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garardo

Celebrity not the same Long review

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Dear Celebrity

Infinity 11-9-2019 east bound Panama

The intent of this letter is not meant to complain but to comment so Celebrity can become even better.

A bit of history.

My wife Ingrid and I have been sailing Celebrity for over 20 years. We do not remember how many cruises. The comments that I make will not be from your average guest. I am a certified Sommelier and a Chef with 2 years training in Italy working in over half of the regions. We owned a chain of Italian restaurants for years with an unforgiving passion for guest satisfaction, and complete guest hospitality. I apologize however, due to one of our pieces of luggage missing from the ship, I do not have all of my notes. Ingrid is recovering from total hip and knee surgery and is disabled.

Embarkation

We arrived at the pier early and waited for the embarkation to begin. Because Ingrid is handicapped, I asked one of the attendants to tell us when embarkation would begin so she would not have to stand in line too long. We were not informed until I looked at a long line forming.  Luckily, the usual Celebrity efficiency happened and we were in our cabin in 30 minutes.    That is Celebrity.

Cabin 6075

Knowing that Infinity was due to dry dock soon we had some apprehension going into this cruise about the condition of the ship. I had read some reviews on cruise critic that were not positive. We were pleasantly surprised. Sure there was some wear and tear but everything was clean and in good repair.

It was a great idea to replace the “do not disturb” cards that fall off with the magnetic “Deep Sleep” cards. The Pay per view movies at $14.95 were offered in multiple languages.  That is Celebrity.

Anaceli was our stateroom attendant. Words are not enough to tell you how absolutely fantastic she was. She loves her profession and it shows. When we unpacked, one of my shirts was stained with a leaking bottle. She took the shirt put it in the laundry bag and we had it back the next day. The two twin beds were very uncomfortable but she did her best to make them better. The flusher valve was hard for Ingrid to push. It was replaced that afternoon. The phone did not work correctly and was replaced with in a few hours. I had a button come loose from a favorite shirt. Anaceli had it repaired the same day. We brought some champagne with us to enjoy in the cabin while watching the sunset. I requested Riedle glasses and got them. We were given clean glasses every day. Always a heartfelt greeting when we saw her in the hall. Ingrid felt total affection for her and felt like she was a family member. That is Celebrity. The only opportunities were the noisy AC, very large difference in volume on the TV, no pen or paper at the desk and very few free movies.

 

 

MDR

As is my custom, I immediately go to the MDR and check in. Assistant maître d, Jowett was at the desk. The information he had for us was incorrect. He had select dinning with a table of 8. We reserved on line early dinning and a table for 2. He made the changes and put the table number on the slip. I then asked him to please to give our service team a few requests. No bread served, a bottle of Pellegrino water at the table, sliced lemons for the water and all of our hot food hot and cold food cold. He wrote it all down in a small note book. During this encounter, he never engaged me. It seemed as though I was a bother to him.  When we came to the table none of our requests had been carried out and there was not even a chair for my wife. It took over 10 minutes and having to ask 3 crew members to get the sparkling water we had requested and another crew member to get the sliced lemon.

Our waiter came to the table shortly after we arrived and presented us with the menus. They were old, tattered and torn. 5 minutes later He came to the table and said “are you ready to order” with no greeting or review of the menu. He was serving an 11 top and 3 deuces. He seemed very rushed. The 11 top seemed to overwhelm him. One night we were in the middle of placing our order and he stopped and went to the 11 top returning to us 10 minutes later. We are very specific on our orders and the in the order they are to be served.  We would order a plate of prosciutto as an amuse bouche and get no side plates to split it to. We wanted to enjoy the amuse bouche before the appetizer but that did not happen. I wanted the cold appetizer before the hot but it would be reversed. Sometimes not even getting the second appetizer. This made it impossible to enjoy the correct wine with the correct food. 

For the first few nights we did not know who our Asst. Maître d’ was. It looked like we had the honor having Dhinesh. He was engaging and seemed to care. As it turned out I think we had Jowett. Every night he would come from behind me and ask if everything was OK.

