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Cruise Deal of the Week – August 23, 2019
Cruise Deal of the Week
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Cruise Deal of the Week – August 23, 2019

Porthole Cruise Magazine - August 23, 2019
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Oh, Captain! – Dining at that table is a great honor… and, for some of us, a challenge.

Monday Mantra

I want to dine with the Captain…I want to dine with the Captain…I want to dine with the Captain…

Oh, Captain!

Dining at that table is a great honor… and, for some of us, a challenge.

I love John Cleese — Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, A Fish Called Wanda. So, it’s not surprising that I had an extreme reaction to the captain of SeaDream I’s entertaining account of when he tried to persuade the star to man the reception desk as his eccentric Basil Fawlty character during a 1970s sailing on his previous ship. Unfortunately, I was seated beside the captain when he told the story and, in my excitement, grabbed his shoulder and came away with his epaulet in my hand.

Not my proudest Captain’s Table moment.

An invitation to dine with the captain is one of the greatest honors for a cruise passenger. Service is impeccable, fine wines flow throughout the meal, and conversation is dazzling — unless the chat is monopolized by some pompous know-it-all who seems intent on convincing everyone that he or she is infinitely more fascinating than anyone else at the table. Including the captain.

Best of all, being seated at the most coveted table in the dining room earns you the envy of your shipmates, including that horrible woman who shooed you away from the deck chair you wanted earlier that morning. With a little luck, she’ll be nearby with an unobstructed view of you schmoozing with the big guy. Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah.

I used to wonder how the Captain’s Table selection process worked, but finally gave up in much the same way you give up trying to figure out how certain people win the lottery more than once or how Taylor Swift can win every single music award out there. I was nearly convinced that Captain’s Table diners are always repeat guests, occupants of owner’s suites, journalists, or local celebrities until I shared a Captain’s Table with a couple of first-time cruisers who were actually sailing in an inside cabin. That blew that theory.

Whether it’s your standing with the cruise line, your reputation, or just the eenie-meenie-miney-moe method that has singled you out, nothing beats returning to your cabin to find that elegant invitation stating that the ship’s captain requests the honor of your presence for dinner. RSVP immediately, don your finest evening wear, and prepare for an exclusive experience that will make you the envy of all of your friends and, more importantly, your enemies.

Have you ever dined at the Captain’s Table? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

— Judi Cuervo

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3 Comments

  1. To our surprise, we were invited to dine at the Captain’s Table on the Celebrity Infinity in July 2014 while sailing around the British Isles. We returned from our day in port to a knock at the door and our cabin steward hand-delivering that elegant invitation. We wondered how we had been selected – no idea. It was our 2nd formal night of the cruise, so we donned our little black dress/tuxedo and headed to the wine bar for cocktails and to meet our table mates. Claudia, the Captain’s Club Hostess, greeted us by name (!) and introduced us to the other pax, we were 4 couples in all. The Staff Captain joined us and we made our way to the dining room, giving a little wave to our usual table mates along the way. Finding our seats, I was delighted to find I had been seated next to the man himself, so during a quiet moment, I thanked him for the invitation and whispered to him that I had no idea how it was that we came to be sitting there that night. He smiled and told me ‘that was me. I invited you. I noticed you the other day (at the returning guests’ cocktail), got a good vibe from you and asked Claudia to find you’. Imagine our surprise! 🙂

  2. MY DANCE WITH THE CAPTAIN

    In August 1961 we left Australia to return to Europe on the “SS Aurelia” from Fremantle, West Australia.
    I was 10years old when we left Australia and it was a rather rough sea with high waves, in the Indian Ocean…..many were taken ill and were seasick….but not I, I had boullion, hard boiled eggs and toast:) my favorite:) hahaha

    We sailed to Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and went on to Suez…..all was calm again and on the 30th August 1961 it was my Birthday, that afternoon I had run around on deck and watching the sailors who were filling the swimming pool.
    I also went to the Ball Room where the band members were rehearsing for that evening and I told them that it was my Birthday, that I was very good at Dancing and I asked if I could play on the Drums:) Which I did, all were very surprized, they didn’t expect such a young girl to be so talented.
    Happy as I was, I went back to our cabin, that had a porthole, which was about sealevel. We all got ready for dinner and I didn’t think of my adventure of that afternoon…
    We made our way to the Dining Room and we were seated and if I remember correctly I was asked to join the Captains table:) Which I did!!!!

    After dinner we went to the Ball Room, that evening the bandmembers were smiling and laughing….  They surprized me by playing “Happy Birthday” for me!

    The Captain asked me for a dance….and he too was surprized how well I was dancing.
    I was so very proud…..in my beautiful pale blue dress with petticoat and white leather shoes:)

    I told him that we often went to a Ballroom in Perth and that is how I had learned to Dance!

    I still have a photograph of me playing the drums!:) The dress I was wearing was made of bright red corduroy and white lace. 

    Pitty I don’t have a photo of me dancing with the Captain, but that doesn’t matter because……… I have wonderful memories:)

  3. Thanks so much, Marion and Andree for sharing these sweet stories with us! It’s pretty obvious from both of your comments that a Captain’s table is quite a memorable experience and one that’s remembered fondly for…wow…in Marion’s case, decades it seems! Wish you had a photo of your dance with the captain but memories are even more important!

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