At a press conference on Carnival Breeze this week, Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, said that in the five years he has been at the helm of the company, he has received letters, and more recently emails, from guests commenting on their experiences aboard the Fun Ships.
“I get a couple of emails a day from Carnival guests,” he said. “I’ve never gotten an email about the hardware. It’s always about the experience they had with the crew . . . it really is the crew that counts.”
I have found the Carnival culture to be both fun and professional this week on Carnival Breeze. I’ve been impressed time and again in the lounges, the coffee bar and restaurants. Staff are downright friendly.
When crew members do get to know someone’s name, they use the first name, typical, of course, of the way we do it in North America. I’ve been greeted by my first name many times, unusual on a ship carrying more than 3,000 people.
Like many companies, Carnival does encourage (and perhaps enforce) a 100 percent greet policy, which is why crew members acknowledge guests at most every encounter with “Good Morning,” “Hello,” or “How is your day?”
The greetings do not seem forced or insincere, however. “For us, it’s like, ‘Welcome to our family.’ It is very genuine,” Pierre B. Camielleri, Carnival Breeze’s hotel director, told me one morning in Ocean Plaza.
The greet policy is one of eight Carnival service values that have been implemented fleetwide, and what I found interesting when I spoke with Pierre is that the greet policy extends beyond the guests: “One of the eight values is actually that the crew greet each other and guests in the same way.”
I know other companies probably do this too, but still, that’s pretty cool.
Do you have a favorite crew member on Carnival or any other cruise line who you would like to recognize with a shout out? Write his or her name in the comment box below and tell us what is so special about that person. Good evening.