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Old 03-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
DakotaDisneyLover
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Server Pressure for "Excellent"

We were on the Fantasy Feb. 9-16, 2013 cruise. We had a great time. However, I just have to get this off my chest. Our dining room head server pressured us to no end for an excellent rating. We didn't catch on at first that he was pushing for excellent on the comment card you fill out at the end of your cruise, but after a few nights of the pressure I remembered reading on here that someone else had the same problem. This, along with not being able to understand hardly anything he or the assistant server said really put a damper on our dining experience. This was our third DCL cruise, and the service on our prior two Disney cruises was way better. Let me note that we are not hard to please people, nor are we demanding. But it got to the point that we almost dreaded dinner because he hounded us so bad. "How is everything? Good. Good not good enough!! We need excellent!!" We went and dined one night at Cabana's, and breathed a sigh of relief, no pressure - it was great! Great servers, no pressure, we could understand them, and we received BETTER service than we did from our main servers! They even did card tricks and things with our son, which he didn't get from our main servers. I also didn't mention that there were empty tables around us, and we only noticed our servers waiting on one other table (two families seated there). So, how did we fill our our comment card you ask?! Lol! DH felt sorry for the servers (our head server told us a story of how he lost his 10 y.o. son in a car accident, etc.), so of course gave them excellent, even though the service was not excellent. DH's comment was "he has a family to support". Yes, I know, nothing will get resolved unless people tell the truth and speak up. Anyway, the rest of the cruise was wonderful - and we had the best room host ever!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaDisneyLover View Post
We were on the Fantasy Feb. 9-16, 2013 cruise. We had a great time. However, I just have to get this off my chest. Our dining room head server pressured us to no end for an excellent rating. We didn't catch on at first that he was pushing for excellent on the comment card you fill out at the end of your cruise, but after a few nights of the pressure I remembered reading on here that someone else had the same problem. This, along with not being able to understand hardly anything he or the assistant server said really put a damper on our dining experience. This was our third DCL cruise, and the service on our prior two Disney cruises was way better. Let me note that we are not hard to please people, nor are we demanding. But it got to the point that we almost dreaded dinner because he hounded us so bad. "How is everything? Good. Good not good enough!! We need excellent!!" We went and dined one night at Cabana's, and breathed a sigh of relief, no pressure - it was great! Great servers, no pressure, we could understand them, and we received BETTER service than we did from our main servers! They even did card tricks and things with our son, which he didn't get from our main servers. I also didn't mention that there were empty tables around us, and we only noticed our servers waiting on one other table (two families seated there). So, how did we fill our our comment card you ask?! Lol! DH felt sorry for the servers (our head server told us a story of how he lost his 10 y.o. son in a car accident, etc.), so of course gave them excellent, even though the service was not excellent. DH's comment was "he has a family to support". Yes, I know, nothing will get resolved unless people tell the truth and speak up. Anyway, the rest of the cruise was wonderful - and we had the best room host ever!
Some servers push it more than others. I always tell them right off the bat that I will base my comment card on the service and I would prefer not to hear the "excellent" speech. In a nice way of course.

MJ
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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We were on the same cruise and much to our relief did not get the "excellent" speech once from any of our servers. Not even a mention of the comment cards!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mmouse37 View Post
Some servers push it more than others. I always tell them right off the bat that I will base my comment card on the service and I would prefer not to hear the "excellent" speech. In a nice way of course.

MJ
Same here. The first night, after the "we want excellents" speech, I say "OK, now we don't need to hear that again, thank you".

Our last 3 cruises, unlike our first, we didn't have very much of the "give us excellents" talk. I liked it.

There is a comment on the comment card (at least there was) about "Did you feel pressured to give all excellents?".
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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We didn't get the "Excellent" pressure on our first cruise but we sure did on our second on.

