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Old 03-16-2013, 08:14 PM   #1
Carrie in AZ
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Thinking about first cruise: Tell me about room host/hostess

We are hoping to cruise this Fall for the first time ever. Can you please tell me about the room hosts? What do they do?

We are the type of people who keep the Privacy Please sign on our door whenever we travel because we do not like the thought of personnel being in our room. My husband has trust issues, and I do also but not as strong as he. When on vacation staying at hotels, we don't need or ask that our room is cleaned -- I simply meet the housekeeper in the hallway to get fresh towels. Sometimes I bring the trash out and put it in the trash area of their cart. I don't care if they make the beds. Basically, we are fine on our own! And, I also do this as sort of a "gift" to the housekeeper. If it was my job, I would be THRILLED if someone said "please pass on our room today". We always tip on the day we check out even though the person has done basically nothing during our stay. (I digress, but there is a lovely woman we adore at historic resort in San Diego -- we specifically ask to stay in her section of the resort each time we visit so that we can see her each day and converse a bit during our towel exchange. I love tipping her because she is so wonderful and has worked long and hard for many years.)

Is there anyone out there like us? If so, can you and do you ask that your host doesn't go into your stateroom? I realize most people want to be totally waited on while on vacation and our feelings may be in the minority. Can't help it, just not looking forward to someone being in our room often.

Thanks in advance for sharing!
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
We are hoping to cruise this Fall for the first time ever. Can you please tell me about the room hosts? What do they do?

We are the type of people who keep the Privacy Please sign on our door whenever we travel because we do not like the thought of personnel being in our room. My husband has trust issues, and I do also but not as strong as he. When on vacation staying at hotels, we don't need or ask that our room is cleaned -- I simply meet the housekeeper in the hallway to get fresh towels. Sometimes I bring the trash out and put it in the trash area of their cart. I don't care if they make the beds. Basically, we are fine on our own! And, I also do this as sort of a "gift" to the housekeeper. If it was my job, I would be THRILLED if someone said "please pass on our room today". We always tip on the day we check out even though the person has done basically nothing during our stay. (I digress, but there is a lovely woman we adore at historic resort in San Diego -- we specifically ask to stay in her section of the resort each time we visit so that we can see her each day and converse a bit during our towel exchange. I love tipping her because she is so wonderful and has worked long and hard for many years.)

Is there anyone out there like us? If so, can you and do you ask that your host doesn't go into your stateroom? I realize most people want to be totally waited on while on vacation and our feelings may be in the minority. Can't help it, just not looking forward to someone being in our room often.

Thanks in advance for sharing!
You realize that's their job, right? And, I'm not sure, but I think that occasionally, the room hosts are checked on by their supervisor to see that they are doing what they should be doing. This includes keeping ice in the icebucket, turn-down service at night (including the pillow chocolates), as well as making up the room in the morning, clean sheets, towels, replacing shampoo, soap, hand lotions, vacuuming.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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I am sure if you talk to your room host on the first day you could work something out that would keep both of you happy. One thing to keep in mind- you DO want the host in your room daily to clean the bathroom and put away the beds. (The toilets can get quite smelly if someone isn't taking care of them daily.) Our room host said they disinfect things daily to decrease the risk of germs and viruses.
We LOVED our room host on our last cruise, he was very attentive but NEVER once attempted to visit our room while we were in it. He was almost always in the vicinity when we were coming or going and asked if he could access our room while we were away.
If you are worried about valuables, put them in your room safe or in a locked suitcase under your bed.
Enjoy your cruise- and I hope you do find a way to enjoy the service that a Disney Room host provides. Their service is second to none... loved it!! And we looked forward to returning to our room every night to see what kind of goodies Dean had left for us!!
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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If you will be using more than the queen bed, the host will have to enter the room at least twice each day to put away the bunk beds and then set them out at night.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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This maybe something you should call an ask Disney. If it was me I would not allow someone in one of my rooms for 7 day without one of my staff being able to check on it. It goes into safety and security for all guest.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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The difference between housekeeping services on land and at sea is that, at sea there's really nowhere to stash something you've stolen. The ship knows who's assigned to your room, and can search his/her room if necessary. Risking being black balled from the cruise industry and sent back to a third-world country is not worth whatever you may have in valuables. Also, these people are very busy, they don't have time to rifle through your undies.

