I got to thinking when I was complting the survey at the end of our Maasdam cruise on Saturday about who completes these forms.
If you have really enjoyed the cruise and have no complaints to register, do you bother to complete the survey in order to praise the crew? Or do you only take the few minutes to do it if you have a complaint or critism?
It seems so unfair to me that, most likely, the happy passengers are busy packing etc and don't bother, but those who have complaints "find the time".
Same here as Divetex. Important to list the good AND the bad. Although I suspect you are right....most happy campers probably just don't bother.
I have always taken the time to fill out comment cards in restaurants, hotels, etc., wherever I see them. Have received numerous freebies as a result. Have yet to receive a discount/free cruise yet though! lol
We always fill ours out. Most of the time it is praise, but once I thought a comedian they had on the Enchantment was way "off color" during one the shows. My own grandkids were there plus a lot of other.
The cruise lines take these comment cards VERY seriously. I presume they feel they are getting the guests honest comments right before departing, while things are still fresh in everyone's mind.
They are gone over thouroughly by the Hotel Manager and individual dept heads. Both good and bad comments can also impact the individual staff quite dramatically.
On Maasdam (and all HAL ships) they pull out nine surveys and give great collapsible travel bags as gifts. I was shocked when they pulled my name at the end of the first cruise of our back-to-backs. What a great surprise and I really like the logo bag alot. Good incentive to get people to complete the surveys...could be a winner!
for those of you who are dining in the traditional manner, ie early and late seating, the comment cards are very important. what i have been told is the comment cards directly effect your waiter and asst. waiter, and heres how: at the end of every cruise, your waitstaff is "rated" based on the comment cards, for example a "unsatisfactory" may be a "1'', while and excellent may be a "5". the waiter for each group of tables has his or her numbers averaged, and the higher the number, the more guests he is assigned to serve on the next weeks cruise. waiters with low scores may get 3 tables of 6, while waiters with high scores get 4 tables of 6, or 3 tables of 8.what it comes down to is waiters who get consistantly high ratings on the comment cards get the opportinuty to serve more customers, and MAKE MORE TIPS!.this is especially true on royal carribbean, where the waiters almost beg you for an "excellent" rating, because it directly effects their income.so, fill out the cards, and yes, miami does take them very seriuosly.the last issue of "cruise industry quarterly" said the ceo of royal carribbean was concerned regarding the negative comment cards on "radiance of the seas", which was attributed to an unusually high number of new crewman on the ship. so, yes, your cards are important....fill 'em out!
I agree with John, with one addition. These cards also are used to discipline the crew. Our waiter on our first Princess cruise said he had a passenger that he just could not please. The passenger gave him a bad score which reduced his average to the point that he lost his shore leave privileges. No phone call home , nada. I thought he was the best waiter I've ever had on a cruise and we were fortunate to be doing back to back cruises. I meet him again on our last Princess cruise to Hawaii although he was not our waiter. Nice to see familiar faces.
I don't think I believe what your waiter said. He works for a company, not the military. His contract provides for many things and I seriously doubt any major cruise line would hold a dining room waiter hostage on board a ship & prevent him from making a personal call because one unhappy passenger on a previous cruise gave him low ratings. Does this sound "strange" to anyone else???
Jacki and I have always, each, filled out the comment card at the end of every cruise. We actually take time to honestly rate each item, and comment about anything above, or below, "good."
As John pointed out, the cruise lines do react, usually, if there are enough responses. We once had a bus boy who was actually a waiter. He had gotten a few negative comments, and was being "punished," by having him serve as bus boy and cutting his tips in half. He was on 30-day probation. We had the best service we have ever had on any cruise, with two waiters, one of whom was trying to earn "excellent" on every card!
I met a wine steward many years ago on Seward and have been writing to
him over this time - and the comment cards are very much used by the lines
to monitor crew, new options or services and passenger expectations.
Royal Caribbean keeps bring on new programs that require passengers
pay for them - golf, ice cream, eateries etc, and through comment cards
these services are one again "complimentary" - paid for with your cruise
fare. This is only one example - but one that many folks may be more
All of the ships are registered in foreign countries - so they are not under
the same rules and regulations that workers in the US enjoy by law -so
many might be surprised just how differently workers for the lines are
treated in regard to pay, lack of benefits, and other areas that we are all
very accustom to taking for granted. Many of these workers come from
poor countries who don't treat workers any better then the lines and for
the pay they receive they don't question their superiors.
I try and honestly answer the questionaires and do take the time to
single out those who have provided excellent service. After writing Dennis
all these years, I will admit that I don't give a poor rating to crew members
who may have deserved it - as I doubt that I could work under the conditions
they do and I think I could have a bad day working all those hours - so
I give them an average or just a good rather then anything lower.
I do often comment on the lack of single functions and I'm not going to
be a fan of the alternative dinning - some of the people I have met at
assigned dinning have become such good friends over the years, and some
of them I might not have taken the time to get to know if we had not been
sitting together for a week at dinner.
We all have different takes on any given thing - and thats the way it should