We've got many diverse users and opinions here on cruiseline.com and Ship Mate app, and we know many of our most frequent site users are experienced cruisers who are loyal and passionate about their favorite cruise line(s).

But we need to keep in mind that not everyone has our experience at sea or our passion for cruising. Through our partnership with cruise agencies, thousands of cruise passengers a week are invited to share their experience and write a review here on the site, and hundreds do. It's going to be a fact of life that many of those are first time cruisers and that the majority, including the more experienced cruisers, probably didn't do as much research as they could and should have before their cruise, so their reviews detail mistakes they made, situations that would have gone better had they been a little bit more knowledgeable and other problems.

I've been seeing more and more anger, vitriol and condescending comments on these reviews recently, and it both saddens and bothers me. While it's one thing to offer friendly advice or a helpful suggestion on how to avoid a problem or improve a situation next time, it's not helpful to beat the reviewers over the head with rude and sarcastic comments like "You should have known better," "What were you thinking?" and "Here's another one who didn't read their cruise contract."

Those types of comments do nothing to contribute to a friendly (or even civil) discussion and don't belong on the site. We're in the process of merging the Cruiseline.com and Ship Mate app communities, and Ship Mate app users are beginning to read and comment on cruiseline.com reviews. We're aware that some of the inappropriate comments are coming from those users, and we're taking steps to address that, but I've seen similar behavior from many of our regular site users.

I remind you of probably the most important (and certainly the most simple) of our Community Guidelines, the one that sets the tone for all the discussions we have here:

Be polite.

As a diverse community of people with differing opinions, it’s important to respect those differences and be courteous to one another. Name-calling or verbal abuse will not be tolerated.

Please, let's keep the conversation positive and grow the friendly, helpful Community this site has been known for.