How to address problem with cabin steward

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#21
19,780 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by 2Oldpeopleinlove
We just completed our first cruise, on the Gem. We did not go aboard looking for things to be critical of...we were prepared to be very happy, and with most features of the cruise, we were. But our cabin steward was another thing.

We didn't expect perfection, and it wasn't horrible, but things like the bathroom sink being cleaned only once (we were shocked at how shiny it was on Friday, so it clearly was a first real cleaning.) and having to clean the toilet closet myself the first day to get rid of the smell of urine...then later finding some crud I don't want to describe on the toilet that was left by a dirty cleaning tool of some kind, probably...used glasses with the old water still in them with the paper caps put back on instead of replacing them with clean ones...a very dirty bath mat left in place of the cleaner used one...that sort of thing the whole week made it clear this steward was in the wrong job.

We wrote several "vacation hero" cards for others, but we find no way to address the poor work done by our cabin steward. We did not complain on board because, as a former restaurant worker and a current restaurant critic, I know service workers find ways to retaliate that you dont't even what to think about. We knew we were stuck with this guy, so we made the best of it.

But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be reassigned so someone else doesn't have to make the best of it after us. So how do we go about that? I find no survey online. There was none offered on board. This man needs to be reassigned to a job he can do well.

Any suggestions?
While you can make mention of it if you get a survey, once you are off the ship there is not really anything that you can do. If it ever happens again you need to address it immediately so that the unboard crew can deal with the issue.
#22
Bloomington MN USA
3,117 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
The answer you seek is probably buried in several replies here.

Simply put the time to correct the deficiency is when it occurs or as soon there after as possible !
You do not have to spend the rest of your cruise living in distress or being inconvenienced by
what ever the problem maybe.

After the cruise come to CC with the resolution and let us know some of the details of date of sailing - ship - cabin.
With enough replies - if a pattern is seen forming about a specific ship or general procedure NCL can
be contacted for an explanation.
I can't comment for sure about NCL monitoring or reading our posts here at CC - BUT - I have a feeling
that they do. When attending a Meet & Greet (Mingle) party the crew respects feedback and I have heard
it often "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" they are interested in any problems you may have and
want the problems that happen to stay on the ship and CORRECTED !
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#24
South Jersey
2,501 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by 2Oldpeopleinlove
We just completed our first cruise, on the Gem. We did not go aboard looking for things to be critical of...we were prepared to be very happy, and with most features of the cruise, we were. But our cabin steward was another thing.

We didn't expect perfection, and it wasn't horrible, but things like the bathroom sink being cleaned only once (we were shocked at how shiny it was on Friday, so it clearly was a first real cleaning.) and having to clean the toilet closet myself the first day to get rid of the smell of urine...then later finding some crud I don't want to describe on the toilet that was left by a dirty cleaning tool of some kind, probably...used glasses with the old water still in them with the paper caps put back on instead of replacing them with clean ones...a very dirty bath mat left in place of the cleaner used one...that sort of thing the whole week made it clear this steward was in the wrong job.

We wrote several "vacation hero" cards for others, but we find no way to address the poor work done by our cabin steward. We did not complain on board because, as a former restaurant worker and a current restaurant critic, I know service workers find ways to retaliate that you dont't even what to think about. We knew we were stuck with this guy, so we made the best of it.

But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be reassigned so someone else doesn't have to make the best of it after us. So how do we go about that? I find no survey online. There was none offered on board. This man needs to be reassigned to a job he can do well.

Any suggestions?
Having been in the restaurant business myself I know exactly what you mean and I don't blame you a bit. That said, I would have registered my complaints at least on the last day, and as someone mentioned, taken pictures of all your issues to back them up.
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#25
Gilbert, Arizona
733 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by lakelivin2
I'm with you on this one. Anyone who has worked in hospitality knows better than to complain or send something back...just saying. Sure, it doesn't always happen, but, I'm not prepared to take the risk!
I would probably leave a note at the front desk before debarkation.
Agreed.

There are a few naive posters here who don't understand what happens in the real world. A room steward who's at the end of a contract or just plain resentful and has access to your drinking glasses, toothbrushes etc. can do things to them you'll never know about. As anyone in law enforcement knows, when in uniform and visiting a restaurant it's always good to know the list of "do not eat at" restaurants. Reason: often a short order cook or wait staff has been previously arrested and might want to add some spit (or worse) to your drink or food. There are many instances where cooks have been caught on videotape inserting disgusting things onto people's food in retaliation for a perceived slight.


