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Old 03-08-2013, 01:09 AM   #46
justmestace



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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy

No, not just DCL, every cruise line we have been on in the past 33 years has the servers under pressure to get excellent ratings. While these ship staff work crazy hours for poor pay by our standards, their are thousands of people who wait years for an opening. Working on a cruise ship is a high paying, highly sought after job for people from other nations such as Indonesia.
We do something similar to what others have posted. The first night we make it clear that we will tell the wait staff the second something is anything less than excellent, and they don't need to remind us. The only issue we ever had was on DCL, a drunk assistant server......and our server alerted the Head Server to the situation before we were even aware of it. The Head Server was our assistant server for the rest of that evening.
We've cruised on NCL and Carnival, and have never been given a comment card or a speech from the servers. Our on Princess cruise was too long ago to remember if they did or didn't.

But on DCL, I do something similar to what you do....I tell them on the first night that I'll leave excellent marks for them, only if they never mention it to me again.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:45 AM   #47
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I can understand where the servers are coming from and if they are just using the word excellent such as "How was your day? Was it excellent?" Or "Are you finding your meal excellent tonight? Might I fix it if it is not?" I would have no problem with that. However if they start giving me some sob story about how they have kids or are over worked etc then they have over stepped the line. I work for Disney and "personal" issues are suppose to be left at home. Now this isn't to say we aren't encourage to share about our family or kids but say my grandpa died 2 months ago well that isn't something I should share with the guest unless they ask specifically about my grandfather. I'm going on a cruise to forget about my hard overworked life for a little bit so I don't need to hear a sob story about theirs.

As others have said if you want me to mark down excellent achieve excellent. Don't give me anything to dock you for. As a server be attentive, never assume, and if my order is delivered wrong then correct the situation in a timely fashion. I put the never assume because it bothers the DBF and I that every time we go out and he orders a salad and I order a stake the waiter 9 times out of 10 will give me the salad and him the steak. Also happens often with our beverages since he drinks diet and I do not. The diet bothers me the most because the artificial sweeteners will leave an after taste which makes it hard to enjoy dinner after wards. If a server does their job correctly I'll put the highest mark on the card.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:00 AM   #48
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This is going to be our 5th Disney Cruise this May. And I have to say that the quality of the food and some of the service has gone down since we started going. Don't get me wrong, there are some things on the ship that are the best things I have ever eaten. But there are some nights where I can hardley find something to eat and I have to order from something I had another night..
The speech gets annoying. Glad I found some of the comments. Im going to try some of the suggestions before they even get started.

The biggest thing that I have to complain about is the automatic tipping. There are some days that I don't eat in the restaurant. Why do I have to tip for those days? As soon as I check in, I go straight to the desk and change it so that I do the tipping.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:25 AM   #49
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Wink A Bit Of Honesty is the Best Policy

Hi there,

Like many here who have cruised on the various ships we too have been given the Excellent speech and I dont find offensive, however I do ask that they earn the excellent and if they dont, they dont!

For instance on a Med cruise in 2010 we had a server named "Okim" and an assistant name "Clo", what a great pairing not just a laugh but we enjoyed lovely tablemates and the service was excellent. They really did earn it and work so well, like an old married couple, however they had only just started as pairing. I could go on and on about great service we have received, as I am sure we all could.

On the down side, on the WBTA in 2010 we had shocking service from Gabriella and Rajesh. It was the worst ever and ended with my sister being given a food that made her badly ill, an allergy thing which they knew about and on the last meal presented a big special chocolate pudding, we checked it was safe? "Of course" they said, and then the pains started. Overall we only counted 2 occasions on the 14 nights that the meals were brought as ordered and never did we have them delived at the same time, and we are not in anyway fussy. Being in the military taught me too eat what comes. The head server ask us about the excellent service, we laughed in his face, as he tried to deliver an excellent speech having told our servers off at least 3 times during the voyage.

Just be up front and tell them if you want an excellent then earn it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:31 AM   #50
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We did not have excellent service on our cruise a few weeks ago. Infact on both our Disney cruises I would rate the service as good to poor. We have cruised Royal Caribbean and Carnival and received excellant service on those.

