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The Night the Lights Went Out at Sea -- An Emerald Review


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I know you read a lot of novels, but have you ever thought of writing one?  Great review, although you have me a little concerned about Rene, given we are going on Emerald at the end of March. If we get him, we might be eating at the buffet more...😆

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6 minutes ago, stoneharborlady said:

Wonderful review, but I dont understand why you did not report Rene after the first day.  I am not aggressive, but I would have.

 

Having been in a similar situation I can try to explain.

Our cruise was 14 days with Rene's twin.

You start out hoping that by being pleasant you can receive the same attitude in return.

That works (or not) for several nights.

Then you say something casually to the Headwaiter.

Then you try to ignore it and make it into a joke.

Then you happily accept friends' requests to dine with them for a couple of nights.

Then you try one more night with "IT".

Then you ask the Headwaiter to please move you to what seems to be an empty table next to aforementioned friends  for the last two or three nights and every time "IT" walks past he glares at you.

 

As I said previously - lesson learned - one, maybe two, nights with IT and we will, in the future, insist on being moved.

 

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10 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

I thought she said she did.  🤔

Maybe I read it wrong.

 

She did say she spoke to one of the white coats, not sure who that would be.  Who would be the correct person to speak to, if after speaking to Rene himself, things did not  change?

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4 minutes ago, stoneharborlady said:

She did say she spoke to one of the white coats, not sure who that would be.  Who would be the correct person to speak to, if after speaking to Rene himself, things did not  change?

 

 

The white coat is most probably the Headwaiter and I would think that would be the person to talk to.

After that you'd have to seek out the Maitre D'.

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8 minutes ago, stoneharborlady said:

She did say she spoke to one of the white coats, not sure who that would be.  Who would be the correct person to speak to, if after speaking to Rene himself, things did not  change?

 

Somebody that out of line for me would be the MD to start

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27 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Somebody that out of line for me would be the MD to start

I am sure I would do the same.  I spoke with our MD on the Crown in Nov and he had just joined the ship the prior voyage (10 nighters).  It was for entirely the opposite situation about our Assistant Waiter and near the end of the cruise when I spotted him in our DR.  I was telling him how wonderful the young fellow was and he knew very well just what I was talking about and totally agreed with me that he was a top performer and had just received a promotion.  So, I have no doubt the MD would be aware of such a situation.  I have to wonder if "Rene" was also on some sort of performance watch as I am not sure why they wouldn't just replace him.

 

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1 hour ago, chamima said:

 

 

The white coat is most probably the Headwaiter and I would think that would be the person to talk to.

After that you'd have to seek out the Maitre D'.

Then I would be hot on the trail of the Maitre D.    I dont enjoy getting anyone into trouble, but it sounds like this young man too much enjoys being rude.

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8 hours ago, chamima said:

 

We've also been warned about late boarding and late disembarking.

How was the Princess transfer to LAX?

Did they take everyone to their airlines terminal or did all of you get dropped off at some central point?

It looks like we're going to have a lot of luggage and need to be dropped off as close to luggage collection as possible.

 

We were all dropped at the American Airlines terminal, right in front of a set of doors.  I think the check-in counters were right there for main cabin; I had to walk a little further to get to the first class check-in but it wasn't bad. 

 

I believe they had several buses, and I suspect our bus was all people with AA tickets.  It seemed very organized and really once through the bottleneck of immigration, couldn't have been easier.  There were multiple port agents stationed along the way to point you to the buses and to make sure you boarded the correct one.  And at the airport, the driver moved very quickly in unloading the bags, so by the time I was off the bus (I was seated toward the back), my bags were just being set down on the sidewalk.  I usually prefer taxis but I'd definitely do this LAX transfer again. 

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For those second-guessing my actions re our waiter, I had had two conversations (one with him and one with a white coat) and that was already way more time than I cared to invest.  I certainly wasn't interested in trying to track down the maitre d' -- he never made an appearance in DaVinci , so where would I look?   In fact, given that not even the white coats swung by our table to see how things were going, it seemed evident that the maitre d' on this voyage didn't give a fig about service, or else is the worst manager in the world.  Either way, the signs pointed toward a meeting with him as being a giant waste of time. 

 

Our health and safety weren't being compromised and the food quality didn't suffer (once we spoke sharply about him leaving plates to get cold because he brought the next courses out too soon), so I chose to instead consider it as entertaining fodder for a snarky review.  If Princess were paying me to whip their staff into shape, that'd be different.  But I'm paying them to relax, and relaxation to me is not spending precious vacation time on administrative chores.  I've done my due diligence and warned you all, so I consider I've now fulfilled my responsibility to humanity. 

