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Old September 15th, 2011, 12:17 AM
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Thumbs down Golden Princess First Impression HORRIBLE!!

Golden Princess-8/6/11-Seattle-Alaska. First time on Princess Line.Embarked early to register for Chef's Table & advised to check w/ our 7th floor front desk personal. I'll refer to him as "Mr. Portugal" (name tag). We inquired how/where to sign up. He was RUDE from the start & had NO command of the English language. Irrationally went in circles & no Chef Table existed and continued to berate us as we calmly tried to explain what we were looking for. He YELLED and said, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!" This totally scared my 12 year old daughter. I asked "Ms. Canada",who was beside him, if she could help us out. Can you believe she just stood there and said nothing. We went to our Suite, looked at the daily events guide. Second page, shows "Chefs Table $75" My husband called the listed reservation number. The lady on the line told us it's $95. When asked by my husband why the increase, she said, "I DON'T KNOW, I WAS JUST TOLD IT JUST INCREASED!" OMG...our first 15 minutes on THE GOLDEN PRINCESS was absolutely HORRIBLE! First impression say a lot for the level of service a company provides. My husband & I were appalled by such unacceptable behavior and my daughter's excitement & joy was crushed. We reported the
incident to proper authorities 3 times-to date,no response has ever been received. This raises concern with us as to the value of passenger service of PRINCESS CRUISE LINES. It leads us to ascertain, production numbers of this cruise line mean more than service. It was obvious on several occassions.
I truly hope no one ever has to remember something like this on any PRINCESS LINE CRUISE. If sadly you do, please report ASAP! Add'l training in professionalism should be incorporated so another child doesn't have to hear a FRONT DESK " ADULT " YELL!!
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Old September 15th, 2011, 12:25 AM
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Golden Princess Customer Service is non-existent
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Old September 15th, 2011, 06:00 AM
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Oddly most ships have staff on the "front desk" that don't appear to like people, & some do not seem to have a grasp of English.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
Oddly most ships have staff on the "front desk" that don't appear to like people, & some do not seem to have a grasp of English.
I noticed that too. I would guess that to be a hard position to fill with "volunteers" for that type of job. I bet their shifts are filled with complaints every day.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Oddly most ships have staff on the "front desk" that don't appear to like people, & some do not seem to have a grasp of English.
Really, I've never noticed that. In fact, all of the interaction I've had with guest relations has always found them to be pleasant & willing to address my concerns. I've cruised with Celebrity & Princess only, & have found the same on both lines. If anything, I find that the onshore customer service provides a lot of conflicting info. I would guess that most of them have never set foot on a ship.
As far as language skills, I enjoy interacting with people who use English as a second language, & envy them for knowing more than one language. Sometimes I think that most Americans think that the whole world should speak English, because that's the only language that we know.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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Ah yes but if the "language of the ship" is English they should be fully fluent.
I do agree that the shoreside staff don't know enough about ships & do offer conflicting advice. Anyone ever had the circular route of shore saying sort it out on board but the ship saying no, you have to see the cruiseline?
I can also what a thankless task it must be with all the moaners.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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i am sorry that you had a bad experience on the Golden Princess. Our experiences have all been positive. When you stated that you reported the incident 3 times to date, does that mean that you reported it on ship or waited until you got home? In order to get results the problem need to be handled right away while on board the ship.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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3 times while on Board. 3 superior ranked supervisors each attempt.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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Unhappy Customer non service

Sadly, it is true of all the major cruise lines.

Superb service in the dining room. Superb cabin service. Superb service from the cruise staff.

And at the front desk -- absolutely NO service and no courtesy. I cannot tell you how many times it has become obvious that the front desk personnel do not even read the daily schedule. They are ill-trained, poorly supervised, and of very little use besides selling stamps and making change.

OTOH -- there is really no point in obsessing over incompentent staff to the extent of letting it ruin your entire trip. I trust that you were able to forget the Customer Non Service Desk and fully enjoy all the rest of your wonderful cruise!
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Old September 15th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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perhaps to advise your TA of what occured and let them write a letter to their District Sales Manager and have them forward to higher up the chain of command ? Perhaps a little OBC will be aquired by doing so, to offset your bad experience with the CS staff.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Really, I've never noticed that. In fact, all of the interaction I've had with guest relations has always found them to be pleasant & willing to address my concerns. I've cruised with Celebrity & Princess only, & have found the same on both lines. If anything, I find that the onshore customer service provides a lot of conflicting info. I would guess that most of them have never set foot on a ship.
As far as language skills, I enjoy interacting with people who use English as a second language, & envy them for knowing more than one language. Sometimes I think that most Americans think that the whole world should speak English, because that's the only language that we know.
I have not had a major problem, fortunately, but often there is a barrier. English is an extremely difficult language to learn, we take it for granted. I read or saw a film on the ships requiring crewmembers to attend English classes to at least learn the basics. We have many phrases and words that don't fit what we are trying to say, but as Americans, we give it no thought. One phrase I really hate, is SHUT UP. Other than the real meaning, it has evolved to mean "REALLY", stop talking as I am envious.

