Cruise ship forums have been a place where passengers from the past, connect with passengers of today and the future. Passengers post reviews on their own cruise that help the industry and each other make more informed decisions. Now, could become grounds for passengers to be blacklisted.
There are Pumper's on the inside of many moderated and un-moderated Internet forums. They range from wall street penny stock manipulations to Hollywood and the news media. Travel industry sites are some of the biggest offenders. "Pumper's" are made up mostly of industry professionals and profiteers. In the cruise industry this may include cruise industry employees who work at or for corporate offices, cruise critics who barter or sell ads to the industry, travel agents and tour guides who live off the passengers. Pumper's are all the same as they work with information directly linked to an industry as they solicit help from social media connections, friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers toward their own goals and gain. Often they work with or use web sites that allow customer rankings or work in group forums with the intent of improving a cruise lines ranking with intent or promise of obtaining a free cruise. For these people, every cruise is a great cruise regardless of weather or events during the cruise. Regardless of what control the crew, cruise ship or the cruise line has or takes during events.
Another Pumper group, "oblivious", ignore misery of others and sometimes their own. They can sail in hurricane churned seas or watch as norovirus outbreaks affect 15% of passengers and crew. Watch as passengers and crew puke off the side or get quarantined in their cabins until the outbreak is contained. They can miss their port of call, have items stolen from their luggage by other passengers, on the last night of a cruise, miss their flight home when the ship returns late from bad seas or equipment malfunctions. The oblivious people can still proclaim how, "fabulous" a cruise was and with complete certainty argue facts with other passengers.
The, "incapacitated" passengers are so drunk or doped up, events simply go unnoticed as they have an excellent time. They can squeal with glee while sitting atop an asteroid headed for earth. To some degree, I admire their ability to be so stress-free and calm in their mind as things around them go to hell.
That said, not all Pumper's or non-complainers fit any of these categories, they simply have a positive prospective. For these passengers, a cruise is an adventure, booked in advance they sign up for whatever comes their way, often are perplexed when others can not join their club. The wilder the ride, the better their spirit, knowing that after-cruise stories are going to be outrageous to share with others who come near enough to hear the tale. You just can't pay enough for outrageous dinner party fodder.
Collectively, I call these cruise industry forum squatters, "Pumper's". They make it their job or their mission to pump up the industries online forums and other forums where potential cruisers might stop. However intentionally or unintentionally misguided it all comes down to money. Pumper hang-outs are not a good source to find the dark side of an industry. They are however a good place to find a great deal on a cruise, their inhouse advertising pages are plastered with a half dozen to a dozen cruise industry ads. When more than three ad blocks and two text links violate most ad contracts the remaining ads are commonly inhouse. Often you can start with inhouse advertising to find the sites agenda. Looking at the types of ads on a site can show their interests in an agenda, they hope to protect and cultivate.
Beyond the Pumper's is a sub-group, I call Cyber Rambo's. These are forum squatters with only one agenda, to disagree. They will beat down everybody on any and all topics and love to make people cry and watch them duck down and run away from their territory. They rejoice in other's grief and tend to attract other like minds and travel through forums in packs, much like wolves on the hunt.
Web forums are a great place to see school yard bullies practice open attacks in a dog pile. A dog pile results when a poster makes a comment about something that happened on a cruise Cyber Rambo chooses to protect inciting the pack and 'Regular Pumper's' jump the poster and batter verbally, until a moderator or admin breaks up the personal attacks or shuts down the thread. In milder attacks a moderator is able to simply delete the offending post. Many forum attacks are originally fueled by logic but after hours pass to excessive consumption of alcohol or the nights drug of choice reason is lost and the attack is on.
This has become an increasingly discouraging evolution on the web, as major news web sites add the ability to openly comment at the bottom of lead stories. They are plagued with threads full of cyber Rambo's, that not only disgrace the society they live in, but the web site that is unable to control posts of hateful personal opinions.
Brenda Moran an avid cruiser
She and her husband Gerald had taken six cruises with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL). Of the six, there were no perfect cruises but that is normal as we are imperfect humans living in an imperfect world. Employee work ethic affects us all and an industries employees can tarnish or destroy an image from the inside. All around the world employee ethics have taken a major dive in the past two decades. The problems Brenda had were not 'little' things, they were major to her and decided post her honest reviews, they were both good and bad, unlike the Pumper's who were monitoring her posts.
On one occasion Mr. Moran was locked out on the balcony of their cabin, when the door jammed and he couldn't get back in. That took several hours for the crew to resolve. Several hours of cruise fun missed by Mr. Moran. This is somewhat of a common problem on cruises, as the walls heave and bind on openings while the ship bounces from wave to wave.
On another occasion, the toilet malfunctioned in a Radiance of the Seas cabin, resulting in the restroom floor being covered with sewage, which then spilled onto the cabin floor. After the crew cleaned the carpeting, it still stunk and the couple had to leave the balcony door open in 40F ° weather for the rest of their cruise.
This too is rather common problem and is the worst possible thing that can happen to the occupants of a single cabin, other than bed bugs. On a scale of 1-10, it rates a 10 for failure of the host.
All along the Moran's were good customers, RCCL continued to woo them and offer compensation for their trouble. That changed when Brenda Moran posted her latest review on Cruise Critic, as she always done after returning from a cruise. Unfortunately, she posted her story and RCCL's responses, stepping into a storm of Cyber Rambo's and Pumper's that fired a total assault on her personally. They then filed complaints with the Cruise Critic admin and followed with calls to RCCL corporate offices. Expressing their versions of events and their dislike of RCCL's response. Posters on the Cruise Critic forum apparently felt most outraged at any form of compensation, insisting the $500 and 20% discount offer made by RCCL amounted to heresy. They insisted her sewage problem was something of a sacrifice and considered part of the risks in cruising. They insisted she was undeserving of such a extreme compensation.
Personally I feel a 100% compensation would be appropriate, regardless they are only our opinions. The judgements on the forum were distorted by alliances in the end they succeeded in dictating the level of suffering and loss of enjoyment endured due to sewage contamination in a cabin did not warrent compensation of any kind. What kind of people could live like farm pigs and find this type of accommodation perfectly acceptable?
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line informed her that her business was no longer wanted.