Does Attitude Make or Break Your Cruise? And Does It Influence Your Post Cruise Feedback?
Written by: Kuki
“ A cruise is what you make it” . I’ve often seen that phrase used on the message boards, particularly when someone has posted a less than glowing report about their cruise experience. The implication, of course, is that the people posting their concerns or complaints are responsible for their own enjoyment, or lack of enjoyment of their cruise.
I have little doubt that our attitude about everything in our lives has some affect on everything that happens in our lives. There’s an entire science, Sociology, dedicated to the study of human behaviour; social relations, social interaction, culture and deviance.
I’m not a sociologist, but having spent more than 30 years in the bar and restaurant business I’ve certainly witnessed enough variant human behaviour to help me form opinions on human interaction, and its effect on the surrounding environment.
Certainly most would agree a self confident gregarious individual will attract more people, and more social interaction than people who are quieter and more withdrawn. And therefore, carrying that across the gangway, the same rules would apply on cruise ship. The additional social interaction is likely to make the cruise more enjoyable for those people who do display a “good attitude”.
However, I don’t believe that attitude alone can define the outcome of your cruise. It’s naïve to think that a “take it as comes”, “don’t sweat the small stuff” attitude can overcome any and all real issues when they occur.
Generally I like to think I have a great attitude, but when going on a cruise vacation I expect the cruise line to deliver their product in a manner that allows me to keep that great attitude, and enjoy my vacation.
But there are instances when the cruise lines fail at delivering what they are expected to, or have convinced you to believe they will. When you raise an issue with the Guest Relations desk and are met with indifference, or are placated when you’re told the information will be passed on and you’ll be contacted to try and remedy the problem, but that call doesn’t come, it can bring a “great attitude” to its knees fairly quickly.
Over the years I wrote numerous articles advising people to deal with issues when they occur, taking their problems to the right people onboard to rectify. And normally that advice works. But there are situations where for one reason or another, even doing that does not find resolution for the problem. When that’s the case I think it’s unfair to tell those people “a cruise is what you make it”.
A passengers attitude is a part of the puzzle, that when put together properly, in partnership with the cruise line and fellow passengers most often leads to wonderful vacations.
However, when the pieces don’t fall into place as they should, and people report back on their less than fulfilling experience I get perturbed when they are scolded for not having a better attitude, or for not having read the fine print to establish their rights or lack thereof, or for having exaggerated expectations.
When people voicing their complaints or concerns with a cruise experience on the message boards, one of the least helpful reactions from the Internet community is “swarming” them to attempt to drown them out, or chase them away. Rather than generating a discussion that could supply useful information about dealing with situations, “swarming” is intended to drive the poster away, and make them uncomfortable about discussing their issues further. Sadly this strategy by the “swarmers” or “internet bullies” works all too well.
There’s no question there are instances of people posting complaints which are exaggerated, or related to not having researched their vacation well enough in advance to understand some of the “rules of the road” in regard to cruising. And those who’ll post supplying little detail. But, much too often these people are attacked by cheerleaders for the cruise line, and bullied into submission (to never be heard from again), instead of discussing how the problems could have best been rectified; when in fact a discussion of the issues raised could serve everyone’s interests much better, and educate others to avoid the problems raised. And when “the plan” works, and they don’t return, “the swarmers” delightfully (though insincerly) post tagging them “one hit wonders”.
While a good attitude, and the ability to “not sweat the small stuff” does impact your cruise experience, I think it’s important to carry that same good attitude to conversations on the message boards. Forget about defending your favorite cruise lines and use that “good attitude” to generate discussions, and let everyone following along learn something from them, and see more clearly how friendly and helpful cruise enthusiasts really are.
Most will probably agree that cruisers by nature are fun, friendly and enthusiastic, do you think some lose that enthusiasm when responding on the message boards? Do you really need to verify your choice of cruise line by attempting to drown out anyon’s elses issues with it? Or does our patience simply wane because we’re not on a cruise? Should CruiseMates and other cruise related web sites be more proactive in blocking the actions of the “swarmers”?
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Posted: March 17th, 2009 under Kuki.