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Travel Reviews

CruisesOnly Review - Review

Zippy's Review of CruisesOnly: This is one of my favorite sites even though it lacks depth in luxury cruise lines. It is a very well designed and easy to use site making your search effortless and fast. Cruisers have rated 142 ships and experts have rated 134 of the 193 cruise ships listed. The deficit is mostly in river cruise boats. Suspiciously, the reviews have an appearance of paid placement. You can filter the results by ratings, cost, cruise line and age, a terrific addition. There is also easy to find detailed information about each ship and cruise line.

Pros: very easy site to use with 7 search filters, best for big ship, lower cost cruises, some reviews are by authenticated passengers
Cons: only some ships have expert reviews (provided by Cruise Critic), expert reviews are not dated, not a site for luxury ship reviews
Best user: novice to wiz, anyone interested in large ship, mid or lower priced cruises

Cruise Critic Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Cruise Critic.com: The wealth of information on Cruise Critic almost overcomes the frustration of the site’s confusing navigation. Almost 400 ships sailing for 80 cruise lines are reviewed in depth by experts, creating the most comprehensive cruise review site online. The expert ship reviews are discriminating and well written but many are older than whitewall tires. Details include cabins, dining, public rooms, entertainment and five other areas. There is a 1 – 5 blue ribbon rating assigned to each ship and cruise line giving a sense of comparison against all others. Often the consumer reviews are peppered with silly comments requiring reading many reviews to find information of substance.

Pros: consumer and expert reviews, comprehensive information, thousands of reviews
Cons: not easy to maneuver around the site, consumer reviews are glowing or nasty with little middle ground, reviews listed by cruise line or cruise ship – confusing, reviews home page overwhelming
Best user: determined novice, average user

Expedia Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Expedia.com: Expedia hotel reviews are most useful if you are searching for a specific hotel. The only reviews on the site are written by those who have booked through Expedia. Therefore bogus reviews should be non-existent. If you are looking within a city, you will have to wade through the site by each hotel listing.

Pros: reviews are written by travelers that have booked that hotel through Expedia within the last 6 months, no bogus reviews
Cons: no profiles of reviewers, difficult navigation on site
Best user: intermediate to wiz

Fodor's Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Fodors.com: While reviews are not their mainstay, Fodor’s has so much added value and credibility that they should be taken seriously. The site is very easy to use and read with the added value of their experts doing reviews after hotel site visits.

Pros: Fodor’s expert reviews, hotel photos, site has additional great content
Cons: few, mostly outdated consumer reviews, limited number of hotels reviewed
Best user: novice to wiz

Frommer's Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Frommers.com: Frommers only provides ratings using a 0 – 3 star scale. They differ in that they only provide ratings, even 0 star, for properties they recommend. All their listings are winners according to Frommers. There is a separate key for pricing listed as 1 – 4 dollar signs.

Pros: all listed hotels recommended,
Cons: no written reviews, only star ratings, limited number of hotels rated
Best user: novice to expert

Hotels.com Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Hotels.com: Sort and filter options almost create a personalized review list. Hotels.com guest reviews are noted eliminating bogus reviews. Reviewers from outside the US are grouped as are reviews taken from Trip Advisor.

Pros: reviews are dated, can be filtered and sorted
Cons:None
Best user: novice to wiz
How to use: click on (# reviews) for reviews pages

J.D. Power Review - Review

Zippy's Review of J.D.Power.com: The stellar reputation of J.D. Power, normally associated with cars, has earned them a spot on Zippy Reviews. They can be trusted to provide accurate ratings. They do an admirable job of rating 36 European and 65 North American hotel brands. Their 1 – 5 dot ratings are based on 8 different factors ranging from check-in, food, cost, etc. European hotels are broken down into categories from economy to upscale. The North American properties include 6 categories adding in extended stay properties. This rating system is only as good as the individual hotel’s adherence to brand standards. The airline ratings, 1 - 5 dots, are spread between 5 low cost and 7 traditional US carriers. Again 8 factors are judged ranging from boarding experience, staff, aircraft, cost, service, overall, reservation, and check-in.

Pros: best for researching unfamiliar hotel chains
Cons: cannot research individual hotels, airport ratings are worthless, no international airlines
Best user: novice to expert
How to use: click on ratings category in Travel Ratings box, click on red “more” button for next page

Orbitz Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Orbitz.com: Orbitz is most useful for hotel reviews if you are quite specific in your search terms. Results include a 1 – 5 scale for 6 criteria but there are minimal comments from customers. If the reviewer booked through Orbitz, they are verified customers, which carries more credibility. Ships of 21 cruise lines, ocean and river, are reviewed by Cruise Critic experts and cruisers (profiles included). If the cruiser’s profile is similar to yours, the cruiser’s comments might be more valuable to you. Slide shows of the ship can be accessed from the review pages adding more interest to the review. There is a major deficit in luxury lines. Orbitz is for the budget to mid-range cruiser.

Pros: ease of use for cruise reviews, huge number of hotel reviews
Cons: expert cruise reviews (provided by Cruise Critic) are not dated, luxury ships lack consumer reviews, hotel reviews geared toward selling not toward providing information
Best user: novice to wiz (cruises), intermediate to wiz (hotels)
How to use: scroll down to cruise line, click on star in front of ship name, for hotels enter a city in the left hand pane “where” box leaving all other boxes blank, click “search,” click “# reviews” (such as “30 reviews”)in each hotel’s description

Skytrax Review - Review

Zippy's Review of Skytrax.com: Great go-to site for learning everything you ever wanted to know about an airline or airport. Airline safety, website, equipment, seats, food, service, and lounges are all rated or reviewed. Airport reviews cover ease of checking in, staff attentiveness, shops, and restaurants among many other criteria. Airport rankings contain maps, transportation options, parking guides – you name it. Because it is a combination of very scrupulous staff rankings and consumer reviews, the information is very expansive and reliable. The site also provides links to airlines, airports and various travel tools.

Pros: over 500 airlines listed, ease of use by alpha listings, ratings by star for each airport
Cons: cannot reserve flights on the site, no photos on the site
Best user: novice to expert

tripadvisor Review - Review

Zippy's Review of tripadvisor.com: Probably the most famous and controversial of all Zippy review sites, it is difficult to quibble about the issues – are the reviews legitimate and honest? Truth is that the sheer number of hotel reviews compensates for the possible dilution by dishonest reviews, so forge forth. Read between the lines and read many reviews for each hotel. Skip the newest addition to the site, airlines ratings containing only 1 – 5 dot ratings with no text.

Pros: breadth and depth of reviews, over 45M reviews, consumer photos, possible hotel response to reviews, links to area information
Cons: possibility of some dishonest reviews, need to read large number of reviews to glean accurate information, highly subjective reviews, no experts
Best user: novice to wiz
How to use: in “Find Hotels Travelers Trust” put city/state/country in search box, click “leave dates blank,” click “Find Hotels”

  Do you know of a site or sites that do reviews? let us know about it!
(Multiple sites separated with commas ex:www.reviewsitename.com, www.anothername.com)
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