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Talking to the Crew?


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One of the highlights of my cruises is talking to the crew members.  Not just the obvious ones like the servers, bartenders, stateroom stewards, etc., although I do ask them, too.  I'll go out of my way to take to the guy/gal that is moving the deck chairs around, cleaning the windows in the Solarium, the person dishing out the food, etc.  I like to hear about where they are from, if they have a family back home, how long they've been a crew member, do they like being a crew member, living conditions, ..................

What are some of the good questions you may ask of a crew member?  Did any of them tell you any really funny stories?  Any tragic stories?  Anything that made you respect them any more than you already did/do?  Anything surprising?

There is a VLOGer that is a member of the crew on the Ovation when I go on it next Week.  I've followed his VLOGs for some time now.  I like how he does them.  He is the/an assistant Casino Manager, Chris Wong.  He has surprised me with his loyal to Royal and hard working attitude.  I think he is great.  I'm just hoping that I get a chance to have a few minutes to talk to him and get a real sense of who he is and his in person persona.  He says that many none tip receiving crew members appreciate receiving Cup-a-Soup almost as much as they do the occasional tip.  So, guess what I'm going to try to bring him.  It's actually my wife's idea.  

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I like to ask if they have any children and enjoy watching their faces light up when they tell me about them.

Two of my three most recent cruises included one or both young grandchildren. Went to breakfast early at the Windjammer and had multiple servers all over us. Interacting with young kids seems to help crew members not miss their own children as much as they otherwise would.

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One of the side benefits, other than just being a good human being and being genuinely interested in them and their family, other crew members see your interest, appreciate it and you'd be surprised at how much your service levels go way up.  When I was stationed overseas and the locals took an interest in me and my family, I loved it and felt welcome.  

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I totally agree that asking them about their families makes a big difference to crew members.  My husband is great at inquiring about others, and on our fist cruise aboard Adventure of the Seas, we got to know our two servers in the MDR.  Once of them was from India, and as soon as we told him we enjoyed Indian food and that I used to live in Jackson Heights, Queens (large Indian population), he brought us Indian specialties that the chef made in addition to our regular order every night.

It truly does make it a nicer overall experience for us as a family as well as for the crew when you show a genuine interest in their lives.  I love asking where they're from, what their favorite port has been, how long they've been working for Royal, how long in their current position, etc.  I find many of the crew members at Adventure Ocean have degrees in various studies and it's interesting to talk with them about that and what led them to Royal.

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3 hours ago, 10-42 said:

One of the highlights of my cruises is talking to the crew members.  Not just the obvious ones like the servers, bartenders, stateroom stewards, etc., although I do ask them, too.  I'll go out of my way to take to the guy/gal that is moving the deck chairs around, cleaning the windows in the Solarium, the person dishing out the food, etc.  I like to hear about where they are from, if they have a family back home, how long they've been a crew member, do they like being a crew member, living conditions, ..................

What are some of the good questions you may ask of a crew member?  Did any of them tell you any really funny stories?  Any tragic stories?  Anything that made you respect them any more than you already did/do?  Anything surprising?

There is a VLOGer that is a member of the crew on the Ovation when I go on it next Week.  I've followed his VLOGs for some time now.  I like how he does them.  He is the/an assistant Casino Manager, Chris Wong.  He has surprised me with his loyal to Royal and hard working attitude.  I think he is great.  I'm just hoping that I get a chance to have a few minutes to talk to him and get a real sense of who he is and his in person persona.  He says that many none tip receiving crew members appreciate receiving Cup-a-Soup almost as much as they do the occasional tip.  So, guess what I'm going to try to bring him.  It's actually my wife's idea.  

Back when cruising first restarted and it was impossible for the crew to get off.  I bought Chris some Rice Kripie (R) treats.

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We have had the same experience, talking to crew.  Caring about people is what is all about.  We have stayed in touch with several crew members, via e-mail, over many years.  To paraphrase Kristen's earlier comments: getting to know folks is a good experience for everyone.

