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  #61 (permalink)  
Old July 21st, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I would have taken it if Carnival offerred me a 2 night cruise to no where out of LA or San Francisco. Because I could drive to port. It wouldn't have changed my posts at all. There is a TA in my office and she has gone to some of these types of things. I think RCL should have been honest with you in the beginning. But I don't blame you for taking free stuff. I got my Mcdonald free mocha today, I got my free KFC meal today. I would do it again. BTW KFC staff was rude and dumped cole slaw liquid in my mash potatoes. See I can still be honest.
What is interesting is as one person pointed out-there are other companies that do this. Amazon offers a "vine" program for their top reviewers. If a person is chosen to be a "vine" he/she gets free products in exchange for reviewing the product. He does not have to take the products-he is offered them-but if he takes them-he is expected to write a review.

It seems there is a lot of jealousy over this-as many "aspiring viners want-to-bes" will deliberately mark the viners' reviews "not helpful."
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmeg
Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I would have taken it if Carnival offerred me a 2 night cruise to no where out of LA or San Francisco. Because I could drive to port. It wouldn't have changed my posts at all. There is a TA in my office and she has gone to some of these types of things. I think RCL should have been honest with you in the beginning. But I don't blame you for taking free stuff. I got my Mcdonald free mocha today, I got my free KFC meal today. I would do it again. BTW KFC staff was rude and dumped cole slaw liquid in my mash potatoes. See I can still be honest.
What is interesting is as one person pointed out-there are other companies that do this. Amazon offers a "vine" program for their top reviewers. If a person is chosen to be a "vine" he/she gets free products in exchange for reviewing the product. He does not have to take the products-he is offered them-but if he takes them-he is expected to write a review.

It seems there is a lot of jealousy over this-as many "aspiring viners want-to-bes" will deliberately mark the viners' reviews "not helpful."

The jealously factor was part of it. There were folks that believed they deserved to be a Royal Champion instead of the ones picked. They went from positive posts about RCI to negative. It was really interesting to watch. Then there were others that started posting after the articles came out. They were the really nasty ones and seemed to just want to cause trouble. I wish some of the posts had been saved in a file instead of just deleted. The other problem is that no matter what we said, no one believed us. They only wanted to believe what was written in articles that never did any real fact checking. We finally gave up trying and were then accused of hiding. We finally decided to quit banging our heads against a wall.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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Not to open old wounds or anything but ... I think it is very important to highlight certain issues regarding the Royal Champion viral marketing campaign especially since some here are not aware of all the facts.

Apparently no one had any idea why they had been invited on a free 2 night cruise until RCI's marketing director bragged at a conference how well the Royal Champion viral marketing program was working. She was quoted as saying that the Royal Champions' comments and posts on chatroom websites were being monitored for positiveness and found that it had been a resounding success.

CC has a very clear rule about advertising on its website and this Royal Champion marketing program was clearly in violation of that policy.

So... even after everyone (Royal Champions and CC) were made aware of the purpose of this program and the motive behind the free cruise, it continued. No disclosure was required of the Royal Champions by CC. As a matter of fact, CC made no attempt to enforce its own policies. And the Royal Champions were apparently ok with being used by RCI as part of its marketing program despite never being directly informed of this intent by RCI.

And that's why it is important to read reviews and advice given on websites with a grain of salt. It is not possible to know who is being compensated for positive reviews and what relationship a website has with a corporation.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRover

And that's why it is important to read reviews and advice given on websites with a grain of salt. It is not possible to know who is being compensated for positive reviews and what relationship a website has with a corporation.
That's an absolutely correct statement. Everything posted on the internet is subject to scrutiny on any website as a significant number of folks have an agenda. Even on this website.
I have had Royal Champion in my signature since the beginning. Everyone can draw their own conclusions about how and what I post here or on any other site.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 03:31 AM
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I throw away the best and worse reviews, they hold no value to me. Most cruises have good and bad aspects so I look for a review that shows both. Then I decide if the bad things are something I can live with.

On this website I read several Carnival Freedom reviews, they all had the same issues and appeared to be written by the same person. The biggest complain was salt water used in the pool and loud interior. These aren't a big issues for me. I went on the Carnival Freedom and had a great time.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old August 2nd, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Just a postscript:

RCI has officially disbanded the Royal Champion program.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
I throw away the best and worse reviews, they hold no value to me. Most cruises have good and bad aspects so I look for a review that shows both. Then I decide if the bad things are something I can live with.

