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Author: noseycat

Joined: 5/18/2012
Posts: 48
Traveler Since: 2007

July 02, 2013

I see that my review of the 2013 Panama Canal Cruise trip is now back online at the top of the list, after mysteriously disappearing for several days.  (Also reappearing are the two previous reviews that prompted my own.)  All well and good, except--I gave a glowing, maximum-star review, but someone has added a note that "NO, I do not recommend this trip.", or something to that effect.

 

Got a problem here, Michelle.  Can you work your usual magic and assure all of us that the  IS/IT folks can resolve it permanently?  Thanks!

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

July 02, 2013

Hello Noseycat -

First, I have moved your post from the Online Survey thread to the Traveler Review thread as your comment is more related to this topic.

I do see your review with the comment that you don't recommend this trip.  I have spoken with my Development Department.  We are currently working out the "bugs" with the new Traveler Review platform.  I will make sure this comment is changed as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCCL/GCT Forum Moderator

Author: lyn

Joined: 3/14/2010
Posts: 35
Traveler Since: 2004

July 02, 2013

I have noticed that the new format for trip reviews does not include the date of the post or the date that the poster took the trip.  Those two features are quite helpful to me when I am trying to decide when or if I want to take the trip.  Just a suggestion for the new format...

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 116
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

July 03, 2013

Missing date of travel has been a BIG ISSUE discussed on the OAT forum!   It is not liked by anyone!

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 164
Traveler Since: 2002

July 03, 2013

Not a fan of any of the new changes. Seems like GCT just added a 5 star preference (4 stars were not enough) to compliment themselves.  And we don't get to view what others thought of the trip review.  But the comment choice is fine if other travelers want to ask questions on your review.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

July 03, 2013

Hello Everybody -

Thank you for all your comments.  Please know this thread has been forwarded to the Manager overseeing the Traveler Review project.

In response to your posts, for the foreseeable future, the dates will be shown in increments of days, months, & years. 

Again, thank you for your feedback & patience around these changes.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCCL/GCT Forum Moderator

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 135
Traveler Since: 2005

July 03, 2013

Dear Michelle,

I hope that "in increments of days, months, and years" doesn't mean that they will state that the trip in question was taken "17 days, six months, and two years ago."  I deal with that in my genealogical research all the time, and it is a major pain!  Counting it back is rarely easy and often inaccurate.  Hopefully you are referring to an exact date, such as July 4, 2003!

I've also often wondered at what point reviews will be dropped from the review list.  Since the forum is a relatively recent part of the OAT/GCT websites, that really hasn't come up yet.  But I'm thinking that a cut-off date could be established, since trips evolve and change over time, and reviews would no longer be accurate.  Maybe three or four years?

Thanks for listening!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 03, 2013

I agree with both your points, Gaynell.  A lot of trips have changed in the years since I took them, and I don't always think it's been for the better.  But if people are using those reviews to make their decisions, they should be the most recent ones available.

But I want those dates back!

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 157
Traveler Since: 2005

July 03, 2013

Re:  grammyflo (posted)....Seems like GCT just added a 5 star preference (4 stars were not enough) to compliment themselves.

Actually it makes it look like none of the past reviewers gave the trip the highest rating.  The old top ratings (i.e. 4 stars) were copied to the new format.  i.e. the prior ratings (which were four out of four stars) now have a rating of four out of five stars, etc.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 03, 2013

All around, it's a mess.  I noticed one trip I was checking reviews on had one (1) five star rating.  Naturally, it was posted after the recent change.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

July 03, 2013

I don't understand Michelle's response; does that mean that it's going back to the way it was before the latest change? Publishing the date the reviewer traveled?

It was very useful to have the date the reviewer traveled for several reasons, one of which was that it was interesting to compare two reviews of the same trip and date.

 

Author: noseycat

Joined: 5/18/2012
Posts: 48
Traveler Since: 2007

July 03, 2013

Hi, Michelle - Noseycat here (again).  I see that my review and its two friends (see first post) has disappeared again.  Maybe they've been hauled into the shop for repairs and will soon re-emerge with body work and new paint?  Hang in there (as we try to do!).

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 164
Traveler Since: 2002

July 03, 2013

I still think the addition of the 5 stars is so dumb.  If 4 stars was the max and most of the trips get the 4 stars, what is the point of adding 5 stars?  How about 6, 8 or 10 stars.  (my stars are bigger than yours.  ;- )  So so so silly. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 03, 2013

When I write my review of the trip I'm leaving on in a couple of days, I will start with the dates I traveled.  That way, it will be of some use to anyone who's contemplating taking it during the summer.

