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If you were carnival what would you cut?

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2 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

In his defense of fountain systems, jcearth used the argument that canned soda takes up way too much space. Well, fountain systems require hoses to be ran, CO2 canisters, & containers of syrup. Those last two take up a lot of space, especially if they were going to localize it behind each bar. If not, they'd have to run hoses from a storage area. That's not very practical or efficient and, in some cases, not even feasible. Then there's all the spare CO2 and syrup they'd have to store. They wouldn't gain any space over cans and would probably even lose space.

 

This isn't true. I run a convenience store and can tell you that my soda bibs and CO2 tanks take up a LOT less room than regular cans of soda. The systems take up very little room and are easy to maintain. And don't forget how much less waste this system creates compared to individual cans. The only difference between something on land and a cruise ship is the water.

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If I wanted family-style dining where I ordered my own food from a kiosk and had everything served on the same plate, I'd stay home and spend a lot less money.

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4 hours ago, jcearth said:

In order to stretch labor, you need to make it more efficient.  For bartenders, I would eliminate the cans of soda and go to a fountain system. Also, a self service station for sodas for those with a prepaid package. The cans are a huge waste of time and take up way too much space.  I would have the stewards clean the rooms once a day, and make it a premium (suite guest or add-on) for an additional room cleaning per day or butler services, etc.  I would look to update the antiquated ordering system in the main dining room, possibly with an electronic system. Eliminate the assistant waiter position and use food runners to hustle the food out of the kitchen. Turn the MDR into more of a family style restaurant atmosphere with less "service".  Add an additional restaurant where folks can pay a premium to experience a "full-service" restaurant.  Increase the English-fluency of the staff at Guest Services, or just hire native speakers.  Empower staff to be able to fix problems, or if not be straightforward with the guests.

 

And a whole bunch of other stuff that may or may not work.

I think your ideas are great. Love the idea of a system where we could electonically order our MDR food, especially if we could order in advance.That would ease the pressure on the staff.And having worked most of my life in the business, fountain stations are way less costly, maybe five cents a drink.

 

The cutbacks have never bothered me because with the cutbacks there have also been some pretty incredible additions. For instance, if I had my choice between getting my room serviced twice a day, a chocolate on my pillow, and a tablecloth on my table, OR the Blue Iguana, the comedy club, Guys' Burgers, the waterpark, the new lunch buffet cakes, and, adjusted for inflation, cheaper prices than in the past.I would take the option with the less expensive cruise and all of the additions.

 

We are spending an average of a bit over $100 a day each for a bed, transportation to different countries, deckspace, live music, room service, games, dances, entertainment, a gym to workout in, and an enormous variety and quantity of food for no extra cost. I am sure that Carnival would throw in a chocolate on the pillow, a dining cloth, and twice a day room cleaning for an extra three or four hundred dollars a cabin. For people like me though, we can bring our own chocolates, keep our rooms tidy, and prevent being embarrassed by spilling drink or food on the nice, white tablecloth.

 

If I were Carnival, in order to cut costs, I would make the Italian restaurant for pay at lunch too, and in lieu of a Platinum gift, give Platinums a free meal at the Italian restaurant.

 

I would find room in Guys' Burger, or right next to Guys Burgers, for an extra-cost milkshake machine.

 

I would work on a marketing plan to sell the "sizzle" of the additional $20 MDR specialty entrees.

 

I love teatime, but they could cut back a bit on the little sandwiches and pastry and still serve a nice tea.eus

 

I think I would raise the price of the Dr. Seuss breakfast by about $2.50 per person, give away lots of Seus "cuddlies, and then make sure that parents whose kids did not win a "Cat in the Hat" or "Thing one or two" during the giveaway that they can be purchased from their servers. [they might already do this, don't know]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How about renting tents on the lido deck from 11pm to 6am , increase pax by renting a lounger and tent to sleep.

showers u can use the spa shower at designated times ..

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6 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

I second all of these. Especially that last one.