On this website I read several Carnival Freedom reviews, they all had the same issues and appeared to be written by the same person. The biggest complain was salt water used in the pool and loud interior. These aren't a big issues for me. I went on the Carnival Freedom and had a great time.
As far as I know, (and I am probably WRONG) only Princess uses fresh water for the pools-at least- throughout the fleet. It seems some lines do have a few ships that have fresh water pools.

It sounds to me that the reviewer had not cruised much, if salt water pools was their main complaint.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Disney has fresh water pools, too. Just not enough of them and they are too small.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRover
Disney has fresh water pools, too. Just not enough of them and they are too small.
I forgot about Disney. They only have 2 ships and a 3rd coming out-uinless it is already out? If that person was comparing Carnival to Disney-well no wonder they hated Carnival- Disney is a super nice line-but then you PAY MUCH more for a Disney cruise. In my mind, it would be unfair to expect Carnival to be as good as Disney.

I was actually thinking RCI has a few freshwater pools- but only on a few of their ships-the majority of RCI's ships have salt water.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babe ruth
RCI's use of paid plants on CC is so bad in so many ways. People who go to this site and CC THINK they are getting the unbiased opinions of experienced cruisers -- not paid endorsers. Turns out it isn't true for CC. This is close to fraud.

On still another level, there is a thread on the RCI forum on this board, reporting how a member posted numerous threads on CC about this situation, and that the posts were all removed, and the member banned from CC. That same thread contains an email response from the administrator of CC that makes it clear that CC is supportive and protective of the RCI "paid plant", and is receiving compensation from RCI for doing so. So what we have here is a conspiracy involving CC, RCI and the paid plants to defraud CC readers who go there expecting unbiased opinions.

This is wrong on so many other levels, I don't know where to stop, so I'll stop here with the statement that, IMO, the credibility of CC has been destroyed.
I could not agree more, about your comments about the RCL Champions program and your comments about CC. I think that is why a lot of us like cruisemates so much. It should be about the free flow of ALL information without harassment or deriding comments.

Even on cruisemates, I have had some of my comments impugned by a small group of posters, because I have reported on not what only happened to me, but rather an ongoing mechanical problem on some Celebrity ships. Although it is more than a little strange that they never attack the facts but rather always object to the fact that I posted the information. I feel that new cruisers should be made aware of things like good service and also things that could severely impact their cruise. Unfortunately some seem think some problems should be kept in the dark but I guess, that is what makes cruisemates so interesting!

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Old September 29th, 2009, 09:44 PM
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"Even on cruisemates, I have had some of my comments impugned by a small group of posters, because I have reported on not what only happened to me, but rather an ongoing mechanical problem on some Celebrity ships. Although it is more than a little strange that they never attack the facts but rather always object to the fact that I posted the information. I feel that new cruisers should be made aware of things like good service and also things that could severely impact their cruise. Unfortunately some seem think some problems should be kept in the dark but I guess, that is what makes cruisemates so interesting! "
writing in a larger print because of eye surgery folks..

We/I have found that there are many members on CC or Cruisemates who are so "brand" happy they keep "harping" on the same things negative items of other cruise lines. .. It's TIME TO GIVE IT A REST.. and go onto other subjects. My answer to a bad experience (you don't know of the experiece that resulted in a law suit which I won btw on a RC ship-and I've never talked insescitingly (sp) about that resulted in surgery of my left arm) but you don't hear me repeating it post after post after post.. My answer to my bad experience is to NOT cruise that line again.. perhaps I should give it or another ship in the line another chance, but I dont have the extra $$$ or time to take a chance..Parrot Pop and I do not look for "inexpensive" cabin or guarantees.. we book CC level or suites.... So, I will Nurse D ebra...sail on my favorite line... and oh yes.. I'm trying a line this November that many people would look down their noses at...but hey, I'm flexible and must choose my cruises/cruise lines where I can get the most for my $$ and I will feel welcomed and "at home".
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old October 2nd, 2009, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Cruiseline "Plants" on Cruise Review Sites

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
I just saw this report:

http://consumerist.com/5166291/royal...marketing-team

What good is an independent site when the cruiselines are manipulating it.
Just to move on from the usual personal attacks and get back to the subject of this thread.

Thanks, Marc for starting such an interesting and revealing thread about this viral marketing program that was begun by Royal Caribbean to influence the information and openness on some cruise line web forums. My understanding is that after being exposed the program supposoedly has been ended by Royal Caribbean and that is one of the positive results of having true open forums such as cruisemates.

What we need is less cruise line cheerleading and more freedom to post opinions about things that can and will affect all aboard future cruises without the personal attacks.

