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Perspective is Everything


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Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't understand the intense level of negativity of some reviews. I spent many years unable to enjoy "luxury" vacations and now, as I am finally able to pursue my love of cruising, I try to look for the best in every cruise I take. Not every ship is for every traveler. Some want the bells and whistles, some want more intimacy. Bashing one ship or another because it doesn't meet your expectations seems pointless. I've seen many complain about the smaller, older ships yet my husband and I LOVE the smaller, older ships. We don't care if the wood trim is a bit outdated, if the furniture shows a bit of wear, or if there's no ice-skating rink or extravaganza-type entertainment. We get that these smaller ships are not for everyone, but I don't understand the hostility in some reviews. On the flip side, we hate the mega-ships with their millions of bells and whistles, but just because those ships are not for us doesn't mean they aren't great for those who are seeking that kind of vacation.

There are folks who have legitimate complaints - issues arise and when they do they should be addressed and rectified as best as possible - but in reading some of the things people say, I get the impression that they will look for fault everywhere. Those folks will never be satisfied. When I'm on a ship, I'm not sitting in my own living room, I'm not sitting in traffic, I'm not being bombarded by news and media all day long, and I can forget the world for just a little bit. To me, that's everything. It doesn't have to be perfect. The crew works hard under very difficult conditions. I appreciate that and try to be kind in my interactions with them. I give extra tips even though tips are already included in most things. Bottom line is, I get back what I put in to my vacation.

Just my two cents.

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The people who tend to be in the loudest group are the ones that leave the negative reviews. Most people won't go out of their way to write a positive review, but will to complain. These same people, I think, are also ones that will have unrealistic expectations about everything and are immediately put off as soon as those expectations aren't met. 

The flip side, don't get too caught up in it. I think of it this way. On say a smaller ship there are roughly 4000 passengers that can fit on Adventure of the Seas, a "smaller ship, not amplified, an easy target for bad reviews. Of those 4000 people and 100 are complaining with bad reviews, that's still 3900 people that had a good time.

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Sharing opinions on the ships does help others to ponder whether or not that ship might be a good fit for them.  
my very first experience on Anthem, I had a gorgeous ultra spacious ocean view all the way forward.  I thought my feet would fall off from all the walking ( traveled with the kids, had to go back to the cabin multiple times for things forgotten). It was all I could focus on, how much I hated that walk.  However, reading things like that here (didn’t know this site then) I’ve learned to not book that forward on  ship that size and to really think of cabin placement. Same can be said for small ships with the centrum, learned yo book “down the hall” to avoid the late night party noise from the centrum. For that particular cruise I didn’t want late night partying, knew nothing of the centrum and all the noise that came with it, just a bad fit.  So I can appreciate the gripes, I sympathize and learn from them as well as share the knowledge I’ve gained to help others.  Btw, I’ve sailed Anthem many times after that first “bad” experience, and to me, it’s a great ship, it’s the cabin location that had killed it for me.  Glad I gave it another shot.

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11 minutes ago, GregD said:

The people who tend to be in the loudest group are the ones that leave the negative reviews. Most people won't go out of their way to write a positive review, but will to complain. These same people, I think, are also ones that will have unrealistic expectations about everything and are immediately put off as soon as those expectations aren't met. 

The flip side, don't get too caught up in it. I think of it this way. On say a smaller ship there are roughly 4000 passengers that can fit on Adventure of the Seas, a "smaller ship, not amplified, an easy target for bad reviews. Of those 4000 people and 100 are complaining with bad reviews, that's still 3900 people that had a good time.

Yes. We had 3700 on Mariner, and I still found a seat by the pool one afternoon, top deck was always available, and by 4:30 PM the pool was empty except for a few teens.  The only time we couldn't get an elevator was after a show - not surprised.  We found the service great even though one restaurant didn't understand our prepaid coupon. We were amazed at the patience of customer service staff when the Royal App acted up one day.  I have to admit, when I have a bad experience on a cruise, I find I likely was partly to blame (e.g., don't try to do everything on day 1, and learn to use the house phone).  There certainly are real mistakes by Royal, but probably not as often as certain airlines who ignore customer service....

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Overall I agree with you. I think that all reviews are good to read and just as @Pattycruise brought up its critical because it allows new cruisers and seasoned cruisers to temper some expectations. I wil agree with @smokeybandit that many new / non-frequent cruisers have very critical expectations. 

I will not say that I am the most seasoned cruiser, but I have had family members and others ask me about cruising. I always tell them to prepare for the unexpected and try not to go cruising with a specific expectation or expecting perfection. I think that many times cruisers going in expecting perfection and being disappointed with getting 90%. I always encourage people to learn as much as possible about the experience and leave it up to them to decide if its worth it or not. 

On my most recent sailing, I had a family member who swore off Royal because of a bad initial experience, that had a great time this past June and will go cruising again on the ship that matches what they are looking for. 

 

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15 minutes ago, leesam82 said:

I will not say that I am the most seasoned cruiser, but I have had family members and others ask me about cruising.

I'd say after 3 cruises one is pretty seasoned for the typical onboard experience. You don't need to be D+ or Pinnacle or be named @twangster to have in depth knowledge of the nooks and crannies to be able to have that overall experience figured out.

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Shipmate app is great for seeing people have meltdowns over the smallest things. I am not going to give a cruise one star because Sorrento's Pizza is not as good as a local pizzeria. Or because I got charged the $25 towel fee for my kid throwing a towel overboard. Or because I did not know how expensive X or Y would be on board.

