How a Cruise Line Should Respond to a Complaint [ Email ]

  • Last Edited: December 19, 2018
cruiseline complaint response in email

Essay Prompt:

Email Response to complaint

Two late-season typhoons severely disrupted a cruise of the Hoosier Express, a 2,500 passenger cruise ship on a 16 night voyage with schedule stops in Singapore, Hong Kong, and other Asian ports. It had to cancel ports calls in Vietnam, at Okinawa, and Taipei, Taiwan.

Many Passengers protested that the ship could chart a path around the storm. One attorney got into a shouting match with the captain and demanded to show the captain how to navigate around the storm.

As the ship approached its final port, near Beijing, a few passengers threatened to barricade themselves in their staterooms unless they got $1,000 in ship credit and a future free cruise.

Resistance collapsed when the captain noted that the Beijing police would probably not be in the mood for negotiation.

A spokesperson for the cruise line said that she understood how disappointed passengers were at missing some ports, but in the end “it’s all about passenger safety.”

To appease the angry passengers, ship personnel authorized a $250 credit for each passenger toward onboard spending. Still unhappy , many returning passengers e-mailed the ship owners demanding a full refund.

Writing assignment

Write a form e-mail that responds to unhappy passengers. The first complaint was sent by Joe Blow, who you should prepare to respond to first.

The cruise line flatly refused to refund any payments, but it would give a 50 percent discount on a future cruise.

Cruise Line Form Letter to Customers

Email Response:

Dear Joe Blow,

Thank you for choosing Hoosier Express for your 16-night Asian cruise.  We were very saddened to hear that two unexpected late-season typhoons disrupted the cruise line’s course, which required a number of ports to be missed.  These ports are some of the highlights of our cruise and we know how excited our passengers are to see them.

However, late-season typhoons can be very risky and our captains are required to follow strict navigational guidelines in order to ensure the safety of all passengers on board.  In spite of some claims that such storms can be navigated around, it is the opinion of our company’s advisors that doing so would not only endanger the safety of the passengers and crew but also put the ship into unforeseen scenarios that could further complicate such tumultuous situations.

When sailing with Hoosier Express, it is understood that certain precautions must be taken when the weather is a factor.  It is also understood that not every accommodation can be made to our guests when the ship’s captain is faced with the tremendous responsibility of guiding the ship safely to its ultimate destination.  We employ only the most responsible captains for our cruises because our number one priority is safety.  As much as we would like to be able to offer passengers all-out access to every single destination port in the schedule, it must be acknowledged that late-season typhoons are some of the most dangerous and unpredictable storm systems in the world.  To engage in a navigational course to “sail around” the storm would be to risk the lives of everyone on board—and that is not something that our cruise line is ever prepared to do.

Therefore, we humbly urge you to accept our condolences at your having missed a number of ports—namely in Vietnam, Okinawa, and Taipei—but we submit that such is the risk that our passengers must be willing to take when they book passage with us.  We are not and have never been a “rain check” cruise line.  Weather being largely unpredictable, every voyage comes with its own attendant risks—but safety is not one that we prefer to gamble on.

In view of the disappointment that you experienced as a result of the two typhoons which required the ship to avoid certain ports, our cruise line is offering you a 50% discount on a future cruise of your choice.

We are always grateful for your company on our cruises and look forward to serving you again.


Hoosier Express

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