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Gardendog

What do you ask of your butler.

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We have booked a PH3 guarantee for our upcoming Marina cruise. We tried Marina a few years ago also in a PH suite, we got it in a good enough for us upsell.

 

Our butler was great, brought us our daily afternoon snacks, and my coffee in the morning I believe, and made sure our bottle of wine was brought to the restaurant. (We brought bottles onboard and paid corkage to enjoy them with our dinners.) We asked him and he got us some more specialty dining reservations, so we did not have to go and ask ourselves, he asked for us.

 

This was our first experience with a butler, and he did say something like “you are not asking me to do much”. Those of you who have had butlers, what have you asked them to do? What’s in their “job description”?

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You might want to look at the posts you get from an "ask butler" search for examples (some of which you already know about):  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/search/?q=ask butler&type=forums_topic&nodes=29&search_and_or=and

 

Here's a specific thread from that search you might find helpful: 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 1985rz1

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Butlers do absolutely everything from running up to the Pool deck to retrieve the spectacles that  you left there, to coordinating a private luncheon from Waves on  your cabin verandah (the truffle fries are to die for!) 

 

More importantly, the Butler is your personal Oceania Ambassador; they know where to buy wrapping paper in Monte Carlo,  how to find a nail clipper, as well as how to get those Air Vents adjusted over the bed do that you are not boiling or freezing all night.

 

In short, when a situation arises where you wish you knew what to do, ASK YOUR BUTLER FIRST!

They know everything.  

 

 

 

Edited by StanandJim

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15 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

Butlers do absolutely everything from running up to the Pool deck to retrieve the spectacles that  you left there, to coordinating a private luncheon from Waves on  your cabin verandah (the truffle fries are to die for!) 

 

More importantly, the Butler is your personal Oceania Ambassador; they know where to buy wrapping paper in Monte Carlo,  how to find a nail clipper, as well as how to get those Air Vents adjusted over the bed do that you are not boiling or freezing all night.

 

In short, when a situation arises where you wish you knew what to do, ASK YOUR BUTLER FIRST!

They know everything.  

 

 

 

Wow.  As Daddy said "I wish I'd been born rich instead of so doggone good looking!" 🙂

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We sailed in a PH once.

Never could figure out what to do with a butler.

Sure, he brought the afternoon snacks,  but so could a room service waiter.

One morning, we ordered breakfast on the cabin. We had to wait while he made a big production of setting it up. We'd have preferred to have a room service waiter just put down the tray.

We asked to see a veranda cabin and he showed us a handicapped cabin, which wasn't comparable. Maybe no regular cabin was empty.

We've never needed any of the services others have listed.

The larger cabin was nice, but the butler was paying for something of no value to us.

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7 minutes ago, Andee said:

Never could figure out what to do with a butler.

If that is your mindset, it is unlikely that we would ever be able to convert you.

 

A Kia drives the same roads as a Rolls Royce

McDonalds is just as filling as the French Laundry

 

Some people feel uncomfortable being catered to

others adore it.  

 

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I love being catered to.

Nothing I've read sounds like that to me.

Before we had a butler, I had no "mindset" and was looking forward to it.

I'm not asking to be "converted", but think my reaction to having a butler is just as valid as those who love it.

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If nothing that you have read on these Boards about Oceania Butlers sounds like catering, then you must have a pretty eclectic idea of what constitutes catering.

 

There are some people, of course, who are just uncomfortable with the thought of close personal service.

 

To meet their needs, for example, Holland America offers  full sized Suites with DIY Amenities at a much lower tariff, and no risk of  buying what isn't desired.

 

Win/Win!!!

 

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5 hours ago, StanandJim said:

 

There are some people, of course, who are just uncomfortable with the thought of close personal service.

 

To meet their needs, for example, Holland America offers  full sized Suites with DIY Amenities at a much lower tariff, and no risk of  buying what isn't desired.

 

Win/Win!!!

 

Not really because you would be on a Dam ship and not Oceania! 

 

I'm afraid we are with Andee, we just came back from Sirena in a Vista suite booked for my OH big birthday. Whilst we loved the room we found the butler's services surplus to our needs. The canapés were great but didn't fit our timetable of trivia, quick change early dinner. 

The bar set up encourages you to have drinks in the suite whereas we prefer to be in the bars to join in conversations with fellow guests or just enjoy the ambience. 

We had one in suite dinner and missed the "occasion" of "dining out" 

Similarly with breakfast we preferred to wander down to the GDR and be served there. 

Speciality dining we had booked ahead of time and chatted to the reservations desk person  on the way to or from the GDR to change a couple of times without the need of an intermediary. Similarly with excursions. 

 

Not a matter of converting us or not, merely personal choice. Maybe the difference is that we are long retired and spend time "a deux" most of the time so holidays we like to meet up & chat with others which we find we do to such and extent that we now prefer to dine just two for a bit of peace and quiet 😉

 

 

 

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We had a butler for a TA on Insignia a 5 years ago, and will have one on our upcoming cruise this fall. We enjoyed ours,  but probably did not use his skills as much as we could. But he was the nicest and most thoughtful guy, I remember he had a rose filled bath filled for me after a very chilly shore excursion and it was still very warm, so he was well aware of the timing of the event! He knew our drink and snack preference, and suggested other duties. I think we could have lived without him, but it was nice to be pampered!

