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  #1  
Old September 6th, 2013, 06:56 AM
Seabournboy Seabournboy is offline
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Default Ship ratings on Cruise Critic

Over a period of time I have learned to instinctively trust the overall ship ratings on Cruise Critic and despite individual variances of peoples experiences on-board have found the rating to be spot on just about all the time. A high rating above 80 per cent is now one of my pre-requisites for booking a cruise. To what extent do the cruise lines pay attention to what is written on this website, does anyone know? FYI I have never once had any feedback to any on-board survey conducted by any of the 6 lines I have cruised with and some of my comments would have justified a response, both good and bad. Any comments on this subject welcome.

Last edited by Seabournboy; September 6th, 2013 at 07:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old September 6th, 2013, 07:37 AM
John Bull John Bull is online now
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The ratings are useful to compare broadly similar cruise lines & ships, but that's about it. I'm always very wary about ratings for top-end & budget-end ships, hotels, airlines, restaurants.

Ratings often don't incorporate value-for-money, in which case very expensive Regent & Silversea should come out way ahead of the rest, and the likes of Thomson, Louis Line, Pulmantur should be rooted at the bottom.
Because of the huge price differences, if food were good on Silversea I'd down-rate it because it wasn't excellent, if it were good on Pulmantur I'd up-rate it because it wasn't merely satisfactory.
But do others do the same?

Questionnaires & feedback?
Most questionnaires are tick-boxes, scoring one-to-five, & fed into a computer. As I guess they have to be with high-volume businesses.
Possibly, but only possibly, comments are considered if a huge proportion of responses say the same thing.
They only ask the questions that they want to ask, much like the FAQs on websites. (My own pretty obvious questions never seem to figure on FAQs, probably cos the answers aren't what the provider wants publicised too clearly on their website ).
And questionnaires are often slanted, to get a high proportion of good-to-excellent.

Unless I'm bored I tend not to complete tick-box questionnaires for those reasons. Or because I'm getting old & cranky

All my comments refer to ratings & questionnaires generally, not just cruise ships.

JB
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Last edited by John Bull; September 6th, 2013 at 07:39 AM.
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  #3  
Old September 6th, 2013, 09:13 AM
boulders boulders is offline
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I agree with the OP for the most part. However, my next cruise is booked on the Zaandam, a ship that has a 71% "approval rating". Normally, I wouldn't look twice at a ship with 71%, but I started to look at and read the reviews. Most reviews are 5*. A handful are 1* or 2*. A lot of those are by first time cruisers - some comments were " there were a lot of old people" (on a 15 night cruise on HAL in the off season), "there were no sports activities on board" (on an Alaska cruise), "the crew has to turn in any tips given to them personally" (same thing for all cruise lines). Some were valid concerns, but not applicable to me, like the people who got off in Beijing, planning to stay there, but HAL wouldn't give them their passports.

I had looked at the same cruise last year, which was on a different ship, the Veendam. The Veendam has a 77% rating, but for months prior to that cruise, there had been many reports of cabin flooding on the Veendam. Those reports didn't seem to make it into the reviews though. Anecdotal reports on the boards do not have any complaints about the Zaandam. I've already bought the airfare, so I'll be making my own judgement.

One feature that I'd like to see added to cruisecritic, is the ability to ask questions of a reviewer or make comments on a review. It kind of annoys me when a reviewer blasts a cruiseline for something that all cruiselines do.
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  #4  
Old September 6th, 2013, 09:23 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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I go with the 80/20 rule.

If 80% of the people rate something high or low I accept it as fact until I experience it myself.

Keith
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  #5  
Old September 6th, 2013, 10:27 AM
margeecruiser margeecruiser is online now
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One of the best classes I ever took was Statistics 101, and it was just an elective course at a junior college that seemed interesting. I have applied what I learned about sampling size and survey bias whenever I read reviews or advertising. So I read reviews with some reservations, but still find some good information.

Margee
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  #6  
Old September 6th, 2013, 08:50 PM
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dorisis dorisis is offline
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Reviews can furnish useful information. I do not judge a ship by passenger reviews.
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  #7  
Old September 8th, 2013, 06:37 AM
Seabournboy Seabournboy is offline
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Default Hal

Some fair comments here and I love Holland America, having sailed twice, on Noordam and Nieuw Amsterdam. I think everyone has one or two lines that suit their personal needs. In my case, that is some downtime and peace and quiet were I can read a book and some good company at mealtimes or when I choose it. I am sure Zaandam will be just fine. My experience after 9 cruises and 6 cruise lines is that I have a better experience on a ship with an 85 percent rating that on one with a 65-70 percent rating and where I have a choice, I will pick the ship with the higher rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boulders View Post
I agree with the OP for the most part. However, my next cruise is booked on the Zaandam, a ship that has a 71% "approval rating". Normally, I wouldn't look twice at a ship with 71%, but I started to look at and read the reviews. Most reviews are 5*. A handful are 1* or 2*. A lot of those are by first time cruisers - some comments were " there were a lot of old people" (on a 15 night cruise on HAL in the off season), "there were no sports activities on board" (on an Alaska cruise), "the crew has to turn in any tips given to them personally" (same thing for all cruise lines). Some were valid concerns, but not applicable to me, like the people who got off in Beijing, planning to stay there, but HAL wouldn't give them their passports.

