Norwegian Cruise Line Continues to Provide a Great User Experience; RCCL, Princess, Holland America and Disney Close Behind

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Key Lime Interactive (KLI) closely examined various cruise companies’ ability to meet the needs of their customers. Results were published.

The 2014 report identified that our target consumer valued such attributes, so we made efforts to ensure that design changes met their demand.

For the second consecutive year, Key Lime Interactive (KLI) closely examined various cruise companies’ ability to meet the needs of their customers. Upon receipt of the latest consumer benchmark report, buyers were able to identify both their rank against competitive cruise lines with respect to desired metrics (such as satisfaction using the site, likelihood to book in the future) and compare their scores to those published in 2014; thereby validating their recent efforts to improve their digital presence.

Two Cruise Reports:

In the Contemporary and Premium 2015 Competitive Benchmark report released this month, KLI created constructed a side-by-side comparison of 7 leading brands in this space, including Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL).

Players were judged in three categories: Behavioral Loyalty, Attitudinal Loyalty and Overall Site satisfaction.

For the first category, Behavioral Loyalty, RCCL took first place. RCCL customers were most likely to engage with them as a brand in the future.

Next was Attitudinal Loyalty. Dana Bishop, Director of Quantitative Research at KLI defines this as “the measurement of overall positive feelings, or an increase in positive feelings, about the brand after the site experience. Attributes that brands wish to be known for are measured; things like “adventurous”, “appealing”, “good value”, and others.” Here, Norwegian Cruise Line’s site ranked first and was a win with visitors. Not only did site visitors report that the site is above average perception of being “appealing” and a “good value” post-experience, but study participants experienced a significant lift in brand perception pre-to-post experience.

“When a majority of your customers interact with the website to shop or research their ideal cruise vacation, it’s critically important to be diligent in making the web presence representative of the brand and experience as a whole.” stated Rob Casas, VP of eCommerce at Norwegian Cruise Line. “We weren’t surprised to see lift in areas like convenient, entertaining and others. The 2014 report identified that our target consumer valued such attributes, so we made efforts to ensure that design changes met their demand.”

Disney was indicated as the top site for Value Proposition and took first place for the final category, Overall Site Satisfaction. This can easily be attributed in part to the strength of the brand in general, but also that the site reinforces and meets users’ expectations as this category scored metrics that were compiled from 32 user experience (UX metrics such as ease of use, satisfaction and more).

“The report indicated that Disney was performing very well inside our target demographic” noted Phil McGuiness, co-author of this and other reports from KLI. “They were pleased to see their high marks for the booking process, visual appeal, the helpfulness and quality of information provided on the site, and that the site is considered organized and easy to navigate.”

A separate concurrent cruise report was published for luxury brand buyers and included eight cruise line sites: Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Silversea, and Windstar. The target demographic for this report was older and more affluent, as stipulated by the associated companies.

Seabourn and Azamara Club Cruises were the resultant top performers—scoring in a virtual dead heat. With Regent Seven Seas close behind. Customers communicated that destinations, amenities, clear next steps, visual appeal were among the top drivers for their loyalty.

A few Luxury cruise lines don’t allow users to make reservations online, like Windstar and Silversea, and this is assumed to be a business decision. Other sites frustrate users with unclear language or a lack of instructions regarding how to make reservations. But, Azamara and Seabourn both excel in this area. Both sites receive high marks for ease of use and satisfaction with the experience after using the site to making a reservation. Azamara and Seabourn also receive high marks for visual appeal, differentiating themselves from other cruise lines, showing what the cruise experience will be like, and both sites are considered well organized and easy to navigate.

Regent Seven Seas out scores Azamara in terms of satisfaction with their offerings and the quality and helpfulness of information provided on the site. The Regent Seven Seas website also does an outstanding job of conveying its all-inclusive experience.

KLI’s Competitive Benchmark Reports:

More than a thousand users participate in a given study. Each are passively recruited, in their natural context, from geographically widespread locations. Each panelist is asked to complete common tasks on one of the sites: learn what makes the cruise line unique/ different, find a destination/cruise of interest, research different activities, amenities, and excursions, and go through the booking process/ learn how to make a reservation.

KLI’s research team aggregates the data, looks for behavioral and attitudinal trends, identifies significant differences between the competitors and builds a report that raises awareness about where each company is meeting and exceeding the needs of the target consumer and where they have clear opportunities to improve.

These cruise reports are one of many types of competitive reports published by KLI. Another relevant report in the travel and hospitality industry is the Last Minute Hotel Booking Competitive Index Report to be delivered later this year. This report is slightly different in that it surveys last minute hotel shoppers on attributes that help them make their purchase decision and deliver an easy and enjoyable search and purchase experience from their mobile device. Then, it ranks sixteen of the current providers of last minute hotel deals against what consumers are seeking, revealing who is best satisfying their users, why and what others can do to leapfrog their competition. Evaluated companies include Airbnb, Booking Now, Expedia, Hipmunk,,, HotelTonight, Hotwire, Jetsetter, Last Minute Travel Deals, Orbitz, Priceline, Room 77, Stayful, Travelocity and TripAdvisor.

To purchase any published report, please reach out to Key Lime Interactive for more information at sales(at)keylimeinteractive(dot)com

Researchers, Designers, Executives, Journalists and Bloggers in the Cruise, Travel and Leisure Industry are encouraged to contact Key Lime Interactive with any additional questions.

About Key Lime Interactive

Key Lime Interactive (KLI) is a user experience research firm, recently ranked in the top 1000 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Businesses in the U.S., with proven excellence in both quantitative and qualitative user and consumer testing. With a mission to bring clarity to the thought leaders, trailblazers and innovators who seek new ways to enhance the user experience, KLI works to serve their growing client list of Fortune 100 companies with customized, often novel research methodology. From strategic guidance and early stage testing such as behavioral persona building and customer journey mapping, to competitive evaluation through syndicated and custom reports, KLI ultimately empowers teams to use consumer/user experience data to drive business decisions and improve their products. For additional details find KLI at

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Kelly Nercess
Key Lime Interactive
+1 (305) 809-0555 Ext: 19
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