How should cruise lines communicate last-minute itinerary changes?

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Poll: How should cruise lines communicate last-minute itinerary changes?
Poll Results
How should cruise lines communicate last-minute itinerary changes?

Have an automated recording go out to all passengers at home
18
5.26%

Request multiple phone numbers at time of booking, and have real humans call all those numbers
25
7.31%

Send out e-mail notifications
27
7.89%

Post updates on company Web sites
14
4.09%

All of the above!
246
71.93%

Something else (which I'll post)
12
3.51%

Voters: 342.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
582 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
When NCL's Norwegian Sky departed Miami early to avoid a tropical storm, some passengers were stranded at the port. Click here for our coverage: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=2737

Could NCL have done a better job communicating the itinerary changes to its passengers? How should all cruise lines handle last-minute correspondence? We want your opinion, so please weigh in on our poll.
#2
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by Erica@cruisecritic
When NCL's Norwegian Sky departed Miami early to avoid a tropical storm, some passengers were stranded at the port. Click here for our coverage: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=2737

Could NCL have done a better job communicating the itinerary changes to its passengers? How should all cruise lines handle last-minute correspondence? We want your opinion, so please weigh in on our poll.
The only problem with the first one is you don't always get the home phone or the spouse gets the call and says what cruise and with whom?
#3
USA
1,928 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
I voted for All of the above but I would change having a person calling all of those numbers. It would be faster and easier for the cruiseline to have a prerecorded message for the notification calls.

Save the live help for answering incoming phone calls from people who need additional information or help with changes.
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#4
Greenville, SC, USA
51,069 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by Erica@cruisecritic
When NCL's Norwegian Sky departed Miami early to avoid a tropical storm, some passengers were stranded at the port. Click here for our coverage: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=2737

Could NCL have done a better job communicating the itinerary changes to its passengers? How should all cruise lines handle last-minute correspondence? We want your opinion, so please weigh in on our poll.
When did NCL decide to leave early? I suspect it was too late to notify most passengers.
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Paul
#5
10,074 Posts
Joined May 2008
They do all those things anyway. The problem comes when passengers are unavailable or are already in transit.

It is ALWAYS the passengers responsibility to keep track of schedule changes; cruise ships or airlines.

It is not the companies responsibility to KNOW where you are at all times and whether you are available to receive messages.

Pick up the phone and call. It's FREE.
#6
The Big Easy
18,299 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by smeyer418
The only problem with the first one is you don't always get the home phone or the spouse gets the call and says what cruise and with whom?
or..a lot of people don't leave their homes the day of the cruise anymore. Many stay in pre-cruise hotels for one to several days.

In a case like a tropical system, there has to be some common sense on the part of the passenger also.

I voted for all..as long as people register their cell phones, not home phones. Although, the live person idea may not be possible.
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Paul
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#8
CA
2,100 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
What difference does it make if it is a last minute change or even 8 hours before leaving?

What difference will it make to you?

I would rather not know, since maybe it would upset me and there would nothing I could do anyway.
#9
Kansas
1,337 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
How about asking at the time of booking how the passenger wants to be notified? e-mail, phone ect... and also make sure that the passenger knows that the departure time is subject to change without notice. It is probably in the contract, but I was surprised to hear that they left earlier than scheduled departure--I thought maybe they would delay departure and just sit out the storm; never occured to me that they would leave early!
#10
90 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by G'ma
They do all those things anyway. The problem comes when passengers are unavailable or are already in transit.

It is ALWAYS the passengers responsibility to keep track of schedule changes; cruise ships or airlines.

It is not the companies responsibility to KNOW where you are at all times and whether you are available to receive messages.

Pick up the phone and call. It's FREE.
I am going the same time on RCI in a few weeks and you gotta be on top of it with backuip plans. Wonder if RCI Magesty left early too!!!
#11
Orlando, FL
1,200 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
I get same day email notification from my TA.
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#12
Little Rock, Arkansas
37,374 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by cruisecrazytoo
I am going the same time on RCI in a few weeks and you gotta be on top of it with backuip plans. Wonder if RCI Magesty left early too!!!
Neither Carnival nor RCCL left early.
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#13
5,062 Posts
Joined May 2007
I cannot even imagine how much it would add to each cruise fare to hire enough phone reps to call every passenger on every cruise potentially affected by schedule changes (late arrivals by an hour, missed ports due to weather or mechanical problems), etc.

The vast majority of pax on the Sky clearly got the message -- reports are that 12 people missed the ship's early sailing. Whatever the cruise line is doing appears to have been adequate notice in nearly every case -- to have done a "better job" notifying passengers NCL would have had to be perfect in reaching everyone. As others on this thread have said, that's almost impossible. People are in transit, changed cell providers, only gave home numbers when they aren't home, etc..
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#14
Las Vegas Nevada
5,782 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
To Verbally notify people of something is invalid if they 'miss the boat". How many times have you tried to get a customer service rep to keep their word only to find out it doesn't matter if it's not in writing in the contract. These folks have doc's that state their departure time and if the cruise leaves early these folks are due any out of pocket expenses and a full refund because the cruise broke the contract.
#15
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
refund yes(you should read the NCL boards some saying no refund is due)...consequential damages not required but good pr. This time its only 12 people not that many. the consequential damages(getting them home) aren't that much....


I wonder if they have insurance and what it covers.....
#16
Northern Lower Michigan
11,714 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
shame on those 12 for not flying in a day early...part of the booking process should be to leave the name of the hotel that you're staying at pre-cruise. Calling home won't work, the passenger has already left. I don't have a cell phone and how am I supposed to check email when I don't carry a laptop in transit. Best bet is to call the pre-cruise hotel I'm staying at.
#18
Home of the OKC THUNDER
18,621 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I have thought this over for a day.........I'm just not sure there is anything that LOGICALLY can be done to notify (in some cases very soon 5,000 passengers) all the passengers. Some don't have cell phones or leave them at home on vacation, some come in the day before or two days before..........some arrive the day of.........1,000 are scattered over area hotels.........

It is rare that it happens.........I just don't think there really is anything that can be done.

How they react to it, if passengers are left behind........will strengthen or weaken them from a PR standpoint.
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#19
Ocala, FL USA (88 miles north of DisneyWorld!)
2,327 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Isn't this a situation where, if the passengers had purchased insurance - - it would have been taken care of?

I cannot imagine someone cruising during hurricane season without insurance.
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#20
Blue Bell, Pa, USA
6,867 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Get to the ship earlier than 2 hours before scheduled leaving. Why get there so late.

Not me I am there early - they will never ever leave without me.
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