Establishing the need for a standardised rating system for cruise ships

  • Janette McCutcheon


This research analyses why a standardised rating system is important for cruise ships and its importance to stakeholders including consumers, cruise lines and cruise industry professionals such as travel agents, travel media and trade organisations. The aim of the research is to examine whether consumers consider these guides useful in choosing their cruise and ship. The key objective is to examine the usefulness of these guides from a consumer and cruise operator viewpoint and whether the guides inform customers and influence their purchase patterns. The second objective is to identify the components and facilities that form the basis of the cruise experience. A list of preferred passenger facilities and amenities will be drawn up and a basic standard framework will be produced. The methodology will initially be based on existing literature, examining the current issues and trends within the cruise industry at the moment. Additionally, a facilities survey of cruise ships from brochures will provide a basic working knowledge of amenities required. In order to find out consumers preferred facilities when choosing a cruise ship, primary research will be conducted by postal questionnaires. This method will also be employed to establish whether consumers perceive a benefit from an objectively based rating system. An e-mail survey will also be sent to cruise industry professionals, and an additional postal survey will be sent to cruise lines, to gain a cruise industry perspective on rating systems. The conclusion shows that there is a need for an objective cruise ship rating system that measures, rates and more critically classifies cruise ships. This should aid consumer purchase decision-making. This study recommends that further research is done into creating a cruise ship rating system so that consumer compare and identify this system against other systems such as the Quality in Tourism hotel rating system. The cruise ship rating system will be useful to Travel Agents and those promoting the cruise industry such as travel media, in attracting new customers and making existing customers more mobile within the industry.


Rating System Basic Framework Travel Agent Personal Recommendation Cruise Ship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cartwright, R. & Beard, C. (1999), The Development and Growth of the Cruise Industry, Oxford: Butterworth HeinemannGoogle Scholar
  2. Herrmann, N. (1996), The Whole Brain Business Book, New York: McGraw-HillGoogle Scholar
  3. McAuley, R. (1999), The Liners Vols 1 and 2, DVD, 4 digital MediaGoogle Scholar
  4. Mancini, M. (2000), Cruising: A Guide to the Cruise Line Industry, Albany: DelmarGoogle Scholar
  5. Miller, A.R. & Grazer, W.F. (2003), Complaint Behavior as a Factor in Cruise Line Losses: An Analysis of Brand Loyalty, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 15 (1), pp.77-91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Millington, K. (2006), Measuring Cruise Arrivals, The Tourism Society, 127 (1), pp.10-11Google Scholar
  7. Mintel (2005), Cruises UK April 2005, URL:
  8. Morrison, A.; Yang, C.H.; O’Leary, J.T. & Nadkarni, N. (1996); Comparative Profiles of Travellers on Cruises and Land-based Resort Vacations, The Journal of Tourism Studies, 7 (2), pp.15-27Google Scholar
  9. Plog, S.C. (1963), Explanations for a High Return Rate on a Mail Questionnaire, Public Opinion Quarterly, 27 (2), 297–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Plog, S.C. (1991), Leisure Travel, New York: John Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  11. Quality in Tourism: Hotels (2007), London, VisitBritainGoogle Scholar
  12. Saunders, M.; Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (1997), Research Methods for Business Students, London: PitmanGoogle Scholar
  13. Showker, K. & Sehlinger, B. (2007), The Unofficial Guide to Cruises, 10th Ed, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Stern, S. (2002), Stern’s Guide to the Cruise Vacation, Gretna: Pelican Publishing CompanyGoogle Scholar
  15. Teye, V.B. & Leclerc, D. (1998), Product and Service Delivery Satisfaction among North American Cruise Passengers, Tourism Management, 19 (2), pp.153-160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ward, D. (2007), Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2007, London: Berlitz PublishingGoogle Scholar
  17. Weaver, A. (2005), The McDonaldization Thesis and Cruise Tourism, Annals of Tourism Research, 22 (2), pp.346–366Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janette McCutcheon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK

Personalised recommendations