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Old 09-24-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
loricdietzel
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How many goodies to pack for cm?

We will be going on our first cruise in October. I have read many reports about bringing candy and other snacks as well as phone cards for the CM on board. SO who do you usually give them to and how much do you give? We are going on a 4-night cruise. I have no idea how much to bring with. Thanks!!!!
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
kcashner
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First, you don't NEED to bring any. Phone cards were popular years ago, but most of the CMs have cell phones now. The candy and/or other gifts are commonly used to thank CMs who are not allowed to accept cash tips.

If you have kids who will be in the programming, you may want to bring a bag of candy or other treat for the CMs who work in that area. If you are bringing items to be signed by characters, that's another place where people often enclose a thank you gift like candy.

If you really want to be popular, bring something that you can open the main bag and carry a few of the "inside" individually wrapped treats with you. Give some to the guys in the yellow jumpsuits or other "not usually recognized" people.

So, anything from none to a couple bags of candy or other snacks.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:30 PM   #3
loricdietzel
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I know I don't NEED to, but I know the cm work hard and it is nice to add a little pixie dust to their day, too. I will have two little ones, so that will definitely be an area to remember. I like the idea of carrying around little ones to share! I have been eying a couple of boxes of the Little Debbie Snack cakes or the little bags of pretzels to bring along as I hear snack-type food is very expensive for cm's. We will skip the phone cards if most cm's don't use them anymore.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:56 PM   #4
happyleesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loricdietzel View Post
I know I don't NEED to, but I know the cm work hard and it is nice to add a little pixie dust to their day, too. I will have two little ones, so that will definitely be an area to remember. I like the idea of carrying around little ones to share! I have been eying a couple of boxes of the Little Debbie Snack cakes or the little bags of pretzels to bring along as I hear snack-type food is very expensive for cm's. We will skip the phone cards if most cm's don't use them anymore.
My mom used to work in a UPS distribution center and was ALWAYS doing little treats for all 500+ drivers! My favorite halloween ones were little "ghosts" - you take a tootsie pop or blow pop, cover it with a white kleenex and tie some ribbon or even tape below the sucker part, and draw a face on it. They were so cute and CHEAP, and easy to carry around.


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Old 09-25-2012, 01:57 AM   #5
Ljbadfan
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we had photo mats signed by members. we got the big bag of childs play. the cast members that we had on the wonder loved the childs play
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:30 AM   #6
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We took a backstage tour and saw many many crew members on pay phones. They said that phone cards are appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
Kaizen
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Our CM's LOVED gum and Oreos
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
DenyingReality
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I just feel as though bringing something small like candy to give to the CMs is the least I can do! I hear they take such good care of the people on the ship. I'd like to show my appreciation somehow! I was figuring candy or chocolate you can only find in Canada! I know there's a few.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:54 AM   #9
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It is nice to let cast members know you appreciate them, but I'm going to chime in just in case there are others sharing my opinion but holding their tongues.

My husband and I have noticed an increase in overweight cast members in recent years, both at WDW and on DCL. Certainly on the DIS there are always people posting about their own struggles with weight, trying to lose pounds before their cruises. Those who enjoy candy could find it very hard to resist eating, and overeating, when gifted with it. Even for skinny cast members, candy is not healthy.

It isn't as though it's a one-time thing or a one-on-one personal experience. A single chocolate bar multiplied by many is probably a frequent occurrence. So many on the DIS write about bringing candy. Word gets around, and the cast members are aboard months at a time and potentially gifted with a lot of candy. That is fat, cholesterol, calories, and a sugar-high. I wonder if there are any diabetic cast members.

Phone cards? Maybe. "Stuff" they'll have to store in their tiny cabins? Never. Food/candy/snacks? My DH and I don't want to cause or contribute to a weight or health problem. We express our gratitude with extra gratuities, comments of excellence, and letters to DCL regarding their excellence and naming names. We have consistently been told by cast members that those are the most appreciated ways to thank them, with no potential ill effects no matter how many guests do the same. I'm not trying to stir the pot, but wanted to chime in with a different point of view.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:59 AM   #10
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We write letters and/or have cash on hand for tipping. Just our 0.02
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
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There is nothing you NEED to do. But here's an idea, instead of carrying around candy, carry a little notebook and jot down CM names when you see them providing great service. Write the names on your comment card, or if they are extra-special, write a letter to DCL when you get home.

Just a thought for a different kind of Pixie dust. Have a great trip!!!
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #12
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I bought 2 boxes of sugar free gum at Big lots-each have 12 packs of gum with 18 sticks in each of them. I was going to give several packs in with the photo mats to have signed. I was also going to ask GS to take another box down into the engine room. I saw that posted by someone here and it resonated with me-cast members that are never seen, never heard, won't talk to my kids, but there would be NO cruise without them.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:27 PM   #13
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The only thing we gave was with the photo mat that we sent to be signed. I ended up sending a box of almond snack packs, figuring that they get candy a lot, and may like energy/healthy snacks, too.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
If you really want to be popular, bring something that you can open the main bag and carry a few of the "inside" individually wrapped treats with you. Give some to the guys in the yellow jumpsuits or other "not usually recognized" people.

I love this idea!!!
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:42 PM   #15
kcashner
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While I've read some things to the contrary, I don't think the CMs get tons of munchies. Sure, some departments get a lot more than others, but it's relatively easy for them to share if they choose to.

Typically about 10% of cabins on a cruise contain Dis-ers (the candy/treat thing is a Dis thing as far as I know). There are 1000 CMs on the classic ships, 1500 on the newer ships. If 1/2 the Dis-ers bring something (and I doubt that many do), that would be about 40 cabins on a classic ship bringing stuff that would be spread among the 1000 CMs. That doesn't strike me as excessive.

Granted, the CM in Youth Activities, Cruise Staff, and characters tend to get the bulk of the goodies. But it isn't that hard to share with a room mate or the guy down the hall. Given that they can't room with someone with their same job unless they are married (I learned this from a CM who explained that if someone gets sick, they don't want to lose 2 people from the same position), sharing is easier still. To be clear on the room mate stuff--a Plao server can room with a MDR server, but not with another Palo server. A stage actor can room with a character but not with another stage actor. These were the examples I was given.

So....my suggestion is to think "behind the scenes." If you are on the new ships, the light/sound controls for the WD theater are open in the theater. You might drop off something for the tech crew (if you arrive early or leave a few minutes late!) You can stop at Guest Services and send something to the food preparation crew, laundry room, stage hands/costume crew, etc.

Do they really get too much? Some departments, probably. Overall--probably not. If it makes the guest feel good, go for it.
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