Since I spent a bunch of time in there recently, I went and looked at some old reviews of ships I hadn't been on in a while..some of which Ive actually cruised on more than once. Most of them have been refurbed, and some more than once. My memory may not be perfect, but as usual, I wondered if the reviewer was even on the same ship. Crews change, both hotel and ship side..cooks, guest services, stewards, all of them, get rotated from ship to ship or simply replaced.

So the question is, at what point does a review actually become out of date? Five years, ten, never?

7 Answers

This is an interesting topic. I think that five years is a good marker for when a review might be too old to take into heavy consideration. I believe ships have to do mandatory dry docks every five years, and so obviously as we know, a lot of guest-facing upgrades are made in addition to the required technical ones. Also, crews change so much over the years and after five years, it's quite possible that even management is different in many areas. So the entire work environment and attitude might be completely better or worse after five years has passed.

Crews do not have to fully change for the experience to change. It is luck of the draw on what staff you get, After all you will judge the MDR on just the staff you have, not the other 100 staff in the MDR, Same with room stewards.

I have been on a cruise with friends where the cabin steward that I had was great and no problems with the cabin. A friend on the same ship, same cruise but in different cabin on different deck got a cabin with non-draining sink, TV remote did not work, A/C did not work well, Key card malfunctioned and locked him out of the cabin twice. His room steward said she would fix things, she did not. For the new key card she could not find him so she just left the new key sticking out of his lock.

On another cruise we had a MDR staff that when asked what ingredients were in the meals said "We cook for 4,000 people what is in it is in it" We ended up changing MDR tables, one of the people in our party has food issues and needs to know what is in things. The new MDR staff could answer her questions and we had good service.

Reviews will also be based on individuals expectations. A new cruiser will be impressed and think everything is great where seasoned cruiser will know what to expect. When I cruise on a lower level line I do not expect the same level of service and food as I would if I was on premium level line like Celebrity, HAL or Princess.

I went on one cruise with a large group for a charity fund raiser, at a month out they changed the cruise line because the original line stopped doing the west coast of Mexico due to safety issues. Most of us were well seasoned cruisers and said we would never go on that line again. One friend was on his first cruise. He thought everything was great, a lot of the group was saying how bad service and food was. He said he did not know why we thought it was bad. The next year we went on Celebrity, he then understood why people complained about the prior NCL cruise.

So YOUR answer to my actual question is I assume, NEVER. A bad experience will last forever. No matter what happens subsequently, once a cruise line has you soured on them, they'll stay that way. Is that correct?

I will usually give a business 3 tries to make it right. One cruise line has failed me those three times in a row, so I will not use them again in the foreseeable future - there are too many others to try.

As far as local businesses, there may be two restaurants in town that I will consider going to for a meal.

IMHO, a review should have a reset. Keep the reviews which were posted a year prior to the refit and continue adding new reviews til the next refit and follow that pattern.

I give a line more then one chance. I have been on NCL 3 times, 1st time was a cruise with bad cabin steward (only 2 sets of towels knowing we had 3 people in the cabin) and not good food or service in the MDR. 2nd cruise was actually pretty good, good cabin staff, good MDR staff and food was OK, not great but not bad. 3rd cruise was bad cabin (popping air ducts every time A/C turned on and off, screws in the ceiling, so you know they have tried to repair it) bad service in the MDR and even in the extra pay dining (orders not all out at the same time for a party of 10, and a couple wrong orders most nights)

I have a friend that does not like RCI after his cruise with lots of cabin issues, he likes NCL after he had 1 good cruise with them. After 2 bad NCL cruises they are the very last cruise line I consider when I cruise. 20 years ago I had not so great service on Princess. Last year I went with a group of friends from here on Princess, it was a great cruise and I'd try princess again. I have read a review where a lady just shredded Carnival from the Cabin to the food to the staff to the other guest. Turns out the Carnival cruise was a gift from her kids, she typically cruised Seabourn so of course she would not be happy on Carnival.

I was pointing out that 2 people on the very same cruise can have different experiences depending on the staff they get. I look at reviews as a group in bulk. Every ship will have a few bad reviews, but if the majority of the reviews is bad, then I think it is the ship and not just the one review. I only look at reviews for the last 6 months to max a year.

I agree that 5 years is a good marker. I agree with JusMe also that everyone can have a different opinions and experiences on the same cruise.

My experience is ships change, two given examples for me. We cruised the Coral Princess and was extremely disappointed after being on the island. Two years later we booked the coral again and it was awesome. The next one was NCL Star we had a great cruise and staff, two years later not so much.

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