Welcome to the huge and ever-growing Doris Chats : How to Cruise family of cruisers, with over 40 Facebook chat groups, and around 500 port guide films on our Cruise Doris Visits and How to Cruise YouTube channels.
We try to inform and equip you with all the information you need for a memorable cruise.
So why do have rules and guidelines for our Facebook Groups?
The Doris Chats Facebook groups are intended to be a safe place to ask questions without being ridiculed.
And to share helpful cruise information rather than gossip.
You can say,
“I hope my cruise goes ahead” or
“My cruise never went into (Bar Harbor, etc.)”
…because that is information.
Positive & True
It doesn’t have to be negative. You can say that you did have – or sadly did not have – an insurance policy that had missed ports coverage.
Some people just love to chat. We love that, but not incorrect information. That is INFO-VIRUS and we will not be seen to act in that way. Other sites may and can. But not us.
So, please don’t say what you think causes or spreads Norovirus or Coronavirus – unless you are actually a biochemist.
You can post our page about it which has Government information – or the official Government sites.
Think this way: can you justify your comment with a source as newspapers have to?
If you are in doubt what that means, enjoy two great hours watching the film SPOTLIGHT. It’s a great movie. In it, they knew facts, absolute facts, but they could not and did not publish until they could verify and quote the source.
We also try to avoid moans.
Because we can do nothing about them and they should be taken to those you are moaning about.
If you moaned to the official source and have a reply, you have a source. So then you can, like a reporter, REPORT (not moan) and share the reply.
We do not allow chat that can inspire INFO-VIRUS.
Mostly we leave them up, but may STOP FURTHER COMMENTS if it is inflaming a situation.
We often cut heated exchanges about subjects like ‘dress-code’ after enough comments.
If a question is ‘asked and answered’, you may note the poster has turned off any further comments without us intervening. But we will also turn off comments as ‘asked and answered’. That’s nothing against the post, but others may not wish to read it again and again.
Finally, please don’t moan about this site or other cruise sites. We are happy for you to move to other groups that allow moaning instead.
Please don’t post other cruise sites in the groups.
The above are our rules, and what the following rules and guidelines are based on.
We might be different. But that is our style.
Please report taxi drivers, etc. Often excursion companies try to use us, even for inland Africa!
However, we often recommend things for cruisers on AMAZON like seasickness bands or our own action crime thriller novels on Amazon.
We are a huge community with over 100,000 stories, posts and chats each month. So please don’t expect us to read them all! We have many members who use the three dots and report things. Then we act.
Doris Chats Novels
Previously a screenwriter (with awards), Stuart writes the Cruise Ship Crime Novels (that we hope will become movies).
Obviously, we allow those posts and encourage others to talk about the books if they have read them.
Jean, the main presenter on our port guides, and Laura (who played Sonia in the Christmas special of Gavin and Stacey) are editors and additional material writers. Laura does character work, Jean is technical.
The novels are a great way to ‘see’ below decks and ‘behind the scenes’ as we do as guests on ships.
Cruising & Technolgy
David enjoys simplifying techie stuff, and his website HOW TO CRUISE has many articles about using technology on your cruise.
General Rules & Guidelines
In short, these are some of our operational guidelines in addition to the above
Say anything against the site or groups and you will be removed and free to join a different group.
We like to see who is joining, so joining without a picture and no profile might need a DM message or email or contact, or the request could be declined.
We don’t like any moans. All moans should be taken to the ship operator or supplier who has the ability to deal with them. We are not a window for vengeance or negativity. We do allow reporting without evidence.
If you are on one of our cruise ship chat groups and angrily say ‘you will never sail on her again’, we will assume you don’t need to be in the chat group.
If you are rude or offensive, we will remove you.
Blogs have to be 100% cruise-focussed so we will delete jokes, recipes, tales, cries for help or funding, or anything off cruise when we see it or it is reported.
When a question has been answered we may mute further commenting. Just seems sensible.
If someone answers a question with a page from a competitor or suggests a competitor, they and the blog will be removed.
If someone is trying to sell tours or cruises, we might remove it and them.