Ingrid loves shrimp cocktails and likes 2 of them. This was an every night order. Sometimes she would get both of them sometimes we had to ask for the second one. Sometimes they came on separate plates. Once they came on the same plate. As the cruise progressed he was more engaging. We were talking with him about cheese and crackers and out of the blue we had a plate of them on our table when we arrived for dinner. That is Celebrity. After we placed our order with him and told him about the no bread thing. We were impressed that because I asked for no bread the croutons on the salad had been removed.

He seems to wants to learn. He showed us a book he is studying about food and wine.

Our Sommelier was pleasant and served all of the wine in the correct professional way. He too seemed rushed. I was told he was serving 20 tables. On our first night it took him 15 min to bring the first glass of wine.  I understand that serving a 1,000 guests is difficult. At our restaurants guests had something to drink in 3 minutes.

I enjoy having different wines with the different courses I order. Because I was not totally familiar with the flavor profiles of each dish, I would ask for some assistance. For the most part he could not make good recommendations or even know where the wines specifically were from or what the veritietals were. When I would ask information like do you have a great Pinot Noir he could not point it out on the wine list without fumbling through the pages. On more than one occasion I had not finished my Sauvignon Blanc when I was poured a wonderful glass of Decoy Cabernet sauvignon. I ended up drinking my Sauvignon Blanc with the vegetables and the Cabernet sauvignon with the steak.

We were a bit disappointed so I went down to Guest Relations and asked if the F&B director Martin was available. He came to meet me right away. I was impressed. I expressed to him our opportunities. Moving forward, most of the requests I made were fulfilled with the exception of food temperature. The next day I ran into him and thanked him and mentioned how great the Macadamia nut cookies were but they did not seem to be available at Café Bacio. Every day for the remainder of the cruise, Howard, our back waiter delivered 5 cookies. 4 for us and 1 for Anaceli our Stateroom attendant.  That is Celebrity.

I had the opportunity to spend a few months on the Ca Del Bosco estate and working in the cellar with Cellar Master Brian Larky. I developed a love for quality sparkling wine. I would normally start each meal with a Champagne but I do not remember the name. A few days into the cruise I saw on the Cellar Masters wine list the Perrier Jouet brut champagne by the glass. We had the Premier beverage package and price was not a deterrent. If I would have known about the Perrier Jouet I would have ordered it. If he had known it was available he could have offered it and had an up sell making more money for him and the ship. The second night he offered and poured my Perrier Jouet From a ½ empty bottle it was flat. Instead of having him go out of his way with a fresh bottle of Perrier Jouet I told him a glass of Domaine Carneros Brut would be good. Instead I got the house Champagne. On the second to last night I ordered a bottle of Moscato and a glass of Perrier Jouet from him and it took 21 minutes.

     I do not recall when we first met our back waiter but there was an air of confidence, calm, and dignity. His name is Howard Rendico . He was on top of our needs. For Howard, this is not just a job this is something he loves to do. His service comes from the heart. It is his profession. I always have an espresso at the end of my meal. It must be correctly prepared with the crema so I can do my resentin with the grappa. The espresso was perfectly prepared and served at the minute. Fantastic. That is Celebrity. 

Because I always give credit where it is due, I asked to talk to the maître d'hôtel tell her how much I appreciate what she does. I asked three different MDR staff members on three different occasions. All to no avail. We owned a chain of restaurants for years. If a guest wanted to talk to me and I was not at that restaurant, my staff would call me. If I could not come over to talk to the guest face to face immediately I would have my staff bring the phone to the guest so at least I could talk to them. If I was close to the restaurant, I would drive over to do the face to face and listen to them. When she arrived, I was really upset. It seemed to me that she was avoiding us. I was confrontational that it took three requests and she responded with excuses and reasons why she did not come over the first time. When a guest has an issue you never give an excuse. During our conversation, she interrupted our conversation with several calls coming in on her phone. I found that insulting and rude. I could understand 1 but not several. I would think that the technology is available to tell the incoming caller that she is with a guest and will call them right back instead of interrupting. In the end the problem was a systemic communication problem.

Luggage tags

Every cruise we have been on we had the Celebrity luggage tags mailed to us. I went on line and requested them on Oct 14 and waited the 10 days. We did not receive them so I called and was told that an error had been made and they would try to get them to us before the cruise date. I asked to have the delivery expedited and was informed that was not possible. When an error is made, it needs to be corrected ASAP and not make the guest have and concern.

