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Crystal v. Seabourn


Amalek

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"The other possibility may be that the AI change has brought about a change in passenger type/style, which may not be to the liking of some crew."

 

I didn't know customers have to be liked by the business employess :confused:

 

No, they don't have to be......but if employees like their jobs, they are more likely to stay long term regardless of finances/income. That's about workplace morale; trust me, working with or for difficult people (for whatever reason) can make a job unpleasant even if the service you provide is wonderful.

 

While the service they provide might still be great, they might be unwilling to continue working their year after year.

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I find some of these comments disconcerting. The service levels described are not the service levels we have come to expect over the years. As I stated very early, I found some of the OP's observations a bit puzzling, but to have two others come in and say essentially the same things is a concern. Rather than suggesting their experiences are an anomaly, maybe it is time for a hard look at what is happening onboard.

 

There were those who expressed a concern that going AI would result in a deterioration of service with tips removed from the equation. Now we are starting to get reports liike these that suggest it might be happening. Rather than making like the ostrich with its head in the sand, those of us on the next few cruises should be taking an objective look at the service to see if the standards have slipped, and if so, to make that known via the QAP. If the "emperor truly has no clothes" or if those clothes are starting to slip, management should be made aware that just maybe they have a problem. There are enough of us sailing in the next month or so. That kind of proactive QAP reponse makes far more sense than "shooting the messenger" here on the board. IMHO anyay.

 

Larry,

I agree with you completely about not shooting the messenger. When I wrote a negative review of my experience on a short Seabourn cruise, the loyalists were incredulous, even after 3 other passengers from my cruise chimed in with the same sentiments. They said I must be spoiled, or could not trust my lying eyes, etc.

We will be back on board with you next month. I look forward to meeting you and your wife, and you and I can keep an eagle eye out and see if things have really changed!:cool:

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Larry,

I agree with you completely about not shooting the messenger. When I wrote a negative review of my experience on a short Seabourn cruise, the loyalists were incredulous, even after 3 other passengers from my cruise chimed in with the same sentiments. They said I must be spoiled, or could not trust my lying eyes, etc.

We will be back on board with you next month. I look forward to meeting you and your wife, and you and I can keep an eagle eye out and see if things have really changed!:cool:

 

Hi Danny. We are looking forward to meeting you as well. Been a few years since we have been on Symphony, but four weeks from today we will be there. Of course we do have the little matter of the QM2 between now and then!

 

Larry

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There were those who expressed a concern that going AI would result in a deterioration of service with tips removed from the equation. Now we are starting to get reports liike these that suggest it might be happening. Rather than making like the ostrich with its head in the sand, those of us on the next few cruises should be taking an objective look at the service to see if the standards have slipped, and if so, to make that known via the QAP. If the "emperor truly has no clothes" or if those clothes are starting to slip, management should be made aware that just maybe they have a problem. There are enough of us sailing in the next month or so. That kind of proactive QAP reponse makes far more sense than "shooting the messenger" here on the board. IMHO anyay.

 

Larry, I agree... But a lot of the points here seem a lot more structural than the affects of AI -- they seem to be offshoots of the "broken" mini-sailings. Like the lack of a "big welcome" for the mid-cruise embarkations. I was skeptical that there would be an issue for those passengers, but clearly I was wrong -- those passengers are definitely not reporting the same experience that the people on the traditional 7/11/12 day sailings are.

 

Vince

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Larry, I agree... But a lot of the points here seem a lot more structural than the affects of AI -- they seem to be offshoots of the "broken" mini-sailings. Like the lack of a "big welcome" for the mid-cruise embarkations. I was skeptical that there would be an issue for those passengers, but clearly I was wrong -- those passengers are definitely not reporting the same experience that the people on the traditional 7/11/12 day sailings are.

 

Vince

 

I agree that they are not attributable to AI but I also do not think that they are all attributable to short cruises either because some have nothing to do with that.

 

I reread the comments last evening and didn't see them being driven by AI, nor did I see them "all" being driven by the shorter cruise either as not all of those who posted were even on the shorter cruise.

 

My takeaway was that each one may have had their own reason(s).

 

-Tryber's issue was with the waiter and none of us know the reason. Could be due to a multitude of reasons from a bad hire, to last contract, to almost anything.

 

-Stefan's comments mainly come down to two major categories.

 

Yes, agree first one may in fact be due to arriving on one of those short cruises (five days coupled with boarding I believe at a tender port). This relates to the issues noted for check-in (no welcome, champagne, etc.).

 

His issues with items such as no products such as Molton Brown, no pool bar, small staterooms, no one coming with sorbet, etc. comes down to ones preferences when it comes to cruising and has nothing to do with all inclusive nor with the shorter duration cruise.

 

- Bahrain noted that some things were wrong while many were right and plans to write a review. The review will be very helpful.

 

Because of the change to AI, it's so easy to look to that as the cause of any problem where the problem could be specific to a member of the crew, the overall passenger loading of the ship, the itinerary, or a wide range of other reasons. It was only a couple of months ago that I believe two or three people said they had problems with the Lido Deck Stewards and some were saying that it must be due to AI. Yet, since then no one has commented negatively and there have been quite a lot of positive comments about the Lido Deck Stewards including some on this very thread.