I don't necessarily hate the Playlist shows, but many of those performers just aren't talented singers, in my opinion. This became real obvious last year when the ship was rocking a bit too much for one of the late shows and they just sat on stools and sang. They were terrible without the big stage production and we left after 2 1/2 songs. The shows could be so much more enjoyable if they hired better singers.

 

I'd also like to cut obnoxious kids who run ragged onboard and break the rules without consequence.

 

In regards to the whole cutting out plastics debate, someone in another thread said they recently returned from a Princess cruise (owned by Carnival Corp.) and they still have things like plastic pens in the cabins, they don't set out community containers of butter, and they have single-serve cereal boxes. It just doesn't make much sense to me for one cruise line to eliminate some of these items and use the excuse that it's "for the environment" when another cruise line (probably multiple lines) under their own Carnival Corp. umbrella still use the very same plastic products Carnival eliminated. The biggest reason plastics from Carnival were ending up in the ocean was because THEY were dumping them there. They were supposed to be separating plastic waste from food waste, but some ships weren't. Hence, their recent legal troubles. I think eliminating some of the plastic items was done more to make their jobs easier than it was for the environment.

This is very interesting to me considering it was Carnival Corp and not Carnival Cruise Lines that was fined and it was fined due to violations committed by Princess Cruise Lines.

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2 hours ago, Susan in Maine said:

This isn't true. I run a convenience store and can tell you that my soda bibs and CO2 tanks take up a LOT less room than regular cans of soda. The systems take up very little room and are easy to maintain. And don't forget how much less waste this system creates compared to individual cans. The only difference between something on land and a cruise ship is the water.

 

That convenience store has what, one or two fountains? We're talking about a cruise ship with multiple bars that would require multiple fountain systems. If they were to house these systems behind the bars themselves, they'd definitely use up a lot more space behind the bar because the bulk of the cans are stored elsewhere and brought to the bars as needed.

 

As far as waste, the fountain syrups are plastic jugs/bags contained in boxes, or at least that's the ones I'm used to seeing. There's a lot of waste product there when they've been used up. Empty cans are going to be crushed (I'd assume just to save space, maybe not) and recycled later. Maybe it's a wash as far as the amount of waste goes between the two methods, but I think the can would be easier to deal with. I disagree that the only difference is that one's on the water. The logistics of operating on a ship is a whole different beast.

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I would change the Anytime dining option to the family style low frills, but still waited on option that moves quicker and possibly have advanced ordering or a more simplified menu. I would keep the set dining early and late options as they are for those that enjoy that. I'm fairly new to cruising so I don't know what options they have changed/removed over the years with the exception of starting to charge for room service and all the plastic changes that have been taking place recently. I can understand people wanting a more premium experience but I do feel that Carnival has great value for the money.

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9 hours ago, ParrotRob said:

 

I find it extremely difficult to believe that as big as Carnival is, and as much soda as they sell and pour, that if a fountain system were cheaper they would not already be using it.

 Fountain drinks are  much cheaper to produce , they just use large containers of syrup and water  after all. There is a huge mark up in the finished product and thats not counting the extra packaging  costs  and cost of storing all the  cans

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1 hour ago, daisymay1960 said:

 Fountain drinks are  much cheaper to produce , they just use large containers of syrup and water  after all. There is a huge mark up in the finished product and thats not counting the extra packaging  costs  and cost of storing all the  cans

 

Yet they're still not using a fountain system.  Do you think that just maybe, it just MIGHT be possible that a corporation that runs dozens of massive ships serving millions of sodas a year just MIGHT know a little more about how to do it cost-effectively than you do?

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7 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

I find it interesting the post you responded to listed several individuals well known for taking advantage of their employees. 

LOL, the point was more global.  I might have said it better....

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Why give them any ideas?  People come on here and complain about the cutbacks that have already happened and now people are giving them more ideas.  They do read these boards.

