Room Steward Horror Stories

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Central California
323 Posts
Joined May 2011
Okay, we just returned from our trip on the Splendor. We had a great time as a whole and refused to let our room steward ruin our time... but he was horrible. Anyone else had a horrible room steward? Please share your stories.

Here's ours...

When we met our room steward, an hour or two after getting to our room, he came in quickly with his ice bucket, mumbled his name and tried to scurry out of the cabin. And so it begins..

We stopped him to ask that he please empty the mini bar fridge, so we could place some of our items in there. He told us to remove the items ourselves and place them in the cabinets.

I then told him we had a collapsible cooler that we would like to have filled with ice and that I was going to have it in the shower. He asked me if I was sure it wouldn't leak, so I told him it was new and I had never tried it. He proceeded to educate me that a new one doesn't mean it won't leak. So I again told him it was in the shower just for that reason.

The first night we couldn't find the "Snoozin/Cruisin" sign or the morning room service hanger, so we left him a note asking for the sign and some room service hangers and also a door stop (to use for the balcony door, but didn't tell him why). We returned to the room a couple hours later and as soon as we got into the room we heard a knock. We answered to find our room steward who started the conversation, "I got your little love note..." and then pointed to the area in the corner of the wall behind the door where they were hanging and rudely said, "They're right here" and then he said it was against the rules for us to have a door stop.

OK, that wasn't so bad I guess. But it just continues...

On one evening we wanted to grab some room service food and couldn't find the room service menu anywhere in our cabin. So I picked up the phone and dialed "housekeeping".. thinking it would go to guest services or a central location. Our room steward answered the phone (guess it goes to them?) and I asked where the menu was located. In a very condescending tone he said, "It was with the papers you received the first day that you probably threw away!" That wasn't helpful at all.

So we remember at least a BLT, caesar salad and hot chocolate, so ordered those from memory. The next day we found the room service menu on the television.. couldn't he have just directed me there without the rudeness?

On top of all this, our collapsible cooler barely received any ice and it often melted within an hour or two and never even covered our couple cans of soda or bottle of water.. this was a small size cooler, maybe 12x9 at most!! It got to the point I used a plastic bag I brought with me from the pre cruise hotel ice bucket and filled it with ice at the Lido to fill my own cooler.

On the last sea day the wife decided to sleep in until about 1 p.m... so we kept the "Snoozin" sign on the door until she got up and left, turning the sign to "Cruizin" to get the room serviced. When we returned a couple times later in the afternoon, nothing had been done. When we returned to get ready for dinner around 7 p.m. our room steward saw us and said he was just getting ready to do our room for the night.. we entered to find it still had not been serviced all day.

After dinner we found our sheets turned back and cooler without any ice at all. It was the night we had to have our bags packed and realized he never put out the luggage mat on the bed for us to use.

Lastly, since this is so long, the wife had rubbed off some makeup on the bed sheets earlier in the week and noticed the last night that the makeup marks were still on the sheets... they had never been changed. But we did find clean sheets crammed into the nightstands.

What a nightmare of a room steward!!! Every time we saw him we were waiting to get scolded for something.

We ended up going to the guest services desk the last night and removed the room steward's auto gratuity. Since we found out he had a morning and evening assistant, we put cash in envelopes addressed specifically for them and left them with the guest services person. We didn't want them losing out because of the head steward's work ethic and attitude.
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7,108 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
The last comment is going to bring out the cheerleaders.. and why oh why did you wait til the last night to complain?
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Big Red Boat/Carnival/Royal Carib/Celebrity/NCL
Cincinnati, OH
8,463 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Never saw our room steward on our last cruise. Not any problems.
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26,596 Posts
Joined May 2007
We've always had great cabin stewards.
Sounds to me like this guy you had was at the end of his contract, and not intending to renew.

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2,002 Posts
Joined May 2008
Sounds to me like you had "high maintenance" expectations.

The room steward has lots of other cabins to service.....he isn't at your beck and call.

I'm not seeing any "horror" here......just someone who paid $ for a vacation and expected to be treated as if he spent $$$$.
South Carolina
3,977 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I don't advocate removing the service charge but in this case I think it was warranted even for attitude alone. We didn't have a horror of a steward on our last cruise just one that couldn't remember to leave us any clean bath towels. When I found him in the hallway one day and asked for towels he said "you mean you want extra ones?" and I said "no, just the two we are supposed to have." He did it about 3 times in a row. Needless to say he didn't receive any extra tip from us.

At the very least you should be able to expect them to be respectfull. Rudeness shouldn't be tolerated. I don't care if I'm spending $ or $$$$. Things like not putting the luggage mat out wouldn't bother me but not changing the sheets on a 7 day cruise would.

Now our steward on our first cruise was fantastic. Had ice everyday, knew our names and always seemed to be around if we needed him. He got an extra $100.00.
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2,219 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
OK, your wife slept until 1 pm and you are upset that the steward didn't stop what he was doing to get your room ready? Wow. He's not your personal butler..
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4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
10,679 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
I've only had ONE steward from hell. It was on my first Carnival cruise back in 1994 aboard the Tropicale. It almost made me choose to NEVER cruise on Carnival again.

It all started on the first day as we were getting ready to disembark at our first port of call, and I knocked a glass on the floor as I was walking out of the room. The cabin steward was in the hallway and heard the glass shatter so he walked right over. I was expecting for him to say something like "don't worry, I'll take care of it!". Instead he said something along the lines of "You are not going anywhere until YOU clean that up!". I was a bit dumbfounded, but I told him that if he wasn't cleaning it, I would need to do so after I returned from my shore excursion (I was hurrying out the door). He would not have it and physically blocked the door to prevent me from leaving the room. This was the only time I've ever felt the need to put a cabin steward in his place. I told him that I was paying HIM to clean that up and that I was leaving. I pushed my way out of the room, fuming.

That night, I decided to stay in the cabin and study (I was in my last year of college, taking summer courses and I had actually taken a week off school to go on this family cruise) and needless to say, I needed to keep up with my studies if I wanted to pass my classes. Well, the next morning, an officer knocks on the door and claims that there were many complaints of loud partying coming from my cabin late into the night. I explained to the officer that I had been in the cabin studying all by myself and that not even the TV was on. He didn't believe me. So I asked who had filed the complaint, and the officer said that our CABIN STEWARD had received the complaints and reported them!

I was angry, and I explained to this officer that apparently this steward had some bone to pick with me and that the accusation was bogus. I demanded to speak to the Hotel Director so I was able to have a sit down conversation in his office. I explained to him what had occurred the day before and that I did not want someone like him cleaning my cabin and having access to my things (call me paranoid, but if this steward had lied about me partying it up, next thing he could "find drugs" in my cabin or some other bogus charge). I demanded to be moved to a different cabin but the ship was full. The Hotel Director agreed to give us a different cabin steward though.

Even though we had a new cabin steward, the old one kept lurking and stalking us. He would stand in the hallway and give us a "what?!" attitude with arms up, trying to intimidate us. If our new cabin steward was around, the old steward would say something to our new steward in his ear and point at us.

Even though that was the extent of his intimidating behavior for the rest of the cruise. It made for a very uncomfortable rest of the week. I couldn't relax, and I was always returning to the cabin to search and make sure that all of my things were there, or that nothing out of the ordinary had been left in the cabin.

Thankfully, this experience was a ONE time thing, and I've never experienced anything remotely like it. For many years, I shied away from Carnival due to the experience, but thankfully I returned. If I hadn't, I would've missed on many wonderful cruises since that first experience.
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Raleigh NC
24,705 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Sorry to hear about your room steward, I doubt he will remain employed for long with that attitude.
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New York
692 Posts
Joined May 2002
WOW you call that a horror story.

I would never expect a room steward to fill my personal cooler.

If I wanted the stocked refrigerator emptied I would remove the items myself and place them on a shelf in the room.

