A reader of this blog forwarded to me the following article: http://consumerist.com/5166291/royal-caribbean-caught-infiltrating-review-sites-with-viral-marketing-team . (I am fascinated how timely it is considering our recent discussions.)
Basically it discusses Royal Caribbean scouring the internet (and mainly Cruise Critic) for 50 of their most avid, but well written and positive, posters dubbed “Royal Caribbean Champions”. Their reward, after being monitored, was an invitation to a pre-inaugural sailing on the Liberty of the Seas.
Now, I am sure most, if not all, of the posters were very happy with Royal Caribbean (and, as I mentioned in my extended review of my cruise last year on the Mariner of the Seas Mariner of the Seas Review (4 Parts) there are many happy with this product), but if there was something amiss I dare say they would be a bit more hesitant not to mention it. To be fair, they are not in the business, so I would not expect anything different. There is the saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” and they, I am sure, are wise enough posters to follow that advise.
There are many instances when a line gives special treatment to their supporters. Regent does it too. In fact, I am aware that Seabourn even did it – once – a few years ago…and I am very confident it will never do it again. (The postings were great, but the post-cruise “Now I am special…forever” became a problem.)
Selfishly, how about Regent Seven Seas or Silversea giving me a free cruise to show me how wrong I am? 🙂