Princess Cruises Vs. Seabourn – Bar Department Comparison

Oct 24, 2019

Since previously I worked in the Bar Department on Princess cruises I decided to try something new and joined Seabourn. The day I embarked on Seabourn Quest reception was at the Show Room where we would go one by one and hand over all our paperwork. 

I asked about the refund for the medical exam but they told me that was the procedure after the second contract. They suggested that I keep the bill and that there won’t be any issues next time. I thought “What is even true here? Let’s hope I’ll get paid at all”. I collected my uniform and managed to find everything quickly because the ship was small. I shared a cabin with a girl from Bosnia who worked as a barista. 

The Bar manager took me for a tour around the ship. She was a very nice and kind girl from South Africa, she immediately gave her phone number. Everyone had direct phones on Seabourn cruise ships, unlike the Princess ships where everyone had pagers. Phones made everything quicker and everything can be performed more efficiently. 

The Bar manager told me to call her when I unpack and put on my uniform because she wants to show me the other bars on the ship. She said this with a smile and she was so relaxed like she was my roommate and not my superior. I soon realized that working with Seabourn is a whole other story than working with Princess. 

I had some sort of training every day during the first week. I started working on the open deck which was familiar territory. I really gave everything that I had. 

My duties while working for Princess were very clear. As a bar waitress, I need to carry a tray, serve drinks, collect empty glasses and USPH (cleaning before inspections). That included wiping the shelves where the bottles are kept, wiping the tables and bar with greater detail, changing the tray for the one with the fruit for cocktails. I would also assist in the cocktail making if the bar was very crowded and wipe the bar one more time before closing. That was it. 

Seabourn taught me what it meant to work for a salary. During the day I would have all sorts of responsibilities, depending on where I was working. If I was working in a bar I would have to serve drinks and wine; in restaurants, I would have to arrange glasses on the tables; in the coffee bar, I would have to work as a barista. There I would make coffees with the main barista because the lines were five meters long, served guests with ice cream and sandwiches from the Buffet line. After that, I would have to clean the back of the kitchen from top to bottom and clean the drains with special chemicals. 

I had a one hour break, after all, that for dinner and to get ready for the next assignment - Wine Steward position in the restaurant. I had my own section in the restaurant where I would serve wines that were in the all-inclusive service. As soon as the guest booked their cruise everything was free for them, except for some more expensive bottles of wine, some tequilas, whiskeys, and cognacs. 

They paid if they went shopping onboard and if they decide to take a guided tour somewhere, which had to be booked by the tour manager onboard. Everything else was available to them anytime and anywhere. Seabourn had a policy – never say no, always say that everything is available or offer an alternative if a certain item is currently out of stock.

The food on Seabourn was better than on the Princess. They would even organize dinners for the Crew in the Buffet restaurant and served the unused food that was prepared for the guests. Those nights were special and theme-based – Indian market, German food night or Chinese food night. It was a well-deserved feast. 

The Seabourn Crew is more professional than others, they are people who spent a lot of time working in the Hospitality trade and are very good. The Seabourn guests were really being spoiled on these cruises because they really did get the finest service. The Company takes care of its brand and they want their guests to feel at home. They would even tell some VIP guests “Welcome back home, Mr. and Mrs. Smith’. I thought that was alright and a good strategy. I did my job very professionally and in accordance with the Company policy.

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