Two and a half days ago, a cruise passenger on the Carnival Magic emailed us and told us that: (1) the ship was delayed returning to Galveston by fog (2) a fire had apparently broken out on deck 11 causing smoke and ending up with the hallways drenched with water, and (3) a Coast Guard helicopter medevaced an ill passenger from the cruise ship.
The email from the Carnival passenger came to me early Sunday morning shortly after 7:30 AM as the ship waited for the flog to lift and I waited for my first cup of coffee. We emailed Carnival for confirming information, and then published our article around 1:00 P.M. We included Carnival’s comments that a fire allegedly didn’t break out and that the smoke was caused, as Carnival says, by an "overheated electrical component." Carnival also confirmed the Coast Guard helicopter medevac.
We have heard Carnival public relation tweets before that electrical fires causing smoke were not really fires.
You can read our article here: Fire, Fog & Medevac Mar Cruise Aboard Carnival Magic.
Today, two days after we published our article, Cruise Critic published an article entitled: Smoke Scare Onboard Carnival Cruise Ship. The Cruise Critic article discussed the smoke versus fire issue and mentioned that a cruise passenger was medevaced Saturday afternoon and fog caused a delay in the ship getting back to Galveston.
The Cruise Critic article relied on information we released (and spun the story in favor of Carnival) without any credit for the story to us.
It is the norm in reporting and the world of social media to acknowledge sources of information. For example, when the Daily Mail in the U.K. (one of the most widely-read internet newspapers in the world) writes a cruise story which we break, it will cite us and link to us. You may think that the Daily Mail is sensational, but linking to sources is what reputable, professionals do. For example, read this Daily Mail article based on information in our blog which we broke after a cruise passenger emailed us.
One thing that we take seriously here at Cruise Law News is being 100% accurate and transparent in crediting the right people and organizations responsible for breaking news stories. None of our stories ever go out without a credit. It does not matter if it’s our rival law firms. If someone had a big verdict against a Miami-based cruise line, we report it. We name the lawyer and include a photograph. No other law firm does that.
If Cruise Critic, USA Today’s CruiseLog, Cruise Currents, CruiseMates or who-know-who breaks a story, we will of course name them and provide a link to their site.
Cruise Critic is a site we have openly acknowledged is the number one blog covering the cruise industry. I have also published rankings showing Cruise Critic is the number one blog covering cruising.
But it is also a dishonest organization, in my opinion.
Owned by the Expedia travel company, Cruise Critic is often seen as a cheerleader for the cruise lines. We have criticized it for deleting comments on its message boards and censoring members who write about events embarrassing to the cruise industry. It heavily moderates its message boards. It’s the first to write a puff piece for the cruise lines when they need some good news. It’s also known for being a shill for the cruise lines.
Many people criticize us for writing about negative cruise stories and having a vendetta against Carnival and Royal Caribbean. You may not like our opinions. Readers should take our articles with a grain of salt. After all, our motto here is "everything the cruise lines don’t want you to know." We are often on television, cable news, radio and in newspapers sending our view of cruising out into the stratosphere. We know it is irritating to the hard core cruise fans.
You can disagree and criticize us for our opinions, but you cannot ever fault us for being anything other than honest in crediting the sources of our stories.
Cruise Critic, on the other hand, is not transparent. It takes credit for other’s information. It can be a shill all it wants. But it should not take credit when it is not due.
I suppose, from that perspective, it is the perfect publication to cover the far-from-transparent cruise industry.