Concierge

As is custom, we always go to the Concierge to get our boarding pass for the flight home. I did not have my daily with me so I went to the Capitan’s club desk and was told that the Concierge  would open at 4:00. I went and waited for 20 minutes and no one came. I went to guest services and was told she would open at 4:30. At 5:10 she arrived. That is unacceptable. All she needed to do was send some up to the desk and inform the 10 or so guests waiting for her. She did apologize and made an excuse for being late. She took care of my boarding pass and had it delivered to our cabin.

 

Excursions

The crocodile tour was fun, educational and beautiful. The part that shocked the both of us was the amount of pollution in the river. Over whelming. 

We booked this cruise about 18 months ago and had been talking about the jungle Canopy tour in Colon since then. Because Ingrid is having a bit of a hard time getting around we felt this would be great. We go down to the theater, I present our ticket and get our excursion sticker. They call our number and head to the bus. I give our ticket to Nico our excursion host and we are off. He was talking a lot about Panama City so I was confused. The bus stopped for a restroom break so I asked him where we were going. The Panama old city walking tour. You have no idea how completely devastated we were.  There was nothing we could do but go through with the tour. Ingrid limping along trying her best to navigate by the holes in the 24” side walk and down stairs and me trying to support her both emotionally and physically. When we got back to the ship we were both exhausted and disappointed. I requested a meeting with Rodrigo the Guest relations manager. I told him what had happened and said he would talk to the shore excursion desk when they opened at 4:00. At 4:10 I got a call from a young lady that was very hard to understand. I tried to explain what occurred and we wanted to be credited for the tour we did not take but she was going to charge us for the tour we did not book. About 5 minutes later I get another call from a young man. I did not want to go over the story again. I came down to the shore excursion desk and explained the story again and explained that we wanted credit for the excursion and a $100 credit for the aggravation. He said he was not authorized to do that and would talk to his supervisor. She would not do it. I asked to talk to her but ended up talking to Ben Meadows the Destination Concierge. He apologized profusely and comped another excursion we had coming up. Even though I had to talk to 4 staff members and there was some resolution, Ingrid is still very disappointed and hurt that she was not able to go on an excursion she had waited 18 months for. For Ingrid the Cartagena horse tour was the best. She loves haggling with the vendors and the architecture of old Cartagena was impressive.   

Meeting with Exec Chef Lama.

Because I have an insatiable appetite for all things food I met with the Chef. He knew a few of the crew members I had met in the past. He worked under Chef Pasqual. He told me that Pasqual lost a lot of weight and looks great. We talked for about 20 minutes and he answered all of my questions. It was a great after noon.  That is Celebrity. 

Beverage Service

Based on this cruise I feel the Sommelier team would benefit greatly from more training. They need to be more familiar with all of the beverages on the ship and where to locate them. When the staff has more product knowledge they can up sell. If a guest orders a Tarte Tatin, the Sommelier could offer a glass of late harvest Tokay and describe the flavor profile of the wine. That would be an up sell. There also needs to be more communication from management to the staff about inventory levels of all products. One night I had to choose 3 different beers before they had the one I wanted, having to wait 15 minutes.

In my opinion on this cruise either the Sommeliers were covering too large of a station or our Sommelier needed more coaching. One evening at the Ocean View we waited 40 minutes for a glass of wine. That is unacceptable.

I found that the technical parts of the wine service were generally good especially the proper opening on bubbly wine. I never heard a bottle pop. That is Celebrity. 

The Cellar Master Sanjay was absolutely wonderful and helped make our cruise more bearable. He would stop by our table every night and help with our wine service and chat for a while. We ordered a bottle of 2007 Cote Rotie and the cork was bad. He removed it perfectly.  That is Celebrity. 

I try to attend all of the wine events. I find them informative and they keep my mind fresh on all things vino. Fernando was especially entertaining. That is Celebrity.  The only issue was the glasses at the food and wine pairing were extremely spotted.

In my opinion it would be a great idea if all of the Sommeliers had access to a data base containing all information, like grape varietal, fermentation method and area of production. That way they could look it up on their POS instead of looking for the Cellar Master.

