The J.D. Power 2013 Cruise Line Satisfaction Report ranked 2013’s top cruise lines by 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.
Cruise lines ranked by satisfaction:
1. Disney Cruise Line, 871
2. Royal Caribbean International, 838
3. Holland America Line, 835
4. Celebrity Cruises, 828
5. Princess Cruises, 826
6. Norwegian Cruise Line, 818
7. Carnival Cruise Line, 810
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.
Passengers experiencing zero or one problem (61% and 55%, respectively) say they "definitely will" take another cruise with the cruise line they most recently used. When two to three problems are experienced, the likelihood of customers taking another cruise with the same cruise line drops dramatically (33% and 28%, respectively). Among the brands above the industry average, 68 percent of passengers indicate they "definitely will" recommend their cruise line to others, surpassing the report average of 61 percent. A high level of satisfaction translates into customer loyalty and advocacy.
The primary reason for choosing a particular cruise line is price (53%). However, among customers who say they "definitely will not" or "probably will not" return for another cruise, cost is the driving factor, with their overall satisfaction score at 614 points. The average price paid for one person is $1,628. When the number of people in the traveling party increases to two or four, prices average $2,330 for the group. Among customers who say they "definitely will" return, service is the key reason for their decision.
Most consumers become aware of their cruise line brand through one of several means: the cruise line's website (28%); they are loyal customers who have traveled with the cruise line previously (24%); or they discover the brand from friends and family (17%). Additionally, television plays a role in creating awareness about cruise lines, with 2.8 percent of customers saying that TV ads were the reason they selected a cruise line brand.