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Old March 3rd, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Question What constitutes "excellent" service?

The reason for My question is two-fold.

First, cruise lines and many other businesses survey their customers. Often the survey is preceded with a statement like "anything less than a 5 is really considered unsatisfactory." Having spent some time studying, creating, and using surveys for research, this approach seems to predjudice and perhaps even totally invalidate the result. Do you follow the suggestion and rate everything excellent or exceeds expectations?

Second, what drives you to increase your gratuity for various personnel? Is there some special service you look for from your stateroom steward, wait or bar staff that triggers an extra tip?
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 02:40 PM
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On the cruise questionaire I usually only answer the items if i'm impressed or let down by something, middle of the road gets left blank. Frequently guest services will get a low score if they seem to pass the buck when they don't know the answer to a question. Telling you whatever they think will make you go away.

For dining room staff it usully comes down to attentiveness. Do they remember your drink orders for the next day, if the bread gets empty do they refill or only if you ask, if you skipped dinner do they inquire why you weren't there or where you decided to eat instead.

I almost always fill in the other category for suggestions; usually about keeping things open later(why isn't there 1 bar on the whole ship open 24/7, why close the hot tub at 9, on one trip karaoke was always during second seating dinner so I cound't go, that sort of thing). If a particular performer was great mentioning them by name actually has an effect on if they get booked again.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Default Great question

Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
The reason for My question is two-fold.

First, cruise lines and many other businesses survey their customers. Often the survey is preceded with a statement like "anything less than a 5 is really considered unsatisfactory." Having spent some time studying, creating, and using surveys for research, this approach seems to predjudice and perhaps even totally invalidate the result. Do you follow the suggestion and rate everything excellent or exceeds expectations?

Second, what drives you to increase your gratuity for various personnel? Is there some special service you look for from your stateroom steward, wait or bar staff that triggers an extra tip?

I always respond with the criteria warranted ,whether its a 5 or a 1 .

I've increased gratuities for the cabin steward the few times because services was excellent .
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Old March 4th, 2013, 01:25 AM
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If I have high expectations, and they "meet expectations," that should get a 3. If I go on a luxury ship and the service was absolutely fantastic; they met expectations. If they want a 5, they should complain to their marketing department.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 07:00 AM
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Also to Marc's point, the more you have cruised I think the more your expectations are fine tuned. Meeting expectations is just exactly what you want.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
Also to Marc's point, the more you have cruised I think the more your expectations are fine tuned. Meeting expectations is just exactly what you want.
THIS IS SO TRUE!

The more a person cruises the more they know about "excellence" in cruise service and the more they expect.

Novices on a cruise are always surprised by the level of service they get on a cruise. Why? No (few) regular restaurant in your home town has a maitre D', waiters in tuxes, a sommellier, etc. - Cruises give exceptional service.

But in a way, this has made it harder for cruises to impress, because cruise fans expect the best always.

There is a story about a cruise director who figured out that the top rating on the comment forms was "excellent" so he (and he instructed his staff to do the same) started using the term "excellent" in every conversation they had with passengers, and it worked, ratings went up.

So - the cruise lines are fully aware of the art of "managing expectations" - and good for them. It is up to us to give them real and valuable feedback.

However, I do feel the cruiselines are starting to rely on the comment forms too much. It has gotten to the point where it now LARGELY affects the salary of individual waiters and room stewards. A highly rated waiter gets more tables and hence more tips.
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