Just about every cruise website under the sun has cruise line reviews and/or a cruise line ratings system in place to help potential cruisers determine which cruise lines are among the best. On some websites, cruise line ratings may be determined by the opinions of a small group of reviewers while other sites may have a more complex system in place for determining cruise line ratings. These complex systems for rating cruise lines typically involve large groups of reviewers from varied backgrounds.
Some of the more complex cruise line ratings systems may determine cruise line ratings through evaluating or calculating several areas including: specific aspects, value index and quality rating. Reviewersâ€™ comments also make up a portion of the final cruise line rating.
In the most complex rating systems, ship ratings evaluations are generally based on 12 or more specific aspects from passengers who have sailed on each specific ship. Passengers report on a volunteer basis and they are required to rate their experience in the 12 or more specific aspect areas, assigning each area a score, usually between one and 10.
The value index may combine as many as 30 or more separate factors that directly affect the cruise experience and weighs these factors against the per person/day cost of a standard outside stateroom. These separate factors may include issues such as passenger/crew ratio or say, passenger/space ratio. Other individual factors such as onboard entertainment are weighted according to how relevant it is to the type of cruise. For example, onboard entertainment may be weighted more heavily for a resort type cruise ship than it would be on a sightseeing cruise ship. This formula is designed to ensure the highest standards of fairness.
A cruise line with a high value index typically means that it offers â€œmore bang for your buck.â€? In other words, a cruise line rating with a high value index is definitely a great bargain.
Please note that the value index is price sensitive and it is based on full retail rates. Sales, promotions, discounts and other rate reductions greatly affect the value of the cruise a potential passenger may purchase.
A high value index measurement is typically weighed against a cruise shipâ€™s total quality rating. Passengers who are looking for specific amenities or qualities such as world class cuisine, excellent spa facilities or top notch entertainment should balance the overall measurement against its scores in the categories of importance to them on a personal level.
The quality rating consists of the average of the individual category scores from the volunteer reviewers. In the quality rating, all specific aspects carry equal weight. The quality rating represents the reviewers assessment of the ship overall, typically carrying a maximum value of 10.0. In most cases, a quality rating of 8.0 or more represents a superior level of overall passenger satisfaction.
Because of the nature of cruise line ratings and the possibility of receiving a biased rating, itâ€™s best to seek out sources that have a more complex ratings system in place. This way, passengers can be sure that the final published review will be well calculated using a proven formula.