I had looked at the same cruise last year, which was on a different ship, the Veendam. The Veendam has a 77% rating, but for months prior to that cruise, there had been many reports of cabin flooding on the Veendam. Those reports didn't seem to make it into the reviews though. Anecdotal reports on the boards do not have any complaints about the Zaandam. I've already bought the airfare, so I'll be making my own judgement.

One feature that I'd like to see added to cruisecritic, is the ability to ask questions of a reviewer or make comments on a review. It kind of annoys me when a reviewer blasts a cruiseline for something that all cruiselines do.
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  #8  
Old September 8th, 2013, 06:49 AM
Seabournboy Seabournboy is offline
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I don't disagree with you although I would say that the cost of the cruise tends to bring a different group of people onto a ship and the expectations are roughly in line with the expectations of that group of individuals. Meaning that you wont often see Carnival/NCL passengers on-board Silversea or Seabourn vessels or vice-versa. So the ratings are very generalised but overall paint a picture of what you can expect. I am inclined to agree that the ships surveys are a waste of time and are there to provide an impression that the company cares about your feedback. Those service companies (hotels are a good example) that care about social media and review websites will always provide a response to a review. If you don't do this there is no point in asking for feedback in the first place. I am also learning that each of these cruise lines cater to a different set of passengers, despite giving the impression of trying to appeal to everyone. In my case, I am starting to believe that Celebrity/HAL fit my needs just about perfectly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bull View Post
The ratings are useful to compare broadly similar cruise lines & ships, but that's about it. I'm always very wary about ratings for top-end & budget-end ships, hotels, airlines, restaurants.

Ratings often don't incorporate value-for-money, in which case very expensive Regent & Silversea should come out way ahead of the rest, and the likes of Thomson, Louis Line, Pulmantur should be rooted at the bottom.
Because of the huge price differences, if food were good on Silversea I'd down-rate it because it wasn't excellent, if it were good on Pulmantur I'd up-rate it because it wasn't merely satisfactory.
But do others do the same?

Questionnaires & feedback?
Most questionnaires are tick-boxes, scoring one-to-five, & fed into a computer. As I guess they have to be with high-volume businesses.
Possibly, but only possibly, comments are considered if a huge proportion of responses say the same thing.
They only ask the questions that they want to ask, much like the FAQs on websites. (My own pretty obvious questions never seem to figure on FAQs, probably cos the answers aren't what the provider wants publicised too clearly on their website ).
And questionnaires are often slanted, to get a high proportion of good-to-excellent.

Unless I'm bored I tend not to complete tick-box questionnaires for those reasons. Or because I'm getting old & cranky

All my comments refer to ratings & questionnaires generally, not just cruise ships.

JB
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  #9  
Old September 8th, 2013, 06:54 AM
Seabournboy Seabournboy is offline
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Default Reviews

Fair enough Doris but I would give you a fun challenge. Try a ship with a 90 percent rating and then try another one with a 65 percent rating and tell me which one enjoyed the best. My guess is that the overall scores on this website will ring true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorisis View Post
Reviews can furnish useful information. I do not judge a ship by passenger reviews.
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  #10  
Old September 8th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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SuzanneH SuzanneH is offline
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I always read the reviews, and start with the bad ones first. That way I can tell if there is actually a recurring theme or if there were issues for the reviewer that may or may not be an issue for me. I honestly haven't looked at ship ratings as far as percentage, but now I will. Lol.
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  #11  
Old September 8th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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Lerin Lerin is offline
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I hardly look at the ratings, but very very carefully read reviews.

Some people give the ship a low rating based on 1 event that happened, such as: their luggage came late, their kid didn't like the kid area, or their steak wasn't well-done. I figure these are people who don't like much of anything and take little into their review.

However if I see a trend among reviews(both good and bad) about a ship, that is something to keep in mind. Such as if every single person reports that they waited 45 minutes to be seated for dinner, or the onboard comedian was boring...those are things to consider.

Once in awhile I'll read a really good review, but the writer has given the ship only 1 or 2 stars. I figure this person is either confused about ratings, which is why it's so important to actually read reviews.
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