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jenf22
08-13-2012, 12:10 PM
Hi all! When we were on the Magic in May our servers were constantly harassing us to rate the food/service "excellent". If they asked us how the meal was and we said "good", they would give us a look and say "excellent?". My mom thought this was hilarious and they were giving her high-fives by the end of the cruise because she always answered "excellent". We figured this was the rating they needed on the comment card. By the third night, it was driving me crazy! I just read someone else had this problem recently and I've read about it enough that it seems to be a common problem. So here's my dilemma - I would LOVE to find a super polite, friendly way to ask them to NOT do this. I'm not the best with words and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I suppose there may not be a good way to do this. But our next cruise is 7 nights and that's a lot of "excellent"s! Has anyone else had this problem or am I worrying over nothing? Thanks for any advice!

ThePicketts
08-13-2012, 12:20 PM
Talk to the head waiter and just tell them that.

disney1990
08-13-2012, 12:21 PM
4 cruises and I have never been harassed over the comments cards.

On our last cruise, our server asked us on the last morning how everything was, I said, "the entire cruise was excellent".

PrincessShmoo
08-13-2012, 12:24 PM
Hi all! When we were on the Magic in May our servers were constantly harassing us to rate the food/service "excellent". If they asked us how the meal was and we said "good", they would give us a look and say "excellent?". My mom thought this was hilarious and they were giving her high-fives by the end of the cruise because she always answered "excellent". We figured this was the rating they needed on the comment card. By the third night, it was driving me crazy! I just read someone else had this problem recently and I've read about it enough that it seems to be a common problem. So here's my dilemma - I would LOVE to find a super polite, friendly way to ask them to NOT do this. I'm not the best with words and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I suppose there may not be a good way to do this. But our next cruise is 7 nights and that's a lot of "excellent"s! Has anyone else had this problem or am I worrying over nothing? Thanks for any advice!

We let the server do the "we strive for excellent" speech once. Then I say, "OK, you've said your piece, now I don't want to hear about it again during the rest of the cruise" And smile. If it's mentioned again, I point out that "reminding" me will most likely lower the rating. With a smile. And I mean it.

:cutie:

PrincessAurora
08-13-2012, 12:24 PM
I'm a very direct person. I feel you can be polite and direct without being rude but understand that you either speak your mind or listen to "Excellent" for an entire week. It's your choice.

I would say "You asked me for my opinion and I told you. My answer will not change because you keep asking me. If I find the food excellent for my tastes and standards I will tell you. If you would like to know what could be improved for me to give an excellent rating, I can let you know that as well. Thanks so much!"

kcashner
08-13-2012, 12:50 PM
The problem seems to be that on DCL and some other lines, the server is held responsible for the food quality ratings. I understand that they need to get the order right, and replace something I may not like, but they didn't create the menu or the food. Their schedules and perks are based on those comment card ratings.

As to how to handle it--I tell them that I know all about the comment cards and don't need to hear about it at dinner. If there was excellent service but I have something to say about the food itself, I write that on the back of the card.

sweetpee_1993
08-13-2012, 01:00 PM
Ooooh yeah. We were on the same cruise as the OP and we got lots of mentions and at least 2 conversations about the importance of "excellent". I wouldn't quite say its annoying but it is noticible and really is counter-productive. I think I'll try to take an early stance on it next go around maybe by saying, "Relax. We know about the comment card. Keep things going good without the spiel and your excellent will happen."

Cousin Orville
08-13-2012, 01:16 PM
Can anyone confirm that your ratings on the quality of the food in the dining room affect the servers? That doesn't make sense. Not to change the subject, but "excellent" would be a rather strong rating to give the main dining room food quality.

Bonniec
08-13-2012, 01:21 PM
I'd love to know that too. I'm so paranoid now that someone would lose their job that I would likely put excellent even if it was awful. I'd much rather be honest without fear of getting someone fired.

PrincessShmoo
08-13-2012, 01:23 PM
Can anyone confirm that your ratings on the quality of the food in the dining room affect the servers? That doesn't make sense. Not to change the subject, but "excellent" would be a rather strong rating to give the main dining room food quality.

