Travel

Customer Service in Playa Del Carmen

We are on day five of our vacation, it is beautiful and relaxing. The day we arrived, we checked in and met our Guest Services Coordinator. She, Nelly, helped us arrange tours and a vacation membership preview tour (more about that in another post).

There are numerous people needed to make a resort like the Playacar Palace successful. Some mornings we would get up early enough to see a bus come to the hotel loaded with the hotel workers. These people include:

  • Check-in staff
  • Baggage handlers
  • Maids
  • Restaurant check-in
  • Cooks
  • Wait staff
  • Bar tenders
  • Pool staff
  • Maintenance
  • And many more…

All of the workers have customer service at the top of their mind, always have smile on their face and genuine interest in you. It is like they went to “Palace Resorts University,” they all are like this. Some asked “where are you from,” “how did you like…” and “how can we help you?”

There is a real difference between real customer service and “faking it.” Go to your local fast food restaurant employing a minimum wage employee, he/she just cares about doing the minimum to get a paycheck. There is a real difference between the Palace experience and minimum wage experience.

The other part is consistency. We have gone to four of the local Palace resorts and they are all the same high quality. Consistency is very important.

The two main lessons here are:

  1. Genuine interest
  2. Consistency

Above is just a shadow of the Great Customer Service provided by Palace employees.

Genuine Interest and Consistency,
Sam Carrara

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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 Travel 1 Comment

Anniversary Vacation in Playa Del Carmen

A few months ago I booked a 10th Anniversary trip for my wife and I to Playacar Palace in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We arrived yesterday and have enjoyed the experience thus far. This trip is a time to relax, recharge and reconnect. To see more about the Playacar Palace, visit the website:
http://www.palaceresorts.com/Resorts/PlayacarPalace/Index.asp

Over the next few days I’ll give a few highlights of the trip and maybe a few pictures, BUT this will be a relaxing trip. This area is known as the Mexican Riviera. Some of the topics I hope to cover about the trip are:

  • Customer Service
  • Sales
  • Exclusivity
  • Recharge

Mexican Vacation,
Sam Carrara

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Sunday, July 20th, 2008 Travel 1 Comment

Brazil- Home in USA

We arrived home on Saturday safely. I didn’t realize we would be out so late each night, so I have delayed writing about the rest of the trip. I will be posting pictures and continue to detail what we did in São Paulo. I’m well rested now.

Look for it Soon,
Sam Carrara

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Monday, May 5th, 2008 Travel No Comments

Brazil- Day Two Part 2

In the afternoon of Day Two (Sunday) we went out to a beautiful camp that Nathan Fray has purchased to use for summer camps. It is 12 acres with five houses, a pool and 1100 feet of lake frontage.

Surprisingly this location is considered part of the City, but is far removed from the noise and number of people. One great thing for the camp is that it is accessible by city bus ($1.50 fare) and the final two kilometers the campers can walk in or be shuttled in cars or a bus.

On one side the land is owned by the government and across the lake is owned by the utility. Both sections of land will probably never be developed. Future plans are to add a dock for water sports, a soccer field, a volleyball field, a sandy beach and a lot more. This property is beautiful.

Instead of working at the church at Morales Prado, I and three other men will be working to fix up the camp. After viewing the camp we went to the second church they built called Jardim Mirna. These services were also very enjoyable.

Wonderful Camp,
Sam Carrara

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Monday, April 28th, 2008 Travel 1 Comment

Brazil- Day One and Two

Why am I in Brazil? Why do you work hard and then invest time in others? Because we are called to be Servants to one another. It really isn’t all about us!

Day One
On Saturday morning we landed in São Paulo. We were met by David Huffman, one of the missionaries we support, and took a bus to the houses we were to stay at for the week. We changed into work clothes and went right to the church. This church is called Morales Prado and is the third church that David and co-missionary David Fray (and families) have built in the Southern part of São Paulo.

After eating lunch there we started work. I helped with door framing, while others starting laying out floor tile, varnishing wood tables and cabinets, put in electrical wires, and cleaned the outside of the church walls. For many of the men on this trip this was their fourth time in Brazil and 18th or 19th time on a mission trip. There were a few men that this was their first time. It was my first time to Brazil, but 2nd mission trip, my last one was to Peru.

After about five hours we stopped for dinner. After the first two meals I knew we were going to eat well the whole time. The food was delicious. After dinner we headed back to the houses to get some showers and some much needed sleep. I believe I only slept about three hours on the plane, so I was tired.

Day Two
On Sunday morning we had pineapple, apples, bananas and bread with jelly for breakfast. Then we headed off to Morales Prado for morning Sunday School and then Church Service. I enjoyed meeting new people and the services. We sang songs like Santo! Santo! Santo! (Holy! Holy! Holy!) and Estou Seguindo a Jesus Cristo (I Have Decided to Follow Jesus).

All day I have been writing notes down on a sheet of paper and other people ask why? I like languages and have started learning a little Portuguese. In Spanish to say “Hello” you would say “Hola” in Portuguese it is “Hoy.” There are many similarities between the two languages, but some differences. Some words I wrote translating from English to Portuguese include: (may not be spelled correctly, but they tell me how to pronounce them)
Obrigado = Thank you
Deus = God
Bon jer = Good morning
Lucas = Luke
Felice = Happy
Perdone = Forgiveness

After services we went to a local family’s house (Andreia and kids), ate lunch and talked. It is so easy to see how richly blessed (and spoiled) we are after seeing what they have. We have more “junk” in our garages than they have possessions in their whole house (three small rooms). For lunch we ate fried chicken (no breading and marinated in garlic), beans and white rice, sheppard’s pie type dish, and noodles with tomato sauce. Family members who lived nearby helped prepare the meal for us. I felt a little guilty going for seconds. It was so good and they wanted us to feel welcome. I must have folded 10 paper airplanes for the kids, they loved them.

For dessert we had passion fruit pudding, the whole meal was delicious. At all meals we drank Coca-Cola, Fanta Uva (Grape) and other local sodas. You had to becafeful not to drink the local water and get sick. And there was a lot more we did on day two, I’ll save that for my next post.

Time To Give Back,
Sam Carrara

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Monday, April 28th, 2008 Travel 2 Comments