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Old 12-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #16
goeva
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We had similar experiences on the Dream earlier this month.
I requested booster seat when I booked for our cruise. There was no booster seat for him since day one. I asked our assistant server on both first and second night. He brought it out for my son on the first night and completely forgot about it on the 2nd. So I didn't bother to ask again for the rest of our cruise.
I agreed with PP. The servers seem rushed and services were slow. Not cool!
Other than that, we had a great time!
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #17
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I was on the Dream 2 weeks ago and had a mixed experience as well. Neither my husband or I loved the MDRs and we are pretty easy going about food. The only item we loved was the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes appetizer at Animators. The servers were so nice but they seemed tired with the long days. Our head server told us our rating of the food is actually a rating of them. I guess because they would have been willing to get us different plates if we had asked. I ended up giving a very good rating for the food quality, for the servers, even though we didn't love what we ate.

The ship was huge and crowded at times. I recall one grown man trying to guess which elevator would open first and cutting off every family waiting ahead of him.

We only did a 3 night so now I'm wondering if we try a 7 night or maybe one of the smaller ships if we will fall in love with DCL? We did really enjoy the pool deck, hot tubs, large outdoor movie screen, the sail away party, the adult bars, pirate night, the midship detective agency, our stateroom, our stateroom host, Villians and Believe, the spa, how gorgeous the ship was, and absolutely everything about Castaway Cay. Our 6yo would always call us to be picked up exactly 1hr after being dropped off at the kid clubs. Our 9yo usually wanted to stay longer.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:30 PM   #18
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Fwiw, we were never pushed to give an excellent rating when we sailed in Oct. Our server mentioned it on maybe the second or third night, we said we knew the drill, and he dropped it at that. Never mentioned it again. And on the comment card, there was a space to mark whether you felt pressured to give an excellent rating. We could honestly say no, which was a relief after the stories I had heard (but never experienced in three recent cruises). Must be the luck of the draw. Maybe we had great servers who never have to push for good ratings anyway?
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:42 PM   #19
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We sailed the Dream 5 cruises now (2 were b2b) and just when I thought I was getting adjusted to the hugeness and crowds, last summer we sailed a 2 nt cruise to nowhere from NYC on the Magic and then to Alaska on the Wonder and loved the size & service and how much less crowded they are. Even on our Tracy Arm day when it seemed like EVERYONE was outside on deck 9 or 10, it still wasn't crowded like the Dream. We tried the Fantasy too and while we did enjoy it and we are booked for next Nov again, I think we might switch back to the Magic. The ol' girl is still our fav.

As for pressure to score excellent for servers, there specifically is a question on the comment card asking guests if they felt pressured to give excellent ratings. OP, I hope you checked yes for that one. Ever since they put that question on the comment card, we haven't been pressured.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:14 PM   #20
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We sailed on the Fantasy earlier this month. Our serving team gave the excellent speech once. We were fine with that.

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Old 12-29-2012, 10:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by FLVacationGirl View Post
Our head server told us our rating of the food is actually a rating of them. I guess because they would have been willing to get us different plates if we had asked.
That's what I've been told as well. The explanation was that in addition to what you said, the server was responsible for recommending the food, and for noticing if you weren't happy with what you got.

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I ended up giving a very good rating for the food quality, for the servers, even though we didn't love what we ate.
I found this to be a real problem, especially since the servers put so much emphasis on their ratings. I felt that the food was in most cases NOT excellent. In particular, the presentation of the food was stretched and exceeded the quality. It was as if upper management said "We want the food to look like the best of what you see on the Food Network" but was only willing to buy second-grade ingredients and considered it the crew's problem to somehow make it work. It's almost offensive that the system is set up so that it's considered the server's job to just make this all work and the only way to express other than an "excellent" rating for the food is to have it reflect negatively on the server.

Having said that, I was a bit put off by the "hard sell" by the server the first time for the excellent ratings. I noticed that the last question on the comment card was something like "Did anyone pressure you to give only excellent ratings?" I answered Yes to this question. On my second sailing, not only was there no heavy pressure from the servers, they didn't even mention the comment card to us at all.

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The ship was huge and crowded at times. ... We only did a 3 night so now I'm wondering if we try a 7 night or maybe one of the smaller ships if we will fall in love with DCL?
I've done two 7-night sailings on the Fantasy. I can say from experience that it does seem very crowded the first couple of nights, with busy hallways and waits for the elevators. But for some reason, things calm down after that. It's kind of odd, since when not in port there are exactly the same number of guests on board, and the shows and dinner seatings are at exactly the same time each night, but things do calm down and it's not really an issue. Maybe enough people find alternate routes after a couple of days such that everyone is not trying to use the main elevator bank and atrium at the same time.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:12 PM   #22
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The Dream was our 3rd cruise and we loved it.Yes it's big but the crowds didn't seem over powering- we were there Easter week 2012.