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The one thing I have really enjoyed is getting the butler to bring me an appetizer from one of the specialties before we go to the Terrace for the rest of our relaxing dinner. I love one from Red Ginger and one from Jacques. But these were nights without specialty reservations and after a long day of shore excursion where we just wanted to take our books to read at dinner. It made those nights special and relaxed. Julia

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Origiinally we were one of those who saw no need for a butler and we never used him.  That is, until I tore my meniscus just before boarding the ship and could hardly walk.  On that cruise we started using the butler and have continued ever since.

 

That doesn't mean that I think everyone has to love their service!  We are all different and certainly have the right to choose not to employ a particular service.  We don't do trivia, as an example, but understand very well that many people love it.

 

To each his/her own!

 

Mura

 

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We will definitely utilize our wonderful Butler on 2 upcoming cruises!!

We are very excited and looking forward to being pampered! 

Denise😊

 

 

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Thank you all for your replies. We also like to go out for dinner, but lunch from the “Veranda” sounds like a great idea on our balcony.

 

I will read the links as well. I don’t know how to search just the Oceania board from my iPad. 

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We look forward to having a butler on each of our O cruises.  As Mura said above, when one of you has a mobility issue, as my husband had on our Baltic cruise, you may use your butler even more.  One evening, when my husband had decided to use his cane to go to dinner, our butler spotted him struggling when we got off the elevator after the meal, he dashed to our cabin, retrieved the walker, and ran it down the hall (we didn't ask him to do it, he just saw the circumstances).  The more you let the butler get to know you and your needs, the more valuable he becomes for you.  We generally have breakfast in our room and certainly like the white tablecloth setup.  If it takes two minutes longer to get to our food, that is not an issue (no one starves on O cruises - lol).

We want to be fussed over and spoiled on our cruises.  The butler fits the bill for that.

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In 2014 I had a butler on Celebrity but he was awful, so I wasn't too excited to have one on Insignia. Wow...was I pleasantly surprised!

 

I had 2 of them (the first one's contract was up halfway through the cruise)...the first was very helpful but the second one was fantastic!!  He anticipated needs and was a very interesting man to talk with...I especially enjoyed hearing about his family and country. I mostly used him to bring breakfast and dinner to the room when I had an early excursion or was too tired to go to a restaurant. I  look forward to having another butler on my next O cruise.

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For some of us, DW and me included, use of a butler can be a bit of a learning experience.  Specifically, learning how his/her duties differ from your cabin attendant and the concierge AND at the same time how his/her duties can complement the other two's responsibilities. 

 

We almost always have breakfast in our suite.  It eliminates a stop at the GDR in the morning before going ashore and allows us more time to enjoy the morning.  When we have traveled on other lines with our young grandchildren (now ages 7 & 9) we ALWAYS have breakfast delivered and, when aboard in the afternoons, lunch and snakes too.  While we have ordered dinner in our suite, it is our preference to eat it at one of the restaurants or in the GDR.  That is true even when staying in NCL's Haven.

 

One thing we have done in the past is to send an email to the ship's concierge, via the line's land based representative, introducing ourselves and outlining our wants; i.e. empty the frig except for certain soft drinks and types of water, ice requirements, grandkid centric requirements, special dinning requests (chef's table when available or special occasions), alcohol preference (when bar set-up is included), etc.  They almost always get read and, before boarding, help set the stage for your relationship with both the concierge and butler.

 

That said, we have had a couple of mediocre butlers that do just the minimum, some super great ones that really added to the cruise experience, and one terrible one.  The best and worst were aboard NCL ships. 

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37 minutes ago, cotto22 said:

😂

 

Yup....the long green ones....😋  Taste just like chicken!

 

Edited by Traveling Fools

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9 minutes ago, Traveling Fools said:

 

Yup....the long green ones....😋  Taste just like chicken!

 

well as long as they cooked them first  I guess it was OK then 😉

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

well I hope they did not deliver snakes 😲😁

When I was a kid travelling on the Queens with my Grandparents who were Cunard regulars, there was a "You may order absolutely anything in the Main Dining Room" policy. 

107bed37a01c27c36415eebd49328bc3.jpg

Those Waiters swore that Rattlesnake (a Texas favorite,  apparently) was among the most requested dishes-

 

I was forbidden to try it.  😭   

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Going on our first Oceania cruise, a transatlantic. We've never had a butler before so I wonder what you tip yours. Do you also tip your cabin steward?

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19 minutes ago, impala1ss said:

Going on our first Oceania cruise, a transatlantic. We've never had a butler before so I wonder what you tip yours. Do you also tip your cabin steward?

Aside from the  Gratuity added to your account ??

I think it would be a personal choice  & if you  got extra special service

 

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Aside from the  Gratuity added to your account ??

I think it would be a personal choice  & if you  got extra special service

 

I agree.

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