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Staffing Issues Query


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13 minutes ago, 10-42 said:

Yep, many/most understand that Landside Royal vs. Seaside Royal has no comparison.  Seaside is much more responsive to your needs and desires.  If it wasn't for Seaside Royal, I'd probably move on.  Landside Royal is one disappointment after disappointment, bureaucratic nonsense after bureaucratic nonsense.  

Besides the inconvenience of being short crew, I'd like to know the impact of "SAFETY".  Is there enough crew to meet the requirements of ALL emergency situations.  Also, what information are they covering up/holding back. 

For example:  On my May 13th Alaska cruise on the Ovation, 2 of the 3 Genies, within 2 days of each other, supposedly "INJURED" themselves, by rumor only, one hurt his ankle and the other his back.  We told the remaining Genie that we hoped to see them on the ship somewhere/sometime and wish them well.  The remaining Genie said, "No, that isn't possible as they are restricted to their crew cabin.  Restricted sounds a lot like "Quarantined", to me.   Now, I fully understand that I could be way off base here and completely wrong.  

That was the story going around on my last cruise - the main production show was shut down due to “injury”.

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24 minutes ago, BowTieBrigade said:

That was the story going around on my last cruise - the main production show was shut down due to “injury”.

My cynical side and a career in investigations make me THINK (meaning it's an opinion) that Royal doesn't want to report the true COVID numbers as it could be devastating to the company/industry.  Not because it is a real health issue but because of the knee jerk reaction the CDC may give.  The cruise industry is really between a rock and a hard place.

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On 5/29/2022 at 9:23 AM, smokeybandit said:

My guess is that the actual number of dissatisfied, never booking again guests isn't any lower than normal and that most people would rather cruise with an understaffed ship than not cruise at all

I think that's probably generally correct

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Maybe Matt on live blog later this day can give us a more thorough explanation of staff shortages and what RC is doing about it. Sorry Matt, I hope I don't put you in any kind of predicament.

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1 hour ago, mike2608 said:

Maybe Matt on live blog later this day can give us a more thorough explanation of staff shortages and what RC is doing about it. Sorry Matt, I hope I don't put you in any kind of predicament.

My thoughts are basically here: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2022/05/16/the-top-problems-royal-caribbean-facing-it-returns-full-capacity

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We feel really bad for the overworked crew members. Our 3 weeks on the Serenade of the Seas was very enjoyable and it's always better to be on a ship then at home....in our opinion. Let's hope they can get the staffing issues resolved soon but in the mean time we will still keep sailing.

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On 5/30/2022 at 10:01 AM, Matt said:

I think that's probably generally correct

I'll never understand why we should accept less for the money spent. Any other product to price point we'd hold the producer of the product to a high standard for money spent, aka Return on Investment (ROI), and we'd demand standards are kept but cruising seems to be the one place were I read they are trying, they have X problems and it'll get better. If I go on a trip and pay thousands of dollars, sometimes 10's of thousands, I better get a good ROI or I'm not doing it again.

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4 hours ago, VACruiser said:

I'll never understand why we should accept less for the money spent. Any other product to price point we'd hold the producer of the product to a high standard for money spent, aka Return on Investment (ROI), and we'd demand standards are kept but cruising seems to be the one place were I read they are trying, they have X problems and it'll get better. If I go on a trip and pay thousands of dollars, sometimes 10's of thousands, I better get a good ROI or I'm not doing it again.

I don't believe anyone is advocating accepting less, at least I am not. I think it's more so a matter of understanding. Everyone is feeling the burn of supply issues and staffing, so having patience is paramount in these times. It is not like RCG is the sole business dealing with this. Whether the (ROI) is good or bad is an individual preference. People are complaining of wait times and quality, but we don't know the baseline; lots of people have short memories. I think RCG increased capacity a smidge too fast but pre-covid there were wait times.

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4 hours ago, VACruiser said:

I'll never understand why we should accept less for the money spent.

In general, I'd agree with you. The issue is the entire service/travel industry is being affected right now. This isn't a Royal Caribbean specific deficiency; it's all companies.

So back to your point, if you feel you aren't getting your money's worth and/or you feel the ROI isn't there, then I'd advise holding off cruising until this issue goes away.

Personally, I file this under the "it is what it is" category of problems and I'd have the same issue if I went to Vegas or some other land resort, so I'll stick with cruising and hope they're going to staff up.

