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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

Southern Seas offers vacations to various international destinations on its large cruise ship. To meet a demand voiced by some of its regular customers, Southern Seas is considering allowing a certain number of travelers to load their vehicles into the ship's cargo hold so they can be used at certain destinations. Since high fees can be charged for each loaded car, Southern Seas' management believes such a service would be profitable.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice only compares the revenue generated by the vehicle-loading service to that generate by another service. It doesn't say anything about how high the revenue will be.

Incorrect.

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Answering this question would not help us evaluate whether the new service would be profitable. The fact that it may have other consequences on the market is irrelevant.

Great!

[[snippet]]

This answer choice presents a question that would provide information on some of the potential costs of the project (How much would [...] cost?). As such, it is the most relevant out of the five answer choice for evaluating the profitability of the new service and, therefore, the validity of the conclusion.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice deals with revenue, it is not the most valuable out of the five. First, it only tells us whether or not a decline in revenue would occur, not how great or small it would be. Second, it refers to a decline in existing cruises; we don't know how this would affect the revenue from the new service.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice deals with costs, so it could potentially be the correct one. However, answering this question will give us information that may or may not affect profitability, mainly because we don't know whether the ships even need extra fuel or how much - it is not stated anywhere, so we can't assume this.

Therefore, we are not much closer to finding out if there will be profits from this service. There is another answer choice which can provide data that is directly relevant to profitability. Find it!

Would the price of the extra vehicle-loading service alone be more than 50% of the price of a regular journey?
How many car-rental companies at the destinations visited by the Southern Seas cruise would be badly affected by the new service?
Can Southern Seas secure a deal with its fuel suppliers which will grant them a significant discount on the price of extra ship fuel?
How much would outfitting the ship's cargo hold to protect regular vehicles from potential damage caused by the current levels of moisture and salt cost?
Are the prices of cruises to international destinations projected to decline in the near future?