CruiseMates: User Agreement and Terms of Service:

| Saturday, 05 Oct. 2013

What you need to know about using the CruiseMates site - the fine details

Terms of Service Privacy Policy

CruiseMates.com is designed to help readers obtain information about cruising and cruise ships and discuss ways to enhance their sea-going vacations. This information is sometimes provided by our staff and sometimes by other contributors, many of whom use anonymous screen names and are people we've never met. We recognize that while we have tons of great stuff in this forum, people sometimes post messages in our folders or make statements in our chat rooms that are misleading, deceptive, or downright wrong. They may do this unintentionally or, sad to say, intentionally.

Treat the contributors here the same way you'd treat anyone you'd met for the first time. This is important because anyone can show up in CruiseMates: no invitations are required. You wouldn't make a vacation decision solely because some stranger recommends it; and you should treat the information provided in CruiseMates the same way.

The fundamental concept is that you should NOT rely upon the information or opinions you read. Rather, you should use what you read here as starting points for doing independent research on cruise lines and vacation options. Then judge for yourself the merits of the material that has been shared in our forum.

CruiseMates does not guarantee the veracity, reliability or completeness of any information provided in our forum or in any hyperlink appearing on our site. No one could read through the thousands of messages we receive each day, check out all the hyperlinked web sites, and research each one for accuracy. That isn't why we're here. We're here to help you to learn how to make cruising decisions for yourself, and to have fun.

You are responsible for your own decisions. CruiseMates will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in articles or postings, for hyperlinks embedded in messages, or for any results obtained from the use of such information. CruiseMates will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained in our area, or in a hyperlinked area. If you don't accept this responsibility for yourself, then you should not use CruiseMates.

If you ignore our advice to do independent research of cruise lines, travel agents, and independent tour operators, choosing instead to purchase solely on information, "tips," or opinions found in our forum, you have made a conscious, willing, free, and personal decision to do so, and you may have also made a mistake.

As cyberspace develops, the freedom and openness from which we all benefit can make us the target of touts, hypesters, and frauds. These people could infect our forum, just as they infect other parts of the world. Please proceed with caution and do your homework.

According to S.2326, Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 currently pending in Congress Websites must provide notice of its personal information collection and use practices; obtain parental consent for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information from children aged 12 and under; provide parents access to their child's personal information; and establish and maintain reasonable procedures to ensure the confidentiality, security, accuracy, and integrity of personal information on children. CruiseMates supports and conforms with this pending legislation. The minimum age requirement to register with Cruisemates is 13. Any parents of children younger that 13 whose parents discover have registered with CruiseMates by lying about their age may contact us at to retrieve and delete the registration information of their children.

Our Sources In the material and data that we make available in our forum, we rely on a wide variety of sources, such as outside news organizations like Business Wire and PR NewsWire. We believe these sources of data to be reliable, but sometimes they make mistakes, too. CruiseMates makes no claims or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or truth of any material contained in our areas. Nor are we liable for any errors or delays in the content or transmission of the data on our site. We promise not to lie to you, but we reserve the right to be wrong or stupid.

Our Staff and Writers Our community leader's primary purpose is to keep our forum running smoothly, with politeness and good humor. They perform a variety of tasks, especially answering your questions about cruising and explaining how to navigate our web site. Our staff are knowledgeable about cruising, but to varying degrees and they may have differing opinions. Their opinions are their own. CruiseMates does not regulate what the staff says about a company. In fact, their opinions may differ substantially from each other.

We do not tell our people what they can post or what they can write about. They are drawn from a wide circle of daily life and while they are experienced cruisers they are not to be considered professional travel advisors. Any weight you ascribe to their opinions should be based on their ability to analyze a company or its products and services, the same as anyone else you see in our forum. You should not believe that these people have any additional insight or information simply because they are on the CruiseMates staff.

