While overall customer satisfaction with cruise lines is high, nearly one in five customers experience a problem while on their cruise, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Cruise Line Satisfaction Report.
- Disney Cruise Line (871) ranks highest in overall satisfaction among cruise line brands, followed by Royal Caribbean (838).
- Price (53%) and past experience with brand (39%) are the two primary reasons for selecting a cruise line.
- The average price paid for one person is $1,628 and $2,330 for a group of two to four.
The inaugural report measures cruise line customer satisfaction based on seven key factors (in order of importance): service; stateroom; food; embark/debark; entertainment; cost; and excursions.
Disney Cruise Line ranks highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 871 (on a 1,000-point scale), significantly higher than the report average of 824, and performs particularly well in the entertainment and food factors. Royal Caribbean International ranks second with a score of 838, and performs particularly well in service. Holland America Line ranks third at 835, also performing particularly well in service.
While customer service, stateroom and food comprise more than 50 percent of the contribution to overall satisfaction, the number of problems passengers experience during their cruise also has a significant impact on loyalty and advocacy. Overall, 18 percent of passengers across all cruise lines indicate they experienced at least one problem on their cruise. On average, cruise line passengers experience 1.8 problems.
"Many cruise lines in the report have very high levels of passenger satisfaction, well above the report average; however, for more than a year, the overall industry has been dealing with a lot of negative news affecting customer perceptions, expectations and trust," said Ramez Faza, senior account manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power. "To raise the bar, the industry must focus on meeting the needs of the nearly 20 percent of passengers who experience a problem with their cruise line experience. Cruise lines need to understand the causes of customer dissatisfaction and determine what will motivate them to come back."