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Old April 17th, 2013, 07:30 PM
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Default Cruise Critic Editor says NO to Carnival cruising

In this interview with Peter Greenberg, Cruise Critic editor Carolyn Spencer Brown is asked if she would cruise on Carnival right now, and she says:

Peter Greenberg: ... So here’s my question for you, Miss CruiseCritic.com. Would you go on a Carnival cruise right now?

Carolyn Spencer Brown: I would prefer not to and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that our readers do it at this point. There are a lot of choices out there that are not having the same problems. I hate saying this, but book elsewhere.


Wow.....

I am personally amazed that Carolyn, whom I know, would go this far and I say this because I just could not disagree more.

Carnival has always been a top cruise line as far as I am concerned, and I especially appreciate the fact that the line offers one of the best values in cruising, without cutting back on quality. To me they are the one cruise line that offers everything that all other cruise lines cost, but at a much lower price.

They are in the same camp as "In & Out Burger," or "Trader Joes," to me. High quality but not at elite prices.

Carnival's ships are built in the same shipyards; using the same workers, materials and engines, as the ships belonging to Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Costa, P&O Cruises and more.

The fact that Carnival Cruise Line would happen to suffer two of these events is no indication that Carnival is any worse than any other cruise line. It can be a statistic anomaly. After all, all of the companies mentioned above have the same parent company; Carnival Corp. - Yes, Carnival is the cruise line that has been so successful that it has been able to purchase all of those other companies.

So - would this particular editor say the same thing about these other cruise lines as well?

I am just amazed.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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I am left speechless by CSB's comments, especially since she was so supportive of Carnival in the press feeding frenzy during the Triumph event.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 07:58 PM
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I saw this the other day and I think it has a lot to do with how Carnival handles travel agents. It also came shortly after American Express removed Carnival from their inventory.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
I saw this the other day and I think it has a lot to do with how Carnival handles travel agents. It also came shortly after American Express removed Carnival from their inventory.

Take care,
Mike
Sorry Mike, I usually agree with your insights, but in this case I really don't agree.

(1) American express only removed them from their "preferred suppliers" list - they didn't drop the cruise line inventory, and

(2) it only had to do with Carnival ads no longer saying "call your travel agent."

(3) The American Express thing happened well over a month before this interview, and I don't think that event had that much influence on what CSB thinks.

(4) I just don't see Cruise Critic ever siding with either a cruise line or agents over anything, they are not a trade publication. Plus, if you read the article she states her specific reasons for saying what she says - concerns over the mechanical condition of Carnival ships.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 02:00 AM
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Sorry Mike, I usually agree with your insights, but in this case I really don't agree.

(1) American express only removed them from their "preferred suppliers" list - they didn't drop the cruise line inventory, and

(2) it only had to do with Carnival ads no longer saying "call your travel agent."

(3) The American Express thing happened well over a month before this interview, and I don't think that event had that much influence on what CSB thinks.

(4) I just don't see Cruise Critic ever siding with either a cruise line or agents over anything, they are not a trade publication. Plus, if you read the article she states her specific reasons for saying what she says - concerns over the mechanical condition of Carnival ships.
Paul,

I agree that a lot of it had to do with Carnival's recent mechanical problems but I do believe that Carnival's agent policies and advertising were part of the reason. I also agree that CSB went too far in her statement. I also believe Carnival delivers a quality product at a reasonable price. Heck, based on my last two Celebrity cruises and my last three Carnival cruises I believe Carnival delivers a superior product.

You can book a Carnival cruise with American Express only if you ask for one. You can no longer book a Carnival cruise, online, with American Express. It has been pulled from their selections.

If you call an American Express Platinum travel agent they will book a Carnival cruise but be prepared to be steered to another line.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 18th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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You wonder where CC members develop their disdain for Carnival Cruise Lines? It starts at the top and rolls downhill. Like lemmings to a cliff, CC members will follow their leader.