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For me, having worked in the service industry when I was younger, I like to read the situation; some crew members humor the guest because it is their job. Maybe not so much since the restart because it was so many crew to pax and they were glad to be working and interacting. 

Maybe it is also the introvert in me, but I tend not to bother the crew. If they want to talk to me, I let them and will engage but I don't want them to feel obligated to talk. I have learned some cool things, but I try not to pry. I let them steer the conversation. I remember the suite concierge asking where we from on Allure and when I said Chicago. He told a funny story about our weather and not realizing he would need a coat.

I can say I have met many wonderful crew members who have shared parts of their life with me. But I don't pre-plan any questioning, it is all spur of the moment interactions. 

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4 hours ago, 10-42 said:

One of the highlights of my cruises is talking to the crew members.  Not just the obvious ones like the servers, bartenders, stateroom stewards, etc., although I do ask them, too.  I'll go out of my way to take to the guy/gal that is moving the deck chairs around, cleaning the windows in the Solarium, the person dishing out the food, etc.  I like to hear about where they are from, if they have a family back home, how long they've been a crew member, do they like being a crew member, living conditions, ..................

What are some of the good questions you may ask of a crew member?  Did any of them tell you any really funny stories?  Any tragic stories?  Anything that made you respect them any more than you already did/do?  Anything surprising?

There is a VLOGer that is a member of the crew on the Ovation when I go on it next Week.  I've followed his VLOGs for some time now.  I like how he does them.  He is the/an assistant Casino Manager, Chris Wong.  He has surprised me with his loyal to Royal and hard working attitude.  I think he is great.  I'm just hoping that I get a chance to have a few minutes to talk to him and get a real sense of who he is and his in person persona.  He says that many none tip receiving crew members appreciate receiving Cup-a-Soup almost as much as they do the occasional tip.  So, guess what I'm going to try to bring him.  It's actually my wife's idea.  

He did confirm that Rice Krispie treats are a favorite.

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44 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

For me, having worked in the service industry when I was younger, I like to read the situation; some crew members humor the guest because it is their job. Maybe not so much since the restart because it was so many crew to pax and they were glad to be working and interacting. 

Maybe it is also the introvert in me, but I tend not to bother the crew. If they want to talk to me, I let them and will engage but I don't want them to feel obligated to talk. I have learned some cool things, but I try not to pry. I let them steer the conversation. I remember the suite concierge asking where we from on Allure and when I said Chicago. He told a funny story about our weather and not realizing he would need a coat.

I can say I have met many wonderful crew members who have shared parts of their life with me. But I don't pre-plan any questioning, it is all spur of the moment interactions. 

This is me, too

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1 hour ago, Ampurp85 said:

For me, having worked in the service industry when I was younger...

I worked in the service industry as well, and while I didn't appreciate intrusive questions (drunk middle-aged men are the worst), I did appreciate the times I was talked to not as a bartender or server, but as a human.

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As a drunk middle aged man I resemble that comment! However as a man who has never cheated on a wife or a girlfriend in my life and plan on leaving this world with my perfect record intact I have found that cruise ship staff not only love talking about their family (no you do not ask women if they have a husband) but they love talking about  their country. Most are very proud of their home country and will give you tips on where to stay, what to avoid, what to see and when to visit. I have found the international staff on cruises to be better advisors than any travel website or writers for giving advice on travel. My wife and I have taken trips based on their advice and it has made a huge difference in our experience on those trips. In fact my plans to propose to my wife were altered by none other than a cruise ship waiter who gave me some fantastic advice since my original plan was to take place in his home country and her ancestral home country which she had never been to. I used his insider tips and all these later she still tells the story with pride to anyone who will listen.  Every time I see a name tag from a country I haven't been to I ask questions, they love talking about it and you may find yourself having a totally unique experience, it's like having a cousin in every corner of the globe. Imagine if you were living and working in another country and someone asked you about your home state or city that they wanted to visit, you would not only enjoy talking about it but be in a position to give them priceless advice, that is how I see it. 

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You can generally tell which crew members are more interested in engaging in conversation, and I do enjoy getting to know those that are interested in sharing.