We wore the Silver castaway club lanyards to dinner every night, so the server was aware we were repeat cruisers. We also made it clear to the server that we were aware of the "Excellent" rating. He persisted every night with the "Excellent" speech. Yes, I noted it on the comment card at the end of the cruise.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaDisneyLover View Post
We were on the Fantasy Feb. 9-16, 2013 cruise. We had a great time. However, I just have to get this off my chest. Our dining room head server pressured us to no end for an excellent rating. We didn't catch on at first that he was pushing for excellent on the comment card you fill out at the end of your cruise, but after a few nights of the pressure I remembered reading on here that someone else had the same problem. This, along with not being able to understand hardly anything he or the assistant server said really put a damper on our dining experience. This was our third DCL cruise, and the service on our prior two Disney cruises was way better. Let me note that we are not hard to please people, nor are we demanding. But it got to the point that we almost dreaded dinner because he hounded us so bad. "How is everything? Good. Good not good enough!! We need excellent!!" We went and dined one night at Cabana's, and breathed a sigh of relief, no pressure - it was great! Great servers, no pressure, we could understand them, and we received BETTER service than we did from our main servers! They even did card tricks and things with our son, which he didn't get from our main servers. I also didn't mention that there were empty tables around us, and we only noticed our servers waiting on one other table (two families seated there). So, how did we fill our our comment card you ask?! Lol! DH felt sorry for the servers (our head server told us a story of how he lost his 10 y.o. son in a car accident, etc.), so of course gave them excellent, even though the service was not excellent. DH's comment was "he has a family to support". Yes, I know, nothing will get resolved unless people tell the truth and speak up. Anyway, the rest of the cruise was wonderful - and we had the best room host ever!
DCL is 100% at fault here for a dysfunctional system. The servers are penalized in different ways if they do not receive excellent ratings, so much so that the quality of their work environment depends on that rating. I feel so sorry for them, and I absolutely understand why they are compelled by this system to mention this to the guests.

Please don't anyone hold it against them - hold it against an employer (DCL) who is unreasonable in their demands and standards. I do not fault them for reminding me, gently, that they are held to unfair standards.

Shooting for perfection is a wonderful goal; punishing those who do not reach it is irrational and counterproductive.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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On the same cruise as well, and really didn't get this much either. But I also learned a trick after my first couple of curises, I tend to use the word excellent first, like when they ask how our day was, I say excellent. I throw it in enough times that they catch on very fast that I've heard the routine and know that they are trying to achieve and excellent on our comment card.

This seems to work really well, as we don't really get the excellent push at all.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:03 PM   #8
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On the same cruise as well, and really didn't get this much either. But I also learned a trick after my first couple of curises, I tend to use the word excellent first, like when they ask how our day was, I say excellent. I throw it in enough times that they catch on very fast that I've heard the routine and know that they are trying to achieve and excellent on our comment card.

This seems to work really well, as we don't really get the excellent push at all.

This is excellent!
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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It is great that the that Disney rewards with comments from the comment cards. Think of those comment cards that go unnoticed. With that said, you have some underachievers who want to ensure that you recognize them and rate them with Excellent.

I am very upfront from the very beginning with the head server. If I think that my requested medium-well steak was not cooked enough, or that my request baked potato was so cold that it would not melt the butter. From then on..... I will except only excellent service. If us as cruisers don't talk frankly with staff, things will cannot and will lot remain at an Excellent level.

After my complaint, I got my new steak and hot baked potato. From then on, they ensured I was satisfied each and every night. By the way, I rated our service on the last cruise as "Good".

Don't let a story from a CM and their life trump the thousands of $$$$$ they make on us. I tip generously and cruise often enough that I as well as you deserve outstanding service. There are plenty of good CM's and folks that desire to be CM's for us not to be fully satisfied with our service.
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2014 - 5 Cruises: 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Fantasy, 1-Magic
2013 - 7 Cruises (Grand Slam): 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Wonder (B2B)
2012 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 1-Dream (non-traditional B2B Fantasy/Dream)
2011 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 2-Dream
2010 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2009 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2003 - 1 Cruise: Wonder

Magic-7, Wonder-5, Dream-7, Fantasy-4:
3 Day Cruises = 4, 4 Day Cruise = 7, 7 Day Cruises = 10, 8 Day Cruises = 2, B2B Cruises = 4, Grand Slam (4 ships 1 year) = 1 (so far)

