Originally Posted by GFC
By way of full disclosure before I comment--I have ZERO connection to AC other than being a very satisfied user.
I just checked and I have 836 posts on AC. I've used it and relied on it and loved it for several years. I enjoy reading the reviews and as I do with Trip Advisor and other review sites, I tend to disregard the reviews that are very far out from the majority of them. Some times people have a bone to pick with a resort or marina and they post negative comments about it. I understand that and can make my own decisions about how much weight to give to someone's comments.
For the record, I enjoy reading AC and use it extensively when planning future trips. Thanks a bunch to the owners of the site for putting together a great site that has become one of my favorite tools to use.
Ok I got tired after 3 pages. GFC's comments are spot on as are B&Bs.
Being new to boating, not understanding all the cruising guides out there, I came upon Active Captain and found it useful.
Bit that was before I got the gps puck to work on the laptop. once that happened, my world was transformed. No longer did I have to know the names of each bend in the icw.
I could make tomorrow s cruise plan and instantly see what was accessible and/or adjust the trip accordingly.
Now that I am in Europe, I cannot begin to tell you how much I miss AC.
Just as b&b mentioned, buying products on Amazon, many times you need the reviews to figure out how to install it or get it to work.
AC is the same way, there is always a range of opinion to guide your own decision.
Coming into strange marinas, even with the Google sat picture, is still so much MORE stressful not having the experience of others to learn from and plan for.
So far in these first weeks, that has been the most stressful part of th is cruise, far worse than the crappy wx or being on a relatively tight time schedule.
Finland, Sweden and Norway will be some of the best cruising grounds I may ever see, yet not having anchorage information really will take some of the fun out it for me.
In the US, someone will have mentioned: "watch out for that big assed rock just past the entrance" or "it gets shallow on the NE corner."
And the the guides trying to be a European AC are only electronic versions of the printed guides.
And if you don't like ac, then don't use it.
Lastly, for the negativos, you bring up an example of companies using boiler plate reviews.
Yes, that is actually cost effective if:
you are selling millions, and
your customer base is to lazy to actually read even a few reviews, but instead just look at the number for the avg review. "Look honey, it got a 5, it must be good"
And they don't notice that 90% of the reviews are ONE line.
Ok. I have guilted myself into writing reviews for AC during my summer travels.