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Holland America definitely reads the surveys

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I received an e-mail today thanking me for filling out the survey. And there were comments on what I said about we were disappointed in the lack of dancing on the Maasdam, so my survey was definitely read.

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I ILIKED the former paper style surveys we completed on board better than the e-mail survey thy now send us.. Anyone agree?

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OP

Glad your survey was read. Not the same in our case a couple of years ago.

 

How do you know your survey was not read? Just because there was no response to it does not mean it was not read.

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Was your survey signed by a "Shawn Davidson"?

 

Sorry, what I meant to say was "Was your reply signed by Shawn Davidson"? I asked this because I have received a number of form letters from HAL in response to various electronic surveys submitted by me to them post cruise. For the past two years at least, they have all been signed by "Shawn Davidson" at HAL guest relations. I suspect that "Shawn Davidson" is a computer program with a human name, because the letters follow a very generic pattern.

 

Then there is this post, from March 2017, written by CHPURSER. This person is a retired cruise ship hotel director, who has worked on HAL, Princess, and NCL. I take some of his statements with a grain of salt, but his post below gave me food for thought.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=52607711&postcount=32

 

"In the old days at HAL, the Hotel Manager and his Department Heads read all the paper comment cards at the end of the cruise. Photocopies were made of the best - and worst ones, and employees were praised or counselled accordingly. This was nearly instant feedback that allowed the ship management to make rapid corrections for problems that popped up.

 

Then HAL decided that there were too many man hours required for this exercise.

They installed a very powerful online computer system/program that calculates the ratings as they come in - in real time. Unfortunately those real time numbers are often delayed, as many passengers do not go home immediately after the cruise, and many find more pressing issues to handle once they do get home. People rarely want to sit in front of a computer for very long, filling out online forms, the day after their vacation.

 

As to who reads the comments on these forms, they are first scanned by the computer program to identify key words; positive and negative. The program tracks these key words, using the frequency of their use to track performance of the ship and department.

If a comment card submission has a large number of very positive or very negative words, then somebody might have a look to see what the problem was, or what was so wonderful.

 

Then we have those "personalized" responses.

 

But - spoiler alert - those "personalized" responses you have received are generated and signed, with a human name, by a computer program that is designed to produce realistic responses that appear to be created by an actual person.

 

Very positive and very negative comments are flagged by the system and automatically forwarded to the appropriate department head on the ship - for some sort of action. Unfortunately, this process takes time. By the time a manager on the ship actually has a chance to act on identified problems, one, two, or three new cruises have come and gone. It is very old news that may or not still be relevant. Any crew involved in any challenges may or may not still be onboard the ship.

 

On very rare occasions, an actual Human from the Head Office looks at a few of the comments.

 

So when you receive those personal responses from the cruise line, and get that warm fuzzy feeling, think again."

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I must have used the right keywords in my online survey last summer. The question concerned any problems that had occurred onboard that were not resolved and I did have one, well documented by the front desk. In response to my survey, I received OBC and lunch at the Pinnacle Grill for my next cruise. I was shocked. I didn't ask for anything, just related the problem and person responsible.

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Oh my, now I am going out of my comfort zone to defend a cruise line's home office :). I also submitted an online survey in August of 2016 after a Zuiderdam Cruise. Probably 95% of my survey was very positive but we did raise one particular issue (which had also been a major issue raised onboard the cruise). About two months later we were surprised to receive a very personal letter (via e-mail) from a person in the President't Office and it was NOT Shawn Davidson. To be honest, we were surprised that anyone would have read our survey and since the remarks were written (and not in a convenient check box) somebody must have read the comment and forwarded it up the ladder. We raised a particular issue while saying we had a wonderful cruise and were not seeking a response or reward. But we did received a very gracious response (not a computer generated canned response) and some consideration for a future cruise.

 

To put it mildly we were impressed that anyone took the time to read and respond.

 

Hank

P.S. Regarding the online forms vs the old paper forms sent to cabins on the ship...we are very happy with the current online system. When on a cruise I do not want to be bothered filling out forms since we are busy having fun.

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Great to hear that your survey was read.

 

I haven't received one acknowledgement on a survey but then again, how can I do 1/2 of them?

 

they do a survey for the first portion of any collectors cruise I am on. Seriously? You want me to spend MY money on your internet to do YOUR survey? Not to mention my vacation time - NOT happening. They need to keep the time open longer.

 

I preferred the paper surveys too since I got to do them on board. With the new system, I only get to rate on half of my cruise at the most, assuming I get home in time.

 

I know, I'm in the minority but you would like to think that HAL wants input from everyone no matter the length of the cruise.