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As for ourselves, the more we cruise, the less sensitive to common annoyances we seem to become - they are part and parcel to the cruising life. One of the nice things about putting many cruises under your belt is that one develops a routine of sorts.  It's predictable so that waiting a little longer for that beverage at the bar or a bit more time than we might like between our main course and our dessert doesn't bother us. We're attentive to how incredibly hard working the entire crew is from Captain to pot washer to the crew that chip paint. That helps to put small inconveniences, when they infrequently occur for us, in the proper place. Finally, age and experience brings perspective. One becomes more accommodating, more accepting. The one thing we've said since we started cruising is that we're incredibly fortunate to be in the roughly 1% of the global population that can enjoy an activity like what is afforded to us aboard a cruise ship. We're grateful and therefor, can't find much to complain about. Ever.    

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Couldn't agree more @jabberwk

One lesson I learned since the restart is to take things in stride and not let annoyances or minor issues ruin my day/cruise.

I'm not saying you should just suck it up if you run into a problem, but I'm also not going to let the MDR chick parm not being great be more than a passing thought.

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I think the biggest thing is being accepting of limitations but at the same time not allowing substandard products. Also being able to offer the criticism in a constructive manner, while accepting opinions of those who don't always agree. I haven't had a cruise to match my expectation yet, doesn't mean they weren't good cruises. The food in the MDR/Buffet might have always been mediocre but the pandemic might have rosed up my glasses. 🤣

I agree with @Pattycruise I like to read reviews that are honest, as it helps me make better informed decisions. I personally don't think most people on this site are apologist for Royal, I think a lot offer good insight into their negative experiences as well. 

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As I've stated, I like critical reviews of cruise experiences.  However, I have learned that there are two types of people that post critical reviews.  Some with the honest attempt to inform/educate others of good and bad things that may be experienced while there are those, and I feel they are usually very transparent, but not necessarily intended to be transparent, about their desire to be nothing more than "poop" (I didn't use the word I'd usually use) disturbers.  A clue of the latter, only one post, absolutely no positives, false accusations, obvious lack of research.  Those clues are not "all inclusive" or full proof.  You have to probe and poke to get to the heart of it.

 

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Agree. My issue is the people who come here specifically to complain and then that's about all we hear from them. If any of the regulars or even the spotty members had a bad review it's easier to hear because we all know a little about them and their style of cruising. 

 

I've said this before, I'm loyal to no one but I happen to enjoy RC and most importantly love hearing all of your tips, reviews, blogs, etc... I came here to research a cruise and stayed for the rest because of you all.

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4 hours ago, dodgestang said:

The more cruises you take, the more critical you become.  Simple nature of the beast.  You have more data points to compare against, not every cruise is going to be the best 😉

Actually, I am just as excited today as I was last October when we started our 14 cruises thus far this year. Eleven more planned before Feb. The last cruise, we didn't even get off the ship. Do we like one ship over the other? Do we like one Port over another? Yep. However, I enjoy it all. Yes, we have a lot of data points, but we know what we want: refuge, sameness, free stuff (food, drinks, room). We set different goals. Our current goal is 26 different ships within 3 years. January 2023 gives us 15 of the 26. Our secondary goal is every different Port we can hit. Jenny, I'm a simple man, but I do like to cruise. 

I feel a tad sorry for the once in a lifetime or once a year cruiser who has a bad time. These people put a lot of resources in a very special event and I hate that everything does not work out (flights/weather/excursions/entertainment/rooms). 

RCL has 26 ships and hundreds of Ports. If the first time is not perfect, please try again. We love it. 

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1 hour ago, Swar said:

RCL has 26 ships and hundreds of Ports. If the first time is not perfect, please try again. We love it. 

Yes!  Maybe again and again until things smooth out.  Everything is fairy rocky right now.  Hopefully, getting better by the day!

Side Note:  All of my problems with Brand X were before, long before, COVID.  All of my problems with Brand X, actually the problems were mixed, had to do with ship's maintenance, staffing, ADA items (told, over the lobby phone, to use stairs when elevator didn't come for over an hour, the two times an elevator showed up, they were filled with employees transporting those huge towel racks), cleanliness, a few other things that I think would be important to just about everybody.  I wrote to the CEO directly, told him I was not looking for anything like refund, credits, ship on a stick, nothing, just wanted him to know and an acknowledgement, and I got CRICKETS.  That ship/cruise was actually one that I could not come up with anything positive.  Oh, their chocolate cake was good.  

Now, I'm loyal to Royal until they really piss me off.  If Royal pisses me off, I don't know where I'll go.  Maybe to the cruise company that has those 3 hour tours and hopefully Mary Ann will be on it.

Before someone suggests it, NO not Celebrity.  

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1 hour ago, smokeybandit said:

I did find the sauce to be quite bland on my chicken parm on Serenade.   But the chicken was quite good.

Did you try the Chicken lips?  They're great with Curry and Chutney.  

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I learned years ago that I wasn't promised a rose garden.  It's about managing expectations and going with the flow.  If you expect things to be perfect your life will be a huge disappointment; worn varnish on a railing is not something I fret over.  I tell people whats not to like about cruising: someone else makes my bed, gets me a drink and more food that i can possibly eat.  I take all reviews with a grain of salt.

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