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Check out our newest level 10 WOW winners!

June 30, 2011 By: Entertainment Cruises Category: Entertainment Cruises - National

Summer is well underway and our boats are filling up fast. If you haven’t yet had the chance to cruise, now’s the perfect time! The weather is perfect, the views are divine, and our crew is ready to impress you at every turn.

Check out two awesome ways our staff really helped make a difference.

Chelcy
Boston
June 21, 2011
A young girl recently celebrated her 8th birthday on a cruise. She had just started at a new school and had invited 10 people to join her, but only three new friends showed up. Needless to say, the little girl was upset. Her Server Chelcy took it upon herself to do everything she could to make this girl’s birthday extra special. She asked the Galley to make up some chicken fingers and pizzas for the girl and her friends, since they were on a standard lunch deck with not many kid-friendly items. To really make the girl’s day, Chelcy found out the girl’s favorite song from her mother – it turns out it was Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” a tune Chelcy had been working on. She got the girl and her friends out on the dance floor and dedicated a performance of the song to her! The girl was smiling ear to ear!

Vicki
Philadelphia
June 21, 2011
On a full ship dinner cruise, both dishwashers did not come in. Bartender Vicki asked her fellow Bartender if he would be okay behind the bar, went to the galley, threw on an apron, and spent the entire night washing dishes! It was a huge help to both the galley and FOH staff!

Happy summer!

The busy season is fast approaching and OSS is starting strong. Learn about our OSS WOW Nominees and Winners!

May 19, 2011 By: Entertainment Cruises Category: Entertainment Cruises - National

Critical Moment of Service/Internal WOWs

  • DJ Will, Andy & Will (Baltimore) – On a recent lunch cruise, a client left her laptop at home. After attempting to play the client’s presentation on the DVD player, DJ Will ran to his car to get some equipment he thought could help. Not only did he get everything set up, he provided an introduction video for all of her guest speakers. In addition to the A/V issues, the group’s vocalist was unable to make it. Andy performed “My Girl” for the girls and their moms. Everyone loved it! The servers were phenomenal, and Server Will took the lead and the mic to teach the girls and moms the wobble line dance during their last few minutes on the ship. The client left the ship raving about the event!

 

  • Josh (Baltimore) –Baltimore had some very serious thunderstorms and there was a dinner cruise scheduled. At the last minute, one of the Restaurant Managers realized that he needed one more balloon bouquet. Server Josh stepped up and sprinted to the office, made the bouquet, and came back to the boat through the rain with the newly made balloon bouquet!

 

  • Joe (Boston) – Joe was working the double Sunday Brunch Easter cruise.  Restaurant Supervisor Jasmin was handling the kiddie egg decorating and commented to Joe, “I’m so hungry but won’t have time to go down to the galley and make myself a plate before the second Brunch!” Five minutes later, Joe came up to Jasmin with a huge plate of food for her to eat. This made her feel special, and was unexpected.

 

  • Jessica (Boston) – Jessica did an amazing job helping out in the galley on Easter Sunday. Every time she came in, she did something – from sweeping the floor, to taking full trash bags out, etc.

 

  • Jessica (Chicago) – Right before the ship left the dock, the team noticed that the Topaz bar terminal’s screen stopped working. Jessica swapped the terminal out with the one on the stern of Topaz and got on the phone with Datawave to change the terminal information before the connection was lost. Then a printer error appeared and the connection was lost. Jessica called IT and thankfully, Dave called back and the team was able to get everything up and running and was able to run a very successful bar on Topaz!

 

  • Captain Jeff (New York) – While piloting the Spirit of New Jersey, Captain Jeff noticed a couple of girls from Bishop McNamara School that were outside crying, so he invited them into the wheelhouse to cheer them up!  He turned their tears into smiles – very nice!

 

  • Captain James (New York) – On a day when the New York team was shorthanded and the galley was struggling to produce all the food for the cruise, Captain James stepped in and went down to the galley to help the team with food prep.

