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Change in Frequency of Housekeeping Service


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Just disembarked from Quantum of the Seas in Australia.  We did back to back and the last cruise they changed housekeeping to one service a day.  After a complaint they kept our room at two services.  It appears this is a 'trial' being conducted on both Quantum and apparently Ovation of the Seas.  It appears Royal Caribbean are trialling a number of changes across the board.  It is rumoured as part of the trial the room attendants have been moved from cleaning 15 rooms to 25 rooms a day.  I see that less service will see less additional gratuities for room attendant.  Royal increased the prepaid gratuities we pay recently and now subsequently are reducing the service we are to receive.   Copy of the relevant area of the cruise compass attached. 

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Interestingly enough this topic came up on another Australian forum and the majority on there didn't have a problem with it and didn't see the need for twice a day. The setting up and putting down of extra bedding is my only concern.

Guessing some people may tip less but going from 15 rooms to 25 gives them more people to get tips off, probably will balance itself out.

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My major concern would be clean towels.  When we cruise warm/beach itineraries, I usually need extra towels due to extra showers, even though I try to reuse them.  Then there is the paperwork that is dropped off in the evening.  I suppose that could be folded and stuck behind the room number?  Clearly, there are some logistics to work out.

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I don't have a problem with this and often tell my cabin attendant not to service the cabin in the morning.  

When you lose $43B USD there are bound to be service adjustments.  It's well known they've had a hard time recruiting crew so yes, gratuity has increased as they've had to entice recruits with higher compensation.  

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I see this as another reason to remove auto gratuities and tip based on who I come into contact with and how often. Cut the menu, cut the cleaning, cut services, etc. Well, I will cut tips for trips that are non refundable till I can cut ties all together. I have two trips paid for and this isn't the cruise line I signed onto anymore. 

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1 hour ago, NotPayinExtra said:

Well, I will cut tips for trips that are non refundable till I can cut ties all together. I have two trips paid for and this isn't the cruise line I signed onto anymore. 

Yes because only Royal was shutdown by the pandemic and forced to lose $43B.  Fortunately other cruise lines haven't changed at all.  

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3 hours ago, NotPayinExtra said:

Ah, who the hell said I would go to another cruise line. There are other fish in the sea (On land) lol. My money talks when I walk. 

No one should make any method of vacation their only method of vacation.  My former designated car rental company now sucks.  Bankruptcy does that to a company.  My former preferred hotel chain isn't what it used to be.   They still haven't returned services lost from the pandemic.  It is what it is.  Terrible thing this pandemic. 

I applaud your decision to expand your vacation spending with no sarcasm intended.

 

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I'm more for charging a higher price, then cutting back on goods and services. Especially on a vacation. Nobody wants more limited menu choices or services on that special week of the year. Everything goes up in price. That's a given. But change the very dynamics of the goods and services people come to expect and you run the risk of changing your customer base as well. For me personally it's been one change after another right after I made non refundable Payments for 2023 & 2024. I now no longer feel I'm going to get what I signed on for. And who knows what changes/cut backs are coming next. I firmly believe you need speak up if you want to be heard. Just in case you read any of this Royal. Hey, you never know. Lol.

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5 hours ago, NotPayinExtra said:

I'm more for charging a higher price, then cutting back on goods and services. Especially on a vacation. Nobody wants more limited menu choices or services on that special week of the year. Everything goes up in price. That's a given. 

I’m still waiting for the midnight buffet, chocolate fountain and ice sculptures to come back. 

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Once a day is more than sufficient housekeeping service. At hotels, even when there is daily housekeeping available (I recently experienced this at a Courtyard in Indianapolis), I opt to not have cleaning done every day. And we certainly don't clean the bathrooms or dust every day at home.

If you want more towels each day, it is easy enough to just ask for them at the beginning of the cruise.

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On 11/27/2022 at 7:57 AM, twangster said:

I don't have a problem with this and often tell my cabin attendant not to service the cabin in the morning.  

When you lose $43B USD there are bound to be service adjustments.  It's well known they've had a hard time recruiting crew so yes, gratuity has increased as they've had to entice recruits with higher compensation.  


I agree, I've always thought the "morning service" was a waste of time.  We keep our room basically spotless and the only reason we "need" the service is to get new towels, which you can request extra anytime.  We don't make our bed at home except for once a week when we change the sheets, so no need for it each day.  I could seem them going to evening only service so they can do any additional bed work that may be needed and deliver the compass and other paperwork.

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1 hour ago, Toby said:

It is time to roll the increases in salaries into the cruise fare and NOT add on fees.  The marketeers know the low cruise fare is the click bait.

Until you convince all cruise lines to go along none will volunteer to have the appearance of having higher prices.

May be time for some legislation.  Until then it is what it is but I don't disagree with you. 

