August 26, 2013
As Cruise Critic reported in February, port lecturers in Alaska must disclose that they don't work for cruise lines and that their presentations are advertising, after customers and stores complained that they felt ripped off. To make sure the rules are followed, the Alaska attorney general's office has been reviewing about 70 recordings of port lecturers giving their presentation.
“What we're hearing its that generally things are better. That things have gotten a little clearer,” said Ed Sniffen, an assistant state attorney general, told the Associated Press. “Passengers aren't saying the things that they used to say.”
The state rules - the first imposed by a cruise destination – follow a $200,000 settlement with three Florida-based companies, Onboard Media, Royal Media Partners and the PPI Group. Before port lecturers give shopping presentations on board, they now need to make it clear that the stores they mention paid to be included. They are also not allowed to disparage non-participating stores.
On Cruise Critic forums, members say that such disclosure has been a long-time coming. “Glad to read Alaska is coming down on them,” says solocanadian. Says Kenito, “It's always 'buyer beware' and we should always be skeptical when parting with our money, but I still go shop with a positive attitude.”
--by Chris Gray Faust, Destinations Editor