While it's unlikely the room steward would retaliate, it's certainly a valid concern and I understand why someone would hesitate reporting the room steward until the cruise is almost over and they're headed off the ship.
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#26
Boston Burbs
687 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
NCL does read this forum. If you were more specific about the ship, the cruise, and the cabin (even if you just used another cabin# near yours which you know that he also cleaned), someone at NCL might take note and monitor this steward. Everyone here seems to think that NCL would be defensive. I think that they want to please their passengers, and would keep an eye on this particular steward to be sure that he's meeting their standards. You wouldn't have to identify yourself specifically.

This may be the best way to addresses your problem, while meeting your need of anonymity. However, you'll never have the satisfaction of knowing the outcome. That's the best you could hope for at this point.

ps: We've sailed NCL 7 times in the last 7 years, 5 times in suites. We stopped getting the NCL after-cruise email survey several years ago. It used to come within a few days after our cruise. We're not sure why they don't send it anymore, as they certainly know our email address. If you haven't recvd one yet, you probably won't.
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#27
Vermont
113 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
We had a problem with a cabin steward on our Royal Caribbean cruise last year. We first met him when we opened our cabin door for the first time and he was laying on one of our beds talking on his cell phone, shoes on and all. He looked at us and held up his index finger indicating "1 minute", then 30 seconds later he got up, still talking on his cell phone and left our cabin. 1/2 hour later he came back, still on his phone holding the sheets for the pull out sofa for the 3rd passenger and told us to put them on the desk.
We immediately called guest services and complained he was replaced by his supervisor.
It is best to complain on board so it can be handled immediately.
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#28
USA
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Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by lakelivin2
I'm with you on this one. Anyone who has worked in hospitality knows better than to complain or send something back...just saying. Sure, it doesn't always happen, but, I'm not prepared to take the risk!
I would probably leave a note at the front desk before debarkation.
I agree with this (formerly being in the food industry) - you do not complain to any manager/supervisor. I personally would not want to use any toothbrush or any other item left out after complaining about a room steward.

The OP, if I am reading it correctly, did speak to the room steward and even proffered a tip. If this did not take care of it, then unless it is severely interfering with their cruise, there is not much more they can do.

Yes, you want to take care of issues immediately as they occur, but sometimes it is not worth it. If the steward is replaced, and the replacement know the person you ratted on, don't be surprised if they extract revenge on behalf of their friend (beware when their smile is even larger than usual).
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#29
Canada
893 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by ColeThornton
You should have addressed the issue on board. Talk to the steward about your issues and if that doesn't fix things, talk to the housekeeping officers. It would have gotten fixed.

Basic common sense.
I would have gone directly to Hotel Director.
#30
Central FL
5,011 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Originally posted by garycarla
Mean? Talking down to poster? Rough? Maybe - or just a dose of harsh reality. One way conversations are often very difficult to "read" between the lines.
That's an interesting point. I think that many people expect a forum response to be the same as a face-to-face conversation (it isn't).


If (for ex.) someone asks a question and the first reply is "No." (3 characters is minimum response), the reply isn't rude. In a face-to-face conversation, the one word answer may seem rude but on a forum, it's just an answer to a question and not rude at all.
#31
2,205 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Just wanted to pop in here and encourage newer folks that might be following this thread to come to the Cruise Critic Meet & Greets while on board. One of the most valuable things is getting the "please contact us for anything while on board, where we can do something about it" spiel and contact info for all the department heads. We've used it a few times with a kind, prompt and efficient response.
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#32
1,924 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by ColeThornton
You should have addressed the issue on board. Talk to the steward about your issues and if that doesn't fix things, talk to the housekeeping officers. It would have gotten fixed.

Basic common sense.
This.
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#33
565 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by 2Oldpeopleinlove
We just completed our first cruise, on the Gem. We did not go aboard looking for things to be critical of...we were prepared to be very happy, and with most features of the cruise, we were. But our cabin steward was another thing.

