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About rattanchair

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  1. According to online industry trade information., they report how much crew members actually receive. The daily service charge accounts for 85.7% of the crew members daily guaranteed daily rate of $40 / day should 50 % of the passengers opt out of the service charge, it leaves the cruise line to make up the difference. Example: Daily guaranteed rate of $40 x 7 day cruise =$280. 1000 passengers x $12 DSC x 7 days / 350 eligible crew = $240 and the cruise line has to make up the $40 to pay them their guaranteed $280. The cruise lines use all the DSC to cover the crew salary. If more passengers pay the DSC, the crew get it in addition to their guaranteed salary which is low to begin with. But what do 50% of the non-paying DSC passengers care as long as their lobster and filet mignon are done to their liking.... "Let them eat 'rice' !' Now, let us not 'lose our heads' over this.
  2. I understand complaining about a cabin. Now I scour the CC for cabin reviews having chosen a noisy one that woke me up from the pool deck above for the week. Went to guest services and asked for a comment card in advance, wrote a quick compliment about my concierge and steward, naming them and how exceptional I thought they were, and followed up with my complaint with my cabin location and the noise at 5 am every morning coming from above, and that I could never stay on this floor again. Perhaps, because it was the first comment card of the cruise, I got an immediate response, a letter of apology with a voucher for $300pp off a future booking. Another passenger got the same response only he got a voucher for $400pp off a future cruise. I know this because he got my voucher and I got his. The vouchers had our names on them and I took the time to read. I was thrilled with his $800 until I got back mine for $600. C'est la vie ! I did not go back to guest services and try to get my extra $200. I told myself he must have paid more for his cabin than I did. Hey, I had to tell myself something ! I never would complain about service and try to get someone in 'hot water' with their superior. It is not worth it. Animosities can be easily generated and one could 'snap' under the strain. A day may come when human service providers are replaced by AI robots, but until that day a word of caution on how we all treat those we come in contact with. What happens at sea has a way of staying at sea and events are not always reported and are covered up by the cruise lines. One seldom hears or reads about fights, assaults, rapes, suicides, poisonings etc happening at sea, after all the cruise lines want us all to believe the world at sea is Fantasyland. In an emergency situation do you want your seat in the lifeboat depending on someone you just 'ragged on'?
  3. Where is your compassion? If I do not get the service, I do not tip extra. I do not write letters, go to head butlers or concierges to voice my complaint. I start out NOT expecting anything, so I am never disappointed. I never, ever, want to add to anyone's trials and tribulations while I exist on this plane of existence. I am very aware of the plight of these third world domestics, having cruised 40 years. Some have jumped overboard to end it all. Empathy is lacking on the CC boards.
  4. I quite enjoy traveling on a ship like MSC. It has a yacht club of about 250 passengers segregated from the other 5000 passengers with separate dining, lounge with live music, sun deck with bar and grill and more staff to accommodate us. I also find that the more Europeons on board in the yacht club the better service I tend to get. It is Chaucer's " familiarity breeds contempt" on the part of some butlers and staff, when it comes to certain passengers.
  5. Why should there ever be a cap on how much an enterprising soul tries to earn to send home to feed his impoverished family? P.S. Trying to keep a brother down !
  6. Besides acknowledging great butlers, and those not so great; I use the CC to find out which cabins are the worst and which to avoid. I would only know this from 'critics' who 'expose' the problem cabin and the problems they encountered. Perhaps Management needs to read it here. My comment cards, letters to the cruise lines have all gone unacknowledged. This forum is for all aspects of the cruise industry ' including staff performance. The staff member should be put on notice and perhaps subsequent comment cards, letters and CC postings will reflect to management a new improved service provider. By being able to go on board and request a particular butler should goad the other butlers into 'reflection', especially if the requested butler is seen properly remunerated for his exceptional performance. Unfortunately this remuneration seldom comes from the cruise line and often does not come the passenger as well.
