Contributor Level: Cruise Director

Are You A "Comparison" Cruiser?

I ask this of veteran cruisers (sailed on 3 or more different lines), do you find that when you are aboard during your cruise you tend to compare your current cruise ship/line to past cruises you have been on? I have found myself guilty of this practice. As opposed to comparing the positive things that the ship or line has to offer, I tend to say " well, when we sailed on our last cruise, the other cruise line did this, or offered us that". I realized this over the last few days when reading reviews by many new cruisers (1st timers). Many came off the ship just as bright eyed as they probably were when they boarded with positive reviews and attitudes! And on the other hand, many were disappointed in the cruise with what seemed to be bad research of the cruise, ship or line and sometimes, all three! People that complained about their inside cabins being too small for four people astounded me (and in many cases, these complaints were from past cruisers who I felt should have been savy on this). There are many situations that can cause less than good cruises such as poor crew attitude or onboard food. But some of the reviews I have read are just ludicrous. Such as one I had read where a poster gave a 1 star review to a cruise because they weren't even able to board due to things that happened PRIOR to even getting to the ship. My point here is that I have forced myself to have 1st time cruiser vision and NOT compare my current cruise to past cruises. This helps me to see some of the amenities offered onboard that ship as opposed to being negative about the cruise based upon it not offering what other ships I had sailed offered. Sure, I've had some less than good cruises but in my eyes, if the ship doesn't sink, I had a good cruise. Thanks for reading. ;)


7 Answers

Contributor Level: Admiral

I think that we are all guilt of doing this.  It is human nature.  Yes, years ago cruising was "All Inclusive."   Now that so many things are additional cost we think that we are being cheated.  I still have a great time on cruises, even with all the extra cost items.  It is still an affordable way to vacation.  I remain upbeat about cruising.

Contributor Level: Captain

I try and set my self up to be happy,  set expectations low and be please when all goes well.   I try and take each cruise for what it is.   I know getting on a 4 night Carnival Baja cruise that I am not in for the experience I get on a 14 night European Celebrity cruise.  

It is human nature to compare things,  but cruise lines can be like produce, Apples, Oranges, grapes or the occasional Lemon.  Not fair to compare,   Just enjoy each line for what they do well.

Contributor Level: Captain

I don't think you can't help but compare to prior cruises you have been on. I find that every line I have sailed on do things just a little different. I go on each cruise looking to have a good time and expecting not everything to be perfect. It's worked so far. Happy

Contributor Level: Captain

(I think) I agree with Bubba. It is a healthy exercise to make comparisons between lines. Each line (and each ship within the line) offers something better than the others, while doing other things at a lower level.

I do not do each cruise for the same purpose (other than to escape work). Sometimes I want an active vacation (Carnival), other times a more laid back vacation (Princess and Celebrity). One is better than the other only as it matters to the reason I booked.

If RCCL were to lower their prices a bit, I may give them a try on one of my more active moods, but yes, I would certainly compare them to the others. In this way, I would be able to decide whether to sail with them again, or the other line would be a better value to me.

(Admittedly, I currently only have 3 cruises over 2 lines over 1 itinerary, but hope to add more soon!)

Contributor Level: Captain

The short answer is "yes".  I think it's human nature to place new experience into context of past experience.

Your comment about new cruisers not doing their homework is something I've witnessed as well.  I have come to see this as a multi-fold issue though.  There are a few buckets of classification, but the ones I see most often are:
- do not put in any due diligence (ignorance-is-bliss) 
- ask complete strangers on the Internet for information and trusting it as gospel 
- refuse to accept personal responsibility for learning about cruising or ship life and blame others when surprised by something
- expect someone is going to tell them what they need to know (usually products of helicopter parenting)
- lack perspective as to what information is more important to understand so either stress over everything or ignore everything equally or pick an inconsequential thing to focus on and miss the big picture (forest-through-the-trees selective attention)

These are examples and not just confined to new cruisers.  In any event, these people lack context on which to base comparison.

In addition to comparing cruise lines and ships within the same cruise line, another  area that my husband and I find ourselves comparing is that of fellow passengers in terms of friendliness, politeness, and level of situational awareness.  

We will likely continue the practice of comparing because it helps clarify our future cruise habits.  We now know that it is highly unlikely we will cruise Carnival or Norwegian again... maybe one more NCL cruise because we have an unused OBC from a previous trip.

Contributor Level: Staff Captain

By nature, I'm a comparison cruiser, but I don't let past experiences keep me from enjoying the cruise I'm on at the time.

Contributor Level: Cruise Director

Good points CM! What I usually do is compare reviews (and content of those reviews) before making a decision. In other words, I will research various cruise websites reviews of a certain cruise/itinerary and gather the negative & positive reviews. If more negative, than I look at other ships as long as the negative reviews seem to encompass on the same issues such as poor food. I also have the ability to let minor things roll off my back and get past them to enjoy my cruise. I have learned also that just because someone had a bad experience a month ago on a ship, doesn't necessarily mean I will. Things change and crew changes so experience changes as well. But that could go either way as well. 


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