We didn't expect perfection, and it wasn't horrible, but things like the bathroom sink being cleaned only once (we were shocked at how shiny it was on Friday, so it clearly was a first real cleaning.) and having to clean the toilet closet myself the first day to get rid of the smell of urine...then later finding some crud I don't want to describe on the toilet that was left by a dirty cleaning tool of some kind, probably...used glasses with the old water still in them with the paper caps put back on instead of replacing them with clean ones...a very dirty bath mat left in place of the cleaner used one...that sort of thing the whole week made it clear this steward was in the wrong job.

We wrote several "vacation hero" cards for others, but we find no way to address the poor work done by our cabin steward. We did not complain on board because, as a former restaurant worker and a current restaurant critic, I know service workers find ways to retaliate that you dont't even what to think about. We knew we were stuck with this guy, so we made the best of it.

But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be reassigned so someone else doesn't have to make the best of it after us. So how do we go about that? I find no survey online. There was none offered on board. This man needs to be reassigned to a job he can do well.

Any suggestions?
I didn't read all the responses by everyone in this thread. I read yours though. I have a couple of thoughts

1. complaining while on board only gets you screwed. we know how people can make food presentable but VERY gross. same thing applies here and I agree w/ your perspective. you know they can screw with you very badly despite the room looking spotless


2. use tips as a motivator. this is honestly the best and perhaps the only way to remedy it w/o them farting into your pillows and etc. ask them to do xyz and tell them you will give them an extra tip. they get money. you get what you want. the only crap part is that you have to pay extra for what should be included.

3. remove the required tipping/service charge. you can file to get a refund to get your tips/DSC back. after poor service like that, don't let others here shame you on what you should or shouldn't have done.


4. I agree that you should file a complaint. i doubt that person will get punished tbh.


5. you can always put the do not disturb sign. i did that when i was nervous that they were going to compromise my room. I just walked to the cart and got what i needed and dumped towels in their carts.


6. upgrading to the haven and getting nicer rooms usually fixes this issue. they judge you based on the room you stay in. stupid but that's how the world works. this is coming from an inside dweller.


7. this is the least successful strategy. you can befriend your steward and then suggest them to do xyz for you. i find this strategy to be so annoying b/c i don't want to spend my vacation kissing the butt of my steward just to get the service that i should be getting...esp when i am paying DSC/tips. i've seen people do it and it works. but it's very annoying.
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#34
In A House
5,133 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by 2Oldpeopleinlove
We just completed our first cruise, on the Gem. We did not go aboard looking for things to be critical of...we were prepared to be very happy, and with most features of the cruise, we were. But our cabin steward was another thing.

We didn't expect perfection, and it wasn't horrible, but things like the bathroom sink being cleaned only once (we were shocked at how shiny it was on Friday, so it clearly was a first real cleaning.) and having to clean the toilet closet myself the first day to get rid of the smell of urine...then later finding some crud I don't want to describe on the toilet that was left by a dirty cleaning tool of some kind, probably...used glasses with the old water still in them with the paper caps put back on instead of replacing them with clean ones...a very dirty bath mat left in place of the cleaner used one...that sort of thing the whole week made it clear this steward was in the wrong job.

We wrote several "vacation hero" cards for others, but we find no way to address the poor work done by our cabin steward. We did not complain on board because, as a former restaurant worker and a current restaurant critic, I know service workers find ways to retaliate that you don't even what to think about. We knew we were stuck with this guy, so we made the best of it.

But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be reassigned so someone else doesn't have to make the best of it after us. So how do we go about that? I find no survey online. There was none offered on board. This man needs to be reassigned to a job he can do well.

Any suggestions?
Why didn't you simply go to guest services to have the issues addressed right away? That is why they are there! No one would retaliate that is all on you. It was your CHOICE to be 'stuck'. A simple request to guest services such as 'could you have our steward come back to our cabin and "whatever you wanted done" please (without any accusatory language) would have gotten everything addressed and you would not have had to deal with it.
#35
In A House
5,133 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by CruisingUS
I didn't read all the responses by everyone in this thread. I read yours though. I have a couple of thoughts

1. complaining while on board only gets you screwed. we know how people can make food presentable but VERY gross. same thing applies here and I agree w/ your perspective. you know they can screw with you very badly despite the room looking spotless


2. use tips as a motivator. this is honestly the best and perhaps the only way to remedy it w/o them farting into your pillows and etc. ask them to do xyz and tell them you will give them an extra tip. they get money. you get what you want. the only crap part is that you have to pay extra for what should be included.