Where I'm located there's a huge Spanish population, at my work, they had to speak English to work there. It wasn't always fluent though. Others were truly bilingual and I envied that.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Apart from most Brits most Europeans speak more that one language, lots of peoples with lots of borders that are getting crossed easily these days.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 05:20 PM
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What about the rest of the trip?
How was the service and food in the dining room? What about your cabin and cabin steward?
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Old September 15th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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What about the rest of the trip?
How was the service and food in the dining room? What about your cabin and cabin steward?
Yes good point made here...but is it a bit like "OK, apart from THAT Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"
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Old September 15th, 2011, 10:06 PM
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Being front and center,with a long line in front of you, most of the time,and knowing, there will be many complaints amongst that line surely must be daunting.

I have usually found guest services personnel, very formal...not a fuzzy group, but they can't be. One thing I have never come across though, is the circumstance that the op described. The most non smiling group I found, on the Grand or Golden, I forget which one.

If, this had happened to me, I would also be put off, but, being a suite passenger, I would think, the situation would have been nipped in the bud asap.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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Do suite passengers really get better service?
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Old September 16th, 2011, 02:52 PM
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Thumbs up Suite service

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Originally Posted by sistagoldenhair View Post
Do suite passengers really get better service?
We are usually down on the bottom deck with the plebians. But on a few occasions my Dear Aunt Ruth booked us all into a pair of suites. She absolutely loved the concierge service for the suite passengers. We found it outstanding and never once had a concierge say NO to us.

Now the interesting thing is that the front desk personnel rotate through the suite concierge positions so it is really the same people. There just seems to be a quantum change in attitude.

Perhaps as suggested, it is relief from the pressure of a long line of complaining passengers waiting for you?

Or perhaps it is the knowledge that suite passengers can be very good tippers?
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Old September 17th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Yes good point made here...but is it a bit like "OK, apart from THAT Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"

What they thought about the food, waiters, cabins, etc. would give me a better idea of their opinion of Princess. To condemn Princess just for the front desk staff isn't fair. Was their entire trip bad?
I've found the staff at the front desk are sometimes just as useless as the shoreside staff but everyone else I encounter from room stewards, waiters, etc. are excellent.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 12:08 PM
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Angry No response?

Well, this guy hopped on the board, posted the same message on three different forums, and is nowhere to be heard from now.

Just another "drive by" poster.

It is too bad when people have an opportunity to open up and participate in a legitimate discussion and it turns out that all they wanted to do was vent their spleen.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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"drive-by" posting is common - I am sure we have all done it, especially when mad about something.

Cruising is complicated and really does require experience to get the best cruise.

When the OP was told to "go talk to ____" that is what they should have done. I have written about this many times. Inexperienced cruisers expect every staff member to know everything there is to know about the ship and NOTHING could be further than the truth.

Even the front desk may not know everything, solely because there is so much to know. Ships have departments, and to get answers they need to contact that department. Sometimes that takes time.

All complaints should be taken to the front desk, and if you do not get a response from the person you are talking to - I really recommend you ask someone else.

No matter how many times you try to explain what you want or need, if you are talking to the wrong person you are never going to get a good answer out of them.

In fact - (and I have written this in articles before) - if you are talking to someone in housekeeping (your room steward) and asking about anything concerning dining they probably have NO idea (unless it is a butler) because they do not eat in the main or other passenger dining rooms and they generally do not even know people who do by name.

I have worked on cruise ships, big and small, and I know that most workers tend to have a small group of friends and almost always in the same job position. The ship does NOT have a policy of trying to teach each member basic information about the ship - they only focus on teaching each worker on how to do their jobs.

When you get a cruise ship job, you don't a manual in the mail before you arrive. You generally get a plane ticket and are just told where to show up. You usually get a week of training once you board but it is solely about your job. If you find a crewmember who knows much at all about anything on the ship other than their own job, it is because they have been there a long time and care enough to learn things they actually are not required to know. If you meet such a crewmember, next time congratulate them on doing a great job rather than berating the ones who don't have every answer to every question you may have.

That's just the way it is - right or wrong. One reason why veteran cruisers tend to enjoy cruising the most, and why first-time cruisers tend to have the most complaints.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Gee, I wonder if the 12 y.o. daughter ever recovered? After all, her "joy" and "excitement" were crushed
With the tone of the post, I get the impression the O.P. was a bit "hot" too! Service may not have been up to snuff, but crew members do not say welcome aboard, then start hollering at a passenger for no reason, and with others standing behind the desk too?
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Old September 17th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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I know - its a shame when the first 15 minutes ruins your entire cruise.

