The difference between a great travel experience and an average one is entirely down to people.
When I come away from a stay at a hotel, leave a restaurant, or get off a plane, train or ship feeling that I had a great time, I can always attribute that feeling to the people involved and who interacted with me.
In my experience, a terrible travel experience is due to the basic product being awful or faulty, and no amount of great service and help can diminish that. Even the most plush hotel, restaurant or form of transportation will never be truly amazing and memorable without the people who serve you, and deal with you, being incredible.
This is something I will be testing out, exploring and discussing with the crew and passengers while on-board the MSC Preziosa Maiden Voyage as one of the MSC Official Bloggers
I feel that too many travel articles, and reviews, focus only on the physical side of what a traveller can expect from a destination, hotel, train, ship or plane. However, a great travel experience is created by people not by things. If we have a great experience when travelling it is usually due to someone, or some group of people, involved in the service around our travels. I really believe that not only the people that are customer facing but also those “behind the scenes” are the key to a great travel experience. Not just how stunning the destination, hotel or ship is.
- A 3 Star, 4 Star or 5 Star Hotel will physically largely be the same as their equivalent 3 Star, 4 Star or 5 Star competition. But you can have 3 Star Service at a 5 Star Hotel, just as you can have 5 Star service at a 3 Star Hotel.
- There are only really 2 commercial plane brands (Boeing and Airbus), and all airlines fly them. So while there are some differences on-board, the economy/ coach seats are all much the same, business class is all usually some type of flatbed seat and First has some form of privacy cabins or suites. The difference in a flight experience mostly lies in what the crew do on-board to make the experience feel great.
- The boom in the cruise market has meant that there are many different cruise companies and brands. However, most of them are owned by just 2 mega-cruise holding corporations. The largest is Carnival, which own lines that include Carnival, Cunard, Seabourn and Holland America. The other is Royal Caribbean, and they own lines like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. There is a lot of similarity of service across these brands on-board and increasingly the back-office and behind-the-scenes activities are being shared.
As I believe so passionately in the importance of people behind creating a travel experience, I like to find out what made those people enter the travel business, what motivates them and how they go about creating a travel experience that will be memorable. It is something that I have often done before on Tips for Travellers.
It is also going to be the focus of my project as one of the “Official MSC Preziosa” launch and maiden voyage bloggers. I am going to seek out and be speaking to the people behind creating the experience – and find out why, what and how they go about it. Creating the MSC’s desired “Med” experience can only succeed if the people who live, breath and have to deliver it every day are driven to do it.
You can read, or listen to, the first of these interviews on the site. I spoke to Andrea Gangale who decided what features would be included into the MSC Preziosa, and his thinking behind them. He has put in place the physical elements so he has literally set up the “Stage” for the crew of the MSC Preziosa to create an experience on that stage. In future reports I will cover interviews of the people creating those experiences, and the effect they are having.
You can follow the progress of my project and reports on the MSC Preziosa by signing up to eMail Newsletter on the blog, Twitter and Facebook and by checking out the Tips for Travellers MSC Preziosa Page.
Help me to improve the Tips for Travellers blog by doing a short 10 question survey online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tipsfortravellers