Yes, I've been told that the food quality ratings do reflect on the servers. I've mentioned specifically on my comment card that when I'm rating the food, it's not the servers fault, but I don't know if that helps.

IMO, I think food service issues/ratings should be on the servers. Food quality/type issues should be on the chef.

:cutie:

PrincessShmoo
08-13-2012, 01:24 PM
I'd love to know that too. I'm so paranoid now that someone would lose their job that I would likely put excellent even if it was awful. I'd much rather be honest without fear of getting someone fired.

I don't think they'd be fired, but they may be talked to as to why they didn't "make it right".

What can they do? I guess just suggest a different entree/appitizer? They certainly can't "fix" what's wrong with the first one.

:cutie:

vickxo
08-13-2012, 01:27 PM
It's funny you mention this because Disney is actually very aware of the "excellent service" speech from the servers - on my last cruise in june on the magic on the comment card there is actually a place where they ask if you were pressured into giving an excellent rating.

Our servers were great until they would bring up the rating - we were very aware that their jobs depend on the good ratings - we didn't need to be guilt tripped and reminded in the middle of each and EVERY meal, it became RATHER annoying to be honest. Also - we gave them their tips early and the next meal we had them they were just so BLAH! We went from great service to barely seeing them. I guess we should have known better than to tip early - I guess they figured their job was over once they got paid. Live and Learn. :rolleyes1

lilpooh108
08-13-2012, 01:31 PM
We got off the 7 day Alaskan in July. Our poor little server did this to us everyday.

We endured it...but it was really annoying. Whenever we said good, he would say, "Can it be more excellent?" I then put him up to it. Whenever he asked, I'd think of something better he could do for us--another dish to try, a soda refill. That usually quieted him down.

We tipped him over and above the suggested amount, and would have done so even if he wasn't trying so hard.

This was our 4th cruise and it was the most persistent we've ever encountered.

It was also clear that our server and assistant server didn't get along that well. One time the server said something like, "Did I forget your cheese?" And the assistant server muttered, "You probably forgot to ask." Overall, it seemed like there was a lot of friction between the serving teams and between our head server and his employees. Our server was clearly afraid of our head server.

We also saw a server at Parrot Cay at yelled at by the head server. That was distasteful and I wish they hadn't done that in front of guests. It was at the end of lunch service. The server was stripping the tables to prep for Pirate night. He had 3 tablecloths off of 3 tables in a row. You could see the wood on the tables. The head server came over to him and said sharply, "Did you go on vacation last month?"

Server: Yes.

Head Server: Do you think things changed when you were on vacation?

Server: (silence)

Head Server: Your tables are naked. Guests do not want to see naked tables. Things aren't different just because you went on vacation.

Server: (sad silence)

I was in shock. Not that employees shouldn't be reprimanded, but at least not in front of guests while they're eating.

:(

It seems like the servers are really getting alot of crap from DCL management for guest satisfaction, but maybe they should overhaul the morale of the team dynamic. That way we won't get pestered about "excellence."

Wadekind
08-13-2012, 01:44 PM
Can anyone confirm that your ratings on the quality of the food in the dining room affect the servers? That doesn't make sense. Not to change the subject, but "excellent" would be a rather strong rating to give the main dining room food quality.

Totally agree

lorimay
08-13-2012, 01:47 PM
Now that I read this I remember our servers kept saying "excellent" to us during dinner each night.

I'm laughing cause my husband kept saying yes, excellent just excellent.........

lilpooh108
08-13-2012, 01:49 PM
I don't think they'd be fired, but they may be talked to as to why they didn't "make it right".

What can they do? I guess just suggest a different entree/appitizer? They certainly can't "fix" what's wrong with the first one.

:cutie:

Our server explained that it was his job to make sure our food was "excellent."

Honestly, the food wasn't. It was above average on our cruise. For our survey we filled in "good" for food and "excellent" for service.

I think it's silly that the food qualify affects them. There should be a "chef" section instead.

