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Cruise Critic Members Shout Out a Few of Their Favorite Crew

Dori Saltzman

Apr 21, 2020

Read time
7 min read

Most cruisers have at least one favorite crew member, even if they don't want to admit to it, with some enduring friendships that extend off the ship onto Facebook, email and even visits in person.

Cruise Critic reached out to its community members to find out who a few of their favorite crew members are. The response was overwhelming; more than 100 people called out their favorite bartenders, stateroom attendants, cruise directors, waiters and others.

Happy, Happy

"There are so many favorites of mine, but I'll mention the Colombian man who has been on more than a few cruises we were on. He serves coffee and pastries in the morning in the buffet. He is so funny as he circulates among the tables calling out, 'Happy, happy morning. Happy, happy coffee!' He gets to know the regular folks and remembers their preferences. He is always funny and pleasant. My sister and I would be there together and he always called us 'sisters'. We are very pleased when we are on a Celebrity ship and hear him calling out in the morning, 'Happy, happy coffee!'" -- Silvery Seas Cruiser

It's all Hunky Dory

"Hunky Dory now known as Imam [is a favorite crew member]. He was our Lido tray manager on our very first cruise [in] May 2008 on [Holland America's] Oosterdam. Once he knew your name, he remembered you forever. Last time we cruised with him was aboard Zuiderdam [in] September 2011 where he was making his way [up] the HAL ladder as a 3rd MDR manager." -- IRL_Joanie

Twin Favorites

"We had a lovely waitress called Magdalena in the Lido in June on [Holland America's] Rotterdam. We would deliberately sit in her section every morning. She was so bubbly and full of energy and very kind to those in our party who needed extra help... On our Koningsdam cruise a few weeks back, my husband and I were sitting at breakfast talking about her. I walked up to get a bagel and guess who I found? Magdalena! We were really thrilled to find her again... In the evenings, she worked in Canaletto. Seeing this, we popped our heads in to say hello, except that there were two Magdalenas!!! Well OK, not two Magdalenas but Magdalena and her twin, Herlina. It was their first time working on a ship together and they were thrilled... Magdalena and Herlina would always make a point of greeting us warmly whenever they saw us. Herlina convinced us to book a meal at Canaletto, where we were treated like royalty! Two delightful young women who are a tribute to the company. I would gladly sail on any ship they are on!" -- Belgian fry

Remembering Each Other

"We were on the first 2 sailings [of] [Norwegian] Bliss and the level of service in the Haven bar & restaurant was AMAZING… We went back in September and most Haven staff remembered our name… What amazed me was in March 2019, I sailed with a friend (non-Haven) and Chiang from Cagney's, Lilibeth from Ocean Blue & Kiren (Assistant F&B manager) all asked where [my] hubby was (by name)… As much as corporate shenanigans irritate me, the ship crew have always made the sailing fun, enjoyable and memorable." -- YVRBassElectric

Top CD

"Can't forget Matt Mitcham as the CD [on Carnival Cruise Line]. We've sailed with him seven times."  -- outdoors27

A Special Message for Cruise Critic Members from Matt Mitcham

Even CC Hosts Have Favorites

"Jovie Bueno is literally one of my favorite people in the world.  I've had the pleasure of her being a member of the crew on quite a few cruises over the years -- and talk about making someone feel like they've come home; that's how she makes me feel every time I see her.  From her waving to me from across the atrium on the Regal [Princess] in January 2019 and coming from behind the bar for a big hug, to seeing her again on the Sky [Princess] in December 2019 and her running out to hug me again.  It is truly heartwarming and sets the tone for all of my cruises!"  -- Host CJSKIDS

Who's On First?

"[Royal Caribbean's] Allure of the Seas transatlantic 5 years ago:  His name was Hu. He said, 'Just call me who, like who's on first'. We walked into a fully packed Diamond lounge on our first night and turned to walk out. Server came up to us and said, follow me upstairs and he had a table along the railing for us. Most attentive server we had ever encountered.  Saw him several times a day for 12 days. Always stopped to talk for a few minutes whether out by the pool, in the Windjammer or every night in the [Diamond Lounge]. [We] always keep an eye out for him on every cruise but have never seen him again.  I am sure he still goes by Who's on First." -- taglovestocruise

Still Friends

"Even though I don't want to pick a favorite, I will mention the one we have known the longest and still keep in touch with -- his name is Fazli and he is a maitre d' on [Celebrity] Equinox.  He was our waiter many, many years ago on the Century. He was such a good waiter that we never forgot him. Back then, he had always talked about his ambition, which was to become a maitre d'.  So happy to see that he was able to make this career aspiration come true -- and so well deserved!"  -- phoenix_dream

Like a Son

"Noel -- bar server. Adopted him as my son on a 28-day cruise. Got some looks when my wife walked into Club Fusion and he loudly greeted her as 'MOM!' with a hug. I just told people that he's fully cooked and I'm only half-baked." -- Thrak

It's a Small World

"This favorite of ours is also an example of 'It's a Small World'.  A favorite server in Coastal Kitchen on [Royal Caribbean's] Anthem [of the Seas] for years was a man from India named Princely.  In September, we were on the Voyager [of the Seas] for a Hong Kong/Vietnam/Singapore cruise.  Our server in the dining room was a man with the name Princely on his name tag. I mentioned to this Princely that our favorite Anthem CK server was also a man from India and his name [is] also Princely.  He asked us a few questions about the Anthem, the itineraries and he asked for a description of Princely. He said he has a cousin that also has the same name and works for Royal. No!  It couldn’t be. It was the same Princely! The next night he brought his phone and showed us pics of he and his cousin Princely with their arms around each other at a family gathering. We laughed; he took our pictures to send to his cousin. -- CruiseKeeper

Too Many to Name

"It would take more than a page to simply just list the crew that we consider members of our family. They range from captains to restroom cleaners… We love the crew!" -- Orator

Wishing Them Nothing but the Best

"There have been some from every cruise, but on our February trip on [Holland America's] Oosterdam, we ate most meals at the Lido and got to know a few of the young ladies who worked so hard for our enjoyment. Noelle at the pasta station, Suzette who always served desserts with a pleasant greeting, and Miss Rita, who took care of us in her section and who never seemed to work the smile off of her face. And our stewards, Ronald, whom we've emailed a couple of times in the last month and who says they are safe, healthy and still adjusting to the quiet on board; and Idi who was looking forward to going home and meeting his first son who was born after he left to begin his contract. We remember them fondly and wish the best for them all." -- VintageGe

Updated April 21, 2020
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