Cruise Lines Sailing Performance Analysis 2012-2013
Which is the best cruise line? Ask anyone which cruise line is the best or which cruise ship is the best and you may get dozens of answers. The word "best" is subjected to personal taste and opinion, until now. The Best Cruise Line presents a scientific comparison of cruise lines with cruise ships sailing into and out of United States ports.
In order to be the "best", cruise lines and their ships must satisfy various governmental and major consumer issues. The cruise lines are evaluated on their factual records for safety, sea worthiness, government compliance, sanitation, health, customer service along with the usability and technological advances of their website.
Each element within the study has a fixed value based on government and private data resources. Scores are assigned and averaged to provide fair comparisons against competitor and previous standings. Fractions assigned to events are chosen to ensure fairness and ethical comparisons regardless the size of the fleet of ships in a cruise lines holdings.
The goal of our analysis is the collection and presentation of our research without favoritism. We hope our work will assist the consumer with some practical information for making their next purchases. The more critical data we collect is based on an individual ship's performance and its collective affect on the fleet.
The statistics are based almost completely off data collected as ships move in or out of U.S. waters. Because records are sporadic outside US waters only ships passing through US waters are considered viable for analysis.
For a very simplified example of our analysis, a cruise line with six ships sailing in U.S. waters gains a total score of 120, their averaged score is 20. That is the final number used to compare their ranking with past performance and other cruise line competitors.
The current best cruise line study includes 25 cruise lines sailing 152 cruise ships through U.S. ports during this study period of January 1, 2012 through April 12, 2013.
After a complete analysis we sorted cruise lines from top to bottom based on this criteria:
- Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Violations are important because this is where we see pollution, collisions, groundings, sinking's, fires, passenger and crew injuries, deaths, persons overboard, and other incidents that reflect on the cruise line's ability to prepare for, prevent avoidable incidents and deal with incidents appropriately when they are beyond their control, in order to keep their ship, passengers, crew and the environment safe.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recorded Epidemics are evaluated by percentage of passengers and percentage of crew. This data is only taken from CDC reportable outbreaks. Not all outbreaks are reportable, with only those amounting to three percent infection rate among passengers requiring CDC reporting. There are two scores, with one for crew because we rate the ability of the crew to stay healthy with superior personal sanitation standards, in the face of an epidemic.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Sanitation Inspections including final score and number of infractions are included. Since a high inspection score can be handed out by the CDC in spite of dozens of infractions, some of which can be serious, we count both the final sanitation score and the number of infractions.
- BBB Complaints and percentage of those complaints that were resolved to customer satisfaction. Cruise lines not bothering to register with the Better Business Bureau before sailing into an American port are penalized for not making it easy for consumers to view company information. Those cruise lines who have a poor record of responding to complaints at all or tend to have low resolution customer satisfaction as a whole, are also penalized.
- Website Usability and ease of use. Here we are looking primarily for a website that gives the consumer an easy to find, wide range of information that will enable informed consent before a ticket purchase. Also considered is the ease of booking online directly from the cruise line and customer service options on the website for issues during or after the cruise.
The second study currently underway began April 13, 2013. Cruise lines and their ships have the opportunity in these coming months to compete with themselves and other curise lines for the best ranking.