What do I think ranks as excellent A friendly greeting each night when we sit down, intrest in how we are enjoying the cruise, and salad dressing and or pepper as soon as our table is served not when our food is half gone. On the Wonder a few weeks ago we had none of this. In their defense they always seemed to be working.

As far as the speech on the last night when we gave him the tip envelope (just the prepayed tips, on Royal Caribbean and Carnival we gave extra because they deserved it) he did explain that the review cards were important for his and his assistants careers. We actually got a more high pressured speech from one of our Royal Caribbean servers.

I feel that it is sad that they need to get an excellent rating. I feel that to answer comment cards fairly you cannot give everyone excellent or excellent loses its meaning.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #51
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We have RARELY had any issues with service or dinner. The few times...a gentle word to the waiters produced wonders. They work so hard, and seem to genuinely want to please us. We treat them with a lot of respect, don't ask for special things that would take them a lot of time, and always ask how THEIR day was. Guests probably have the experience they expect to have, and we have had a ball every single time.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:31 AM   #52
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Sorry so many have to endure the "excellent" speech - we heard it a bit on our Jan 2012 cruise but it was more of a "plea" than a "push" and they did try hard to make good on it.
Last week on the Fantasy, we didn't hear it at all but had nearly perfect service from Marlon and Cristian (Head Server Ali). If I recall, I had to pour myself a glass of wine one time over the seven days and waited 30 seconds for a water refill another time. Those guys were on their game and we received truly excellent service! Even the lunch and Cabana's staff were a notch above (reflective of a management team that appears to be managing well).
As far as the tipping issue goes, I can't agree that it's not obvious to everyone when you book that they'll be adding the suggested gratuity (that you have the option of pre-paying). We pre-paid last year and adjusted on the last night. We didn't pre-pay this year and adjusted the suggested gratutity on the last night.
I also can't agree that Disney could just monitor the amount of tip as an indicator of how the staff is doing. Different cultures don't follow the same "rules" for tipping and some people simply don't have the means to tip as generously as others. It may give Disney an idea but it could be very misleading. I think the suggested gratuity is their way of saying "I don't care where you're from, this is 'normal' around here." Also, if you were going to give "15%," what is it based on since there's no pricing on the menus?
The comment cards are anonymous so you can rate the service as you like and add your displeasure with the "excellent speech" if you were offended by it.
It's rare that I gush about service (usually because it's less than excellent) but my wife and I made a point of being sure Ali knew what a great, er, excellent job Marlon and Cristian (and all the other staff) did.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:36 AM   #53
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I refuse to leave a top rating when the service was far from it. What's the point if you are being bullied into scoring everyone as excellent, whether on the ship or in a store? That means nothing. Three cruises ago our host was the worst EVER. Two nights the bunk wasn't down until after the late show. Both times we were going to call if it wasn't prepared for DD to go to bed after the show, to find the room was finally prepared. When I turned in our tip form at GS, the CM asked if there was a problem. The host's tip was half the recommended, while the others were above. It was a hassle to have her show up during the day because when we would return to the room after lunch she still hadn't been there. On day 5 DS said that when he went back to the room to work on some schoolwork there were a bunch of officers in the hallway outside of our room. Apparently there had been many complaints even without ours and they were inspecting the rooms to see what had been done at that time of the day. We didn't even see our host until the 5th day. The CM told me that the host was new to DCL and was very homesick. The job isn't for everyone. You need to keep that part of your life backstage.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:38 AM   #54
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Regarding tipping when you don't go to the MDR, that tip doesn't just cover your dinner service. It also takes care of your breakfast and lunch as well, which is served by the same CMs who work in the MDRs in the evening.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:19 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DH6230 View Post
We went on a cruise in February 2012 and the tips weren't automatic. When went on a cruise in February 2013 and it was automatic on your room charges. So I would say just in the last year.
You can, however, remove or change the amounts at Guest Services.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoHabsGo View Post
Sorry so many have to endure the "excellent" speech - we heard it a bit on our Jan 2012 cruise but it was more of a "plea" than a "push" and they did try hard to make good on it.
Last week on the Fantasy, we didn't hear it at all but had nearly perfect service from Marlon and Cristian (Head Server Ali). If I recall, I had to pour myself a glass of wine one time over the seven days and waited 30 seconds for a water refill another time. Those guys were on their game and we received truly excellent service! Even the lunch and Cabana's staff were a notch above (reflective of a management team that appears to be managing well).
As far as the tipping issue goes, I can't agree that it's not obvious to everyone when you book that they'll be adding the suggested gratuity (that you have the option of pre-paying). We pre-paid last year and adjusted on the last night. We didn't pre-pay this year and adjusted the suggested gratutity on the last night.
I also can't agree that Disney could just monitor the amount of tip as an indicator of how the staff is doing. Different cultures don't follow the same "rules" for tipping and some people simply don't have the means to tip as generously as others. It may give Disney an idea but it could be very misleading. I think the suggested gratuity is their way of saying "I don't care where you're from, this is 'normal' around here." Also, if you were going to give "15%," what is it based on since there's no pricing on the menus?
The comment cards are anonymous so you can rate the service as you like and add your displeasure with the "excellent speech" if you were offended by it.
It's rare that I gush about service (usually because it's less than excellent) but my wife and I made a point of being sure Ali knew what a great, er, excellent job Marlon and Cristian (and all the other staff) did.
We just had these three also and I had to really think about if they ever mentioned excellent. They did mention the comment cards at the end and they always ask if there was anything they could do to improve and if there was any problems.