MiaSRN62
08-13-2012, 01:58 PM
I think if I get a server like this in Sept, and after the 3rd time he/she asks if it is "excellent", I'm gonna break down and have to say "well, it's getting less and less excellent with your repeated asking !" ;););)

Renysmom
08-13-2012, 01:58 PM
The server was stripping the tables to prep for Pirate night. He had 3 tablecloths off of 3 tables in a row. You could see the wood on the tables. The head server came over to him and said sharply, "Did you go on vacation last month?"

Server: Yes.

Head Server: Do you think things changed when you were on vacation?

Server: (silence)

Head Server: Your tables are naked. Guests do not want to see naked tables. Things aren't different just because you went on vacation.

Server: (sad silence)

I was in shock. Not that employees shouldn't be reprimanded, but at least not in front of guests while they're eating.

:("

And this is where I would have gone to Guest Services and asked to speak to the Hospitality Mgr on duty and I would have let them know what I witnessed. No reason whatsoever for one to dress down another in public.

darkwing818
08-13-2012, 02:21 PM
I guess we've been lucky, but after 7 cruises, I can only remember getting the "excellent speech" on the 1st night of the cruise. That being said, for the rest of our cruises, we were usually asked, after the main course, how everything was. We found this to be no different , than dining at a restaurant on land. Never felt any pressure to give excellent ratings. :cool1:

jenf22
08-13-2012, 02:26 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses. I'll just hope we don't get servers who are obsessed with this. The servers on the Magic cruise were really nice, they just wouldn't accept anything other than "excellent" as an answer. Like other people have mentioned, most of the time the food does not quite deserve an "excellent" rating even if the service does. I'll allow the speech on the first night, but try to politely stop them if it continues. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Either way, in 3 weeks I'm on a boat to Alaska! :cool1:

Drew770
08-13-2012, 02:41 PM
This upcoming cruise is our first Disney Cruise and our first cruise ever. It is good to know about the comment cards and the "excellent" speech.

I have been in many situations where this is the norm. I have to say though, I appreciate the difference between a server saying "What can I do next time to make it excellent?" as opposed to "If you don't mark it excellent we suffer."

You can ask me all you want what you can do to make the next round better. That is very much appreciated. Trying to guilt me into doing something though just turns my stomach.

Bonniec
08-13-2012, 03:36 PM
That's really sad. Part of my issue is my hubby and one kid are hamburger eaters. They are not into "foo-foo" foods. :rotfl: Our plan is to go to the MDRs and try new things. I've never had escargot and want to try. I imagine DH and DS won't eat half of what they try and will just get room service later. But that's how we will want it. It's nothing against the servers or the chefs.

So I think I will just tell the waiters flat out that I will write excellent even if we don't eat it and don't worry.

miry
08-13-2012, 05:01 PM
I know we got the speech about how they wanted to make sure our service was excellent on the first night and reminded us to fill out the survey on the last night. I remember our server using the word excellent quite a bit but I don't remember any pressure or thinking anything of it. Truthfully it reminded of when everyone used to use the word awesome when I was a teenager or how my son and his friends constantly say epic. We've been on three so far and I really never felt pressure or uncomfortable with anything like that.

clten
08-13-2012, 05:05 PM
We are quite accustomed to the "excellent" speech. Here's how we handle it. We expect that in the beginning we will get some type of speech about the team trying to provide excellent service. We hear the speech, let them know that we are aware of the comment card that will be coming and assure them that if we need anything, we will certainly let them know. Then if we get the "how were things tonight" and the server who wants that answered with excellent only, when they try to prod us into saying excellent, I tell them, "we can't just jump right into excellent this early in the cruise, we need to have room for improvement and I'll let you know when we've hit excellent". That usually gets them to back off from expecting us to answer "excellent" every night. Usually we start off "good", somewhere along the line when we have a great service will bump it up to "very good" and at the end (only if I intend to give them an excellent rating) tell them that things were in fact "excellent".

