Disappointing Cabin Steward

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#1
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
879 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Just back from the Carnival Dream and had the most disappointing cabin steward. Been on many cruises - so have a frame of comparison. Nothing was that big of a deal- but thr culmination of the whole weeks experience is disappointing. For one- we never met any of them the entire week. We additionally never even saw any team member in the hall the whole week. We were on Deck 11 a spa balcony- so it was an abbreviated hallway- but still to never even lay eyes on anyone from the house-keeping team is odd to me. The room was serviced daily - but some little things that annoyed- one port morning- no fresh towels left the night before for our early shore excursion. We had to scamper and call all over the ship to get towels to take with us to our beach day. No lights left on at night. I'm used to the little bed side lamps being turned on as part of the turn down service. As week went on- constantly coming back to a pitch black cabin every night was an annoyance. We didn't even receive service the last night aboard which has never happened.

Again nothing that bad- but the whole experience was under-whelming. I'm hoping it was just the luck of the draw as we have always had fantastic cabin stewards and not another cutback.
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#2
Mainer in Florida
4,712 Posts
Joined May 2000
I don't mind the invisible room steward, as long as the job is done. For little things, like leaving the light on, I'd leave a note requesting so. The missing towels would surely be an inconvenience, but did you try calling your room steward at the time?
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#4
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
879 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Of course. Left a message. Towel hut wasn't open yet as it was an early port of call. Again I'm not "whining". - we had a great cruise. We cruise often- so it's interesting to compare- this was an obvious change from what we are used to and just has me wondering if it was isolated to the Dream or a growing trend.
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259 Days at Sea: Carnivale 5/93; Carnival Paradise 7/99; mm Carnival Triumph 10/99; Carnival Elation 7/00; Carnival Victory 8/00; Tropicale 10/00; Celebrity Century 8/01; Carnival Miracle 5/04; Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas 10/04; Carnival Glory 10/05; Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas 5/06; Carnival Victory 6/06; Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seahs 8/06; Carnival Victory 6/07; Carnival Liberty 9/07; Carnival Valor 4/08; Carnival Imagination 9/08; Carnival Splendor 11/08 B2B; Carnival Pride 8/09; Carnival Inspiration 7/10; Carnival Dream 8/10; Carnival Glory 10/10; Carnival Pride 4/11; Carnival Miracle 1/12; Carnival Spirit 4/12; Carnival Magic 7/12; Carnival Destiny 9/12; Carnival Freedom 4/13; Carnival Pride 8/13; Carnival Glory 10/13; Carnival Sunshine 11/13; Carnival Breeze 9/14; Carnival Sensation 10/14; Carnival Splendor 5/15; Carnival Ecstasy 6/15; Carnival Pride 8/15; Carnival Dream 9/15; Carnival Splendor 10/15; Carnival Conquest 11/15; Carnival Breeze 2/16; Carnival Splendor 3/16; Carnival Magic 5/16; Carnival Fantasy 6/16; Carnival Vista 8/16; Royal Princess 10/16; Carnival Glory 12/16; Carnival Liberty 12/16
#5
Lawrenceville, GA
321 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I don't think it was a cutback. I believe your cabin steward was either super busy or just not that good. I enjoy meeting my steward(s). I don't think you are whining. It was just a disappointment.
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Past Cruises:
July 1982: Emerald of the Seas
June 2009: Carnival Fascination
June 2011: Royal Caribbean, Freedom of the Seas
June 8, 2013: Carnival Dream
May 30, 2014: Carnival Sunshine (review) http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2054731
June 12, 2015: Royal Caribbean, Radiance of the Seas (Alaska Bound) (mini review) http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2225181
June 4, 2016: Carnival Magic
#6
South Carolina
26,095 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
It happens! Some cabin stewards are better than others ....
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#7
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,544 Posts
Joined May 2001
I prefer not seeing the attendant....as long as my cabin is clean, I'm happy. Perhaps there were no clean pool towels the evening they didn't leave them for you...stuff happens! After the 1st night, I would have turned on a bedside lamp myself before leaving for dinner!
#8
St. Cloud, Fl
10,442 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Some people cruise with preconceived notions of what it will be and times it will be, but let the game plan fall short of expectations, they complain. I can flip my own light switch, I can see ahead and grab towels for the next day( just in case ), I'm okay if I don't see my steward, but it does seem odd when I don't. Most stewards manage at least a quick hello on embarkation day.
#9
so. cal.
3,534 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by RuthlessBoss
Some people cruise with preconceived notions of what it will be and times it will be, but let the game plan fall short of expectations, they complain. I can flip my own light switch, I can see ahead and grab towels for the next day( just in case ), I'm okay if I don't see my steward, but it does seem odd when I don't. Most stewards manage at least a quick hello on embarkation day.

Really. Come on I have never thought once oh gee maybe I should grab some towels just in case my steward does not bring me any.
#10
San Diego
6,941 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We don't require a lot of service from the cabin steward.
Despite that, we have never been on a cruise where we didn't meet the steward or an assistant to the steward.
I don't think I'd go through a whole cruise without making a point to see who they are. We find that taking the time to know the crew and to remember their names just as they remember ours, makes life on board just a bit more pleasant!

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#11
New Brunswick Canada
1,809 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I understand. While we have never been really disappointed in a steward, some have certainly been better than others. This fall our stewards were awesome.
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#12
South Carolina
26,095 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by RuthlessBoss
Most stewards manage at least a quick hello on embarkation day.
This is true. They need to stop by to see if you will be needing any additional things like extra towels, etc.