 

In short, I don't believe there is one driver to all of this.

 

Are there lessons learned? You bet. There are often lessons learned and solid companies like Crystal use feedback from the customer surveys to make changes, tweak things, etc.

 

At the same time, I wouldn't draw conclusions that the sky is falling because some people had concerns. It might just be that a few items need to be tweaked that were either isolated to one or two cruises or isolate to some items. Being realistic on any cruise 100% of everything is not going to be flawless to all guests or on all voyages. If it was then no one would never post about things that went wrong, would not ever give a poor review and would never rate anything other than outstanding. That doesn't mean that you don't aim for 100% but realistically it's not going to be perfect each and every time.

 

Keith

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While it is likely that there is no single driver in all of this, I would like to know how many of these incidents ocurred on the Serenity and how many were on the Symphony.

 

The three being discussed were on the Serenity; two on one voyage and one on the other.

 

I really wouldn't read into that.

 

About six weeks ago some came back from a cruise on the Symphony. On that one a few complained about the Lido Cafe while others were very positive.

 

Keith

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I hope the "mini-sailings" are so broken they do away with them. If I wanted to vacation on a ferry boat with luggage in the halls all the time, I would have planned such a vacation.

 

Larry, I agree... But a lot of the points here seem a lot more structural than the affects of AI -- they seem to be offshoots of the "broken" mini-sailings. Like the lack of a "big welcome" for the mid-cruise embarkations. I was skeptical that there would be an issue for those passengers, but clearly I was wrong -- those passengers are definitely not reporting the same experience that the people on the traditional 7/11/12 day sailings are.

 

Vince

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The three being discussed were on the Serenity; two on one voyage and one on the other.

 

I really wouldn't read into that.

 

About six weeks ago some came back from a cruise on the Symphony. On that one a few complained about the Lido Cafe while others were very positive.

 

Keith

 

There are always complaints, and then there are COMPLAINTS! The ones from Stefan and others recently should be looked into, and one of the factors to be considered is where they occurred. While 3 complaints on the Serenity may not be statistically significant, I would not dismiss the possibility that there is concern about the AI change in some members of the Serenity staff that is manifesting itself in poor service.

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If the complaints were reported they will be looked at.

 

I truly believe they are isolated.

 

While I would love to say that all waiters are perfect that's just an impossibility. On this very board a year or so ago someone complained about a butler and some from time to time have complained about a stewardess. Now, if it happened now the first thing someone would say is All Inclusive. Is it typical to have a bad staff member? No. Does it happen once in a while? Yes. And if it was not isolated I guarantee you won't see them again.

 

The lack of someone welcoming the person on the five day voyage was probably related to a five day voyage along with the other couple of things. If accurate, should it be corrected? You bet. Would that be related to AI. Makes no sense to me.

 

Some of the other comments such as room size, the types of product in the staterooms, etc. and the other ones I mentioned have absolutely nothing to do with AI..

 

The other post provided absolutely no details.

 

And from what I read one post is from one cruise and the other two are from one other cruise.

 

I hope that no one gets the impression that I don't think that negative comments should be ignored and that three comments do not mean that others did not have any problems because that is not what I have said.

What I have said is that I do not believe they are indicative of All Inclusive and a problem with a waiter in my opinion is not indicative of a problem throughout the ship. Clearly, it needs to be addressed.

 

What I said was that the comments do not seem to related to AI. And yes, I do think that those that are addressable should be addressed. But I don't think they represent the vast majority of the experiences that the vast majority of people who have returned from cruises over the last couple of months have expressed on this very board. Yes, there have been a few negative comments as there should be and as we see each and every week or month on the boards. But I see no more now than I have at any time.

 

Keith

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"friendly attitude that you have to experience for yourself."

I'm looking forward to it

"only being friendly and polite company!"

I promise I'll be;)

 

My previous post was due to being afraid to face a "closed club", to be considered an outsider.

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No, they don't have to be......but if employees like their jobs, they are more likely to stay long term regardless of finances/income. That's about workplace morale; trust me, working with or for difficult people (for whatever reason) can make a job unpleasant even if the service you provide is wonderful.

 

While the service they provide might still be great, they might be unwilling to continue working their year after year.

 

"working with or for difficult people (for whatever reason) can make a job unpleasant"

I agree even more!

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The other possibility may be that the AI change has brought about a change in passenger type/style, which may not be to the liking of some crew. I'm sure that was a part of Crystal's decision (to broader their base of potential passengers), but it might be having an effect they hadn't anticipated.

 

 

I would think it is too soon for a significant change in passengers based upon the new policy. I'm sure that there are plenty of people who make short term decisions but I'd think that would become more and more next year etc.

 

I'd hate to see crew leave because they are what cause the Crystal experience to be what it is.

I think this change has caused a lot of confusion who got raises - who you still need to tip etc.

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Hi!

 

I got the info, that they have given it to the appropriate department for their review. Whatever that means!

