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Old February 7th, 2004, 02:48 PM
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Default Cruise Director Intimidator!

We just got back and one thing that really got our goat was the following comments from the cruise director:
Was it really necessary for the Cruise Director to say that
a) all envelopes should go to the Maitre D. because he does not get any tips and that
b) we should give the highest score on our survey because their promotions and raises depended on it.
c) that Carnival is #2 after Celebrity???
Should we believe this?
Feel free to post the truth or your opinion.

Signed: Ticked off at these intimidating tactics

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Old February 7th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

Fighterone,
We felt the same way when we were on the Spirit. The last night in the diningroom we were blasted with the Matre D' begging for money. Telling us without HIM we wouldn't have had such great dinners. We never saw him once during our dinners. Everything was great, but I don't think he was cooking! And I do believe our wait staff would have been just as fantastic as they were without the Matre D'. But the begging for money was embarrasing. Needless to say we didn't leave him an envelope. Nor did we feel bad about not leaving him anything.
And I doubt we will on our next cruise unless it is a totally different experience. But if the begging for money starts my walet will close.

Nicki

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

You sure are right... this is when my wallet will close too... A tip is earned not just given!!
Those cooks, wait staff and all works very hard.. I have been on a couple of cruises and I havent seen the Maitre'D do much of anything on any cruise but stand at the front of the dinning room (sometimes) and say hi, have a good night!! sometimes they arent there and sometimes they dont say anything! I dont see where that earns a Tip. I am excited to see & tip the wait staff and the rest, because of their service and commitment. I don't want to be on vacation and hear folks begging for money either, I can get that at home for free..
I have tipped the Maitre'D in the past but after a couple of cruises you really start to notice who works for the money and who doesnt.

I would like to hear from some that do tip the Maitre'D and why?? maybe I just dont see what he/she does for a tip...

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

I tip the Maitre'd every cruise.
I have had the same one for three cruises straight and we have become good friends. Sometimes while I wait for my family to arrive (they are never ready on time) I stand up front and talk to him........trust me the job isn't as easy as it looks. You need to coordinate seating and serving, make adjustments the first two nights or so, do the shows, ensure that everything runs properly, address issues, and make sure all is ready for opening time.

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

So maybe like the Boss of the Dinning room?>? I guess he does alot of the "behind the curtain jobs" that we don't see much??

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

quite a bit.....and when they're not visible they do have an office and sometimes work upstairs at lido during the day

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

The Maitre D' is in charge of the dining room. It is his job to ensure that the witers and their assistants do their job properly and in a professional manner. He also assigns the seating, determins the entertainment that is done, and keeps a close eye out for any slackers. If your waiter is not performing or not satisfying you, let him know. If your waiter and assistant are doing good or exceptional also let him know. This is how he determins who is doing what and who gets the choice assignments etc. He makes all the assingments to the Lido deck, crew servers, Officers waiters, etc. His job is really huge and in many cases can make or break your dining pleasure. As a matter of habit I like to introduce myself and wife to him and thank him for his work. He will almost always come and talk to me afterwards, and often many times, just to see how things are going and appreciates helpful and honest feedback on his staff. You can bet the waiters also notice and man do they treat you well!
Jim

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

3FOB5Paradise,
thanks so much for your imput... I guess I really never took the time to talk with them and really see what they do. Of course I am sure there are some that are really good and some that arent... ( that's with any job) Have you had problems with them like "begging" for money?? and does it bother you because you know you tipped and others dont? I will take it into consideration on the June cruise, and keep my eyes open hee hee

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Old February 7th, 2004, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

Jim, thanks I don't think I really understood (or the folks I have cruised with) what they do and how much they did.for our cruise.. I will really think about that next time and maybe even talk with them, we have always had a pretty great time in the dining room and have tipped several times and sometimes not for the Maitre D' The first couple of times I cruised I felt he just stood there to greet, "like at walmart..." OOO so sorry I feel bad now... but I still stand by WORK for the tips... and if they dont or the dining experience isnt good I know why... and know who to talk to..

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Old February 7th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

If the staff does not mention tipping, would you tip? I don't see it as begging. As was explained, the Maitre 'd does a lot behind the scenes. On my first few cruises if someone had not pointed out that he gets a tip (very small from each cruiser), I would not have known to do it.

As for the comment cards, I don't think you realize how important those are to the staff. They get promotions and/or demotions based on them. If you have a complaint, ask politely to have it changed and do not wait until the last night and put them on the comment cards.

Just think of the other side of this situation. How would you feel if you had to ask for your pay and got a report card at the end of every week? What does it take to give up a few $$$ and to give good comments where they are deserved?