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  #73 (permalink)  
Old September 20th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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I know this is an old thread but as a landlubber myself and planning my first cruise (and decided already on RCCL Oasis yippy!!!)...I have read, at least, a 100 reviews of various cruise lines and ships on various sites. I think you have to use common sense when reading reviews. If a review is too "perfect" and everything was "great" including the noise of the toilet flushing - I become very very suspicious . Now, if the review, is way too negative and bashing every part of the vacation and ship - I become very very suspicious too.
With the ultra negative reviews, I question, if that person was on that site beforehand and read the reviews and still decided to go on the ship/cruise line - well that person is a fool plain ans simple!
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 01:40 AM
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Good point, but how is this different than anything these days? Every aspect of business/news/politics/social networking/marketing has been manipulated.

Yeah, the lines hire people to do this on forums. So does the CIA. So does Greenpeace. So do the people fighting Greenpeace. Cruise lines also troll the rival lines and make them look bad. it's a business...corporations exist for the SOLE purpose of profit. They want you to have a good cruise, not because they love you...but because they want their stock to go up.

Cruise lines also heavily lurk on these sites, and they listen to your suggestions. They take these communities very seriously. You're their demographic...they'd be crazy NOT to work their way into these sites. It does help them make the experience better. I think that's a good thing. My boss on one ship lived on CC, and pretty much went into meltdown when CC'ers would come onboard. But it made for a great cruise...we all worked really hard to make them happy. So, there's a tip

But, it's like watching the news these days...it's not the truth anymore, it's marketing. I worked in TV news for 3 years recently, and I know what I'm talking about. It's not Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather anymore. Look what happened to him when he tried to tell the truth about Bush?

This is our society. This is capitalism at it's most shiny and sleazy. It is what it is, and unless you want the cruise lines to be run by the state, this is what it's going to be.

Watch "The Century Of The Self"...it's a BBC documentary that might help you understand just how widespread and sneaky marketing really is.

Last edited by radiofreebc; January 22nd, 2011 at 01:46 AM.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 01:48 AM
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The following was originally posted on forum.concen.org, in reference to the FBI's trolling operations on web forums. This is fact.

Quote:
COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of an Internet forum:

There are several techniques available for control and manipulation of an internet forum, no matter who is on it or what content it contains. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that a minimal number of operatives, when acting in a coordinated and precise fashion, can be used to eventually and effectively gain a control of a 'uncontrolled forum.'

Forum Sliding:

If a very sensitive posting of a critical nature has been posted on a forum - it can be quickly removed from public view by 'forum sliding.' In this technique a number of unrelated posts are quietly 'prepositioned' on the forum and allowed to 'age.' Each of these misdirectional forum postings can then be called upon at will to trigger a 'forum slide.'

The second requirement is that several sockpuppets exist, which can be called upon, to ensure that this technique is not exposed to the public. To trigger a 'forum slide' and 'flush' the critical post out of public view it is simply a matter of logging into each account, both real and fake, and then 'replying' to prepositioned postings with a simple one- or two-line comment. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, and the critical posting 'slides' down the front page, and quickly out of public view.

Although it is difficult or impossible to censor the posting it is now lost in a sea of unrelated and useless postings. By this means it becomes effective to keep the readers of the forum reading unrelated and non-issue items.

Consensus Cracking:

A second highly effective technique (which you can see in operation all the time at AboveTopSecret.com - Conspiracy Theories, UFOs, Paranormal, Political Madness, and other "Alternative Topics") is 'consensus cracking.' To develop a consensus crack, the following technique is used.

Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.' Thus the uninformed reader will most likely develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'

Topic Dilution:

Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding; it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a 'RESOURCE BURN.' By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt ([trolling]) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity.

If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a 'gossip mode.' In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in.

It must be stressed that a proper assessment of the psychological capabilities and levels of education of the group is first determined to determine at what level to 'drive in the wedge.' By being too far off topic too quickly it may trigger censorship by a forum moderator.

Information Collection:

Information collection is also a very effective method to determine the psychological level of the forum members, and to gather intelligence that can be used against them. In this technique in a light and positive environment a 'show you mine show me yours' posting is initiated. From the number of replies and the answers that are provided much statistical information can be gathered. An example is to post your 'favorite weapon' and then encourage other members of the forum to showcase what they have. In this matter it can be determined by reverse proration what percentage of the forum community owns a firearm, and or a illegal weapon.

This same method can be used by posing as one of the form members and posting your favourite 'technique of operation.' From the replies various methods that the group utilizes can be studied and effective methods developed to stop them from their activities.

Anger Trolling:

Statistically, there is always a percentage of the forum posters who are more inclined to violence. In order to determine who these individuals are, it is a requirement to present an image on the forum to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction. From this the most violent or outburst-prone members of the group can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking.

