Josef Widmar, maître d’ of Crystal Symphony

Q: Assigned dining times and tables don’t always make for the best company. what’s your advice for booking on board, and how do you keep everyone happy?

A: In a restaurant, you’re only there for lunch or dinner, but you may be on a ship for a week or two—or even three months—and dining is a central part of the experience. Passengers should make requests when they book. Guests on the Symphony can ask for a table that seats two, four, six, or eight seats and request a location or specific age group. More and more we have requests for tables for two—people want privacy. We never seem to have enough tables for two by the window, of course! You have to be a diplomat sometimes and make people feel like they do have the best table.

Josef Widmar has worked for Crystal for 17 years.