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I recall finding a very nice list that someone had prepared for their butler, outlining their desires. Can’t find it any more - if you do something similar please share! I’d like to help our butler make our cruise memorable.

 

So far I’ve come up with the following:

- Small bottles of san pelligrino daily
- Latte or flat white or cafe macchiato every morning at 7am, along with assorted pastries
- Cheese / salami / bread platter daily at 3pm
 
... and that’s it!

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If you do a search on this board you will find several recent discussions about Butlers and what they will do for you.

 

Very good discussions for sure about what some passengers want and others do not and even some who did not think them valuable for their sailing experience...

 

I personally, have yet to experience Butler Service while cruising......

 

bon voyage

Edited by Bo1953

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We have a hard time finding anything for the butler to do.   We tip a little extra anyway as they are always so accommodating that we feel we're letting him/her down. 

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21 minutes ago, oceangoer2 said:

We have a hard time finding anything for the butler to do.   We tip a little extra anyway as they are always so accommodating that we feel we're letting him/her down. 

Ditto for that.  We really never burden the butler with extensive requests.  Room service breakfast.  Hors d'oevres occasionally in the afternoon.  It is important to remember that although the reference is "personal butler" he or she is not your personal butler.  They have a number of cabins to service and if everyone developed long lists of 'to dos" they would never get anything done.  And service would suffer.

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25 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Ditto for that.  We really never burden the butler with extensive requests.  Room service breakfast.  Hors d'oevres occasionally in the afternoon.  It is important to remember that although the reference is "personal butler" he or she is not your personal butler.  They have a number of cabins to service and if everyone developed long lists of 'to dos" they would never get anything done.  And service would suffer.

As I understand it, most Butler's welcome the challenge to insure that each cabin is properly and promptly attended to, no matter the request(s).

 

Many comments about the use of Butler's in suite class indicate that there was nothing too major or minor their Butler did not handle with care and enthusiasm.

 

I Am sure if a Butler is overwhelmed, like the room stewards, there are back-up systems in place to help out so passengers are not disappointed...

 

Otherwise, X's value proposition for having Butler's for suite guests, would become a waste.

 

bon voyage

Edited by Bo1953

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1 minute ago, Bo1953 said:

As I understand it, most Butler's welcome the challenge to insure that each cabin is properly and promptly attended to, no matter the request(s).

 

Many comments about the use of Butler's in suite class indicate that there was nothing too major or minor their Butler did not handle with care and enthusiasm.

 

I Am sure if a Butler is overwhelmed, like the room stewards, there are back-up systems in place to help out so passengers are not disappointed...

 

bon voyage

Having talked to many of our butlers, yes that is the goal. But trust me, there is a limit. You will never see it in the butler's demeanor but that doesn't make it right. They can very quickly become over committed in their effort to be helpful. 

Our philosophy is pretty simple. If we can do it ourselves, we do it. If not (like room service breakfast) the butler does it. 

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While the butlers do all they can to take care of everything they are stretched very thin.  Most have 12 suites to take care of, often on different floors.  Some work afternoon tea in Michaels, while 1 or 2 cover the floors for them and if course they take breaks to eat.  

Our most recent cruise there were 5 Butlers.  

 

We do the things we can ourselves and also call on the MC Concierge to help with

Problem solving  when the Butler is swamped.  

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Agree they are always asking what they could do, this year we most likely will have a gathering with roll call since we have a large royal suite. 

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5 minutes ago, jelayne said:

While the butlers do all they can to take care of everything they are stretched very thin.  Most have 12 suites to take care of, often on different floors.  Some work afternoon tea in Michaels, while 1 or 2 cover the floors for them and if course they take breaks to eat.  

Our most recent cruise there were 5 Butlers.  

 

We do the things we can ourselves and also call on the MC Concierge to help with

Problem solving  when the Butler is swamped.  

This I totally agree with.  For example, the aft S1s are a LONG way from the bulk of the suites, making every request a longer proposition.

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On day one, we ask for 2 lounge chairs if in a Sky Suite.  An extra lounger in all other suites.  We ask for shrimp cocktail in the afternoon as a substitute.  That's all and we always tip our Butler at the end of the cruise.

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Going back to the OP comment regarding a list, I'd suggest making notes to remind yourself what you'd like your butler to do. I do remember the thread you mentioned and if my memory is correct that poster was disappointed in his butler. Several comments were made on that thread saying handing a list of items to the butler was probably not the best way of making him aware of that posters wishes. While it may have been efficient, it may have also come across as demanding. What you've listed is well within the regular functions of a butler so just ask for those things and I bet he'll gladly provide them for you. 