Remember the word critic is a root word of critical and criticize.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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I see she is still happy to collect their advertising $'s
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Old April 18th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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I have a really good idea exactly where the Carnival disdain started - I was there. It was on the inaugural cruise for Dream, which sailed from New York in November.

During the cruise there was a CC party, and John Heald was expected to attend. He didn't attend - for reasons I do not know.

I do know that everything was ducky - I mean a large group of CC cruisers had paid to be on that 2-day cruise to nowhere. The weather was rough and it was cold outside.

But from that point on - suddenly CC decided they didn't like Carnival Dream as a ship, they also had a lot of criticism of management for "poor planning" for an inaugural cruise, and then John Heald also got knocked for whatever they could think of...

As far as I know things between CC and Carnival have not been the same since then. A lot of people started criticizing Carnival in the boards there, vociferously, and when a Carnival fan/moderator, Host Mach, stuck up for the line the protagonists got rebellious. Eventually they made life so miserable for him he quit. I guess he also banned a number of them because they left and start the FB "Cruise Critic Sucks"

That entire FB site is populated largely by people who hate Carnival, (former) Host Mach and John Heald, (not necessarily in that order).

I'm sorry, but I think such feuding is ridiculous. I have one fault as a moderator, I am not very good at identifying certain people as "real people" - to me every comment is equal and I rarely take note of who said what...

But the upside to that is that I don't get consumed worrying about online relationships.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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Lots of childish people out there who can't handle rejection and won't let it go and simply move on. The George Costanza's of the world. I think the phrase is 'it stuck in my craw'. So they have a FB group with the sole purpose of bashing Carnival and CC? My my, that is something to be proud of.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 12:54 AM
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I don't know that CSB has EVER recommended Carnival. Also not sure if she has EVER been on a Carnival cruise. I have seen some obviously biased polls (more so than usual) that she has posted.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I don't care what she says. I have been using Carnival since 1994. Taking my 14th cruise this summer. I am Carnival all they way.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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The thing about CC is that everyone on there is a HUGE critic and critical at the same time. Very judgemental people.

I've personally been banned 3 times for disagreeing with long-time posters who were obviously extremely one-sided in their opinions and were very wrong in their comments. When I called them on it, I was banned.

I once found a woman who had a couple of thousand posts - came across like she knew everything about everything to do with cruising. She made a comment that did not quite appear correct to me and while investigating I found out that, in fact, she had never even been on one cruise! She was flat out lying about everything. When I presented the facts, I was banned and she's still posting.

What irritates me the most is that they are constantly being quoted in alot of news media when alot of the people are complete phonies.

With that said, Carnival definitely has its place in the market. It caters to those who want a nice cruise for a cheap price. I have clients that are diehard Carnival cruisers and will not sail on anything else irregardless of the problems Carnival has had lately. But at the same time I have clients who will never sail on Carnival again because they feel that along with the cheap price comes cheap quality.

Obviously, everyone has their own opinion and like I always say, what one person loves, another will hate. And that's the one great thing about cruising; there's something out there for everyone and no matter what your likes or dislikes, you'll definitely find something that's right for you. The fun part is trying them all until you find the right one.

We've been on 45 cruises and have been on all the major mass market cruise lines. We can honestly say that we've never had a bad cruise. Yes, some have been better than others. And yes, we definitely like some more than others. But just because we don't like something, doesn't mean someone else won't love them.

But for someone like Ms. Brown with such a wide audience to come out and say she would not recommend Carnival is doing an injustice to Carnival and a disservice to her followers.

Everyone has an opinion and everyone has the right to voice their opinion. That's the great thing about our society. However, when you're in a position such as Ms. Brown, you also have a responsibility to present information in an unbiased manner so others can make up their own mind and not try to use her position to push them towards the way she feels.

Just my opinion.

