It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times: The Effects of Critical Incidents on Cruise Passengers' Experiences Academic Article uri icon


  • As competition in the travel industry continues to expand, it is important to focus efforts on understanding what leads to customer satisfaction, repurchase intentions, and positive word of mouth (WOM) with the purpose of gaining customer loyalty. Previous research has revealed that travel experiences can be influenced, for better or worse, by one single incident. These critical incidents have been coined "moments of truth." Findings revealed that, although respondents provided both positive and negative critical cruise experiences, only negative incidents were found to have a substantial effect on cruise passengers' perceived value, satisfaction, WOM, and repurchase intentions. In addition, the findings align with the premise of prospect theory, which suggests negative critical incidents (losses) are the most impactful incidents on visitor retention. Managerial implications are offered as suggestions for curtailing the effects of negative incidents and enhancing the effects of positive experiences.

published proceedings

  • Tourism in Marine Environments

author list (cited authors)

  • Migacz, S., Durko, A., & Petrick, J.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Migacz, Steven||Durko, Angela||Petrick, James

publication date

  • June 2016