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39 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

I think that this is the worst possible of all

options unless you are only talking about ceo/executive management. Cruise line discounts shouldn’t be carried on the backs of cutting wages. As an employee (not carnival) and a customer, I would rather pay a bit more for the product than see the already under paid employees get a pay cut.

Trust me, nobody at Carnival is taking actions from anything posted on Cruisecritic, especially the bashers.  

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I agree with getting rid of canned sodas and going to a fountain system. That would save them a lot of money right there. 

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The wait staff singing and dancing in the MDR.  On the Conquest 8/24 sailing, they just had 1 waiter singing, no dancing the first 6 meals.  We didn't hang around on the last night for 'you're leaving" routine, we've seen it numerous (too many) times.

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High paid ambassadors, late night buffet, cruise directors, sing and dance shows and elegant night!

 

 

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5 hours ago, ParrotRob said:

 

Yet they're still not using a fountain system.  Do you think that just maybe, it just MIGHT be possible that a corporation that runs dozens of massive ships serving millions of sodas a year just MIGHT know a little more about how to do it cost-effectively than you do?

I think I read that they don't do it, because the labor required to keep it clean is too much of a hassle. (Royal obviously prioritizes differently.)

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13 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

I don't think it's as easy and as simple as you claim. I'll address a few things you've said that lead me to say that.

 

 

It's hard to improve the quality of the experience by making cuts. There might be a magic formula out there where spending cuts improve customer experience once in a while, but that's certainly not the norm.

 

 

A large company can probably look passed the complaints of, say, 50 people, to use your example, but it's not going to go over well if they thumb their nose at 200 people, regardless of the total number on a single cruise. Granted, 200 people complaining about something might not reverse a change, but it shouldn't be ignored in the customer service industry. And I don't agree that it has to be one more than half the people to cause the company to react. A few years ago, Carnival decided to make their aft pools on Conquest class ships family friendly. They had been adults-only up until then. It didn't go over well and they reversed their decision not long after the initial change. I don't know how many millions of people have cruised on Conquest class ships, but it surely didn't take one more than half of them to spark the reversal.

 

As for your last sentence, I don't know if you meant to say what you said. I think you're wrong to say you can't make some people happy "any of the time." If a cruise can't make them happy any of the time, they wouldn't be on a cruise. It's more accurate to say, you can't make all of the people happy all of the time.

 

 

I feel like this is a straw-man. Employees don't have to take a pay cut in order for a company to boost their customer experience. If a company decides that the only way they can make their customer's experience better is by cutting the pay of their workers, they're a terrible company and probably shouldn't be in business.

agree with almost everything you said here.

Also want to add that anyone who has worked in an industry with customer service knows that only a small fraction of your customers will bother to "complain" about something. Generally that's considered to be around 4%.
The rest will either just complain to friends and family or just leave.
Or jump on CC and let everyone know what they are unhappy about.

If you have 50 people out of 2500, that's 2% of your customers that actually voiced an unhappy opinion.

If you have 200 out of 2500, that's now 8%.
You might be able to "ignore" 1% and possibly 2% depending on the issue. But even that 2% represents a significant portion of people who cruise.

And since the cruise industry is built on repeat customers, you have to also take into account who the ones complaining are.
Is it a first time cruiser, who may decide to just sail with someone else in the future?
Is it someone who cruises maybe once every three or four years and won't really be impacted by the changes?
Is it a Platinum or Diamond member who cruises at least once a year or possibly even two or three times a year? Someone that would definitely have an impact on your bottom line.

Either way, if that many people are complaining about something then it is an issue you better look at seriously.
Because they are definitely complaining to their friends and family.
And considering the number of posts from people on CC and r/cruise and other sites that say the will "never cruise X Line again", they have much more of a voice than ever before.
In the past they were limited to influencing just close friends and family.
Now their complaints can reach ears around the world.