Pete
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Old April 24th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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CP... I agree CC is a brutal place and other than Roll call I don't see why people even go there.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 04:15 PM
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Yep, that's the only time I got there, too. I'll look to see if anyone is doing a shore excursion I'm interested in so we can share costs, but other than that, I learned a long time ago not to post anything. Because no matter what you say, no matter your experience, no matter that you've been on 45 cruises and someone else has only been on one, they'll always violently disagree with you, you're always wrong, and they know more than you. They really are a strange bunch, that's for sure!

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Old April 24th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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I guess I am one of the few people in the cruise (online) world with almost NO Cruise Critic experience at all.

I have sailed with CSB on Carnival cruises, so I know she has been on them. One I recall was that Carnival Dream cruise I mentioned. I don't know any other history she has with them but I would assume she has been on several of them.

My wife's first cruise was on Carnival Conquest and she had a great time. She loved interacting with the waiters and all the silly things they do - she thought it was all a hoot. She also loved the ports; horseback riding in Jamaica, Stingray City, etc. She was amazed at the food and room service.

For a first-time cruiser Carnival has a product that surprises and pleases the vast majority of "average people" with its quality. I think there is a very jaded mindset that comes with identifying yourself as a "cruise critic".

My former partner in CruiseMates, Anne Campbell, was the first editor of Cruise Critic, and it was supposed to be a content area about cruising where she took cruises and rated the ships. That is the origin of the name. The message boards were just a part of the site for people to talk and share information. Most people, Like Kuki, who went there regularly were very nice and fun people.

But Anne and I had this talk about the name of our respective site names:

"CruiseMates" = friendly and fun people who enjoy cruising
"Cruise Critic" = people with a bone to pick about cruising

But you know what they say - influence trickles from the top down. That "know-it-all" attitude of even inferring she (or Peter Greenburg for that matter) really knows there is a "problem" with Carnival seems pretty presumptuous when you think about it. They are not privy to any inside information at Carnival - none of us are.

But they infer, and "read the tea leaves" and with the press credentials officially declare there is a problem. And the readers of Cruise Critic see that and feel more than justified in acting the same way.

It is SO easy to judge other people (especially corporations) and say "this is obviously a problem," and "this is what they should do" that I just think its a joke when I see people talking that way, as if they are smarter than the people who built the business from the bottom up.

I work in the same circles as she works and I can tell you how close to the vest cruise lines keep mechanical and other business details. And everyone knows how Carnival refrained from commenting on most Triumph issues - to the point where the media was all saying "not a very good job of PR."

So to take that to the next level and to come out and say "I know there's a problem there and I would not recommend the company" - really? What do you know that I don't know, because I have not heard anything that points to a specific Carnival problem there.

People like me & CSB know that cruise ships are all built by the same people, the crewmembers come from the same sources, etc etc etc. It is possible that Carnival has just had a run of bad luck.

It is also possible that media is focused on Carnival and reporting things that happen all the time as if they have never heard it before (and many of the non-cruise media probably haven't) - but you know what, I would expect CSB to be one of the media people NOT to jump on the sensationalism bandwagon.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
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CP... I agree CC is a brutal place and other than Roll call I don't see why people even go there.
I never go there. I get enough info about cruising on CM.

But whatever they say we do have freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
I never go there. I get enough info about cruising on CM.

But whatever they say we do have freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

TM
I'm get most all my info from our CM site too but for roll call CC is great, I have meet some really nice people via the roll call.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 09:01 AM
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Remember the word critic is a root word of critical and criticize.
From the Greek kritikos -- "able to make judgments."
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Old April 26th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
In this interview with Peter Greenberg, Cruise Critic editor Carolyn Spencer Brown is asked if she would cruise on Carnival right now, and she says:

Peter Greenberg: ... So here’s my question for you, Miss CruiseCritic.com. Would you go on a Carnival cruise right now?

Carolyn Spencer Brown: I would prefer not to and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that our readers do it at this point. There are a lot of choices out there that are not having the same problems. I hate saying this, but book elsewhere.


.
This is Cruisemates, or am I wrong?

