Friday, November 30, 2012

Upcoming Vacation Event Comment (Disney)

Forget copyright issues, if LSS doesn't give prior approval I'm stuck. The female above is an undisclosed woman.
I have the good fortune to go on a cruise with members of my immediate family. Yes, it is a Disney cruise, which I realize is cause for some concern.

I have an MBA degree, which my kids understand, for good reason, to mean Master Burrito Assembler. During my studies I took an operations management course in which the instructor felt that Disney was perhaps the company that expressed operational management in the highest and purest form. He believed that the deep thinkers knew what you wanted before you even knew, making a 90-minute wait for Space Mountain seem bearable and pleasant.

I haven't left for vacation, so obviously I can't get too snarky, but I have been interfacing on the Disney MyCruise website, which I rate at B+. If you put in your itinerary number you can reserve dining and activities on the cruise, each option having a link to full information.  Also cool is that if you are making the trip with others you can see if your group has signed up for the activities as well.  Other functionality:

  • Register a credit card and decide who has access;
  • On-line check in (this is significant as passport and flight numbers are required);
  • Indicate interest to have CEO Bob Iger call and complain about former Big Guy Michael Eisner.

The idea is that the cruise people will have full electronic itineraries before we even get there. I want seamless integration. Now that I'm middle-aged and ridiculous I want the magician to get me and my brood checked-in fast and on the Fiesta deck pronto.

My criticism of the site has to do with slow-loading, overly produced, cartoonish pages. I understand this is Disney, but the children usually don't handle the financial details. Also, it wasn't intuitive how to enter the screens where personalization of the cruise is possible. I went in loops more than a few times.

There is the option to pre-pay gratuities 3 days before the ship leaves from dock. Reflexively I'm against this --what if the service sucks? But even if it does, I usually have deep sympathy for service workers and rarely show displeasure through tipping -- so maybe this is a good thing. Do they know what I want before I do?

I know my dreams of travel convergence and frictionless transfers are just that, dreams, but Disney may be the company that makes dreams (of luggage delivered to the correct stateroom) come true.

No comments:

Post a Comment