Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How To Read A Cruise Review

Reading a cruise review, whether it be of a specific date, or just part of the cruising experience is just like reading any other type of review. You have to "read between the lines". Yeah, that's what everyone SAYS but what does it mean. Well, it means look at the perspective of the review. Is everything in the review negative? Is the first line a statement vowing to never return? These types of things are clues that the writer of the review had a bad experience for sure, but it usually also means that one thing that did not go right probably snowballed, making them cause their own demise for the rest of the vacation and now is the chance for them to get back at those that ruined their vacation by telling the world!

I was almost there once. Just on the ship, getting ready for muster drill (which is the least pleasant thing to do next to having to leave at the end of the cruise) and had a crew member treat me like a child. I stewed on it, and it made the rest of my evening worse because I let it. My wife was smart enough to tell me to just get over it but in better words. I was glad I did. The rest of our cruise that week was great. I even ran into the crew member in question, working in one of the shops. I happen to have forgotten my tie, and was looking to buy one. He said the shop that sold ties was closed, but opened it for me and let me pay for the tie I chose in the shop that was open. If I was still upset I probably would have not talked to him, not gotten a tie, and blamed the cruise for it.

Now having said all that, I still think there is a lot of good information that can be extracted from even the gloomiest of reviews but you have to pay close attention. Statements like "the food was horrible" don't help but if the reviewer said something like "everyone at the table agreed that the lobster was over cooked and rubbery" then I would let that sway my decision a bit at dinner. I never pay attention to "cabin size" when reading reviews. After you have been on more than a couple of cruises you realize that its the norm, but if you read a review that says that they don't recommend X cabin on deck Y because it was close to the disco, that may be something well worth considering unless you plan on spending all your time at the disco. Basically, it comes done to now what was bad buy why. Chronic complainers will drive home what, but forget to even mention why, many times because in the moment, they don't even remember why. And face it, some people are not happy unless they are complaining. I know a few of these people as well.

With this I say good luck to those researching their next cruise, and remember to "read between the lines" when reading those reviews.

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