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irishgal432

Question on Butlers

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21 minutes ago, irishgal432 said:

I did not tip him my normal amount. He did bring our coffee and danish and fruit while we were sleeping. I would have tipped the normal delivery person if they had brought it. 

Nobody is a bigger advocate for tipping than I.  This was a butler...who is not performing his duties to an acceptable level.  I say this for the benefit of everyone here.  I would have written a note to the butler and told him that his level of service was unacceptable and therefore precluded me from going beyond the Daily Service Charge.  In other words let him know that he would have received a nice tip if he had done his job.  I would put that in an envelope and given it to the concierge.  You were paying a huge amount of money for your Suite...you deserved better.

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We've never had any issues with butlers on our X cruises ---except laundry! Not enough bags... same day delivery late... Yes, the laundry bags should really be down to the steward.... and yes, prompt laundry delivery at 17:00 can be difficult for butlers because of their need for breaks and also serve cream teas in Michael's Club.

There have been occasions when our butler has provided us with surprises e.g. a selection of cold food in our room when we returned mid-afternoon from an excursion.

Tips beyond those we've paid for? Usually money but once in a while, after some detective work, a gift.

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In our experience communication is the best way to ensure good butler service. We chat with the butler about our preferred bar set up, coffee needs, fruit provision on boarding.

We also usually give him a copy of the email we have sent to the shoreside concierge so that he can use it as a check list for confirming our speciality dining, pillow preferences etc.

 

Lots of people don’t particularly want butler service and the butler can at times (if you don’t ask for anything) assume you wish to be left in peace.

 

We have never had a ‘bad’ butler but if we felt service was sub par we would initially speak to the butler about what he had done or not done that had annoyed us. If things didn’t then improve we would raise the issue with the Michael’s Club concierge.

 

In our experience there are three types of butler...

 

A standard butler will simply do everything you ask him to. If you don’t ask him for anything you will hardly see him.

 

An good  butler will do as above but also ask if you would like x,y,z...

 

An outstanding butler will somehow instinctively know what would enhance your cruise experience. He will make suggestions to you, he will constantly surprise you with little treats he will be observant to your patterns....

 

Whilst our cruise experiences have on a couple of occasions really been enhanced by one of these outstanding butlers we are comfortable also with a ‘standard’ butler, we just realise the onus is on us to let him know our needs/wants.

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5 hours ago, chemmo said:

In our experience communication is the best way to ensure good butler service. We chat with the butler about our preferred bar set up, coffee needs, fruit provision on boarding.

We also usually give him a copy of the email we have sent to the shoreside concierge so that he can use it as a check list for confirming our speciality dining, pillow preferences etc.

 

Lots of people don’t particularly want butler service and the butler can at times (if you don’t ask for anything) assume you wish to be left in peace.

 

We have never had a ‘bad’ butler but if we felt service was sub par we would initially speak to the butler about what he had done or not done that had annoyed us. If things didn’t then improve we would raise the issue with the Michael’s Club concierge.

 

In our experience there are three types of butler...

 

A standard butler will simply do everything you ask him to. If you don’t ask him for anything you will hardly see him.

 

An good  butler will do as above but also ask if you would like x,y,z...

 

An outstanding butler will somehow instinctively know what would enhance your cruise experience. He will make suggestions to you, he will constantly surprise you with little treats he will be observant to your patterns....

 

Whilst our cruise experiences have on a couple of occasions really been enhanced by one of these outstanding butlers we are comfortable also with a ‘standard’ butler, we just realise the onus is on us to let him know our needs/wants.

Do you ever cruise in Sky Suites? I've heard that Butler service improves in Royal suites and above.

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Our only substandard Butler was on an Alaska cruise on Solstice in a Royal Suite. Good have been in Sky and Celebrity suites and excellent have been in Sky, Royal and Penthouse suites. It really is the luck of the draw and all but the bad almost invisible one have been fine and added to the cruise experience. 