Café Bacio and Gelateria

We frequent this venue 3 to 4 times a day to get a cookie, cappuccino, or espresso. We found the staff to be friendly. We enjoy having our Cappuccino pre mixed with sugar and the staff did a perfect job even without me asking. That is Celebrity.   It would be a plus if a napkin and sugar were offered without having to ask. On our last cruise the biscotti served with the coffee were a ½” thick. Now they are less than 1/4'”.  A special high five to Isadora the snack attendant at the Gelateria. She was kind, smiling, engaging, and professional and made the best fresh waffle cones. That is Celebrity. 

 

 

Tuscan Grill

The first night we always dine in a specialty restaurant.

We pre booked the reservation on line. I went early to make sure everything was correct and asked to have no bread and the bottle of Pellegrino at the table with the sliced lemon and a red rose at the table for Ingrid. Everything was perfect.  Tuscan grill is great.  Bogdan, the Maître d’ was friendly and engaging. When I asked him where the restroom was he walked me to the door. Yasar waited on us like we were his only table.  It was different to have fresh basil or Rosemary offered for the olive oil. I was in heaven. I had the Dry aged New York and Ingrid had, contrary to my recommendation, the Chicken parmigiana. If you enjoy more an American Italian dish it was good. We order the Pappardelle Ragu every time. It is so good is should be illegal because it is additive.  Ingrid loves a shrimp cocktail. It was not on the menu but we asked anyway. A double. It was perfectly presented on the plate. I was disappointed that the homemade limoncello is no longer allowed.  I always order a glass of Jacopo Poli Grappa di Torcolato to end my meal. I was very pleased that I could still get it. I cannot even find it here in Las Vegas.  That is Celebrity.  The only regret we have is after our tour fiasco we were too exhausted to visit again.  

The next night I ordered the grappa in the MDR and it came cold and tasted a bit different. I did not mention it but ran into Martin again and mentioned to him that according to Jacopo it is incorrect to serve that grappa at 38 degrees but about 59 is correct. I had the opportunity years ago to have dinner with Jacopo. We talked about proper temperature and I was told too cold would it be like serving a very fine Grand Champagne cognac chilled. As it turned out I was not served the Poli grappa but the house brand.

 

Guest Relations

In all of our cruises, the Guest Relations staff have been exemplary and this cruise was awesome. Special thanks to Rosana Chua. The guest relations director Rodrigo went out of his way to help. I asked if he had a DVD about how ships are repaired in dry dock. He could not find it but gave us a bottle of wine instead.

Sushi on 5

Ingrid loves Sushi so on our last night, we went to Sushi on 5. Great service, Good Sake list, and unusual desserts. It showed service when my napkin was refolded when I left the table to use the restroom.  That is Celebrity.  The only opportunity was rather annoying when the door to the kitchen was opened and the light came into my eyes.

 

Cuisine

These notes are just from memory because I do not have my Luggage

Cold soggy fried shrimp on the noodle soup in Sushi on 5

I question the authenticity of the green color on the Pistachio Cream Brule in Tuscan grill. Pistachios do not emit green color.

The sautéed broccoli with garlic was simply broccoli with browned garlic chips not broccoli sautéed with garlic.

Tarte Tatin was excellent. That is Celebrity

Beef wellington a perfect Med Rare but the crust was soggy.

I was impressed with the Gravlax at the Ocean view. That is Celebrity

Cannelloni crust so soggy I could not eat it.

Seared Branzino outstanding.  That is Celebrity.

The pork leg was over cooked and dry.

All of the cakes we tried looked fantastic but the cake was dry and course.

The crab cakes were very bready. Not like the ones at the Tuscan grill.

As the trip progressed the ripeness of the melons regressed. One night we ordered Prosciutto and melon. The melon was actually crunchy

 

I mentioned to Chef Lama the quality and consistency of all the sauces. I told him his saucier should get a raise.

I was very disheartened when I saw a Barolo braised Beef dish on the menu. Where I come from if you use a specific name for your dish it must contain a majority of that ingredient. Barolo is a wine but also the name of a town. It could be misleading that the dish is braised in the wine which is unlikely because of the price. Perhaps it was referring to the method common to the town of Barolo. There was a Prosciutto di Parma on the menu. I asked Chef about Parma ham and was told that all of the prosciutto now comes from Canada not Italy.

The Pazanella was more of a green salad with dry croutons. Nothing like the real thing.

