An Approach That May Bring More To Onboard Customer Service....

So, I was just sitting here wondering, all forms of business nowadays seem to have some sort of "Live Chat" or email feature to contact them. I wondered, what if cruise ships, not the lines corporate headquarters, had someone onboard an actual vessel that would answer questions regarding the ship you may be planning on sailing? In my mind, they could have customer service reps rotate answering questions posed by prospective customers that were emailed directly to the ship. This would interest me. You could query them as to questions you may have regarding a possible review that you had read that caused you concern. Or, to even ask questions such as the best way to book a specialty restaurant, onboard or online prior to the cruise. To know you are actually speaking to someone familiar to the ship as opposed to someone sitting at a desk at their headquarters replying with a form type email entices me. So what do you think? Do you feel this type of direct contact would encourage you to cruise more on a specific ship?

5 Answers

Well, this works so well on so many levels, I like the idea. I have chatted and reached out to many different businesses over the years and the ones who answer me back usually get the business. The only drawback to this scenario would be if the cruise ships themselves did not staff the position properly. Corporations need reasons to spend the money and I don't know if the ROI would be adequate.

My TA at NCL has been on quite a few of the ships and is quite wise in the ways of cruising.

Let's see what the reaction will be.

Agree with you on the ROI angle. It seems that the service agents onboard already seemed taxed at stretches. Having worked the service end of the manufacturing industry for twenty plus years, I know that these professionals are usually expected to do more with fewer bodies...especially in the current economy.

Personally, I can see the benefit to the prospective traveler. I would certainly take advantage of it if the lines could make it work.

It is a great idea, but think of the logistics of it (Carnival and RCI have 25 ships each. that is a lot extra crew) This could be hundreds of E-mails a day per ship. Cruise lines seam to be cutting as much staff as possible. A good TA that specializes in cruising should be able to answer most questions. I know for Carnival I can always ask John Held on his blog or face book. On celebrity and Carnival I have a specialist to contact if I have any questions.

I like this idea with the caveat that it is a position filled with the right person. Someone with excellent knowledge of the specific ship, a solid command of written English, excellent writing skills, and thick skin so as not to react to the inevitable ranting message from an angry or drunk passenger. For non-English speaking passengers, this would require translation software or else they could be assigned a specific guest relations contact in case something came up.

Although the idea is intriguing I don't know how objective an employee of the cruise line could be in addressing any issue that may be negative. As to the idea of showing how to get from one place to another, a little time and initiative can make you familiar with your ship long before you go. Every time we plan a trip on a ship different from previous cruises we go online to visit the ship from deck to deck starting from our cabin's location. That way, when we get the ship's map that comes with the Access Cards, it serves to refresh our memory.


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