Dining Service Quality Changes

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Queenofthecastle, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. COASTIEandMATE

    COASTIEandMATE DIS Veteran

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    You are quite right PrincessShmoo I am very interested in the name of the assistant server since we have sailed with cmwade and curious about who impressed him so much!
     
  2. Starwind

    Starwind DIS Veteran

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    We just sailed on the Fantasy Dec 2-9; we have previously sailed Dream x 3 and Fantasy.

    We also noticed the decline in service. Our water and soda was constantly empty and we spent long stretches not even seeing the serving team. They always seemed rushed.

    There was almost none of the interaction we were used to (magic tricks, and just conversation) until the last couple nights - we actually commented on the lack of it to our server and that night and the next he made a point of doing some magic tricks and conversation with us. Our assistant server didn't really interact with us until the last night.

    They also made some changes to how they handle food allergies. In particular, I have multiple food allergies, so was able to pre-order breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But my sister, who only has a seafood allergy, was not allowed to pre-order. I thought that was strange considering the amount of seafood on board and the very real risk of cross-contamination. On one of our previous cruises she reacted to presumably-cross-contaminated food at Cabanas, which resulted in a trip to the medical centre. So we were not really comfortable with not pre-ordering. And, for example, at serenity Bay BBQ they focused on my allergies, which include seafood, so I learned the only meat that was safe was the steak and hamburger, but she was left to her own until I reminded them that she had a seafood allergy and also needed safe meat -- she had been going to get a hot dog, which is cooked on the same grill as the seafood. If I hadn't caught the problem, or if I had not had multiple allergies, we would not have known.

    Also, although we pre-ordered my breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, about half the time the chosen restaurant could not find the breakfast and/or lunch pre-order. One day, at breakfast they could find the lunch preorder but not the breakfast; by lunchtime at the same restaurant they had lost the lunch pre-order !! Very frustrating.

    We also had a food quality issue with the allergy-friendly Mickey Waffles. It became an ongoing battle, and our head server tried his best to resolve it, but not really successfully. Basically, they are hard like bricks. I don' know what they are doing wrong, but something is not working right. They tried adjusting the cooking time (shorter), and while that helps, within 5-10 minutes of sitting they turn into bricks. We had spent a few days at Polynesian before the cruise [and at Copper Creek after] and had Mickey Waffles there, that were soft and wonderful. So I know it can be done. But the chefs on the ship could not figure out how. According to my sister, the normal Mickey Waffles were also crispy, just not as hard as the allergy ones. By the end I got french toast because at least that they could get right ... The DCL chefs need to have a conversation with the WDW resort chefs and figure out how to do Mickey waffles properly.

    SW
     
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  4. we"reofftoneverland

    we"reofftoneverland DIS Veteran

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    Regular mickey waffles on our last cruise were burned. Like literally. I was so surprised that they served burned waffles that i was stunned into silence. They were for the kids who of course did not eat them. I get what people are saying about how it is important to complain, but I also feel offended that the staff is obviously not being properly trained or managed in many instances. I feel like it is not my job to act as a management consultant on vacation. It takes away from my experience if I have to state the obvious to someone who appears to be in charge. I have to correct children all day, if I am paying 10k+ for a week for 2 adults and 2 kids, I am not going to exert any energy complaining about Mickey waffles. But I do note it internally and have taken my business elsewhere (not specifically because of the mickey waffles but because of many failures by DCL).
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  5. Starwind

    Starwind DIS Veteran

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    One round of the regular Mickey waffles my sister got were just short of burned - and she intentionaly chose the lightest coloured ones.

    SW
     
  6. disneymagicgirl

    disneymagicgirl Been there, Done that, Going back!

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    We sailed this October and last September. Also several times prior to that. 2016 and 2017 were both Fantasy sailings, main dining. I agree that 2017 left a lot to be desired. Previously servers and assistants would spend a lot of time chatting, playing with the kids, doing tricks, etc. That was lacking. The would bring little puzzles out which were fun but didn’t have time to interact.
    We also had alcohol not show up until entrees were finished, empty beverages, rushed courses, etc.
    Our team was working hard, they just couldn’t seem to catch up.