 

 

 

Ocean View Café

We do not normally go to the Ocean view a lot but thought we would this time given that the menu in the MDR is rather limited for breakfast and lunch. One day a server gave us some a scoop of mango sorbet. It was fantastic.  That is Celebrity. 

Every night there is a feature station. One night Tira mi Su and another Risotto. There were many others but I do not recall. The risotto was surprisingly good and the baklava could not have been better.  That is Celebrity.  It was kind of hidden towards to back but the grill station excellent.  That is Celebrity. We love pickled Herring. One day we could not find it. We asked and even though it was not on display that day we got some. That is Celebrity.   We went to get a chocolate mousse and there were only service spoons no teaspoons. When I asked for a teaspoon, I was told they are over at the coffee station. There is a beverage card on the table. If you are not looking at it in detail you will miss that it actually folds open to display other selections of beverages. Some of the food was either not labeled correctly or with no label at all. Wooden stir sticks were given to stir our cappuccino and no teaspoons were given in the silverware rollups. It was difficult to reach some of the food with the spoons and some of the tongs were very small and hard to close. The one night we went here we were greeted by a lady that unfortunately could not speak English We wanted some cranberry juice, a bottle of Pellegrino and a glass of wine. I walked round the café looking for a sommelier we could order from. It took 40 minutes.   

 

 

Aqua Spa Café

We were pleased to see that all of the selections were handed to each guest. I look forward to seeing that at the Ocean View. I do remember the day when you could get an egg white omelet or grilled salmon made to order. Sorry to see it go.

 

Other stuff

One thing that always impressed us was the restroom attendant. They would keep everything impeccable and hand you a cloth towel to dry your hands. I saw them only once.

I totally understand that Celebrity has the fortune of having Staff members from all over the world and I applaud you for that. A major opportunity I see is the inability of the staff to either clearly communicate to the guest or the other way around. This is an opportunity, and perhaps a bit more vetting or coaching this could be mitigated.

We had the Celebrity shuttle cancelled for $32.  The cab charged us only $27.

Missing Baggage

As directed, we put all of our luggage out at 8:30pm. We had to change our flight plans and would miss the flight if we waited for the shuttle. I had the bags brought up to Guest Relations but one was lost. It was our carry on with medications and jewelry. I even went down to the luggage sorting area with Victoria who by the way was Fantastic. It could not be found.

I was able to call Carrie from the Capitan’s club. She was able to give us all of the steps needed to get our missing bag back to us. That is Celebrity. It was located the next day. I was rather shocked that there was going to be a charge of over $20 to have it shipped. Carrie took care of that too. It is wrong that there would be even a thought of charging a guest for someone else’s error.

 

 

 

Excuses

Call me old school. When a guest has a legitimate concern and addresses it to management, the management must listen and apologize. The guest is not interested in why the problem happened, they only want immediate resolution.    DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES

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So much of the background is completely irrelevant—what was meant as “context” came off as braggadocios.  
 

Maybe next time a private yacht to appease. 

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Heaven help the poor crew when the former owners of a restaurant chain embark! I like the private yacht comment- very true!

Anyway and anyhow- the OP seemed to enjoy his cruise on board the Infinity- and that is what counts.

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3 minutes ago, Germancruiser said:

Heaven help the poor crew when the former owners of a restaurant chain embark! I like the private yacht comment- very true!

Anyway and anyhow- the OP seemed to enjoy his cruise on board the Infinity- and that is what counts.

He did? How did he have time to enjoy the cruise with all of the critical evaluation he supposedly did with every element of every particle of the cruise? I would have been so busy napping and watching water on the balcony I wouldn't know if my wife was able to flush the toilet, much less have an uncomfortable twin bed.

 

I will also guess the Dom Perignon  probably was likely one degree too cold. Not to his taste.

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1 hour ago, garardo said:

Missing Baggage

As directed, we put all of our luggage out at 8:30pm. We had to change our flight plans and would miss the flight if we waited for the shuttle. I had the bags brought up to Guest Relations but one was lost. It was our carry on with medications and jewelry. I even went down to the luggage sorting area with Victoria who by the way was Fantastic. It could not be found.

