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First-Timer Post-Cruise Thoughts

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Ditto...KenzSailing and Larry (Roland).

 

Some advance coordination for a group or just asking in advance for a specific food item will do the trick.  Also using kindness and asking rather than demanding goes along way IMHO.  😊   On occasion there might be something that one asks about that cannot be accommodated and I don't believe it has to do with "smoothing things over" but rather a policy or a limitation.

 

Keith

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Yes, it's entirely possible that I am interpreting any extra accommodation we received as being in response to tipping, when in reality we may have well been accommodated anyway.

 

But one case in point was seating all of us in UU at one table - when enquired pre-cruise, we were told to speak to the MD on board. We did as soon as we could on day one, and the answer was a clear "no" - the best they could do was try to sit us in adjacent tables, but even that might be tricky due to layout. We were happy with this; didn't kick up a fuss or anything. But I understand one other member of our party politely tried their luck again just before the start of our service, but this time with some light ammunition - it worked. Would it have worked sans ammunition? Possibly, but who's to know? To us it was cause and effect and it did the job.

 

I'm not for a second suggesting that good service must be bought on board - on the contrary, the basic level of service was exemplary. I'm just making a case that in my experience (which may of course differ from yours), it did make some difference - not enough to define the cruise, but a difference nonetheless.

 

YMMV, caveat emptor and all that. 🙂 I do not wish to make this point bigger than it is, it was really just a trivial passing comment that was a raindrop in the ocean of the Crystal experience.

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Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm happy to provide generous gratuities for good and/or extraordinary service whenever it's customary, usual and appropriate. Indeed, my chief concern here is at least the appearance of blurring the lines of what's expected and appropriate on Crystal such that guests must concern themselves with not being inappropriate when making special requests. I do think, however, that on a luxury all-inclusive line, management should be concerned that staff accepting gratuities in advance of and as impetus for extraordinary service is a slippery slope.

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10 hours ago, deadlock said:

For example, seating all 12 of us at a single round table in Umi Uma, which is usually meant to accommodate a maximum of 8

 

As an aside I can't imagine how that would have felt for those seated at the table and trying to eat. We've had 10 at one of those tables and it worked ok (just) - but even then there are compromises about the amount of dishes that can be served given all the table settings

 

I've never found it necessary to provide a gratuity to achieve anything on Crystal - and we've made some testing requests over the years. I come from a part of the world where tipping is not normal so providing gratuities in advance to get things done doesn't come naturally for me

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Ah, yes. A table for ten at Umi Uma. Definitely possible.  In fact, we were seated next to one, our latest cruise. Loud rowdy obnoxious. Spoiled our dinner. Serious embarrassment to staff. Ugh.

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3 hours ago, CeciltheSeaSerpent said:

Ah, yes. A table for ten at Umi Uma. Definitely possible.  In fact, we were seated next to one, our latest cruise. Loud rowdy obnoxious. Spoiled our dinner. Serious embarrassment to staff. Ugh.

Same here -- except it was two tables of 10.  Much too many and really affected the service.  So much so, that the $30 charge was removed from our bill.

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I'm also one who wishes that Crystal would discourage if not ban any tipping during the course of the cruise and limit tipping until the final day. I've seen people slip servers a couple of dollars every time they bring them a drink and to me it's just awkward and unnecessary and not in the spirit of the experience of cruising on an all inclusive line.  If you want to tip, great but wait until the end of the cruise.

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5 hours ago, CeciltheSeaSerpent said:

Ah, yes. A table for ten at Umi Uma. Definitely possible.  In fact, we were seated next to one, our latest cruise. Loud rowdy obnoxious. Spoiled our dinner. Serious embarrassment to staff. Ugh.


Loud rowdy and obnoxious diners in Umi Uma can be found on any size table - we were enjoying our meal there last cruise when we were disturbed by a loud female voice at a table several tables away from us - that was ok until she dropped a very loud “f bomb” which we could hear clearly - this was of course totally unacceptable. The table left soon after - I suspect her dining companions were only too glad to exit the situation 

 

I don’t think the size of the table defines the experience - it’s more about the social skills of the guests 

 

While I’m on the issue I’ll never forget someone from two tables away coming over to our Table of 8 on Symphony in the old MDR to tell us to quieten down - our “crime” was everyone at the table laughing at a story one of our table mates had told (yes the laughter was real and not just a polite acknowledgement). I stress this was a one off and not repeatedly. We just politely told the person we weren’t going to be instructed on behaviour by them. I’m delighted to say we’ve remained friends with our Table of 8 friends for the last 5 years and had several reunions at various cities, and restaurants, on land - and enjoyed many more great stories and laughter together. The grumpy fellow guest? - who knows what happened to them - I’m pleased to say I never saw them again 

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If someone comes to tell me that my large group is disturbingly loud in an upscale dining venue and politely asks us to please try to keep the sound down, I would acknowledge their discomfort and say that we will be more aware of the volume going forward.  

