Recently, I took a cruise on Carnival’s ship Carnival Pride. It was a pleasure, everything about the cruise was first rate. However, what I was pleasantly surprised to notice was the crew. They all seemed to take pleasure in their work and be genuinely glad to help me whenever I needed anything.
I met with the Hotel Director, Nikki Khanna, an Indian and Mirel Cimic, a Croatian, who is the Guest Services Manager. Nikki has a staff of 750 who work under his direction. I learned that they look for people who are truly people oriented and who have a desire to offer good service to the guests. That seems a rather obvious criteria. They also added that they want the staff who work for them to have fun with the guests. That was surprising as I could easily see how there is a line which is never crossed or even approached. These people seemed to me to genuinely be anything but uptight corporate executives and seemed very human.
“The crew works from four to nine months on and then takes two months off. They are expected to return after their shore leave and take up their jobs and offer service again,.” says Nikki Khanna. I think that these two professionals have to be very clear with their charges not to create trouble in the ranks.
There is a ratio of 1 to 4 in relation to the numbers for staff to guests. Many first class hotels do not have a ratio this high. It does allow for the crew to provide unhurried service to the clients. Upon the conclusion of the voyage, the passengers are asked to fill out a “Total Guest Experience Monitor” survey. These reports are taken quite seriously by the staff. There is training offered while the employees are on shipboard. “We constantly train the staff,” says Mr. Khanna. I can see that he means what he says.
If you have an opportunity to take a cruise vacation on Carnival, don’t miss the opportunity to notice the staff as they are quite wonderful.
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