This makes no sense. As a seasoned cruiser, I find it difficult to believe you put a bag with medication and jewelry out for pick up. If it were a "carry-on" then you would keep it with you AT ALL TIMES, especially with valuables and medicine!

 

Time for you to "jump ship" and cruise Regent, Crystal or Seabourn ... true LUXURY lines that will appreciate your station in life.

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23 minutes ago, K12Guy said:

He did? How did he have time to enjoy the cruise with all of the critical evaluation he supposedly did with every element of every particle of the cruise? I would have been so busy napping and watching water on the balcony I wouldn't know if my wife was able to flush the toilet, much less have an uncomfortable twin bed.

 

I will also guess the Dom Perignon  probably was likely one degree too cold. Not to his taste.

I agree K12- i suppose in his own way he  enjoyed to watch out if all the requirements were met with the due respect of such an important  person - and we are talking about a former owner of a restaurant chain. Least we forget..!

Edited by Germancruiser

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13 minutes ago, K12Guy said:

He did? How did he have time to enjoy the cruise with all of the critical evaluation he supposedly did with every element of every particle of the cruise? I would have been so busy napping and watching water on the balcony I wouldn't know if my wife was able to flush the toilet, much less have an uncomfortable twin bed.

 

I will also guess the Dom Perignon  probably was likely one degree too cold. Not to his taste.

Please understand that this post is NOT negative. It is simply a set of observations made so Celebrity can improve. We did enjoy the cruise but not as much as others we have been on. Celebrity seems to be pinching pennies. 

It is my belief that all food and beverage should be served the best way to optimize flavor. Should a beer be served warm?  

Thanks for the posts. 

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I must admit that I agree with K12Guy that the OP seems to have spent most of the cruise finding things about which to complain.   He has managed to comingle a few genuinely valid matters of concern with many extremely trivial kvetches. 

I am not by the remotest sense a cheerleader for X, as we will be taking our first cruise on X in September; but I am an experienced cruiser on small luxury ships.   It is evident to me that the OP would have been as dissatisfied with the service on Seabourn or Regent as he was on X.   Frankly, the notion that he expected the waitstaff in a huge dining room to remember his remarkably detailed preferences for dining is simply preposterous and unrealistic. 

It does appear that "poser" (or, more likely in this case, "poseur") does sadly apply.   The whole post seems to be more of a boastful declaration of his own expertise than a reasonable critique of the service on the ship.

Indeed, if I were in X management, I would send this poster a box of brochures regarding cruising on the competition, in the firm hope that he would take his little game of culinary one-upmanship to another line.   With some pax, there really is a point of diminishing returns, no? 

Edited by freddie

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11 minutes ago, DogLover said:

This makes no sense. As a seasoned cruiser, I find it difficult to believe you put a bag with medication and jewelry out for pick up. If it were a "carry-on" then you would keep it with you AT ALL TIMES, especially with valuables and medicine!

 

Time for you to "jump ship" and cruise Regent, Crystal or Seabourn ... true LUXURY lines that will appreciate your station in life.

Thanks for the post. You are right on the carry-on. The jewelry was costume and the meds were  not prescription. Still, it is a disappointment. We have been sailing Celebrity because we thought we knew what to expect. Next Cruise is with Oceania to Barcelona. 

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If the OP actually sent this to Celebrity HQ, kudos to the employee who manages to read through this epic, and I hope they put in for overtime.

 

Given the OPs exquisitely high and demanding (dare I say unrealistic) standards, I think it's time for him to move over to the luxury lines. Even they seem destined to disappoint.

 

2 questions for the OP:

1. If you wife was disabled due to post operative recovery, why didn't you ask for a wheelchair at embarkation? An attendant could have wheeled her on board instead of standing and walking.

2. Why on God's Green Earth would you put your carry on bag containing meds and valuables with the rest of your luggage? Madness! That bag should never leave your side. You're lucky that they were able to return it to you. If the meds and jewellery weren't of value, then what was the point of expressly mentioning it? 

 

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8 minutes ago, freddie said:

I must admit that I agree with K12Guy that the OP seems to have spent most of the cruise finding things about which to complain.   He has managed to comingle a few genuinely valid matters of concern with many extremely trivial kvetches. 

