My cabin steward said I could…

Not all crew onboard a cruise ship know what’s going on. That’s not a slander. It’s the truth. You should be aware of information you get onboard, or more specifically, you should be careful where you source your information.

Onboard the ships I have heard more crew “guess” at an answer they did not know than I have heard give the right answer. Even on the web, as I browse through other crew blogs and websites I am amazed at how liberally some of them toss out false information, or misrepresent the lines they work for. Most of them rarely ever made it past dining room waiter, or cruise staff, and maybe worked onboard a year or two, but they will tell you every answer you want to know with absolute authority. It’s the evil “assumption” that is to blame. Crew members, or ex crew members, assume that something must be correct and so they tell it that way.

Onboard the ships, it is not uncommon for the stateroom stewardess to be asked questions ranging from dining room issues to destinations issues. It is true that many of these excellent workers do their best to answer your questions, they make excellent assumptions, but they are the experts in taking care of your room and not in the dining room menu and not in the disembarkation procedures. If you want to know about tours, go ask the tour staff. If you want to know about disembarkation, go ask the reception desk who to talk too. I know many feel that as cruise line representatives they should know every answer and be responsible for every complaint you have. But it isn’t possible.

A passenger once complained about the safety of a boating tour, and asked who was in charge so they could complain, the steward told them to talk to the Captain. The steward assumed that since the Captain was in charge of our shipboard safety, he must also be in charge of the tour boat saftey. The correct answer would have been " I believe the shore excursion manager could best assist you".

The reception desk is in place to assist and guide you. They will help you find out whatever you want to know. However, it is worth pointing out that if you have an inexperienced receptionist, or a new one, your information might not be exactly accurate. If you think perhaps reception has not given you the most up to date information, or if you have received conflicting information, then ask for the supervisor. No one will be angry if you do.

I am not saying that crew do not have a responsibility to have correct information, they do, and as long as they follow these three golden rules there will never be a problem;

1) Do not make things up.
2) Do not guess or assume.
3) If you don’t know the answer, tell the guest you don’t know and that you can help them find out, and then go ask your supervisor.

Sadly, not all crew follow the three golden rules.

One time, on one line I was working for (which I will not mention) I was standing at the reception desk when a person came to enquire about a tour refund on their account. The receptionist printed the account out, looked at it and hummed and hawed over it. Finally the receptionist said to the person;

This is very complicated, I can see that you should have refunds but they are not on the account yet, our accountant will be applying them overnight and then you can have the credits moved to wherever you like”.

The person looked confused, but chose to not pursue the issue, which they should have because;

1) Room statements are not complicated, if they are then you need to see someone who can fix that ( supervisor).

2) You can not “see” from a room statement if a person is “due” refunds, you can only tell that if you check with the refunding party, IE: if destinations are going to refund someone, you need to call destinations and ask when the refund will occur.

3) There was no accountant working at night on this cruise line, the receptionist made that up.

4) You can not always have credits moved to wherever you like, there are often rules attached to refunds and credits.

( all this would vary slightly line to line)

The point is that this receptionist did not know what was going on, and did not give the information the person needed. If you get information that is confusing and makes no sense go to the right people, or if you’re talking to the right people ask for the supervisor. Don’t just accept the confusion and assume that the credit, or whatever you’re depending on, will magically appear.

I know, I know, it's their job to know these things. I am just telling you that quite often, they don’t. We don’t all get together and talk about stuff, and interdepartmental communication can, at times, be unsuccessful.

The moral of this story is; consider the source of all onboard information.

If you’re asking your waiter when you should meet for your tour, consider the source.

If you’re asking your destination staff if the pasta has seafood in it, consider the source.

If you’re asking a man in coveralls fixing a pipe where the best shopping ashore is, consider the source.

If your asking reception about financial issues and the reply is more akin to a senate hearing on tax reform than information about your bill, then consider getting ANOTHER source.
1 Response
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