Edited by garyl62

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We have sailed almost exclusively in suites for 20 years and I have never make a list for the butler.   Personally I think it would be a bit tacky.   Would someone go to a restaurant and give the waiter a list before the service begins.

 

For most items - e.g. Latte at 7:00 AM,  I just write it on the breakfast menu specify the time range 7-7:30 (checkbox) and hang it on my door the night before.   Things like San Pelligreno are not official included in your room unless you are in an Upper Suite.  Many butlers will do it for you but don't be surprised if you are charged for it even if you have a package.

 

As others have said the butlers handle multiple rooms and to request or expect things at an exact time every day will probably lead to disappointment and/or extra pressure on the butler. 

 

I think you will find the butlers will try to make your requests happen but you may prefer a more personal touch.  

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On our last cruise we had Mudit on the equinox for a B2B in two separate rooms. we were very happy to have them on the second room considering we had to move just four doors away. On the first day I just told him things I liked that we always have breakfast in a room (with cappuccino that he brought from Baci every day )and we tipped daily. But I also like a picture of ice tea and a cheese and fruit platter in the afternoon. He was great and always wanted to do more! He brought us a nice bottle of Pinot for the beginning of our second cruise and also noticed my husband Liked Pellegrino so he supplied that daily. He made a cruise memorable they also decorated our room on my birthday. We tipped him at the end of both cruises and also our room attendant.Next cruise will be an aqua class and I’m sure will have a great room attendant but he won’t be Mudit😁

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I also don't like the idea of a list. The one time we had the services of a butler we used them to "enhance service". They are helpful if you have an issue or need to change dinner reservations, etc.

 

Think of it as "personalized and attentive service", rather than having a servant at your disposal.

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11 minutes ago, mdpa said:

Think of it as "personalized and attentive service", rather than having a servant at your disposal.

I think this is the whole point you have not been transported to Downton Abbey and suddenly have the house staff at your beck and call. 

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Thank you all for your insight on this topic for some of us newbies...

 

Much appreciated.

 

bon voyage

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41 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

I think this is the whole point you have not been transported to Downton Abbey and suddenly have the house staff at your beck and call. 

hahaha....if only a staff...I wouldn't be thinking about dinner and laundry right now!  Suite life is nice, but for me a very nice treat not to be experienced every cruise.  Poor Butler tried to keep busy with us but we didn't have much for him to do.

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17 hours ago, Veinless said:

I recall finding a very nice list that someone had prepared for their butler, outlining their desires. Can’t find it any more - if you do something similar please share! I’d like to help our butler make our cruise memorable.

 

So far I’ve come up with the following:

- Small bottles of san pelligrino daily
- Latte or flat white or cafe macchiato every morning at 7am, along with assorted pastries
- Cheese / salami / bread platter daily at 3pm
 
... and that’s it!

 

If you are not in a RS or above then technically you cannot request water or soft drinks to be delivered (your minibar is not usually included in your drink package). I think that is something I would ‘request’ nicely and be prepared to be told it was not possible. Some ships seem more flexible about this than others. I suggest you ask your room attendant to empty your minibar (he will be used to this request) then if your butler cannot refill for you just collect a few from the nearest bar as you pass.

 

We never commit ourselves to set morning times as we want coffee when we are ready rather than want to be woken by coffee being delivered. If you are morning routine people then your butler will happily deliver coffee of your request at a set time. We tend to just phone as we wake and it is usually about a 10/15 minute wait. 

 

Asking for a snack platter at a set time is something we tend to do most cruises but then cancel by day 4 as we become food exhausted! We also tend to stress ‘small’ portion of...as we have been overwhelmed by cheese platters big enough for six...

 

If you are cruising in a higher suite where there is a bar set up (spirits, beers and sodas) and if you have prebooked several speciality dining venues (you want the butler to confirm), have a specific pillow request and a few other room requests like an in suite kettle then a check list can be useful to the butler...Especially if the shoreside concierge system has not worked...It can save him scribing whilst talking or later wondering which room requested what?!? On our last two cruises now the shoreside system has worked perfectly and our copy for the butler has been simply a useful print for him to use as a check list and to use to confirm our dining. 