If we see arguments brewing, we might stop further comment to save it inflaming. Posting a discussion that deliberately does that might get you blocked.
If someone wishes to disagree with us or our chosen style, we will remove it and them.
If your opinion is we should be different or change something please email or DM us, but you might be on the wrong chat site.
We might take a week or more for allowing people into a chat group when we are at sea, which can be often when we have been invited onto a ship. We will get to things eventually.
Our sites all focus on UK cruisers, and also all the routes UK passengers might take. We do cover nearly all major ships with a chat site. The sites are linked, so being blocked from one site normally takes you off all sites.
No politics, religion, fundraising of any kind, or charity posts.
In vision chat – this is new and growing. Common sense applies, but assume it is daytime somewhere, so all the time children could be online. No smoking in vision; usual broadcast rules.
Private Messaging is not seen by us nor controlled by us. It is a facility offered by Facebook. If a member does something in a private message it is not actually on our chat site. We keep a good relationship with Facebook and do not cross borders or lines, and direct messaging is their domain. They often suggest we remove a post from our chat site that they do not like, and we comply (we have chat sites for most ships or cruise operators). However, what happens outside our chat site, in a private message – which is Facebook member to Facebook member – is not on our chat site but in their system, and needs to be reported to Facebook as we cannot deal with it. Use the three dots on the right of the message and report it to Facebook as you feel fit, maybe as hate-speak or an unwanted comment. Direct messages fall in their domain as they are outside our chat site. Facebook has the opportunity of then dealing with the member.
That should mean that the groups stay happy, positive and about cruising. They may have genuine reporting about what is closed during a norovirus epidemic. But do say, for example, ‘last week when I was on, the pool was closed’.
If you need to share a cruise joke there is a great cruise joke site, but not here, please. We respect their great site.
For those of you who have seen one or two of our hundreds of films on cruise destinations, we love it when you post our films when someone else asks about a port.
In just two years our online TV channel has grown to over 100,000 views in some months. Our blogs are on our main FB page. We often report great blogs from a chat site, and we may ask if we can use the blogger’s name but often do so without credit.
We don’t read every blog. We do get to every reported bad blog, eventually. If you think we are slow and it is urgent, email us via this website.
If you have joined Doris Chats via the chat, you have joined a family of things. Expect us to cross advertise, just like the BBC does (our old friends who trained Stuart over 50 years ago!).
Often in a situation, so much is happening that it is wrong for us to repost as the news is covering it.
The news might not always be perfectly correct (see below), but one thing which was clear on the Coronavirus day of 11th March 2020 was that the Government wants to try and stop INFO-VIRUS.
Because of Stuart’s position as a broadcaster, he sat in at a think-tank three years ago.
Sharon White (then head of OFCOM) was on the panel, and the topic was ‘the most disgusting reporting ever by broadcasters on the EU vote’. It was admitted by all that all networks had often just repeated lies or bad information and/or speculated. This was BOTH SIDES of the EU political spectrum.
Coronavirus was/is slightly different. But again, opinions and lies are being spread. So with poor information on social media, OFCOM can step in. As a broadcaster, Stuart made a decision at the start to love and enjoy chat, and allow freedom – but exclude INFO-VIRUS.
He may have been ahead of his time, but trusts you can all understand why our 40+ cruise groups were set up on that basis: not to allow or encourage discussions that are, or encourage, answers that become INFO-VIRUS.
This doesn’t mean you can’t report things in an informative way.
What it does mean is we do not allow, as an extreme example, things that start with I THINK.
“I think the ship causes Noro.”
Well, that is wrong.
Or to say,
“I think insurance companies will…”
Again, it is wrong, as you don’t know what is in someone else’s contract.
Those posts are not knowledge, but INFO-VIRUS.
We also do not allow questions like
“Will CRUISE LINE cancel my cruise or not go into ports?”
Because no one on any site can give an answer. It just starts INFO-VIRUS.
Helpful and Safe
So with all that in mind, please ask lots of great cruise questions, share lots of helpful information, and help us make all the Doris Chats : How to Cruise Facebook Groups that you choose to join wonderful and safe places to be.