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irishgal432

Question on Butlers

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I just returned from my first Celebrity Suite on Millennium and had a wonderful time. I normally sail Royal Caribbean but was blown away by Celebrity's service, staff and food as compared to Royal.  Looking to book another one but had a question about butlers.  We saw a butler a total of 4 times the whole trip.  He did bring coffee in the morning while we were sleeping as we had requested.

 

1. On the first day where we requested a blanket and my husbands jacket pressed.

2. Seating to the show

3. In the retreat lounge when he was talking to another couple.

4. When he brought the room service for breakfast (later than the specified time) which was ice cold and could not be eaten.

 

We had to give the tip envelope to the concierge since we did not see him on the last day.  He never called to check on if we needed anything, bring any special deliveries of food or snacks etc. I had requested extra towels that took 2 days to get there as well as a footstool for the balcony since the balcony only had 2 lawn chairs.

 

Is this normal?  I have read on the boards about the excellent service and attentiveness that they bring. 

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17 minutes ago, irishgal432 said:

I just returned from my first Celebrity Suite on Millennium and had a wonderful time. I normally sail Royal Caribbean but was blown away by Celebrity's service, staff and food as compared to Royal.  Looking to book another one but had a question about butlers.  We saw a butler a total of 4 times the whole trip.  He did bring coffee in the morning while we were sleeping as we had requested.

 

1. On the first day where we requested a blanket and my husbands jacket pressed.

2. Seating to the show

3. In the retreat lounge when he was talking to another couple.

4. When he brought the room service for breakfast (later than the specified time) which was ice cold and could not be eaten.

 

We had to give the tip envelope to the concierge since we did not see him on the last day.  He never called to check on if we needed anything, bring any special deliveries of food or snacks etc. I had requested extra towels that took 2 days to get there as well as a footstool for the balcony since the balcony only had 2 lawn chairs.

 

Is this normal?  I have read on the boards about the excellent service and attentiveness that they bring. 

I'd be a bit pissed about that level of service after paying for a Celebrity Suite. We are in our first CS in September so I'm curious to see responses. I'd still tip, but not as much as I would for good service. 

Edited by Greenymac

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No from our experience that is not normal, but I think there have been cutbacks on the number of Butlers on each ship, stretching them.  Our Butler, Bart, in an RS last September was totally amazing, best we have ever had. He told us off if we booked Room Service and told us to phone him with our order.  I think if you don't ask for much, some of the Butlers will leave you alone, assuming that everything is OK for you.  Waiting for 2 days for extra towels is unacceptable.  

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I remember a butler Bart he was great. Yes it can be a hit or miss with butlers. I noticed a difference in service when Millie added a suite manager. Millie lost 2 butlers. One on each side of deck 6 when they added a suite manager.

Edited by bigbenboys
added words

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2 hours ago, irishgal432 said:

I just returned from my first Celebrity Suite on Millennium and had a wonderful time. I normally sail Royal Caribbean but was blown away by Celebrity's service, staff and food as compared to Royal.  Looking to book another one but had a question about butlers.  We saw a butler a total of 4 times the whole trip.  He did bring coffee in the morning while we were sleeping as we had requested.

 

1. On the first day where we requested a blanket and my husbands jacket pressed.

2. Seating to the show

3. In the retreat lounge when he was talking to another couple.

4. When he brought the room service for breakfast (later than the specified time) which was ice cold and could not be eaten.

 

We had to give the tip envelope to the concierge since we did not see him on the last day.  He never called to check on if we needed anything, bring any special deliveries of food or snacks etc. I had requested extra towels that took 2 days to get there as well as a footstool for the balcony since the balcony only had 2 lawn chairs.

 

Is this normal?  I have read on the boards about the excellent service and attentiveness that they bring. 

 

I am confused about the tip envelope? Gratuities are added daily, if you had them removed, that could be part of the “problem”.

 

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I did not remove gratuities. I had a tip envelope in addition to the normal grats. 

This was one instance in my cruising history I almost did not give additional tips. 

 

 

Edited by irishgal432

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Our first Suite was a SS in 2014 and we saw our Butler at least twice a day when he stopped by to see if we needed anything, and he could frequently be seen in the hall. 

Fast forward to 2018 and service was fine both in our CS and SS but we had to call the Butlers to request anything we needed as we rarely saw  them in the hall.  The number of cabins the butlers were covering were increased.

 

Earlier this year we were in a RS and our Butler he did check the cabin once or twice a day (removing glasses, refilling soda) but we were normally not there when he came by.  He has Suites on 2 floors. He did a good job but was stretched very thin, we found we had to call and request anything we needed. Personally, I hate having to cal.   The  MCC was excellent and there were normally 2-3 people waiting to see him.   The Suite Manager was new and I saw her twice in 15 days, once in MC during meet the Officers and the other time in a elevator. 

