Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelors of Science in Hotel Administration (BS)

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Kwortnik


Consumers of hospitality products are faced with an array of choices from a variety of information sources. As a result, they can feel overwhelmed and try to simplify their purchase decisions effectively and efficiently. This is often the case in the cruise industry. Leisure cruise consumers frequently use expert reviews for guidance when comparing ships, accommodations, food, service, and entertainment. This study utilizes expert review data to analyze the relationships between ship attributes and ratings of the overall cruise experience. A novel contribution of this paper is the examination of these relationships across three different points in time (1999, 2009, and 2019) to explore the influences of product changes on expert reviews. The results show that certain ship characteristics are related to experience ratings, but their effects have changed over time. The findings allow cruise operators to focus their efforts on the ship attributes that experts deem most important for success and help cruisers better identify the “perfect” ship for their vacations.


Required Publisher Statement
Copyright held by the author. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.