Guidelines - Cruise Critic Community (2024)


Cruise Critic's Community is comprised of people who absolutely LOVE cruising.

We all benefit from the exchange of advice that takes place within our Cruise Community; this is a cooperative effort which depends on all of you to make it work well. If you post questions, please try to take the time to answer other members' questions as well. Cruise Critic has adopted a series of rules of participation to help make the Community easier to use and better for everyone.

Messages posted in Cruise Critic must conform to our Community Rules of Participation found in this area. Posts that violate these rules will be removed from the cruise boards without notice. Repeated violators may lose their posting privileges. We will automatically remove any subsequent inappropriate postings without warning. Please use good judgment in posting any message.

These are moderated message boards about cruising.

This is an important aspect of our Community, the very foundation that continues to contribute to the popularity of Cruise Critic. Please stay on topic within a forum. Off topic posts may be moved to our Floataway Lounge forum.

One other other item that adds to the enjoyment of this community -- if you ask a question, when reading the answers acknowledge that members have taken the time to reply to you. It is a breach of "netiquette" to start a topic or question in which you presumably have an interest, then ignore the subsequent discussion.

Our mission is provide a haven on the internet, if you will, that will provide a resource for those planning a cruise and for those that love cruising. Help make this a great source of information for you and your fellow travelers by sharing the name of that wonderful private island you visited on your last cruise or tell us about that fabulous shore excursions you took in Cozumel that just can't be missed! If you have any questions or comments regarding our posting guidelines or any content found on our message boards please be sure and let me know. I'll be happy to discuss them with you.

Senior Manager, Community


Do you sell cruises; are you sponsored by the cruise lines; do the cruise lines pay you to say good things about them?

Who are Community Hosts? The Community Manager?


Inappropriate Content

Advertising is Not Allowed

Illegal Activities

Write a Cruise Review for Publication to Cruise Critic

Use of Content

Copyright Infringement

Copyright Compliant Policy

Participation of Cruise Lines

Participation of Travel Agents

Travel Agent Recommendations

Participation of Tour Guides/Drivers, Tourism Website Owners, Property and Business Owners

Participation of Local Experts in Ports of Call

Roll Calls

Our Policy Regarding Facebook and Roll Calls

FTC Disclosures for Bloggers and Brands

Charitable Organizations in Ports of Call

Guidelines Reminders

Removal of Topics/Posts

Posting and You!


Cruise Critic's Cruise boards, as well as the information you read in our Member's Cruise Review area, and our Cruiser's Choice Awards are designed to help you obtain cruise-related information and discuss ways to make cruising more enjoyable, and perhaps even offer you a money-saving tip or two!

On our Cruise Boards, this information may sometimes provided by our volunteer Community Hosts and more often by other contributors, the majority of whom use anonymous user names and are people we've never met. You have no idea who they are, what they do, or what their agenda could possibly be -- and neither do we. The only requirement for membership is a valid e-mail address.

We recognize that while we have tons of great stuff in this forum, people sometimes post messages on the boards that could be misleading, deceptive, or downright wrong. They may do this unintentionally or, sad to say, intentionally. Additionally, there are many different groups who participate, such as travel agents, public relations employees, members of the media, affinity groups, fan groups, other cruise websites etc. whose agenda may not be apparent since we are operating in an anonymous environment.

Treat the cruisers here the same way you'd treat anyone you'd met for the first time. This is important because anyone is welcome to participate in our community. You shouldn't make a cruise decision just because some stranger (or even an online friend) talks it up. Basically, you shouldn't treat cyberspace any differently than you would real life.

The fundamental concept is that you should NOT totally rely upon the information or opinions you read. Rather, you should use what you read here as starting points for doing independent research on cruise lines, ships, hotels, shore excursions and bargain-hunting techniques. Then judge for yourself the merits of the material that has been shared in our forum.

We do not guarantee the completeness of any information provided on our cruise boards. We cannot read through the thousands of messages we receive each day, but do make an effort to check out all the hyperlinked web sites. We cannot research each one for accuracy. That isn't why we're here. Staff members and our volunteers are here to provide you with an environment that is free from advertising and soliciting, free from harassment, vulgarity and disparaging statements, as well as providing you with a safe haven brought together by those sharing a mutual interest: cruising!