We have talked with several servers that we have gotten to know through the years. Yes, for some reason, they are accountable for the ratings you give to the food. Doesn't make sense to me but that's the way they do it. Our servers have explained it that they are responsible to make sure there is something that you enjoy but seriously, sometimes there is just not anything that is "excellent" to choose from and it's not worth the effort of making special requests. Unfortunately, if we really think the server when above and beyond to try to make it excellent, we will mark everything as excellent and then give notes about the food. But if they only take into account the ratings, they will never improve the food. So we try not to give too many false ratings just to help out the servers. We usually rate the food as it should be rated and make positive comments about our servers so they are not reprimanded for not trying to make it excellent.

kathi
08-13-2012, 05:28 PM
I flat out tell them that I understand they are concerned about their comment card; but that I do not wish to be pestered or reminded my entire cruise. I assure them they will get an excellent rating if they provide me with great service and do not pester me about the card. I assure them I will let them know if I have any concerns or needs they are not meeting.

I find direct honesty is the best policy. I paid a lot for my vacation and I absolutely have no interest in being irritated with "excellent" comments at every meal.


Oh - and I totally agree that the wait staff should not in any way be responsible for the food rating in the MDR. I do not find the food in MDR "excellent" most of the time. I find the food in Palo and Remy excellent and MDR food good to very good with a few big misses. It's mass cooked food and unlikely to be "excellent" on a regular basis.

DVCNuts
08-13-2012, 05:45 PM
We had a bad serving team on the Wonder too, back in April. I think the "A" team went to the Dream. Many of the servers on the Magic and Wonder are newer. They won't learn unless they get the right kind of feedback. Simply saying excellent doesn't send the feedback that they need.

It's a tough job. They work insane hours. I could never do it. That said, I have no problem telling a pushy server to stop doing something that I find annoying, or telling the head server to tell him.

kcashner
08-13-2012, 05:52 PM
We were on a Celebrity cruise last week. The food was MUCH better than on DCL--it was a lot more like the food on the Magic 10 years ago, but even better. Food quality on DCL has decreased over the years.

The service on DCL (sort of an average of our 25+ cruises) is better than on Celebrity. And on BOTH lines we were told that our food quality ratings are attributed to the serving team. Makes no sense and doesn't seem fair to me. However, on the DCL comment card, I rate the server in both areas and put food quality comments on the back.

over50visits
08-13-2012, 05:59 PM
Hi all! When we were on the Magic in May our servers were constantly harassing us to rate the food/service "excellent".... Thanks for any advice!

I feel sorry for the servers...The problems they have if one single guest marks anything but excellent are unfair and unreasonable. DCL places huge pressure on them to receive excellent ratings, and i understand why they sometimes manifest that in their conversations with us.

It's okay. My advice is to understand their work environment, be gracious, and accept their comments. It's only words. I would discuss problems with the head waiter if service were bad or there were problems the servers could not solve, but complaining about their use of "excellent" could actually hurt them. Every server so far has been wonderful on our cruises, and I'll cut them the slack of letting me know how I can help them succeed.

officereg
08-13-2012, 06:01 PM
As someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years, I can tell you that Excellent or 10 is the only score that matters. Surveys are a little misleading, in most a good or 9 holds the same point value as a poor or 0.
Although I could imagine how annoying the constant reminder would be, the servers are trying to engrain the word Excellent in your mind so that is what you think of when the survey comes around.

MiaSRN62
08-13-2012, 06:04 PM
I'm in the healthcare field. They are giving surveys out to patients about their hospital experience and are expecting all "excellent" scores from the nurses and ancillary staff as well. It's SO unrealistic.

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luv that cruise
08-13-2012, 06:15 PM
I too hate hearing the "excellent speech". The service IS usually excellent but the food is good most of the time, not excellent. A few years ago we started keeping a log to write down comments thru out the cruise. Good things, excellent things and things that weren't so excellent. Disney is good in giving credit to people so we always include a name when we can. We attach our notes to the comment card. Year after year I comment that I would like the comment card available earlier on my cruise - to give me time to thoughtfully complete it. But instead, they wait til the last day when I am bummed about having to get off the ship, stressed trying to pack, and annoyed that I have to answer too many questions and resentful because i want to be doing fun things on my last day. I have commented before asking for more space to write in comments. Instead I feel like they don't provide the space because they don't want to take the time to read my comments. They would rather have a computer read my survey.

