UK-based consumer group, Which?, has published its annual cruise line report.
The report, which is based on cruise passengers’ experiences on board, assessed 13 different cruise companies and rated them out of five stars across eight different categories. These included customer service, cabin space, on-board facilities, entertainment and value for money. Oceania achieved five stars in several categories and came out as the overall leader in customer satisfaction with a score of 89 percent. At the other end of the scale, Norwegian came bottom with an overall satisfaction score of 60 percent.
The figures revealed a trend towards customers favouring smaller ships with fewer passengers. Cabin space also proved a major issue with consumers and Oceania scored well in both of these categories, including five out of five stars for passenger to space ratio. Although the company’s food quality and on-board facilities also scored highly, it only managed three stars for its entertainment.
Saga, a cruise line exclusively for the over 50’s, came second on the list. 85 percent of its passengers were Very Satisfied with their cruise experience. P&O was named best of the large cruise line companies. It scored well for on-board facilities, cabin quality and passenger to space ratio, and at an average per night cost of £152, it figured well against Saga’s £252 per night and Oceania’s £294 per night. Its main complaint was the hard sell of add-ons and excursions.
Norwegian’s less impressive rating came despite a competitive £175 average cost per night. Not surprisingly for a company that has three ships that are capable of accommodating 4,000 passengers, it fared badly on the passenger to space ratio, with frequent queues for restaurants, bars and entertainment. However, Which? stated that Norwegian’s overall 60 percent score was by no means a disaster.