LuLu
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#13
Illinois
3,715 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I honestly don't mind not seeing our steward either. We have had it both ways. We have had wonderful stewards that we bump into all the time, and then others that we never see. I think when you have ATD it takes them a little while to figure out your habits and when you will be in the room in the evening and when you like to go to dinner, so you may see them more often. We saw ours less when we had set dining. They always came when they knew we were at dinner.

As far as the other little things, obviously they are very busy. And although I am not giving that as an excuse that can easily overwhelm someone who is new or not as good or polished at their job. Especially with the lights, if that was happening every day and bothering you, I would have had no problem leaving a note!
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#14
Western US
1,340 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Did they leave you no towels or just "extra" beach towels. Did they take the old used ones left on the floor? A little confused since its not acceptable behavior to take bathroom towels off the ship.
#15
0ttawa ON Canada
6,092 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Yes sometimes they do disappoint! In all my 6 Carnival cruises, I have had one who did her job, but was invisibile until I ran out of the door hangers for room service breakfast, so I called housekeeping, and not long after she appeared at the door, handed me two, but said not a word, not a smile, nothing, and really no big deal. Also, I had seen her in the hallways, but she never made eye contact nor acknowledged me, again no big deal, but after having some really great stewards, you do notice these things.

Another time on the Freedom in 2010, the steward, actually the assistant, did his job, but could not fathom, nor understand that I needed/wanted an ice bucket with ice at turn down. (first time on Carnival that I encountered this). And I know that this was about the time that Carnival started phasing out the ice bucket service (unless you request it). it took a few calls to housekeeping to get that worked out, but finally, things were good.

Last November, again on the Freedom, had the best room steward ever! and two not so good out of 6 are good odds to me. None of them were terrible though.
#16
10,410 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by shortstop95
Just back from the Carnival Dream and had the most disappointing cabin steward. Been on many cruises - so have a frame of comparison. Nothing was that big of a deal- but thr culmination of the whole weeks experience is disappointing. For one- we never met any of them the entire week. We additionally never even saw any team member in the hall the whole week. We were on Deck 11 a spa balcony- so it was an abbreviated hallway- but still to never even lay eyes on anyone from the house-keeping team is odd to me. The room was serviced daily - but some little things that annoyed- one port morning- no fresh towels left the night before for our early shore excursion. We had to scamper and call all over the ship to get towels to take with us to our beach day. No lights left on at night. I'm used to the little bed side lamps being turned on as part of the turn down service. As week went on- constantly coming back to a pitch black cabin every night was an annoyance. We didn't even receive service the last night aboard which has never happened.

Again nothing that bad- but the whole experience was under-whelming. I'm hoping it was just the luck of the draw as we have always had fantastic cabin stewards and not another cutback.
OP, I am with you on this one. You pay $12pp a day for good service. Not all of it goes to the room steward but he gets his share.

As far as the lights go, that would not bother me, I do believe that when we were on the Breeze you had to have your S and S card in a slot for the lights to work even. At least, that is the ship I think it was.

I would not have been happy about the towels for your excursion and would have called the steward.

No service on the last night, I would say that he figured you hadn't complained so far so he figured he would get by with what he could.

Our last room steward on Princess left a lot to be desired. Yes he was busy but I kept having to ask for ice, or call room service. We were on a b2b and on turn around day he didn't even service our room, not once. But come the last night he left chocolates on the bed with an empty envelope. Really? I left that envelope laying empty on the desk when we left. He did nothing to deserve extra.
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#17
Westchester, NY
6,323 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by OCruisers
This is true. They need to stop by to see if you will be needing any additional things like extra towels, etc.

LuLu
It is a plus by Carnival standards in their post cruise survey if the cabin steward introduces him/her self to you on the first day of the cruise. He/she can then call me by name as the cruise progresses, another Carnival survey question.

I use the opportunity to tell the steward what dining time I have and not to leave any towel animals.

As for lights, I always find that the bathroom light has been left on, even if the door is closed??????
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#18
Western US
1,340 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Trust me to never notice what lights are left on during evening turn down...guess getting back to the room well after midnight dims my sensory perceptions. I've always met my cabin steward, guess I've just been lucky. Haven't ever had a steward leave a last night envelope either since automatic tipping. And if I need ice or towels or "something" I first call my steward, if no answer I just call housekeeping. Always had pretty fast response. But sometimes I just hike up to the Lido deck and fill my ice container from the buffet area if I'm in a real hurry.
#19
United States
226 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
With a lot of trends towards going "green" (for both environmental and financial reasons), the light thing seems just normal to me. It seems like the least wasteful should be the default with that and that if you wanted them on to ask or leave them on. But the no service the last night and the towels not replaced seems pretty "meh" yes.

Honestly, I think it's nice in theory that Carnival stewards introduce themselves BUT I am really a huge fan of a good ghost steward. I've had stewards who talked too much and were TOO friendly/in my face too (I never held it against them as I figured they were trying to do their absolute best). I bring Post-its and leave notes, though. If you follow my notes, I'm happiest. But I get a little bit of anxiety talking to people sometimes for service reasons (fine talking to people normally, but like ordering a pizza over the phone or standing at a register or talking to a steward = anxiety).
#20
St. Cloud, Fl
10,442 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by boaterette
Really. Come on I have never thought once oh gee maybe I should grab some towels just in case my steward does not bring me any.
Maybe you should think ahead too. You'd not have to think again about needing beach towels instead of trying to get some. You'd be assured you had them. So simple.