Friday, June 7, 2013

What to Include in a Cruise Review

setting sail from the Port of Miami
Setting Sail - one of my favorite parts of a cruise

While I was researching for our recent cruise on the Carnival Paradise, I found an interesting question on the Cruise Critic message boards ( The poster was planning to write a detailed review of her cruise and wanted to know what information we looked for in a review. I was curious about this too so I compiled the responses. Here are the top 5 answers.

1. Pictures, pictures, pictures
Almost everyone agreed that a review can’t have too many pictures. In fact, only one person said she didn’t care about pictures. Karysa, the lone dissenter, said they reminded her of the slide shows she used to endure while visiting relatives as a kid. “I just skip over the pictures mostly and get right to the text.”

2. Ports of Call
Cruising isn’t just about the ship. askimdog posted, “Ports…What ship we are on makes no difference to us at all, as long as it gets us to ports.”

3. Tips and Hints
jjdmom8 wanted to know about “those things that not everyone knows about or could be easily missed…like the best place during sail away to get the best view”. Cruise Critic reviews are a great source for secrets. The best tip I found about Paradise was that you could get a $5 match play coupon from the casino if you bought one of the “classic cocktails”. I never saw this advertised anywhere on the ship.

4. Pre- and Post-Cruise Information
Several responders mentioned that they liked reviews that covered the entire vacation, from where to stay before the cruise, embarking and debarking, and the trip home.

5. Good Writing
People appreciated good story telling, a sense of humor and a personal touch. And paragraphs! OCruises posted, “So much easier to read and enjoy when paragraphs are used rather than having it all jammed together.” Never underestimate the importance of white space.

I was surprised that food wasn’t higher on the list. In my family, food is an important part of vacation, and our trip journals always seem to include glowing descriptions of our meals. :-)

Regardless of the specifics, many people simply appreciated someone taking the time to share their experiences. As poptart put it, “Actually I read and enjoy it all!!  Everyone has their own style and that is what I enjoy. I like to see families and friends having fun.” 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article that shows not everyone looks for the same thing on Cruises but everyone wants information of some sort.