TERMS OF SERVICE VIOLATIONS If you have been harassed in any manner that you feel is a violation of our Terms of Service it is your obligation to notify us of the offending post(s). Please contact for that purpose.

CruiseMates's Terms and Conditions of Service Welcome to CruiseMates! We hope you'll enjoy and participate in the many services found in our site but first things first: by using our service, you're agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you don't wish to be bound by what you read below, you shouldn't enter the CruiseMates website. We may change these terms at any time but your continued use of CruiseMates means that you accept any new or modified terms and conditions that we implement. It is your responsibility check back here from time-to-time.

By entering CruiseMates, you certify that all personal information you provide is accurate. CruiseMates readers may not post false information about themselves or impersonate other people.

Our Content is Copyrighted All of the content on this site is the property of CruiseMates or the respective writers who maintain their own copyright privileges, and all is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. By "content" we mean any information, mode of expression, or other materials and services found on CruiseMates. This includes message boards, chats, software, our writings, graphics and any and all other features found on the site - in other words, everything.

Anyone who contributes anything to CruiseMates voluntarily agrees to indemnify CruiseMates LLC and its partners for any copyright compensation. If it appears on CruiseMates we have the right to use it is any form we choose without limits.

You may print one copy of our content for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that any material copied remains intact and includes the following notice: "Copyright: CruiseMates, Inc. All rights reserved." Any other copying, distribution, storing, or transmission of any kind, or any sort of commercial use of our content is prohibited without our prior written permission.

Message Boards By posting any messages or pictures in CruiseMates, you agree that CruiseMates has an unlimited license to republish anything you contribute. We will strive to republish your posts in context and credit you as the author. We may republish your posts for promotional purposes without your permission. We do promise not to make fun of you, unless you suffer a truly embarassing cruise incident and choose to share it with us.

CruiseMates reserves the right to modify your posts in the following manner: to edit the posts by removing words which we deem to be in violation of our terms of service: obscene words or personal attacks. We also rserve the right to use your words for the purposes of advertising as in adding links (which are selected randomly by a computer program) to specific words.

Yes, we know we hear you thinking "what about censorship and free speech." Free Speech only stops CONGRESS from passing a law forbidding the practice of free speech, we are not Congress. Obviously, not every letter to the editor written to the NY Times gets printed. We also reserve the right to selectively edit our message board posts. We will never change your editorial opinion, nor will we edit based on opinion as long as it is expressed in a reasonable manner, however we have had instances when people with an obvious agenda against an individual or company have chosen to bring their grievances to our boards for the purpose of exacting a revenge or to provoke a response. CruiseMates does not exist to fulfill the needs of any one individual, it exists for the good of all. Negative opinions are welcome, but blatant repeating of the same negative information purely to dominate every conversation and re-direct it to one's own negative agenda will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to maintain the decorum in our boards by deleting messages for any reason.

While it is our policy to try to contact the authors of non-compliant posts to tell them why their post was deleted, failure to contact does not excuse anyone from these rules. It is your responsibility to follow our guidelines.

Conduct CruiseMates encourages active and open debate among our members. All we ask is that it's done in a lawful and civil manner. Accordingly, you agree to use CruiseMates for the terms in this agreement only. You may not use or allow others to use your computer to:

  • Post or transmit any content that is abusive, vulgar, obscene, hateful, fraudulent, threatening, harassing, defamatory or which discloses private or personal matters concerning any person, company or legal entity.
  • Post or transmit any material that you don't have the right to transmit under law (such as copyright, or trade secrets) or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as nondisclosure agreements).
  • Post, transmit or link to sexually explicit material;
  • Impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Post or transmit any advertising, promotional materials or other forms of solicitation including chain letters and pyramid schemes.
  • Intentionally violate the laws, rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the national, or other securities exchanges especially and including the rule against making false or misleading statements to manipulate the price of any security.
  • Intentionally violate any other applicable law or regulation while accessing and using our site;
  • Offer, sell or buy anything.
  • Post or transmit any file that contains viruses, java applets, ActiveX, corrupted files, "Trojan Horses" or any other contaminating or destructive features that may damage someone else's computer.
  • CruiseMates reserves the right to remove posts or restrict the posting privileges of individuals that exhibit a clear agenda designed to slander, insult, or otherwise undermine CruiseMates, its employees, our partners, or any other company or individual.

