Monday, October 18, 2010

Cruise Critic - Talk About Perverting the Truth...OK, Lets

On Cruise Critic there has been a long thread about the saga of the Regent Seven Seas Voyager's azipod issues that is now plaguing the ship (and which are being repaired).  While the thread initially was about the ordeal of the cancelled cruise and then what type of compensation was appropriate.  But, as happens on the Regent board on Cruise Critic, the posts became an all out onslaught about how you need to use the best travel agent and they all had, funnily enough, the same travel agent and their email addresses available so that they could refer folks to this supposed bastion of travel agency superiority and integrity.

I comment not on the travel agent, or for that matter, on her small legion of clients/marketers for her, but rather Cruise Critic and its luxury cruise board moderator, Host Dan. 

This morning I saw a post from someone saying something along the lines, of "Wait a minute.  You few posters are singing the praises of this supposed all-knowing travel agent and what a great job she is doing, but let's make sure that she really is.  Isn't possible that she is improperly advising her clients as to their rights, appropriate compensation, available remedies, etc. because it is purely in her self-interest to keep her clients "ignorant and happy"?" 

As a reader of Cruise Critic I would think the question is an excellent one.  Seriously, if the "super" travel agent could be financially injured by claims or just time expended related to the claims of her clients or if her relationship was so close with Regent Seven Seas that she knew her where her "bread was truly buttered" and that skewed her advice, it would seem a discussion about that would be absolutely legitimate.  There were no accusations, just a tempered observation and question.

The post which clearly did not violate a single rule on Cruise Critic was removed.  But for days the posts which clearly did violate Cruise Critic's rules remained. 

Meanwhile on the Seabourn board at Cruise Critic, one of the most popular and well read posters (Granny Lorr) was temporarily banned by the same Host Dan for doing virtually (if not literally) the same thing.  (Full disclosure:  Granny Lorr is a client of mine and has made that known publicly.  It is also true that Host Dan has a very bad history with me; especially since I disclosed his troublesome antics involving abuse of other guests and staff on Seabourn.)

I must pause here and ask, "If Cruise Critic was actually a legitimate source for accurate information wouldn't it want discussion about the quality of its posters 'advice' and 'recommendations'?"  To delete a post from a person saying, "Wait a minute.  Think about what is being said."

Back when I was active in posting on Cruise Critic there were literally dozens and dozens of more posters and much more in the way of accurate and relevant information.  (Do I really want to hear that a pet peeve is that when you temporarily leave the table at dinner Seabourn removes your dirty napkin you left on the back of your chair for everyone else to look at while they eat because you do not want a clean napkin?  Do I want to hear TravelCat2 go on and on about things she truly knows nothing about and then abusively repeating it over and over so that in the end her voice and inaccuracies are nearly the only thing that remains?)

How about Cruise Critic getting back to allowing folks to honestly talk about the truth rather than play games with it?  Or, better, how about the referee making honest calls?  (Anyone see the penalty called on Jim Leonard of the New York Jets yesterday?  A textbook sideline tackle was called for a penalty.  It was not a close call.  It was, either through total and utter incompetence or dishonesty, a horrible call.)

If the NFL will not allow its officials to keep making such clearly bad calls because it does not want the quality of its product to be perverted, it makes you wonder if Cruise Critic cares about its reputation or the quality of its product because the bad calls there are constant.

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