4:07 am — 4 Comments

I’m disappointed by my butler’s name: Greg.

I knew he wouldn’t ever live up to my fantasy of a butler called Jeeves. But really, Greg? That’s the best you can do? His six-foot height, handsome face and tuxedo help, but not enough. I want a top hat and tails if you’re going to have the same name as a Brady.

Minutes later I have to hide my glee when Greg explains that he is not my butler; that my real butler is on his lunch break, and his name is Viktor. With a K. Now we’re talking.


I’m staying in a Penthouse on Crystal Symphony. Not a Penthouse Suite, which has a large living area and a corner of the balcony enclosed to create a fancy dining area. But our standard penthouse is very nice too. Jacuzzi, walk-in wardrobe (could’ve fit an extra person in there) and a complimentary minibar.

It’s Viktor who makes it special. He brings afternoon canapés, makes our restaurant reservations, restocks the fridge and delivers room-service on a silver tray. As soon as we have unpacked, he asks us which bottle of spirits we’d like, and which brand. That’s also free of charge. Great perk for our cheeky sunset gin & tonics on the verandah every day before dinner. Room service breakfast is also a treat. I do not take chaos with my coffee, so I’ll do anything to avoid the buffet in the morning.


But I don’t know what else to do with Viktor. How does one get used to having a butler? It seems a little absurd to me. I can’t think of any other missions for him. Would it be offensive if I asked him to polish my shoes or fetch my room key when it stops working? (That always happens to me on cruises and in hotels – wtf! Someone invent a new system, please!) Is that a bit slave-like? Where do you draw the line between pampering butler and degraded slave?

And then I never know what to tip. And if gratuities are included the fare, does that really mean I don’t have to give any extra? It’s all becoming a bit stressful. I can’t handle it. I’m going to avoid Viktor for the rest of the cruise and just get my own sh*t.

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Crystal Symphony’s Penthouse (PH category)
Crystal Symphony Penthouse Bedroom Window

Louise Goldsbury

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In 2013 I was named Best Travel Writer at the National Travel Industry Awards. And until someone corrects me, I'm claiming to be the youngest cruise editor in the Southern Hemisphere. Editor of Cruise Weekly since 2009, I also contribute to Sydney's Sun Herald newspaper and various travel magazines and websites.

4 responses to I GOT THE BUTLER BLUES…

  1. Im honored! By the way, when you start posting your “hot bouys” I expect to be your first “bouy” in your “mature bouys” area! :-):-)

  2. I would be happy to go with you on your next Crystal Cruise and help you with your butler management skills!

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