When it comes to cruising, there are many elements that come together to make the experience stand out. The various itineraries, marvelous ships, culinary indulgences, and plethora of shows and entertainment make up a considerable share of the experience, but it is the ships's staff, the crew members, that make it shine. The personal level of service, attention to detail, and smiling faces make cruise ships come alive.
The unseen room steward's stealthy and thorough approach to cleaning your stateroom is often a friendly joke amongst cruisers. "I leave my cabin for all of five seconds, return to my quarters, and find it made up spick and span complete with a lovely chocolate mint on my pillow. Amazing!" Truth is you do see your steward out in the corridor quite a lot actually, attending to seemingly never-ending custodial chores on behalf of you and your fellow cruise mates. And if you ever sit down and calculate how much time these diligent men and women dedicate to pleasing every passenger, you'll find it staggering.
Many pleasant cruising memories can be traced back to those exceptional crew, from the congenial security checker at the gangway to the captain and their infamous public addresses. Surely we've become accustomed to the charm and dry wit of the captains and their signature international accents. Our wait staff in the dining room have graciously attended to our dietary needs, desires, and then some. And the performers have entertained us with fanciful productions satiating our penchant for escapism. You could go on forever.
From drink servers to guest relations officers, each member of the onboard staff makes it their duty to provide unparalleled service. Over the years this level of service has become a bit of a cliché, and certainly there are varying degrees of service to be had amongst the different cruise lines. Still, it is undoubtedly true that service is what defines cruise excellence.
I will never forget the ever-friendly Georgina Couto, guest relations extraordinaire aboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas, who tirelessly assisted me with my internet account as it related to logging on with my just-released first-generation iPad. I was likely the first passenger who had ever been onboard with this device, and she made a point of ensuring that the new technology work with the ship's network, curious and fascinated herself by the new device and wanting to understand it for the benefit of future guests. Her unceasing dedication to service combined with her vivacious personality made it a joy to wait in line at guest relations.
It's the so-called service with a smile that Georgina excelled at as do so many of the other thousands of crew members that provide for the cruise industry. And so now I ask you, which crew members have made the biggest impact on making your cruise exceptional? Share your experience and join in on the discussion at our new message board thread here: A Celebration of Cruise Staff