I am not by the remotest sense a cheerleader for X, as we will be taking our first cruise on X in September; but I am an experienced cruiser on small luxury ships.   It is evident to me that the OP would have been as dissatisfied with the service on Seabourn or Regent as he was on X.   Frankly, the notion that he expected the waitstaff in a huge dining room to remember his remarkably detailed preferences for dining is simply preposterous and unrealistic. 

It does appear that "poser" (or, more likely in this case, "poseur") does sadly apply.   The whole post seems to be more of a boastful declaration of his own expertise than a reasonable critique of the service on the ship.

Indeed, if I were in X management, I would send this poster a box of brochures from cruising on the competition, in the firm hope that he would take his little game of culinary one-upmanship to another line.   With some pax, there really is a point of diminishing returns, no? 

Thanks for the opinion.

I do not think it is unrealistic to want a glass of wine delivered in under 10 minutes. I also  believe that celebrity should be aware of my  experience so they understand my view. 

 

Thanks 

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7 minutes ago, mom says said:

If the OP actually sent this to Celebrity HQ, kudos to the employee who manages to read through this epic, and I hope they put in for overtime.

 

Given the OPs exquisitely high and demanding (dare I say unrealistic) standards, I think it's time for him to move over to the luxury lines. Even they seem destined to disappoint.

 

2 questions for the OP:

1. If you wife was disabled due to post operative recovery, why didn't you ask for a wheelchair at embarkation? An attendant could have wheeled her on board instead of standing and walking.

2. Why on God's Green Earth would you put your carry on bag containing meds and valuables with the rest of your luggage? Madness! That bag should never leave your side. You're lucky that they were able to return it to you. If the meds and jewellery weren't of value, then what was the point of expressly mentioning it? 

 

My Bad. Wife is recovering and wanting to do things on her own. You know how that is. Just trying to make life as good as possible for her and stay within her desires. The disappointments that we had were caused by simple communication short falls that Celebrity needs to be aware of.  

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Wants Celebrity to change, but doesn’t realize that he himself may need to change his ridiculous expectations outside the norm of most passengers.  
 

Had a feeling reading this post we weren't talking about a one time thing.  If you want a chuckle, check out OPs history—he may have met with every manager in the history of Celebrity.  
 

Again, I highly recommend a yacht—Opus One at 60 degrees, all bread removed from the yacht, lemons cut in perfect proportion to ensure top notch service for a guest of your stature—Italian trained savant of food and wine and a cruise employees biggest pain in the butt customer. 
 

I pity the upcoming Oceania cruise staff. 

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2 minutes ago, toohod said:

Wants Celebrity to change, but doesn’t realize that he himself may need to change his ridiculous expectations outside the norm of most passengers.  
 

Had a feeling reading this post we weren't talking about a one time thing.  If you want a chuckle, check out OPs history—he may have met with every manager in the history of Celebrity.  
 

Again, I highly recommend a yacht—Opus One at 60 degrees, all bread removed from the yacht, lemons cut in perfect proportion to ensure top notch service for a guest of your stature—Italian trained savant of food and wine and a cruise employees biggest pain in the butt customer. 
 

I pity the upcoming Oceania cruise staff. 

Thanks for the post.

Yes, over the years we have been sailing Celebrity we have had the privilege to meet several wonderful officers. The vast majority of the past cruises have been  way better then this one. I do not believe we are having ridiculous expectations in going on the excursion that we booked,  not having to wait 40 minutes for a glass of wine or having hot food hot. It is not beyond the reach of the front waiter to deliver or meals in the correct order. 

 

Thanks 

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25 minutes ago, garardo said:

I do not think it is unrealistic to want a glass of wine delivered in under 10 minutes. I also  believe that celebrity should be aware of my  experience so they understand my view. 

I enthusiastically agree with your first statement quoted above.   The sort of thing with which I cannot agree (other than with a gun placed to my temple) is that a waiter should be expected to know which Hungarian dessert wine you might prefer with your French apple pie.   That is simply pretentious.  

Although I haven't sailed on Oceania, I have cruised extensively on its "big sister" line, Regent.   I predict that you will not find a lot of members of management on Oceania (many of whom come from Regent) who are eager to be "educated" by someone of your esteemed background in food service.   

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I am trying not to succumb to the urge to comment on some of your points made above and leave it to vigorously shaking my head in disbelief.