    ETA: our Palo server was amazing. We decided next trip to book the first night in Palo so we can get a 2nd prebook night as well. The we will add another one or two nights onboard if available.
     
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  7. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    I guess I am one of the few cruisers who is happy that our servers weren't trying to initiate conversation with us throughout dinner & do magic tricks. I just want us to be served our food and allowed to eat in peace.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  8. Steve Dexter

    Steve Dexter Would rather be at Satellite Falls

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    We just got off the Dream yesterday and for the 2nd cruise in a row, we never ate in the main dining rooms (or Palo/Remy). It frees up so much time to do other things, after 16 DCL cruises, we are so much happier not going to main dining. When Cabana's was open for the evening meal (other than first and last night), it was quite busy. People are clearly skipping out on the main dining rooms. For us, the experience is way too long, and the food is just not that good. We stopped by the dining-change area at the beginning of the cruise to let them know we would never be in main dining, just to be courteous. They were confused and didn't understand. We won't bother to tell them again, it seemed pointless, and we had to wait in line.
     
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  9. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    I remember skipping an MDR night on the Magic (we didn't like the food on her as much as we did on the Fantasy), and for that night we did like the extra time that just grabbing a quick bite on the pool deck allowed. Our server acted a bit hurt the next night that we hadn't been there & also hadn't let him know...it was hard to politely communicate the concept of "It's our cruise, and we just didn't feel like it, and we liked making the spontaneous decision of where to eat." I always give servers their full tips for all nights of the cruise (and a little more) regardless of whether we eat there or not, so I don't feel guilty about making a last-minute decision to skip.
     
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  10. FigmentSpark

    FigmentSpark DIS Veteran

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    As many people waitlist for main dining, perhaps the easiest and most generous thing would be to sign up for 2nd dining. That way, if you don't tell them, at least another family likely won't be waiting for that unused spot. Glad to hear it's worked out for you, though.
     
  11. Steve Dexter

    Steve Dexter Would rather be at Satellite Falls

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    That was exactly what we were thinking, someone may want our dining time, or possibly someone who wants their own table without tablemates could have ours, at a minimum the servers wouldn't be waiting for us to show up. We were trying to do a good deed.
     
  12. Chrissy-Mickey

    Chrissy-Mickey Mouseketeer

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    We were on the 7-night Wonder cruise 12/01/2017. Our dining service was great; no empty glasses, quality food and no problems bringing alternatives (we don't like the Pirate night menu, so requested Indian cuisine [delicious] AND we were brought strawberries every evening as requested). The team was friendly but not intrusive, and they worked timely (never had to wait long for the next course).
     
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  13. mrswillson

    mrswillson the duck's biggest fan

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    I'm very glad this thread was made, as my husband and I just sailed on the 09/16 Fantasy WC and I was beyond disappointed with the service we received.

    Let me start off by prefacing the fact that I have gluten and dairy intolerances, and eating either of the two makes me very ill. I did a lot of research before our cruise to see past cruiser's experiences with food allergies, what menu options are available, how accommodating DCL is, etc. I was initially extremely excited as many before me had a great dining experience overall (they were given menus in advance, special desserts were made, and in all cases if there was a lack of options for a particular night or restaurant, the server would retrieve a dish from one of the other restaurants (or a custom dish was prepared)). All I can say is I was not so fortunate.

    The server we had was Noel (who we found out has been with DCL for nine years) and not only did he have no clue how to deal with a guest with food allergies, on multiple occasions he served - or attempted to serve - dishes that I could not have. I actually had to have a discussion with the head server (who was truly amazing and was the small highlight of our Fantasy dining experience) because he was unaware of which dishes were safe when asked, and although I had told him twice on the first night that I could not have any of the desserts and requested a gluten/dairy free alternative, he ignored me and brought out one I stated I specifically couldn't have. Considering I watched the head server pull Noel aside after that incident and correct him on the gravity of the situation of serving someone with an allergy, this was rectified going forward. I also was never given a menu in advance until the last two nights (again instruction from the head server), nor were any accommodations made when I requested a dish from another restaurant on multiple nights where I had only one or two choices.

