Caution!! Reading Message Boards May be Dangerous!
I love to read message boards. But I would be very cautious as to cruise or not cruise based solely on another's opinion. I think the boards serve a good purpose for passing information about what to do, what to see, what to pack, etc. But opinions vary greatly, especially on boards where we can hide behind cute monikers.
When it comes to picking a cruise, be cautious. If you read all the boards for Princess, HAL, Celebrity, Carnival, etc. and follow the advice/complaints, you will not be going on a cruise! Why? Because you will be so confused after reading so many "I will never sail xxxx again" and "I will never go on anyone but yyyy", that a decision will be very difficult if not impossible to make.
Everyone has a story to report. Everyone has had a good and/or bad experience. You can read them all over the board. I will not sail xxxx or yyyy or whoever because of this or I will only sail because of this.
What happened on Apr 21 on HAL's Maasdam most likely will have nothing to do with what happens on the Jul 21 sailing of the same Maasdam. Time changes things greatly. Even 90 days in many cases.
Final comment. The people who comment on the boards make up a tiny percentage of people who go cruising. Don't base a major purchase decision on the comments/advice of such a small group. Use other resources. There are many.
Having said my say (sorry Mrs. Alger - 12th grade english), I do want to remind you that I love boards, see you soon!!
Re: Caution!! Reading Message Boards May be Dangerous!
True, reading a first-time cruisers forum, one might be strongly influenced by posts like this: "When I hear of a disease outbreak on a ship, it is usually a Holland America, Disney, or other ship. I don't hear about Princess ships having such problems. I'm going on a Princess Cruise soon, to avoid the dirty water, tainted air, etc, which cause problems on other lines."
Assuming she wasn't trying to drum up business for Princess, she at least didn't do her research well. According to the CDC website, the Jan. 25th cruise of the Sun Princess was terminated early, on Feb. 4, due to an outbreak of illness in over 10% of the passengers and the passengers were flown home.
A first-time cruiser who didn't look for information to confirm the post might well at least avoid Holland America and Disney. Biased or misinformation can certainly affect a person's choice of a cruise.
Re: Re: Caution!! Reading Message Boards May be Dangerous!
I agree with both of the first two posters.
When someone reports a bad cruise experience, bear in mind that this report is not a survey, but is basically "anecdotal" in scope.
It just happens to be one person's experience on one ship for that one week.
All people also have large variances in what they consider "excellent or poor". What one pax may consider excellent service may be horrible service to another. What one pax says is great food, might be just so-so to another.
Different cabin stewards, waiters, etc. GENERATE different opinions of their efforts, because they are all different. Great food service by one waiter in the dining room could on the same ship at the same time be balanced by poor food service from a different waiter in the very same dining room.