We encourage you to utilize the reporting system built into the board system; you'll find a Report a Post icon located in the upper right hand corner of the posting. Use it! We will review the report and take appropriate action.

On the other hand, we work very hard to ensure that all published reviews are coming from real people. We review every review submitted for publication to make sure that they meet our criteria and pass all of our fraud testing. Cruise Critic takes accusations of review fraud very seriously and remain vigilant in preventing fraudulent reviews from appearing on our site.

If you are concerned with the authenticity of a particular published cruise review, e-mail us at We'll research it and take appropriate action. Tell us the date, title of the review, and any other information that may help us with the particulars of your situation. We value your help and appreciate it when you alert us to a potentially fraudulent situation.

In the end, you are responsible for your own cruising decisions. Cruise Critic will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained on our forums or in any of our published member content, or in a hyperlinked area.

As cyberspace continues to evolve, the freedom and openness from which we all profit can make us the target of touts, shysters, and frauds. These people could infect our forum, just as they infect other parts of the world. Please proceed with caution, do your homework, and be wary of those who post hyperlinks to strange web sites.

These rules are not all-inclusive and obviously cannot encompass every situation that can possibly arise within a community of this size. Cruise Critic reserves the right to change, alter, adjust and modify these guidelines at any time. Decisions regarding how these guidelines shall be administered are the sole responsibility of Cruise Critic.

Do you sell cruises? Are you sponsored by the cruise lines? Do the cruise lines pay you to say good things about them?

Cruise Critic is not a travel agency; we do not sell cruises. We do not rate or recommend travel agencies. Our mission is to help travelers plan the best possible cruise vacation.

We are not sponsored by any cruise line. Like most websites, we do accept advertising and, at times, partner with cruise lines for contests, events (such as Meet & Mingle parties).

At Cruise Critic our mission is to provide balanced, unbiased reporting and take our journalistic credibility seriously. It is central to this mission for the site to provide you, the reader and our members, with an accurate and reliable resource on all aspects of cruising, and we do so by pairing our editorial content with thousands of reviews from our members of the site. Cruise Critic accepts advertising, but it remains strictly impartial from an editorial standpoint -- something which is made clear to all advertisers.

Who are Community Hosts? The Community Manager?

Our Community Hosts oversee specific forums. They generally have the ability to move and delete posts & threads, and perform other simple actions. Becoming a Community Host for a specific forum is usually rewarded to users who are particularly helpful and knowledgeable in the subject of the forum they are hosting.

Community Hosts Are Here to Help Out; Their Opinions Are Their Own!
Many of our Hosts contribute to various discussions. They are free to contribute, or not contribute, as they see fit. Their opinions are their own. Cruise Critic does not regulate what the staff says about a location, cruise line, shore excursion or travel provider.

Our volunteers are drawn from a wide circle of daily life. Most of them are experienced travelers -- either realtime or "armchair." All are outside the travel field in their professional lives. You should not believe that our hosts have any additional insight or information simply because they have a "Host" prefix to their name. Cruise Critic Community Hosts are not representatives nor employees of Cruise Critic.

The Community Manager has overall control of everything that happens within the Community. The Community Manager oversees how the board is styled, what forums to create and how to organize them, is responsible for our Rules of Participation, what information to require from members and who to appoint as Community Hosts. You may contact the Community Manager at:


Other than enforcing our Community Rules of Participation, the management and staff does not attempt to validate any information provided by participants. As such, Cruise Critic is not responsible for any inaccuracies that may result in financial loss, personal injury or damages of any kind.

Disruption & Harassment

The harassment of our members is not allowed.

Cruise Critic is committed to providing an online environment that is free from these types of harassing postings. Please, don't attack another poster or group of posters. Do not harass, threaten, embarrass, or do anything else to another member that is unwanted. This means: don't say bad things about them, don't keep sending them unwanted Instant Message notes, don't attack their race, heritage, or their sexual orientation, etc. If you disagree with someone, respond to the subject, not the person. Postings of this nature will be removed from the boards. Cruise Critic will remove posts of this nature without notice. Repeat offenders may have their posting privileges suspended, in the sole discretion of Cruise Critic.

