Originally Posted by Kuki
[Professional] Reviews are supposed to be mostly objective; describing the different areas of the ship, layout, type of entertainment and activity options, that make up the basics of what you'll find on that ship, that aren't likelly to change drastically from one sailing to the next.
I enjoy reading Reader Reviews. They most often take the form of a travelogue or journal. My only issue with them, on occassion, is they are written only giving the authors points of acceptance or disappointment. And you really need to know someone to know if you look for the same things in them in your cruise.
Now my personal take on this goes:
Professional or Staff reviews are usually written from a somewhat omnipotent position, and if read carefully are full of underlying assumptions about what a ship should have and how things should be done. The problem is that the reviewer THINKS he is being objective and does not realize his own biases. Those assumptions and biases are usually hidden in the verbiage and not really clear to the reader.
Now personal reviews go a little differently. It does not really take much reading to figure out where a reviewer stands. Then I have a solid basis on which to make a judgement about whether that particular review applies to the things I want to know. That makes it much easier.
Bottom line, I rarely read Professional "reviews". I will read the parts that are STRICTLY information and clearly identifiable as such. As soon as I see the reviewer's personal opinion trying to sneak in by a side door I quit.
This is not merely directed at this board's own "staff" reviewers. It applies to Frommer as well as to Kuki! Rick Steves, for example, is a reviewer I would never read because his whole attitude to travel is vastly different from mine, but he comes across so arrogantly as if his way is the ONLY way.
But I always read a variety of personal reviews on a variety of different boards. Then, as Queen said, I pay attention to the ones I like and discard the rest!