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Mr Keller seems to have an inordinate amount of influence over his employers at Seabourn doesn’t he. Maybe it’s part of his no doubt lavish contract.

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Holy cow some interesting opinions here by people not onboard the ship, but that's okay it is Cruise Critic and you can have your opinions.:D. However I agree with marazul that not blaming the aggrieved party would be nice.

 

We weren't there for the initial dinner but it was interesting when the four of us dined at TK Grill last night. When Mr L P ordered the Ceasar Salad and was told that there was anchovies in the dressing, Mr L P informed them his allergy was too "shellfish, not fish". The waiters reaction "Okay we have it as both so we will need to correct that on our records." No questioning that the client didn't know their own body and allergies.

 

No problems also with getting the sugar free dessert from elsewhere.

 

Just for the record I found it interesting that one of the women on our private tours mentioned to me they had enjoyed dining at TK Grill. However they then went on to comment there was one waiter with a rather unsettling attitude. Guess who? Now this was without me mentioning this problem that Mrs L P experienced.

 

Now I noticed last night the waiter did seem more subdued so probably he has been spoken to, so maybe best we all move on and discuss something else.

 

Julie

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Agreed. It is hard to comment on anything like this unless you were actually present, but evidence would suggest that this young man was at fault and arrogant.

 

I do hope that your friends are enjoying the rest of the cruise, and if so will not let one incident with one person put them off Seabourn in future.

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First of all, thanks to all with kind words to say. To clarify a few things, as I mentioned before, this situation pushed us to choose between 2 itineraries already in debate and it was the LAST straw.

 

As far as the apology goes, I think it’s an important part of growing up and should continue through life, but that’s my opinion. My husband once insisted that a customer present her excuses to one of our employees whom she treated poorly, or she would not be served. And yes, she is still a very good customer.

 

Concerning my husband « educating » this young man as to how sorbet is made, he is an award winning pâtissier, glacier, chocolatier and has been making sorbet for 38 years. He was confronted by ignorance in an arrogant way and chose to correct this young man.

 

All I asked for was sugar free sorbet which is available in the MDR every evening. Fortunately I chose NOT to believe the server as it has been confirmed that there is sugar in the sorbets in TK.

 

In hindsight, Wripro is right, I should have immediately spoken to the manager.

 

Over the years I have posted on this board to get information, give information and hopefully make some of you laugh along the way (unless you get me started talking about Regent, but we won’t go there). Using Hugo’s words « you believe me or you don’t).

 

Now it’s time to have an aperitif before lunch at the Patio grill while enjoying the scenery in Bandol.

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All I asked for was sugar free sorbet which is available in the MDR every evening.

 

 

I would not really rely on a "sugar free" tag with Seabourn. I tried the "sugar free ice cream" in the Square a couple of times. Only a week or so later I bothered to enquire in detail. After some hesitation the person responsible revealed that the prepare their sugar free ice cream with glucose !!!

I find it absolutely disgusting that diabetics or other people who should monitor their sugar intake are being kept in the dark about the meaning of "sugar free" with Seabourn.

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I find it very hard to find fault in that lengthy write up. This whole “issue” seems massively blown out of proportion to me.

 

Yes, the waiter should have known anchovies isn’t shellfish.

 

He’s right though in saying that TKG doesn’t bring in food from outside the restaurant and that there are no off menu items. If you don’t like that, take it up with Seabourn Management. This has been Thomas Keller’s policy from day 1.

 

He’s also right in saying that they serve sugar free sorbets (although they probably shouldn’t be called sorbet).

 

What I find arrogant is “I’ll skip the technical details when my husband tried to educate him as to the process of making a sorbet...”. Why would your husband do such a thing? To show off how much more educated or intelligent he is?

 

We sometimes get questions on Cruise Critic from people new to Seabourn who are worried about snobbery. I’m sorry if this is harsh, but the next time that happens, remember this thread and the perceived gravity of the small first world problem described in it.

 

Floris

 

It doesn't matter if the waiter it right or not. He may be right but it's the tone and the way he talks to the passenger that's the issue here, He could have said all the same things with a smile on his face and there would have been no problem.

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It is amazing how we are all different, I personally would probably just wander over to a supervisor after we had finished, explained that I was a little disappointed in the event and left it at that. In my view this is not really a major crime and as the op's husband is a professional pâtissier what is he even bothering to spend time going into detail with the waiter.

My view is just forget it, enjoy your vacation with some great friends, let him feel a little awkward every time he sees you and let him realise that you are above it. Remember, you are the ones enjoying your fabulous holiday and he is just working.