Do not post details or private information about any other person. Do not attempt to impersonate another person, either real or virtual.

Postings that have been placed on the boards to disrupt the flow of conversation or otherwise disrupt Cruise Critic members' enjoyment of the Community will be removed and you run the risk of losing your posting privileges. This would include, but is not limited to, the posting of essentially the same message over and over in response to different threads on the forums or utilizing the features of our Community to transmit messages of a personal nature.

Also disrupting to the Community is Thread hijacking which is the act of trying to steer a forum discussion thread off topic by discussing a subject entirely unrelated to the original topic. This would also include making references to the original poster, or even to OTHER posters, that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Creating a disturbance during a "Live from......" Thread is also not allowed. We're grateful for members who take the time to post on their vacation, plus spending $$ to do so, to share with us stuck at home. If you disrupt a "Live From...." thread you will find your posting privileges suspended.

We realize that in some instances, topic drift happens naturally. However, it does appear to be intentional by certain members. Please be considerate of your fellow members; posting off topic within a discussion -- 'hijacking' -- is boring and only wastes everyone's time. Think twice and, for some of you, even three times before posting off topic in an existing discussion: not "thinking" may result in loss of your posting privileges on Cruise Critic.

Please note that the determination of what constitutes "disruption" will be the sole determination of the Community Manager.

Our members are from all walks of life. They belong to different faiths, religions and nationalities. Their level of education may differ than yours, or English may be their second language. Please exhibit tolerance of the posting styles, language and grammar of members. Posts that point out typos, grammatical errors or anything that could embarrass someone aren't allowed -- are a waste of everyone's time -- and will be removed from the community.

Question: I received a guideline reminder for cruise line bashing...what does that mean? Answer: Cruise Critic considers constantly and persistently "bashing" a cruise line disruptive to other members. Therefore, you may receive a single warning regarding this behavior. In the sole opinion of Cruise Critic Community Management, you may lose access to that cruise line forum after the first warning.

Question: I received a Guideline Reminder for a "Nuisance Post". What is that anyway? Answer: A nuisance post is a message that is either obnoxious, annoying, or offensive to individuals or to the community. These types of posts add nothing to the discussion, and have a tendency to drive the discussion in a different direction.

Discussion of the management of this community is not allowed on the forums. Your post will be removed and you may receive a Guideline Reminder. However, we would be happy to address any concerns you have via email. Please write to the Community Manager at:

Inappropriate Content

The use of profanity, foul or vulgar language, inappropriate graphic images and any other content not "family friendly" is not acceptable. Keep in mind that members come in all ages and all have access to our Community. Using asterisks to blank out several letters of a word is *still* considered a violation if the vulgarity is discernible, as are acronyms for a series of vulgar words. There are far more powerful ways to get a point across.

Discussions of any nature that staff feels inappropriate anywhere on the site will be removed without notice to the original poster and you run the risk of losing your posting privileges.

The above applies to all user-generated content throughout the site, including user names.

Advertising is Not Allowed

Cruise Critic has strict guidelines prohibiting blatant advertising, commercial sales and solicitation posts on all of our message boards.

Our Cruise Community is meant to be an exchange of advice and tips where cruisers can talk about their travels -- not a marketplace for advertising and selling services. There are thousands of cruise professionals online and if we didn't insist on a non-solicitation policy the cruise boards would be very quickly overrun with nothing but ads.

Cruise Critic defines advertising as an individual or company's attempt to generate business or other commercial enterprise, either directly or indirectly, by using our Cruise Board. Solicitation includes, but is not limited to, requests to be E-mailed, the posting of phone numbers for your business, constantly mentioning that you are in the travel business, and the referring to or posting of one's own Web site address.

There shall be no third-party recommendation (whether positive or negative in tone) of travel agencies on any forums within Cruise Critic. General discussions regarding the TYPE of AGENCY to be used to purchase a cruise will be allowed, as long as no recommendations for any source of purchase are posted.