3. remove the required tipping/service charge. you can file to get a refund to get your tips/DSC back. after poor service like that, don't let others here shame you on what you should or shouldn't have done.


4. I agree that you should file a complaint. i doubt that person will get punished tbh.


5. you can always put the do not disturb sign. i did that when i was nervous that they were going to compromise my room. I just walked to the cart and got what i needed and dumped towels in their carts.


6. upgrading to the haven and getting nicer rooms usually fixes this issue. they judge you based on the room you stay in. stupid but that's how the world works. this is coming from an inside dweller.


7. this is the least successful strategy. you can befriend your steward and then suggest them to do xyz for you. i find this strategy to be so annoying b/c i don't want to spend my vacation kissing the butt of my steward just to get the service that i should be getting...esp when i am paying DSC/tips. i've seen people do it and it works. but it's very annoying.


There is a difference between complaining and making a legitimate request in a non-confrontation manner.

There is no REQUIRED tipping other than on the dining and drink packages. Not relevant to your issue.

Who cares if someone is 'punished' ac long as the situation is resolved? Is your objective to get someone punished or to have things done correctly? Flies/honey/vinegar!
#37
texas
457 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by mftinvermont
We had a problem with a cabin steward on our Royal Caribbean cruise last year. We first met him when we opened our cabin door for the first time and he was laying on one of our beds talking on his cell phone, shoes on and all. He looked at us and held up his index finger indicating "1 minute", then 30 seconds later he got up, still talking on his cell phone and left our cabin. 1/2 hour later he came back, still on his phone holding the sheets for the pull out sofa for the 3rd passenger and told us to put them on the desk.
We immediately called guest services and complained he was replaced by his supervisor.
It is best to complain on board so it can be handled immediately.
Hopefully you also pulled out the cell phone and began a video recording and then informed Guest Services! What an arrogant *&@#!
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#38
1,788 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by mianmike
Agreed.



There are a few naive posters here who don't understand what happens in the real world. A room steward who's at the end of a contract or just plain resentful and has access to your drinking glasses, toothbrushes etc. can do things to them you'll never know about. As anyone in law enforcement knows, when in uniform and visiting a restaurant it's always good to know the list of "do not eat at" restaurants. Reason: often a short order cook or wait staff has been previously arrested and might want to add some spit (or worse) to your drink or food. There are many instances where cooks have been caught on videotape inserting disgusting things onto people's food in retaliation for a perceived slight.





While it's unlikely the room steward would retaliate, it's certainly a valid concern and I understand why someone would hesitate reporting the room steward until the cruise is almost over and they're headed off the ship.


I do not agree. A simple polite conversation/request with the room steward would probably yield the best results. Politeness goes a long way. There have been many times we have made requests of the steward without even hesitation of "retaliation". But I also would have no problem reporting an issue to guest services. You can't go on with life thinking the worst of people.


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#39
565 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by Maniacal Cruiser
There is a difference between complaining and making a legitimate request in a non-confrontation manner.

There is no REQUIRED tipping other than on the dining and drink packages. Not relevant to your issue.

Who cares if someone is 'punished' ac long as the situation is resolved? Is your objective to get someone punished or to have things done correctly? Flies/honey/vinegar!
some people are just not rational people and cannot tell the difference between making a legitimate request in a non-confrontation manner and a crazy request. many of these stewards are slightly depressed and emotionally unstable.


you are not required to tip, but it is a fast way to get you the service that you want.


some people want others to be reprimanded/punished. idk who's on the other side of the laptop. merely just sharing in case it's what they are looking for.
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#40
7,747 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by CruisingUS
some people are just not rational people and cannot tell the difference between making a legitimate request in a non-confrontation manner and a crazy request. many of these stewards are slightly depressed and emotionally unstable.


you are not required to tip, but it is a fast way to get you the service that you want.


some people want others to be reprimanded/punished. idk who's on the other side of the laptop. merely just sharing in case it's what they are looking for.
OK, I was wrong. You actually CAN be more insulting...
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