Wow, what a fantastic subject! You guys have really given me thoughts to ponder, as well as insights about cruise reporting.
I guess that there is too much fluff in today's cruise reporting, at least it seems, by many of the "insiders". Yet, mainstream media mostly only reports about cruising in a negative, sensational vein; ie: "passenger falls off cruise ship", "crime at sea".
Yuor mention of Harry Basch & Shirley Slater reminded me of an old "Worldwide Cruises 1997" which I bought after our 1st cruise in 1996 on Celebrity's Meridian. What struck me most about the book was the straight forwardness of the reviews of the ships & the way they broke the reviews down to what type passenger they thought would enjoy each ship.
I subscribe to Cruise Critc & Cruisemates & enjoy both sites. While there is much more participation on Cruise Critic boards, I agree with George that much of what you have to wade through is replies that duplicate what has been said or go completely off topic. But I do enjoy it. Cruisemates has less traffic but forums like this one provide more substance.
I come here mostly for the boards but do enjoy Kuki's blog & really enjoy some of the provocative questions that you pose, Paul.