It pains me to say it but I think Thomas is right: Something is fishy with CruiseMates new relationship with Oceania Cruise Line. When Paul is recommending Oceania over Princess in response to a posting asking simply if it was safe to travel to Turkey, its not passing the smell test.
Marc.. I haven't seen the post you're referring to, but I have to say your detecting skills suck <G>
If you've followed the site much over the years you've seen most of the major cruise lines advertise here at some time or other( as well as many travel agencies}. Carnival Corp, and Celebrity/RCI off the top of my head recently.
Everyone here, Paul included, is allowed to have their opinions about the cruise lines, regardless of the advertiser du jour.
Comments like yours, which obviously weren't given much thought, insult the integrity of one of the owners of the site. If I honestly questioned the integrity of a site like this which I visited, I likely wouldn't be hanging around it anymore, because doing so would say something about my own integrity.
I agree with all you have said (except that I did think about what I wrote). When Thomas made his initial post, sometime back, I didn't comment on it. But to specifically mention the financial stability of a cruise line that has yet to sail...
"Having dealt directly with Oceania's management I can honestly say I have had nothing but positive experiences with them both personally and financially."
....is a little premature. If you, instead of Paul, had provided the advice to the sailor to avoid Turkey this year, sail with Oceania, and go to Turkey in the future; I wouldn't have stated my concern. When Paul states it, it smells a little fishy to me.
I am not saying I'm right, I am just saying that I "might" be.
Should the owner of the site be recommending one cruiseline over another on the message boards? Especially since his disclaimer says, "CruiseMates is an independently owned and editorially unbiased "Internet Cruise Magazine and Cruise Information Guidebook."
Yes, everyone on the site has the right to state their opinion. The great thing about CruiseMates is the number of varied experiences shared by the staff and the fellow cruisers. I think this is the reason that CruiseMates has had such great press. However, if there should ever be though to be a vested interest (whether there is one or not) in the responses from CruiseMates staff (and especially ownership), I think it will be to the long term detriment to CruiseMates as we now know it. Perception is the problem, not the facts.
Thomas... that is an OPINION. This is a message board for opinions. I am shocked that you don't see the difference.
If one person were to recommend your restaurant, and another were to say it was terrible, are they bias, or are they expressing their opinions??
If you go on a cruise, and have a great time, and come back and report on what a good time you had, are you biased?
Paul may have given his opinion, recommending one cruise over another. HIGHLY unlikely he recommended one cruise line over ALL others. Even if he had its only HIS OPINION, and you and I have every right to disagree and express OUR OPINION
If a customer of mine takes cash from me and then walks outside and claims he is unbiased and then recommends the restaurant to another, I would suspect the other person would be questioning his "opinion."
I'm really quite astounded that you keep defending the position, that because a business accepts advertising dollars, the owners can not be unbiased and impartial to the product, and are not entitled to an opinion of their own.
A newpaper accepts your advertising $$. The restaurant reviewer for the newspaper then happens to write a good review. Is this to be suspect to? Or, perhaps you're the type of person who would expect it to be so?
As I said.. yours and Marc's comments are VERY insulting to Paul's integrity, and that of the CruiseMates site. For people who are generally quite active on the site, it still amazes me that you hold it in such low regard.
You've accused someone of being bought off by a few advertising dollars. Very quick and shameful judgements based on a post or two on a messsage board.
If I subscribed to a magazine, and something happened to make me believe it was not trustworthy, I certainly would be cancelling my subscription.
I only expressed a concern. I have no way of knowing the truth. I just found Paul's response to a poster's question a little startling. I know the site lives by advertising. Without this advertising, we wouldn't have a place to learn or impart our learning. It is perfectly right to accept advertising from any cruise line or agency. But when Paul starts expousing the wonderful deals of Oceania in a response, I still think that that can be perceived as going too far.
I never thought this thread would last as long as it did. I have never criticized CruiseMates integrity in the past and don't plan on making a habit of it in the future. I just thought that I would pass along my concern.