When I want my bed linens changed I would remove them and place them in a pillow case. Just like when I want clean towels I place them under the bathroom sink.

If I decided to sleep in I would never expect the room steward to come mid afternoon to make my bed. They are not sitting in the hallway waiting for every guest to leave their cabin. They have so many hours to take care of the cabins and then its on to another job somewhere else on the ship. Then to return later in the evening for turn down service.

I personally think it is unsafe to keep a balcony door ajar for two reasons. Occasionally rouge waves have been known to hit the sides of ships - so you can imagine the kind of risk/damage that can be done if guest kept their balcony doors ajar. Also there has been an instance or two where guest have left their balcony door unlocked and unscrupulous guest in the adjoining cabin decided to climb over the balcony divider and rob them. So, I see why door stops are not allowed.

I have sailed on many cruises and never had a problem with a room steward. I personally think they work real hard.
North Shore of Minnesota
1,070 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Maybe I just had unrealisitc higher expectations from our last steward? Met him briefly day 1, saw hime one other time from afar. Mumbled his name in a rush day one and left. Then again, in 3 cruises I never had a steward smile, shake hand and greet any of my family by name. I am always amazed when I read people saying their steward or waiter called them by name???

One night we were turn down and wet towels from 6AM shower on bathroom floor remained.

The only other complaint came from my daughter whishing she had towel animals everynight instead of thrice.

Overall, not too bad...better than our distracted crabby waiter sad to say

One of many reasons we prefer the buffet
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Church Point AKA Cajun Country
10,790 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by maggie cruises
why do you use the term.."the wife" and not.."my wife"?

This is what I don't understand.
I feel the same way when someone uses "the boy" instead of "my son".
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Church Point AKA Cajun Country
10,790 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
On every cruise we go on we have cabin stewards that leave all these animals (monkeys, dogs, seals) laying around. They on the ceiling, the bed , the sofa. Everywhere.

And before someone takes this the wrong way and flames me "I'M JOKING" because we have always have good cabin stewards.
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Ottawa ON Canada
6,313 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Ive never had any horror story with room stewards. There was one, who was not really very good. He forgot to fill the ice bucket most nights, and one evening he didnt do the room at all. With regards to the ice, I just called for it when I came back to the room, and told him nicely that I dont need ice in the morning when he does the room, but I do very much need ice in the evening. Still after this, he forgot it once more, plus the night he didnt do the room. I had an awesome cruise though, and the problems I had with the room steward, I settled directly with him.

I would never have considered removing or adjusting my service charge/gratuity though. It is so small as it is. However, as I usually leave an extra cash tip on the last evening for the room steward/and assistant, I did not leave any extra this time.
6,014 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I'm not saying that some of your points aren't valid. But the room stewards have always been off duty from 12 to 5. If someone doesn't leave the cabin until
1, I would never expect the steward to work on their break to clean my cabin.

And last time, when we asked about emptying the minibar, we were told to put them in a cabinet. I didn't have a problem with that. I just didn't want to get charged.
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Upper Peninsula of Michigan
786 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Never have had a bad steward in all 13 cruises. We always give them $20 when we meet them and tell them our expectations ice..towels.. Usually end up giving them $20 the last night for the superb service They have always been amazing
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Largo Florida
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On our second cruise ( the Sensation ) with the family we had two of the girl's in our cabin ( 8 & 10 ). The first day I ask very nicely I think " could we please have four wash cloths. " I was told NO I don't have any. Iwas like we really need wash cloth's. Seven day cruise we never did get one.
Thank goodness DH had a small pocket knife & we cut hand towels in half to make them.
Yes we did remove ALL OF HIS TIP'S. We also reported him no change.
Wichita Falls, Texas USA
4,202 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Most of us have good experiences, sometimes someone has a bad experience. Simple as that.
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The EMPIRE State
24,689 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
I have to shout that I've NEVER had a bad experience with a room steward on Carnival. They've always been exceptional and over the top.

I'll have to wait for someone to start a Waiter Horror Story thread.