken a large table (no one else was there at the time) and I asked about having a table just for 4. They were able to find one for us (we had to change our rotation, but that was fine).

I have once again requested a table just for 4, but I think I will go and check next time before dinner (is there a way to tell by the table rotation tickets left in your room?).

We are only going on a 3 day cruise this year, so if we do get 'tablemates', at least it is only 3 nights.

They are right about you not wanting a 'sit down' lunch or breakfast. One afternoon, DH and I decided we would love to have lunch alone---we are never alone, and we even told the servers we were excited because we finally got to have lunch alone without the children. Well the next thing we know, they sat two college girls with us. They were lovely girls, but it wasn't quite what we had in mind for our 'romatic' lunch. So we learned. We don't go to a sit down lunch any more UNLESS our DDs are with us, and then we request a table just for 4.

But the 9th deck buffet is a 'seat yourself' place, so for breakfast and lunch there, you will be fine. And room service is very nice. Also the 'fast food' on the 9th deck you just take over to your table.

Don't miss out on the cruise because of this. You can work around it. If worse came to worse you can dine in your room for dinner! But I bet you will be able to get a table to yourself. When you go on board, just go and check your seating and request a change if it isn't a table just for 5.

DJ

Tay N Evie's Mom
01-05-2003, 07:02 PM
I had the opposite of westjones happen to me. DH and I went to lunch at Triton's after dropping our twins off at the kids club. I informed the waiter that we never get to eat by ourselves and would appreciate a table alone. They seated us by ourselves and we had a great time.

RellingTwin
01-05-2003, 07:04 PM
I hope DCL can accomodate your family for dinner. On 3 cruises we have been seated at a table with just the 4 of us twice. The 3rd trip we were "linked" with my sister's family.
However, be aware that if you chose to dine in the "sit down" resturants for breakfast or lunch, you WILL be seated with others. It seems only large tables are used during these meals. So maybe room service, buffet, or snack bar dinning would work better for those meals. Have a great cruise!

Gillian
01-05-2003, 07:47 PM
We were able to get a table (for 3) alone in the dining room for breakfast. We just asked before we were seated if we could be by ourselves. It's so relaxing sometimes to not have to worry about making conversation :)

markšoš
01-05-2003, 10:04 PM
As for lunch, we had lunch in Triton's twice on our Wonder cruise and both times and a table alone for the 4 of us. Honestly, the place was pretty empty and I can't image they would not sit you alone if you ask. The days we had lunch in Triton's we were in port - Nassau and Freeport. I would assume it is more crowded during sea days.

On embarkation, we had lunch at Beach Blanket Buffet and found a nice table for four outside with no problem.

I'm sure the time you go to eat at the buffet or lunch will impact how crowded they are. Also, you might have better luck requesting late seating as the early seating is almost always full. If the ship is not at full capacity, they might be more flexible with seating arrangements during the late seating.

aprilgail2
01-06-2003, 05:22 AM
Originally posted by westjones

I have once again requested a table just for 4, but I think I will go and check next time before dinner (is there a way to tell by the table rotation tickets left in your room?).
DJ

I went to where they were doing the dining room changes when you board the ship and checked to make sure my request to dine with just the 3 of us had been done and it had. So just go check as soon as you get on board.

my3kids
01-06-2003, 05:31 AM
We had requested a table alone for our family of 5. When we arived and sat down there were empty eats. I asked and sure enough, we had table mates. I'd check out the table numbers as soon as you board and go to dining changes if things aren't right. It worked out just fine for us, but for the next one, we have again requesed a small table for the 5 of us.

At Lumineers for lunch, they started walking towards the tables to seat us and I said we wanted to sit alone. He seemed very surprised, but seated us by ourselves. It was very nice and we were sorry we had eatten on deck all the other days. We agreed next time we'd go to some of the seated meals during the week.

Cruise
01-06-2003, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by westjones

I have once again requested a table just for 4, but I think I will go and check next time before dinner (is there a way to tell by the table rotation tickets left in your room?).

DJ

The table number should be listed on the tickets in your room. It's how they know where to seat you when you show up the first night :)

If the dining room is already set for dinner when you board, there should be small table markers on the tables as well to indicate which number table they are. I'm not sure if you'll be able to get into the dining room to find your table, however. Worth a shot....

Julie

bemily
01-06-2003, 08:29 AM
I cant imagine your request would not be accomodated, that should not be a problem at all. Also, in terms of breakfast or lunch... in 6 cruises, we have NEVER ONCE eaten in the dining room for breakfast or lunch, always at the buffet, where you would surely get a table by yourself...So i wouldnt even really worry about this issue too much.. Just make your request and check on it once you get there...

Have fun!

Sherry

cupcake
01-06-2003, 02:08 PM
I called DCL and wrote a follow-up letter (and got a response saying all was well) regarding what I thought was a perfectly reasonable request -- to not be seated with small children because we had recently lost our little one. I was really, really worried about it. I went to Sessions to confirm the makeup of our table and what do you know... kids. And this was for the second seating, where there weren't even that many small children. They moved us and were nice about it but frankly, I thought it was flatout mean given our situtation and the fact that we had contacted them repeatedly well in advance. I meant to write DCL about it, I really should. It seems like a little thing since they moved us, but it was very upsetting, we felt like we were being kicked while we were down.

My suggestion: call and write them ahead of time. There is a person whose job it is to arrange the tables, I called DCL directly and eventually reached her (sorry, don't recall her name). I also wrote to follow up and brought my letter & the DCL response with me just in case. When on board, go promptly to where they are taking requests for changes and introduce yourself to the CM who is in charge of seating (he/she will be running this). Double check your table assignment to be sure it's what you want. With a party of 5, you should be able to get a table for 6, and there is some flexibility to move people around if necessary. Also find out that person's schedule for lunch if you want to eat in a buffet/table service place for lunch (we went where he was for the most part). This CM can seat you at a table for 6 or whatever so you don't have to explain everything to multiple different people, and it makes things smoother and less upsetting for the person with the special need.

It worked out pretty well for us in that they were very accommodating once we were there, although our advance request seemed to vanish into thin air. I really think they can accommodate you, although you may need to ask for an adjustment once onboard.

:wave: Cupcake

Chattyaholic
01-06-2003, 02:28 PM
DH and I tried to get a table alone at Lumiere's for breakfast one morning on our 1/01 cruise (DH wanted eggs benedict!) but we got the "rolling eyes" treatment, so we just turned and left. We were disappointed but went back up to Topsiders instead. Hearing how some of you have been able to eat alone in the dining rooms, we may try it again this cruise.

lsmac
01-06-2003, 03:00 PM
We had specifically requested a small table and our travel agent had relayed that to Dis. Well, we get on the ship for the 12/7 Western and lo and behold they have us at a table for 12!!! My dh, seeing the look on my face, politely asked Gonzalo (the Head Server/Waiter) if we could be moved and he moved us to a table for four. Well since we are a family of three, we were all alone and this worked out great. Of course, there were several empty tables throughout the dining room and I think that made the switch easier. But it never hurts to ask!:)

Lisa

Fins2TheRight
01-07-2003, 12:11 PM
Looks like we'll be going for sure. Thanks for everyone's input -- you have calmed my nerves quite a bit. I didn't realize there would be others who had similar needs as we will have.