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I think overall it is up to each cruiser to make that decision. If you feel that you won't get the service expected for the amount you paid, I would definitely hold off till the staffing issues become better and supply issues are resolved. However if you are willing to be flexible and would rather be on board then by all means. This was the same choice many cruisers have faced earlier in the restart of cruising. Some cruisers did not want to come on board when masks were required because it would hamper their enjoyment of the cruise, while others felt it did not impact them at all. In the end its really a a matter of personal choice. 

For me I booked my cruise for June 2022, knowing that there may be issues on board from covid to staffing. But I am willing to go with the flow.

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3 hours ago, Matt said:

In general, I'd agree with you. The issue is the entire service/travel industry is being affected right now. This isn't a Royal Caribbean specific deficiency; it's all companies.

So back to your point, if you feel you aren't getting your money's worth and/or you feel the ROI isn't there, then I'd advise holding off cruising until this issue goes away.

Personally, I file this under the "it is what it is" category of problems and I'd have the same issue if I went to Vegas or some other land resort, so I'll stick with cruising and hope they're going to staff up.

^^^ I agree with all the points above. The Return on Investment is not there for a once in a year vacation for my family so I will hold off until much later. At the moment I'm renting houses at the beach for my vacations with the family. I can better control the outcome.

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3 hours ago, Matt said:

Personally, I file this under the "it is what it is" category of problems and I'd have the same issue if I went to Vegas or some other land resort, so I'll stick with cruising and hope they're going to staff up.

Not necessarily Matt.  A cruise ship can decide to limit its consumer capacity.  Although Las Vegas hotel/casinos can choose to limit the number of rooms to offer, during business hours (which is 24/7) they have to keep the doors open to the general public.  This means that hotel guests are competing with non-hotel guests.  

In short, if MGM or The Venetian were short staffed and had full guest capacity, I agree that it is what it is; however, RCCL definitely has the power to back off on full capacity right now.  That is not to say cancel existing sailings, but they can start by ceasing to offer rooms for upcoming sailings now.  

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1 hour ago, CruisingNewb said:

Not necessarily Matt.  A cruise ship can decide to limit its consumer capacity.  Although Las Vegas hotel/casinos can choose to limit the number of rooms to offer, during business hours (which is 24/7) they have to keep the doors open to the general public.  This means that hotel guests are competing with non-hotel guests.  

In short, if MGM or The Venetian were short staffed and had full guest capacity, I agree that it is what it is; however, RCCL definitely has the power to back off on full capacity right now.  That is not to say cancel existing sailings, but they can start by ceasing to offer rooms for upcoming sailings now.  

There's a major difference between Vegas and Royal Caribbean: Only one was shutdown for a year and had to take out loans to survive.

If cruises could have operated with impunity like Vegas, then I would agree with you completely.

But cruise lines have to get to 90%+ capacity to be profitable. Breaking even is no longer good enough.

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When I stay/buy a hotel room, I'm paying for a clean bed, clean bathroom, hot water, and a few other amenities.  When I stay in a hotel, I pay anywhere between a +/- hundred to +/- three hundred dollars a night.  When I have a booking in a hotel and upon check-in I find things to be substandard, I can go to the front desk and refuse the room, cancel and get a credit back on my C.C., believe me, I know this to be true.   

When I buy a cabin on a cruise ship for X amount of days, which is a CLOSED/CAPTURED society after it starts to cruise, includes much much more than just a clean bed, clean bathroom, hot water, and a few other amenities, but for thousands of dollars more.  A cabin on a cruise ship includes, which is advertised heavily, several different kinds of shows, several different restaurants, several different kinds of adventures and excursions.  What I expect from a cruise line is to be honest and upfront.  If the Northstar isn't going to be operating throughout the cruise, so state in advance.  If a particular eating venue isn't going to be open throughout the entire cruise, say so in advance, if a show isn't going to be offered, say so in advance.  If the cruise is short handed to the point that many/all venues and activities are impacted in one way or another, so state in advance.   If most or all mentioned is true/happening, don't continue to hide it, don't require full price as if nothing is missing, and be up front with it.  There is one quick way to lose loyal customers, which is the backbone of almost every business, and that is to be dishonest with them.  And BTW, once the cruise ship leaves the pier/dock, you can't just say you unsatisfied and check out.  