 

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My MIL worked as a waitress.   She said if service is bad and you don’t leave a tip because of it the server feels that you were judged right by not giving service because you do not tip.  Her advice and what she did was to leave a note with the following written on it “I looked for service and didn’t find any, you can now look for your tip.” when she got bad service.    She said sometimes she would linger around to watch the servers reaction and many of them would be look  around  under the table and chairs.  

 

You Butler was terrible and you shouldn’t have left a tip.  

 

On the survey that X sends by Email you should comment about the lack of service

 

happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

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7 minutes ago, miched said:

You Butler was terrible and you shouldn’t have left a tip.  

On the survey that X sends by Email you should comment about the lack of service

 

Exactly.  If someone receives poor or disappointing service, then leaves the usual generous tip, the waiter/butler thinks they did good and keeps making the same mistakes.  If the butler gets lower ratings or poor tips, maybe they will ask themselves "what am I doing wrong?"

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, misterkevin said:

Do you ever cruise in Sky Suites? I've heard that Butler service improves in Royal suites and above.

 

All we book is Sky Suites and by the OP's descrition this is abnormal and unacceptable service.

Edited by Big_G

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, irishgal432 said:

I did not remove gratuities. I had a tip envelope in addition to the normal grats. 

This was one instance in my cruising history I almost did not give additional tips. 

 

 

 

I'm having a very difficult time understanding why you would give him an additional tip when he didn't even meet the standards of expected service. 

IMHO,  the "extra tip" thing has gotten so out of hand thet instead of tipping extra for exceptional service,  it has become the new norm!  Perhaps some staff are becoming indifferent towards earning it.

Edited by sippican

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On 6/4/2019 at 10:10 AM, irishgal432 said:

I just returned from my first Celebrity Suite on Millennium and had a wonderful time. I normally sail Royal Caribbean but was blown away by Celebrity's service, staff and food as compared to Royal.  Looking to book another one but had a question about butlers.  We saw a butler a total of 4 times the whole trip.  He did bring coffee in the morning while we were sleeping as we had requested.

 

1. On the first day where we requested a blanket and my husbands jacket pressed.

2. Seating to the show

3. In the retreat lounge when he was talking to another couple.

4. When he brought the room service for breakfast (later than the specified time) which was ice cold and could not be eaten.

 

We had to give the tip envelope to the concierge since we did not see him on the last day.  He never called to check on if we needed anything, bring any special deliveries of food or snacks etc. I had requested extra towels that took 2 days to get there as well as a footstool for the balcony since the balcony only had 2 lawn chairs.

 

Is this normal?  I have read on the boards about the excellent service and attentiveness that they bring. 

 

I personally would say this is not normal.   We usually have seen our Butler a couple times a day.   We really don't have many requirements from our butler but every request is met with a smile and attentive service. 

 

Personally if i had a butler that did not provide any additional service I would leave the standard tips in place but would not leave additional.   Doing so only encourages poor service.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, sippican said:

 

IMHO,  the "extra tip" thing has gotten so out of hand thet instead of tipping extra for exceptional service,  it has become the new norm!  Perhaps some staff are becoming indifferent towards earning it.

I can't put into words how much I agree with you.

Edited by philpcruiser

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Irishgal,

 

Please do not take the posts personally.  I believe a lot of folks would be disappointed in the service you received, and are saying so.  Obviously, you are a thoughtful person and tried to do the , in your opinion,  correct thing toward your butler.  🙂

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Texed said:

Irishgal,

 

Please do not take the posts personally.  I believe a lot of folks would be disappointed in the service you received, and are saying so.  Obviously, you are a thoughtful person and tried to do the , in your opinion,  correct thing toward your butler.  🙂

Thank you. This was out first Celebrity Cruise. I have sailed in 40plus Royal cruises mainly in suites and even the top Star Class with a genie, so I Knew what to expect service wise on a Royal Caribbean . I really wasn’t sure what the butler’s service entailed on this cruise. I honestly thought at the end he was just a higher level room steward and he did provide some service. 

 

I was was very happy with the rest of the suite amenities and felt they were far superior to Royal in every case and will only sail Royal in the future if I am with my 20 something kids who want a little different experience. 

Edited by irishgal432

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