Touting of your personal cruise agent or cruise line "personal cruise consultant" (or any other venue by which you purchase a cruise) is not allowed on our message boards. Postings that contain "tell them John sent you" will be removed without notice.

This means you should not ask about someone's travel agent, nor should you respond in kind. Offering to email someone your travel agent's name or info is also not allowed, nor is asking members to email you for the information.

It also means you cannot post links to travel agencies, no matter what the specific reason.

Cruise Critic will remove violations of the "third-party recommendation" rule without warning. Additional posts will result in permanent suspension of your posting privileges.

Other Cruise & Travel Sites

Cruise Critic reserves the right to approve or deny links which lead directly to or link to cruise-related material or message boards that are not located within Cruise Critic. Additionally, we respectfully request that you do not use our forums to promote or advertise other cruise-related websites.

The bottom line is: an ad is an ad. So, please no posting of "looking for roommate" type posts, tour shares (except in ROLL CALL threads), giveaways, ebay links, coupon books, coffee cards, etc. etc.

Question: I have just started my own cruise site; can I post it here? Answer: The answer is: it depends. If your site is a hobby site and you are chronicling your personal cruise travels, by all means share your site with our members. However, if you have created a site with cruise reviews and forums for profit (or any other cruise-related material), please find another venue in which to advertise.

Illegal Activities

Cruise Critic prohibits the discussion of illegal activities including (but not limited to) the posting of pyramid scheme/chain letter/make money fast-type information, as well as any activity that is considered against the law, such as illegal drugs and underage drinking.

Writing a Cruise Review for Publication to Cruise Critic

We encourage all of our members to Write a Review for publication to Cruise Critic

Here are some great tips to help you write a review on Cruise Critic. Remember, your experiences help other travelers, so we look to publish reviews that cover a majority of this criteria:

" Info about you!
" Hotel information (if any)
" Ship information
" Activities
" Service
" Port & shore excursions
" Cabin
" Dining
" Children's clubs
" Entertainment
" Disembarkation
" Summary

In addition to above tips and criteria we look for publishing your review, Cruise Critic will not publish reviews that contain the following:

" Profanity or threats
" Personal insults
" Reports of violent or criminal activity
" Commercial web addresses, e-mail addresses or phone numbers for promotional purposes
" Full names of ship-based staff members
" Text entirely in ALL CAPS
" Content not relevant to tourists
" Letters to Cruise Lines
" Submissions about a single subject or incident on board (this is not a review, please use our forums for this)
" Content that violates our Community Rules of Participation listed on our site

" Please submit reviews for sailing within one year of sail date.

You will receive an email with specific information if your review does not meet our publication criteria.

Use of Content

By submitting content to our site ( &, you hereby grant Cruise Critic the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in Cruise Critic's message boards or in our published member or port reviews (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed. For additional information, please see Cruise Critic's Terms of Use

Copyright Infringement

The posting of blocks of text obtained from anywhere on the Internet, online newspapers, web sites, Facebook and other social media sites, magazines, etc., defeats the purpose of our Cruise Boards. All of this information is available to everyone online, and doesn't add to the idea of sharing firsthand experiences and cruise advice. Also, the majority of information out there is protected by an author's individual copyright. Therefore, we will remove such information from the message boards. However, linking via url to the information is allowed.

The one exception to this would be Cruise Line press releases. You may post these word for word on the boards, if you clearly indicate the source.

Copyright Compliant Policy

Please see Cruise Critic's Terms of Use.

Participation of Cruise Lines

  • Cruise Line executives, PR Teams, Social Media Gurus and other staff members are encouraged to participate on Cruise Critic forums. After registering, please contact our Community Manager at to validate your account as "official".
  • Cruise Critic will allow official representatives of cruise line management to respond to reviews written about their ships, either on our message board forums or in a published review. Please contact for more information about our Cruise Line Response initiative. Responses to published reviews that meet our criteria will be displayed on the Cruise Critic site directly underneath the relevant review.

Media, Law Firms, Marketing & Other Companies

Members of the media, employees of law firms, and other companies *must* obtain permission from the Community Manager ( before posting on any of the forums within Cruise Critic. There are no exceptions to this policy. Posting/inquiries not approved by the Community Manager are removed without notice.