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 Your sense of humor & style of writing made for an enjoyable morning read but it should come with a warning - "drinking while reading may result with spillage" - Thanks for the review.

 

I'm on the Emerald this year for the holidays & will stay clear of Rene in the MDR!     

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what a great review! going through the canal is on my bucket list

 

crazy about the power going out. i'm glad it was super temporary

 

weird about PV port, when i went we must have docked at a different pier, because i could see the walmart from my balcony when i woke up, we walked off the ship, the "marketplace" was under construction, so we walked around it to the corner light, crossed the street and walked half a block to the walmart.  someone, not me, had broken their sunglasses. we ended up calling the uber from walmart to go to a taco place we wanted to go to. 

Edited by vampiress
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  • 4 weeks later...

Delightful Read.  Sad to say I think I've met Rene moonlighting.  No better at his second job than his first - but your description of him was so delightfully vivid we appreciate your putting up with him just for our vicarious pleasure!

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 7:29 PM, rdsqrl said:

A charming girl pulled out my chair and smiled and introduced herself (I promptly forgot her name) and identified herself as the assistant waiter – as I order a lot of wine (thank you for the Gold Package, Princess), she was my new best friend – I want to say “Marcella?”  I noticed everyone else at the table had menus already.  Okay, fine, I was the last one to be seated and we’re not the only table so I imagine the waiter will be over in a moment.  And I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Much like Vladimir and Estragon.  Unlike them, I did not wait in vain, but I felt myself envying them, as my own Godot turned out to be the Worst Waiter in the World.  He was not only a bad waiter in terms of his job performance – there was the added bonus of his personality:   rude, sullen, unfriendly.  He just cast a general pall over the entire dining experience.  We’ll call him Rene.  Because that’s his name. 

Here are some of Rene’s greatest hits: 

 

**I smiled and said hello and paused before ordering for him to say hello.  Silence ensued.  I ordered and he snatched the menu out of my hand before I had time to close it. 

 

**Everyone had menus already when I sat down.  Rene was MIA.  He returned and everyone still had menus except me.  He pretended not to notice and went around the entire table taking orders until he got to me.  I asked him for a menu and he oh-so-graciously handed me one he had just collected from my tablemate, then stood over my shoulder tapping his pen on his notepad while I read it. 

 

** Appetizers were delivered to the wait station by our assistant waiter, and Rene served the entire table, except me.   He then went around the  table with the pepper, getting to me and started to pepper the tablecloth until I said, I think you forgot to give me my plate.

 

**The experience of waiting tables was apparently physically painful to him as he did everything he could to make it as quick as possible.  He flung plates upon the table as though he were in Vegas dealing out cards for a speed blackjack tournament.  Before you had even half-finished  your app or salad, he was setting down at your place the silver for the next course (even if it meant reaching over and round your hands/arms as they conveyed food from plate to mouth).  When asked for recommendations (which I began doing just to annoy him, since he clearly hated to engage in conversation), he would simply repeat the name of whatever dish you asked about or point at a dish at random. 

 

Two people at the table (it began as a table of eight) switched after the first night to Anytime, so we were down to 6.  He removed a leaf and the table size shrunk to 6.  Another couple at the table tended to dine in specialty restaurants so were only there about every other night – Rene would stand at the table on the nights they weren’t there and announce plans to remove another leaf and turn the table into a table for 4 the next night.  He said this with a slightly bloodthirsty air; one got the distinct impression that he’d like nothing better than to shrink the table down to the size of a plant stand, leaving no chairs and only the bud vase with its limp alstromeria to mark the erstwhile presence of 8 annoying passengers who had the temerity to dine in his section.  I don’t mind telling you, I was afraid to walk the decks alone at night. 

 

Another diner and I each spoke to him separately and I went to one of the white-coats, but nothing changed.  We decided to make it a joke and I’m sure our (okay, my) derisive comments and downright snarky rudeness about him were overheard by him, but I was past caring.   A scathing letter, as well as post-cruise comments, have been conveyed to Princess.  In the interim, if you’re aboard the Emerald and on that first night, your waiter’s nametag says Rene (because he sure won’t introduce himself!), run fast and run far . . .

 

Yikes, what a miserable experience having to sit in Rene’s section.   I definitely would have moved.  Shameful that the white coats did nothing to rectify the situation.    

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Annie, a great fun read (which is what I have come to expect from you) but I have to take you to task on a couple of First World issues;

No food porn. 

Going on a cruise without 2 fully charged Canon batteries and a battery charger.(DOH! slaps forehead)

 

Otherwise FAB!

Norris

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