The 50th anniversary cruise was a big success. We had a wonderful time aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. And from the minute we arrived at the cruise port until we disembarked for the final time, the staff and crew were some of the most professional and courteous people I’ve ever encountered.
My sister Sandy and I have been on cruises before; we know the drill and figured we could avoid any potential issues that might present themselves. So imagine our surprise when we arrived at the cruise port, fully expecting to take advantage of our Crown & Anchor Platinum status to get right onboard, only to find a line about two-hours long. Computer problems earlier in the day were causing a delay in the check-in process. Not much you could do about that and the port staff were as gracious as possible, keeping us informed of what was happening. They couldn’t speed up the process but they made sure we knew what was happening and were as efficient as possible, given the circumstances.
Arriving at our rooms, Richy welcomed us, introduced himself and for the remainder of the trip remembered our names and always wished us a wonderful day. And of course, made sure we had turndown service each night that included the funny little towel animals.
Our dining room servers, Michael and Michael, same thing. Always greeted us by name, remembered that Mom wanted ice tea, Dad wanted a Diet Coke and of course, Sandy and I wanted wine.
But I think what impressed us the most was the executive staff – the captain and his crew. Their jobs are to make sure we stay afloat, don’t get off-course and arrive safely at our destinations. And Captain Rick certainly takes that job seriously. But, he also recognizes his role in ensuring all his guests are enjoying their trip – he was visible throughout the trip, made frequent announcements throughout the sea days telling us about the weather, pointing out the whales (yes, we saw one!), and shared general information about where we were, how far we’d come and how much longer to the next port.
And again, thanks to our Crown & Anchor status, we were able to attend two private captain’s events; at one Captain Rick entertained us with a couple songs and even posed for a Fink Family Fun and Frolic photo.
Royal Caribbean raises money onboard their ships by hosting a Walk for Wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sandy and I did the walk the last time we cruised and the entire family participated this year. I’m guessing about 200 people walked the one-mile course. Counted among the 200 people? Captain Rick and his crew. Wow.
Entertainment staff, cruise director staff, photographers, servers, bartenders, security – really everyone we encountered, greeted us with a smile, inquired about our day and genuinely cared that we were having the best possible vacation.
And that, folks, is customer service.