 

  • F&B and Marine Teams (Norfolk) – The NATO festival was held in Norfolk on Saturday. On this day, the Spirit of Norfolk carried approximately 1,500 guests on four cruises. The F&B and Marine teams did an amazing job working together to get guests off the boat in a timely manner. Everyone did whatever it took to get the job completed, whether it was in their job description or not.

 

  • Captain Jim (Norfolk) – A local high school had a full ship charter on a dinner cruise last week. Captain Jim was notified during the cruise that the Hampton Roads Transit ferry was having mechanical problems. Jim found out that a lot of the students on board had actually caught the ferry from Portsmouth to Norfolk to catch their dinner cruise with Spirit. Jim made arrangements to dock the ship in Portsmouth so those who needed to could disembark. The faculty from the school was very grateful for this gesture. If Jim had not made the effort to do this, there would have been 150 students stuck on the Norfolk side of the harbor at 10:00pm with no way to get home.

 

And the winner is… Jim from Norfolk! Congratulations, Jim.

 

Customer Service WOWs

  • Captain Edgar, Nikki & Andrea (New York) – Captain Edgar, Server Nikki, and Restaurant Manager Andrea worked together to help a guest propose to his girlfriend. They brought the couple up to the wheelhouse, and Terry from Photogenic took photos of the proposal. She said yes! They gave the couple copies of the photos and complimentary champagne. They were so happy. When they returned from the wheelhouse, Nikki and Yvette had made them a special “Congrats” dessert and had it waiting on the table amongst rose petals.

 

  • Kathryn & Jamie (New York) – Kathryn and Bartender Jamie worked together to WOW some guests. When Kathryn introduced herself to a table and let them know she would be happy to help them in any way she could, the guests asked her if she could let them know the score of the Knicks game. Kathryn asked Jamie to help and he kept an eye on the score on his phone – Kathryn relayed the score and timing of the game to the guests throughout the evening!

 

  • Katie (New York) – A guest and her family came to New York from Louisiana to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday. The grandmother is in a wheelchair, and Server Katie took her to the dance floor and started to dance with her.  The guest’s family was so surprised and thrilled.
  • Luther (New York) – When Bartender Luther found out the Custom Tour Group on board was from Iowa (as is he), he made it a point to talk to every table in their group and even forwarded their song requests to the DJ!

 

  • Brandy (New York) – Bartender Brandy saw a sad and lonely boy sitting by himself when everyone else was dancing. Brandy whisked the boy to the dance floor. The team has never seen a smile as big as his! Brandy truly WOWed this guest. His friends were all giving him the thumbs up and Brandy’s kindness made him feel very special. For the rest of the evening, the boy was smiling and laughing!

 

And the winner is… Brandy from New York! Congratulations, Brandy.

 

Thanks for reading, and in the spirit of OSS, let’s all try to better the world – one kind act at a time.

Learn about our new Mobile Websites from our eCommerce gurus!

May 05, 2011 By: Entertainment Cruises Category: Entertainment Cruises - National

Learn about our new Mobile Websites from our eCommerce gurus!

  1. Why go mobile?
    The percentage of mobile traffic to our sites has just about doubled in the last year. As more and more smart phones have become available in the marketplace at a lower price-point, more and more people have access to small devices with good internet browsing capabilities and are utilizing them. That being said, standard websites are not made to be viewed on such small screens so mobile sites, which allow website access to important information in a smaller and simpler format are going to become a key marketing tool.

     

  2. What was the process in making it happen?
    As with any development process, the first step is to figure out navigation and then design. We worked with our team internally and our vendor Create-It to develop the mobile infrastructure. Our brand sites are Joomla based so it was a fairly seamless process to use the Mobile Joomla component to create our sites. The stickiest part of development is that you can’t just create one template for all phones – the iphone and the droid systems do not “see” information in the same way.

     

  3. Is it easy to use? User-friendly?
    The new mobile sites make our products easier to navigate using mobile devices. They have a simpler layout which is easy to read and navigate through.