 

Polite response: "I'm sorry you were disturbed.  We just heard a wonderful story and had to laugh. I hope you are enjoying this wonderful dinner as much as we are."

Rude Response: "We're enjoying ourselves. Leave us alone. We're laughing.  Get over it. You have no right to tell us to change our behavior. We're on vacation. You can leave if you don't like it."

 

Maybe it's a cultural thing.

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8 minutes ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

If someone comes to tell me that my large group is disturbingly loud in an upscale dining venue and politely asks us to please try to keep the sound down, I would acknowledge their discomfort and say that we will be more aware of the volume going forward.  

 

Polite response: "I'm sorry you were disturbed.  We just heard a wonderful story and had to laugh. I hope you are enjoying this wonderful dinner as much as we are."

Rude Response: "We're enjoying ourselves. Leave us alone. We're laughing.  Get over it. You have no right to tell us to change our behavior. We're on vacation. You can leave if you don't like it."

 

Maybe it's a cultural thing.

 

Thank you!

Edited by gnomie1

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10 minutes ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

If someone comes to tell me that my large group is disturbingly loud in an upscale dining venue and politely asks us to please try to keep the sound down, I would acknowledge their discomfort and say that we will be more aware of the volume going forward.  

 

Polite response: "I'm sorry you were disturbed.  We just heard a wonderful story and had to laugh. I hope you are enjoying this wonderful dinner as much as we are."

Rude Response: "We're enjoying ourselves. Leave us alone. We're laughing.  Get over it. You have no right to tell us to change our behavior. We're on vacation. You can leave if you don't like it."

 

Maybe it's a cultural thing.

 

Well they got something akin to option 2 - and would again in the same circumstances  

 

It’s not a cultural thing at all 

 

It’s a cruise ship not a Michelin restaurant - if people want to dine in silence perhaps they should consider dining in their room 

 

Maybe those kill joys complaining on that occasion might have approached the situation differently and worked through the MDR staff rather than storming over to our table and being rude in their approach 

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Just my two cents.


Large tables tend to be louder.  

This is one of the reasons Waterside is not as noisy as it used to be on both Symphony and Serenity as there are fewer larger tables and more smaller tables.

 

It is not because the people at large tables are rude.  IMHO it is due to two reasons.

 

One is if you have a large group of people it tends to facilitate more conversation than say two people at one table. 

 

And at times when everyone tries to talk as one group at one large table the reality is to hear someone speaking at a large table the person speaking has to speak much louder than if you are at a two person table.

 

If you had five tables in a restaurant of 10 people at each table versus 25 tables of two people at each table logic tells me that the five table restaurant would be louder.

 

We used to see this at the old Crystal Dining Room.  We sat at a table near one of the officers table.  If six people were at the table not very loud.  As the size increased it got louder and louder and if you had 10 or 12 people there were some nights when Anne Marie and I couldn't hear each other yet I could hear the conversation at the large table.  It's no different than on land too.  On land if it is just the two of us or if we are dining wit hone other couple when I make a reservation I request being placed in a quieter section of a restaurant if one exists.  

 

Again it's not the people but rather IMHO it is the result of a larger table.  

 

Keith

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6 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

I'm also one who wishes that Crystal would discourage if not ban any tipping during the course of the cruise and limit tipping until the final day. I've seen people slip servers a couple of dollars every time they bring them a drink and to me it's just awkward and unnecessary and not in the spirit of the experience of cruising on an all inclusive line.  If you want to tip, great but wait until the end of the cruise.

 

And if you really feel it necessary to "tip", do what we do, which we started doing after a suggestion on this board, make a donation to the Crew Welfare Fund. It is a fund used to pay for crew parties, shore trips, and even to get crew home in the event of an emergency. Just go to the front desk, ask for a Gratuity form and write Crew Welfare Fund and the amount. This way all the crew benefit, and it is a way to say thank you to all those "behind the scenes" people who contribute invisibly to your enjoyment. We have done this our last few cruises and have received a very nice personalized thank you from the Crew Officer, and even some personal thanks from members of the crew who we had had no personal dealings with, which really blew us away!!😀

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