Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cruise Reviews: "Thoroughly confused"

In a recent email, a reader expressed her utter confusion about cruise reviews. She's booked on a cruise next year and, in anticipation, has been reading reviews. Now she's condidering cancelling because of the inconsisent reviews she has read online about that particular ship.

She's not alone... I hear this a lot from booked passengers. As I responded to her, one thing I keep in mind when reading cruise reviews is something my mother always used to say, "Don't believe anything that you hear and only half of what you see." That may seem almost too skeptical, but Mom's point was to always keep an open mind.

Cruise reviews are individual opinions and I am, quite frankly, surprised by a lot that I read. Some avid cruisers have their favorite cruise lines and can't wait to criticize other cruise lines that they try. Why? Because the new line (not their old favorite) might have done something differently that they didn't like. Over the years I've found that more people write reviews that highlight the negative. Happy passengers tend to tell their friends and family, but don't seem to write reviews as often as angry ones.

The bottom line, I believe, is that inconsistent reviews are a result of differing passenger expectations.

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