Harris survey finds cruise brand erosion

By Tom Stieghorst
A Harris Poll done in May found public perception of cruise line quality has declined from March.

In a survey of 2,052 adults, the average perceived quality score is down 13% from the period before the Carnival Triumph engine room fire in February.

The average trust score for the seven brands in the poll was down 12% in May, and the average intent to purchase was off 11% from pre-incident levels.

The best showing among the seven lines was Holland America, down 2%. The worst was Carnival Cruise Lines, down 20%.

A Harris survey in March, shortly after the Triumph incident, showed declines in scores on all three measurements.

“When we first addressed this topic in March, even we were open to the idea that a ‘recency bias’ of sorts might be impacting the results so soon after the Triumph fiasco, creating a low tide for the industry as a whole,” said Deana Percassi, Harris Poll Insights vice president. “But these more recent findings, coupled with reports of heavily discounted pricing on Carnival cruises, indicate that the industry as a whole, as well as the Carnival brand specifically, may still be facing rough seas.”

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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