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I am on board the Veendam at the moment and we are getting a ‘share your thoughts’ card every three or four days - it is a tri folded card with space for three questions -

- tell us what you like & we won’t change it

-tell us what you didn’t like & we will try to make it better

-tell us about our crew - did someoneone give you legendary service?

I filled one out last week and both the crew members I mentioned thanked me and one apologized for the awful coffee on board (what I didn’t like). They read them for sure.

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I think they're probably happy with just a sampling of responses. It's not feasible to read several thousand surveys week in and week out, and a sampling gives them the gist of what's going wrong and what's going right. A detailed complaint about one specific thing could just be a personal pet peeve. A handful of complaints about a certain aspect is more actionable. Anyone with a really serious problem needs to send a separate complaint rather than stewing over not receiving a response from a survey.

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I am on board the Veendam at the moment and we are getting a ‘share your thoughts’ card every three or four days - it is a tri folded card with space for three questions -

 

Oh cool, Lynda! We sail in 5 days on the Zaandam for 14 days; I hope we get the cards. I'm afraid I forget to mention all but the MOST memorable people (staff) that I contact, when the whole cruise goes by -- and then to remember to ask for compliment cards at the front desk...

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Oh cool, Lynda! We sail in 5 days on the Zaandam for 14 days; I hope we get the cards. I'm afraid I forget to mention all but the MOST memorable people (staff) that I contact, when the whole cruise goes by -- and then to remember to ask for compliment cards at the front desk...

 

They should be delivered with your When and Where each evening and, if you want/need more just ask the front desk.

 

The cards are great for acknowledging crew, etc. And very important to the crew for recognition and benefits.

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On a past cruise on check in, we had a letter on our desk saying that the problem I complained about on our last cruise has hopefully been fixed. On another cruise I sent a complaint to head office during a cruise and a couple of days later there was a letter on our desk telling us we had been giving OBC for our troubles.

Allan

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Great to hear that your survey was read.

 

I haven't received one acknowledgement on a survey but then again, how can I do 1/2 of them?

 

they do a survey for the first portion of any collectors cruise I am on. Seriously? You want me to spend MY money on your internet to do YOUR survey? Not to mention my vacation time - NOT happening. They need to keep the time open longer.

 

I preferred the paper surveys too since I got to do them on board. With the new system, I only get to rate on half of my cruise at the most, assuming I get home in time.

 

I know, I'm in the minority but you would like to think that HAL wants input from everyone no matter the length of the cruise.

 

I agree, Jacqui. Since I tend to take CVs or longer cruises, I rarely see the surveys.

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I am on board the Veendam at the moment and we are getting a ‘share your thoughts’ card every three or four days - it is a tri folded card with space for three questions -

- tell us what you like & we won’t change it

-tell us what you didn’t like & we will try to make it better

-tell us about our crew - did someoneone give you legendary service?

I filled one out last week and both the crew members I mentioned thanked me and one apologized for the awful coffee on board (what I didn’t like). They read them for sure. ��

 

 

yeah right....tell us what you like and we won't change it??????

 

what a load of BS

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Was your survey signed by a "Shawn Davidson"?

 

Yes, it was.

 

Part of it definitely responded directly to my issue; part of it did seem like a form letter.

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I am on board the Veendam at the moment and we are getting a ‘share your thoughts’ card every three or four days - it is a tri folded card with space for three questions -

- tell us what you like & we won’t change it

-tell us what you didn’t like & we will try to make it better

-tell us about our crew - did someoneone give you legendary service?

I filled one out last week and both the crew members I mentioned thanked me and one apologized for the awful coffee on board (what I didn’t like). They read them for sure. ��

 

We did get that card on the Maasdam, but I believe only once. I did get another one at the front desk when I realized I had misplaced it and wanted to fill it out.

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Not on HAL, but in 2011 at least more than one person read our "paper" survey responses. We were on a cruise in the Med on the Royal Caribbean Brilliance and took a ship's excursions by boat up the Amalfi coast. We had an issue with our tour guide in that he said some unnecessary and unnerving comments while leading a walking tour in Amalfi (referencing Osama Bin Laden!). We didn't say anything to him nor to anyone on board when we got back to the ship but I included the incident in my written survey. We disembarked in Barcelona on Monday. At home on Thursday I received phone calls from two separate departments at the RCI headquarters in Miami asking for specific details.

 

Its reassuring to know that at least then, in 2011, a "real person" read my survey. I agree that now, in 2018, the chances of a survey being read by someone is much slimmer. That's why if I have a real issue while on board, I bring it to the attention of the ship right away. And of course, in the nicest possible way.

