Jo Hall has the inside information on how to bag yourself an invite at the Captain’s table.
Today’s high seas holidays offer travellers a wide variety of different experiences to enjoy, from photographing a new or exotic destination from the ocean, to drinking champagne on your very own balcony while at sea.
Another experience unique to cruising is dining with the ship’s captain, but who gets invited and how? A cruise ship’s captain usually has his own table in the formal dining room, which seats around 10 guests, and is typically used during the cruise on formal nights. Sometimes there will be a special menu and your evening may round off with a group photograph, which you get for free. The key to dining with the captain, however, is getting on the list of potential invitees, so here are four key tips to help you increase your chances of being asked.
Get your travel agent to do your bidding
If you have a good travel agent, and booked your cruise through them, ask if they would send a request to the cruise line in advance to let them know you are interested in sitting at the captain's table for dinner. Although cruise lines receive many requests such as this, it won’t hurt to let the sales team know that you're at least interested.
Celebrate a special occasion on board
If you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or any other major event while on board, let the cruise line know in advance. Most usually ask if there is a special occasion to note when you are registering your information before you cruise. Honeymooners also stand a good chance of being asked, regardless of age, and anyone getting married at sea.
Be a VIP
If you’re flagged as a VIP, your chances of an invitation are high. Other people often invited to join the captain for dinner include repeat guests who have cruised many times with the same line, anyone staying in an expensive suite, and older couples without kids. Make sure you join the frequent cruiser program if the cruise line has one, and always dress nicely at night and conduct yourself well to get noticed.
Network with key staff
Some staff are worth befriending on a cruise, as they can increase your chances of being asked, and have influence in recommending guests for a captain’s dinner. Key staff members include the cruise director, the social hostess, and any senior officers. Be friendly and interesting without being pushy, go to key social gatherings, and be sure to let the staff know if you have anything in common with the captain.
To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit CruiseGuide.com.au.
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