  7. We never actually used butlers either. But certain butlers subtly appear like a genie, asking all sorts of questions and preferences. When you want to eat, what type of hor d' oeuvres, cheeses, pastries and what time would you like them delivered. We got spoiled with a Katarina aboard the Celebrity Equinox that we upgraded to the Celebrity Suite this year and got Anande, a 20 year veteran butler. First thing we requested was a second reclining lounge chair which he promptly ran up to the pool deck and brought down to our cabin. Next, the wifi was a problem in our cabin, he contacted IT and had the signal boosted to our cabin. $200 tip because no other butler goes above and beyond, usually get the run around. $150 to Katarina on our first suite cruise last year just to stop her from trying to tuck us in at night. Butler on NCL $60 for the times he brought cookies (order them warmed). Nothing to the Butler on the Divina YC3, all we got from him was his smile. And to reiterate, ad nauseam , $400 to Vishnu for 1 week of constant attention... From what I am reading on these boards it is all 'hit or miss'. When I get on board this winter I will be requesting a Vishnu protege. Sure, they will probably 'snow me' with a line that all their butlers are exceptional, but I have MSC experience to know better.
  8. Funny, I have a lapel pin in gold letters pinned to my jacket label with these same words. They are my mantra.
  9. Dear FF, No, please do not misinterpret my post, you are too fine a poster. We all love different things. We never waited on any cruise line booking suites. DW requested a broiled chicken breast every night for dinner. Me , I am happy to try anything on the menu. Special requests for something as simple as a broiled chicken breast took 2 hours. I think the chef is trying to tell us, please nothing special, even if we request it in advance... P.S. Well on second thought , we were asked to wait for a dinner on a RCCL cruise in the Coastal Kitchen with a standing reservation in an Owners Suite.. But I attribute that to NSPP , non-suite pinnacle passengers who are given priority...
  10. Dear Hank, I can not say one thing, ever, to contradict anything you have said in the past year since I have joined the CC boards. Your posts turned me 'on' to MSC and for that I am eternally grateful. You are a much 'better' man than me, I freely admit. I am a misanthrope, but for you I make an exception. Thank you.
  11. Yes, Vishnu did have an 'air' about him and he did reign over the other butlers and they in return were deferential toward him. He told us he was responsible for 13 cabins in the YC. I can not see how he could devote equal time to each of us. Do, please, report back to us your review of the Mera. I have a feeling your perspective might be more enlightening. Reading some recent reviews of MSC, I am reminded of a Will Rogers quote "People that pay for things never complain. It's the guy you give something to that you can't please."
  12. Dear zz, Great review ! You left out the most pertinent information, what was the original cabin number??? Information like this is vitally important to the rest of the CC family. For me it is not important. I would only book Yacht Club. But for all the rest of humanity it is vital. They obviously can not fix this cabin. You have a host of great tips in your post. Thank you.
  13. On Divina YC3 we had to think if we even had a butler. Elusive 'bugger'. The other butlers were more of a help escorting us on and off the ship. They were more deserving of a tip than the one assigned to our cabin. Yes, I understand socializing, we did it for years. But, we got tired of getting sick when our table mates coughed into our plates. Reminds me of a quote of our first President George Washington " It is better to be alone, than to be in bad company."
  14. Our butler, Vishnu, introduced himself to us at the gangway and recommended that we allow him to take our carry on luggage to our room (which would not be ready until 1:00) where it would be secure and to have a seat in the Top Sail Lounge and he will escort us at 12:00, upstairs to the YC Restaurant. I mentioned this morning to DW that on other cruise lines one gets the feeling the butlers are avoiding the guests in their care. But with Vishnu, "it is like he tagged us with some form of 'GPS', he anticipates our moves" (DW words). After dinner and the show at around 9 pm there was a surprise unannounced party for Yacht Club guests at the YC pool deck. Live music and dancing in front of the pool. Of course, Vishnu, escorted us to a table which soon became almost part of the dance floor
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