 

I am sorry that you feel Celebrity is not up to your standards any more. However, the solution is actually simple: cruise on a high end line which meets your standards. Just be prepared to pay much more.

Edited by Miaminice

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Did I read that correctly ....

 

on enarkation you went went to the MDR and gave your instructions as to how you wanted your table set up and how you expected your food presenting and then went and dined in another restaurant that evening?

 

i hope your wife enjoyed her Chicken Parmigiana, despite her not listening to your recommendation 

 

i dont understand the comment about the annoyance when the kitchen door was opened.

 

This reminded me of Bernard Cribbins in the Hotel Insoectors episode of Fawlty Towers

Edited by DYKWIA

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OP,

 

I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed some aspects of your cruise.

 

Like yourselves we have enjoyed cruising with Celebrity for many years. We have enjoyed many a pleasant meal in the MDR with good service and decent food. However, we have never expected to receive a high end fine dining experience either in terms of food quality or staff knowledge of food and wines. It is a mass catering venue with many staff learning on the job... 

 

As our ‘evening entertainment’ now does tend to be our evening meal we tend to dine almost exclusively in the Speciality Restaurants. Here, the staff do have the time and more expertise to discuss food and wine choices with you. However, we still take on board that they are not using fresh seasonal products like a true fine dining establishment would...We accept their products as what they are.

 

Most holidays we will research a venue for a special meal pre or post cruise. Sometimes this restaurant may be world renown on others it could follow a recommendation from a friend or a post on here. At these venues we will rightly enter with high expectations of food, service and product knowledge.

 

We all hope that everyone in the world of hospitality is there because they genuinely want everyone to have a wonderful experience. Over the years we have experienced wonderful service on Celebrity but we do set our expectations to the product marketed to us...

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, garardo said:

I do not believe we are having ridiculous expectations in going on the excursion that we booked,  not having to wait 40 minutes for a glass of wine or having hot food hot. It is not beyond the reach of the front waiter to deliver or meals in the correct order.

 

... and I agree with you on those specific points... ...but, when you try to create a dining experience that was never offered in the MDR in first place by over-complicating the instructions to the dining room team you create the reasons for failure.

 

There is almost nothing in your letter that is actionable beyond the excursion and the slow delivery of the wine. The latter being something to sort out and complain about onboard, not long after the event, and the former to be avoided by actually checking you are on the right excursion before you board the coach, and again dealt with onboard not once ashore. In the case of the excursion, you did get some restitution onboard, complaining again later isn't going to help.

 

You have to align your expectations with your budget, Penthouse Suite private dining expectations do not align with an MDR budget, any more than taking your expectation level with you to dinner at an 'Olive Garden'.

 

Your letter may make you feel better, but it is not going to achieve any more than that. Nor sadly are you going to find Oceania up to your 'standards', I agree with freddie on that point, we are also Regent cruisers and you would most likely be disappointed there as well.

 

I can only hope that you are able to get your expectations more closely aligned with your cruise choices or this is going to keep on happening sadly...

 

 

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I’m not going to go down the abuse line, too much of that on here these days. I would agree that the service in the MDR is poor, actually beyond poor on our cruise in September when one time was enough. I would have thought that Murano every night would have been more to your taste. You appear to have very high standards and I feel they may have been closer to your expectations.

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May I suggest that the OP may have had a better experience if he had booked a Suite.

 

1. Services of a Butler

 

2. Dining in Luminae 

 

3. Michel’s Club

 

Reading between the lines sounds like you love and expect the 5 star experience but you have to pay for that.....just my humble observation.

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1 hour ago, Provence55always said:

May I suggest that the OP may have had a better experience if he had booked a Suite.

 

1. Services of a Butler

 

2. Dining in Luminae 

 

3. Michel’s Club

 

Reading between the lines sounds like you love and expect the 5 star experience but you have to pay for that.....just my humble observation.

You do, Celebrity may have been that at one time but it’s more 3 star hotel levels these days. I’m afraid no customer review is going to change that, it’s not going back to previous standards. We have stayed in some true five star hotels, four seasons, Manderin Oriental where I feel we had that service, never cruised on cruise lines at Regent level so not sure how they compare with the better hotels.

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I fear your expectations far outweigh reality. You will never get that level of service or standard of food on a mass level cruise ship.

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