CruiseMates may at any time, without prior notice and at our sole discretion, remove any post, picture or terminate your membership for violating the above provisions. You agree to indemnify CruiseMates and hold us harmless from any actions, claims, proceedings or liabilities arising out of these terms and conditions. You're responsible for all statements made and acts that occur through the use of your user name. So please don't disclose your password to anybody. If it has been lost or stolen, let us know as soon as possible and change it immediately.

Posting Guidelines CruiseMates readers and contributors agree to disagree respectfully. If you disagree with an opinion set forth, challenge that opinion, but please refrain from ever attacking the person who asserted it. We will not tolerate personal attacks. The many people who read through our message boards do so primarily to locate information and opinion. We encourage opposing opinions generating a lively discussion, but when the differenece of opinion begins to resemble the Wide World of Wrestling we must take steps. Any CruiseMates member knows that people want information, entertaining reading, and friendly guidance. We aim to preserve it for them; and we believe you do, too.

Please format your posts to look like traditional Funk and Wagnall's English. That means employing capital and lowercase letters in a traditional manner. . . neither all caps, nor all lowercase. Using all capital letters is known as "shouting" on a board, and it makes the message an eyesore.

The Editors cannot, and will not take the time to answer e-mail cruising questions. Thus, please submit all such questions to our message folders themselves. (You'll reach a much larger audience.) We've tried to set up CruiseMates so that there's a folder for just about everything. If you don't get a question answered on the boards, ask it again. . . someone will eventually get to it. If you don't see a proper message board for your question, request the start-up of a new message folder in the message board "suggest a new topic." We're not rude; we just have a job to do.

You're in Public PLEASE BE AWARE that anything you post in any of the CruiseMates folders may be excerpted. While e-mail is your business, the message boards are part of the CruiseMates Online. Reiterating: Your posted notes may be excerpted by CruiseMates.

Copyright Violations RULE: It is a violation of our Rules -- and more importantly, United States law -- to copy into our message folders any articles from copyrighted sources like The Wall Street Journal. Such postings may be a violation of copyright law. Contributors may summarize articles and post an occasional sentence or two, but not the entire piece. Violators of this Rule may be subject to account termination without notice. Articles copied into our folders in their entirety will be removed. [PRNewswire and BusinessWire articles may be posted in their entirety since they are republications of press releases.] REASON: We don't want anyone stealing our material, so we insist that you likewise respect other people's work.

No Advertising or Solicitation RULE: It is against our Rules to advertise or solicit business any place in CruiseMates without our permission. This Rule is strictly enforced, and if violated, may result in the termination of your account or you might receive an advertising invoice to pay for our services. Solicitation includes, but is not limited to, requests to be e-mailed, the posting of phone numbers for your business, and the posting of one's own Web site address, if that site has a substantial commercial element to it.

No Touting, Hyping or Other Disruptions RULE: The posting of notes which are unrelated to the folder title is a violation of our Rules. The same is true for the posting of messages that are solely designed to disrupt the conversation or annoy its participants. CruiseMates reserves the right, to be exercised in our sole discretion, to delete any such messages and to proceed with account termination without prior notice if we see it occur. REASON: The message folders lose their usefulness if they are filled with off-topic promotional messages or messages that are posted just or the sake of mischief. Our readers don't like it, and we won't tolerate it, as it destroys the usefulness of the folder. A forum like ours is useful only to the extent that the people who use it do so in good faith.

