When a Crewmember Becomes Victim of “Guest is Always Right” Policy

Feb 19, 2018

Guests are not always right. They’re just never wrong. The continued drive by the Cruise Lines for profit makes some guests more right than other, or simply when money talks others listen. 

Two years ago a crew member was physically and verbally abused by a wealthy regular guest who has spent millions of dollars on a cruise for her group. One night this VIP guest was intoxicated and during the dinner, she was looking for a dessert which was not on the menu. The waiter politely was trying to assist her and offer her something else, but she was very aggressive and was using very negative words towards the restaurant, suddenly she pushed the waiter and come to his face. There was no comfortable space for the waiter, so he politely ask her not to touch him, after she got more upset and used offensive words and went back to her table. The waiter followed the protocol and called his manager twice but he refuse to come. In the quest log system, the waiter reported this accident following the company’s Standard Operational Procedures.

Now there is nothing unusual for a guest to behave in this manner. We as experienced professionals are trained to deal with this uncomfortable situations and always try to make all the guests happy. But what happened next was highly unacceptable by the ships management and his supervisors.

Next day the waiter was called in Maitre'd office and was told that the lady spent $8 million for the Group she is traveling with, and they are very valuable for the company and they do not want to cruise with the company anymore because of the waiter. Restaurant Manager was very upset with him saying that he is always doing something wrong, but the day before the incident he was praised that he is doing a great job. The next morning the waiter was demoted and was given a warning.

The waiter was not a new employee, he spent seven years working as a loyal member of the company. He did nothing wrong and was following all procedures by the book. No one from the management steps forward to protect his rights and taking into consideration that he was an asset to the company. By doing the opposite the management maybe kept the millionaire group to cruise with the company again. But what will happen if the next cruise they come and the leader of the group picks a fight with the Restaurant Manager or the Hotel Director will they be demoted or fired? 

This is a textbook example when a crew member rights are violated. If this happens don’t expect any help from your supervisors because they also fear for their jobs. This way is easy for them just to put the blame on you. Now don’t get me wrong there are some truly amazing Restaurant Managers, HR’s and HD’s who care about their staff members as part of their family. However, there are also managers that only look after their CULITOS.