If you feel better booking with another line for this reason that's fine, but remember are you sure that the other line would be any better, if we are honest it probably won't be.

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Every cruise ship employs hundreds of people on contracts. There’s a lot of turn over and though Seabourn does it’s best with Seabourn academy, people are people. Every cruise I’ve been on there’s been someone who’s attitude I didn’t care for. I let it go unless there’s an action that I feel is aggregious , then I go to a supervisor the following day.

Then I let it go.

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It doesn't matter if the waiter it right or not. He may be right but it's the tone and the way he talks to the passenger that's the issue here, He could have said all the same things with a smile on his face and there would have been no problem.

 

It is all a question of perception. I suspect that how the guest perceives her interaction with the crew member is very different to how the crew member perceives it.

 

If only we could all be mind readers.

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Although those of us not on the ship and therefore not witnesses to the interactions at issue in the TK Grill cannot accurately gauge the reasonableness of the reaction of the OP to the perceived poor behavior of the waiter, it certainly appears that the communications were peculiar. First, it has been our experience that certain members (luckily, a small minority) of the wait staff in the TKG have a rather overblown sense of their own status, as if they were working in a very high end land-based restaurant. (Of course, that attitude is also annoying in land-based joints, as well.) Further, all of the nonsense regarding what TK will or will not "permit" in "his" restaurants on the SB ships contributes unfortunately to the perception of some of the wait staff that they are in some sort of elevated position.

 

On the couple of occasions that we have experienced this "attitude", we have dealt with it with a bit of humor, pointing out that this is not a 3-star Michelin restaurant and that the client's wishes are not to be ignored, despite whatever list of silly rules TK has imposed on the place. In only one instance has this approach not been successful in replacing the silly attitude with a much more pleasant demeanor, as most of the wait staff seems eager to please the paying customer, rather than toe the line for the absent TK. (On the one occasion that the waiter maintained his superior attitude that he knew much more about food than his customers did and that therefore they should accept his counsel without question, we simply asked the maître d' for a different waiter, a request that was quickly and without a question granted.)

 

On the other hand, it might sometimes be too easy for some passengers, particularly those in the food service industry, to impose their preferences and knowledge onto wait staff in a manner that is less than kind. Certain posters on this thread have shown a degree of food snobbishness in the past on the CC boards that might be useful to add a bit of context to this discussion.

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I did notice on our June Ovation voyage that the TK mandated loud music was not being played in the TK Grill. As I have mentioned before, on our last September Encore voyage, we asked that the loud music be turned down and our waiter was happy to make that happen for us. He did tell us that the loud music had been chosen by TK as he thought it gave the restaurant the atmosphere he wanted. We pointed out the average age of the guests in the restaurant and that we seriously doubted they were enjoying the loud dinner music. He agreed with us and was happy to make the atmosphere better with a much lower volume.

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On our most recent cruise on Sojourn there was a TK “compliance officer” on board who was there to ensure his master’s vision was being correctly enforced. Absolutely ridiculous and a couple of senior waiters obviously thought so too but didn’t dare say so. The eye rolling was eloquent enough with this guy breathing down their necks LOL

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On our most recent cruise on Sojourn there was a TK “compliance officer” on board who was there to ensure his master’s vision was being correctly enforced. Absolutely ridiculous and a couple of senior waiters obviously thought so too but didn’t dare say so. The eye rolling was eloquent enough with this guy breathing down their necks LOL

I think we were on the same cruise Rusty (Singapore to Vancouver) and I presumed that was why our friends were not able to have their Napa burger without lettuce or pickles.

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Correct, although we embarked in Osaka. We dined in the Colonnade for one of the regular TK events, ie, KFC and grits, which was OK but the maître ‘d absolutely HATED being required to wear jeans (he told us as much). Meanwhile the TK “enforcer” wore an immaculate Italian suit.

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Let me say this is not a comment on the original post but to say the opposite can happen.

 

We were having dinner in the Colonnade one evening and sitting on the next table were two couples . When their first course arrived one of the women in a loud voice shouted " waiter (his name was Adam ) I cannot eat this " Adam duly took the offending dish and asked if she would like something different. Adam then brought her the replacement when she took two small mouthfuls and pushed the rest away. When the main courses arrived within two minutes suddenly the shout went up again " Waiter " and Adam came again to be told " A fly has landed on the table , Take everything away and replace it " Adam duly took all the cutlery , plates and glasses re laid the table and ordered the food again. To this day I do not know how he smiled all the time but we went out of our way to inform the manager and indeed mention him on our survey how good he was.:)

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...the regular TK events, ie, KFC and grits...

