A question in general to anyone who knows: Do cruise line companies read these cruise talk sites??
MB in a previous thread about the Dawn Princess stimulated a large response from readers. Many expressed concerns about Carnival's ownership of Princess and the possible change in Princess philosophy, others disputing that possibility. Many good points were brought up. Does anyone in a 'postition to know' have knowledge on whether these threads are read by cruise lines?? And if so, do they consider what is being said?
If MB is reading this, you say you are or were and executive in the cruise industry; then, if so, your comments would be of interest.
From what I have heard, yes they do read these boards, and hopefully consider what is being said...Its also a good idea to fill out those comment cards you get at the end of each cruise, we always do, both good and not so good points.
Well I hope they read them, I mean, sure there are bound to be isolated comments and incidents not worth their note, but , often there are very valid suggestions and complaints that many posters put forward and they should pay attention to repeated comments on any particular issue. That , is good business!
Lancet.... As per above comments and responses, I certainly believe and expect cruise line officials to read over these web sites, and comment cards on ships, these are the only ways they know from the general public how they are faring. But u have to understand one thing, the cruise lines like every other business, have to balance the bottom line with providing a quality product that is generally well received by the public . When the two clash, its up to the indiviual cruise line company to have to weigh what steps need to be taken or retaken to try to satisfy both objectives.
Thank you everyone for your responses. What I was hoping for was a response from someone involved with a cruise line; saying that ' yes indeed we read these threads and listen to the comments'. Like all those that respond, I feel they do or should read the comments, but I was looking for definitive verification. Having also been on many many cruises, I have filled out the comment forms; and was advised that they all were read.
I am also a "rail fan" and partake in the Amtrak Rail Discussiion forum. I know that Amtrak monitors those sites and occassionally will respond. Which is why I posted this topic.
MB, I understand the bottom dollar concern with cruise lines vs public being content and happy. It is interesting that Celebrity is able to provide great ships and food and staff, and still be in the general same cost bracket. I sailed on the Princess Sapphire for 30 days, as I had said in another thread, and was very happy with the ship and service. Other sailings with Princess have also been enjoyable.
Thanks again all for your comments. Anyone who works in the head office of a cruise line, I think we would all like to hear a comment.
>Frankly, they do pay MUCH MORE attention to the comment cards onboard because it gives them a look at overall guest satisfaction and comments on every sailing.<
I find those comment cards to be worthless. They don't allow one, except for very little space at the end, to really be specific. And then they try to coax yout to not mark down from an excellent just because one or two things were not perfect.
Those cards are made to generate a computer developed rating. They claim they also read the writtine comments but those are scanned and it is doubtful they can make head or tail from what the scan picks up.
For example, they ask about the on board entertainment. Well some shows are great and others duds. So, unless they ask about each specific act, that part is meaningless. The only part that probably means something is the rating of the wait staff and room steward.
I usually end up writing a detailed letter to the cruise line at the end of a voyage so I can provide more specifics. I often receive phone calls and letters of response but being a skeptic, I doubt they are for any other reason than to give one a false hope that they really care and plan to fix the problem areas.
Frank.. If I find I have alot to say, I find some paper, and attach it to the comment sheets. I certainly understand that it's easy to be skeptical... but if they didn't mean anything, there would be no need for the staff to occassionally beg for good ratings.
All the hotel managers I've spoken with on various ships have told me they take the comment cards VERY seriously.
It's their way of measuring their guests reactions on specific sailings. If the same comments keep coming up over and over it draws attention to it.
On the other hand, I think writing a letter to the cruise lines post cruise is a great idea... both positive or negative.
Lancet.. honestly, if a cruise line rep or executive were to make themselves know here by posting...just how much e-mail do you think they would generate for themselves??!
If you go to the Cunard message board, when the ship first came out, the Captain of the ship was posting quite a bit... and reading to see reactions to the ship.
I bet he got a deluge of mail asking for upgrades and dinner invitations <G>
>All the hotel managers I've spoken with on various ships have told me they take the comment cards VERY seriously.
It's their way of measuring their guests reactions on specific sailings. If the same comments keep coming up over and over it draws attention to it.<
The reason they pay attention to this and want the excellent ratings is that their pay or time off depends on it. The hotel managers are rated by this computer sheet and the wait staff and room stewards time off in ports depend on getting an excellent rating. That may be motivaltion but you'll notice how everyone tries to position people to rate them "excellent". The sheets are not designed to improve anything.
It is virtually iimpossible to read every hand written note from 2,000 passengers each sailing. Putting some information on the small space provided or even attaching more sheets only makes the writer feel good. I've never been personally contacted concerning anything I've put on the comment sheet but I have from letters written post cruise. JMNSHO.