Cruising from a crew point of view! Cruising hints, tips, and stories about all aspects of cruising, and crew life, from a veteran crew member. Something every cruiser, and every future crew member, is sure to love!
I have worked on-board cruise ships for over 15 years on Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, RSSC, P&O Australia, and more. I have held positions as an officer in Passenger Logistics, Crew Administration, Guest Services and Guest Relations, IT and Technology, and Human Resources and Training.
This eBook is #1 of the Crew Office series. A “best of” collection of articles from the Crew Office: Crews ship blog
. A selection of blogs that were favorites for the Crew Office readers and are no longer available online
Sit back, relax, and read Crew Office - the first cruise
, to learn things about cruise ships and cruising you never knew!
Honey. Isn’t that our ship that just went by?
What happens if you miss the ship?
Just what do cruise lines do with those comment cards?
Any port in a storm… except this one.
What's the REAL reason cruise ships sometimes "skip" a port?
Just how safe are you on-board?
On-board safety. Is it all it could be?
Love among the sailors.
Love among the sailors – after the hookup.
SO you met someone... now what?
Love among the sailors - So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
When the party is over.
Whales and Huskies and Bears. Oh my!
The best way to enjoy Alaska on a cruise.
2 crew and one angry watch dog.
Do formal night mean we has to talk good?
Life below – food and entertainment.
Where does the crew live, eat and play?
A drug dog with an attitude.
Screaming like an idiot never got Fred Flintstone anywhere.
The art of complaining on-board.
What happens when a crew member gets pregnant?
Get a Cruise Ship job.
There is a thousand scams out there.
What we do when in Dry-dock.
Clearing up clearance.
What we're doing while you're waiting at the gangway.
Funny guest questions.
Norwalk and A.G.E. on-board cruise ships – the straight poop.
The worlds most popular stomach bug and what YOU can do to avoid it.
Everyone who has cruised has undoubtedly seen and filled in a comment card at the end of the cruise. How can you not? We push it on you pretty hard don't we? I hope you all take the time to fill it in and I hope you're all brutally honest with your comments be they good or bad. Have you ever wondered what happens to those cards?
Did you know that we are already tabulating results from the cards and studying the comments before you have even disembarked the ship on turn around day (the day we unload all our passengers and take on another group for the next cruise)? Did you know that within a day (two at most) those cards are broken down and analyzed into SCORES and every department and service manager can see how successful they were at satisfying guests compared to all the past cruises? In fact preliminary scores are issued out to us before all the comment cards are even tabulated! It's almost like a federal election! We LIVE by the SCORES.
If the score for a particular department, let's say the Reception Desk or Dining Room falls below what it was the previous cruise, the reasons "why" the score dropped are searched for, studied, and if possible improved on. We ALSO get to see fleet wide results! Trust me; NO crew member wants to be the LOWEST scoring vessel in the fleet!
Every hand written comment by you is read by two or three or more senior managers. If you made comments on three different departments, then that card is photocopied three times and the comments for each department highlighted and sent out to the department head for action on-board. Those things you comment on that we can NOT action on-board are sent along to the head office for review where they are scrutinized again and major changes considered. The idea is to make an ever changing and adapting product that fits most passenger likes as often as possible. Without your comment cards with bad AND good comments it CAN'T be done.
I think it’s important cruisers understand the power they wield through the comment card! A negative comment about a crew member can land that crew member in steaming hot water! If a crew member is mentioned in a negative way two or three times they could be subject to disciplinary action, re-training or re-assignment! This is actually a good thing I think because if you're truly receiving bad service the senior management on-board needs to know that. This is not to say a crew member does not have a chance to explain himself, and management is always very fair and thorough when reviewing a situation. I don't think I have ever seen a crew member wrongfully accused of poor performance.
So you can see that if you have a negative experience your comment about the service or the person is really scrutinized and can really affect change in the product. I believe it's a very fair system that works well from what I have seen over the years.
HOWEVER! That being said, if you have an EXCELLENT experience PLEASE put that on your comment card as well! PLEASE list the names of the crew you want to recognize for their service!
Think of it like this. The passengers we hear from the most are the ones having unfortunate difficulties, the ones with complaints. The rest of you, 90% of you, are having an excellent time and we never see or hear from you!!! If you had a great time we need to know that as well so we can;
1) Tell where we are doing things right so we can keep on doing it.
2) Recognize crew doing the EXCELLENT work.
3) Make fleet wide changes so all ships have the same success at pleasing passengers.
4) Ensure your next cruise is as good, or better, than the last!
I can't tell you how many times a passenger will say "Whatever happened to the fuzzy wuzzy contest?" And we reply "Oh, well we tried it for a while but all we heard was complaints so we ended it". Maybe most passengers LIKED the fuzzy wuzzy contest, maybe some LOVED it, but if they don't tell us, how can we know? No, there is no fuzzy wuzzy contest… I made it up. But it SOUNDS fun doesn't it?
The comment card itself is a series of "fill in the hole" questions and ratings and many of you always select great or better. But I am ALSO talking about the handwritten personal comments that people are so willing to spend half an hour on when they are upset. If you have a minute to spare, writing down your good comments can really help to keep YOUR next cruise as great as the last one. The comment card is your tool for sculpting your favorite cruise line into the exact product you want it to be. Your comments are read and heard and studied. The comment card is your voice.
I hope that if you never filled in your comment card in the past because you thought no one would pay attention, that you will take advantage of your chance to tell us how you feel in the future! They are YOUR cruise ships, make them they way you want them!
Occasionally, as many of you have probably experienced, it is necessary for the ship to miss a port in the scheduled itinerary. It might be due to weather conditions, port conditions, or even the condition of the ship if she has had some mechanical problem. Whatever the reason, the Captain will tell you exactly what it is when he makes his announcement.
Whenever this happens the crew are just as disappointed, if not more disappointed, than the passengers. Not only are our routines thrown off but we will have to listen to the oldest complaint in the book an unknown number of times throughout the rest of the cruise. What is the complaint? No matter what port it was someone always says;
"The ONLY reason I CAME on this cruise was to go to THAT PORT!"
Now this may very well be true. In fact when you're carrying over four thousand passengers I am certain that there must be people who really did only pick a cruise based on a particular port. But still, when we have to miss a port all of us look at one another and in chorus we say "But the ONLY reason I CAME on this cruise was to see THAT PORT!" In anticipation of what's to come.
We never just miss a port for fun; there is always an unavoidable reason for it. There are always some passengers, however, that believe that if they complain hard enough, and if they will it strongly enough, we will change our minds and go to the port after all. I am sure we would if we could but if something was so wrong the Captain cancelled the call, then that's it, there is nothing to be done about it.
There are some people who jump immediately into "conspiracy theory" mode when a port is skipped and they start spreading the WILDEST stories to the other passengers. I
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Publication Date: 10-31-2012
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