It’s the battle of the butlers with Royal Caribbean, one of the world’s largest cruise brands, and Dream Cruises, Asia’s first luxury cruise line both offering its top guests, European-style service.
Both cruise lines offer butler services to its VIP passengers – guests who book accommodation in the Royal Suite Class, which is available on Ovation of the Seas, will be given a ‘Royal Genie’ while those who book in the Genting Dream’s Dream Mansion get a ‘Dream Butler’.
But how do they stack up against one another?
Passenger in the top suites on Ovation, which will be arriving in Australia in December, will get access to the Genie service. There is roughly one Genie for every three suites who will work alongside with two full-time concierges.
Before booking your cruise, your travel agent will be given a questionnaire about six weeks before your cruise so your Genie can fulfil your wishes. Even the pre-cruise letter you’ll receive reads, “I promise to be ‘in my lamp’ and at your service every afternoon.”
The questionnaire will ask guests questions like “What would constitute a perfect day for you?” “What are the three things that you and your travel companions have in common?” “Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you like to have dinner with?”
Claudia King McWilliams, who is Royal Caribbean’s director of guest services and housekeeping told Travel Weekly some of the wishes the Genie’s have fulfilled.
One guest who loved the famous rocker Freddie Mercury, the Genie found a DVD of “Queen: Live at Wembley ‘86” as well as a bottle of Moet champagne which happens to be Freddie’s favourite drink. For another guest who was a fan of Winston Churchill, the Genie found books about the former British Prime Minister and had them ready in their suite.
The Genie’s will also help you with making restaurant and show reservations, shine your shoes, in-room dining requests and more.
While the Genting Dream is yet to set sail, Cruise & Travel Asia had first had experience meeting the ‘Dream Butlers’. Schooled by the same company as Dream’s five-star sister brand, Crystal Cruises, the butlers are immaculate in their presentation.
While RCL’s Genie’s are dressed in casual slacks and blazers, the ‘Dream Butlers’ are fitted out in the tradition Morning Suit. They are sharp and extremely attentive – even as far as opening your water bottle for you.
The ‘Dream Butlers’ will be designated to passengers in the Dream Mansion and will have food and beverage expertise as well as an understanding of your cruise itinerary and destination. They will even give you personalised information about the ports you are visiting.
The Butlers will be assigned services like packing and unpacking your luggage, arranging priority spa, dining and excursion reservations as well as afternoon tea, dinner or cocktails will be arranged. So if you fancy a cheeseburger in your suite at 4am, your Butler will be at your beck and call. The ‘Dream Butlers’ will be made up of Europeans as well as Mandarin-speakers.