None of those things bother me in the least.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

We have never had any begging for money on any of our CCL cruises, and quite a few people tipped Riccardo.... This past time it was very near christmas too and he was VERY tired........
It does sometimes bother me that other people don't tip, but a lot of people aren't tippers at all unless its automatic, and others don't realize what they need to do.
I just feel glad that I get to tip for great service.....I'm looking forward to eventually cruising with him again, depending on where he goes (he's on conquest now).
If someone does their job well they get the tips. If they do their job really well they also make friends

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Old February 7th, 2004, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

Well, thanks for the response. I failed to mention in my original post that we did not see the Maitre D once at our table, to ask how everything was. Isn't that part of a Maitre D.'s job?
Also let me just say that if the maitre d. is the one that should receive the envelope because he is the one to be trusted to divide it among those workers who do not see the public, that would make a lot of sense. However, the way the cruise director explained it, the Maitre d. keeps the money for himself.
Everyone works hard on that ship, whether they have public contact, or not. Hence, all should have a share of the pot.
We did not tip the maitre d. We tipped our waiters and the cabin steward. I did not appreciate the begging by the cruise director!

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Old February 7th, 2004, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

There are a LOT of things he has to do aside from go to tables. They usually check on VIP tables, tables with people they know from past cruises, or tables with problems that he is making sure have not reappeared. And even then quite often it may be because he happens to be passing by....

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Old February 7th, 2004, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

Sorry, but asking for a tip is tacky. The more one is asked for, the tackier.

This goes not just for the maitre d', but for any position in which a tip is customary. I don't want to hear some sob story about how the employer doesn't pay the employee enough, and how they survive off of tips. That's between them and the employer. If I'm not tipping, there's a reason for it. I absolutely refuse to tip for bad service, even though these days many people do (they seem to not understand the concept behind tipping, which is to reward excellent service).

Anyhow... Doesn't Carnival charge for tips automatically? And if so, wouldn't that include tips for the maitre d'?
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Old February 7th, 2004, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

No, Carnival does not require tips. They do place them on your sail & sign card in the recommended amount but you are welcome to adjust them up or down overall or individually as you see fit or even remove them entirely and tip the old fashioned way in person which is our preffered method. The Maitre D' does not get placed on the auto tipping but would only be tipped if you did it in person which is why most CD's etc remind you of that fact that auto tipping does not include him. I have not tipped Maitre D's in the past but I have also tipped one $100 because he earned it because he took personal charge of my elderly Mother and personally took her order, (special) every night and served it to her just to make sure she enjoyed it. We never asked him to, he just did so as he noticed she had lots of difficulty with normal food due to her advanced age and mental deteriation. The next time we saw this same Maitre D' on another ship a couple years later he quickly came over to us and asked how my Mother was. Sadly I had to inform him she passed away shortly after that but she talked about him very fondly and he made a wonderful memory for her. His eyes teared up and and he actually took it hard. Goes to show that these wonderful people that take care of us cruisers are really nice and caring people. I still count that man as a friend.
Jim

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Old February 7th, 2004, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

If there are two dining rooms the Maitre'd doesn't always make it to both...sometimes he stays downstairs more than upstairs - in the case of a dining room with two floors.
He's also in charge of training all the new staff (in his area) that come on board. They usually start in the staff quarters and work their way to the dining room. We have had excellent Maitre'ds and some that weren't so hot or that we never saw. Our tip is based on what we see and what we hear about him.

There was one cruise where I gave the Maitre'd a small tip but gave a larger one to the assistant Maitre'd as he appeared to be doing more of the job than the M'd himself. I have to admit the look on the assistants face when I handed him the envelope and told him we thought he deserved a tip was well worth what little money we gave him.

I guess after several cruises one gets use to the comments the CD makes at the end of the cruise...it's one more thing that lets us know our cruise is coming to the end.
I don't know which CD you had but I've never felt like they were begging. I've generally felt like they were trying to let us know how important certain people are and how important those questionaires are as well. We always fill out the comment cards as truthfully as possible making sure we add comments about the people who did things that made the cruise memorable - in a good way.

I don't think I've been on a cruise where the Maitre'd asked for tips....how embarassing for everyone involved.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

I tip the Maitre D only if he supplies a specific service to me, or my party, other than running the dining room. They are paid a salary for that function.

Some Maitre Ds are very good, and make the effort to visit tables most every evening.
I've had some who even ask if there's anything special we need or would like.

However, there are some who you'll only see on tip night delivering those copied prints of the ship they hand out, and expect a tip. To my view those are the ones who deserve a handshake.

On our cruise on Spirit last week I made a point of stopping by the Maitre Ds desk, to place a small special request. Unfortunately neither he or the hostess even took the time to come by and tell me my request wasn't possible.

I could certainly understand if it wasn't possible, but neither were doing their job if they couldn't even find the time to see me and explain.

I was temped to give this particular Maitre D the empty tip envelope at the end of the cruise, but instead I was nice and gave him nothing.

The service staff, on the other hand, worked hard and received extra, above the automatic tips, for their attention.