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

Until you convince all cruise lines to go along none will volunteer to have the appearance of having higher prices.

May be time for some legislation.  Until then it is what it is but I don't disagree with you. 

this reminds me of the "will there ever be more small ships" discussion and the celebrity route of including drinks and wi-fi to help potential customers stomach the higher fare.   absolutely needs to be more standardized way to advertise fares, if and when that ever happens i think a lot of the adult Royal customers who are happily paying for all these add ons would see some value in the luxury brands.  i know it's making me look harder and Royal's reported onboard spending continues to be significantly up post pandemic.  

for now, the nail has been hit on the head, I am back on the road more for work and so have stayed in hotels more this year than the past several combined.  that experience is LACKING all around.  lucky to get housekeeping once a day if you call and ask for it and the moon is in the right phase.  closed bars and restaurants, no room service, no front desk help at all sometimes - better off checking in on your phone which doubles as your room key, it's now to the point that most of the time I don't interact with a human staff member my entire stay and my in room meal at the end of a long day is a bag of chips and cheap bottle of wine from the bodega or walgreens on the corner.  the world is not the same.  it will likely never be again, ground shifting 9/11 type changes for travel and hospitality.  if you want to even sniff the higher level of service you maybe used to have or are nostalgic about that's great, but you're going to have to pay for it.  choose a fancier hotel, stay in a different neighborhood, pay the higher rate for the higher class of room that has a stocked minibar and pantry etc etc.

royal is focused on staying king of the mega ship bracket, they are a business that like many others in entertainment/hospitality sold a lot of debt bonds and other financial devices to stay afloat and need to keep making money just to get back to their base line so they can get back to focusing on the new ship schedules, resort projects, resuming amplifications.....people vote with their feet, the passengers are wanting to get back in greater numbers than the crew, as long as we keep paying Royal will keep happily taking the money.

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On 11/27/2022 at 12:08 AM, bretts173 said:

The setting up and putting down of extra bedding is my only concern.

Yes, this is the issue with RCL switching to having room stewards only visit a cabin once per day.  Switching to once per day was easier for Carnival, because of the way their ship cabins are setup for 3rd and 4th passenger bedding.  They would always leave the sofabed in "bed" configuration, and any pullmans would always be down.  This was fine for Carnival, because the design/layout of the room allowed this.

RCL ships, on the other hand, are much harder to move around in with the 3rd and 4th passenger bedding in 'sleep' configuration.  If this was the direction RCL wanted to move in, they should have look into alternate room designs years ago.

 

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23 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

Funny, on Celebrity in July you could opt into less service and they offered an additional loyalty point if you did (per cruise I believe). I believe it was a trial run. 

I think RC should do things like this, not just to do things in a more efficient way but giving us opportunities to make more points. 

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On 11/27/2022 at 6:22 AM, ChessE4 said:

My major concern would be clean towels.  When we cruise warm/beach itineraries, I usually need extra towels due to extra showers, even though I try to reuse them.  Then there is the paperwork that is dropped off in the evening.  I suppose that could be folded and stuck behind the room number?  Clearly, there are some logistics to work out.

Towels you just need to ask the Steward to leave extras.

As far as Paper work, they can keep all those wasted marketing flyers, they just find there way directly into file 13, beside the waste of paper and ink.

Any necessary invites can just be put on your doors little inbox like they do now

 

12 hours ago, Reigert2008 said:


I agree, I've always thought the "morning service" was a waste of time.  We keep our room basically spotless and the only reason we "need" the service is to get new towels, which you can request extra anytime.  We don't make our bed at home except for once a week when we change the sheets, so no need for it each day.  I could seem them going to evening only service so they can do any additional bed work that may be needed and deliver the compass and other paperwork.

This is why everyone is different, we think evening service is a waste of time.  I want my bed made up in the early morning not long after breakfast.  so when i return it looks fresh again for the day.

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23 hours ago, twangster said:

Until you convince all cruise lines to go along none will volunteer to have the appearance of having higher prices.

May be time for some legislation.  Until then it is what it is but I don't disagree with you. 

My concern is cruise line pricing going the way of some of the airlines where any service provided beyond an economy seat on a plane is fee based.  

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53 minutes ago, Toby said:

My concern is cruise line pricing going the way of some of the airlines where any service provided beyond an economy seat on a plane is fee based.  

Not all airlines take this approach.  As consumers we choose which to do business with. 

I choose not to fly the ultra low cost carriers for this reason.  Other's embrace low cost and frills cost extra.  

Sometimes adjustments in service are a method to avoid having to charge extra for certain items.

If any particular cruise lines goes in a direction that you dislike vote with your wallet.  However I wouldn't fear it before it occurs.  