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I'm ok with online surveys, with one exception. If you are on a back to back (collector) cruise, you only receive a survey at the very end. In our case, in the Middle of our Prinsendam cruise, there was a major personnel change, as contracts expired and started. On board service people were moved around, who used to be your dining steward was now in the Pinnacle, new cruise director, new band, new ocean bar trio, etc. Makes it hard to remember people and events especially from the first leg.

On the other hand, over the years we have often received feedback on our surveys, once even a phone call. So they are read.

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I'm glad your survey was read.

I hope they all are, otherwise, why bother surveying the passengers?

(y) Businesses spend money for a purpose - in this instance the purpose of HAL's surveys is to find out what its customers liked and disliked about their cruises, so that HAL can make adjustments/corrections when warranted.

 

How do you know your survey was not read? Just because there was no response to it does not mean it was not read.

 

(y)(y)(y) And in many cases no response is sent to an individual because the matter is found (after appropriate "investigation") to be without merit. In other cases, the tone of the survey comment is so argumentative, demanding or implacable that a response is deemed fruitless.

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Sorry, what I meant to say was "Was your reply signed by Shawn Davidson"? I asked this because I have received a number of form letters from HAL in response to various electronic surveys submitted by me to them post cruise. For the past two years at least, they have all been signed by "Shawn Davidson" at HAL guest relations. I suspect that "Shawn Davidson" is a computer program with a human name, because the letters follow a very generic pattern.

 

Reminds me of Citibank's "S. Larson."

https://dannysullivan.com/dear-s-larson-of-citibank-youre-not-real-so-please-retire-208

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While on the first leg of a b2b a few years ago, when balcony smoking was still permitted, there was a family grouping of three or four cabins next to ours. They had all of their balcony dividers open, and the whole group tended to congregate on the balcony next to ours. All were smokers, and there was a constant cloud of smoke drifting our way. As it was permitted, we didn't complain, but we did note it in a comment card. On the last full day of the first leg, we received a note advising us that we would be moved to another cabin for the second leg. So, yes, comments are read and, when possible, action is taken. Maybe not in every case, but certainly in ours. We landed in a higher category cabin, with a bottle of wine and infrequent smokers as neighbours. We were finally able to enjoy breakfast on our balcony for the first time during the cruise.

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Sorry, what I meant to say was "Was your reply signed by Shawn Davidson"? I asked this because I have received a number of form letters from HAL in response to various electronic surveys submitted by me to them post cruise. For the past two years at least, they have all been signed by "Shawn Davidson" at HAL guest relations. I suspect that "Shawn Davidson" is a computer program with a human name, because the letters follow a very generic pattern.

 

Then there is this post, from March 2017, written by CHPURSER. This person is a retired cruise ship hotel director, who has worked on HAL, Princess, and NCL. I take some of his statements with a grain of salt, but his post below gave me food for thought.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=52607711&postcount=32

 

"In the old days at HAL, the Hotel Manager and his Department Heads read all the paper comment cards at the end of the cruise. Photocopies were made of the best - and worst ones, and employees were praised or counselled accordingly. This was nearly instant feedback that allowed the ship management to make rapid corrections for problems that popped up.

 

Then HAL decided that there were too many man hours required for this exercise.

They installed a very powerful online computer system/program that calculates the ratings as they come in - in real time. Unfortunately those real time numbers are often delayed, as many passengers do not go home immediately after the cruise, and many find more pressing issues to handle once they do get home. People rarely want to sit in front of a computer for very long, filling out online forms, the day after their vacation.

 

As to who reads the comments on these forms, they are first scanned by the computer program to identify key words; positive and negative. The program tracks these key words, using the frequency of their use to track performance of the ship and department.

If a comment card submission has a large number of very positive or very negative words, then somebody might have a look to see what the problem was, or what was so wonderful.

 

Then we have those "personalized" responses.

 

But - spoiler alert - those "personalized" responses you have received are generated and signed, with a human name, by a computer program that is designed to produce realistic responses that appear to be created by an actual person.

 

Very positive and very negative comments are flagged by the system and automatically forwarded to the appropriate department head on the ship - for some sort of action. Unfortunately, this process takes time. By the time a manager on the ship actually has a chance to act on identified problems, one, two, or three new cruises have come and gone. It is very old news that may or not still be relevant. Any crew involved in any challenges may or may not still be onboard the ship.

 

On very rare occasions, an actual Human from the Head Office looks at a few of the comments.

 

So when you receive those personal responses from the cruise line, and get that warm fuzzy feeling, think again."

 

 

 

I KNOW for sure the formerstyle on board paper surveys were read as MANY times when we were b-o-b, we SAW the Hotel Manager in his office, with GRM, Cruise Director and OTHER crew reading and discussing them. I seem to remember a few times the Captain was present discussing the surveys

YES, they were read.

Edited by sail7seas

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