     

  4. Anything else you think our readers should know about our new mobile websites?
    One of the coolest features, I think, is that the sites can see if you are on a mobile phone and will serve you the site pages in a mobile format and vice versa, if you are on a laptop or computer, will serve you the standard site.

     

Thank you for sharing with us, eCommerce Team. Great work.

And thank you readers for reading! Have a fabulous spring weekend.

It’s cold and it’s December, but OSS is hotter than ever

December 16, 2010 By: Entertainment Cruises Category: Entertainment Cruises - National

Read our OSS Critical Moments of Service and Customer Service WOW nominee stories.

See if you can guess the winner!

Critical Moments of Service/Internal WOW Nominees:

  • Donna in Baltimore – Donna is a Bartender who also works a second job as a Director of Sales for a local hotel. The Baltimore team needed some extra help with shifts, so Donna took a vacation day from her other job to come in and work! Even though she is usually a Bartender, Donna stepped in as a server during one of the shifts!
  • Ashmara in Baltimore – Ashmara is a server on Spirit of Baltimore. The boat was understaffed one day so Ashmara volunteered to stay for not one, not two, but THREE shifts!
  • Ross in Chicago – On a busy dinner cruise, the dish area in the galley was full. The dishwasher had a hard time keeping up with the large number of dishes being brought down, so Ross stepped in and started washing! He even put the clean dishes away.
  • Andrew in Chicago – Bartender Andrew assisted Mystic Blue’s dishwasher (who has an injured knee) with running trash. He assisted his fellow shipmate in running trash to the compactors, which are located quite a ways from the boat.
  • Heather in Chicago – Heather recently received an upset couple who happened to be deaf at the ticket booth. She quickly resolved the problem by communicating on a piece of paper. She also worked with the restaurant team to ensure that this couple received a window seat. On top of all this, Heather also learned the sign for “congratulations” and wished the couple congrats on the 2nd anniversary they were celebrating!
  • Ray & Michael in Corporate – A group of emails recently disappeared from a shipmate’s Microsoft Outlook account. Ray and Michael spent a significant amount of time and went above and beyond to find the emails and get them back into Outlook. Their extra effort meant a lot!
  • Lucy in DC – A couple was scheduled to cruise the Odyssey, but were incorrectly instructed to board on the Spirit. When Lucy realized this, she escorted the couple to Odyssey, which unfortunately had already boarded and was well underway. Lucy explained that she could place the couple on Spirit and that it was a different product, but would still be very entertaining and unforgettable (especially since Spirit was hosting the annual Halloween Boo cruise). The couple had so much fun they forgot that they were supposed to cruise on Odyssey.
  • Damian in DC – DC recently hosted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the client needed internet access on the boat in order for a doctor to give a presentation. The contact was informed they would not have internet access, but the contact showed up requesting internet access anyway. Once she found Damian, , she again requested internet and gave him her laptop, screen and projector. Damian set up the equipment and then realized his “smart phone” also doubled as a hot spot for other devices. He was able to provide internet access for the doctor’s presentation!
  • Captain Kevin in New York – Last Friday, Captain Kevin approached Vince on Bateaux and said he wanted to use some of the leftover holiday decorations to decorate the area downstairs leading to the forward head. Kevin was able to get decorations, zip ties, extension cords and garland from the commissary and decorated the area. When he asked Vince what he thought of the area before boarding for the next cruise, Vince was extremely impressed! Captain Kevin's Decorations in New York
  • Stacey in New York – New York booked a student group and wanted to cancel less than two months before the cruise. The team convinced them to keep the cruise by promising to change the entertainment to something that the school felt appropriate. Stacey developed a program that was both clean and entertaining. She put together a multi-page proposal that included lots of game options, song lists, etc. that the school could choose from. She then also scheduled herself to be the DJ for that cruise to make sure that everything ran smoothly.
  • Captain Ryan in Norfolk – Captain Ryan was working as a mate on Friday’s dinner and went downstairs to table touch. While doing so, he encountered an unhappy group that was having problems with their service.  Ryan spoke with the server to see if there was anything he could do to help and found that the server was backed up and running behind. Ryan went directly to the bar himself and started serving the people in this group. He even ran up to second deck to grab some drinks when they were out of a product on first deck.
  • Sheila in Norfolk – Sheila discovered she had a flat tire when leaving work last Monday. There was no one available to help her so she called a fellow shipmate Christina to see if her husband, who is a mechanic, could help. Christina was already at home but she and her husband made it to the ship within 30 minutes to help!