But to address the issue of the "speech" - we play along with it. We usually start throwing the "E" word around before they do and then it usually becomes a joke and keeps the mood light.

Disneygal19
08-13-2012, 06:32 PM
We got off the 7 day Alaskan in July. Our poor little server did this to us everyday.

We endured it...but it was really annoying. Whenever we said good, he would say, "Can it be more excellent?" I then put him up to it. Whenever he asked, I'd think of something better he could do for us--another dish to try, a soda refill. That usually quieted him down.

We tipped him over and above the suggested amount, and would have done so even if he wasn't trying so hard.

This was our 4th cruise and it was the most persistent we've ever encountered.

It was also clear that our server and assistant server didn't get along that well. One time the server said something like, "Did I forget your cheese?" And the assistant server muttered, "You probably forgot to ask." Overall, it seemed like there was a lot of friction between the serving teams and between our head server and his employees. Our server was clearly afraid of our head server.

We also saw a server at Parrot Cay at yelled at by the head server. That was distasteful and I wish they hadn't done that in front of guests. It was at the end of lunch service. The server was stripping the tables to prep for Pirate night. He had 3 tablecloths off of 3 tables in a row. You could see the wood on the tables. The head server came over to him and said sharply, "Did you go on vacation last month?"

Server: Yes.

Head Server: Do you think things changed when you were on vacation?

Server: (silence)

Head Server: Your tables are naked. Guests do not want to see naked tables. Things aren't different just because you went on vacation.

Server: (sad silence)

I was in shock. Not that employees shouldn't be reprimanded, but at least not in front of guests while they're eating.

:(

It seems like the servers are really getting alot of crap from DCL management for guest satisfaction, but maybe they should overhaul the morale of the team dynamic. That way we won't get pestered about "excellence."

We sadly witnessed this as well. We just had the best server ever on the Wonder Hans!! He was fun no pressure to put excellent ratings. Hugs each night and always found us on the ship just to say hi.

But our head waiter OMG I hates him. He was nasty to the severs and talked to them like they were stupid. Our nights were great til he did his rounds and after he got his tip he was gone. It's the head waiters who need to learn how to do things right

over50visits
08-13-2012, 06:59 PM
I'm in the healthcare field. They are giving surveys out to patients about their hospital experience and are expecting all "excellent" scores from the nurses and ancillary staff as well. It's SO unrealistic.

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The fault here lies in the Disney management team, not the servers. And "every cruise line does it" never, never excuses anything that should not be done. I feel sorry for the servers.

I believe you tend to have the experience you expect...we expect great servers, and seems like we always get them. We treat them with respect, don't make demands, genuinely care about how they feel and what their story is, and trust me you get it all back in spades. DCL management chooses the easy way out by demanding "excellent" ratings instead of more difficult but more meaningful performance measures; the poor servers are stuck with it. Let them give their speech and keep using the word. Enjoy it, they will to, and your experience will be fantastic.

insureman
08-13-2012, 07:44 PM
We have sailed on 11 DCL cruises since 2004 and I would say about about 75% of the time we have had the"excellent" speech. I usually nip in the bud before they finish the first sentence by telling them we have sailed before and know how important the comment cards are.

tastefullyjenn
08-13-2012, 09:06 PM
Ooooh yeah. We were on the same cruise as the OP and we got lots of mentions and at least 2 conversations about the importance of "excellent". I wouldn't quite say its annoying but it is noticible and really is counter-productive. I think I'll try to take an early stance on it next go around maybe by saying, "Relax. We know about the comment card. Keep things going good without the spiel and your excellent will happen."

I absolutely LOVE this wording and am going to borrow it!

ScottakaMickey
08-13-2012, 09:45 PM
Yes we have been getting this speech more over the years. Worse so far was on our Fantasy cruise. Tey just didn't get it. I think they thought being HYPER friendly meant excellent service. It doesn't and it was made worse when the excellent speech finally came.

