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October 18, 2017
Cruise the Saint Lawrence broadens reach of greeting policy
Three years ago, Cruise the Saint Lawrence instituted a cruise passenger greeting policy swiftly adopted by all nine Saint Lawrence ports of call. Now, three years on, application of the policy is being broadened to enhance cruise passenger satisfaction irrespective of whether visitors choose organized excursions or prefer discovering destination offerings on their own.
Since the 2014 season, our nine ports of call have gradually finetinued ship and passenger greeting performance. Each is evaluated annually and scored using a grid comprising several hundred criteria designed to aid in the assessment of port infrastructure, human resources and the quality of activities on offer. As a consequence, all member ports of call have seen their results improve from one year to the next. With each now officially accredited, Cruise the Saint Lawrence has initiated the evaluation of excursions marketed and sold by cruise lines. In broadening policy reach, we seek to ensure that excursions are consistent with participant expectations. Over and above obtaining feedback on the quality of services offered, observations will enable us to collate information about specific tools and training needed by local guides, as well as guide expectations respecting passenger transport.
In parallel to the observation exercise, Cruise the Saint Lawrence has commissioned Karine Blais to support the teams responsible for excursion sales and assess their needs in terms of training and sales tools required to help boost sales numbers. Karine began by joining an MS Rotterdam cruise operated by Holland America Line in late September. Once on board, she lent a hand at the excursion sales counter and drew up a list of action to be implemented to provide enhanced exposure for the extensive range of featured excursions.
Through experiences of this nature, Cruise the Saint Lawrence hopes to foster a better understanding by onboard excursion sales personnel of the variety of products on offer at each individual port of call. Port-related passenger satisfaction should, as a result, improve given that passengers will enjoy access to highly specific information about the destinations visited.
In addition to this pilot project onboard cruise ships and onsite at member ports of call, Cruise the Saint Lawrence will be launching an online training program this fall for port of call service providers. These sessions will enable the latter to understand more fully port of call embarkation/disembarkation operations and learn more about the needs of cruise ship passengers. Training will be aimed at restaurateurs, retail personnel and taxi drivers. Through this program, service providers will be better poised to commit to and qualify for ‘Bienvenue Croisiéristes/Cruise Passengers’ certification instituted by Cruise the Saint Lawrence.
All action combined should enable our Saint Lawrence ports of call to pursue destination efforts to provide visiting cruise passengers with the best welcome in the world. Wishing all stakeholders the best season ever!