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Old 07-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #16
z80
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After five cruises always as a family of four we have never had table mates. I would sure love to meet new people but maybe the system doesn't work that way. Does anyone know how often parties of four get table mates?
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #17
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We have always been really lucky, but two times were just the best:

On our 2nd cruise (15 night panama canal) we were with another awesome family who had a son our sons same age. We had such a great time that earlier this year we joined them for a non-Disney vacation.

On our third cruise we were with a family from Saudi Arabia. They also had a three year son (same age as ours at the time). When we met the first night the adults were so warm and nice but also seemed a little nervous. We found out that they had been a little afraid that they wouldn't be so well received by America s (aww- that almost broke my heart). They were SO wonderful and even though the little ones had a small language barrier they could still color, play with the camera, and drive matchbox cars together without any problems. We still have their email address and they keep saying if we ever come to that area they can't wait to host us. As cheesy as it sounds, I think making connections with people from different walks of life and different cultures is what really breaks down barriers and changes perceptions and we love how dcl gave us the oppurtunity to introduce our son to that concept. Okay that was cheesy
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #18
LittleGirlGrey
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Hi! I've gone on 3 cruises with my mom and we're going on our fourth. We have had table mates on all three.

1st: I only remember the mom and son who sat with us. I was just turning 21 and there was also a single mom with her son who was probably around 14. Apparently he had a crush on me. So my mom tells me.

2nd: We were sat with couples. 2 sets to be exact. 1 couple was older, closer to my moms age and the other couple was younger, in their late 20's.

3rd: It was my mom, and two sister and one of the sisters daughter. She was about 20.

This 4th cruise I requested not to sit with anyone 10 and younger. I have anxiety issues and though I love kids, its hard for me to deal with screaming babies or kids running around.

No idea if that helps....
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
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After five cruises always as a family of four we have never had table mates. I would sure love to meet new people but maybe the system doesn't work that way. Does anyone know how often parties of four get table mates?
Why not call DCL or your TA and make a request to have tablemates. Disney is typically pretty accommodating when possible.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:22 AM   #20
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Here is something that is kind of interesting. Im not sure how Disney selects your table mates but I can say its probably not random. Heres why I think so:

It was June 2000 and we were on our honeymoon on the Wonder after spending 4 days in the parks. We had no clue about how cruises work so we werent aware that we would be sitting with complete strangers at dinner. When we arrived the first night we were sat with 4 other couples, so there was a total of 10 of us at one table. 4 couples, including ourselves, were on our honeymoon, and the 5th couple were celebrating their 1oth anniversary. Coincidence, I think not. The 10 year anniversary folks ate dinner with us everynight and gave us all nuggets of wisdom on how to have a happy marriage. We had champagne and toasted each others marriages. You could tell they were so in love, but all they could talk about were their kids. They had to lie about being on a business trip and left them at home. Who would have though that 10 years later all we would be able to talk about at dinner on our 10th anniversary cruise was our children. I wonder if all of those couples are still married. If you were on the Wonder in June of 2000 and this sounds familiar to you please let me know.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:27 AM   #21
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Some of the factors that DCL probably uses are birthdates (which you supply when you book), family make-up (how many adult/kids in each group), and the info that people supply as to celebrations onboard (anniversary, wedding, birthdays, etc).

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:48 AM   #22
cleophus12
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Good Company

We have always had good luck with tablemates. But I will say the option of speciality restaurants has made a difference in recent years. Some nights we may wind up at the table alone while others are dining elsewhere. Usually, someone will let us know if they aren't going to show or will tell the waiter at the very least. Still, it's no fun to show up to a table for 8 and dine alone for the evening. I try not to take it personally!
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #23
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Would like to just stress that you can indeed (and SHOULD!) ask to change if you find yourself at a table that just isn't working out.

On our last Magic cruise, we were at a table with a family with a very young child, much younger than DD at the time-- so she was terribly disappointed, and it was a real struggle to make even basic conversation (one word answers, no common interests, no return questions, etc.) It was SUCH an unpleasant meal, we agonized afterwards over what to do. On the one hand, we really felt badly about asking to change, like we were somehow deserting our tablemates; but on the other, none of us were looking forward to the next meal. We decided that it was our vacation too and that dining should be at least pleasant (maybe even fun!), so we spoke to the maitre d' and switched to another table that turned out just great. Others took our places, and while we felt a bit badly when we'd run into our old tablemates, we were so glad we moved and didn't "suffer" through it.

I think our experience tends to be the exception, but wanted to pass this along just in case.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:03 PM   #24
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On our June cruise we were matched up perfectly based on the criteria mentioned so far: Both families from same state, both had sons around 13, daughters around 8. The only slight issue: the other family's adults didn't drink at all, while my wife and I drank A LOT! Actually the other couple was "cool" about it, but I felt like a lush. Didn't stop me though! Maybe DCL should put alocholic consumption preferences on a questionnaire!
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:03 PM   #25
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We too got matched up with a great family! The magic continues...

It was myself, DH, DS age 7, and my parents (5 in our group) We were matched up with another couple and their son, also age 7 to fill an 8 top. The boys got along great and we had lots of great conversation and common interests among the adults.

We ended up going to shows most nights together and did the movie theater and some other activities as a group too!
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #26
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first cruise we sat by ourselves. I vaguely remember talking to the TA about it. So maybe there was a request. we had a ball recapping the day - planning tomorrow, getting to know servers etc.

Read several stories on here about tablemates and thought what we had was perfect. and to be perfectly honest it seemed odd to me that so many people made life long friends sharing meals.

Along comes 2nd cruise and we are seated at an 8top. the other family's son and daughter were a year younger than our son and daughter. It was magic. They had been stationed in our area and we had worked in the same buildings. kids got along and we hung out at castaway cay the last day. That family just was restationed back to our area and we are supposed to get together soon. I was a cynic but am a believer now.

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:01 PM   #27
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On our first cruise in 2003, our family of 4 was seated with another family of 4. We both had sons around the same age 5/6, they had an older daughter (8) and we had a younger son (3). I thought Disney put us together because of the boys being of simiar ages. As we got friendly with them during the week, we realized that we'd both booked the cruise kind of last-minute using the same Travel Agency AND the same agent! They were a lovely family and we actually hung out with them a bit during the day later in the week.

We've only done 1 other cruise where we were not travelling with close friends. We were seated at a 4 top by ourselves on that trip. I'm interested to know what will happen when just the 4 of us travel again on the Magic in a few weeks again without our friends.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
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.... we realized that we'd both booked ... using the same Travel Agency AND the same agent!
It appears DCL has a sense of humor. I support this.

Quote:
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I'm interested to know what will happen when just the 4 of us travel again on the Magic in a few weeks again without our friends.
Well that depends on which TA you used. Couldn't resist.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:26 PM   #29
Kuiska2009
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I will say, I think tablemate matching is one of the neat things about cruising. Now, I've never done a Disney cruise (so excited for my first!) but I have done two Carnival cruises and I think they must just use demographics to match you up.

1st cruise: Me, my mom, and my younger sister. We were matched with two families. The other familes each had a mom, dad, and a son around my sister's age (she was in heaven).

2nd cruise: Me and my sister. We sat with two families. The other families had a mom traveling with her daughter and both girls were around my sister's age.

I think demographics worked out a little better for my mom and sister, seemed like the focus was more on matching parents/kids, so as a twenty-something it's kind of luck of the draw. I probably would have been better matched if I had been by myself or with friends.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:40 PM   #30
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On our first disney cruise we sat with my parents. There were 6 of us in all. On our second cruise we did a member cruise and had one other couple seated with us. We had never met them before, and by the end of the first dinner the wait staff thought we had known each other for a long time. We would be talking and laughing so much we would close the restaurant. Good thing we had the second seating
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