Saturday, October 29, 2011

"A Certain Blogger" - Calls Paul Motter and CruiseMates.com Out on His Yellow Journalism

So, on the cold, snowy, night I decided I would read Part I of a supposed review of a recent Seabourn cruise by a guy who likes to talk about himself rather than the cruise line (Paul Motter of CruiseMates.com).  As I start reading I am thinking, why is he rattling on about a bunch of garbage and then I read this:


"Now, why did I just bore you with that story? Because I have gotten wind of a certain blogger who has already written a great deal about my comments on this trip - before I have even written this article. I have not read the rant in question, but I hear this person claims I am so deranged and unethical that I would come to this beautiful ship, at company expense, solely prepared to criticize it mercilessly because... well, frankly I don't understand why he thinks I would do that."

But this is the same guy that on October 23, 2011...just days before writing the foregoing...posted on CruiseMates.com concerning his "virtual" cruise:  "if a person had a good travel agent, like Eric Goldring, then he could have cooked up some organized activities for the people like me and kept me in the loop"

But then he then goes on to write again about me:

"I mentioned a certain blogger before. He loves to speak of certain experience on another luxury line where he was treated to champagne and chocolate strawberries, and the waiter was so efficient, he filled his champagne glass when he wasn't looking (or something like that). A good butler knows chocolate strawberries go with red wine (not champagne)..." 

It leads one to think, "Is the writer dishonest, stupid or has an agenda?"  Unfortunately it is all three...and it is not only tiresome, it is a testament to why you must...repeat "must"...be careful from where you get your information about  cruise or a cruise line.  Too many people have agendas or are, well...you get the point.

Let's get accurate because specifics always show where the truth lies:

The latter first:  In November 2010 during the 2010 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise I wrote an article entitled 2010 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey - Pizza or the Wintergarden Suite's Spa? Let's Try Both!.  In that article I wrote:  

Our dear friends surprised me and my DW by arranging for his Wintergarden spa to be prepared with flowers, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and Molton Brown bath oils...Of course, solely in an effort to assure I can advise you on every aspect of the Seabourn experience we begrudgingly agreed to partake. (OK, and if you believe that, I have a bridge I want to sell you.) It was a lovely and enjoyable experience...complete with waves of optic fiber lighting from above, appropriate music from Seabourn's extensive library and...well that is enough information for you!


Adding to the kind of perverse writing Motter engages in, let's get the whole champagne and chocolate thing right...and, of course, he has it way, way, wrong.  

But you don't need to take it from me.  I mean I only have years of true food and wine experiences all over the world.  Take it from Jacques Torres who is probably the world's expert on chocolate.  He wrote in a Wine Spectator article, "Milk chocolate: "Milk gives you different texture in your mouth, which can be washed away with a demi-sec Champagne." and "Chocolate truffles: "A truffle with cocoa powder dries your mouth out. You want to wash it out with something not too dry, like a sweeter Champagne or Sauternes, which gives back the sweetness that the truffle takes away and coats your mouth, giving you a nice, pleasant finish."

So with that I go back to Motter's first premise:  That his purpose is not to simply do a "hatchet job" on Seabourn.  While Motter dedicates paragraph after paragraph about how Seabourn has mistreated him by not paying for him to attend the inaugural festivities for any of its three new ships ("But for some reason Seabourn never invited me or my staff to any of their inaugural ceremonies, even though I was sure to say I hoped to attend all three.") he leaves out the very premise that he published about Seabourn just a few months ago:

I find small ships to be boring - especially when the primary attraction is food and wine. I don't find gluttony to be that appealing, and that seems to be the main reason why people tout Seabourn the most. I find their itineraries to be the least appealing of all the "luxury" ships BY FAR because they have the most days at sea, and to me the only difference between a day at sea on a tiny ship and a prison is the food is better.

"Fair and balanced" he ain't.  Heck, "well adjusted" is seems elusive. Enough of that.

So I started looking for facts in his writings and they, again, were very elusive.  What was truly dishonest...and mean essentially fraudulent...were some of his alleged comparisons between Seabourn and other luxury cruise lines.  He wrote and placed photos as if he were writing an expose for the National Enquirer.  You know what I mean:  A bad photo that makes a beautiful person look ugly or a comment taken out of context or a description that has a shade of truth, but a full portion of knowingly false content.  (Like showing a closeup photo of a partially eaten room service caviar presentation for one person as what Seabourn offers which he compares to a caviar display for a party on a Crystal cruise as an alleged comparison.  BTW, I have to note that the photo shows everyone drinking red wine with the caviar.  Yes, Crystal is excellent at providing you with what you ask for...even if it is unquestionably inappropriate. As I said, you have to "look for facts in his writings".)

I don't care if you are talking about Seabourn's demographic, which he tries to paint as filled with retirees (h decides this from who is on his one long cruise in November where that demographic is ubiquitous on almost very line) or his presenting a page of the Seabourn Herald posting dinner times (rather than the delivered at the same time menus for the next day) to support his assertion his own stupidity in not reading it is Seabourn's fault, the fact is that if you really read Paul Motter's rants it shows an infantile demand that he be spoon-fed what to most is common sense information.

As you read it, if you dare, remember that I have the privilege of sending dozens and dozens of first time cruisers on Seabourn and literally none of them have reported anything like the trials, tribulations and problems Motter claims.  In fact, in the hundreds of repeat guests I have taken care of none of had such issues.  Heck, you don't even read about them on Cruise Critic either.  (Yes, I am actually mentioning that bastion of misinformation as a better source that Motter!).

I will say Seabourn did fail terribly and Seabourn owes an apology.  Whoever was the Public Relations representative that decided it was a good idea to invite Paul Motter, a dishonest, arrogant and totally unqualified, prig onto one of Seabourn's ships got the ball rolling for the crew to be abused, false and misleading information about the line to be put out there, and those of us that write accurate information about the luxury lines to have our hard earned reputations sullied.

Paul Motter:  I shall enjoy champagne and chocolate (a perfect combination), caviar with an appropriate wine, fresh lobster, the Chef's Dinner, the finest crew at sea and, of course, more champagne while enjoying the forward hot tub...on all of the Seabourn ships.  I also find comfort in knowing you won't be there to ruin it for me...or my clients.

That's Me and My Champagne on the Right...and that dear friend I mentioned on the left.