I had lunch today with 2 "lost" friends from HS .One mentioned that he loves to cruise .He and his wife do at least 4 cruises a year .I told him about CM and suggested that he come and share his cruising experiences .He said the only time he uses the computer is to e-mail and to do occasional research .
Sometimes I agree with him, these forums are real timewasters & while I have "met" some really nice people there are some real weirdos out there.
For many the internet, and forums such as these are a real lifeline... the internet can create a "social life" for those who for various reasons may not go out much, or may not know alot of other people.
For cruisers who don't use sites like CruiseMates, they are getting old news. Magazine articles regarding cruising are at least 6 months out of date when they publish.
Because of CruiseMates and similar sites the public generally knows about any types of incidents or occurances onboard ships within minutes of them occurring.
For reviews of ships one might be considering, the typical guidebooks are one again almost out of date before they publish. Not that they are bad, or may not stand up, but current user reviews are much easier to find on the Internet.
Cruisers not using the Internet for cruise research prior to choosing their cruise are at a disadvantage. They may not even know about recent cruise line changes in their policies before they board.
Any in depth coverage of the industry takes a considerable amount of time before it even hits print media like newspapers. I've met journalists on press trips who've told me their assigned article to cover a ship won't be appearing for a month or more, while I'm writing them live from the ship.
I've also been able to meet literally HUNDREDS of people from CruiseMates, and become very good friends with many, who'd I'd like never have met on a ship. I became very good friends with a couple (who've since visited us in our home) who we found out we'd been on the same ship with, on the same sailing, and we hadn't met. Without the time spent on CruiseMates, we wouldn't have all the wonderful memories we made with only that one connection... let alone all the others.
I've learned an awful lot from this site, including how to use a computer, post pictures, make an avatar, a countdown clock, and everything there is to know about cruising - not to mention making some great friends along the way. Thank goodness for CruiseMates - I recommend to everybody I talk to about cruising!
CruiseMates has created a great cruiser group here in Florida. We all go to the dinners that Ray organises and so many of us have become great friends. I enjoy it a lot.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“