 

Overall, I feel we had better Butler service in 2014 in a SS than we have experienced in the past 18 months.  Not because the Butlers we not as good but because they are stretched to thin. 

 

 

Edited by jelayne
typo

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1 hour ago, Suite Susie said:

No from our experience that is not normal, but I think there have been cutbacks on the number of Butlers on each ship, stretching them.  Our Butler, Bart, in an RS last September was totally amazing, best we have ever had. He told us off if we booked Room Service and told us to phone him with our order.  I think if you don't ask for much, some of the Butlers will leave you alone, assuming that everything is OK for you.  Waiting for 2 days for extra towels is unacceptable.  

Absolutely loved Bart when he was our butler on Reflection. We saw him again on the Edge in January although he was not our butler. He was assigned to the Edge Villas (all the way forward) and then a few sky suites that were aft on a totally different deck. I know it was making it difficult to serve all his passengers. I also know the butlers on the Edge were having a hard time  because of the lack of space and storage that the butlers were used to on the other ships. 

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I would not have added an additional tip in this case.

 

That being said, I tend to be proactive and would have worked to set the expectations on the first day or two, in light of a less than stellar performance.  We have been fortunate that our Butlers have been great, except one who was good, and after a brief friendly and polite discussion, he was excellent the rest of the trip.

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Pictures below from our butler on Equinox in a Sky Suite (March 2019).  He learned from the butler we had on the first week that my husband had a birthday coming up.  This was the spread he created for us and our traveling companions!  He was always asking what he could do for us.  All we asked was for ice twice a day!

9B0F4CA2-4FAD-4E57-A226-ED7514958DF1.jpeg

493E9E1D-5797-472D-BA7B-4D61C260CC91.jpeg

C28F1B04-7384-4D28-AD66-2054BD609246.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, Barb1403 said:

Pictures below from our butler on Equinox in a Sky Suite (March 2019).  He learned from the butler we had on the first week that my husband had a birthday coming up.  This was the spread he created for us and our traveling companions!  He was always asking what he could do for us.  All we asked was for ice twice a day!

9B0F4CA2-4FAD-4E57-A226-ED7514958DF1.jpeg

493E9E1D-5797-472D-BA7B-4D61C260CC91.jpeg

C28F1B04-7384-4D28-AD66-2054BD609246.jpeg

Wow. My husband told me after the fact that he told the shoreside  Concoerge that we were celebrating our anniversary and they said they would have a cake and champagne for us as well as flowers.   It was also noted on our reservation. It didn’t happen. 

Edited by irishgal432

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I would not have expected our wonderful (first) Butler Cesar to fetch towels or blankets.  I would have asked the room steward for that.

 

I wonder if he even knew your food was cold - I would hope he would not stick his finger in to find out.  Did you let him know so he could replace it?  

 

Did he get the jacket pressed?

 

It was new to us to figure out who did what, but we got the hang of it and had great service from both.

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1 hour ago, irishgal432 said:

I did not remove gratuities. I had a tip envelope in addition to the normal grats. 

This was one instance in my cruising history I almost did not give additional tips. 

 

 

 

Ok, just curious! With the less than average service, I wondered. I wouldn’t have made the extra effort to give the butler more when he was not very attentive. 

 

We were just on Solstice, Our butler was nice and Im sure would have been happy to do more, we didn't ask for anything special. We tipped him extra for a couple of room service requests. Due to him not doing a couple of things he said he would do and phoning us from outside our door to deliver laundry when we had our “do not disturb” out we didn't feel the need to give him extra at the end.

 

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This reminds me of our experience with butler rooms at Sandals resorts. We'd gotten a butler room many times and early on, enjoyed them immensely. And since we were not alone in our love for these butler rooms, they added more and more. But, it was not the same butler to guest ratio from earlier. And you know the rest of the story, service, attention to detail, missing some requests...
I checked prices on the rooms we prefer before I booked our next cruise and it was over $1,000 a day and that does not include air. Chances are that would be another $1,500.

 

If I do a resort again (most likely will), it likely won't be Sandals.

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1 hour ago, lovecruzin said:

 

Ok, just curious! With the less than average service, I wondered. I wouldn’t have made the extra effort to give the butler more when he was not very attentive. 

 

We were just on Solstice, Our butler was nice and Im sure would have been happy to do more, we didn't ask for anything special. We tipped him extra for a couple of room service requests. Due to him not doing a couple of things he said he would do and phoning us from outside our door to deliver laundry when we had our “do not disturb” out we didn't feel the need to give him extra at the end.

 

He did bring us coffee each day while we were sleeping.  

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1 hour ago, warmwinds said:

I would not have expected our wonderful (first) Butler Cesar to fetch towels or blankets.  I would have asked the room steward for that.