 

that got a chuckle out of me. Some of the regular Colonnade international nights are well-meaning but flawed, but at least they are Seabourn well-meaning and Seabourn flawed. We tried a couple of the TK themed nights on our last cruise and they weren't terribly good, but you felt the staff could do nothing about it as they had a script to follow and had to follow it to the letter. Nobody, passengers nor crew, seemed to be having a good time, which was possibly the worst thing of all.

 

We'll try another on our upcoming and we're booked to hit the TK Grill (if reservations have not been mislaid) so we're always happy to give things another go, our expectations going in may be a little lowered however.

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I still wonder why the line has to align to a celebrity chef. It is so limiting. The menu is so repetitive and no better than the mdr. Snooty in the Grill and so contrived with the jeans in the Colonnade. Bad enough on one cruise but worse on subsequent cruises when the menu has not changed at all.

D

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I am puzzled as to why some say that the Grill is snooty. I just haven't seen that. Can anyone be more specific? I understand that SB says they cannot deviate from the instructions of Thomas Keller, but that is not the same thing as snootiness. And, as I've pointed out, they HAVE deviated from his instructions to play loud background music in the TK Grill.

 

We seldom go to the Colonnade in the evening. We DID go for one evening on our 21 day voyage and enjoyed the ribs immensely. I had checked the menu and thought that we would like the ribs. We are not interested in their international nights at all.

 

I am assuming that Seabourn thinks that aligning with a celebrity chef has cache that will appeal to passengers.

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I am assuming that Seabourn thinks that aligning with a celebrity chef has cache that will appeal to passengers.

 

I think that's what Seabourn thinks as well however they're either entirely wrong or sort of right but miss the mark.

 

There are a lot of non-US travellers who don't even know who Thomas Keller is, I didn't, my wife sort of knew. So you've already lost a bit of cachet right off the bat. I feel Crystal did better with their Nobu partnership although it's quite possible I've heard of him and many others have not.

 

If partnering with a chef requires you to set up a specific space, special kitchen, have wait staff wear uniforms not in the line's norm and play music too loud, that's not a partnership. Having to request nicely for a stemmed wine glass in the colonnade on a 'TK night' is not Seabourn.

 

I quite like what the airlines try to do which is partner with chefs on specific (practical) dishes. They don't succeed too well because the food is pre-cooked and re-heated at 37000 feet, but I like the concept and some of the results are not that bad.

 

We'll be trying out the TK grill on our next cruise (as long as the reservations haven't been lost) however I can't say the TK partnership is viewed by us at least as anything more than a bit of a gimmick.

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We really liked the TK Grill. We ate there six times on a 36 day cruise which, I think, was the right number. It made a nice change from the other venues and the food and service was always excellent.

 

We were not big fans of R2 and we think that TK is definitely a step up from that.

 

 

Important to remember that TK is but one of four options on the ship. If it is not your thing then there are other choices.

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Agree completely with rols. TK has been hyped up -maybe his US restaurants are wonderful - far too much for the more limited possibilities of doing his specialised cuisine on a cruise ship.

 

The TK grill can seem a bit 'snooty' - mainly because the staff seem to have been trained to be more formal than is natural to them, and one or two can let it go to their heads a bit thinking they are in a Michelin star establishment - which it certainly is not.

 

Many of us know that the staff in the 'casual' TK version in the Colonnade do not like having to wear the jeans uniform, and some of us think that some of the casual dishes served here are a bit peculiar and not enjoyable, and we certainly do not like wine served in tumblers and always ask for a wine glass - even a rustic short stemmed one would be fine. TK does appear to be extremely autocratic in his dealings with how the restaurants are run, and it would I feel have been much better, if his name was felt to be a draw to passengers, to have him design just a few dishes for the main restaurant at dinner. And no doubt cost considerably less.

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We really liked the TK Grill. We ate there six times on a 36 day cruise which, I think, was the right number. It made a nice change from the other venues and the food and service was always excellent.

 

We were not big fans of R2 and we think that TK is definitely a step up from that.

 

 

Important to remember that TK is but one of four options on the ship. If it is not your thing then there are other choices.

Totally agree Roxburgh

 

Sent from my SM-G955F using Forums mobile app

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True - but room service is not very exciting (to me), and if the weather is not good enough for the Pool Grill and it is a TK night in the Colonnade there is one option, the dining room.

 

I would be interested to know what proportion of passengers like the TK additions, and how many would prefer something different? Probably about 50/50, I would guess.

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There is also the Sushi option. Not my choice, but many like it.

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