The structure of customer satisfaction with cruise-line services: an empirical investigation based on online word of mouth

Ziqiong Zhang, Qiang Ye, Haiyan Song, Ting Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Given the importance of the cruise segment in the tourism industry and the limited number of prior studies in the area, this study empirically explores the structure of customer satisfaction with cruise-line services by evaluating the attributes of cruises that are significant to passengers. Using 44,993 voluntarily provided customer reviews published on a cruise guide website, a stepwise regression analysis is conducted to examine the effects of the attribute performance of cruises on customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The findings empirically confirm the validity of the two-factor theory of customer satisfaction in the cruise tourism context. The asymmetric relationship of some attributes makes it possible to identify dissatisfiers, satisfiers, and hybrid factors for the cruise industry overall and cruises on ships of different tonnage. The results can help managers in the cruise industry understand what aspects of cruises should be given more attention to improve their competitive edge. This study is one of the first to look separately at the determinants of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the emerging cruise industry and proves that the two-factor theory is applicable in a new environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-464
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015


  • cruises
  • customer satisfaction
  • dissatisfier
  • online word of mouth
  • satisfier
  • two-factor theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this