Agree with a prior poster, DCL will expect to get access to your room to confirm no damage and also that neither of you appears to be ill, because of the risk of highly contagious things like norovirus.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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Cruises are not like hotels.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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I agree also. I can understand trust issues, but what are you afraid of them taking? There is a safe in the room, and if you have something larger you want secured, guest services would be able to help.

With that being said, think about how many people these stateroom host and hostesses service. There is always someone richer, more well off and more careless with their belongings. Not only do you hear no complaints or accusations, everyone speaks glowingly or fondly of them and their service.

You may have been burned before. However, we have left 2 laptops out, several iPods, and cell phones right on the desk. Wallets and money are always in the safe. You will not need cash on the ship, it is all done and charged on your KTTW card (or room card).

Like the PP said, they would have nowhere to go, they will see you day in and day out for the entire cruise.

You really could be short changing yourself, seeing the fun things they do with towel animals, and interaction with them. It truly is part of the ambiance of the cruise. I think most of the cruises would be the same, however, Disney has a high standard. If there was even a complaint, they would take it so seriously, that I doubt there wouldn't be stringent scrutiny.

Their tips are their pay, and they come from very poor countries and circumstances. They aren't willing to jeopardize their jobs and livelihood of their families for a "pittance" of what they could pick up in someone's room.

I hope this make sense without sounding condescending. It is not my intention, but once you meet these people, you would understand what we all have already experienced.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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I agree w/ OP about hotel rooms. I NEVER allow housekeeping to clean my room on land, always use the DND sign. But trust me, a disney cruise is COMPLETELY different! Don't take anything TOO valuable and what you do take can be locked in the safe with a password you make up. They do such a WONDERFUL job, you should allow yourself to experience it at least once. I found anything in drawers are never touched or even opened (don't ask how I know) Anything left on the floor is picked up, folded and laid on the table or couch. I would suggest using one of the glasses from the room to put everything from the bathroom counter in so they won't have to touch your personal items (hair & tooth brushes). They will move the glass to clean the counter.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manateesmom View Post
The difference between housekeeping services on land and at sea is that, at sea there's really nowhere to stash something you've stolen. The ship knows who's assigned to your room, and can search his/her room if necessary. Risking being black balled from the cruise industry and sent back to a third-world country is not worth whatever you may have in valuables. Also, these people are very busy, they don't have time to rifle through your undies.
To the OP, I'm like you in that if I stay at a hotel for a few days I prefer to just be left alone and not bothered by housekeeping. The stateroom host/hostesses are much more than just housekeeping though. They're extremely hard working and every one that we encountered was pleasant and polite. It's not just their job to clean your room. They really are there to help make your stay more pleasant and I found they did it without being intrusive at all. If you give them a chance I bet you would quickly feel comfortable with them.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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We always leave the room steward a bigger tip than our wait staff cuz we feel that they work so dang hard. I don't know when they sleep....they always seem to be on the job!
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:24 AM   #12
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Housekeeping and maintenance crews visit the rooms a few times a day for cleaning and turndown. Maint will come fix anything housekeeping finds, plus they might go out on your balcony to do painting while in port.

Like a previous poster said you cannot takeout or putaway the extra beds on your own.

Each room comes with a good safe. I kept our passports, pads, wallets, etc. in there and things were fine.

I only bumped into our housekeeper twice.

* * *

Here's a little story for you. My family was staying at a hotel, we went out for a day trip and when we came back we found that the hotel had swapped out all the furniture in our room. Apparently, they were not quite done with the last rennovation and while we were out they put in new dressors, bed, desk, etc. In the process the removed all our belongings from the drawers, disconnected all our charging batteries (which isn't good for them), and when we complained we were treated like we were high maint and the manager wasn't even on site.

