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Interesting Article About Future Entertainment - Bye, Bye Ambassador Hosts


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51 minutes ago, Travel2Learn said:

I wonder if sharing tables at dinner will still be available.  

 

Interesting question. Some lines, like Princess and Holland (I think) will only allow "travelling parties" to dine together and the bookings must be cross-referenced/linked as proof of that before boarding.

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The comments from Crystal management are actually encouraging when considering the big picture.  The "big picture" is whether Crystal resumes cruising in a form that is recognizable as "Crystal" while adjusting to the new world order. K. Cox indicates that the ambassador host program is postponed, not cancelled. He also said that the late night Avenue piano bar may move to a different venue. These are clues that concrete plans are being made for resuming operations. Clues are not dispositive, but they are positive indicators for Crystal cruising in the future.

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15 minutes ago, All That Jazz said:

The comments from Crystal management are actually encouraging when considering the big picture.  The "big picture" is whether Crystal resumes cruising in a form that is recognizable as "Crystal" while adjusting to the new world order. K. Cox indicates that the ambassador host program is postponed, not cancelled. He also said that the late night Avenue piano bar may move to a different venue. These are clues that concrete plans are being made for resuming operations. Clues are not dispositive, but they are positive indicators for Crystal cruising in the future.

As I mentioned on the Crystal Society Family board on Facebook, I find it interesting, given the financial uncertainty surrounding Crystal/GHK, that Travel Weekly even included Crystal in the article.  

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Here’s a link to the article that works - https://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/Reimagined-cruise-acts-blend-entertainment-with-protocols 

 

One other thing to note is that while Crystal may be considering more outside entertainment as per Keith’s comments in the last para that comes at a price. I believe that the sound from activity around the pool on the Lido permeates to the top level cabins on the deck below - that won’t be very popular with those guests 

 

I don’t mind the idea of using the Palm Court for the piano bar - it’s very under utilised at night and it’s a lovely location which is already one of my favourites onboard. It won’t be as intimate but then again a lot of things won’t be the same for quite sometime 
 

I think this article opens up the issues around just what the new cruising experience will be - there’s going to be a lot of changes to areas such as dining, service and excursions as well as entertainment

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Roland4 said:

 

Interesting question. Some lines, like Princess and Holland (I think) will only allow "travelling parties" to dine together and the bookings must be cross-referenced/linked as proof of that before boarding.

Well given that a lot of us travel solo, that would be a deal breaker for me. 

Edited by wearesiamese
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I love to dine solo, if not with my DH so I have no problem with the tables situation.  palm Court for Piano Bar is excellent as I always thought the Saloon was way too small and way too crowded with lots pf people talking so I think this is a great idea and I would attend.  My deal breaker is mandatory shore excursions or not being able to get off the ship.  I hate going on cruise ship shore excursions as one is always inevitably waiting for a person or two who have no consideration and are always late.   That is why I always do my own thing.  Then again, who knows if Crystal ocean cruises will survive.

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9 hours ago, cruisr said:

 My deal breaker is mandatory shore excursions or not being able to get off the ship. 

If that policy is enforced, and especially if the shore excursions continue to include "private car and English speaking guide", then that policy is exposed to be merely a combination of theater and cash grab. In a practical sense, it is impossible to put people in a sterilized bubble and take a worthwhile "tour." Imagine asking people who book these tours not to interact in any meaningful way with either the locals or the environs. Not happening.

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2 hours ago, All That Jazz said:

If that policy is enforced, and especially if the shore excursions continue to include "private car and English speaking guide", then that policy is exposed to be merely a combination of theater and cash grab. In a practical sense, it is impossible to put people in a sterilized bubble and take a worthwhile "tour." Imagine asking people who book these tours not to interact in any meaningful way with either the locals or the environs. Not happening.

Not terribly keen on it ourselves in some ports of call, but keep in mind that "only ship-sponsored tours" is an industry standard response to the virus, not just a Crystal "cash grab".

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In regard to the OP "bye bye Ambassador Hosts"...  I never saw the value in having as many as eight ambassador hosts when little more than a dozen passengers utilized their skills. 

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6 hours ago, History&Wine said:

In regard to the OP "bye bye Ambassador Hosts"...  I never saw the value in having as many as eight ambassador hosts when little more than a dozen passengers utilized their skills. 

 

I think it's also significant that the hosts make up the majority of shore excursion escorts as well.  When you have ports where the ship remains overnight you can draw from the casino staff for excursions during that day, but depending on the timing of the port call you can't always draw from that team.  The enrichment guests only go so far for coverage...

 

Vince

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I have no idea what the future entertainment will look like but I am certain that it will be less fun then it was in the post pandemic era. I also wonder how are we going to deal with masks. Do you believe that we will be allowed not to wear them any time soon? I have a strong feeling that we will have to wear for life now.. 

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8 hours ago, BWIVince said:

 

I think it's also significant that the hosts make up the majority of shore excursion escorts as well.  When you have ports where the ship remains overnight you can draw from the casino staff for excursions during that day, but depending on the timing of the port call you can't always draw from that team.  The enrichment guests only go so far for coverage...

Can the casino open if the ship is still in port?  I did not think that was ever allowed.  They also use the spouses/travel companions of the enrichment lecturers, and the singers/dancers. 