Participation of Travel Agents

Travel agents (and their associates, employees or designated representative) are encouraged to participate in the discussions on the Cruise Board and establish themselves as experts on a particular topic by responding to members' inquiries with useful answers. You are welcome to sign your first name and note your professional business as long as you comply with the following:

  • You may not use your business name as your Cruise Critic user name.
  • You may sign your posts with your first name only.
  • You may include your company name in your signature.
  • No phone numbers, business location (city or state), web site address, contact info or e-mail address are allowed either in signatures or your Cruise Critic profile.
  • Responding to member's inquiries on the boards with an ad for your services is not allowed.
  • Only items of a general nature may be discussed on the forums by any travel agent.
  • Travel agents are not allowed to solicit for tours on Roll Calls.

Cruise Critic considers requests to be E-mailed for additional information as soliciting and will return those postings to any travel agent trying to sell or promote themselves on Cruise Critic. Additionally, attempts to circumvent our rules may result in your company name being censored from our forums. The above guidelines are not all inclusive, and Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any image, logo, byline, user name, posting, avatar, or picture that, in the sole opinion of Cruise Critic is too promotional in tone.

Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any material from our message boards without notification.

Travel Agent Recommendations

There shall be no third-party recommendation (whether positive or negative in content) of travel agencies on any forums within Cruise Critic. General discussions regarding the TYPE of AGENCY to be used to purchase a cruise will be allowed, as long as no recommendations for any source of purchase are posted.

Touting of your personal cruise agent or cruise line "personal cruise consultant" (or any other venue by which you purchase a cruise) is not allowed on our message boards. Postings that contain "tell them John sent you" will be removed without notice.

This means you should not ask about someone's travel agent, nor should you respond in kind. Offering to email someone your travel agent's name or info is also not allowed, nor is asking members to email you for the information.

Cruise Critic will remove violations of the "third-party recommendation" guideline without warning. Additional posts may result in permanent suspension of your posting privileges.

Participation of Tour Guides/Drivers, Tourism Website Owners, Property and Business Owners

Tourism website owners, official representatives from port operations and residential property owners (and their associates, employees or designated representative) are encouraged to participate in the discussions on the Cruise Board and establish themselves as experts on a particular topic by responding to members' inquiries with useful answers. They may not, however, list or refer members to their Web sites. Tourism websites may include their business name in their signatures, and may include their website link in their profile only. No promotional material or conducting business will be allowed, nor may you recommend specific businesses in ports of call. This includes scheduling times of tours, confirmation of events/deposits/e-mail receipt, etc (and any other discussion determined to be of a customer service nature in the sole discretion of Cruise Critic). Only items of a general nature may be posted on the forums.

Tour Operators, Tour Guides, Drivers, Business Owners, Transportation, Taxi, Limo Drivers: Our Ports of Call forums are meant to be a place for cruisers to exchange information with other cruisers. Therefore, the participation is not allowed.

Businesses in ports of call who wish to respond to a posting online should contact the Community Manager first at: Posts not cleared w/ the Community Manager will be removed from the forums. There shall be no exceptions to this policy.

Participation of Local Experts in Ports of Call

Locals living in ports of call are encouraged to contribute, as long as their recommendations are general in nature. Those living in ports of call who recommend individual businesses or tour operators will find that their posts have been removed and their posting privileges may be suspended.

Tour Guide Recommendations

We welcome the legitimate review or recommendation of tour operators, guides, property & business owners in ports of call.

Cruise Critic considers requests to be E-mailed for additional information as soliciting and will delete those postings by anyone trying to sell or promote themselves on Cruise Critic. Please, abide by our Community Guidelines so that legitimate recommendations by our members regarding guides and tour operators may remain on the forums!

From time to time, Cruise Critic management is contacted by Tour Operators/Guides/Business who request removal of negative posts about their company. You should know that Cruise Critic will never remove negative posts from the boards at the request of any tour company, cruise line, store, shop, taxi company, driver, guide, etc.

