Cruise Roll Call Challenge: Cruise Critic vs Ship Mate – who’s is bigger?

The other day, we received this email from a user:  “I love the app. I found that a friend that I went to Jr. High with and her husband (who also went to school with us) are going to be on the same cruise as me and my family! We only had 32 people in our graduating class so this seems even more unlikely that we’d be on the very same cruise!”

We LOVE stories like that. We’ve heard many more, with users making connections ranging from fishing buddies to spouses. Our Cruise Roll Call Feature is one of the best reasons to download the app.

What is a Cruise Roll Call?

The idea of a Cruise Roll Call has been around for decades. It allows cruisers to see other individuals who will be on their actual sailing. In our Ship Mate App, we see it used for many reasons. Some ask for advice regarding excursions or onboard options. Others use it to find friends with similar interests (scuba diving, teens, singles, etc). And everyone uses Cruise Roll Call to get excited about their upcoming sailing and to build anticipation. The more individuals within a Roll Call, the more valuable that community is for all!

Where can I join a Cruise Roll Call?

There aren’t many options when it comes to joining a cruise roll call. Some of the cruise lines once maintained their own roll call platforms, but this is no longer the case. They’ve all moved away form supporting cruise roll calls, leaving a huge demand for those that want to get social with their cruising buddies. Here are the two main options for cruisers today.

Cruise Critic:  Cruise Critic is the 800 pound gorilla in the industry. They’ve been around for decades and were acquired by TripAdvisor about ten years ago. The company has 70+ employees and may very well have invented the Cruise Roll Call. If not, they certainly dominated the space for a very long time. We have a lot of respect for Cruise Critic, and they’ve always provided a great service to the industry. You can find their site here.

Ship Mate:  Ship Mate Cruise App is the “David” in this “David & Goliath” story. Our team is less than 1/10th of the size of Cruise Critic and we’ve always considered ourselves a “scrappy” startup. We make up for our small size with “hustle.” We work long hours and weekends to support Ship Mate and to compete with the gorilla. You can download our Free Cruise App on iOS or here for Android.

Here’s a quick video demo on our Ship Mate Cruise Roll Call.

You can use the Roll Call feature to connect with others on your upcoming or past sailings through the app. If you haven’t already, get in there and see who you’ll be sailing with!

Who has the Biggest Cruise Roll Call?

Recently, we decided to challenge the gorilla. We put our Cruise Roll Calls up against those on Cruise Critic. We were hoping that we’d come close to their numbers and possibly even beat them on one or two ships.

The results blew our minds!

We actually had more members on EVERY SINGLE ROLL CALL WE CHECKED. To complete the test, we randomly selected three of the most popular ships from three of the most popular cruise lines. Here are those that we chose.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line
    • NCL Breakaway
    • NCL Escape
    • NCL Gem Roll
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
    • Oasis of the Seas
    • Freedom of the Seas
    • Harmony of the Seas
  • Carnival Cruise Line
    • Carnival Breeze
    • Carnival Magic
    • Carnival Vista

The data was collected on May 4th. For each above-mentioned ships, the next 10 sailings were recorded. For example: the NCL Breakaway was tested using 10 itineraries ranging from the first on May 7th, 2017 to the last on July 15th, 2017. The total cruise roll call member counts were recorded for both Cruise Critic and Ship Mate. The sample set included 90 total sailings (9 ships each with 10 sailings).

We then used the results to come up with an “Average Roll Call Member Count” per each cruise line. You can see that summed up below vs Cruise Critic.

Average Roll Call Count by Cruise Line:  Ship Mate vs Cruise Critic

Cruise Roll Call Biggest

You can see from the infograph above, that Ship Mate dominated Cruise Critic in the Roll Call Challenge!

Here are those numbers again for the few who don’t like pretty pictures.

Average Roll Call Count by Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Cruise Critic:  avg. 32 Members per sailing
  • Ship Mate:  avg. 89 members per sailing

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

  • Cruise Critic:  avg. 31 Members per sailing
  • Ship Mate:  avg. 121 members per sailing

Carnival Cruise Line

  • Cruise Critic:  avg. 28 Members per sailing
  • Ship Mate:  avg. 249 members per sailing

For a closer look at the numbers on a “per ship and per itinerary” basis, check out the graphs below. They display our Ship Mate Cruise Roll Call counts vs those of Cruise Critic for each of the sailings and for each of the mentioned ships.

Cruise Roll Call Comparison by Ship

In the slides below, you can find our comparison by cruise ship.

Within the graphs included in the slides above, you can see that we tested 90 Cruise Roll Calls from both Ship Mate and Cruise Critic. In EVERY scenario, Ship Mate had more members than CC.

We posted this not to brag (ok, partly to brag), but also to remind users of this valuable asset in the app. You’ll find dozens, if not hundreds, of fellow ship mates in your roll calls. Take advantage of it! Get in there and start chatting it up and making cruise buddies. It’s the best way to start getting excited about your cruise!

Please help us spread the word if you’re a part of any other cruise groups on Facebook or other. Let them know that the biggest Roll Calls in the world exist on Ship Mate and to “come join the fun!”

In the comments below, let us know your Roll Call Count and if you’ve met others from your cruise as a result of this feature.

7 Replies to “Cruise Roll Call Challenge: Cruise Critic vs Ship Mate – who’s is bigger?”

  1. Sorry. I’ve been using Shipmate for a number of years and like deck plans, etc. “Roll Call” however isn’t even close to as nice as Cruise Critic. I joined yours but don’t see the running dialog that CC provides with theirs. The running dialog is what makes CC’s more useful. Sorry guys but getting a list of names and having to select individuals to see their messages isn’t very useful.

    • Joseph – our running dialog can always be found directly next to the Roll Call button… called “Chat.” We’re sorry you’ve been missing out on it for all these years… it was right there next to Roll Call this whole time 🙂

  2. Hi. I posted a question in itinerary chat for the Pride of America on April 30, 2017. I really wanted to post in the newsfeed where I see a lot of replies to people’s questions. We’re sailing in October, and was really hoping for the help. I have not had one reply. Not sure I posted in the right place, but don’t know how to do correctly. Can anyone help?

    • Hi Jennifer – you posted in the correct place. A comment or question posted in the ship chat will show up in the news feed of others on that ship. Happy cruising!

  3. Hello

    I have been waiting for a couple of weeks to get my password reset I tried again today, no email in my spam folder, about how long does this process usually take?

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