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LauraS

Have a Minute To Help Us Out? We're Redesigning Our Ship Review Page!

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Glad you're asking because I have to admit that I hate the Ship Review pages! They're very confusing.

 

Let's go section by section.

 

Why Go? - Lose this section name. The bullet listings are useless as they are currently shown. Makes my eyes glaze over. I'd rename this section "Learn More" or something like that. If you're going to use bullets here, use them to link to specific things like "Ship Stats", "Deck Plans", "Photos", "CDC/FDA Score", "[Cruiseline] Profile", "[Cruiseline] Ships", "[Cruiseline] Forum", "Member Ratings", "Member Reviews", "Itineraries and Ports of Call".

 

On a side note, it would be great if you started doing specific ship forums under the Cruiseline Forums. That way we don't have to wade through pages and pages of questions about Oasis of the Seas when we're interested in Explorer of the Seas. I would love to see them set up like the Roll Call boards.

 

I'd lose the section showing the ratings and reviews and instead incorporate them into the "Learn More" links.

 

I'd rather see the full ship review on this page and not have to click a link to see it elsewhere.

 

I'd put the Quick Links at the beginning of the review section.

 

I'd move the Sponsored listings to the right column and make them advertisements specific to that cruiseline. If I'm interested in Celebrity, I don't want to see Princess ads on that page.

 

Those are my quick thoughts on the page.

 

Hope this helps and regardless of what you decide I will still love Cruise Critic!

 

Theresa

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Larger pictures if bandwidth can handle it. Would like to know last dry dock date or future dry dock/refurbished date for each ship.

 

Would like a section that rates AC/Plumbing issues and noise problems with cabin#'s required.

 

Thanks for asking for our inputs.

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I think that the most needed thing to be added is some way to date the information. I suspect that there are several things on the page that may well have been true when the ship was new, but may not be reflective of the current situation. Perhaps a link to the five or so most recent reviews of the ship might be useful, but there does need to be a way to indicate how current the comments are.

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Laura, I am really impressed with the extent of the review broken down into categories, the photos, the deck plans. Indeed it would answer most of my questions and concerns about choosing a particular ship. It would also allows me to get information (such as deck plans and cabin locations) which I would have been going back and forth to the cruise line website for. That said, the balcony/verandah is a biggie for me and I want more info about it. I want the size, how it is furnished and whether it is private, has a cover overhead or partial cover, and if you look down on other verandahs. One more thing, I want to know when the review was written and I want it to be relatively current. Information from two years ago is meaningless today. As for the graphics, I'm not really into that subject. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to share my impression and thoughts.

 

Carole

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Yes, the very basic question I have is about the overall ratings. It would really help to know what the highest rating would be. I think I'd also like a handy guide to what other ships within the line are rated.

 

I especially appreciate the description of the vessel. As others have noted, sometimes jarring colors (it's neon colors for me) make us uncomfortable. Or as I found on my cruise on the Millennium, some people like more glitz and sparkle than could be found on the Millennium. While perfect for me, they felt the colors were drab, and one woman even said she couldn't stand to look at the carpet. She found it ugly and offensive. To each his own, but I love that you address the ambiance of the decor in the reviews. It'll help a lot of people find their perfect fit.

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I only have two comments.

 

I don't know who the FDA / CDC are, perhaps this should be explained.

 

I am keen on member reviews and I think there should be an easy link straight to this feature.

 

Thanks for your pro-active thinking.[/quote]

 

Federal Drug Administration and Center for Disease Control.

 

Morning Laura, I don't read to many of the ships reviews. The main reason is someone's "likes" are someone elses "dis-likes". I have read reviews where negative things were said about a ship or something to do with the ship, and when we cruised on it, we found no problem what so ever. I like to take the cruise, and form my own opinion. Hope this helps,,,,

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Thank you for asking. It is very good as it is, but since you asked for input....

 

One of my pet peeves is that the front page 'bullets' are just that and not links in most cases. Don't present bullets and links in the same format.

 

I add my voice to the call for pictures, pictures, pictures. I would prefer to see more 'real' pictures and not just pictures taken from their marketing materials. Larger is also better than smaller.

 

I also would like the review dated, with updated status somewhere. I know you need to be careful about legal ramifications, but I would like to have updated, real opinion about changes be they good or bad. They could be related to changes in what was previously written (maybe recent reviews have shown a decline in food quality for example - something I made up by the way) or updates on an issue (maybe there was recently a propulsion problem now being fixed or something like that).

 

Regarding reviews in general, I think overall they tend to lean towards the positive in a very heavy way. Again, I know legal ramifications are a consideration, but some issues on some ships are pretty well-known, but you'd never see it in reviews. For example, not sure if it is fixed now, but the Radiance of the Seas had significant plumbing issues for a long time. Long time, ongoing problems like that - or perhaps design issues, or other big potential negatives - should be in the review. It is an opinion after all. Sometimes when I read the reviews I feel like I am reading a commercial for the ship.

 

I agree that the ads are distracting and annoying. I know you need the revenue, but wish they could be handled differently.

 

I also agree with those who would like an easily accessed 'snap-shot' view of the ship. I would like a quick link to a ships statistics page or a quick summary upfront. Ultimately, I love the amount of data in the review but it is extensive. I like to see summaries upfront.

 

Last but not least, in addition to the 'fellow passengers' section (which I think is good), I would like upfront a quick summary of the ships ambiance, or whatever a good word is. I know this can be subjective, but there is a difference in ambiance line to line and even ship to ship. I know also it can vary by itinerary, but even that could be covered. I am talking a snapshot two-three sentence description of what a cruise on that ship would be like.

