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Is Cruise Critic Legit? Check Out What We Found!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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With so many people looking to book a cruise, it's no wonder there are many sites out there offering reviews and information on the subject. But with so many options, it can be hard to know which ones to trust. That's why we're taking a closer look at one of the most popular cruise review sites out there: Cruise Critic.

Cruise Critic is one of the internet's most popular cruise review sites. The site has been around for over 25 years and features reviews from professional critics and everyday cruisers. It also offers a wealth of information, from choosing the correct ship to planning your time in port.


But with so many reviews and so much information, it can be hard to know if Cruise Critic is legit. So we took a closer look at the site to see if it's worth your time.

How does Cruise Critic work?

"Freedom of the Seas” cruise ship leaving the Philipsburg Dock

Cruise Critic is a website that offers reviews and information on cruise ships and cruise lines. The site also has a forum where users can ask questions and share tips.

Cruise Critic also allows users to rate each review, so you can see how others felt about it at a glance. In addition to reviews, the site also has a forum where users can ask questions and share tips. Finally, it's worth noting that Cruise Critic is part of the TripAdvisor family, so you can also read cruises reviews on TripAdvisor.

What are the benefits of using Cruise Critic?

Cruise passengers disembarking ships in Mexico

There are a few benefits to using Cruise Critic, including:

1. In-depth reviews

Cruise ships stopped at the Port of Miami, one of the busiest ports in the United States.

Both professional critics and everyday cruisers write reviews on Cruise Critic so that you can get a well-rounded view of each cruise ship and cruise line. Professional critics tend to be more critical, while everyday cruisers can offer a more personal perspective about their experience. It's also helpful that you can see how other people rated each review. You can also use the site's forums to ask questions and get tips from other cruisers.

2. A wealth of information

Carnival Liberty and Disney Dream cruise ships docked in Port Canaveral at sunset

In addition to reviews, Cruise Critic offers information on everything you need to enjoy a successful cruise vacation. As you get closer to your trip, or when you're still in the planning phase, all kinds of questions pop up, and sifting through the information on Cruise Critic can ease your mind and help you make better decisions. You can also use the site's forums to ask questions and get tips from other cruisers.

3. Tons of user-generated content

Woman working on her laptop on a cruise ship

Reading random reviews on the internet can be hit and miss. Still, when there's enough volume of user-generated content, you can generally reach a deeper understanding of the topic. Participation in these conversations can also help you see new angles and what cruises suit your needs best. In some cases, massive volumes of user-generated content calling a company a scam can alert you to things to avoid when taking your cruise vacation. We will caution you to take comments with a grain of salt because we have personally gone on experiences ill-advised by loud voices online, which ended up being thoroughly enriching experiences.

4. Cruise Deals

Cruise Ship Harmony of the Seas at a Caribbean Island Paradise

Cruise Critic offers a cruise deals section where you can sometimes find great deals on cruises. You don't need to be a member of Cruise Critic to access the deals, and you don't even need to sign up for an account to view them.

5. Cruise Search

The drone aerial view of Paradise Island and Nassau port, Bahamas

Cruise Critic's cruise search feature is a great way to find cruises that fit your budget and preferences. You can search for cruises by destination, departure port, cruise line, ship, and more. You can also set a price range and specify the dates you're looking to travel.

What are the drawbacks of using Cruise Critic?

Cruise ships docked in Mexican port

In addition to the benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to using Cruise Critic. These include:

1. Ads and sponsored content

Digital marketing concept, online advertisement

The site features ads and sponsored content, which can be annoying. The ads are clearly labeled, but the sponsored content is not always as obvious. This can be distracting and make finding the information you're looking for more challenging. In addition, some users have complained that the site does not give an accurate picture of a cruise and that the reviews are biased.

2. Limited customer support

Businesswoman wearing headset while using computer

If you have a problem with your account or need help with something, you'll need to contact customer support. However, users report that getting in touch with customer support is difficult, and you may need to wait a long time for a response via email. In addition, there is no instant chat or phone support available.

3. No mobile app

Close-up of a businessman hand holding a smartphone white screen is blank

There is no Cruise Critic mobile app, which can be inconvenient if you're planning a cruise and want to access the information on an easy-to-use app while you're on the go. You can use the mobile version of the site, but it's not as user-friendly as the desktop version.

4. User-generated content can be unreliable

Customer satisfaction survey concept

Since anyone can write reviews on Cruise Critic, the user-generated content can be unreliable. Therefore, read multiple reviews with a skeptical eye and understand that any individual comment can be disingenuous. You should also remember that people are likelier to write reviews if they have a negative experience.

Conclusion: Is Cruise Critic Legit?

Cruise ship at bay of tropical island

The short answer is yes; Cruise Critic is a legitimate website. It is a part of the TripAdvisor family and offers a wealth of information on cruises, including reviews from other travelers. There are some drawbacks to using the site, such as ads and sponsored content, but overall, it is a valuable resource for planning a cruise. As long as you explore and do proper research before booking your cruise, you should have a great experience.

Happy cruising!

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