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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I am not a fan of the excellent speech either. The other new thing that i am not a fan of is the automatic gratuities. I believe that this will lead to not as good service over the long-term. I understand the reason why this was implemented! I think I've sat with table mates that have not tipped their servers. On the other hand, people don't like to get the excellent speech either, And it will cause some cruisers to score everyone and everything down if they get the excellent speech too much. Maybe the best way to evaluate servers would be to have DCL count up everyone's tips to see how they did for that cruise. You would assume that the better servers got more tips and the not as good servers and did not. DCL could then also monitor how many people are not tipping. That is probably a better measurement of how the server is really doing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabbit
I am not a fan of the excellent speech either. The other new thing that i am not a fan of is the automatic gratuities. I believe that this will lead to not as good service over the long-term. I understand the reason why this was implemented! I think I've sat with table mates that have not tipped their servers. On the other hand, people don't like to get the excellent speech either, And it will cause some cruisers to score everyone and everything down if they get the excellent speech too much. Maybe the best way to evaluate servers would be to have DCL count up everyone's tips to see how they did for that cruise. You would assume that the better servers got more tips and the not as good servers and did not. DCL could then also monitor how many people are not tipping. That is probably a better measurement of how the server is really doing.
Our family agrees about the automatic tipping. It really irks us that we are spending $20,000+ on a one week cruise and this is a charge that isn't disclosed when you sign up. DCL needs to pay their people better! Their suggested gratuity amounts are really out of line with other cruises.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jrabbit View Post
I am not a fan of the excellent speech either. The other new thing that i am not a fan of is the automatic gratuities. I believe that this will lead to not as good service over the long-term. I understand the reason why this was implemented! I think I've sat with table mates that have not tipped their servers. On the other hand, people don't like to get the excellent speech either, And it will cause some cruisers to score everyone and everything down if they get the excellent speech too much. Maybe the best way to evaluate servers would be to have DCL count up everyone's tips to see how they did for that cruise. You would assume that the better servers got more tips and the not as good servers and did not. DCL could then also monitor how many people are not tipping. That is probably a better measurement of how the server is really doing.
I think some of the issues that CM's have is that we just tend to go along with things. Most CM's want you to request something different. If you do, they figure they are finding away to be "Excellent". Takes the pressure off of them stating every single night about the excellent thing. I fully understand. By them recooking my steak (which I did not ask for), and getting a new potato, they started their excellent service.

Alot of times I think they keep pounding the excellent stuff, because they haven't done anything to deserve the rating. Ask for a cheese tray, ask for a mickey bar, ask for a baked potato instead of the sweet potato.

IMHO
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Total: 23 DCL Cruises / Total Nights on Board: 126 / Favorite Ship: Magic

2014 - 5 Cruises: 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Fantasy, 1-Magic
2013 - 7 Cruises (Grand Slam): 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Wonder (B2B)
2012 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 1-Dream (non-traditional B2B Fantasy/Dream)
2011 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 2-Dream
2010 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2009 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2003 - 1 Cruise: Wonder

Magic-7, Wonder-5, Dream-7, Fantasy-4:
3 Day Cruises = 4, 4 Day Cruise = 7, 7 Day Cruises = 10, 8 Day Cruises = 2, B2B Cruises = 4, Grand Slam (4 ships 1 year) = 1 (so far)

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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If the service isn't excellent I won't rate them excellent. No matter how many sob stories they have.

There is a space on the comment card that asks if you felt pressured to give certain ratings. Make sure you mark that. Apparently DCL knows it is a problem.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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Our server has been with DCL for 12 years so I saved him from giving the speech by gently letting him know that I was sure we were going to get excellent service within the first few minutes of our dining experience. He did not mention the word "excellent" the entire length of our 8 night cruise.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GoofyTwinDad View Post
Our server has been with DCL for 12 years so I saved him from giving the speech by gently letting him know that I was sure we were going to get excellent service within the first few minutes of our dining experience. He did not mention the word "excellent" the entire length of our 8 night cruise.
great!!!!
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Total: 23 DCL Cruises / Total Nights on Board: 126 / Favorite Ship: Magic

2014 - 5 Cruises: 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Fantasy, 1-Magic
2013 - 7 Cruises (Grand Slam): 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Wonder (B2B)
2012 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 1-Dream (non-traditional B2B Fantasy/Dream)
2011 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 2-Dream
2010 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2009 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2003 - 1 Cruise: Wonder

Magic-7, Wonder-5, Dream-7, Fantasy-4:
3 Day Cruises = 4, 4 Day Cruise = 7, 7 Day Cruises = 10, 8 Day Cruises = 2, B2B Cruises = 4, Grand Slam (4 ships 1 year) = 1 (so far)

Upcoming Cruises:
(24) 7 Night Fantasy - 10 Hawaii - Disney Wonder 2015
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