For me I don't want to hear it, I want to experience it!!! If I hear it even once, then it wasn't excellent service and they must know it. Yes, I get that a lot of people don't say anything, but then give a bad rating and they are trying to not have that occur, but there are better ways that this can be dealt with then giving or asking or talking about an excellent rating. IMHO

dwg
08-13-2012, 09:56 PM
We were on the 8/5 Magic cruise and heard the excellent speech every night. It did not bother us. These speeches are the companies fault for treating anything less than excellent as failing. I get the same speech every time I bring my cars in for service.
I feel these surveys do not allow the customer to be honest.

Tehanna
08-13-2012, 09:59 PM
DH suggested (in jest) that we turn it into a drinking game. ;)

design_mom
08-13-2012, 10:12 PM
Aw, I'm sorry to hear about everybody's experience. On our cruise, our server mentioned it, but it was in a polite way. He basically just said, "I want you to feel like you received excellent service, so if there's anything we can do differently to ensure you have an excellent experience, please let us know so we may do it."

The only time I felt like they were "pushy" at all was when my daughter decided she had to go to the bathroom during dinner, even though I'd just taken her prior to entering the restaurant. (Ugh!) There was a line in the ladies room and we were gone a while. By the time I got back, my food was cold and it was not good cold. Our assistant server was practically frantic that I didn't want him to bring me something else! Really, I am fine!

Mickeyhugger
08-13-2012, 10:43 PM
It's okay. My advice is to understand their work environment, be gracious, and accept their comments. It's only words. I would discuss problems with the head waiter if service were bad or there were problems the servers could not solve, but complaining about their use of "excellent" could actually hurt them. Every server so far has been wonderful on our cruises, and I'll cut them the slack of letting me know how I can help them succeed.

I think this is the NICEST response I've read yet. I'd rather humor them and say excellent, than to 'think' one is being helpful by being direct. IMHO, it's still rude, and that can be demoralizing. I'll send emails to DCL to let them know the food is mediocre, but that the service is above and beyond, and that I TOLD the servers I said 'excellent.'

Silverfox97
08-13-2012, 10:58 PM
I'm in the healthcare field. They are giving surveys out to patients about their hospital experience and are expecting all "excellent" scores from the nurses and ancillary staff as well. It's SO unrealistic.

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Nursing at our hospital is in the 96% percentile as far as patient satisfaction compared to all of the other hospitals in the US!!! It IS possible, (although harder in huge institutions).

As far as the "excellent" speech - it has varied for us. Balwan hit us with it in 2010 on the Wonder, and we let it go. I thought it would've rude to say otherwise & so did DH. On our 3 subsequent cruises after that, Marcos on the Magic in 2011, Shawn on the Magic in 2011, & the team on the Dream in 2012 saw that we were recent repeat cruisers, didn't give us the speech, or recommend dishes (which is a waste of time since we don't need help ordering). Daniel on the Fantasy in June did bring back the "excellent" speech & food recommendations, but he did a great job. In all 6 cruises, we've never felt "pressured."

I agree with the PP that said that they just let the CMs say their piece. So do we.

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AlexandNessa
08-13-2012, 10:59 PM
DH suggested (in jest) that we turn it into a drinking game. ;)

Very funny! We do that when we watch Criminal Minds ... Unsub!! Now, we'll be doing .... Excellent!!

Seriously, it doesn't really bother us much. When they ask how everything is, we just say excellent and move on.

luv that cruise
08-13-2012, 11:17 PM
DH suggested (in jest) that we turn it into a drinking game. ;)

I Love it!!! Our thanksgiving cruise is going to be so much fun!

Yokelridesagain
08-13-2012, 11:34 PM
IMO, I think food service issues/ratings should be on the servers. Food quality/type issues should be on the chef.


I don't think that's fair either. The chef doesn't have control over the ingredients that the cruise line chooses to purchase. Garbage in, garbage out.

Last time I gave the food the 2/5 it richly deserved and complimented the servers by name on the comment card. Hope that balanced it out...I couldn't honestly say they did an "excellent" job recommending things, but given the fact that I found maybe 10% of the offerings to be of high quality, it's not very likely they would have been able to make me real happy with the food no matter what they did.

lmhall2000
08-13-2012, 11:37 PM
The fault here lies in the Disney management team, not the servers. And "every cruise line does it" never, never excuses anything that should not be done. I feel sorry for the servers.

