Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

96 not. In terms of design, there’s therefore perhaps a need to think about how should display offers in restaurants, bars and shops to make sure that they’re immediately visible and can capture customers’ attention with good value for money. SN: I agree that value for money is a significant need at the moment. People are willing to buy things onboard, especially food, but it has to represent good value for money. Just because you’ve got a captive audience doesn’t mean you can have poor food and a high price. If we can make sure that we provide value, passengers won’t be buying food before getting onboard, they’ll be using our restaurants. PS: Cleanliness has been a key concern ever since the pandemic. Passengers expect everything to be spotless and well organised, and they’re interested in how we handle the food and handle waste. It’s very important that a crew know a little bit about what we’re doing in those areas if asked. Passengers also now like the ship to feel very spacious, so that they don’t feel like they’ve been crowded into an area like a restaurant. What is the greatest challenge that you face in envisioning and building your customer experience vision? MDV: You have to get any changes right the first time, because the investment has to continuing paying off for ten to fifteen years. You can build flexibility into some interior spaces so they can be transformed if the need arises, but most of your interior experience has to last until the next major refit. SN: The fact that every investment has to deliver an immediate return – through improved passenger ratings, higher rates, increased onboard sales, and more. Investments are deeply considered and measured to give a positive return for passengers and the company. JC: Finding the perfect balance between our commercial needs and our passenger’s needs within our budget is our most significant challenge. PS: All of the above. We’re a commercial operation and we need to find the right balance in everything we do. We therefore need our passengers to value the service and experience that we provide at a price that’s fair for us, and for them. Passengers have become more sensitive to prices in their onboard purchases after recent inflation, says Brittany Ferries’ Joëlle Croc ROUNDTABLE