TV Documentary The Cruise Ship criticised as some would-be cruisers put off

It’s that wedding anniversary/special occasion/once-in-a-lifetime holiday: A CRUISE. And for many, no other style of holiday beats going to sleep in one exotic destination and waking up in the next picturesque port.

Cruises are one of the best ways of seeing a lot of the world in just a couple of weeks, and depending on your timeshare ownership, you can even use your points towards a celebratory cruise – something more and more timeshare members are now doing.

But following the screening of The Cruise Ship, some travel agents are claiming that prospective cruise customers have lost their taste for trying a cruise, since the reality doc – a behind the scenes look at Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess – aired on TV recently.

The four-part series offered a sneak peek at life on the ocean wave, through the ship’s 1,600 crew members.

One travel counsellor told Travel Mole that a potential client had been considering a group cruise on Celebrity’s Eclipse or Cunard’s Queen Mary, however  this week she was emailed by the client who said that having watched the TV programme, a cruise looked like ‘her worst nightmare’.

Another travel advisor added:  “I have to agree it was a daft move on Princess’s part, it looked like a party ship.

“I did have to persuade a client that it very much depends on where the ship is located and a cruise that is going to the Caribbean will have a large amount of US passengers on it.”

However for many viewers, it wasn’t an issue.  One regular cruise holiday fan wrote in to say:  “I’m a cruiser and that programme would put me off cruising. People don’t realise that there’s a cruise for everyone.”

Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises’ managing director UK and Europe, said overall the company was delighted with the response from The Cruise Ship programme.

“It really gathered momentum as the series progressed,” he said.

“We’re 50% ahead of sales target for 2015, our weekend web traffic has doubled and enquiries have spiked, particularly from those new to brand. We hope this effect is being felt across the industry and we’ve received a number of comments from agents that the series led to a sharp increase in new-to-cruise customers.”

He said the cruise line decided to take part in the show as it had ‘complete confidence in our brand and staff, and wanted more people to be made aware of cruise holidays’.

“Our role was to support the television production company and their filming of the show only; we had no say in content nor in the guests who appeared,” he added.

“Of course we welcome comments from both travel agents and guests, and are in the process of reviewing all the feedback we have received. This will help us determine the success of the show and potential for a second series.”

Is a cruise your ultimate dream holiday, or would a reality programme like this put you off? What do you think? Tweet at @GoTimeshare with your thoughts!


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