Britton and I are extremely grateful to those of you who have contributed to our ongoing efforts to bring you the best in river cruise news and analysis. Your one-time contributions through GoFundMe and your on-going contributions through Patreon have covered the costs of running River Cruise Advisor. Those costs include web hosting, our newsletter email platform and various subscriptions to run a robust web site. The costs add up to a few thousand dollars a year. It’s always gratifying when we see even a small contribution as recognition that you appreciate what we do. Thank you.
What We’re Asking
Earlier this year, we thought we’d try something that we’ve never done: reach out to our subscribers to ask help from those who can afford to help. Don’t worry. We’ll never switch to a subscription model, so even if you can’t afford to help, you’ll still receive our content, which we love to produce, free of charge. That includes all articles, webinars, videos, pricing charts and more. We do it because we love river cruising. Our services, providing advice and recommendations to anyone who asks (we’ve fielded more than 7,000 requests to date), will continue to be free also.
We love helping folks like you get on river cruises that promise to be enriching and satisfying. It’s something that I’ve been doing for a long time, with Britton continuing the tradition.
In 1996, the year my daughter was born, I launched a publication (Cruise Observer) aimed at “providing resources to help people make informed cruise vacation decisions.” (That same year, Britton, only nine months old, went on her first cruise, crossing the Atlantic on the venerable QE2).
The mission to help people get on the right itineraries and right ships has stayed the same throughout my journalistic evolution, which includes the launch of avidcruiser.com in November of 1999 and rivercruiseadvisor.com in October of 2010.
If you find value in what we do, would you be willing to make a one-time or on-going contribution. Some of you have actually asked to do this before but we refused to take anything.
To host both sites and to pay for all the various subscriptions (such as the ones we use to send out our email newsletters and run our webinars) costs us around $5,000 annually. We’re a nimble operation compared to our competitors.
There are two ways for you to help sustain us. The first is to become a sustaining member by committing to a small monthly contribution. We are offering benefits for sustaining members that you’ll find along with information about how to contribute on this Patreon page.
The other way is to make a one-time contribution to help cover our operating costs on this GoFundMe page.
We realize the decision to help is a personal one, and no matter what you are able to do or not able to do, you are always welcome to be part of the community that we are building comprised on people who love cruising. Thank you for your continued support of River Cruise Advisor and Avid Cruiser.
I have enjoyed and learned so much from your columns We lost several loved ones due to covid and I was the one who did the Holidays dinners it was a very hard thought for this 2021 Christmas season so my remaining family pooled the costs of our Covid cancelled vacations and were able to take an amazing cruise on AMA for the Christmas season. We might have not had this happy time for not your encouragement. Will be happy to help you keep up your great work.
Dave Purcell says
I enjoy your emails. I bought your river cruise guide book a year ago, because I am planning to take a river cruise in April, 2023. I bought that now outdated book, because you said you would provide a copy of the updated one last Spring. I felt the updated one would be worth the money to help me plan my 2023 cruise. I do understand the difficulty of providing your services when you cannot bring in the revenue you expected due to the pandemic. On the other hand I wonder if I would be throwing “good money after bad” to make a contribution when you promised that the updated book would be delivered well over a year ago. I know it is sort of a chicken and egg situation, but I promise I will make a contribution as soon as I receive the promised updated book. Thank you for your service to river cruisers.
Ralph Grizzle says
Appreciate your comment. We do try to do the best we can for the river cruise community. As for the book, we did not have the information to update the book last spring because the goal post kept moving. We felt that whatever we published in a book may have been outdated as soon as it came off the press. Take yesterday, for example. Crystal is in the book. Now they may not be, depending on whether they can emerge from its parent’s bankruptcy. I’m working on the book now and was actually working on a Crystal piece. Now that might be tossed. So we’re waiting for more clarity. What we’re hoping for now is a 2022/2023 version to be released in late spring, but we can’t promise that timeline either. We need to see what happens with the variant, the return to regular service for river cruise companies and god knows what after Russia invades Ukraine. We are proud of the book, and eager to release an updated version. Appreciate your patience.
Lisa D Fitzgerald says
Very compelling and beautiful message Ralph. I fully understand what you’re going through and I hope all the wonderful people you help graciously give back. Lisa
Clark B Calabrese says
We finally took our river cruise on the Rhine River. Your tips on river cruising were most helpful, even after the 18 months delay and rescheduled 4 times.
We had our cruise on Avalon Expression, October 23 thru 30. A wonderful Cruise!!! with Hiccups. Please see my review on TripAdvisor or Trustpilot for for details. And Yes! Covid protocols were not an issues, on or off the boat. In short all one needed to do is showed your Vaccination Card and ID (passport), and Done!! Only 36 Guest were on our cruise. So Don’t use Covid as an excuse not to go!
Ralph Grizzle says
Thank you Clark. Very nice to hear.