Title: The gap between cruise passengers' expectations and the on-board experience through on-board environmental factors and overall satisfaction

Authors: Sabina Akter; Osiris Valdez Banda; Pentti Kujala; Jani Romanoff

Addresses: School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, 00076, Finland ' School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, 00076, Finland ' School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, 00076, Finland ' School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, 00076, Finland

Abstract: This paper aims to identify the gap between cruise passengers' expectations and the on-board experience (referred to in the text as 'the on-board experience gap') in the context of on-board environmental factors and overall satisfaction. It also investigates the relationship between cruise passengers' pre-cruise expectations and their post-cruise experience. The study adopts a comparative approach that examines three classes of cruise ships through open-source data (N = 2649). The aim of the comparison was to understand what creates a gap between cruise passengers' expectations and the on-board experience, and to explain why some cruise ships are more successful than others. The result of this paper concludes that some of the cruise experiences are not aligned with the customers' expectations, and the on-board experience gap is also clearly observed between the elements. This on-board experience gap concept can be used to provide a dynamic procedure to measure the customers' cruise experience.

Keywords: on-board experience gap; pre-cruise expectations; post-cruise experience; expectations and experience; satisfaction and dissatisfaction; environmental factors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2021.119103

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2021 Vol.11 No.4, pp.371 - 400

Received: 23 Oct 2020
Accepted: 24 May 2021

Published online: 13 Nov 2021 *

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