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Interesting Article About Future Entertainment - Bye, Bye Ambassador Hosts


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2 hours 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. 


I totally with THAT point and even said that in my first reply this morning, just for the record.  Sorry if I misinterpreted “small percentage” as a “couple” in reference to how many people interacted with 8 hosts — I do still read it that way though.

 

Vince

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FWIW, the Ambassador Hosts do not receive a "free" cruise. They pay a per-diem amount (albeit significantly lower than the lowest minimum-rate fare). At one time, they did receive a "free" cruise, as well as a daily per-diem bar allowance, but that changed once the fares were changed to the current all-inclusive policy.

 

Rob

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6 hours ago, Roland4 said:

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. 

My point is in the number of guests per ambassador host or art instructor or --insert specialist here--- utilize the services of the specialist positions.  My experience: 

 

I'm not a religious person.  I have don't really know  how many guests use the services of the Protestant minister.  I have observed  a crowd of Jewish gatherings on Friday nights held by the Rabbi.  There must be on average over fifty passengers attending.  I also do not use the art instructor, but I know from experience such classes generally have around 15 to 20 people.  My  Apple Ipad class had about 20 people.  My beginner bridge class had about 20 people.  The intermediate and advanced bridge classes have  around  40 or fifty enthusiastic participants.  That's one room of husband and wife serving 15 or (usually more) passengers. 

 

Dancers?  Sure, there are dancers, but the question is how many passengers utilize the services of the hosts.  I have observed the dance floor most nights on my voyages.  I have a habit of walking around to most of the bars.  I can't recall seeing more than a dozen (often less) passengers using the services of the hosts.   I'm not saying there aren't sometimes more than a dozen...just that I haven't seen it.  So,  on world cruises that would be eight rooms servicing a dozen passengers.  Seems Crystal could find something more appealing to a multitude of passengers. 

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Personally, I believe that the variety of activities has always been a strength of Crystal. On cruises with plentiful sea days, the choice of activities is abundant. It really doesn't matter how many guests take bridge lessons or golf lessons or enjoy the lectures. The guests are dispersed around the ship rather than crowding all together. I can't even imagine what would appeal to the "multitude", however, maybe on your next cruise you can suggest something to management.

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Very few cruises have 8 Ambassador Hosts. 4 is the standard. They generally share rooms, so only 2 rooms are used. Generally these are non-passenger rooms, at least on the Symphony. Another of their duties that no one has mentioned yet, is they host the shared dinner tables in Waterside, generally every other night.

 

While some cruises may have not so many dancers, others such as the Symphony last January have quite a few. We had upwards of 30  ladies without dance partners and only 4 hosts when we left San Diego. Fortunately the Cruise Director was able to get another 2 to board in Honolulu. 8 would have been great. 

 

The Ambassador Hosts contribute to entertainment in another way. Guests who are not dancers themselves enjoy watching the dancing. I was surprised the first few times it occurred, but I have had people who I've never seen before approach me about the ship to say that part of their evening entertainment is to sit in the back of the Starlite and watch the dancing. They'll tell me which partner they think I dance best with, whether or not I was providing them with entertainment on their last cruise, etc. 

 

Many of us dancers would cruise a lot less if there were no Ambassador Hosts. What Crystal could do better is change its process of estimating demand for hosts pre-cruise. In the past, they've used women traveling without men as a proxy. This of course totally misses the women traveling with men who don't dance, and therefore those women dance with the Hosts. And it assumes that the same percentage of women traveling without men do dance. I think demand could be more accurately calculated, perhaps by augmenting the PCPC to inquire what activities guests intend to participate in. Or having been on a Crystal Cruise, one's Crystal Society account could be flagged to say this guest dances with hosts. 

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1 hour ago, TER777 said:

 This of course totally misses the women traveling with men who don't dance, 

 

I feel so seen.

 

But seriously, remember the pre-AI debate?  A ton of posts were of the nature of "I don't drink, and don't want to pay for your booze."  Well, discussing Crystal economizing by eliminating the AHs is just the 2021 version of that.  Me? I don't dance, but I do drink(ok, sometimes after drinking I do dance, but let's not talk about that.)

 

Anyway, you toss a few bucks on the bar, and I'll do so on the dance floor.  It all works out.    

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maybe the job title and description needs to change - they really Crystal to passenger contact and help people - should be both genders - who help on shore excursions, evening entertainment, etc.

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3 hours ago, ctjon said:

maybe the job title and description needs to change - they really Crystal to passenger contact and help people - should be both genders - who help on shore excursions, evening entertainment, etc.

I'm not sure either really needs to change.  While I haven't seen the job description, I think "Ambassador Host" perfectly fits just what they do--That's the title; what really needs to change is the flippant popular moniker of "dance hosts".

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd
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Special Interest "working guests" are not all a like.  Ambassador Hosts pay a daily fee of $300.00 for the privilege's of sailing on Crystal. They are expected to work 4 hours a day on dance sessions plus any scheduled group dance class. In addition they are asked to host a table in Waterside and act as the ship representative on shore excursions. Host accommodates are in crew quarters with bunk beds and double occupancy unless on rare occasion Cruise Director assigns a different location. Most sailings have 4 hosts so 2 cabins with the exception of World Cruise and Ballroom Theme that have 8 hosts with 4 cabins.  It is NOT a free ride.   

 

However, other Special Interest "working guests" i.e. Golf, Clergy, Bridge, Computer, Art, Lectures, Headline Entertainers etc. are all on a free ride according to hiring contract and provided with a Guest cabin of Cruise Directors choice based on availability.  They are expected to do only the specific job they were brought on to do.  

 

I am a single traveler and dancer having started on Crystal Harmony in 1994. The Ambassador Host are a big part of why I return to Crystal sailing on average of 45 days per year.  As someone else mentioned it would be great if Crystal could figure out a way to know in advance how many guests were interested in dancing to ensure enough hosts were onboard.  A 1 hour session allows approx 5-6 numbers with only 4 hosts. The host are not allowed to dance with the same guests twice if others are waiting . This means depending on the number of guests wishing to dance sometimes the ladies do not get a turn. Crystal is the only line to offer dance host for every sailing.   I am hoping once the pandemic is under control and we are sailing again that Crystal will continue with the Ambassador Host program.   Variety is the spice in life and not everyone has the same interest.  Crystal does a great job in trying to have something for everyone, the passenger demographics for each sailing also change based on departure city and length of cruise.  Ambassador Host are just one of the offerings that I hope remains.       Stay safe till we all sail again.

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From a Crystal email to TAs: "...while our Ambassador Host program is temporarily on hold for now, we plan to reinstate this uniquely Crystal service as soon as conditions are appropriate to do so."

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Thanks Claudia, AWESOME news.  Some of the ladies had discussed the possibility of bringing our own Ambassador Host and sharing the cost between lady dancers for AH cabin if needed. We do keep in touch with our Ambassador dance partners and many showed interest in the plan.   They too love to dance and sail Crystal.   Glad to hear Crystal is hoping to continue with program when safe.

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1 hour ago, Cruisekid2 said:

Oops !      Slip of the finger with amount Ambassador Host pay per day...sorry it should have said $30.00 .

Good to know!  I thought $300/day for a crew bunk bed actually sounded really steep!!

 

~Nancy

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For the record, I never advocated eliminating ambassador hosts.  And perhaps my observations are outdated.  On the 2015 World cruise, I know that eight hosts each had their own room.  This on a very popular sold out cruise.  And I know that my observations over many nights never registered more than a dozen women who danced with the hosts....and these were most often the same women each night. 

 

On my last Crystal cruise in 2019 I didn't make enough observations to be pertinent. 

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21 hours ago, Cruisekid2 said:

Thanks Claudia, AWESOME news.  Some of the ladies had discussed the possibility of bringing our own Ambassador Host and sharing the cost between lady dancers for AH cabin if needed. We do keep in touch with our Ambassador dance partners and many showed interest in the plan.   They too love to dance and sail Crystal.   Glad to hear Crystal is hoping to continue with program when safe.

I think a little caution may be in order here.  I think I remember a policy that  entertainers (and I suspect that includes Ambassador Hosts) who sail as a regular passenger are barred from returning as entertainers.  I would hate to see a host become a past host this way.

 

Roy

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My husband does not like to dance and I am a dancer.   Other things being equal among luxury lines, I will sail whichever gives me the pleasure of a dance partner.  I have met other women who think likewise.

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1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

I think a little caution may be in order here.  I think I remember a policy that  entertainers (and I suspect that includes Ambassador Hosts) who sail as a regular passenger are barred from returning as entertainers.  I would hate to see a host become a past host this way.

 

Roy

 

Several years ago I was told by an enrichment speaker that this was the case.  Anyone know the reasoning behind this policy?

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Roy

 

We understood that might be the case and found in checking that the rule must have changed. There are a number of AH that are actually Society members because they have sailed as full paying passengers on their own.  We definitely do not want to lose or jeopardize our host.  Taking a wait and see approach with Crystal for future sailings.   Paying full price for a extra cabin plus flights gets expensive even if split between a few ladies. In the event we did bring hosts onboard they would not be named as hosts.  This would be a private arrangement between host and the dance ladies that brought them onboard. They would travel as full paying guests to cover any liability against Crystal.  Guess it just proved "We love the privileges' of having a Ambassador Host onboard to dance with when sailing"

Judy 

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2 hours ago, Cruisekid2 said:

  Guess it just proved "We love the privileges' of having a Ambassador Host onboard to dance with when sailing"

Judy 

The way I understand the new Covid policy you would have to be 6 ft apart and wearing a mask to dance with your “host.”  Doesn’t sound like much fun!

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On 1/14/2021 at 3:43 PM, skybluewaters said:

 

Several years ago I was told by an enrichment speaker that this was the case.  Anyone know the reasoning behind this policy?

 

It was to avoid cannibalizing  the paying passengers.  It is possible to be enrichment, then paying, then enrichment. But not paying, then enrichment, except under exceptional circumstances.

Edited by TER777
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