Customer Service WOW Nominees:

  • Jim in Baltimore – Jim had a client that booked a deck charter on Baltimore’s busiest day of the holiday season. The client called Jim to let him know that their count had jumped to 292. His client was panicking and Jim kept in constant contact with her, alleviating any and all concerns. After much rearranging of groups, the team was able to give the group the full ship they needed. The night of the event, Jim stood outside in the FREEZING cold for about an hour to help the contact pass out her tickets and get her customers onboard.
  • Jake & Chris in Baltimore – During a Gospel Lunch cruise, there was a terminally ill woman onboard who required the use of a motorized scooter in order to get around. During the cruise, her scooter began to have some mechanical trouble and began to stall and get caught. This made it extremely difficult for the woman to get around at all. Jake and Chris realized this and brought out some tools, dismantled her scooter, and figured out the problem. They fixed the scooter and the woman said afterward that the scooter worked better than it ever had before!
  • Jessica & Ruben in Chicago – During a dinner cruise this past weekend, Jessica noticed a guest reading all the buffet signs. She informed him the buffet would open soon and asked if he had any questions. He told her he had a gluten allergy. Jessica went down to the galley and spoke to the Galley Supervisor, Ruben. Ruben prepared the guest a gluten free meal. Jon was very grateful, and also said he has a medical condition where he has trouble swallowing. Jessica brought the food back down to the galley and Ruben chopped up his meal into tiny pieces and arranged it on the plate for him.
  • Benia & Katie in Chicago – Last weekend, Odyssey had a group of 23 on the dinner cruise.  The contact dropped off pre-printed programs. When Benia looked at the programs, she noticed the menu that was listed was not the menu being served that night – the contact had an older version of the menu. Benia sent Bar Supervisor Katie a picture of the program and asked her to pick up some paper that matched best (the program was a light yellow color). Benia typed up the correct menu in the same font and same set-up as what was listed in the program, then printed off copies, cut and taped the correct menu in the program over the wrong one. They informed the contact of the change, and she was thrilled that they went above and beyond to make new menus.
  • Fallen in Chicago – Mystic Blue had a guest arrive early to pick up tickets for his dinner cruise and said he was planning to propose to his girlfriend. He arrived early to meet his server, Fallen, so she could help him with ideas on his proposal. She set up a beautiful display in the bridge with linen, rose petals and candles.  After dinner service and before dessert was served, Fallen invited these guests to the bridge to meet the captain. The girlfriend had no idea of what was about to happen. When they arrived at the bridge, the man asked his girlfriend to marry him – she said yes and began to cry. It was a touching moment that was very nicely done!
  • Bianca in Chicago – On a recent dinner there was a deaf couple onboard. Bianca had taken sign language classes and communicated with the couple throughout the cruise. The gentleman gave Bianca a high five for her effort and for making their cruise a memorable one. The couple had an awesome time, largely due to Bianca’s extra effort!
  • Chris in Chicago – Chris was the DJ for a recent wedding, and afterward the bride and groom had many items to take home. Instead of letting the newly married couple try to figure out how they were going to get everything into a cab and back to their hotel, Chris offered to pack everything into his vehicle and personally deliver it all to the hotel! The bride and groom were so relieved that they didn’t have to worry about this final detail on their special day.
  • Walter in New York – New York recently had a guest riding the dinner cruise with his wife and mother. DJ Walter brought Aaron up to the DJ booth to introduce him and mentioned that he was leaving the next day for Afghanistan. He was out with his wife and mother to enjoy their final night together before he left. Walter then played “Proud to be an American” and had Aaron and his wife dance to it. All of the guests on the boat stood up and applauded him and then they all took pictures. It created such a warm atmosphere on the boat – some of the staff even got teary-eyed.
  • Ben & Jason in New York – As Christine walked past the conference room on a cold afternoon, she saw Jason talking about the boats as his guest was looking out the window at the Atlantica. The ambiance was perfect and inviting: Jason’s warm conversation, assortment of cookies on a small plate, Ben walking in with a cup of hot coffee for the guest, Atlantica DVD playing on the TV, nice scent of cinnamon apple pie (Ben sprayed the lobby and the conference room), etc. The guest had a big smile and truly looked like she was at home. Nice job Ben and Jason – they ended up booking the event!
  • Captain Kevin in New York – On a recent cruise, there were two different couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Captain Kevin personally presented each of them with a half dozen roses and thanked them for choosing Bateaux to celebrate their special occasion. One of the couples was dancing when he came to the dining room, so he presented the roses to the woman on the dance floor and then danced with her briefly – it made her day!

