We too are going to be first time cruisers and have read a ton of bad reviews. It hasn't bothered us in the least because like someone said before, people are much more inclined to report the bad things quicker than they are the good things. Another thing, if you pay 1,000 for a complete vacation to several other countries, you can't expect to be treated like royalty (though Ive heard they honestly treat you that way). And last, there are some people who just aren't happy with anything. They just can't be pleased. Even though we have read the bad reviews, we have taken them with a grain of salt and have no reservations about making reservations.