6 Worst Reasons to Give a Bad Cruise Review

worst reasons bad cruise review
Remember that not everything is the cruise line's fault. - Photo by Antonio Guillem

Bad service, inedible food, lousy entertainment… there are plenty of reasons to give your cruise a bad review. But keep in mind, you're evaluating the cruise line and the ship staff on their performance, and there are some things that are simply out of their control. So please, if one of the following things happens to you on your cruise, don’t vent your frustrations by leaving a one-star review:

1. Medical Emergencies

medical emergency cruise bad reasons review

Sometimes ships need to change course to rush a passenger to the nearest medical facility. - Photo by Spotmatik Ltd

“On the first day, a passenger had a heart attack on the track surrounding the pool. The captain made the decision to divert to Miami... Everyone sympathized with the ailing passenger, but when the captain made the decision to assist one passenger, he inconvenienced 3,900 other passengers.” (read more)

Yeeah, we can really hear the sympathy. There’s really no better way to make yourself sound insensitive than to complain that a fellow passenger’s tragedy was an “inconvenience” to your vacation. On a ship with thousands of passengers, it’s simple math that accidents, illnesses and other medical issues will happen, and while most can be treated on the ship, some will require more drastic action. Be assured, that passenger and his traveling party were far more inconvenienced than anyone else on the cruise.


2. Not Scheduling Your Excursion Properly

kayak disney shore excursion

Make sure you have enough time in port before booking multiple excursions. - Photo By Disney Cruise Line

“I never would have booked the dolphin swim if I had known you had me going in the middle of the day. There was no way we could have done the water park. They we able to go down 2 slides before we had to go back to the ship.” (read more)

Trust us, we know that there’s never enough time in port to do everything. In fact, it’s one of the things we would change about cruising if we had the chance. But if you don’t do your research, you can’t blame your cruise line if you waste your time in port with a bad excursion or poor planning.


3. Bad Weather

cruise bad weather storm review

Storms can put a damper on your cruise, and there isn't much anyone can do about it. - Photo by Aleksey Stemmer

“Never sail if the weather has been bad. We had 3 days of rough seas both day and night. Rain, cold very windy weather. Winds at night were up to 70 knots with no extra activities offered since you could not use the pools or any outdoor activities.” (read more)

Cruise ship technology has come a long way. And yet, despite years of arduous and expensive research, cruise lines are still unable control the weather. Search our reviews for “bad weather” and you’ll be pleasantly surprised that most of the reviews are along the lines of “Great Cruise in Spite of Bad Weather”, but not everyone makes the distinction between Mother Nature and the cruise line.


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4. Crowded Ports

crowed cruise ship port bad review

Crowded ports are more or less inevitable. - Photo by Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock.com

"When we got to a port their would be 4 other ships at port, to you that means 8000 people in one very small port! could not walk, shop eat, or drink! We had a great time but NOT because NCL helped." (read more)

Yes, cruise ship ports can be crowded during peak seasons. But is that really a reason to give a 1-star review? You can always stay off the main drags, book excursions away from the most travelled areas, or enjoy a nearly empty ship. Better yet, before you select your sail date, research how many other cruise ships will be in port on the same day.


5. Rude Passengers

carnival lido deck crowded

With thousands of passengers on board, some are bound to be rude. - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

"Of all the fellow cruisers the people from one country were the worst. They are simply put RUDE. They knocked into you without so much as a "I'm Sorry" "Excuse me" nothing they were horrid." (read more)

We don’t like rude people either, but this otherwise perfectly satisfied cruiser gave his whole cruise 1-star simply because of other passengers. This is like giving a restaurant a bad review because you didn’t like the people at next table over. Had those passengers been harassing other cruisers, then it would have been on the staff to intervene, but you can’t expect cruise ship personnel to teach basic manners to paying customers.


6. Missing Condiments

salt and pepper cruise review

People really don't like having to look for the salt and pepper. - HandmadePictures

"Also no barbecue sauce on entire ship. This is ridiculous." (read more)

Barbeque sauce. Salt and pepper. Ketchup. The number of reviews we see where people mention missing condiments never cease to amaze us. To be fair, it is an annoyance and definitely something the cruise line can fix, but to think that not being able to find a bottle of ketchup was a deciding factor of your cruise seems like a stretch.



Join the discussion

What reason do you hate seeing people for


Posted by blc107

I agree with most of the listed bad reasons for a bad review. I disagree that the lack of staple items on the ship is not a reason for a review ding. I would not drastically lower the review, but I would certainly comment on the issue. I pay a great deal of money to cruise and the failure to have a common or staple items in proper supply is inexcusable, I am not asking for high dollar stuff here just everyday items. Although I have never faced such an issue as a customer I have a right to voice my displeasure and disappointment. As to the rude passengers, I do not believe the cruise lines do enough to police bad behavior, if there is an expectation of proper behavior and enforcement of rules dealing with such behavior, then the adherence to rules and common courtesy will be the norm and not an exception. Funny how that applies to all walks of life, not just cruise ships.

Posted by jjjjjjcruisers

Several of the categories mentioned have nothing to do with the cruise line. We were on one cruise where there must have been 10 medical emergencies. One required the ship to slow down so the Coast Guard could rescue a passenger. We were on one cruise when there was an oil spill in Houston ship channel. No fault of the cruise line. We did miss a day of the cruise, but were compensated for that. The cruise line did not have to do that. We have not had any real bad weather, but again no fault of the cruise line. As for crowded ports, we were in Cozumel once when there were 8 ships in port. As for rude passengers, not much the cruise line can do. Things happen and you just have to go with it. The cruise lines do a wonderful job of handling upward of 3,000 passengers. We never complain about much of anything. Instead we look for the reason something happened. As for missing salt, pepper, barbeque sauce, just live without it for a few days.

Posted by BargainBob

For 20+ years, I've commented to cruise lines about improvements they could make, but they never listen. Get rid of CNN and put on Fox news. People want news, not an endless berating of the president. Put on cabin TV old re-runs of popular TV shows, movies they've already shown up on deck, and other movies. Publish a TV guide as to what's on and when.

Posted by Travelbyhutchdv

Use a travel professional. We are extensively experienced and will help you understand expectations and design trips that fits your travel style. We offer so much value to our customers and have the influence of our own personal experiences.

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