I'm sorry - but as a reviewer myself I have a very hard accepting the idea that anyone would write a review this bad because they have an agenda - Not only would that be a firing offense, it would ruin your reputation as a reviewer.
Impartiality and sense of balance is the stock and trade of a reviewer. I have been on ships where I good experiences and I have been on ships where I didn't - and I always try to tell the truth keeping in mind that my job is not to write according to what appeals to me - but what I think is best for the general masses - the public customers.
The only reviewers I know "with an agenda" are the ones who fawn over everything the get solely so they can get more free stuff. When I see a reviewer who has nothing to gain by going negative doing so - I tend to believe they are REALLY serious about what they experienced - and not making it up.
"Having an agenda" is the biggest cop out for any business that gets a bad review. As someone who has been on receiving end of reactions from cruise lines who have endured both good and bad reviews from me - I can tell you without a doubt that if you want to gain my respect back you say "we appreciate what you had to say and we want you to know we are trying harder."
The LAST THING any business should ever do is accuse a reviewer of having an agenda. It reeks of insecurity and a general lack of respect for what the reviewer does for a living (insinuating they can be "bought").
I know the NYT policy on travel is "no free trips" so I am guessing the same is true of the restaurants - no free food. So - exactly what kind of "agenda" could the writer have? He didn't like the table?
Actually, the only thing he complimented was the staff who he said seemed to realize they were serving an inferior product.
Linda hit it on the nose with her comment about "celebrity chefs" - Many of them will put their name on almost anything, but keeping the quality up is the responsibility of management. It sounds like Carnival does well with their burgers based on the comments here.