    To top off the experience, and this was the straw that broke the camel's back, for the disembarkation breakfast, I was served a gluten free chocolate muffin that was COVERED in green mold. As soon as I saw it I was in disbelief (one that the DCL crew hadn't disposed of it already, and two that it had to pass through multiple sets of eyes, including my server's, before reaching me). When I stated that I wanted it to be taken back because it was moldy, Noel said "That's not mold, that's added flavor, right?" ADDED FLAVOR?! I couldn't believe it and declined finishing breakfast and notified the head server before disembarking.

    While I am not someone who ever wants to be behind someone losing their job, let alone provide such a negative review, I firmly believe that Noel had no business serving on DCL after the horrible experience I had.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  14. gomagic

    gomagic DIS Veteran

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    Your description of what you were told as to the "procedure" changes were pretty much spot on. Believe me when I say, the servers / assistant servers overall were not happy with the changes either.
     
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  15. GatorMomInNC

    GatorMomInNC DIS Veteran

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    Wow, this really surprises me. I am sorry you had such a bad experience. We were on the same Fantasy cruise (I assume you meant you got off on the 16th?). This was our 8th DCL cruise and the service was as excellent as it has always been. I have a gluten allergy and was treated great. I got the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next day every night. I often ordered the items on the menu which were marked as GF, but for the most part they could accommodate me if I wanted other things, as long as I ordered the night before. And this was our server's first time working as a servers cruise after being promoted from assistant server. Our assistant server was also great and we had no problems with empty drinks or anything.

    The quick service people up at Flo's v8 cafe were awesome and I had no problem getting GF pizza and chicken fingers and french fries.

    One day for breakfast I wanted GF waffles, but ended up getting pancakes - I think my server discouraged me from the waffles for some reason and convinced me to get the pancakes. Maybe she had heard some of the complaints.... I know I get great GF waffles at WDW but I do agree that they don't seem as good on the ships.
     
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  16. tinkattitude!

    tinkattitude! Have you ever wondered who was giving you that fee

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    Years ago I loved the interaction when our daughter was younger (we started cruising when she was 8), now that she's an adult too, I agree with you :) I do have to say the service itself since we first sailed in 2004 has steadily gone downhill from year to year though (we've only sailed the Magic and Wonder)
     
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  17. yowcruiser

    yowcruiser Earning My Ears

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    Just sailed the Dec. 9 Western Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy and went right to the DIS Board to see if such a thread existed.

    I have to say that I was quite disappointed with overall service in MDR for the first two nights - primarily due to minimal interactions and minimal attention to the kids at our table - which was in stark contrast with what we had previously experienced on the Dream and Wonder.

    The main server was quite friendly, and the assistant server "uneven". She started giving origami to the kids on Day 3, and that lasted 3 nights...

    Now, I do have allergies to (tree nuts and shellfish) and this did not cause any issues. I think the server tried to have me pre-order once, but did not insist
     
  18. mrswillson

    mrswillson the duck's biggest fan

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    I only wish I wasn't telling the truth. Again - every other person I've spoken to has had an excellent experience with DCL. The server we had made my experience a nightmare. How can you be so inexperienced (at 9 years) that you can't recognize mold on food, and don't comprehend the gravity of serving someone with an allergy the incorrect food? I think with any other server I would have gotten the service I expected out of DCL, but they dropped the ball considerably.

    Also no, we sailed from 09/16 to 09/23.
     
  19. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    Reading this is pretty dismaying. Dining was always nice in the past, and I hate the idea that the service is sliding so much. Like a few others, I don't need to chat, I don't need games or tricks, but I DO need decent food and good service. :sad2: Are people giving DCL feedback that this "new" change in the dining room is resulting in unhappy customers? I think they might respond if they knew, but not if the servers are still pushing for "excellent" ratings and people are complying with their wishes.

    Oh, and the allergy issues and moldy food goes way beyond what is acceptable. I'm sorry you had to deal with that mrswilson.
     
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  20. hubbard53

    hubbard53 Mouseketeer

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    no, you're not alone. We cruise as a family, dine as a family, etc. so really don't need the extra interaction at dinner time. I remember our waiter on one cruise gave us a 'riddle' that we ignored but he kept asking us if we solved it yet ... it was irritating.

    I'm not there to be entertained - i'm there to dine with my family :)
     
  21. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    Did you tell your server that you didn't need games/riddles?
     

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