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Research has repeatedly shown that the vast majority of people who take a cruise get hooked, so chances are good that a lot of you have more than one voyage under your belt. But for first-timers, the experience can be a little bit daunting. Even the “smallest” of mainstream ships feature numerous restaurants and entertainment venues, not to mention words like “muster station” being casually thrown about.
Carnival’s Senior Cruise Director, John Heald, recently mused about the challenges faced by first-time cruisers during one of his live Facebook chats. Folks coming aboard might not know that cabins aren’t immediately available, how to figure out where their muster station is or exactly how to handle dining. “Do we,” Heald asked his many fans, “need to do more to educate first-time cruisers?”
How Might It Be Done?
“Should we do an orientation?” Heald continued, referring to a presentation along the lines of those done regarding ports that will be visited during the voyage. Among the possible topics that could be discussed and/or explained? Gratuities. Would explaining exactly where the per-day gratuity charge goes — and where it does not go — convince at least some people not to remove them? Acknowledging — without coming right out and saying it — that some passengers remove them for no other reason than cheapness, he added that, “some people maybe remove the gratuities because they simply do not understand.”
Another option mentioned, aside from an on-board orientation, was a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet that could be sent to cruisers in advance, or perhaps a video that could be sent via E-mail. The idea of a pamphlet or leaflet that could be given to cruisers as they embark might also be the way to go.
Would info for first-time cruisers be a good idea? What info or tips would you include in it, and what format — video, flyer, seminar or something else — do you think it should take?