Our waiters were ok but I hate when they hover anyway so it was not a problem. Other than refilling my drinks I would rather be left alone during dinner.

We leave for the Fantasy in 6 days- I hope our servers don't start that EXCELLENT business on the comment card - I will ask them to stop.

Linda
I sailed on the Fantasy earlier this month. The service was excellent and not ONE time was I told about putting "excellent" on the card (unlike my cruise on the Wonder, where the service was also excellent but I was given the "excellent" speech as well.) However, I also didn't get a comment card!!! Not sure what happened, never got one, but I did get an email survey.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:27 AM   #23
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We were on the Dream back in Sept for our first ever cruise. We really enjoyed the ship. I didn't think it was too big but then again that was the first time I've ever been on a ship. I did think 3 days wasn't enough time to explore the ship. We also didn't get off as Nassau. The only place I felt way too crowded was at the pools. The last day we stayed at the adult pool all afternoon.

My kids 11 & 13 LOVED the kid's club. Couldn't get them out of there.

I will agree with you about the lack of activities for an older child. Our 18 yr old seemed bored so I hung out w/him most of the time. He tried the older club but there wasn't too many people there.

We liked A.P., it was my favorite dining room. We enjoyed all the food we ate. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the pizza.

I didn't think the wait time for the elevators was bad.

We enjoyed all the shows including Villians. As a matter of fact my oldest was talking about that the other day saying how he liked it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:38 AM   #24
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Always tell the truth on the comment cards! In addition, I *always* write a letter with specifics, including naming names, both "pats" and "pans" if there are any, and include it with my card.

Management won't know, if we don't tell them, not just about servers but about other issues around the ship / excursions / etc.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:21 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaBabe
Always tell the truth on the comment cards! In addition, I *always* write a letter with specifics, including naming names, both "pats" and "pans" if there are any, and include it with my card.

Management won't know, if we don't tell them, not just about servers but about other issues around the ship / excursions / etc.
I will add to my new years resolutions... to be more honest on those cards!

We felt VERY pressured to give an excellent in the review. The servers were OK. Until the last night. The assistant gave us his life story. It was a very moving story but involved killings of relatives and was absolutely not appropriate in front of the children! It put us off so much that the kids said they didn't want to eat in the restaurant this trip! I have talked them round, but may very well skip the last night this time and just drop off the tip envelopes to avoid the pressure. We'll just see who we get!
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #26
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Always tell the truth on the comment cards! In addition, I *always* write a letter with specifics, including naming names, both "pats" and "pans" if there are any, and include it with my card.

Management won't know, if we don't tell them, not just about servers but about other issues around the ship / excursions / etc.
We should have been more honest in our reviews. I was afraid that a negative comment may get the wait staff fired. I didn't want to take that chance.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2003

We should have been more honest in our reviews. I was afraid that a negative comment may get the wait staff fired. I didn't want to take that chance.
It's hard for us, as well. But a poster on another thread suggested using the note paper in the drawer to write out a note or explanation and I think that's a great idea. Obviously DCL does listen (sometimes), or the question about servers pushing for excellent ratings wouldn't be there.
Maybe if we start a letter-writing campaign to stop punishing servers for low-quality food...well, we can try, at least
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:30 AM   #28
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I will add to my new years resolutions... to be more honest on those cards!

We felt VERY pressured to give an excellent in the review. The servers were OK. Until the last night. The assistant gave us his life story. It was a very moving story but involved killings of relatives and was absolutely not appropriate in front of the children! It put us off so much that the kids said they didn't want to eat in the restaurant this trip! I have talked them round, but may very well skip the last night this time and just drop off the tip envelopes to avoid the pressure. We'll just see who we get!
Holy cow - how inappropriate! That freaked me out a little bit!
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #29
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Going on the Dream on Wednesday for a 4 night cruise, but I did a 5 night on the Dream summer 2011.

I loved the Villians show and can't wait to see it again.
I personally didn't think the ship was too big. (previously have cruised on the Wonder in 2005).
Elevators were a pain, but we took the stairs all the time for exercise so they really didn't effect us at all.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #30
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Holy cow - how inappropriate! That freaked me out a little bit!
I'm glad i'm not the only one!
I'm all for ensuring my kids know how lucky they are to lead the life they do and they are globally aware of the plight of others, but this was so out of the blue on our 'magical' trip that it kind of took the wind out of our sails for the end of our trip.
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