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Get rid of the ads. You are reviewing brand Z's ship the reader should not have to see an ad for brand G , that to me takes away from the article I'm trying to read, it also gives the impression that you are trying to sell the other cruise line over the one you are reviewing

 

I agree with this blogger.....as a cruisecritic reader, when I get this far in your site I am only looking to compare cruise ships, so I can make an informed decision at the time I actually book the cruise. The ads are very distracting.

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I would like to see reviews updated more often so you could see what the ship you are about to go on is like now - not 5 years ago

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I agree with many of the previous posters about adding more pictures. I find that a lot of the cruise line websites are light on pictures as well and that is my favorite part when deciding on which ship. It would be really great to have pictures of what each section discusses. So, when you're talking about the dining room, show a picture of the dining room.

 

Also, highlight what makes the ship unique. The information is in there, but doesn't jump out.

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This isn't related to the review page exactly, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway.

 

An RSS feed of member reviews would be great! I would also like a feed of JUST the Cruise Critic News & Feature Articles forum. The current RSS feed, which seems to be ALL forums, is useless to me. It's just too much information.

 

ETA: Oh, I just found the feed page (http://www.cruisecritic.com/rss/). I never noticed the icon before. I found the news article feed! Still it seems like there is no member review feed.

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After being a member of the site for a few years, your reviews have been on target for helping me decide on future cruise. The only thing I would suggest is a link to the current menu(s) available onboard. Some cruisers have special dining needs and this would also help for them to decide. Just a thought :D

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1. Add more pictures

2. Tell us the date when the review was written.

 

The reasoning for the adding the date is that ships age, and I'd like to know if the review was written just after launching, or recently. Of course, it's ideal if CC can review ships on a regular basis (3-5 years?)

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Hi everyone!

 

We're in the early stages of redesigning our ship review pages, and we'd really like your input, because it matters to us.

 

For example, take a look at our existing Celebrity Millennum page.

 

Then, tell us anything and everything; we really want to know what you think! Some topics to get you started:

 

  • If you were sailing on Celebrity Millennium, do we have everything you need to make a decision about the ship?
  • What other information would you like to see on the page?
  • Is there too much of something on the page? Too little?
  • What about the colors? Do you like them? Any suggestions?
  • If there were one single thing you could change on the page, what would it be?

We're really interested in your opinions and ideas, so let it out!

 

Oh, and thanks!

 

Laura

 

For new cruisers, pictures of an inside, ocean view and balcony cabin would likely be helpful. Also, a picture of the bathroom and balcony will likely be helpful (I don't know if too many first time cruisers realize how small these spaces are). The pictures you show are of the suites. Very impressive, but a new cruiser booking a typical cabin (inside, ocean view or balcony) is going to get the wrong impression of the size of the cabin.

 

Also, when was the review written?

 

Those things you use for the ratings - Stars4.5.gif - what are they supposed to be? They look like snails to me.

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There are deck plans? I didn't know this until I read the comments. I had to go back and look. The deck plans are to the right of some ads. I see the and and just scroll on by. I understand the reason for the ads and I understand that the advertisers want people to notice their ads. However, you have to understand that consumers see ads all day. We have learned to ignore ads (which is the reason ads are getting more outrageous - it is the only way they can get someone's attention). If you put important information next to the ad, I'll just assume it is part of the ad as I scroll on by.

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I think that you could include, in the statistics section, the date the ship originally went into service, as well as any dates when the ship was refurbished. I know I always look for that information.

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I have specific eye problems where I get huge 'floaters' with these flashing ads and this one is quite large...possibly at bottom of page if you simply must.

 

Like the CDC/FDA Score close to the top. As an RN I look for this when making my cruising decisions and if two vessels are close but one noticeably better in this respect, that can clinch it for me. Also like the "Why Go?" section with concise key points.

 

A little hard to follow through the paragraphs for salient points which appeal to me, however the side bar with major categories such as Dining and Entertainment help direct the time constrainer potential guest to areas of greatest interest.

 

And as already mentioned, larger pictures...can see stock photos anywhere, so actual photos, large enough for greater detail and our aging Boomer needs ;-).

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i agree with comment about the ads confusing the page. also, i would rather read the whole review when i get to the page, instead of having to click on the "read complete review" link.

 

i also would like to see more photos, i know that i try to get the "feel" of a ship, and whether i can see my family on it, before i book. i do use the review feature alot when i am making a cruise decision, and then spend my time reading most of the member reviews when i have complete my booking to know what to expect. it is particularly nice to be able to compare stats and similarities of the cruise line without having to go to their website. thanks for the ongoing review and input!

 

I second all these comments.

 

I have not sailed on Celebrity, so perhaps you really did list all of the activities provided on that ship. I really like knowing about the entertainment outside of the standard theatre fare. After my first RCL cruise, I began packing a 70's style outfit to wear for 70's night. I never saw anything about this event on the reviews I read prior to booking. Things which are unique to a specific ship or cruise line can make the difference to a potential passenger.

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This will be my first cruise and I have some questions about the Celebrity Cruise ship. Were do I start?

 

Go to the Celebrity forum and post your questions there.

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Laura, On serveral pages you have a link for the Meet & Mingle. I was under the impression that for RCL ships it was called Royal Caribbean Meet and Mingle and on Celebrity ships the party is called the Celebrity Connections Party. Am I correct or am I miss informed?

 

Thanks for asking for our opinions.

 

We're attempting to transition over to Meet & Mingle on all brands. However, referring to the Celebrity parties as "Connections" still works.

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