One of our cruises, our MDR waiter had been on the Costa Concordia when it capsized. He stayed off the water for a while, but cruise ships offered far more money than anything back home. He was on his first contract back on a boat and admitted to a lot of fear at first. When we sailed, he was a little over 3 months in and said he felt far more comfortable, and being able to regularly have his pay sent back home had solidified he made the right choice. Even showed us his ID from the Concordia, which he still carried and was far worse for the wear.

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9 hours ago, JC Pats said:

Can Confirm - I gave him a box last September - he was ecstatic! Chris is really personable and loves to chat if he has time. 

I'm anxious to meet him in just a few weeks! I already bought some treats!

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I really enjoy speaking with crewmembers and this rollout period has been rewarding in that arena. With over 60 days of cruising on 5 ships during these past 5 months, I been able to spend much more time getting to know some of these wonderful people. As occupancy has increased, so has their workload, resulting in less available time. 

Was nice to see this topic even addressed in a public forum so thanks for that!

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When we sailed on Empress of the Seas, my family had the BEST crew interactions!  Granted, Empress is the smallest ship in the RC fleet, so it was a lot easier to meet crewmembers.  On the day of embarkation, they announced a "crew passport scavenger hunt" type event - participating families/teams were given a scorecard listing a whole bunch of countries, and a line for a signature.  Teams had to find a crewmember from each country listed and get their signature.  The evening before disembarkation, we had to submit our completed scorecard.  Team with the most signatures wins (with extra points for ship officers.)

Because the ship was so small, all the crew mostly knew each other, and where they were from.  Some were easy (someone from Indonesia), and some were more difficult (someone from Madagascar.)  But we got a lot of help from the crew! "Oh, Madagascar?  There's only one crewmember from there.  Penelope, who works the spa, is from Madagascar!  That's where you'll have to find her!"  By dumb luck, I was in the Windjammer standing behind a guy with striped epaulettes standing by himself, so I struck up a conversation.  He turned around, and was the Captain!  And he was from Italy (check!)  Our family came in second place behind two women who had done this kinda thing before.  It was fun to compare notes.  "Did you find Penelope from Madagascar?"  "Oh, yeah!  In the Spa!"  They also gave us a few great tips (which I don't want to post on here!)

I'm not sure if they do this on bigger ships, but we certainly had fun on Empress.  Has anyone done this on another ship?  It was the best way to interact with the crew!

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1 hour ago, GatorCruiser said:

 

There are a couple of VLOGers that I'd like to meet and a few that I have no desire to even be in the same state with.  But, that's a conversation for another time and venue.  A little suck up time, I like Matt's VLOGs too.  

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I really connected w/ our waiter.  We were talking about you never truly know how long your years on the earth will be and you need to make each day matter.  I was telling him how my daughter was murdered recently at  a shooting at her college.  We never thought she would only have 18 years on this planet….  He was telling me about how his father died when he was 5 and how that has impacted him his whole life.  He shared how his 3 year old daughter thought he was her uncle when he returned home from the ship.  He said “No, I’m your daddy!”  He said he now does FaceTime with her every night that he is onboard so she will always remember her daddy.  I made sure to give him more tip because crew pay for their internet.

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1 hour ago, need2cruz said:

 my daughter was murdered recently at  a shooting at her college.

Sincere condolences.  I can't imagine how this has impacted your entire family.  So sorry to hear a story like this.

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11 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Sincere condolences.  I can't imagine how this has impacted your entire family.  So sorry to hear a story like this.

Thanks.  It’s been difficult.  The worst has been the lack of justice.  Still no arrest made in 7 months.  Despite hundreds of witnesses and police interviews. Not only do we all, including her 4 brothers miss her immensely (she was my only daughter).  She was a very close friend to so many girls.  They’ve been over a lot to share stories and show off their new tattoos.  She was on a full scholarship in art school and a lover of tattoo art.  She inspired so many people to go out of their comfort zone and get their 1st tattoo.  Including me, I got my 1st tattoo in her memory.  It’s large in a prominent place on my forearm so I can share her story every where I go, whether on land or at sea.

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