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I was on a cruise last month, and go on another this Saturday and have not seen this.   I am sure many people do not need or want 2 services a day.  I really like it.  Am also sure you can request 2 house cleanings daily. or more towels, or setting up sofa bed, etc.   Also perhaps this is only in Australia?   Either way, it all works out and you can simply request your likes or needs and receive them.  

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Maybe many people do not realize this but the two services a day is a way that Royal uses to keep tabs on you. It's one thing to miss a room cleaning because of a hangover, an impromptu nap, or forgetting to turn your Do Not Disturb sign around. But when you miss two consecutive servicings your stateroom attendant reports the incidents to security. Security in turn sends an officer over to do a well being check. Either the door is answered or they are coming in. You can count on security having done their research for sea pass use and facial recognition history of the occupants.

In other words, if you have fallen and can't get up you won't be lying there till debarkation day. If you are sick or injured, they are going to find out about it and the medical team gets involved. Or, if something in the stateroom is damaged or missing ala a famous 1970's Keith Moon after show rampage-- there's no hiding it.

The two servicings is as much a security issue as it is a nice way to leave a towel animal reading the Cruise Compass so they are not going away.

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38 minutes ago, bobroo said:

Maybe many people do not realize this but the two services a day is a way that Royal uses to keep tabs on you. It's one thing to miss a room cleaning because of a hangover, an impromptu nap, or forgetting to turn your Do Not Disturb sign around. But when you miss two consecutive servicings your stateroom attendant reports the incidents to security. Security in turn sends an officer over to do a well being check. Either the door is answered or they are coming in. You can count on security having done their research for sea pass use and facial recognition history of the occupants.

In other words, if you have fallen and can't get up you won't be lying there till debarkation day. If you are sick or injured, they are going to find out about it and the medical team gets involved. Or, if something in the stateroom is damaged or missing ala a famous 1970's Keith Moon after show rampage-- there's no hiding it.

The two servicings is as much a security issue as it is a nice way to leave a towel animal reading the Cruise Compass so they are not going away.

It could also be a sign that someone has an illness.  Flu, Noro, Covid doesn't matter.  Someone who is under the weather and not leaving their cabin for an extended time is a person of interest to the ship as a means to contain an outbreak of whatever.  

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3 hours ago, bobroo said:

Maybe many people do not realize this but the two services a day is a way that Royal uses to keep tabs on you. It's one thing to miss a room cleaning because of a hangover, an impromptu nap, or forgetting to turn your Do Not Disturb sign around. But when you miss two consecutive servicings your stateroom attendant reports the incidents to security. Security in turn sends an officer over to do a well being check. Either the door is answered or they are coming in. You can count on security having done their research for sea pass use and facial recognition history of the occupants.

In other words, if you have fallen and can't get up you won't be lying there till debarkation day. If you are sick or injured, they are going to find out about it and the medical team gets involved. Or, if something in the stateroom is damaged or missing ala a famous 1970's Keith Moon after show rampage-- there's no hiding it.

The two servicings is as much a security issue as it is a nice way to leave a towel animal reading the Cruise Compass so they are not going away.

Just because they are not servicing your room doesn't mean they can't check your door. It would take all of 5 seconds.

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On 11/28/2022 at 11:54 AM, jbrinkm said:

We had a chocolate fountain on Allure in April. My kids LOVED it (the adults too). It was right outside WJ in the foyer on the last sea day.

Just got off the Allure on a back-to-back.  Unfortunately, no chocolate fountain.  Nice Thanksgiving dinner however.

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I personally like the twice per day service. It makes me feel decadent. 

On the other hand, Royal says they are competing against land based vacations. More and more hotels are moving to once every 3 day service.  I really don't like that, but don't have many alternatives beyond cruising.

So, I guess I may need to learn to live with once daily service. I don't have to like it. 

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1 hour ago, B&S said:

Just got off the Allure on a back-to-back.  Unfortunately, no chocolate fountain.  Nice Thanksgiving dinner however.

I believe you - and they've probably done away with it at this point, but also, I might have easily missed it if my kids hadn't found it. They didn't announce it or post it anywhere - it just appeared in the middle of the day in that foyer. We met up to get in line to do the zip line (son was still 12 so needed an adult there) and they were both eating fruit kabobs covered in chocolate. So then we had to delay the zip line for my husband and I to go check it out 😂 

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7 hours ago, bretts173 said:

Just because they are not servicing your room doesn't mean they can't check your door. It would take all of 5 seconds.

That makes no sense. They couldn't tell anything from doing that. Someone in your cabin twice a day. Seeing what has been used and touched etc is a way to tell if a person has used the cabin Vs say fell overboard etc. Not to mention sick etc by seeing and cleaning room and bathroom. And again aside from safety, they are going to kill the tips by not having evening service, towel animals, chocolates on pillow, etc.

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