How Do I Get Invited to the Captains Table on My Cruise?

get invited to captains table

Captain's Table

Getting the invitation to the captain’s table is an exciting ordeal.  You get to meet the person who is in charge of the glorious vessel you are sailing on and ask all kinds of question and get all kinds of insight.  But how do the cruise lines choose who will get to eat at the captain’s table, and how do you get invited?

Well there really is no answer to this because the selection is still quite random and none of these tips can ensure you will get the invitation from the captain’s table.  But there are some tips that people who have been cruising for a while now recommend.  This should help your chances, but keep in mind that you still may not be chosen.

Sometimes even first time cruisers are invited to eat with the captain, but I have found that this is not usually the case, unless the ship is only half full or no ways near capacity.  You can always try to be vocal about eating with the captain, but being too obnoxious about it or trying to approach him when he is eating at the buffet may be a bad idea.  After all, sometimes you just want to be alone.

 

  • Be a regular cruiser.  I have seen that Platinum and Diamond pass members are more likely to get invites to eat with the captain than other passengers on board.  This may be just because they see more cruises are so are more likely to talk about getting an invitation, but it certainly seems to help your chances of seeing the captain.  It helps if you booked a lot of cruises with that specific cruise line as well.
  • Get to know the staff.  Being friendly with the staff has its perks too.   This doesn’t mean you need to be flirtatious or anything.  In fact, you shouldn’t be.  But get to know them and sometimes they can recommend you to be selected to eat at the captain’s table.
  • Look all fancy and dressed up.  Bringing a nice suit or dress to formal night can have its benefits as well.  You are more likely to be chosen if you are dressed appropriately for formal night, as they only like people who look classy to have this privilege.
  • Have fun at your table.  I have also heard that sometimes the staff looks for a large table that has people that seem to be having a good time and asks them if they would like to eat with the captain.  This may or may not be true but you should be enjoying your dining experience anyway, so this can only help your chances.
  • Be famous or important.  Ok, this might be a tough one to work on.  But famous people usually get an invitation to the captain’s table.  Probably because he wants to meet these famous people.  So if you are an interesting person who you think the captain may want to meet maybe it will help you here.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your next cruise.  But here are some cruise don’ts if you want to eat with the captain:

  • Don’t constantly be asking to eat with the captain.  Remember that this is an invitation only ordeal and the squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the oil here.  It just gets ignored even more.
  • Don’t try to chat with the captain every time you see him on the ship.  An occasional chat is fine, but if he is eating alone he probably wants it that way and you don’t help your chances by joining him.
  • Don’t get all upset if you do not get invited to eat with him.  Remember that the process is still pretty random and even if you follow the tips above you may not be selected.  After all, there are thousands of other people on that boat too.

And if you do ever get selected to eat with the captain have some questions ready and be prepared to tell him something interesting about yourself.  Be sure not to dominate the conversation as you understand that this man IS the governor of this boat and you just a lowly passenger.

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