Prior to my upcoming cruise on the Vision, I have only sailed once before on RCI - a TA on the Brilliance. While I greatly enjoyed my trip on the Brilliance (and am greatly anticipating the Vision), my decisions as to what ship to sail on depends upon a number of factors - such as price, time, and itinerary. I have been posting on this board (and the other one) for a little over two years and have learned to pay very little attention to other posters negative/postive comments as I understand that they may be biased or come from a point of reference different from mine. I think most experienced cruisers would have the same understanding. To me, the value of the boards is the factual/objective information one can obtain regarding almost any aspect of sailing - and some of the humor and camaraderie that comes from people who share a love of cruising.
That said, I think that the Royal Champions' main impact would be on new cruisers who are susceptible to influence. In that aspect, it would appear the program would tend to prey mostly on the unsuspecting - which is unfortunate.
Until I read Dave's post, I was unaware of the program. Now that I am aware - I have an understanding for some of the vitriolic postings I have read elsewhere.
I appreciate the desire to keep Royal Champions at bay on this board - however just a question: how would you identify one?
Unless they identified themselves, or used the same screen name as on other boards, it would admittedly be hard to identify them. All we can do is what we currently do, that being to evaluate posts and posting trends by specific users that raise suspicion. We've had a shill or two for cruise lines here before. If the staff forms an opinion that someone is a champion or part of another viral marketing attempt, we will remind them of our rules. That's all we really can do. If someone breaks the rules we have the option to ban that account. And that is why this whole scheme is so outrageous, since it tainted every cruise forum on the internet even though 99% of the traffic was being done at one forum. Guilt by association.