To accomplish this only requires posting a link to a video depicting a local police officer massively abusing his power against a very innocent individual. Statistically of the million or so police officers in America there is always one or two being caught abusing their powers and the taping of the activity can then be used for intelligence gathering purposes - without the requirement to 'stage' a fake abuse video. This method's effectiveness is directly proportional to the level of abuse contained in the video.

Sometimes it is useful to 'lead' the forum by replying to your own posting with your own statement of violent intent, and that you 'do not care what the authorities think!!' inflammation. By doing this and showing no fear it may be more effective in getting the more silent and self-disciplined violent intent members of the forum to slip and post their real intentions. This can be used later in a court of law during prosecution.

Gaining Full Control:

It is important to also be harvesting and continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavorable postings - and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms.

Depending on the level of control you can obtain, you can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it is not always in the interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a 'honey pot' gathering center to collect and misdirect newcomers and from this point be completely used for your control for your agenda purposes.

Conclusion:

Remember these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Once they are aware of these techniques the operation can completely fail, and the forum can become uncontrolled. At this point other avenues must be considered such as initiating a false legal proceeding to simply have the forum shut down and taken offline.

This is not desirable as it then leaves the enforcement agencies unable to track the percentage of those in the population who always resist attempts for control against them. Many other techniques can be utilized and developed by the individual and as you develop further techniques of infiltration and control it is imperative to share then with HQ.
Pretty creepy, eh? This is the FBI, and how they actually manipulate web forums. It honestly makes the cruise lines seem tame in comparison.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 04:47 PM
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What the heck, I've just been presented with a management seminar discussion or point on cruise gripes!!

Think I got the last line, with all they have to do the FBI run or direct cruise ship forums, is that right?

Do you honestly think anyone is going to read all that? Gimme your bullet point view please.

Oh and

"and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms"

I've been doing that for years on here and I'm not in the FBI, maybe I should apply

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Old January 25th, 2011, 04:40 AM
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What the heck, I've just been presented with a management seminar discussion or point on cruise gripes!!

Think I got the last line, with all they have to do the FBI run or direct cruise ship forums, is that right?

Do you honestly think anyone is going to read all that? Gimme your bullet point view please.

Oh and

"and one can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and lack of interest by the general public. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer participated with by the general public and no longer useful in maintaining their freedoms"

I've been doing that for years on here and I'm not in the FBI, maybe I should apply
Haha..sorry man. That was a bit long. I'm quite the thread killer too, evidently
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Old January 25th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by radiofreebc View Post
I worked in TV news for 3 years recently, and I know what I'm talking about. It's not Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather anymore. Look what happened to him when he tried to tell the truth about Bush?

Must be nice to be privy to the "truth" as apparently you are. Go drink your cool ade on the MSNBC forums. 'kay?
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Old January 28th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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Well this is a very interesting topic, there is another site out there, it censors a great deal, truthful negative information is frowned upon and often deleted, dominated by travel agents who have their own agenda, they do not disclose that they are travel agents, also dominated by long term posters/moderators who tolerate little that is not part of their clique.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commission1 View Post
Well this is a very interesting topic, there is another site out there, it censors a great deal, truthful negative information is frowned upon and often deleted, dominated by travel agents who have their own agenda, they do not disclose that they are travel agents, also dominated by long term posters/moderators who tolerate little that is not part of their clique.
Hmmm . . . if it is the site I'm thinking of we have had great experience gathering info on the ports boards from people who said they were locals in the areas we were inquiring about. Now I wonder.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Yes after great amounts of censorship (at best) I left that site and found cruisemates, that site literally deleted deals that I posted, it deleted whole threads of truthful information by many posters because it left the cruiseline looking badly. If something is truthful it should not be deleted (unless it is vulgar or something) Some boards over there are dominated by 'locals", I am pretty confident they pay to post there information, I know that royal cruiseline and that board were in concert to through the royal champion program. Imagine getting free cruises to post information, gee do you really think you would post anything negative? Even moderators over there belonged to the royal champions, (how can you possibly claim you are not biased) i would not be surprised if it is just the tip of the iceberg and that many benefits are awarded to long term posters and moderators. There is no reason to delete truthful negative information about a cruiseline, yet they state they can delete anything for any reason, so it is not really a cruise discussion board, just more of an advertisement
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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Welcome to Cruisemates, Commission....we want the good, the bad, and the ugly...Hope to see you all around the boards.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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I would accept something from a cruiseline in return for a review but only if I could speak the truth.
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