And the winners are…

Damian in DC

and

Jake & Chris in Baltimore for Customer Service WOW

Congratulations to our winners, everyone nominated and everyone continuing to help OSS thrive!

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful end to the week.

Shipmate Spotlight: Meet Daywi!

December 02, 2010 By: Entertainment Cruises Category: Entertainment Cruises - National

Happy December everyone! I thought it’d be nice to begin the new month by learning something new. Let’s get to know one of our delightful shipmates: Daywi.

Daywi is an interesting name, where is your family from?
My name is a common Indonesian name, which is where my mother is from. The original spelling, Dewi, is actually derived from Hinduism but my parents opted to change the spelling so it would be easier to pronounce in the US. However, I’d say only about 5% of people pronounce it correctly the first time anyways (and the second or third), so don’t feel bad.

Have you always lived in Chicago?

No, although at 7 years it is the one place in which I’ve consecutively lived the longest. I grew up traveling every two years throughout North America from Michigan (my dad’s home state) to Mexico City. I always knew I had to live in a place that was diverse and bustling near Lake Michigan, so this city was the perfect match.

Daywi - Marketing Production Supervisor at Entertainment Cruises

What is your current position at Entertainment Cruises?
I am the Marketing Production Supervisor. I work closely with our in-house Marketing Services Team to schedule the production of virtually all of Entertainment Cruises’ marketing collateral for each of our brands throughout our seven different locations. We design everything from print ads to ticket booth signage.

How long have you worked here?

5 years.

What was your first position?
A seasonal deckhand at Seadog Ventures in Chicago. I scrubbed decks and gave guided-tours to sun-burnt tourists on a 70 foot speedboat all summer. Sounds grueling, but it was hands-down the best summer job a college student could ask for.

How did you get to where you are now?
No matter what your position, hard work and dedication is rewarded, but it is up to the individual to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. After receiving MVP of the year my first year, I was ready to get into the administrative side of operations and jumped on the opportunity to intern with our Operations Manager at Seadog. A year later a position opened in Accounts Payable. Although my degree is in Marketing, I saw this entry-level position as an opportunity to get my foot in the door as a recent college graduate, and less than a year later went on to hire another Accounts Payable Specialist as our company grew. Although I enjoyed my new role as the Accounts Payable Supervisor, my heart was with Marketing and I was able to take advantage of another opening to my current position with Entertainment Cruises. Each experience has allowed me to better understand how this company works as a whole, thus giving me the tools to do my job even more effectively.

What is your favorite thing about working here?

The people. Not only the people I get to work with every day but also the guests that we get the privilege of inviting on our vessels. Working in an entertainment/hospitality industry should be fun, and Entertainment Cruises acknowledges that.

Thank you Daywi, for taking time out of your day to share with us. It was fun!
And thank you readers, for reading. Read on!