But I have seen it happen. I once cruised with a couple on a mega-expensive Silverseas cruise who did nothing but nitpick the ship the whole time solely because their first day request to be allowed on the ship early was not carried out.

(you know how that goes - NO ONE is ever let on a ship early)
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Old September 18th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Exclamation Point of contact

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Even the front desk may not know everything, solely because there is so much to know. Ships have departments, and to get answers they need to contact that department. Sometimes that takes time.

All complaints should be taken to the front desk, and if you do not get a response from the person you are talking to - I really recommend you ask someone else.

No matter how many times you try to explain what you want or need, if you are talking to the wrong person you are never going to get a good answer out of them.
The Front Desk is THE point of contact for passengers. Even experienced passengers cannot always know which person in which department can help them. That is why the front desk personnel should be trained to LISTEN, sort out what the problem is and what needs to be done, and then take care of contacting the proper person or seeing that the proper person contacts the passenger. If the front desk person does not know, then THEY need to find out and let the passenger know promptly.

What makes me even unhappier than a front desk person that knows nothing is a front desk person who promises that someone will get back to me, and then nobody gets back to me.

The very minimum basic training in customer service should include that concept! But apparently the cruise lines (and all of them are bad on this) just do not get the idea. Can't they at least require that the Front Desk people read the daily schedule before they go on duty??

(And incidentally, Paul, NO I have never posted a "drive by". If I do have a problem and post on a new board about it, you can be assured I will be following the thread and taking a lively part in all the discussion that ensues! )
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Old September 18th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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I also really try never to leave threads hanging - if I post someplace I do try to go back - especially if & when I get a solution.

But I have been mad enough at companies that I sought out message boards i had never used before and left a post. I don't think it is a crime - especially if you were really wronged.

I would not have posted the one that started this thread - but I had an incident with AT&T DSL where I my account was fully paid but off & they would not re-connect my service for seven continuous days (at my vacation home, I pay year round to have it on, and we showed up & it was off, so I called and did a 7-day run-around before they finally turned it back on, I must have talked to 12 different people between billing and service)' so yes, I hit a few boards, I was mad. Finally I got ahold of a local AT&T service executive, and he said to me "we are not proud of this case, I assure you."

I agree, the front desk is the point of contact. They should always follow through with every guest. What happens, however, is you get lazy managers who decide to take time off and they leave people on the front line who really don't know what they are doing yet. These people try, but they are also dependent on the department they need to call responding to them. If your problem is not resolved you cannot always blame the front desk. If they called maintenance/housekeeping and they did not follow through then its that dept's fault, not the front desk.

I have found this is one area where small luxury ships really shine. It is the bigger ships that find it hard to keep up with all the maintenance requests.

What makes me really mad is when you know a ship is fully aware of a bad problem and yet there is nothing they can do about it - but the company does not compensate the guest. The Cunard board has a lady that was on Queen Elizabeth and had a "farting sliding glass door" (seriously, it made a constant, loud sound) but they couldn't move them, and did not compensate them - according to her.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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you know I understand how you feel. We too, had less than a pleasant experience on the Golden a few years ago, but after we calmed down (again the first part of the cruise) we decided to put it behind us. From then on our cruise was fine. I can't imagine judging an entire ship by one lousy experience. We have cruised over 25 times and if we let one unpleasant incidence form our view of a ship or a line, we would be doing nothing but sailing a little row boat around our lake because the best cruises have glitches.

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Old September 18th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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It's not what goes wrong it's how the problem is dealt with.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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I have to agree, of all the crew members we deal with throughout our cruise it seems the reception desks are the least cooportive. You would think it would be visa versa. This isn't just Princess, we have had similare experiences on other lines. But then, I listen to how some of the customers treat these people and I can understand why the pursers reps are not always the nicest. If I had to put up with the "ME< ME< MEers I would probably be the same.

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Old September 18th, 2011, 03:18 PM
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I would have to think that, even if a child was around when upset people are discussing any problem, shortly thereafter, when the kid sees the pool, the kids camp and all the fun they are going to have, it's but a brief memory.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 03:29 PM
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The first impression we had on our first cruise was similar, all excited to get on board so we thought go to "reception" when we boarded & asked about our cabin...got a sort of withering look & was pointed to the elevators, felt a bit flat for a while.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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perhaps you need another kind of vacation if that is all it took to crush your daughter, with so much going on, on a ship. Sarcasm aside, I always find it best to walk away -- and try again later. We wish everyone knew everything on a ship, and by all rights they should, but they are still human, from all over the world, and they make mistakes. Your vacation, their jobs. I hope you didn't let the first 15 minutes spoil the rest of the week, days, etc.
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