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Old February 8th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

I tip the maitre'd, but only a minimal amount, usually $10, just as a gesture, as I do at any upscale restaurant. Personally, I think it would make better sense if the tips that were given to the dining room staff were handled like they are many other places, being added together and then divided up among everyone concerned in ratio to their involvement. If we're talking about waiters, busboys and Maitre'd, maybe a 60%, 30% and 10% would be pretty close. All that should be handled behind the scenes and not become an issue for the dining patrons. I didn't understand the part about Celebrity being better than Carnival in the opening remarks, unless it was to convey that Celebrity cruisers have more disposable income, which I would agree with.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

To answer Parrot head's question, $10.00 a day per person is added to the bill. It does not appear to be very much. Our final tab indicated $100.00 for a 5 day cruise. We are not the type of couple to go through the hasstle of have a tip removed from the bill especially if we have no major complaints.
Kuki, I had not thought of giving an empty envelope. I am sure there might have been some in the bunch that we saw on the maitre d's podium, that last night. We certainly could have saved appearances by doing so.
j.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

I thought it was weird toward the end of the cruise the MaitreD started to make appearences. They also asked us to tip him, but I didn't feel he deserved anything. I know there we two women at our table that he changed there seating in the beginning when they were with older couples. He moved them to our table of all women. I feel that would deserve a tip, but in our case he didn't. I think the actual wait staff deserve more. Actually our MaitreD was pretty rude. On the next to last night he yelled at the wait staff. He told them who ever doesnt have their jackets on will not have a job in the dining room the following week. Not only did he yell at them while people were still in the dining room, but he did it on the microphone. That was extremely unprofessional. The way he spoke to them it made me wonder how the staff is treated.

Rachel

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Old February 8th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

We never saw the Maitre D either, J, except when we walked into the dining room where he would smile and say hello. Not so much impressed with him either.

I didn't hear the CD go thru all that but I also toned a lot of that out and didn't pay attention when talking about the comment cards or such. I was honest on my card and gave extra credit to the cabin steward, head waiter, and ass't waiter.

If I had heard all that, I'd feel the same way.

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Old February 8th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

Rachel, there was a similar affront with our group but it did not come from the maitre d. I did not witness it personally either. One of the head waiters got real nasty with his assistant. A lady sitting at our table witnessed it at lunch. She said Jorge was terribly nasty, screaming at his assistant and going on and on about something the poor gal did not do right.
In any case, the Maitre D. should have stopped this immediately.
BTW, Twalla, Jorge is the Columbian waiter who had this outstandingly atrocious voice when he sang happy birthday every night.
josette

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Old February 8th, 2004, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

On the Glory the Maitre'D went by every table the night before the last night. He was super friendly and concerned about how everyone was doing. He spent about 5-10 minutes at each table talking to everyone. I asked my friend what was the reason for him being so attentive and she told me that his tip was not included on the sign & sail account. On the last night he was everywhere. I didn't give him a tip. His friendliness was very fake. Funny that we didn't see him until the night before tips. This was my second cruise and I thought that the tip for him was included. I gave an extra tip to the waiters in addition to the sail & sign account on both of my cruises. On my 1st cruise I never saw the Maitre'D.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

Maitre D'- To Tip or not to tip

We have been on cruises where we have tipped the Maitre d', and cruises where we have not. We will not tip someone just because they are the Maitre d'. No they do not get tips automatically, but what they do not tell you is that they are paid a GOOD salary from Carnival. The waiters, cabin stewards, and other staff get to live on board and work 18 hours a day for almost nothing except tips. I do not feel sorry for the Maitre d'. Basically he is a manager of the dining room, and I do not feel that alone makes him worthy of a tip. I pay for my cruise, and I pay tips for the people who take care of me. We usually tip quite a bit more than the recommended tips if we receive great service. We have found that the most friendly, and efficient maitre d's do not beg for tips. In fact we saw Massimo, and talked to him every night. However, on tip night we had to hunt him down. Now that is unusual most Maitre d's are readily available on tip night. Our best maitre d's have been on RCCL. They were so good that I still remember their names- Mossimo, and Jerry. Did we tip them? You better believe we did. I am not for cruise lines charging tips for the management because they are too cheap to pay for it themselves. FYI- Carnival automatically charges tips to your on board card, and has for a while now. They say it is for our convenience, but in order to adjust them up or down you must wait in line at the pursers desk. So basically, it is for their convenience. What they don't tell you is that in their tips for alternate dining part of it goes to the management. It is not a lot of money but it is the principle behind it that matters. Hope this helps! :-)
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Old February 9th, 2004, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

I didn't tip anymore then what was expected, but I did let them know on the comment card how great our waitstaff and bar waitress was. To me their service was exceptional. I don't usually have that type of service here.

Rachel

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Old February 9th, 2004, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Cruise Director Intimidator!

We were on a 10 day cruise, at dinner the 2nd nite the Maitre'D brought a bottle of champagne to the table. It was a table for 8 with only 6 of us at the table. He asked for the "Joneses" evidently the missing couple. Since they weren't there he asked if we would like the bottle. I thought, "Sure, lets have some champers." He left the bottle. Every night after that he came around with the champagne, never a charge. We never saw the missing couple except the first nite.
The M'D got a good tip from us that cruise.
Dan
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