Server Pressure for "Excellent"

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by DakotaDisneyLover, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. DakotaDisneyLover

    DakotaDisneyLover Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2009
    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. :rolleyes: Anyway, the rest of the cruise was wonderful - and we had the best room host ever!
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  3. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

    Jun 29, 2001
    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.

  4. Scillycruisers

    Scillycruisers Mouseketeer

    Jan 21, 2011
    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!!
  5. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    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?".
  6. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

    Sep 10, 2005
    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.
  7. over50visits

    over50visits DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2004
    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.
  8. allears

    allears "If I were not upon the sea..." I'd want to be!

    Jul 20, 2002
    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.
  9. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011

    This is excellent! :idea:
  10. Justacruiser

    Justacruiser Military Veteran

    Aug 29, 2011
    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.
  11. jrabbit

    jrabbit DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2002
    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.
  12. elliemilo

    elliemilo Earning My Ears

    Feb 8, 2012
    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.
  13. Justacruiser

    Justacruiser Military Veteran

    Aug 29, 2011
    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.

  14. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

    Jun 22, 2001
    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.
  15. GoofyTwinDad

    GoofyTwinDad Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2011
    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.
  16. Justacruiser

    Justacruiser Military Veteran

    Aug 29, 2011
  17. policycobb

    policycobb DIS Veteran

    Mar 6, 2008
    Thanks, I hope I remember to do this in October.
  18. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 2005
    We were pushed to give an excellent rating on our first Wonder cruise -- and did note on the comment card that we were pushed to do so and that we did not appreciate that.

    On our second Wonder cruise, our servers didn't mention it at all, I believe. (and they had 4 extra nights to do so).

    I do think that it changes server by server. But I also agree with the pp who said that DCL is at fault for pushing them to have excellent ratings.

    Franky, having to listen to the "excellent" speech each night can turn an otherwise excellent experience into an uncomfortable or unenjoyable one.:confused3
  19. RGLakatos

    RGLakatos Mouseketeer

    Feb 5, 2013
    Hello Everyone!

    I can tell you this much, I am going on a first cruise with my daughter in July. And if I get a "excellence speech" I will notate it on the card and not give them an excellent rating.

    I can honestly sympathize with what an employee has to go through because of their employer. However, I am not going to be sympathetic if I do not receive excellent service--if I don't get excellent service than I will not give them an excellent rating simply because I fell sorry for what they must endure from DCL. If they want an excellent rating they should provide excellent service without a speech and if they cannot provide an excellent service than there are plenty of others in the world that will be glad to take their place and provide the excellent service that people who cruise deserve and pay for at a premium price.

    We didn't pick Disney because it is Disney. We picked DCL because Disney keeps themselves at a higher standard; much more than most other industries do and since I am paying for excellence I want excellence--not going to be sympathetic for anything less or because of a speech!
  20. darkwing818

    darkwing818 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    I guess we are just lucky :yay:, but after 9 cruises, I can truly say we have never received the "Excellent Speech". The most we've gotten is how was the food we ordered, was it prepared correctly etc. but that's about it. We have always had Very Good to Excellent MDR servers on all 4 ships. Again sounds like we have been lucky. :dance3:
  21. wallawallakids

    wallawallakids DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2012
    This is great!

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