One-Post Wonders
This phenomenon essentially amounts to single or multiple posts created by a brand-new member which tout tour operators/businesses in ports of call. Posts of this nature will be removed from the boards without notification to the author. Cruise Critic considers these types of postings an attempt to circumvent our rules and may result in that company's name being censored from our forums without notice.

Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any material from our message boards without notification to members, the author or the company being recommended.

Roll Calls

Cruise Critic's ROLL CALLS are one of the most popular features within our community. In an effort to keep them fair and as safe as possible, the following is in effect:

  • Roll Calls belong to everyone; there is no designated leader or owner. It doesn't matter who started the thread.
  • On the other hand, if you are new to a Roll Call take the time to read the thread. Learn who is doing what, who made plans for an event, etc. before jumping in and making different plans
  • If you plan an event, be sure to invite everyone!
  • Please adhere to cruise line requests regarding setting up Meet & Greets on board. In other words, if they say contact us three (or two or whatever) weeks prior to sailing, don't contact them months in advance.
  • ROLL CALLS are for people to get to know one another before their cruise; therefore, there will be all kinds of discussion!


  • Sharing shore excursions is fun and can help you save money.
  • Get to know the other members in a Roll Call before attempting to get them to tour with you.
  • Shore excursions should be arranged so that payment is made directly to the tour operator, do not be the collector of funds for a shore excursion.
  • Do not arrange any shore excursions/tours if you are not going to be taking them yourself. In other words NO THIRD-PARTY arrangement of shore excursions are allowed. This includes people who are not participating on the Cruise Critic ROLL CALL *for whatever reason*.
  • Travel agents may not arrange shore excursions on ROLL CALLS.
  • Anyone attempting to "fill a bus" or making money from the sharing of shore excursions on our forums runs the risk of losing their membership.
  • Do not post your email address so that someone can email you information about a shore excursion. If they have important info, they should be willing and able to post this information on the forum. We will remove posts, at our discretion, that are nothing more than requests for emails OR posts providing email addresses.
  • Do NOT arrange to collect funds for shore excursion shares at any Meet & Mingle or Meet & Greet so graciously provided by the cruise lines. In the case of Princess Cruises, they have stated you cannot solicit other passengers for any reason once you have booked your cruise. If they observe you arranging tours on board, you run the risk of being asked to debark your cruise at the next port (verified via Princess Cruises March 2013).

Offering Roll Call Logo Items For Sale

It is perfectly fine to offer customized logo items for sale in your Roll Call. However, please follow these rules:

  • You must be sailing on that specific ship and sail date
  • Price your items as near to cost as you are able to without incurring out of pocket costs
  • Be clear about shipping costs, if you are mailing them out beforehand
  • If it is determined that you are selling for profit, we will take appropriate action
  • If you would like to use the Cruise Critic logo in your design, please share the final art version with

Our Policy Regarding Facebook and Roll Calls

Cruise Critic loves Facebook. in fact, we maintain FB pages for all of our sites (Cruise Critic,, our Australia site, etc.). We have many people who participate on both our FB page and our message boards. We have no issues with people linking their own, personal FB pages in their profiles, or on your signature on Cruise Critic forums. You understand that doing so allows our members to know your "real life" name.

ROLL CALLS created on FB are not anonymous. Most of them are open to the public. Even if they are private groups, once you are accepted into the group everyone will know your real name. In doing so you have pretty much told all those people -- strangers -- when you will be away on vacation. The fact of the matter is most people do not understand how much personal information they are sharing.

On Cruise Critic roll calls, everyone is anonymous. You have the ability to remain as anonymous as you'd like throughout the entire Roll Call timeframe and throughout your entire cruise if you so desire. You can be JoeCruise101 until the day you disembark. The choice is yours, you share as much or as little as YOU choose to; everyone starts out on a level playing field on Cruise Critic. Anonymous user names only.

Also, FB Roll Calls have already proven to divide Roll Calls. People, for whatever reason, who cannot seem to get along may open a FB group and then want more people to participate, so they harvest members from the original ROLL CALL. There have been actual disruptions encouraged on FB directed towards our ROLL CALLs.

We believe a ROLL CALL created on Cruise Critic should stay here. We've worked long and hard to create this community, and have provided a certain level of trust and privacy for our members. If they choose to participate in a FB Roll Call, they'll have to learn about it somewhere other than Cruise Critic.

