A Message from the Community Manager

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.

Tags: Community Guidelines Review Comments Be Polite

9 Answers

Well said. We also have to realize that passengers' expectations differ widely and on the same sailing passengers can have widely different experiences. Once my sister (and her husband) & I had adjoining cabins but different stewards. Ours was wonderful, attentive and communicable while hers was inexperienced, wasn't on top of things and missed giving them important documentation. They were in the dark about everything and they received no bath amenities at all. They had a very different cruise experience than we had and understandably so. Yet, their lower impression of the cruise was just as accurate as was ours.

We do need to not jump on reviewers because they are less knowledgeable and just seem to want to rant. We need to encourage them to do more research. Most of all we need to respect their opinions even we we don't agree. A little empathy goes a long way. We want to turn on reviewers to cruising not turn them off.

Thanks Simon for posting this.

You know, usually I am helpful (more or less), even when pointing out where someone could or should have known better... BUT (big but) sometimes the comments we read going in are vitriolic and difficult to not react to. This morning, I know I got worked up because of a review where the writer was twisted off about a fellow passenger causing an inconvenience (got sick and required med evac), as if it was something that poor person planned.
I spend a bit of time here for enjoyment, not to get tweaked or to tweak other people. Soooo, I think a bit of understanding for that sort of thing is just as important as trying to be nice to new cruisers. We were all new cruisers at one point in time. Lest we forget what it is like to be starting out.
Sure, we can all get hacked off but by and large I think we do a pretty good job in keeping things light and helpful. It just gets challenging when people seem to avoid any level of personal accountability for anything other than packing and showing up at the dock.

One other thing... a few of us tend to be on the dry side. What I might read/write to be amusing, someone else may consider biting.

Very well said.

We are here to help and support each other. Not to tear down. When commenting to or about others, as the old adage goes ... if you cannot say something nice ... best not to say it at all.

On the other hand, if people want to criticize a cruise lines or ship that is up to them. It is up to all of us to take the negatives with a grain of salt as some may be legit while others are sometimes just sour grapes.


Thanks Simon, good post. We can all use a reminder from time to time. :-)

But, there is another side that must be realized. New members, some that may have never cruised before or less experienced cruisers come to the site for competent advice regarding a cruise line, ship or port. MANY of the reviews have lacking information that could sway this new member away from a line, ship or even from cruising completely. Reviews giving negative remarks, centered on one area without even fully explaining the reason for their opinion leaves the review open to negative interpretation. Reviews posted that explain how they were disappointed with their cruise because of an itinerary change due to storms or an injured passenger without giving additional details such as dining, entertainment, cabins or ports they did visit tend to leave the review incomplete which fails to provide information to help a member make a good decision. Posts from members chastising cruise lines or ships about how they couldn't board because of their lack of documentation, is of NO help at all when this issue was solely the responsibility of the passenger. I don't even see why they would be posting a review when they didn't even board the ship. On our first cruise in 1990 aboard the Carnival Celebration, we had an itinerary change because the ships turbo chargers failed and we were sailing at half speed. We received no compensation in any form. Because I was aware of the contract and the lines rights to change the itinerary, I made no noise at all and it didn't sway me from cruising with Carnival again (we cruised 4 more times with them). Nor did I tell others not to sail with them because of my misadventure. When I read seasoned cruisers rant about itinerary changes due to weather or passenger illness, it makes me crazy!! Granted, people are entitled to their opinion but a review needs to have information about the whole experience and not just a rant about one situation while leaving the rest of the cruise without any explanation. As an avid cruiser, if I research a certain cruise or ship, and find a review that complains about nothing but uncontrolled kids onboard without telling me anything more, to me that is useless! There have been replies to reviews that I agree go above and beyond civility but just as the original poster is permitted to have their opinion, so should we but in a nice way. The point of a review is to give valuable, competent information be it positive or negative. Not just to complain about one area and leave the rest out.

These are important points to balance this issue out. It is a two-way street in terms of posting. Regardless of whether a newbie or an oldbie, everyone should be accountable for what they post (e.g., content, tone). This does not rest on the shoulders of experienced cruisers to maintain civility and provide helpful information. Everybody here sits at the same table, so to speak.

I agree with CruisinTim here, posting on forums like this should not be limited to only "feel good" rhetoric but employee comprehensive and subjective analysis that may or may not be in agreement with statements made by other posters. On the other hand, bombastic and vitriolic utterances only leads to rancor and a turnoff for those interested in engaging in subjects of common interest, it has no place in civil discourse Early in my professional career a wise old friend once told me that he had long ago "learned that there is and has to be "dissent" in business, that should not mean those involved should be adversarial and not friends or enjoy compatible relationships." Maturity of thought and speech separate the achievers from the non-producers.

As I have posted before, negative reviews do occasionally invite hostile responses. That is unfortunate, irritates me no end and does nothing to enhance interest in a good forum, such as this one is.

"Attacking" and "respectfully disagreeing" are two different things though. Sometimes posters simply are in error with respect to shipboard facts or other germane considerations concerning a cruise or the ship in question. Those should at least be politely challenged or corrected and not left hanging out there un-addressed, in my opinion. However, it must be kept in mind that personal opinion comes from the eye of the beholder, therefore, belligerent contradictory argument of such will not have any impact on those impressions, so it is a waste of time to belabor such.

There are a number of reasons why I think a questionable review should be contradicted. Among others,---It might give someone sincerely interested in assessing a ship or cruise a misleading impression.----- Sometimes review points given a cruise, ship, or aspect of a particular voyage are tallied up to provide an average assessment, supposedly representing a consensus of pier opinion.

Inaccurate negative ratings as well as overly positive ones can skew an analysis. I give more credence to evaluations conducted with total objectivity by a team of global cruise experts and editors using predetermined criteria than rankings based on an average of member review ratings, which I often find to be unreliable.

Well, if you've ever been over to the Carnival Forums, which used to be a lot of fun, but has since been ruined by a couple of posters who came on with an agenda to clean things up. Then began posting insults and lies about some of the regulars, it got real ugly. Anyway, we would at times get real snarky. I mean some of the questions would make you cringe. Others get asked over and over, like luggage restrictions, documentation, all things that could be found in their FAQs. Easily found. But, people want their hands held. And when someone would suggest reading toe aforementioned FAQs, they would reply in a nasty manner. Hey ! Just because you don't get the answer you want, doesn't make me an idiot. And some people just don't get sarcasm. The dumbest question that caught a ton of responses ? Can we bring our rice cooker if we promise to be careful while using it in our cabin ? Swear to god, someone asked that ! Some questions just can't be answered with a simple no.Wink

I would hate to see this board become another CC or Carnival board with all the associated BS'ery.

I find it is easier to simply answer a question (no matter how often it has already been asked) than to go on a diatribe on how to use the search function (which rarely works right in any forum), or (my personal "favorite") posting a link to google disguised as a link to a previous thread.


*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top