Safety Concerns And Disinterest In On-shore Destinations Are Top Reasons That More Than One-third Of Americans Prefer To Stay On Ship During A Cruise
Just this week, Allianz Global Assistance, a major insurer released a survey of 1,529 Americans who have taken a cruise on a major passenger ship line, and the results are fascinating. While the majority of Americans prefer to spend most, if not all, of their cruise exploring the destinations of call, just over a third of the passengers, 34.3 percent, said they preferred to stay onboard the ship the entire or majority of the time.
The main reason for not wanting to disembark at the ports of call was safety concerns with the destination (36.2 percent). This was followed by disinterest in the destination (17.7 percent), fear of not getting back to the ship on time (16.8 percent), inclusive food/drinks on the ship (9.4 percent), not having pre-booked an off-board activity (8.3 percent), having visited the destination previously (6.8 percent) and lack of internet/mobile connectivity (4.8 percent).
In addition to where Americans want to spend their time while cruising, the survey posed questions about current cruising trends such as themed, river and adventure/expedition cruises.
One-quarter (25.5 percent) of Americans indicated they would be more interested in taking a cruise if it was themed – such as a music, food or pop culture cruise – while 26.6 percent stated being less interested and 48 percent remained unchanged.
Most respondents (73.9 percent) preferred the attributes of a river cruise to ocean cruising (26.1 percent) citing the following reasons: scenic view/ability to see the shore line (22.4 percent), shore excursions included in the price (13.5 percent), lack of waves (12.3 percent), easier to disembark/being on land every day (12.2 percent), smaller ships (7.6 percent), and more socialising opportunities (6 percent). I found the responses to this question of great interest, since I am one of those people who prefers river cruises to ocean cruising, although I have always assumed that most people prefer ocean cruising.
Finally, adventure and expedition cruising is gaining popularity with an almost even split of respondents interested in taking the exploration route (48.9 percent) versus a sunny beach cruise (51.1 percent).
This 10-question survey below was administered to the U.S. internet population from March 3, 2017 through March 5, 2017, receiving 1,529 responses. Since Allianz is a major insurance company, several of their questions are insurance related. Where appropriate, I have added additional notes to those survey results.
1. Have the recent announcements of cruise lines adding sailings to Cuba made you more or less interested in visiting the country?
• 16.7% - More Interested
• 7.3% - Less Interested
• 16.4% - Unchanged, I'm still interested
• 59.5% - Unchanged, I'm still not interested
2. If you were to take a cruise anywhere, to what extent would you prefer to stay on the ship versus get off the ship to explore the destinations?
• 6.5% - Entire time on the ship
• 27.8% - Majority on ship with some destination time
• 40.1% - Majority in destination with some ship time
• 25.5% - Entire time exploring the destination
3. When taking a cruise, what would be your main reason for not wanting to disembark at the ports to explore the destinations?
• 9.4% - Inclusive food/drinks on the ship
• 36.2% - Safety concerns with the destination
• 17.7% - Disinterest in the destination
• 16.8% - Fear of not getting back to the ship on time
• 8.3% - Not having pre-booked an off-board activity
• 4.8% - Lack of internet/mobile connectivity
• 6.8% - Having visited the destination previously
4. Would you be more or less interested in taking a cruise if it was themed (ex: music cruises, foodie cruises, pop culture cruises like Star Wars)?
• 25.5% - More interested
• 26.6% - Less interested
• 48% - Unchanged
5. What attribute of a river cruise would make you prefer to take a river cruise over an ocean cruise?
• 12.3% - No waves
• 22.4% - It's more scenic/ You can see the shore line
• 12.2% - Easier to disembark/ On land every day
• 6% - More socializing opportunities
• 7.6% - Smaller ships
• 13.5% - Shore excursions included in the price
• 26.1% - None, I prefer ocean cruising
6. Would you be more interested in taking an adventure or expedition cruise to destinations like Alaska versus sunny beach destinations like the Caribbean?
• 48.9% - More interested in adventure or expedition
• 51.1% - More interested in sunny beach
7. If you were to take a cruise, how many days in advance would you plan to arrive in the departure city of your cruise?
• 21.5% - 0, I'd arrive the same day
• 38.5% - 1
• 18% - 2
• 6.4% - 3
• 3.1% - 4
• 3.1% - 5
• 9.4% - 6 or more
8. If you were to get sick on a cruise, do you think the cruise line would be equipped to handle serious medical emergencies?
• 59.2% - Yes, I think cruise lines are equipped
• 40.8% - No, I don't think cruise lines are equipped
NOTE: Allianz state that the 59.2% Yes result indicates a common misconception among travellers. Depending on the medical emergency, cruise lines may not be equipped to handle major medical problems, and passengers so effected may need to be evacuated by helicopter or air ambulance to the closest medical facility. Any expenses associated with such an evacuation will almost certainly have to be borne by the sick passenger, or their insurance company, assuming the passenger has the right type of insurance. Of course if the cruise line is the cause of the illness or injury, the company should have to foot the bill for the evacuation.
9. If a cruise were to disembark you in Mexico or the Caribbean due to a serious medical issue, what do you think it would cost you to be flown to the U.S. via an air ambulance?
• 30.4% - $0-$10,000
• 25.7% - $10,001-$20,000
• 14% - $20,001-$30,000
• 9.9% - $30,001-$40,000
• 4.5% - $40,001-$50,000
• 15.4% - $50,001 or higher
NOTE: Again, many survey respondents (30.4%) underestimated the cost of evacuation via air ambulance. Allianz state that the correct figure is ‘up to $20,000’, although that seems to me to give the company quite a bit of wriggle room. I guess the final figure will always depend on just how complex the evacuation process is and how far a patient needs to be transported.
10. Do you think it's more or less important to purchase travel insurance before a cruise versus any other type of trip?
• 40.3% - I think it's more important
• 10.9% - I think it's less important
• 48.8% - I think the importance is equal
Learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance…