How can reviews vary so much?!

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#1
Southern California
1,401 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I was reading member reviews of the Monarch of the Seas and read 2 reviews in the same time frame, but very different.

It's interesting to see how one can perceive the cruise as being very bad and the other person can perceive their cruising experience as very good.
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#2
Liberty, Texas
1,075 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I think it depends on several things....

How many cruises the PO has been on.
What cruises they can compare it to.
The time of year they go.
Perhaps even who they cruised with.

Just my opinion. I'm sure there are others.
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#3
Forks Township, PA
1,162 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
I think a lot has to do with the personality of the people doing the reviewing - my husband has a very negative attitude while I'm a positive person. Therefore, we see the same thing in different ways. I tend to take things in stride, if there is a snag somewhere along the line, it's easily forgotten. My husband, on the other hand, will get annoyed by little things and they're the things he'll remember - forever!!

I don't take other people's reviews too seriously.

Soozin
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#4
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
714 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Originally posted by merela
I was reading member reviews of the Monarch of the Seas and read 2 reviews in the same time frame, but very different.

It's interesting to see how one can perceive the cruise as being very bad and the other person can perceive their cruising experience as very good.

Different strokes for Different folks
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#5
CINCINNATI, OHIO, USA
310 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Originally posted by Croozin Soozin
I think a lot has to do with the personality of the people doing the reviewing - my husband has a very negative attitude while I'm a positive person. Therefore, we see the same thing in different ways. I tend to take things in stride, if there is a snag somewhere along the line, it's easily forgotten. My husband, on the other hand, will get annoyed by little things and they're the things he'll remember - forever!!

I don't take other people's reviews too seriously.

Soozin
ARE WE MARRIED TO THE SAME GUY? I SOMETIMES WONDER IF WE GO ON THE SAME VACATIONS. HE'LL REMEMBER SOME LITTLE SOMETHING THAT BOTHERED HIM. I REMEMBER THE WONDERFUL FOOD OR SERVICE OR JUST THE FEELING OF BEING ON VACATION. WELL, I GUESS WE ACTUALLY BALANCE EACH OTHER OUT.
#6
Bethlehem Twp., PA
62 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Hmm, well, he did grow up in Ohio!!! LOL

Soozin
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<BR><IMG SRC="http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=008080& cdt=2005;10;23;0;00;00&timezone=GMT-800"> until Panama Canal on Radiance of the Seas 10/23/05
<BR><IMG SRC="http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=008080& cdt=2006;9;23;0;00;00&timezone=GMT-1000"> until Hawaii on Radiance of the Seas 09/23/06
Hawaii on Serenade of the Seas 10/7/04
Radiance of the Seas 12/7/03
Radiance of the Seas 11/30/03
Hawaii on Radiance of the Seas 10/31/02
Grandeur of the Seas 12/10/01
Enchantment of the Seas 12/12/99
Monarch of the Seas 4/25/99
Majesty of the Seas 4/20/97
Nordic Empress 3/29/96
Nordic Empress 4/7/95
#7
toms river, nj USA
2,013 Posts
Joined May 2003
you see it on this board when you read peoples post, you can tell who is going to have a good cruise and who is going to have a bad cruise just by reading the posts before they go (notwithstanding things beyond the cruise lines control).

If you go into it expecting things to happen they will, make the best of things
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#8
The Land of Ahhs!
44,132 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
That's one reason why I read reviews ONLY for information about the ship and ports. Personal opinions are just that, personal opinions. I have read far too many reviews that were written about the same ship, same sailing and are like day and night as for how good the cruise was.
Amazing!
#9
Venice, FL
10,093 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
I really think (and I include myself in this description) that those of us who have had the benefit of crusing multiple times tend to become a little spoiled. Honestly, of the 15 cruises that I have been on between RCL, Princess and Celebrity, there has been very little difference in the activities offered, food quality, ship, cabin (within similar categories) etc. between any of the cruises. There have been times that we might have liked one waiter over another but that amounts to a personal preference on our part.

I have noticed that after every cruise, my wife and I have made our comparisons to other cruises. We might tend to be more critical the more that we cruise but in reality I think things are the same, but maybe not as fresh, as the first time we ever cruised.
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#10
Kamloops ,B.C. ,Canada
1,490 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Two things can sway me :

1. No kids/babies on ship : Great review no matter what

2. Lots of kids/babies on ship : I'll find something wrong for sure as my blood pressure soars.
#11
Toronto, Ontario
305 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Good cruising to all CC Folks:

I found this query to be topical and interesting.

Other posters have summarized well. My assessment is that reviewers do NOT use the SAME benchmarks for assessing the cruise. Therefore, of course there will be variance in reviews on the exact same ship. It is sheer statistics.

My cruise assessments are measured against the cruise lines ADVERTISING - ie their public and very visible product offering descriptions (pictures and verbal) and quality service statements. This is also how I pick which cruise line and itinerary. I do not use other cruisers as my benchmark unless they used the cruise lines product offering as their benchmark.

My assessment as a consumer is that the cruise line will consistently deliver this offering on EVERY cruise unless there is a unforseen issue. This is similar to purchasing a vehicle and expecting each Buick to be the same and perform the same i.e. you have confidence in purchasing the product based on reviews because the manufacturer DOES DELIVER CONSISTENCY.

So, each time I cruise, I return home and do an assessment of how well the cruise fit the product and service offering description of the cruise line (adjustments are made for unforseen circumstance that the cruise line can not manage or control).

For the past 4 years I have noted that the cruise experience is LESS AND LESS in conformity with the product offering descriptions used by the cruise lines. Yes, it is buyer beware and yes I know they will say anything to get your $! I am a very suspicious consumer and research intensely before I spend $.

I generally cruise Celebrity do to its specific product offering vs other cruise lines. However, my last 2 Celebrity cruises were quiet disappointing and strayed significantly from the food, service, quiet ambiance, elegantly formal experience pictured and described in Celebrity's advertising. A classic Celebrity debacle was the July Summit Alaska cruise that had a 900 person group booking which fundamentally changed the product offering for other passengers (others were denied late seating and the noise and out of control kids was reported extensively).

See, a review from a member of the large group would probably be great as they were being catered to. If I had been on that ship, Celebrity would get a scathing review. Why - the product offering was NOT delivered.

Successful companies strive to provide consistent product and service. The really good companies advise when they can not and they earn the loyalty and repeat business of customers anyway.

So, if all the cruise lines are going for group bookings (and all the negative consequences to other passengers) then the cruise lines should have the class and ethics to adjust their product offerings to reflect the cruise lines new reality.
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Hope others find this of assistance

Kindest Regards ABoatNerd
#12
Houston, Texas, USA
386 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I was interested in everyones opinions as to the difference in cruise experiences. As a nurse, with a lot of psychology background, I can tell you there is a common example used in psych classes. Two different people save money forever to buy a custom made auto with all the bells and whistles. Person "A" is driving along on a highway and is hit by an uninsured motorist- the car was totalled. Finally, at his office later that morning, he exclaims,"you can't believe what happened to me, this idiot completely totals my new car, now I have a loaner hunk of junk, I will never be able to replace my exact same car!!!!!! (He rants and raves throughout the AM). Person "B" is driving along on a highway and is hit by an uninsured motorist- the car was totalled. Finally, at his office later that morning, he exclaims, "you can't believe what happened to me, someone completely totalled my new car! I can't believe I'm alive! I can't believe I walked out of that wrangled mess". (He proceeds to call his wife and tell her how much he loves her). Person "A" has lower blood pressure, stress symptoms, less chance of heart attack. What is the difference? Only perception. Who do you" choose" to be? As a nurse, I can tell you, you will live longer, happier and simply better if you choose correctly. I see it everyday. Happy cruising!!!! Any day cruising is a great day!
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Splendour!!!!!!

elaine
#13
Chicago, IL USA
29 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Personal itineraries vary too. For example, I was reading a review of the ship I was on (8/29 AOS) and the reviewer (which was quite positive) was talking about beautiful sunrises she got up early to watch, and the one day she slept in was until about 8:30 a.m., how great the shows were, etc. etc.

We saw the sunrise a couple times, but we were just going to bed, not waking up early. I couldn't tell you if the pool area was too crowded or if I had a problem getting a chair b/c we typically got off on an island and made it back to the pool area around 3 or 4, when others were leaving to get ready for dinner.

I couldn't tell you a thing about the dining room b/c we didn't even go there until Day 6 and never went back (not b/c of food or ambiance - just didn't work with our schedule), so we were in the dining room, count it, once.

Still, we had the time of our lives.

So it's all subjective.
#14
137 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by merela
I was reading member reviews of the Monarch of the Seas and read 2 reviews in the same time frame, but very different.

It's interesting to see how one can perceive the cruise as being very bad and the other person can perceive their cruising experience as very good.
Great question: I personally think several factors come into play..one being the individual personalities, and their expectations....many people set their expectation so high that nothing would ever be just right......I go with no expectations other than just enjoying myself and that has never failed me. My glass is always half full....that kinda explains my personality and my expectations. Di
#15
1,130 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Several months ago someone posted a link to someone else's "great" review of the Mariner with pics. I didn't read the review becuase it was looooong, but the pics were GREAT! So, other posters started commenting on how BAD the review was. The woman complained about everything. The OP I guess just saw the pics and didn't read the review. Well, I went and read the whole review and I actually thought it *was* a great review. Yes, she complained about everything. But, she had such great detail that I could tell this was indeed a great cruise. She was just one of those types that can't be happy. I really didn't read one thing in her review that I considered negative. But, this, in her opinion, was a really bad cruise.

You really just have to read what people are saying and figure out where they're coming from. If someone just says, "Bad food, loud people, bad cruise." Those are probably people who won't be happy no matter what. But, if they explain *why* they thought something was bad, it helps you to gauge better what it was actually like.
#16
Ann Arbor, MI
7,759 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
There are some people who I trust and there are some people.. well let's say I read their reviews with a grain of salt... Also if you read the reviews carefully you can tell which ones are just nitpicky and would not have been pleased no matter what (anyone who thinks that a cruise line should make individual entrees and not mass produced for 2000 people IMO) and those that really tried but had a truly bad experience.

Some people LOVE to complain and put other people down.. Some are looking for a free cruise and will find fault with anything.

One of the more memorable for me was a woman on a cruise I was on complaining that they did not make a towel animal for her one night.. I don't really think that is something that would wreck my cruise.. Or that the drinks were not strong enough... (OK now I am complaining about the complainers).. I do learn a lot from negative reviews tho.. more than the positive..
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#17
Denver
2,394 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Alot of it too is based on people's personality re complaining. For example, I fell bad putting people down, so I'm more likely to give a cruise a positive review because I don't want to feel like I'm disapointing anyone, especially the crewmembers. I just don't like upsetting people, I'd be a lousy film or restaurant reviewer.
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#18
55 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Another variable, which I personally think makes a difference is where the reviewer is from - their home town or country. People from different places see things differently. Agree with the postings about being positive and looking for the good - we have never had a "bad" cruise, or a "bad" vacation. Some things I do notice more than others, however.

We are well traveled, born in Europe, and have lived in many places. We still travel a great deal. Our home for 20 plus years has been in the midwest - we love it here - preferring cities of around 100,000. We are used to less traffic, cheaper prices for eating out and drinks. America is a big, beautiful country, and I am proud and happy to live here. I think some of the negativity comes when people expect too much, or makes unfair comparisons. What seems crowded to me, for example, probably wouldn't phase someone from New York City or LA. Everything about any review is always subjective.
#19
Bonita Springs, FL, USA
5,433 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Didn't someone ever recommend a movie or restaurant to you as being the "best" and you found it to be mediocre, or even worse? I just think different people have different expectations, life-styles and perceptions of their vacation. Why are some people happy with an inside cabin, while others would book anything less than a suite?
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#20
Nebraska
998 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Yes, yes, yes! Just last night I was reading a review from a couple who were on the very same cruise we were on in Aug. We even did a meet/mingle thing with them and ran into them several other times on board. (Their adult daughter & family were along as well and they did their own review.) Well, while reading their reviews, I would never believe we were on the same ship as them. She or he (not sure which wrote the review) quite possibly made up negative stories, because they were so ridiculous that they could just not be believed! Especially because we had just been there and experienced most of the same things they did! I feel the facts were grossly misrepresented by them. But I suppose that is where I err---a review is not about "facts" but is about personal perception. I just don't understand what is to be gained by people doing this? It surely terrifies readers who are booked on an upcoming cruise on that ship! And it only continues some pretty negative beliefs about particular cruise lines. Very sad to think the writer somehow feels superior when writing something like that.
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Disney Magic ...July 2003
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