I don't know why they messed with the review site.  All they needed to do was add the options for posters to edit and for people to comment.  Everything else was fine as it was.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 164
Traveler Since: 2002

July 03, 2013

Pauline: Have a great time (know you will). Will look forward to your review. Florence

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 274
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

July 04, 2013

Gaynell, "increments of days, months and years" means # days or # months or # years. To put it more simply, they are not going to change the current format. As many have noted, the new "date" is an indication of when the review was published. There has been no acknowledgement of the many requests to restore the date of when the trip began. Nor have I seen acknowledgement of several other concerns about the new design which were noted on the OAT Forum. Perhaps, some are "bugs" which will be fixed but I doubt it.

In addition to the 5th star in the ratings, they added five categories of ratings which are appearing on reviews added since the change. For an example of this, look at the most recent review of the Great Rivers cruise. Another addition to the new reviews is display of travel complanions under the "name" in the right column. When I look at the reviews now, I see more clutter and wasted space than there was in they replaced.

The capability to make comments on reviews is the only change which I might find useful. I entered a comment just to try it out and nothing appeared. Has anyone else tried making a comment?

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 164
Traveler Since: 2002

July 04, 2013

Give it 24 hours.  I guess they will review the content for objectionable language etc.  Mine came up a day later.

Author: tomnat

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 71
Traveler Since: 2004

July 23, 2013

 We just  posted a review for New Sicily, and think the new format has potential, but as noted here & on the OAT forum, it needs some key fixes. Here is our review of the new review format:

Pros:

1) Kept our same nickname (ID) as on forum posts, which is useful to us in evaluating reviews & posts. Showed our home city & state, although probably should show 2 cities/states for snowbirds like ourselves.

2) Liked accomondations, itinerary, food, trip leader(s) & value rating bars, to further summarize a review.

3) No editing of our review, which overall was positive, but had some suggestions & criticisms for GCT.

4) Like ability to comment on reviews. Note there is about a day delay before both reviews & comments appear after you post.

5) Entering review info was unambiguous & did not time out; so we do not know why some positive reviews in the new format do "not recommend the trip".

Suggested Fixes:

1) Need date trip started (mo./day/year), as many & we have requested. We started our review with trip dates in the text, but date should be entered automatically & put in extra space on the right. In addition, to evaluating time of year, weather, etc. in a review, it is really required for efficiently commenting or asking questions about a review.

2) Need paragraphs with spaces, like forum & old review format. We did line returns/enter at the end of our paragraphs, but they were lost. Review is just one big run-on text blob!

3) Go back to 4 stars max. to accurately reflect previous reviews in average, that had 4 stars for excellent.

4) Add number of  trips taken under nickname on right, like in forum, as it helps us evaluate reviews.

5) Put "Yes, I recommend this trip" outside of the text box, below the rating bars, so that it is visible without having to scroll to bottom of review text box.

6) Get rid of scroll bars on the review text boxes, and use "more..." like Trip Advisor to expand to show the full text of review. However, unlike Trip Advisor we suggest only expanding the review  that one is reading to full text, not all of the reviews to full text on a page of reviews.

7) Show date review was posted as mo./day/year or "period" separators like in the forum, not 20 days or "x" months/years ago. Try to keep a consistant uer interface between forum, reviews, etc. across your website.

Thanks for listening to our suggestions. We rely on reviews & want to make them more useful to our fellow travellers & to GCT/OAT

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

July 23, 2013

Hello Tomnat -

Thank you for your detailed commentary.  It has been forwarded along to our Project Management Team.

Again, thank you for your continued patience while we implement & refine our new Traveler Review portal.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCCL/GCT Forum Moderator

Author: tomnat

Joined: 6/4/2010
Posts: 71
Traveler Since: 2004

August 01, 2013

GCT changed the older "4 star" max. reviews to "5 stars", consistent with new review format, so that overall review average is accurate & useful. We do not know if they changed older 3, 2, 1 or 0 star reviews to fit the new 5 start max. format.

So GCT/OAT can make incremental changes before late Aug to the new review format, if it affects their advertising image or bottom line, e.g. travel invoice & online payment bugs in early July were fixed within days!

We hope that other changes that your customers have requested are coming quickly, e.g. insert date trip started (mo./day/yr.) automatically, same reviewer info as for forum posts, ID/name, trips taken, traveled since date, etc. We just read the last years reviews for Rhine & Mosel, and would have appreciated "date trip started" info., since we leave in late Sept.

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