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17 hours ago, 10-42 said:

When I stay/buy a hotel room, I'm paying for a clean bed, clean bathroom, hot water, and a few other amenities.  When I stay in a hotel, I pay anywhere between a +/- hundred to +/- three hundred dollars a night.  When I have a booking in a hotel and upon check-in I find things to be substandard, I can go to the front desk and refuse the room, cancel and get a credit back on my C.C., believe me, I know this to be true.   

When I buy a cabin on a cruise ship for X amount of days, which is a CLOSED/CAPTURED society after it starts to cruise, includes much much more than just a clean bed, clean bathroom, hot water, and a few other amenities, but for thousands of dollars more.  A cabin on a cruise ship includes, which is advertised heavily, several different kinds of shows, several different restaurants, several different kinds of adventures and excursions.  What I expect from a cruise line is to be honest and upfront.  If the Northstar isn't going to be operating throughout the cruise, so state in advance.  If a particular eating venue isn't going to be open throughout the entire cruise, say so in advance, if a show isn't going to be offered, say so in advance.  If the cruise is short handed to the point that many/all venues and activities are impacted in one way or another, so state in advance.   If most or all mentioned is true/happening, don't continue to hide it, don't require full price as if nothing is missing, and be up front with it.  There is one quick way to lose loyal customers, which is the backbone of almost every business, and that is to be dishonest with them.  And BTW, once the cruise ship leaves the pier/dock, you can't just say you unsatisfied and check out.  

BINGO. What use is the App, website, or any other source of cruiser information if they do not communicate that they cannot deliver the goods nd services?  People say its bad business to state things like being understaffed.  No.  It is bad business to not communicate.  You don't need to say "we are under staffed."  You can say "we are experiencing difficulties as all other businesses but are striving to ensure a pleasurable voyage; as such, the Solarium Bistro will be closed for lunch in order to provide full service at Windjammer."  Something like that.  Take the Northstar offering off of the App or at least indicate in advance that it may be down.  

People say that I am not grounded in reality.  LOL If I go to BestBuy and plop down $2,000 for a 4k Ultra HD TV, you better damn bet that I want everything advertised in that TV.  If not, I return it right?  Once on board  a ship, I don't get my money back.

I'm not saying that I cannot be sympathetic.  I certainly can.  Why else would I be bringing a ton of additional cash for tipping and such?  I know these people work hard and have missed out on one year of tips and salary. I can endure a 90 dinner.  No big deal.  But the bosses need to step up the game and be upfront.  I can easily shape my expectations once I get information straight from the source.  No one but RCCL knows for 100% what shortages they have.  No one but RCCL knows for 100% sure what RCCL's monetary restrictions are.  That is all speculation.

BTW, plenty of big businesses out there let consumers know in advance that there might be issues in delay or shortage of products.  

I am still going to try and enjoy my upcoming cruise.  Just looking at whether I will be cruising again anytime soon thereafter.  

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22 hours ago, CruisingNewb said:

BINGO. What use is the App, website, or any other source of cruiser information if they do not communicate that they cannot deliver the goods nd services?  People say its bad business to state things like being understaffed.  No.  It is bad business to not communicate.  You don't need to say "we are under staffed."  You can say "we are experiencing difficulties as all other businesses but are striving to ensure a pleasurable voyage; as such, the Solarium Bistro will be closed for lunch in order to provide full service at Windjammer."  Something like that.  Take the Northstar offering off of the App or at least indicate in advance that it may be down.  

People say that I am not grounded in reality.  LOL If I go to BestBuy and plop down $2,000 for a 4k Ultra HD TV, you better damn bet that I want everything advertised in that TV.  If not, I return it right?  Once on board  a ship, I don't get my money back.

I'm not saying that I cannot be sympathetic.  I certainly can.  Why else would I be bringing a ton of additional cash for tipping and such?  I know these people work hard and have missed out on one year of tips and salary. I can endure a 90 dinner.  No big deal.  But the bosses need to step up the game and be upfront.  I can easily shape my expectations once I get information straight from the source.  No one but RCCL knows for 100% what shortages they have.  No one but RCCL knows for 100% sure what RCCL's monetary restrictions are.  That is all speculation.