Sure a cut might save a few dollars, but you can only trim so much fat before your offering starts looking unattractive.
This isn't a factory, where you can optimize everything to the nth degree of efficiency and expect everything to be successful.
It also isn't an airline, where you can keep cutting back on the amenities until they are paying extra for everything, because what else are they going to do?
People expect a certain quality of service and comfort for their money. It's what a cruise means to people. Being pampered and taken care of.
Sure you visit different ports, but a big part of the cruise is also the leisure and relaxation aboard the ship.
Cut back too much and suddenly it becomes just another way to travel to a destination. And there are much cheaper ways to get to those destinations.
If I'm being nickle and dimed for everything, I may as well fly there and get a hotel.

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16 hours ago, Haveuseen1 said:

I make these types of decisions every day and it is much easier than you might expect.  The answer to the question is simple. Cut absolutely anything that you can to increase your profits, while maintaining and improving the quality of the experience for the majority.  People complain most about the "exceptions to the rule" .  If the issue is not an issue that most people have a problem with, then guess what.  It is not an issue.  You have 2500 people on a ship.  If 50 complain about the butter who cares.  If 1251 complain about the butter, then there is a problem.  If 200 people complain because they dont like the new menu, but 2300 people dont complain there is not a problem.  The truth is you cant make some people happy any of the time.  I always like to ask how much of a pay cut are you willing to take at your job so that the product that your company produces can provide a better experience for the end user?

Out of curiosity, how much of a pay cut have you taken?

You are correct that taking a cold, clinical view of these decisions can lead to making some very difficult choices.

Your assertion that if most people don't have an issue then it isn't an issue is somewhat of a fallacious argument.
Anyone who works around customer service knows that even a minority of your dissatisfied customers will not voice their complaints to the company.
Generally only about 4%.
The problem is that you cannot ignore the impact that even 2% of your customer base has on your business.
This isn't a factory which can be streamlined in efficiency until there is no waste. Where you can just let the disgruntled workers go because you can always hire someone else.

This is a recreational industry where people come for entertainment and comfort.
If I want to simply visit a destination, then I can take an airplane. 
They have continued to cut back on frills and seat sizes and leg space, but really it is the most cost effective way to travel and they have you "trapped" so to speak.
They can continue to push the boundaries and stop when people start to "squeal".

However people don't just cruise to visit a destination. The ship itself is part of the destination. The vacation.
They expect a certain level of comfort and pampering. A certain level of personal attention.

In this digital age, most will turn to venting their frustrations online.
They feel most corporations don't care about their thoughts and don't take the comment cards or complaints seriously, so the only way to get heard is to broadcast your dissatisfaction.

I already laid out in a previous response why it is folly to ignore those customers.
But whatever industry it is you work in that lets you make such cold, calculated decisions, I would bet it isn't the cruise industry.
And as anyone who has worked at optimizing efficiency can tell you, you simply cannot apply the same streamlining tactics from one industry to another and expect long term, positive results.
Every one is unique and must be dealt with as such.
 

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5 hours ago, ParrotRob said:

 

Yet they're still not using a fountain system.  Do you think that just maybe, it just MIGHT be possible that a corporation that runs dozens of massive ships serving millions of sodas a year just MIGHT know a little more about how to do it cost-effectively than you do?

 

 

Honestly?

 

no

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6 hours ago, RandomUser123 said:

I agree with getting rid of canned sodas and going to a fountain system. That would save them a lot of money right there. 

 

No, it definitely would not.  If it would, they'd already be doing it.

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All of the paper advertising that appears in my cabin!  Yes, I like the spa specials.  The adverted specials could be on the TV screen, the Hub App (which I am yet to use) and/or monitors throughout the ship (no additional announcements from the ceiling, please!).  

 

Bonus: it would be a green thing to do.

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1 hour ago, ParrotRob said:

 

No, it definitely would not.  If it would, they'd already be doing it.

 

 

 

Rob, I can tell you 100% a dispenser is cheaper than cans or bottles. Same as tap beer is way more profitable than cans or bottles. 

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Has Carnival ever made a public announcement about staffing cuts or is this all conjecture? Apologies, it was another thread that discussed staffing cuts and increasing room occupancy.

Edited by pc_load_letter

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