"A newpaper accepts your advertising $$. The restaurant reviewer for the newspaper then happens to write a good review. Is this to be suspect to?"....Kuki
If the reviewer is the owner of the newspaper, you betcha! Do I think a newpaper owner would accept my advertising dollars and then write a bad review of my restaurant, hell no. If he did write a bad review, do you think I would advertise with him again?
I enjoy this site because I've never thought it to be biased toward any specific cruiseline, but I happen to agree with Marc's original post. Enough said.
I highly recommend Royal Caribbean Vision class ships. They have lots of glass that makes the ships seem larger and very open. Very relaxing ship class.
OK. Thatís my opinion. Will many disagree with me? Yes. But it is my opinion. Many on this board do not know who the "owner" is, even though we appreciate his hard work. We have all been around long enough to understand what an opinion is.
Curious - today I received an email from Oceania cruises ... wonder where they got my email address??? Said they'd keep sending them to me periodically - NOT, I put them in my blocked spam mail. Anyone else get on this list?
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
I have to respectfully disagree with you regarding Paul's "right" to an opinion. When Paul is receiving advertising dollars from a cruise line and then he "recommends" them it is extremely suspect.
For years I worked for a MAJOR travel agency and we were taught, from the beginning, not to recommend a particular cruise line/airline/tour company, but to qualify the client then offer the client multiple companies that would fit his/her needs and have the client choose. The statement that was drilled into our head was "Don't recommend because we represent all".
Understandably you are defending your friend/coworker/coowner, however it would probably be prudent of you to step back and think about the perception that is being given and the response.
If you ever took a cruise on Ren they have your name on their e-mail list. Cruisemates does not now, nor have they ever used any user information from this website to provide addresses to any agency, period.
Additionally, Oceania is treated no differant than any other cruise line, period. I have recommended Carnival, RCI, Princess, HAL, and other cruiselines at differant times over each other depending upon what the poster has indicated they might like. This is the whole purpose of the website, giving opinions and suggestions to others. It is a CRUISELINE and not an agency which would be improper. It has nothing to do with advertising and to say otherwise is frankly pretty insulting. Had this accusations been made of anyone other than staff of Cruisemates they would have immediately been deleted as violation of the personal attacks policy but we have big shoulders and know these 'suspicions' are baseless.
There is no horse so dead that it cannot be beaten further....
...there is obviously a perception problem, not just on my part. If Paul, or anyone else that has sailed Oceania, wants to write a review and place it on CruiseMates homepage, that is perfectly fine. If you want to write a review, go ahead. However, the spin given Oceania on these msg boards is more than I have ever seen for another cruise line.
I have also received an email from Oceania. I have never been on a Renaissance cruise nor do I post on any other cruise web site. I don't know how they got my email address as the one that is registered on this site with my login name is my home address and their email came to my company address.
"Unfortunately, CruiseMates cannot be responsible for any third parties who enter CruiseMates with the intention of gathering usernames and/or email addresses for the purposes of solicitation. If you should be solicited by anyone without your consent you can forward the solicitation to CruiseMates and we will look into the matter to see what if any action can be taken.
Other uses of information:
As we state above, we will never sell, exchange, or release our members' individual identifying information (such as their name, email address or preferences data) to a third party without your permission. Occasionally, we might send data files containing personal information (such as email addresses) to third party agents for data processing services. These third parties are restricted from using this data in any way other than to provide services for us, and may not use or resell the data."
There IS software available to "advertisers" (spam-type) that will automatically collect screen names from posting sites. Whether the forum names were sold or unethically collected, it is wrong, but it happens all the time. A common recommendation to people who post online is to use an email address that is "disposable" -- such as Hotmail -- that is used ONLY for posting purposes. That will keep the spam out of your main mailbox and in the one that is used only for posting. Numerous sites provide free email boxes that can be used this way.