Have dining room services gone down hill, or does it just seem that way? Did services suffer when gratuities became automatic? I for one think that cruise ship dining room services are still several notches above average. And yes, it may vary by cruise line, as the training does start from the top. But, before you allow this aspect of a cruise affect your Cruise Experience, remember some of these factors:
Casual, schedule-free dining: Did you choose the “old-school”, early/late seating, main dining room option? It’s difficult for any server to get to know your dining and drinking habits when you have different servers, in different dining venues, at different times, each night.
While dining room talent is still excellent, cruise ships have grown in size and scope, and the number of ships per company seem to keep growing. Fifteen to twenty years ago was a different story, and the top talent wasn’t spread as thinly as it is today.
Speaking of cruise ship size and scope, that alone makes it more challenging for the servers to perform perfectly, even if you sit with the same team every single night. It’s simply more to do; more to remember; more to organize. It is still incredible to think about how many people these teams serve every day.
The serving staff is multi-tasking more than ever before. How often do you see your server from the dining room, during a different part of the day, at another dining venue…like the buffet? Pretty often! I realize we pay for our Cruise Experiences, but the servers are people too, and their duties are not easy!
I’m not making excuses for anybody…there are some servers that should be doing something else, somewhere else. But there is no doubt that as dining options change, the services of today will always be different from the services and experiences of tomorrow.