Cruising Your Way To Some Excellent Tips

, , | Working | July 8, 2020

I’m on a cruise ship in the Caribbean with my wife, her parents, and her two sisters. We agree early on that every night we will have dinner together, and we will go early enough to beat the rush. It’s one of the first nights, and we have a very friendly waitress taking our order, bringing us our food, etc.

The next night, my parents-in-law decide they want to try the ship’s Teppanyaki restaurant, so it’s just the three daughters and me. We end up coincidentally at the same table, with the same waitress. What happens next surprises us.

Waitress: “Good evening, Ms. [Sister-In-Law #1], Ms. [Sister-In-Law #2], Ms. [Wife], Mr. [My Name]. Where are Mr. [Father-In-Law] and Mrs. [Mother-In-Law]?”

We are shocked. We have not told her our names; she must have read them on our ID cards which we showed her when ordering drinks. Just as amazing is what happens next:

Waitress: “Do you want iced tea, water, ginger ale, and Diet Pepsi again?”

This was our correct order from the previous night.

From then on, every night, we asked specifically if we could sit in that waitress’s section. Once, they even pulled her off of buffet duty to wait our table — for which she thanked us profusely. 

Once, the hostess started bringing us somewhere else, and we saw the waitress already putting our drinks at our regular table. Despite her efforts to discourage us, my father-in-law left her a massive tip.

I know it’s not reasonable to expect that wait staff will remember your name and order, but when it does happen, it helps make the meal a bit more special.

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Missing Part Of The Picture

, , | Right | June 2, 2020

I am the assistant manager of sales in the photo department onboard a cruise ship. We sell a lot of cameras and we have a special on a waterproof cameras that comes with a kit: 4GB card, rubber case, and a floating strap.

A guest just bought one and I explain to him how to use it. The next day, he’s back.

Guest: “Hey, uh… Listen, I lost my camera.”

Me: “What happened?”

Guest: “Well, I went snorkeling, and I forgot to put on the floating strap, so it fell down and I couldn’t find it. I want to buy another one.”

Me: “All right, no problem. I’m sorry you lost your camera. Here, let me bring you another one and show you how to put on the floating strap.”

I bring a new camera, show him how the floating strap is attached, and go through all the details. I have to add that I have the very same camera and I have never had issues with it and the floating strap works great.

Fast forward to the next day. The same guest comes back.

Guest: “Uh… Yeah, I lost the other camera, too.”

Me: “What? Again? How?”

Guest: “Well, I didn’t put on the floating strap and I went on a snorkeling excursion and I dropped it in the water.”

I am speechless!

Guest: “So, uh… Can I have another one for free?”

Me: “Sorry, but no.”

Guest: “But I already bought two of these; you should give me another one for free!”

Me: “Thanks for your business, but I’m afraid it won’t change my answer. You can’t have a $300 camera for free.”

He actually complained to guest services and I got a call from the hotel director. When I explained to him what happened, he couldn’t stop laughing.

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He Got Smashed And The Camera Followed

, , , | Right | June 1, 2020

I’m working as an assistant manager of sales in the photo department. A guest bought a camera yesterday; it was a water-, dust-, shock-, and freezeproof model, a very nice camera that I also own myself, being in the Caribbean and all.

The guest comes back the following day, as soon as we open the photo gallery. He shows me the camera, which looks like it was dragged behind the car for a few miles. It is badly scratched all over the body, with a broken LCD screen and lens, missing battery cover, etc. It wasn’t dropped; it was SMASHED.

Guest: “I bought this camera yesterday here and it doesn’t work anymore! I want a new one!”

Me: “Sir, let me inspect the camera.”

I go through the camera and see all the above-mentioned damage.

Me: “Sir, what happened? Did you drop the camera from somewhere? Did it fall under the car or something?”

Guest: “No! I just put it in my bag and this is what happened! I want a new one now!

Me: “Sorry, but I can’t accept that. This isn’t a factory damage, nor is it covered by the warranty. The camera is damaged quite extensively and I can’t accept it for replacement.”

Guest: “What?! You have to replace it right now! I paid for a working camera and this one isn’t working anymore!”

Me: “Sir, your camera was fine when we took it out of the box and set it up for you. Somehow, you managed to damage it quite extensively and no, we can’t replace it with a new one. Sorry.”

Guest: “I’ll complain! I’ll get you fired for this!”

Of course, the guest goes to the guest services desk, makes a big drama, and complains to officers. Some ten or fifteen minutes later, I get a call from — surprise, surprise — the hotel director.

Hotel Director: “[My Name], I have a guest here complaining that the camera he bought isn’t working and that you don’t want to replace it. He’s really upset. What’s happening?”

Me: “[Hotel Director], please ask the guest to show you his camera.”

Hotel Director: “Hold on.”

I hear the hotel director lowering the phone and talking with the guest. About a minute later, he picks up the phone again.

Hotel Director: “Hey, [My Name], I see what you mean. It’s all right; I’ll deal with him. Thanks and sorry.”

The guest got a free dinner for two in a specialty restaurant but no new camera. The hotel director and I always shared a good laugh when we talked about it afterward.

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Yes. Yes, You Can.

, , , , , | Friendly | May 23, 2020

It’s the summer of 1993 and my mother and I are on a cruise on [Now-Defunct Cruise Line]. Mom is in one of the theaters enjoying one of those Vegas-type shows, and I’m wandering around the various decks, just checking things out, looking for my own entertainment.

I notice that one of the many bars has karaoke, and since I enjoy singing — and some folks tell me I’m pretty good at it — I decide, what the hey? It’s a small but nice place, with few people, so I’m not too intimidated. I usually am when performing for crowds, but I figure I don’t know any of these people, so why should I care?

I choose a song by Anne Murray, “Could I Have This Dance?” since it’s in my range and I’m comfortable with it. The bar pipes the current singer and music outside so people walking by can hear it, and the whole wall facing the deck is faintly-tinted glass.

About a minute or so into the song, I notice an elderly couple walk past, stop, listen, and begin slow-dancing together, smiling. This encourages me and warms my heart, and I focus on them for the rest of the song.

When I’m done, I leave the bar to greet them and thank them for the confidence boost. They, in turn, thank me for my performance. They are celebrating their anniversary, and that song was their first dance.

I don’t remember much else about that cruise, but that’s one memory I’ll treasure forever.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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What, Is It After Labor Day?

, , , , , | Friendly | February 23, 2020

(It is the 1980s. My parents have been invited by some friends of theirs to go on a cruise. My dad is exploring the ship when he is approached by an elderly couple. Note: my dad is currently wearing white pants and a white jacket over his shirt.)

Elderly Woman: “Excuse me, can you tell us how to get to the pool?”

Dad: “I don’t know. I’m on vacation, too.”

(The woman huffs and walks away, and says to her husband:)

Elderly Woman: “The nerve of that guy, wearing white on a cruise ship.”

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