 

As others have said there are some tasks it is as easy to do yourself rather than bother the butler with, for example, a change of dining venue or collecting a coffee mid afternoon to take back to the room. Like others we also feel the concierge is the ‘go to’ person for ship wide issues like an overcharge or an OBC issue.

 

Butlers are busy but are there to provide a service, I am happy to have things delivered at times and it is great when you have a problem and they come up with the phrase “no problem, leave it with me...”. I think timing is a key element to helping them to do their job well and with less stress. If there is something you want which will take time to prepare then ask them the day before or even earlier where possible. This is easy to do if you are planning an anniversary night in or a cocktail party. 

 

Hope you have a fabulous cruise!

 

 

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All of our cruises on Celebrity have been in Royal Suites and the Penthouses and I have never made a “ list” to give our butlers.  We don’t really request much to be done for us.  I do let the shoreside concierge know our preferences ahead of times for certain things (water, beer, soda stocked which is an upper tier suite perk) and the butler has always made sure it’s restocked without asking.  He automatically brings room service, but we usually only do one breakfast en suite and have all other meals out. 

We usually host a cocktail party if we are sailing with family and friends at some pt, they handle that.  On a few occasions we have sent out some pressing, he’ll handle that for you as well.

Only other thing we ask for on day one  is that he leave us an afternoon snack each day and tell him some of the things we enjoy ( my favorite is the chicken salad on mini rolls)

He can make speciality dining reservations for you, but most times we just ask the Michaels Club concierge.

They work very hard, and I know they are available till around 8-9 pm in the evening, but I have never bothered any of our butlers once they deliver our snacks around 4ish.

Edited by CruisersTimesThree

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4 hours ago, ECCruise said:

Having talked to many of our butlers, yes that is the goal. But trust me, there is a limit. You will never see it in the butler's demeanor but that doesn't make it right. They can very quickly become over committed in their effort to be helpful. 

Our philosophy is pretty simple. If we can do it ourselves, we do it. If not (like room service breakfast) the butler does it. 

That was what I learned as well.  My last cruise on the Equinox we stayed in the PH.  We returned early from an excursion while the better part of the passengers on the ship were still in port.  We wanted lunch, but made it back to the ship during that weird time when the buffet hadn't opened just yet for lunch and the grill on the upper deck was just getting set up.  We ordered room service and we were shocked to see our butler show up with the tray.  He said that when the suite passengers in the rooms he attends are off the ship and he has down time, he's required to help out in other areas of the ship, such as with room service.  I would agree with what some others have said, please be considerate of their time when you think of handing them a list of your needs.  They want to see you have a great trip, but you are not the only person they have to deal with.  You'd be surprised how demanding some passengers are.  That's not to say you can't make requests and ask for things you want or need.  I just try not to be outrageous.  I would always demagnetize my room card and my  butler was kind enough to always want to run down to Guest Services to get me a new one.  I told him that he'd be better off telling me to stop being such a goober and quit demagnetizing the dang card in the first place. We both had a good laugh over that one!  I thanked him for offering, but we were on our way out the door for an iced coffee anyway.  Why make him do something that didn't take me two seconds to do??? 

Edited by meechee341

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37 minutes ago, CruisersTimesThree said:

They work very hard, and I know they are available till around 8-9 pm in the evening, but I have never bothered any of our butlers once they deliver our snacks around 4ish.

Me either!  Plus those afternoon trays of sandwiches, fruit and dessert samples (only the good desserts) are a life saver!  Those sandwiches are just killer! 😁

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Thank you very much everyone for your feedback and advice. Much appreciated. 

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I think one use of a list can actually make the butler's life easier.  When you're called pre-cruise by the Suite Concierge staff, if you have specific requests, the butler can then have those things already in your suite in advance, which makes things nicer for you, and easier for them, since there will be fewer day one requests to attend to.  If helpful, making yourself a list of things like that can let you make sure you get it all requested in a single phone call.  On a recent cruise a fellow guest had used a list they'd found here on Cruise Critic, and adapted it to their desires.  Then everything they'd asked for was ready and waiting when they boarded.  This freed up the butler to deal with the less prepared. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

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A list sounds tacky indeed.

Our butler seemed to pick up on things we enjoyed and made sure they were available for us.

We had one request for disembarking and she and another butler made it happen. The two of them made our final morning easy and enjoyable and we were able to catch an early flight.

We decided that her extra tip would be doubled and we also tipped the other butler who we had just met that morning.


Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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