We request that you not solicit people to your Facebook page on any of our ROLL CALLS.

FTC Disclosures for Bloggers and Brands

In 2009 the FTC created a set of rules and guidelines regarding disclosure of free products in exchange for writing reviews about those products. If you would like to read more about this, you can go here: FTC Endorsem*nt Guides

However, much easier to read and understand is their FAQ: FTC Endorsem*nt Guideline FAQ

As you spend time reading about the rules, it would appear very simple at first glance: disclosure is now required by the FTC rules — at least if you are not a “professional.” Continue reading and you will see it isn’t that simple!

You’ll also see it is not clear how the FTC will enforce these guidelines. The manpower doesn’t exist since the FTC is also responsible for policing telemarketers, business frauds everywhere, and spammers, to name just a few.

For purposes of our “cruiser-to-cruiser community”, since our environment is anonymous and we do not verify the information posted here based on the FTC rulings it is the responsibility of the vendor, advertiser or provider of the free product to counsel any poster or blogger regarding disclosure when they post information on the internet.

To clarify, please see the scenarios below about the various areas within Cruise Critic where user-generated content is collected.

  • Forum Postings - If a poster reviews a cruise they bought, of course disclosure is not necessary. If they review a free cruise acquired via a contest disclosure is necessary. If a cruise company sends the poster on a free cruise and the poster does a review on the forum in any format – freestanding or in response to info requests, both the cruise line and the poster are responsible for disclosure.If a tour operator offers someone a discount on a future tour if they mention their company, disclosure would be required. These are just examples; there are many other scenarios that would require disclosure.
  • Submitting a Review for Publication to Cruise Critic - Cruise Critic requires everyone who submits a review for publication to our website ( to agree to the following: “I certify that this review is my genuine opinion of this cruise and all tour operators/guides/businesses in ports of call. I have no personal or business affiliation with any establishment, and have not been offered any incentive or payment originating from any of these businesses to write this review”.

Since it is impossible for aggregate review websites to know exactly how someone acquired their cruise, tour or product, therefore it is unrealistic for us to be able to moderate for FTC rules. The onus is on the cruise line, advertising agency, or tour operator/guide and the poster of the review(s) to comply with FTC rules for disclosure.

Charitable Organizations & Fundraising

We've always been so proud of our Cruise Critic members who unselfishly pack goodies, supplies and yes...even send organizations located in various ports of call around the world. We applaud your efforts and hope you continue to do so on an individual basis.

However, judging by the number of e-mails we have received over the years, as well as a few heartbreaking incidents that have diminished our trust in some of these organizations, it is clear that many of you are also concerned regarding the validity of some of these projects. We are aware that many are now posting on the forums in order to obtain donations. Additionally, there is an undercurrent of competitiveness with regard to these agencies, which many of you are displeased with.

Therefore, since Cruise Critic has no control over the validity of the information, we do not allow organizations to "ask" our members for donations through the forums. Additionally, posts from members offering to "collect" items or money to bring with them on the cruise or to donate to any organization will be removed from the forums.

All posts/discussions soliciting donations or the bringing/passing out of supplies/donations are not allowed and will be removed from the boards, thus allowing our members to continuing discussing visiting these ports, and finding interesting and fun shore excursion information. Repeated violations will result in suspension of posting privileges.

As always, thank you for exhibiting the kindness and generosity toward those less fortunate than us in ports of call.

The above applies to all forums on Cruise Critic, including our ROLL CALLS.

Guideline Reminders

From time to time we may sent you a Guideline Reminder which is specific to an issue we have had with one of your postings. This reminder is for you to review the board guidelines that you agreed to when you became a member. A Guideline Reminder is a permanent part of your member profile that only you can see. Repeated board violations and Guideline Reminders may permanently restrict your access to the message board.

When you’re issued a Guideline Reminder, an e mail is sent to the email address you used when you registered here at Cruise Critic. It is your responsibility to make sure your email address is current. If you don’t know whether you received a Guideline Reminder, you can check your User Profile or spam folder. Be sure and add to your email application as an address that you will accept emails from.

