Which? Travel’s annual ocean cruise survey saw passengers highlight the cruises they loved and the ones they were not impressed with.
Each of the cruise lines rated included in the survey were rated by 2,253 passengers based on 11 categories: customer service; passenger to space ratio; on-board facilities; cabin quality; food and drink; port excursions; entertainment; description matching reality; social atmosphere; itinerary and value for money.
“One holidaymaker complained that they felt they had to ‘cheer up’ the unsmiling staff. More worryingly, when passengers were asked whether they had a problem during their cruise, more than half of MSC passengers said they did. And 19 percent of customers went on to make an official complaint (compared with just four percent across all brands).”
Second-bottom was Holland America which had a customer satisfaction score of 68 percent and mainly received two and three stars across the categories.
A spokesperson for MSC Cruises told Express.co.uk: “We are of course disappointed that this survey of Which? customers has shown some dissatisfaction with our product however we are sure that the sample size is not representative of our overall passenger experience given that in the UK market alone we have seen a 37% increase in passenger comparing 2018 to 2019, with a high number of repeat guests.
“In 2019 over 3 million people sailed with MSC Cruises across the world, after every cruise we contact guests for feedback and as a result create an overall satisfaction score which is not in line with the Which? findings,” they added.
The spokesperson highlighted concerns with Which?’s methodology as well as the commentary provided within the report.
“The survey fails to recognise the vast difference in what the cruise lines offer as an experience, comparing products that cost £630 per night and products that cost £130 per night without stating what is included does not make for an accurate comparison and as a result is misleading for consumers.
“In addition comments, by Rory Boland indicating that by booking cheaper cruises you will have to pay for ‘add-ons’ once onboard is again untrue. At MSC Cruises all our prices include all food in the buffet and main dining room, and service charges.
“Whilst there are of course additions, like with any holiday type, they are not compulsory to enjoy your cruise holiday, and even if added would not take the cruise price as high as the ‘boutique’ cruise lines included in the report.”
The spokesperson said to Express.co.uk that there have been attempts to meet with Which? “to help educate them on the cruise industry.”