I believe you tend to have the experience you expect...we expect great servers, and seems like we always get them. We treat them with respect, don't make demands, genuinely care about how they feel and what their story is, and trust me you get it all back in spades. DCL management chooses the easy way out by demanding "excellent" ratings instead of more difficult but more meaningful performance measures; the poor servers are stuck with it. Let them give their speech and keep using the word. Enjoy it, they will to, and your experience will be fantastic.

Not at all our experience, and my dh and I have been servers for many of our younger years at fine dining and at family restaurants....I am happy you have had great experiences...but no, you do not get what you expect. And the fault may lay in part on Disney management but they frown upon harrassing customers...period. There are some servers who may ask once, or may not ask at all, then there are those that are relentless, rude, and becomes very awkward with their insistence and incessant pleas. For 2 of our 2 cruises, we have had the latter, no matter how good an attitude we may have had, they did not cease. There is nothing 'enjoyable' about letting them give their speech 6-10x during the very few moments our family has to spend together as a family...it's an outright aggressive solicitation and should be stopped.

Honestly, after having to politely suck up my own discomfort and unease for 2 cruises..I will not stand for it next time. I will politely go to the server, take him aside, and ask him to not put forth another solicitation, that act alone would garner him more of an excellent rating than filling our drinks on time. We have never asked for our drinks to be filled (although we sat through our entire appetizer with no drinks..hoping they would figure it out), we are some of the least demanding because we sympathize with their job...but we know what good service is, what 'acceptable' service is and what poor service is...at Disney you have a shot at getting all three, regardless of your expectations.

Reading some of your experiences, obviously you have not been harrassed! I can easily tolerate 1-2 comments and some of those above are very professional and sincere...no ours were horrible. The brought out a form, showed it to us at the table and said we MUST mark Excellent, they did not 'ask' they were demanding and getting a very uptight mode with it...about every time they returned to our table the last 3 nights we would get the hard sell, "You're going to remember to mark excellent aren't you?", "Remember, an excellent rating is all that you should mark."...it was harrassing! So, for those who have not had that type of treatment, be open minded...they are out there.

kaphil
08-14-2012, 12:14 AM
Glad it's not just me-

When my daughter got married last year on the Dream all 25 of us commented on how over-the-top the server was with pushing the "excellent". It was uncomfortable for all of us, especially since our serving team was the worst we'd had on any cruise. Why don't you take some pressure off these people and let me praise them on their merits and not the quality of the food or how annoyed I was by their pushiness.

sheadley
08-14-2012, 01:34 AM
DH suggested (in jest) that we turn it into a drinking game. ;)

Yeah, what she said! ;)

mollygirl13
08-14-2012, 07:44 AM
We did a B2B Dream Cruise in May. There were 6 of us and had the same serving team for both cruises.

Anyway, Howard said his spiel and was truthful in saying that he wanted everything to be 'excellent" for us and that if it wasn't he would change whatever it was to make it that way. My family liked that approach so we were honest with him. If the food/drinks or service was excellent, we said it. If it wasn't, we didn't. Howard made sure that whatever it was that one of us didn't care for was changed. That only happened a few times during the week but he made sure our week with him was indeed 'excellent." He was not pushy and he genuinely seemed to care. I guess we got lucky!

We liked the honest approach. It worked well for our family. We didn't give Howard a hard time or snarky responses.

We felt that Howard had a job to do just like in the "Real World" so did we. We have to abide by rules that our employer enforces. Sometimes we don't agree but we follow the rules because it is our job to do so. Howard didn't come up with the "excellent" speech. It wasn't his idea so we cut him some slack. He was doing his job and following the rules and by doing that he DID make sure that our week with him was indeed "excellent!"

Maybe other servers are pushier, I don't know. This was just my family's experience.

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 08:40 AM
DCL should be ashamed of themselves for putting their servers in this position. Yes, all cruise lines strive for excellent ratings but I've certainly never experienced, or heard about, or read about servers on other lines torturing guests with the "excellent" speech several times a cruise.