Editors of other sites have a right to their opinion. It should not matter what they recommend. The people of CM should just state their opinion and not concern themselves with what others are saying.
I have not looked at CC, but if you keep on mentioning them I might have to take a look.

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Old May 5th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I have a really good idea exactly where the Carnival disdain started - I was there. It was on the inaugural cruise for Dream, which sailed from New York in November.

During the cruise there was a CC party, and John Heald was expected to attend. He didn't attend - for reasons I do not know.

I do know that everything was ducky - I mean a large group of CC cruisers had paid to be on that 2-day cruise to nowhere. The weather was rough and it was cold outside.

But from that point on - suddenly CC decided they didn't like Carnival Dream as a ship, they also had a lot of criticism of management for "poor planning" for an inaugural cruise, and then John Heald also got knocked for whatever they could think of...

As far as I know things between CC and Carnival have not been the same since then. A lot of people started criticizing Carnival in the boards there, vociferously, and when a Carnival fan/moderator, Host Mach, stuck up for the line the protagonists got rebellious. Eventually they made life so miserable for him he quit. I guess he also banned a number of them because they left and start the FB "Cruise Critic Sucks"

That entire FB site is populated largely by people who hate Carnival, (former) Host Mach and John Heald, (not necessarily in that order).

I'm sorry, but I think such feuding is ridiculous. I have one fault as a moderator, I am not very good at identifying certain people as "real people" - to me every comment is equal and I rarely take note of who said what...

But the upside to that is that I don't get consumed worrying about online relationships.
Actually, you don't have to go any farther than reading Mach's blog about the sequence of events.

Seems he basically got fired after being accused by the community manager that he was passing Cruise Critic posts to John Heald, which ended up on his blog and Facebook pages. So in essence, even if this were not true (Mach denies it), by John Heald publishing all these Cruise Critic reposts, he got Mach fired.

Problem is, many were fabricated, or the story was altered, and publish like that. Then all the haters on FB basically pounced making the situation worse and worse with each report.

Also doen't help that the CC team of moderastors and ADMINS have basically chased most everyone away.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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Her's is only one opinion. Those of us that cruise frequently don't need her input to decide whether to cruise Carnival.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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I didn't much care for Cruise Critic....it was mutual...
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Old June 11th, 2013, 11:57 PM
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My husband and I love Carnival. They have always treated us well.
We have cruised on some other lines but always come back to Carnival.
We miss them in Mobile but it's not bad going to NO.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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I didn't much care for Cruise Critic....it was mutual...

Now that they are actually censoring opinion, they are no longer worth the effort. Never seen anything like it.

I signed off permanently after the Sunshine fiasco and their attempt to cover it up.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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CC hasn't chased enough away. The downside is that some of the bad eggs land elsewhere.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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CC hasn't chased enough away. The downside is that some of the bad eggs land elsewhere.
They chase you away? Don't recognize the screenname.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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They chase you away? Don't recognize the screenname.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:30 PM
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Cruise Critic Sucks was started with mostly disgruntled Cunardians and really had nothing to do with Carnival. The group was started long before Carnival Dream hit the water. Host Mach was a frequent target of their disdain because he originally was a host of the Cunard board. Later, he was moved to the Carnival board. It was his heavy handed moderation and playing favorites with members of his "official" group cruises that raised the ire of the members of CCS. CCS was never anti Carnival. It was always anti CC. And anti Host Mach. There was never any dislike of JH. He was always well liked and regarded. The problem was with the groupies that surround JH and their obsessive and obnoxious cheerleading. Incidentally, CCS is no longer a FB group. It was dismantled after a major fight between longtime members and the group admin. There are numerous spin off groups that have resulted from that meltdown. The legacy continues.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by NOS4A2 View Post
They chase you away? Don't recognize the screenname.
Zyde goes by Sgt. Schultz at CC, and yes, he is doing a long stint in Cabo even as I type.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Well, thanks for the update on CCS, important history there
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