Called Marriott corporate and complained and their attitudes adjusted overnight.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:39 AM   #13
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OP sounds like your husband has big time trust issues (& you some what). If you're going to worried about someone cleaning your cabin, maybe cruising is not for you.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:00 AM   #14
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OP, we tend to be the same way as you with land-based hotels - we don't really need anyone to come in to make our beds or take out the trash, so once we're in a room, the DND sign goes out and we take care of it ourselves. I blame it on DVC - we got so used to our home-away-from-home and only getting trash and towel changes every 4 days that for most of our trips (weekends) we just handle everything ourselves.

That said, we've never had any issues with housekeeping on any of our 8 Disney cruises. We do put our valuables in the safe (jewelry, purses/wallets, phones, etc) but have left iPads and nook eReaders and stuff out on the desk and never had anything taken. The staterooms are so small that I'm thankful for housekeeping to come in and put beds away or make them and generally tidy up - and we've never managed to lose anything or be unable to find something we needs, so it's all worked out well.

They also know the best use of space in the rooms! On our third or fourth cruise, we had managed to accumulate a large number of lanyards (DD's pin-trading lanyard, plus 3 repeat cruise lanyards and 3 DVC lanyards). We couldn't figure out where to store them - until we came back after turn-down one evening to find them hanging from the lights on either side of the mirror over the desk! Great idea - they were easy to find, didn't interfere with anything, and were out of the way in a place that they wouldn't get lost. I wouldn't have ever thought of it, but it worked out great! And my DD *loves* the towel animals, plus the cute things they do with her stuffed animals and other items.

My recommendation is to meet your room host when you board and talk to them about your concerns. If you don't have anyone sleeping in the extra beds, then that's not a big deal. If you don't want/need your bed made up, I'm sure they can accommodate. If you'd prefer to be present when they do their thing (clean the bathrooms/trash/vacuum/etc) - just let them know what makes you most comfortable and I'm sure they can work something out with you.

Above all, relax and enjoy the cruise!
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #15
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We make it easy on our stateroom host as we always put everything away, we're very neat. But as far as what they do. In the evening while you are at dinner they put down any beds that you need, for use we needed the top bunk, couch into a bed, and bed down from the wall and they turn down the queen bed and store the bedspread which isn't really a useable covering. He also put the bedrail on the sofabed for our youngest DS. In the evening they also make a towel animal and leave chocolates for you. In the morning they put all the beds up and make them and change sheets if needed, clean the bathroom, vacuum as needed, swap out clean towels, leave more shampoo etc. if you need it, empty the trash.

We never saw our host in the room, he was super quick. And there were a few times that we had to come back because we forgot something or needed something during dinner and each time it was already all done! Like I said, we made it easy by putting everything away when we knew he was coming in so he didn't have to deal with a lot of stuff all over. He never touched anything that belonged to us other than to put sunglasses on a towel animal and we brought large Mickey blankets for our boys and he always folded those at the end of their beds each evening for them. I was on the wall bed and was super cold the first night, the boys had their blankets and my parents had the extra blanket in the room on their bed. I requested an extra blanket for my bed the next morning when we saw him and it was on my bed that evening and each one after that along with the extra pillow I was using from the cupboard.

We also don't believe in having them do unecessary work. We had a WDW day on our 8 day and we were set to get off for a 6:15 AM bus to WDW and knew we would not be back until late at night. Therefore it was unecessary for Sean to put all our beds up and then come back in later to a room we hadn't entered all day and put them all back down. So we told him that the night before. We said, we'll be gone all day and aren't coming back until late, there is no reason for you to put all the beds up since we won't be on the ship all day, please feel free to just make the room up for evening when you come in in the morning. Whether he did or not was up to him, we'll never know, but we at least told him so as to create less work for him if that's what he wanted to do.

We did use the safe in the room for our cash/wallets when we weren't using them and our electronics like cell phones, DS game, Nook tablet, mini Ipad, video camera and cameras...however, there were times that those items were left out to charge during the day. We would put things back in the safe in the morning from over night charging and before dinner but I'm sure somethin was left out at some point with no issues. I also had a laptop that I left in it's case in a suitcase under the bed and there was no reason for it to be disturbed there, no one would know it was there.

If you take rational precautions your stuff will be safe. If you are neat people, the room steward will be in and out so quick it's amazing. But if you need more than the queen beds, you will need them to come in and do it, the top bunk has a key to unlock it.
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