A Modest Proposal: Eliminate the Wine Stewards

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#1
3,672 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Wine steward ignoring you? Do you not get your wine until the main course is served? Is the wine steward never around to refill your glass?

My modest proposal is to eliminate the wine stewards. Instead, guests would select a bottle from coolers as they enter the dining room. It would be like buying bottled water when leaving for a shore excursion, no muss, no fuss, and an easy 15% gratuity for staff. There might even be an automat type cooler that allows you to select your bottle with your key card. A dining steward would plunk the bottle in an ice bucket and carry it to your table and seat you. The ice bucket would have a self service cork screw attached by a length of chain for bottles without screw tops. Open the bottle and serve yourself just as you would at home.

Eliminate the wine steward with the towel over his arm that ignores you anyway. Eliminate the bottle opening theater, the cradled bottle presented for viewing, the first small pour, the gentleman's swirl, sniff and sip and the wine steward's hopeful look that the guest will find the vintage acceptable. Eliminate the wine steward and put staff to more productive use.
#3
81,742 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
We enjoy having wine steward take care of us. We prefer having service while on vacation than self-serve. To date, we've been fortunate to have had good wine stewards who provide the service we seek. I understand not everyone has been so 'fortunate'.

But no...... I don't want to take a bottle from a 'cooler' when we enter the MDR. I want a wine list, proper glasses placed on the table and the wine steward pouring.

But no one needs to agree with me.
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#4
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,547 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Since we mostly cruise on Princess , they don't have wine stewards . The table stewards deal with bring and pouring the wine for you. But if there was a wine steward I would probably like the assistance.
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#5
SoCal
9,645 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by sail7seas
We enjoy having wine steward take care of us. We prefer having service while on vacation than self-serve. To date, we've been fortunate to have had good wine stewards who provide the service we seek. I understand not everyone has been so 'fortunate'.

But no...... I don't want to take a bottle from a 'cooler' when we enter the MDR. I want a wine list, proper glasses placed on the table and the wine steward pouring.

But no one needs to agree with me.
I agree with you. But we don't drink wine. Every night the wine steward would come around and make sure we still didn't want any wine. And our other beverage services were great.
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DCLHAL CarnivalPrincess Vantage
19 Cruises, 11 ships, 194 nights

#6
1,499 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
It's formerly called the Automat

Yes...great idea for those who haven't the strength to dress for the dining room

Just show up in crocs and sweatpants,Reach in, grab a ham and cheese on rye,and a bottle of two buck chuck and you're good to go. No wine stewards or waiters and no worries of tipping extra


I'm sure there are some that are salivating for this.
#7
81,742 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by whogo
Wine steward ignoring you? Do you not get your wine until the main course is served? Is the wine steward never around to refill your glass?

My modest proposal is to eliminate the wine stewards. Instead, guests would select a bottle from coolers as they enter the dining room. It would be like buying bottled water when leaving for a shore excursion, no muss, no fuss, and an easy 15% gratuity for staff. There might even be an automat type cooler that allows you to select your bottle with your key card. A dining steward would plunk the bottle in an ice bucket and carry it to your table and seat you. The ice bucket would have a self service cork screw attached by a length of chain for bottles without screw tops. Open the bottle and serve yourself just as you would at home.

Eliminate the wine steward with the towel over his arm that ignores you anyway. Eliminate the bottle opening theater, the cradled bottle presented for viewing, the first small pour, the gentleman's swirl, sniff and sip and the wine steward's hopeful look that the guest will find the vintage acceptable. Eliminate the wine steward and put staff to more productive use.

How many different choices of wine would you offer?
You seem to be concentrating on white wines seeing you are chilling them.

Will you have one [white] and one [red]? Or will we have a large selection? People are already complaining about the wine selection HAL offers. With your plan, where would there be room to set out a large selection of bottles and can you imagine the congestion as people attempt to enter the dining room each evening? Whoa...... talk about a herd!!!

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#9
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Kamloops50
Since we mostly cruise on Princess , they don't have wine stewards . The table stewards deal with bring and pouring the wine for you. But if there was a wine steward I would probably like the assistance.
.....and they are way more efficient than Hal is as well.
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#10
81,742 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by cruz chic
I'm assuming the OP is kidding.

That did occur to me but .........
But, Maybe not?

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#12
San Mateo, California
5,409 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I don't really need a wine steward, the waiter does just fine on Princess. I suspect the problem is the wine stewards spend most of their time selling the over priced wines.
#13
Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
112 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
I have to admit we've had some lousy service from the wine stewards just about every cruise we've ever taken with HAL, and we're extremely close to celebrating our Four Star status. We generally only stay in full suites, and usually buy wine packages before boarding, but even so, absolutely have to beg the steward to come to our table. We have two cruises booked for the very near future, and can only hope we won't experience the same. Nothing upsets me more on the first night than for the wine steward to finally get around to my table while I'm having my entrée, especially after first requesting from my waiter that I'd like to see the wine steward. Who wants wine then!!! By the time the bottle arrives, I'm ready for dessert and coffee!!
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Nancy
#14
3,672 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by sail7seas
How many different choices of wine would you offer?
You seem to be concentrating on white wines seeing you are chilling them.

Will you have one [white] and one [red]? Or will we have a large selection? People are already complaining about the wine selection HAL offers. With your plan, where would there be room to set out a large selection of bottles and can you imagine the congestion as people attempt to enter the dining room each evening? Whoa...... talk about a herd!!!

Holland America could offer as many as they could display, perhaps a wider selection than they currently do, including some local European wines that cruisers seem to crave.

Guests could select and open red wines well in advance and allow them to breathe.

No need for congestion, the wines could be displayed at some distance and carried to the main dining room or Lido or back to the cabin. The selection process would not delay your fellow diner's meals. If the service is lousy you have no one but yourself to blame. The modest proposal is sounding better and better.
#16
Peoples Republic of Illinois
2,084 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by sail7seas
How many different choices of wine would you offer?
You seem to be concentrating on white wines seeing you are chilling them.

Will you have one [white] and one [red]? Or will we have a large selection? People are already complaining about the wine selection HAL offers. With your plan, where would there be room to set out a large selection of bottles and can you imagine the congestion as people attempt to enter the dining room each evening? Whoa...... talk about a herd!!!

HAL could turn the Neptune Lounge into the "Wineatorium" where passengers could pick up their favorite swill on their way to the MDR. This could work!!
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Rich
#17
Australia
2,757 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
We saw one wine waiter on our last cruise just empty the wine buckets onto the floor. She was too lazy to empty the contents into a container to pour down the sink. Not very hygienic at all!
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#18
106,572 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I can vision a massive back-up of people coming into the dining room, some standing in front of these "coolers" blocking the path for others trying to get to their tables.

And you thought service was bad in the dinner room before?
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#19
Sydney Australia
1,005 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
It would be good to have it as we do in Sydney at many places; bring your own wine if you want and be responsible for it. Our wine is nearly all screw top, not cork, so we open it ourselves. There would need to be a wine shop, I suppose. Then they who want could order off the drinks menu.
#20
New Brunswick, Canada
9,585 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
My husband doesn't like wine so my bottle that I would now be grabbing on the way into the dining room would only have a glass and a half missing from it after dinner. What would you envision re storage and delivery of unfinished bottles? Another pick-up station?? I can see arguments over picking up the wrong bottle and another area of congestion.

Why not eliminate waiters too and have people line up to receive their dinners after they choose their bottle of wine? Oh wait, they already have that set-up and call it the Lido. We certainly don't need two Lidos do we?

There is a difference between chowing down and dining. Let's keep the choice in place.