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Message boards, or forums, are friendly discussion areas on websites. Members can post questions and read and respond to posts by other members.
A forum can be focused on nearly any subject and a sense of an online community, or *virtual* community, tends to develop among forum members. A forum allows all members to make posts and start new topics, or threads as we call them here on Cruise Critic.
For organizational purposes, forum communities will have a number of categories so that you will be able to find a topic that interests you. However, once you select a category or individual forum -- say, Carnival -- the threads are not arranged in any type of alphabetical order. They are most likely posted in date order by the last post. Therefore, the thread at the top will have the most recent posts.
Most forums have robust search functionality. Search is your best friend!
The information provided on forums is contributed by people just like you. You can get a lot of great cruise advice in our forums. You should keep in mind that any information and advice offered by other members should be taken with a dose of common sense and treated as a starting point for your cruise research.