If you have a question about a Guideline Reminder that you’ve received, please write to

Removal of Posts

Posts may be removed from our forums at the sole discretion of Cruise Critic without notification to the author or discussion participants. We may also MOVE a post to our Floataway Lounge that has veered off the original topic. All decisions regarding post removals are final.

Question: My post about a site that lists available cabins keeps getting removed, why? Answer: More than likely, the site is a travel agency and sells cruises. Cruise Critic does not allow the posting of travel agency names/sites on the forums. We realize that you are not posting in the context of buying a cruise; however, we will remove the post in order to maintain a fair environment towards all travel agencies.

Question: Why don't you allow us to post about other cruise sites? My post contains *** and then you removed it! Answer: Actually, we do allow the legitimate linking to information at another cruise site, as long as that link isn't posted in an attempt to drive traffic to that site (in the sole discretion of Cruise Critic), or if the posting of such site is meant to cause disruption within the community. If a website's url or name is replaced by a series of *****, it may mean that particular website had spammed our community with advertisem*nts for their site, or that member(s) may have posted in a way that we consider self-promotion or advertising.

Question: I received a Guideline Reminder for a "Nuisance Posting." Just what is that anyway? Answer: A nuisance post is a message that is either obnoxious, annoying, or offensive to individuals or to the community. These types of posts add nothing to the discussion, and have a tendency to drive the discussion in a different direction.

Question: I no longer wish to be a member; why won't you remove all my posts!? Answer: When you became a member you granted Cruise Critic the right to use what you post. Your posts are not stand-alone; they are part of a conversation or discussion and removing them would not be fair to other members. By registering and posting on our site, you have made a conscious decision to participate. We do not offer removal of posts from our forums.

Posting & You!

We Cannot Fix Mistakes
Please review your post carefully for typos, incorrect dates and spelling errors.

Posts in Languages Other Than English

We welcome everyone here at Cruise Critic! You are welcome to post in your native language; all we ask is that you include the English version in your post so that everyone can understand and enjoy.

Browse Before You Post
Browse a topic first to see if your question has already been asked or answered by someone else. Also, many of the major cruise lines forums have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) topic that has been created by our members. Give that a try first. Browsing is your #1 best resource! Please post your messages in an appropriate topic so that you'll receive the best possible response. It is very time consuming to move misplaced messages that are in the wrong topics.

Posts Appear Immediately
We do not review messages before they are posted and you cannot delete your own messages once they are posted. As much as we'd like to, our volunteer staff is too busy to delete messages for you, extend spell-check services or rescue you from a momentary lapse in good judgment! ? If you don't see your message after posting it, close your browser or click your "refresh" to see your posting. You'll see it -- and so will everyone else!

Answer Posts on the Boards, Not Via Email!
Please try to answer message board posts on the boards instead of E-mail when appropriate. There is a lot of great information that we're all missing because it is passing through private E-mail. There are of course times when private E-mail is more appropriate but if you have information that would be helpful to many people, please try to come back to the boards and post it rather than replying to a posting through E-mail.

Typing in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS is considering shouting by many, so please double check your caps lock key before posting.

Rich Text & Graphic Images
The use of these features on our message boards can greatly enhance your online Cruise Board experiences. However, postings that are difficult to read, too BIG or too small, too light in color, etc., may be returned to you so that you may repost.

Cruise Critic has the following suggestions for keeping your online signatures manageable:

  • Keep your images to around three (approx) -- which would include a picture, clipart, photo or your countdown.
  • Try not to have any one image that is TOO large, which then takes additional time for your fellow members to download,
  • If you have a LONG LIST of prior cruises, think about chopping off some, OR rearrange them horizontally rather than vertically;
  • From time to time, browse through your signature and eliminate any extra blank lines, or old countdown codes, etc.

Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove/delete portions of your online signature and will let you know that we've had to resize your online signature.

Please do not manipulate postings on the boards by "bumping" topics to the top of the forum. Members will assume something of value has been posted, only to find that the newest posting is nothing more than a "bump post". This only wastes everyone's time.

Guidelines - Cruise Critic Community (2024)


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