Dining Service Quality Changes

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

  1. jiminyC_fan

    jiminyC_fan DIS Veteran

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    This is part of the problem. Some people want the entertainment and others don't. So it's a damned if they do and damned if they don't. They get complaints either way.

    We just go with the flow. Great if they do or don't. Personally it is one job I would not like. I try to put myself in their shoes. Just can't please everyone.
     
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  2. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    Yes!
     
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  4. ajcrusher

    ajcrusher Earning My Ears

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    We sailed on the Dream the end of October (our 2nd Disney cruise) and the first night we noticed a difference in service. It didn't seem as attentive as on our first cruise. Several nights we didn't have our drinks refilled regularly and one night my boys ordered drinks that took quite a while to get there. We didn't get the magic tricks like we did on the first cruise which is a non-issue for us. We're also the kind that don't really need a chatty server but if we happen to get one, that's fine and we'll chat along. I think we saw more of our assistant server on this cruise than we did on our first one.
     
  5. lpandorf

    lpandorf DIS Veteran

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    Just got off the Dream. Server was excellent about helping order food and very friendly. Had to repeatedly ask for refills though. Same thing happened on the Wonder when we sailed to Alaska in June. Great server but drinks slow to be refilled and wrong drinks brought multiple times. When we sailed the Fantasy in previous years this never happened and servers had fun with the table with magic tricks and puzzles. This year only had a puzzle one time and that was at the end of dinner when we were one of the last to leave. I think the servers were working very hard and doing their best. I figured they cut down on staff and they had to attend more tables and didn't have time to give the extra attention to drinks and little extra fun things.
     
  6. zimaaaaah

    zimaaaaah Disney lover since forever

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    We had an issue the first night with drinks not being refilled timely, but when they asked at the end of that first dinner if everything was ok, we told them in a nice way that drinks not being empty was important to us and we never had a problem after that. They would even bring two at time if they thought they wouldn't get back to us in time. We tipped generously accordingly.
     
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  7. christianweecare

    christianweecare DIS Veteran

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    We went on our 8th DCL cruise in October. We were supposed to be a party of 12 in September but our cruise was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. DH & I ended up going alone in October. We both noticed the decline in the MDRs. Waiting for drink refills, waiting on our servers, confusion and miscommunication between our servers. It was very obvious and our first experience with this. We also opted out of the MDR one evening in favor of Cabanas. The food was good that evening but you could tell that they were doing server training up there.
     
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  8. Jack15129

    Jack15129 Earning My Ears

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    We also noticed a decline in service on our 3rd cruise in November. We were on the Dream. We had 2 people in our party with gluten allergies and in the past they went above and beyond for accommodating us. Not this time. We never were offered gluten free rolls, always had to ask. No special desserts or ordering ahead as we have in the past. It was almost like they didn't even know what a gluten allergy was. Agree about empty water glasses etc. We still had a great time but definitely the service was not as good as in the past. Service on our first Dream cruise was excellent in 2014 and also on the Magic in 2015. Hate to see this decline, especially for the prices Disney charges for their cruise.
     
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  9. Navywife51904

    Navywife51904 Earning My Ears

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    We sailed the Fantasy 12/2/17-12/9/17 and the dining service was horrible. I was embarrassed Since I had been talking up DCL for the past 3 years, I finally got someone to go with me and we never got refills. We asked to not get the same drink every night but we did. Our table mates and the wait staff got into a couple of heated arguments while at the dinner table. Other tables around us were getting dessert as we were getting salads. It was hands down the worst who ship service I’ve ever had.
     
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  10. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    This sounds just awful. :sad2: I've told people how much we enjoy sailing with DCL and now I don't feel comfortable encouraging anyone to join us on our upcoming cruise. I'd feel terrible if I told someone that the service was good and this happened. I hope Disney is getting some real feedback on this. Frankly it's a very important part of any cruise vacation, especially since it's not like we can just go somewhere else for dinner when we are on the ship.
     
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  11. lorenni

    lorenni DIS Veteran

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    This is troubling. We do Disney/DCL so often in part because I can eat without worries and without limiting myself to plain proteins and rice (celiac). We leave tomorrow on the Fantasy. I will absolutely make myself known to customer service and our head server onboard if this has changed.