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2 minutes ago, SusieQft said:

Can the casino open if the ship is still in port? 

 

No it can't - unless there are some countries somewhere in the world with different rules that allow it as an exception

 

You're right about Tour escorts coming from the entertainment team as well as the enrichment lecturers - I know it's a nice touch having a "Crystal" escort on tours but in reality the tours could still proceed without that person - in fact weve had one tour where there wasn't a Crystal representative escorting us

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3 hours ago, SusieQft said:

Can the casino open if the ship is still in port?  I did not think that was ever allowed.  They also use the spouses/travel companions of the enrichment lecturers, and the singers/dancers. 


No, that’s the problem...   You can’t have people covering tours from 7:30am (report time in the Starlite) to 4:00pm, and then work their shift in the casino from 6:00pm to close after the ship sails.  They’d only be available for really short tours or on days the ship remains in port and the casino is closed.

 

They DO currently use spouses and entertainers, and that’s another huge part of the problem.  They’ve already tapped these folks to make the numbers work WITH the hosts.

 

Vince

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2 hours ago, Cruise-y said:

I’ve actually had tour “hosts” that were gift shop employees and computer instructors. 


...Spa staff occasionally as well.  Basically all the concessionaires.

 

Vince

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I think the pandemic has given all businesses the chance to change things they might of wanted to for years but were afraid of blowback from customers, now they can blame it on the virus. The ships have been stopped for so long that when they start again it can be a whole new experience  with a majority of new faces in the crew. The way the vaccine roll out is going here in the US I now have set my sights on the fall at best, maybe the new government coming next week can speed things up!

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So to recap...gift shop employees, entertainers, speakers and their spouses, instructors, casino employees, ship officers, front desk employees, surely some others have all been tour escorts.  And happily so, as they get to tour for free.  I've heard casino and gift shop employees say theirs was the greatest job because they get to go on tours. 

 

Seems that ambassador hosts make up a minority of escorts. 

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30 minutes ago, History&Wine said:

So to recap...gift shop employees, entertainers, speakers and their spouses, instructors, casino employees, ship officers, front desk employees, surely some others have all been tour escorts.  And happily so, as they get to tour for free.  I've heard casino and gift shop employees say theirs was the greatest job because they get to go on tours. 

 

Seems that ambassador hosts make up a minority of escorts. 


Actually, the short answer to that is no.

 

There are only two staffing groups that are the primary pool of escorts based on their work assignments — enrichment lecturers (including religious and tech presenters) and hosts.  All the others are only conditionally available — they’re always in the mix but individuals may or may not be available on a given day because of conflicts.  Sure, they’re used now, but they’re used now to SUPPLEMENT the lecturers and hosts and are taken into account into the current staffing.  If you pull out 6-8 dedicated people, it takes MORE than 6-8 NEW conditionally available people to fill their seats, and they’re currently tapped using all those sources.

 

It’s worth remembering that at an average port on a full cruise they use 20-30 escorts.  (Yeah, sadly I count the busses, because as someone whose responsibility covers these types of things it makes me appreciate being on vacation and the logistics being someone else’s problem.). Remember that the escorts are per BUS, and it can take 4-6 escorts to operate one tour for the more popular ones.

 

To be clear, I’m not saying that banning hosts will be the end of shore excursions (the department can just limit the number of tours offered to whatever the new staffing level is), or that in the future they may staff a new type of invitee that may be more relevant to the new normal that can also be used to accompany tours, I was just responding to the assertion that the hosts don’t have any duties than to dance with a couple of women for a few minutes each night.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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55 minutes ago, History&Wine said:

Um....did anyone assert that the hosts only dance with a "couple" of women for a "few minutes" each night?  

 

 

 

IIRC, the assertion upthread was that they were overstaffed and their duties were brief.  My point in my first reply was that their duties were more robust than just as dance partners.  They can actually spend more work hours doing other things than dancing.

 

Vince

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32 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

 

IIRC, the assertion upthread was that they were overstaffed and their duties were brief.  My point in my first reply was that their duties were more robust than just as dance partners.  They can actually spend more work hours doing other things than dancing.

 

Vince

Vince....I must say that you do not recall correctly.  My point is not that their duties are brief...many times they dance all night long.   My point is that their dancing skills are utilized by only a small  per centage of passengers. A small percentage....not merely a "couple" as you posted.   Given this, Crystal might consider utilizing those rooms for personnel that might appeal to a broader range of passengers... and these others could also double as escorts as the hosts do now. 

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26 minutes ago, History&Wine said:

Vince....I must say that you do not recall correctly.  My point is not that their duties are brief...many times they dance all night long.   My point is that their dancing skills are utilized by only a small  per centage of passengers. A small percentage....not merely a "couple" as you posted.   Given this, Crystal might consider utilizing those rooms for personnel that might appeal to a broader range of passengers... and these others could also double as escorts as the hosts do now. 

What you say is correct, and for the record we do not utilize the Hosts' services, but that also applies to a number of other "specialist" positions. The Art Instructor on the World Cruise comes to mind, as do the Catholic Priest and the Protestant Minister. I don't say this to be controversial, but more to point out that range of appeal covers a multitude of users. 

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