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Cruise Line and Ship Reviews by CruiseMates Staff
These reviews are written by our editorial staff of experienced cruisers. We use a form-based format to compare ships in specific categories across the vast spectrum of cruise lines. You will see each cruise ship assigned a number of Stars and Thumbs up. Stars are for quality, thumbs are for the value-equation based upon what you are likely to pay for a cruise upon that ship. Only ships get stars - not cruise lines.
STAR RATINGS: (assigned to each individual ship in its review)
When it comes to star ratings, price is not a factor. The plain and simple question is, "how good is this ship?" Most of the factors considered have to do with age, is in older ships tend to rate lower, but not if the furnishings and finishings are like new. Small cabins, lack of balcony cabins, ho-hum food, bad service, and below average entertainment will knock a ship down when it comes to the number of stars.
However, please don't use stars alone as your indicating factor, in fact, don't even use it as your first determinator. If you know what to expect out of a three star ship, and you get a great price on the cruise fare. Hurray! You are going to have a great cruise. So, what is more important is the "value" factor (outlined below). Because what you get for your money is more important than how much you pay!
"Thumbs Up!" stands for the "Bang for your Buck" rating which shows you what you get for the usual price CruiseMates sees cruises on this ship selling for. Rated from one to five-plus "thumbs up!" signs, the greater the
number of thumbs, the bigger the "Bang for the Buck" value this ship offers.
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