Just about every cruise review website on the Internet has a cruise ratings system in place to help potential passengers determine which cruise lines are the best match. On some sites, cruise ratings may be determined by the opinions of a small group of reviewers while other sites may have a more complex cruise ratings system in place. These complex systems for determining cruise ratings typically involve large groups of reviewers from varied backgrounds.
Some of the more complex cruise ratings systems may determine a cruise lines’ rating through evaluating or calculating several specific areas of significance including: specific aspects, value index, and quality rating. Reviewer’s comments also make up a portion of the final cruise rating.
In the most complex cruise ratings systems, cruise ship 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 more bang for your buck. In other words, a cruise line 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 ship’s total quality rating. Passengers interested in 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 the cruise ratings system and the possibility of receiving a biased rating, it’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.
If you are interested in reliable cruise reviews and cruise ratings, the following cruise review websites are considered the top five:
Cruisecritic.com offers more than just reviews, this site has several search functions to help you find everything from bargains and discounts to theme cruises, and exotic itineraries. The site also includes features, news, planning tools, and a variety of cruise message boards where fellow cruisers can exchange stories and information.
Reviews, ratings, rankings, and popularity contests — at Cruisereviewsonline.com find out which cruise ships are at the top and which ones are not. Get other information on cruise lines, as well as information, ratings and rankings on embarkation ports, and ports-of-call.
Cruisereport.com offers the lowdown on cruise lines from A to Z. Unbiased reviews, cruise searches, quotes, and feature articles are just a few of the sites extras. You can also search for the perfect cruise and browse through news pieces about cruising. After checking out their ratings and reviews, you can also search for discounts and deals. With more than 50,000 visitors per month, Cruisereport.com has information on roughly 8,500 current sailings.
Cruisedirectonline.com relies on reader surveys to help keep reviews & ratings in check. In addition to cruise ship reviews and ratings, visitors to the site will find top ten and top thirty lists, as well as feature articles about the best of the best in the world of cruises. The site has other information about discounts, as well as information on roughly 12,000 sailings. Cruise Direct Online has been featured in Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine, and on MSNBC, CNBC, MSN Money, and more.
Cruisemates.com offers short reviews and ratings. The two types of ratings include: star ratings and value ratings. Star ratings are based on one question — “how good is this ship?” One star is the worst, five stars is the best. Cruisemates.com takes everything from age and accommodations to food, service, and entertainment into account when rating the worlds cruise ships. Value ratings or thumbs up ratings are all about the “Bang for your Buck.” Five thumbs up means the ship is an excellent value while one thumb up means you won’t find much of anything that resembles a value here