Ali came to our table every night. He made sure we were very happy. On nights we went to Palo they asked if we had any problems.

Our table mates had a child who was very allergic and the team made sure everything was always proper.

This family told us how they never go out to eat because of the risk and even brought a weeks worth of food for their son. After talking with the chefs it was not a issue and they were so happy and relaxed they had a great time. Even letting the son stay in kids clubs for a extended time which they had never done in the past!

Sometimes your servers maybe helping a family like that and it may take away from your service a little.

If $12 per day for tips is to much then maybe cruising isn't for you? These people work hard and long days.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:22 PM   #57
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We were pressured as well - on the Magic. It was very annoying and really made me uncomfortable especially since neither the service or the food were excellent. Since Disney does ask on the comment cards if you were pressured to say excellent then they obviously know this is widespread. Maybe the crew should be instructed NOT to mention it at all.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:32 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KashasMom View Post
We were pressured as well - on the Magic. It was very annoying and really made me uncomfortable especially since neither the service or the food were excellent. Since Disney does ask on the comment cards if you were pressured to say excellent then they obviously know this is widespread. Maybe the crew should be instructed NOT to mention it at all.
I agree - too many people are uncomfortable with the "excellent" references that seem to be spoken frequently during the cruise. I think the crew should not mention it at all.

At the same time, DCL should be instructed to quit forcing them to do so by punishing them if even a single guest marks anything but excellent.

I know why they do it, and that's life. Certainly doesn't hurt my experience! The other 99.9% of the time they are hustling to make our evening meal a pleasure.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by over50visits View Post
I agree - too many people are uncomfortable with the "excellent" references that seem to be spoken frequently during the cruise. I think the crew should not mention it at all.

At the same time, DCL should be instructed to quit forcing them to do so by punishing them if even a single guest marks anything but excellent.
Who should instruct DCL to do this?
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #60
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I have a recommended solution, of course. The cruise director could on the first night talk about expected conduct and efficiency of CM's. Let everyone know that DCL holds each CM accountable for their performance. Also that DCL provides us the ability to reference EXCELLENT service at the end of our cruise by providing us a comment card which management reads.

Then on the last night, remind us to complete as they always do. The rest should be on us. I do not have someone from one of the gift shops ask "did I provide excellent service", by the way we rate them also.

It's funny, there are numerous questions on the survey, very few pertain to dining room service and their food quality.

Then the dining room staff could be told by head servers to stop talking about the issue.
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2014 - 3 Cruises: 2-Dream (B2B), 1-Fantasy
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

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