When you think of a cruise, what comes to mind first? Is it the destination and ports of call? Activities on board? Entertainment? Relaxing? Chances are -- it's the food! 24 hours a day availability! Anything you want or desire. Don't want to leave your room? Call Room Service! The cruise director said that the people come on board as passengers and leave as cargo! There is a lot of truth in that.
On our Disney Magic cruise this month we experienced something that we hadn't in the eight previous cruises -- rotating among three restaurants on board. We are usually assigned a restaurant and you stayed there for all meals. On this cruise, you get to visit all three eating places AND your dining room staff goes with you. We had the late seating at 8:30 p.m. for our dinner. Most times we finished between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. That is late but we managed.
Those working in the restaurants come from all over the world. You name a country and chances are there is someone from that country working there. Our dining room staff consisted of John from Scotland who was the Head Server over an area of several servers, David from Czechoslovakia was our Server and Adrian from New Zealand was his Assistant Server. They were responsible for three tables I believe. Brenda and her family have been on this same ship for the last two years in the Caribbean and then found out that it was coming to the West Coast for the summer cruises to the Mexican Riviera this year. They know some of the staff and were very pleased to get John as the Head Server since he was responsible for Hannah's meals before (she is allergic to many foods). Here is a picture of John and Hannah at our table.
David and Adrian entertaining everyone in a parade.
The rotation and same staff is for the evening meal only. During the day you have several choices for breakfast and lunch. You will not get your usual server most likely as you are placed at a table where they want you to be served. So you get a chance to meet other servers which was nice. The three places are Parrot Cay (see picture above), Lumiere's, and Animator's Palate. They are all unique which enhances your dining pleasure.We had this young lady from Italy as our Assistant Server for breakfast one morning. The difference in height told me this was a "Kodak Moment". Yes, our daughter is tall -- but this girl is really short too!
John always insisted on riding Ann's scooter back to an area he could park it and then when we were ready to leave, he got the key from us and brought the scooter back. He didn't take the short way back and enjoyed using the horn to let everyone know he was coming. Here is a picture of John on the scooter.David and Adrian loved having their picture taken and even tried to get into some family pictures that we were taking at the table.
Adrian had some puzzles he showed us using crayons that taxed your brain trying to figure out the answers. Those were always fun. One time Brenda ordered hot tea and he asked her if she was calling him a "hottie". Adrian is 25 years old and has visited 40 countries so far.
The dining staff sign a contract for four months and literally work every day for most of the day. They do get some time off but not much. They finish one meal and then start working on getting the place ready for the next one. Not an easy job. Then if they re-up (sign a new contract) they are flown back to their home country for a two month vacation and then back to the ship for their next tour of duty. The two month vacation is not paid but they rely on the tips given them at the end of each cruise for their service. They do a great job and you don't mind helping them out.