No Spamming RULE: It is a violation of our rules to "spam" a folder or folders, by posting the same note on multiple occasions in a single day. Repeat violators of this rule will have their account terminated. REASON: The folders are for discussion and analysis. If a member frequently repeats the same message, it becomes difficult to have an intelligent discussion of anything.

It is a violation of our user agreement to collect the email addresses of our readers from our site for the purposes of solicitation. Anyone who violates this rule is subject to revocation of their registration status. In addition, CruiseMates will not be held liable for any consequences that result from the dispersal of unsolicitated email by unknown third parties to our readers.

Off-Topic Discussions Our message boards are for the purpose of discussing cruise vacations. Questions about CruiseMates as a business, or debates about our terms of service are not cruise-related questions. We consider our internal business matters to be private, and we choose not to open them up to discussion in our message boards. Not only is it not in our best interest, it is no one's business but our own. Plus, we know the vast majority of our readers are not interested. Our message boards are not run by democracy, we own the boards and since we pay to provide them to you for no charge at our time and expense, we choose what topics are not open to discussion.

Respect the Moderators and other CruiseMates Staffmembers. The first we thing wqe ask you to understand is that we are here to do our best to help you. We have no desire or reason to do anything else. In return, we expect the proper decorum and civility you give to any person who os solely trying to help you. In addition, we do not work for you and therefore we are absolutely not required to adhere to any requests for specific information about ourselves or any other topic.

We do our jobs to the best of our ability, if that is not good enough for you then go elsewhere. We don't ask our posters for their qualifications to do their jobs, and we expect the same courtesy from you. Discussions about CM staff are off-topic. This board is about cruising. When someone asks a cruise question and we try to answer it seriously, to be confronted with personal questions or comments about our personal qualifications as a result is frustrating and distracting. It prevents us from helping you and others to the best of our ability. Confrontational personal questions are attacks, plus they steal the topic away from the original question.

Plus, we absolutely assure you that message board moderator are solely here to help and that we do our jobs with the blind eyes of justice. We do not look at the poster, we look at the message. Sometimes people get the idea we "do not like them" personally. This is not true or even relevent; it wouldn't matter. We are judges and umpires here, looking to help people with cruise advice to the best of our ability. We can be wrong at times, and we can accept someone disagreeing with us, but we do not seek out confrontation, and we certainly don't enjoy people who do not know when enough is enough.

Especially, we will not discuss CruiseMates business issues or answer terms of service questions in the message boards. If we get asked questions about our business, or personal questions, we may ask people to ask us by private message or email, but we will not engage in one-on-one discussions about our professional or personal qualifications, or private lives, in the forums. We may just delete a post if it is obviously just a rhetorical attack in the form of a question.

Disclaimer of Warranties and Liabilities CruiseMates provides a broad range of information, commentary and entertainment. We can't and we don't warrant the completeness or accuracy of the content found in our areas, or its usefulness for any particular purpose. CruiseMates also makes no promises that our content or the service itself will be delivered to you uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free.

You agree that under no circumstances will CruiseMates be liable for direct, indirect, incidental or any other type of damages resulting from your use of any information provided on our site. This includes, but is no way limited to, loss or injury caused in whole or in part by our negligence or by stuff beyond our control in creating or delivering any portion of CruiseMates.

One of our principle tenets here at CruiseMates is that the best person to handle your vacation is YOU and by your use of our service, you agree that you bear responsibility for your own vacation research and decisions. You also agree that CruiseMates will not be liable for any decision made or action taken by you or others based upon reliance on news, information or any other material published by CruiseMates. CruiseMates relies on various sources of information that we believe to be accurate and reliable. However, we make no claims or representations as to the accuracy, completeness or truth of any material contained on our site.

No Waiver If any provision in this Agreement is invalid, unenforceable or nonsensical, the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect. This Agreement is and always will be governed by the laws of the United States of America and the State of New York (except with respect to choice of law). You agree that the proper forum for any claim arising under this Agreement will be the U.S. Court for the Manhattan District of New York or the appropriate New York state court.

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