And it isn't like you know what is or is not working at normal capacity or at all.  There are many many things that you may not get to trying until you have been on the ship for several days.  I didn't know the Bistro wasn't open until I decided to go and have lunch in it on about the 3rd or 4th day.  I DO NOT REMEMBER, any written announcement saying that it was not open, at all.  The only thing I kinda remember is that the Bistro was not mentioned at all in the Compass.  But, on the first day of the cruise, I didn't put much thought into it. 

sOn the first day, we were told that the Northstar was not going to be available during the cruise because it had a mechanical issue and that they were expecting repair parts being delivered to the dock in Juneau.  Well after about 3 or 4 days we were told that it was fixed but not operating because of staffing issues and will not be open for the remainder of the cruise.  

Off topic thought:  I try to keep informed about what going on on ships that I plan on cruising on in the future, this includes Quantum Class ships.  It seems that the Northstar is down a health percentage of the time/cruises.  Which I don't really understand, it is nothing more than a very basic crane, a very basic hydraulic crane.  Hydraulic cranes have been working almost issue free for many many decades now.  The Northstar seems to be disproportionately down and out.  Makes me wonder if it is an attraction of convenience for Royal.  If they have the crew, it works, if they don't have the crew, it's broken.  And if you listen to the actual words of people telling you what is going on with the Northstar, it will tell you the real story.  For example:  We were told, by our Genie, that it was down, not available for the cruise and parts order to be delivered in Juneau.  Keep in mind that we were told, the first thing out of our Genie's mouth about the Northstar, that it wasn't going to be available for the cruise.  But, parts were on the way.  A psychological trick to make you thing that there is a chance of it working, eventually, but if it wasn't, they told you that it was down for the entire cruise 🙄.  This is not to say that my cruise was ruined because of the Northstar, not at all, just my opinion of how they (Corp., tells crew how to explain things because of their shortfalls) parse their words and try to cover-up things.  

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23 minutes ago, 10-42 said:

I didn't know the Bistro wasn't open until I decided to go and have lunch in it on about the 3rd or 4th day.  I DO NOT REMEMBER, any written announcement saying that it was not open, at all.  The only thing I kinda remember is that the Bistro was not mentioned at all in the Compass. 

This is one case where the app was helpful - Solarium Bistro wasn't listed as a dining venue on the app during our cruise just one week behind you.

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7 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

This is one case where the app was helpful - Solarium Bistro wasn't listed as a dining venue on the app during our cruise just one week behind you.

Yep, that is probably true.  But, I don't carry my phone with me often.  I try to put it in the safe and leave it there for the duration.  There are situations that I do carry it, like when the Genie has said that he will need to communicate with me via WhatsApp or when we get off in an American Port of Call, to call home and see how everybody is doing and to brag a little.  

Also, the day before embarkation, May 12, 2022, on Royalcaribbean.com/Ovation, the Bistro and the Northstar were advertised and still are.  As I've heard in this media and others, the Bistro is shut-down system wide or at least on Quantum Class ships for an undetermined amount of time.  But, it was and is advertised.

image.thumb.png.0263d09cd10f246dc493313451583f5d.png

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29 minutes ago, 10-42 said:

Yep, that is probably true.  But, I don't carry my phone with me often.  I try to put it in the safe and leave it there for the duration.  There are situations that I do carry it, like when the Genie has said that he will need to communicate with me via WhatsApp or when we get off in an American Port of Call, to call home and see how everybody is doing and to brag a little.  

Also, the day before embarkation, May 12, 2022, on Royalcaribbean.com/Ovation, the Bistro and the Northstar were advertised and still are.  As I've heard in this media and others, the Bistro is shut-down system wide or at least on Quantum Class ships for an undetermined amount of time.  But, it was and is advertised.

image.thumb.png.0263d09cd10f246dc493313451583f5d.png

Yup.  Solarium Bistro was listed until at least a day after you mentioned it from your cruise.  Now it is no longer there.

By the way...I forgot to thank you for your service this past Memorial Day weekend.  I was thinking to do so, but I completely forgot with my wife getting sick and me in panic mode.  Thank you for your service!

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This is exactly it. We had a sailing booked on Serenade. We paid the deposit penalty to switch to Ovation because we felt the advertised options were more kid-friendly. If those are not available because RCCL made the decision to sail more ships than they had the staffing for, I think it's only fair that my deposit penalty be returned.

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