Many years ago, with a local manufacturer of baby products, I got the womens group I belonged to into a focus group for new products. They wanted our viewpoints as Mothers, on safety, colors, new designs etc..It was very interesting.
Wouldn't it be great if the cruise lines decided to do the same thing. I bet we could give some intelligent view points on existing situations and suggest many good ideas, we have heard over the years. New ideas, that would make us all happier cruisers. Ideas on menus, excursions etc, or whatever we have deemed changeable, over our years of cruising. They may even have this type of focus group already.
I do have to say, if I was lucky enough to participate, I would ask why, why, do the lines duplicate ship names. How many Freedoms, Jewels, &
Legends does one industry need.....Just my P.O.V..but that would be a good start........What question or change, would you like to see implemented?
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I'd like to tell Celebrity to stop bumping up the price of their drinks every year. For pete sake's, April 2005 a beer was $3.50 plus tip and April 2006 in was $4.50 plus tip. Ridiculous! This is more than nickel and diming people! Same thing with the price of a Latte at Cova Cafe.
I'll be on the Century for New Year's and the 2 day BTB ... and that may be it for future cruises with them.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
All good suggestions, but I think my top would be:
1. Enforcing the dress codes;
2. Better security all around
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I so agree with you, Trip, about ship names and the sameness of all the lines. Guess not much time was spent in the executive board room regarding naming ships. On Crown Princess they have a special security force for young people. They wear yellow shirts and are early to mid twenties, very effective. Let's have the executives (Princess) sleep on the beds before the passengers (beds weren't firm, they were downright hard).
They had the same thing on my last Princess cruise----teen security -- the ship was small -- the Regal Princess but there wasnt any problems with anyone---- cant same the same for my RCCL cruise where kids rang our door bell late a night----- I was stopping by the cabin and saw security in the hall way---at least they responded pretty fast to all the calls that they were getting----
I agree with you Jane -- raise the price and I drink less------ make them more affordable / reasonable and I'd buy more----- I do alot of comparison shopping----- lol----
How about same service-----or at least a higher standard---for all
From time to time I've been involved in commissioning focus groups, and have spent many hours on the other side of the two-way mirror watching and listening to what people had to say.
I think you can take it to the bank that the cruise lines DO commission focus groups as part of their marketing efforts. I think it's also very unlikely that people who post on these boards would ever be selected to participate. There are two reasons: first, the mathematical odds of any individual being asked are very long. Second, it's likely that in the prescreening process, most people here would be eliminated as "caring way too much." In other words, they're not much interested in hearing from those who are self-described "obsessive" cruisers, and they have ways of weeding most such people out in the prescreening. People with "insider" perspectives aren't considered representative. This applies not just to cruising, but to any subject of a focus group. It's standard practice. Another reason they don't like people with "insider" perspectives is that their breadth of knowledge about the subject leads them to dominate the discussion and screw up the group dynamic. When people like this do wind up in a focus group you can spot them in an instant.
Here's one example of why they try to hold down the "insiders": on this chit-chat board over the last days we've had a thread about "Why is it that so many people don't even know the name of the ship they were just on?" This question acknowledges that an awful lot of cruisers aren't paying overwhelming attention to the ship's name.
And now we have this thread about a hypothetical focus group in which CM posters would strongly suggest that the cruise lines pay far more attention to ship names, and to rotating ships on various itineraries so that people who sail to the same places all the time could get on different ships.
I'm not saying these issues aren't valid for the people who express them, i.e., self-described obsessive cruisers, but that such a sample would be fatally skewed and invalid--in this case because there seems to be some evidence that a significant proportion of cruisers (and probably the majority) don't give a rat's petoot about the name of the ship they're on or whether they've been on the same one before.
That said, you can be sure that the lines do pay a great deal of attention to things like the names of new ships, and they do what they do for very good reasons--to them, at least. One of those reasons may be to intentionally create confusion among consumers by giving a ship the same name as the competition. Whatever the reason, you can bet that it isn't accidental when it happens.
AR, Thanks for your input. I have never been involved in any sort of Focus Group, but I find it interesting that Focus Groups (in general) would not want someone with an inside perspective. Very interesting. And I agree, decisions are not made accidentally, but with definite agenda in mind!
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