I have a bone to pick. I am fed up with people that perceive they are “special” and demand that they receive “special” treatment regardless of the effect of same on fellow cruise passengers.
As many of you know, my motto/slogan/business philosophy is simple: Be Treated By Your Travel Agent As You Will Be Onboard. But what does that really mean? What are the client’s or guest’s expectations?
When I first entered the travel business I went to a seminar when the speaker (now a very good friend of mine) said essentially, “Someone will pay $399 for a cruise and expect a white glove assistant to meet them at the bottom of the gangway, take their bags, and then be greeted at the top of the gangway with a glass of champagne and the captain. It will never happen. But if the person pays $3,999 they will expect none of it, but get it all.” I immediately knew what market I would focus on, but not necessarily for that reason. I still needed to figure out what it is that I needed to do to focus on the luxury market.
But I also made a decision: Carnival or Seabourn, it doesn’t matter. Every single client will be treated the same way: The best way I know how. Just as I would never think of asking how much someone makes I do not look at the cruise they are interested in as defining who they are…or, most importantly, how they should be treated.
My years in the superyacht industry has a very simple concept ingrained in my soul: That scruffy looking guy walking down the dock can just as easily be the owner of a yacht as the guy cleaning the bilges on the yacht…so regardless of which it is, that human being is entitled to my best…and my respect.
With this I look at the cruise industry and the perceptions and demands of some guests and passengers. I must make the point that there is a difference between expecting the product that the cruise lines promise to deliver and demanding that you be treated extraordinarily special or be allowed to exploit a “We never say ‘No'” philosophy or that you have the right to act with impunity regardless of how “your cruise” just might affect the cruise of your fellow passengers…who are just seeking to enjoy even if it is different than yours.
We all have experienced the “chair hogs”, the guy that orders 12 shrimp cocktails each evening, etc. Those sorts of selfish behavior is really not of what I speak. I am talking about the taking over of public spaces such as hallways, bars or lounges by these private social groups and then their looking at you as if you are infringing on their private space. But, alas it is neither “theirs” nor is it “private”.
A few years ago a client of mine was upset to the point of tears because a group on a Radisson cruise were not only cliquish, they were mean to (snubbed) this person. A few years later this same group was to be on a cruise I was hosting a group on. I made sure they knew in advance that I would not accept such conduct despite their intimidation. This is, of course, an extreme case, but there were comments left in a recent post about similar types of actions by a group on Seabourn. (What was that about the expectations of luxury clients? Money don’t buy class!)
The point I guess I am trying to express is that when a social group takes over that bar, or blocks a hallway or seeks to consistently jeopardize the staff (who have to tend to hundreds of other guests just as important as them), they need to take a moment and think about how their demands affect that “other” guest who they may not know or like. They are equally entitled to a seat at the bar and to have their drink quietly (or not) as they wish regardless of your chosen manner of doing so. They are entitled to equal service in the restaurant and their own quiet conversation.
When you think of how “you are treated onboard” remember that “those people” also are entitled to be “treated onboard” just the same as you.
Perceptions and Demands. Just remember that which you may perceive as a request to make your cruise special just may be seen as an unreasonable demand that improperly affects that other person’s perception of what their cruise is supposed to be…or the cruise line’s ability to afford those less demanding guests with the quality product they are entitled to.
Should we not demand at least that much of ourselves?
I will now step off my soapbox.