    That said - even in the parks I have been noticing a shift away from individual attention for allergies. In my experience, servers tend to push “safe” items from the new allergy menus. The problem being they have engineered dishes to be free from multiple allergens. Easier for the kitchen sure. But for me? Bad enough that I can’t eat real bread. Don’t make me forgo dairy as well! :)
     
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  12. knateb

    knateb Earning My Ears

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    Sailed the Dream 12/22-12/26/17. Worst food since we began sailing in 2000. Good servers but didn't spend nearly the time as servers in the past had done. I thought maybe it was just my family that saw changes. Happily/sadly that is not the case. Service at Palo's was rushed and uncomfortable. Probably will not return.:(
     
  13. Oregongram

    Oregongram Mouseketeer

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    Knateb, I'm so sorry to hear about your dining experience. Besides Palo, did you have bad experiences in MDR?
     
  14. cariann77

    cariann77 Mouseketeer

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    We went on our first cruise this past May and sailed on the Dream. We weren't impressed with our dining service. We also had issues with drink refills and even finding our server or assistant server to ask for one. The first night he just brought the kids Mickey Bars for dessert without offering any options. My kids don't really like Mickey Bars. :eek: So, they sat there and melted. We let him know that they preferred to order from the dessert menu. Still every night, he brought the bars and they sat there untouched. We had ordered from Vanellope's for our final night, gave the ticket to our server when we were seated as instructed. He never ordered it and brought out Mickey Bars again. He was very friendly just very slow and absent-minded as we had some mix-ups with our orders as well. I think a little of my disappoint came from reading such raving reviews about service and the dining on here. It just wasn't what I had expected.
     
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  15. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    Did you speak to the head server about the issues? That's what he/she is there for. Just suffering in silence doesn't help anyone.
     
  16. Pens Fan

    Pens Fan DIS Veteran

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    So, dealing with substandard service is now their fault??? Good grief!!! For years we have raved about Disney's service and it's the reason we paid their outrageous prices. However, based our our last DCL cruise and our upcoming WDW trip (thank God we have a great TA, because Disney has been a total disaster to deal with), in my humble opinion Disney service is not what it used to be.

    I get that those folks with Mickey-colered glasses may think differently. But to blame the customer that paid for a Disney experience and got so much less is just wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  17. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    I'm just pointing out, if no one informs the people who can make the changes that changes are necessary, nothing will change.

    I'm not blaming the customer for their bad experience, just asking if they did anything to make the experience better.
     
  18. Pens Fan

    Pens Fan DIS Veteran

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    We will have to agree to disagree. I don't think it's on the customer paying a (extremely high) premium to sail with Disney to assure their experience is what they anticipated. Reading your posts over the years, I get that you advocate a much more confrontational approach to dealing with substandard service. For me, if I'm paying Disney prices I expect exemplary service and I don't want to take away from my vacation time complaining about said service. To each his own.
     
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  19. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    Not "confrontational" at all. Just ensuring that the correct people are aware of any issues manifesting themselves.

    Personally, I think some first-time cruisers set themselves up for disappointment by expecting the moon and and then they get shot down when things aren't as magical as they thought they would be. That's what years of traveling has taught me - that it's on me to be sure I'm getting what I think I'm supposed to. Not rely on things to "just happen".
     
  20. mom2brooke76

    mom2brooke76 Proud Redhead who doesn't think that Universal is

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    We cruise yearly (lately only on the Dream), and I can tell you that starting in 2016 we noticed changes in dining. We had Ali, who we requested, as head server, but sadly our team was horrible. Poor Ali was literally having to do everything for them. They even gave us dessert menus in the wrong language! Last year Ali was on vacation, and again another negative experience. Our head server we saw maybe once, the main server had an attitude the entire time and the poor assistant server was clueless about everything, although he was very kind. Our next cruise is this coming June and it sounds like Ali will be on vacation (we're FB friends), so I pray we have decent servers this time around.
     
  21. minniemouse1

    minniemouse1 Member of the Grand Slam Club!

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    Oh boy now I am worried about our upcoming cruise on the Fantasy in April. We had less than stellar service our last cruise with an assistant server in training and a huge language barrier to boot. Just hoping for the best.
     

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