We were in Alaska and he saw me with small blankets from the pool and I said it would be nice to have a larger one for the balcony. He said he could get me one. 

 

If I would have seen my room attendant, I would have asked him, but I only saw him twice on the cruise.  He wasn't fetching towels.  There were 2 towels in the bath.  I have long thick hair that I need to keep wrapped which left nothing for my husband to use when he took a shower. I simply asked for more when the room attendant serviced the room. 

1 hour ago, warmwinds said:

 

I wonder if he even knew your food was cold - I would hope he would not stick his finger in to find out.  Did you let him know so he could replace it?  

He commented when he brought it that he was late picking it up from the kitchen.  We were going on an early excursion and wanted it delivered between 6 and 6:30.  He did not show up until 7.  We could not get it replaced as we had to leave.  Of course he can't stick his finger in it, but if he would have delivered it on time, it would not have been cold.   Leaving something sitting out for 30 minutes to an hour will make it room temperature. 

1 hour ago, warmwinds said:

 

Did he get the jacket pressed?

 

It was new to us to figure out who did what, but we got the hang of it and had great service from both.

Yes the jacket got pressed and delivered. I did not say it did not.

 

Curious to what you asked your butler to do?

 

 

 

 

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Then I agree about the food...it would have been cold by then.

 

Keep in mind this was our first butler (first Celebrity suite) so we really weren't sure.

 

I was very upset when we first got into our cabin because our veranda had these awful, horrible, straight backed, hard wooden seat, NO ARMS chairs that someone kindly posted a picture of for me a month or so ago.  So I almost lost it saying Please get rid of these things, they are uncomfortable, and I was really surprised no one else had asked to switch them out...I even looked through the slats at the cabin next door and showed our Butler the comfy mesh chairs that they had, and that we'd had on every other recent X cruise, and his comment was priceless:  he said "oh, that cabin is Concierge Class"...so I looked at him and said...."so are you saying Concierge Class should have nicer furniture than a suite??"...you should have seen the look on his face when he realized the absurdity of it all...chairs were gone and replaced in 10 minutes.

 

We also could not find our life vests...they were under the bed, duh, instead of the top of the closet as in other cabins.

 

We had trouble with the lights and intercom.  My husband needed him to sync the wi-fi to his tablet, he punched in all the numbers, gave us a password.  We asked him to switch out the sparkling wine for white.

 

All this the first half hour - I'm sure he HATED us at that point, lol.

 

But once we had that rocky start everything was great.  We didn't need much - coffee every morning...he asked if we wanted pastries, we said no, he brought them, we devoured them, lol.  He also would bring us either shrimp cocktail or cheese & crackers every afternoon, without our ever asking, they just happened.  In the morning he would call before he delivered the coffee and my husband would get up and open the door for him.  I was usually in bed with the sheets over my head. 

 

We had him seat us in the theater once, we skipped the other production shows.

 

We did laundry twice, the first time not everything fit into the cloth bag (much smaller than the old paper bags in CC or AQ), so we just left some clothes on top of that bag and he took care of it.

 

We really couldn't think of anything else we wanted, but he appeared like magic almost every time we left the cabin to make sure everything was ok and if we needed anything.  He was very, very nice.

 

 

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That sounds very nice.  Things to know for next time. 

 

We had un padded mesh chairs that could go back, no table except concrete things that things would slip off of.  That's why I asked for a stool so I could actually recline a bit and enjoy the scenery.

 

 

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4 hours ago, irishgal432 said:

I did not remove gratuities. I had a tip envelope in addition to the normal grats. 

This was one instance in my cruising history I almost did not give additional tips. 

 

 

Why would you tip a butler who did not deliver acceptable service?  

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I'll try to find the thread where someone took a picture of the chairs for me.  I'm not sure what unpadded mesh chairs are, I believe that's what we ended up with which I DO find comfortable, these things looked like they belonged in a jail or at least detention in a bad high school.  I'll let you know when I find the thread and bump it up.

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I just bumped the thread "Just Boarded the Summit Penthouse Suite 6147" - the picture of the chairs on our veranda are in Post #38.  They were just as uncomfortable as they look.

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33 minutes ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Why would you tip a butler who did not deliver acceptable service?  

I did not tip him my normal amount. He did bring our coffee and danish and fruit while we were sleeping. I would have tipped the normal delivery person if they had brought it. 

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11 minutes ago, warmwinds said:

I just bumped the thread "Just Boarded the Summit Penthouse Suite 6147" - the picture of the chairs on our veranda are in Post #38.  They were just as uncomfortable as they look.

They do look very uncomfortable.  The mesh chairs were comfortable once I got a foot stool and recline.  On other royal ships they had wicker type padded chairs and loungers. And tables in that level of suite.  A lounger would have fit side ways in addition to the wicker chairs. There was no way to enjoy a meal out there. 

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