 

A few other points:

- I got a paper from the stateroom stewardess where I can select from four or five liquors. I asked if I could have a Grappa (unexpensive italian liquor). After half an hour they brought me a glass and told me that he was told that I can only have Grappa glas by glas (altough you can have Grappa in the ships restaurant). On my seabourn cruises we got a bottle of Grappa and Ramazotti (not Eros - this is an italian singer) without a problem.

- On the pool I waited a few times round about ten minutes to order something to drink. I asked for a non alcoholic cocktail. I got the info that they only have fruit punch.

- I think that the opening hours in the buffet restaurant are not long enough - only from noon to 1.30 pm.

- What I missed were the "specials" not on the buffet, like a special fish, etc. (This was real good on the small seabourn ships). If you wanted a burger etc. you had to walk to the grill and bring it back to the buffet restaurant.

 

Short cruises are to the problem. The service was the problem!

 

As I said this was my first and last crystal cruise!

 

Best wishes

 

Stefan

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I mentioned this on a similar thread, so forgive the repitition. My husband and I have sailed many times on Silversea, which has always been all-inclusive. They built their reputation on highly trained and well-paid staff, fine service, accomodations, food, etc. The AI element is built into the high fare (as I believe is now the case with Crystal). We have certainly seen that AI in itself doesn't degrade service or the luxury experience. I think it's more a matter of how corporate leadership chooses to manage its overall goal.

 

For example, there have been changes to some aspects of Silversea in the last few years, but not due to AI. I believe they're results of various decisions management made in our post-9/11 economy, including aggressively adding to their fleet and capacity, and changing their marketing to try to fill 7 ships.

 

All luxury lines are now super-challenged to maintain quality in a fiscally responsible manner. But I really wouldn't look to AI as the source of an unhappy staff encounter or an undesirable glass of wine. We all have different levels of expectations, some more realistic than others. Who among us is perfect all the time?

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IMHO it is wonderful that we have more than one luxury line. Although we could find nothing to fault in the Seabourn experience, we are taking Crystal this time specifically so my DH can IMMERSE himself in the wonderful enrichment lectures which he so loves. Seabourn offers NO enrichment lectures. For us, there are so many different thing that go into choosing each cruise; ship, itinerary, daily offerings on board, etc. Different strokes for different folks, and maybe for the same folks at different times!

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Perhaps Seabourn is now embracing 'enrichment' because on our recent Coast of Norway cruise there were 2 lecturers....and this was not a cruise with multiple days at sea. It is indeed difficult to surpass Crystal in this arena. They have always done a wonderful job of presenting stimulating day time activities, including but not limited to, enrichment programs.

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It's funny. I'm sure I'll find something to complain about (I'm a born complainer) on our upcoming cruise. But I just feel SO incredibly blessed and fortunate that we are able to afford such an amazing luxury as a cruise, let alone a cruise on Crystal, that I wouldn't dream of finding fault with some of the things that are being criticized here.

Folks .. We are VERY, VERY fortunate. There are people in our country worried about feeding their kids. Let's live in a place of gratitude for our ability to take care of our basic needs and STILL be able to indulge in vacations of our dreams.

Crystal OR Seabourn or even Carnival if that’s all that’s affordable. What an amazing gift we are blessed with.

Off the soapbox.

Scott

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Scott, i enjoy each of your posts.

 

Life is so very short.

 

Anyone who can cruise on any cruise lines has it lots better than most people around the world.

 

And to cruise on a luxury cruise is just the icing on the cake.

 

I look forward to hearing about your cruise. And if you are a complainer, it certainly doesn't come out in your posts. Enjoy!

 

Keith

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Scott, i enjoy each of your posts.

 

Life is so very short.

 

Anyone who can cruise on any cruise lines has it lots better than most people around the world.

 

And to cruise on a luxury cruise is just the icing on the cake.

 

I look forward to hearing about your cruise. And if you are a complainer, it certainly doesn't come out in your posts. Enjoy!

 

Keith

 

Thank you, Keith. That is so very kind.

 

Scott

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It's funny. I'm sure I'll find something to complain about (I'm a born complainer) on our upcoming cruise. But I just feel SO incredibly blessed and fortunate that we are able to afford such an amazing luxury as a cruise, let alone a cruise on Crystal, that I wouldn't dream of finding fault with some of the things that are being criticized here.

Folks .. We are VERY, VERY fortunate. There are people in our country worried about feeding their kids. Let's live in a place of gratitude for our ability to take care of our basic needs and STILL be able to indulge in vacations of our dreams.

Crystal OR Seabourn or even Carnival if that’s all that’s affordable. What an amazing gift we are blessed with.

Off the soapbox.

Scott

Dear Scott,

 

I couldn't agree with you more! We are so fortunate to be able to sail at all, let alone on Crystal (or Seabourn, if that is your choice).

 

I hope that Crystal meets and exceeds your anticipation, but if there are things not to your liking, do bring them to the attention of the appropriate person on board.

 

I'm sorry you are not on our cruise, because your enthusiasm is contagious!

 

Ricki

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