On both of our DCL cruises our servers were fabulous!! Excellent, if you will. :rotfl: What was not excellent was the food. It ranged from yuck (rarely) to good (mostly) to excellent (again, rarely).

DCL is obviously aware of two problems: 1) something in the dining room is not excellent and 2) they have created an environment where the servers feel pressured to pressure the guests into rating them excellent. BOTH of these problems are on DCL and they need to figure them out (secret shoppers/secret cruisers, anyone?) instead of torturing their hardworking servers.

I GUARANTEE you that if DCL found five to ten guests (each with >2 DCL cruises and preferably >2 cruises on other lines) on each sailing and offered them 10% off the cruise fare to do a thorough written review of the MDR experience, they would do it. That way, DCL would be getting good feedback (not just "check this box") in a timely manner from experienced cruisers and could address any issues without putting the burden where it doesn't belong.

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 09:00 AM
My cat stepped on my computer and did a double post!

CarolAnnC
08-14-2012, 09:05 AM
As someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years, I can tell you that Excellent or 10 is the only score that matters. Surveys are a little misleading, in most a good or 9 holds the same point value as a poor or 0.
Although I could imagine how annoying the constant reminder would be, the servers are trying to engrain the word Excellent in your mind so that is what you think of when the survey comes around.

This is true for the industry I work in as well. Survey scores are all or nothing - "A" will pass, "B, C or D" will fail. Because I have worked with these, I am very sensitive to scoring on any type of survey. If I were truly dissatisfied I would send a letter to DCL directly instead for something like the quality of the meal ingredients. IMHO it is unfair to hold the dining room serving staff accountable for quality of the food.

DreamGirl90
08-14-2012, 10:23 AM
As soon as we sense that they are about to make the "excellent" speech, we tell them, "We are aware of the importance of excellent ratings on the comment card, so no reminders are necessary. We are always honest with our ratings and we do EXPECT them to be excellent." Said with a smile.

So far that has worked to silence the reminders and prompt them to STRIVE for excellence instead of begging for it!

mjmyers10
08-14-2012, 11:11 AM
We had the same speeches on our RC cruise last summer. Everything was great so we rated them excellent. I willard sure to watch out for this on our cruise next summer.

GoHabsGo
08-14-2012, 11:22 AM
Let's not forget the marketing value to DCL of being able to tout the percent of passengers rating their experience as "excellent"...

I like the approach mentioned earlier: It's getting less excellent every time you ask.

PS when taking delivery of the last car we bought, it was the same thing "please rate everything a '5'" (5 being the top rating)

mmackeymouse
08-14-2012, 11:23 AM
DCL should be ashamed of themselves...

I do want to be fair to DCL here. No one knows exactly what DCL did or did not say to staff members. This could be a bit of CM lore started in the beginning and passed down from one staff generation to the other. I have no doubt that DCL strives for excellence and preaches excellence. As to whether some furious person sends a howler threatening "Excellent or off with your head," I think that is a bit of a stretch.

For those of you in the service industry that admit to being held to impossibly high standards, have you or would you ever basically beg for a good review?

As someone mentioned earlier, DCL must be aware of this sales pitch, as they have added, "Has anyone pressured you into this rating?" or something to that effect. How do we know that DCL, in response to customer complaints, didn't have a meeting or send a letter that they are NOT to be giving the Excellent Speech, and they are doing it anyway? Again, we don't know what position DCL has put them in. It could be something as simple as promotions and salary are based on performance. It's like that everywhere.

CEGrant
08-14-2012, 12:03 PM
The job these guys have is not easy. Yes I don't want to wate my vacation being badgered but I don't want to waste it giving someone who isn't on vacation a hard time. Yes I know we pay through the nose to do this. We work hard to afford this. But we are on vacation. They aren't.

I suggest (and plan on) merely saying, "Look, I know the importance of receiving excellents on your comment card. Just take nice care of us, and I'll make sure you get them."

If I feel the need to comment on food (which likely I won't), I'll do it directly to DCL later.