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  • Community Guidelines

    The Independent Traveler is a community of folks who love to travel and we all benefit from the exchange of advice that takes place particularly here! Our Travel Board is a cooperative effort which depend on all of you to make it work well. If you post questions, please try to take the time to answer other members' questions as well. Note that we have adopted a series of guidelines to help make the Travel Boards easier to use and better for everyone.

    Messages posted in on our forums must conform to our Community Guidelines found in this area. Posts that violate these guidelines will be removed from the boards without notice. Repeat violators will lose their posting privileges. We will automatically remove any subsequent inappropriate postings without warning. Please use good judgment in posting any message.

    These are moderated message boards about travel. Please stay on topic within a forum. Off topic posts that do not violate our Community Guidelines will be moved to our Travel Cafe forum.

    One other other item that adds to the enjoyment of the boards -- if you post a new topic think of it as "your topic." If you ask a question, please read the answers and acknowledge that members have taken the time to reply to you. It is a breach of "netiquette" to start a topic or question in which you presumably have an interest, then ignore the subsequent discussion.

    Our mission is provide a haven on the internet, if you will, that will provide a resource for those travelers who love to plan their own trips. Help make this a great source of information for you and your fellow travelers by sharing the name of that wonderful all-inclusive resort you visited or tell us about that fabulous trip to Italy or Greece that just can't be missed! If you have any questions or comments regarding our posting guidelines or any content found on our message boards please be sure and let me know. I'll be happy to discuss them with you.

    Special Note Regarding Removal Of Posts

    Posts may be removed from our forums at the sole discretion of The Independent Traveler without notification to it's author or discussion participants. We may also MOVE a post to our Travel Cafe that has veered off the original topic. Additionally, the discussion of our management policies and procedures -- including post deletions-- is considered off-topic discussion for our boards and will also be removed without notice. If you have a question about the removal of any posting please contact me at

    Looking forward to reading about all of your travel journeys!

    Community Manager
    The Independent Traveler

    Advertising Guidelines
    The Independent Traveler has strict guidelines prohibiting blatant advertising, commercial sales and solicitation posts on all of our message boards.

    Our Boards are meant to be an exchange of advice and tips where travelers can talk about their travels -- not a marketplace for advertising and selling services. There are thousands of travel professionals online and if we didn't insist on a non-solicitation policy the travel boards would be very quickly overrun with nothing but ads.

    We define advertising as an individual or company's attempt to generate business or other commercial enterprise, either directly or indirectly, by using our Travel Board. Solicitation includes, but is not limited to, requests to be E-mailed, the posting of phone numbers for your business, and the referring to or posting of one's own Web site address. Additionally, "looking for" personal type ads are not allowed.

    There shall be no third-party recommendation of travel agencies on any forums within The Independent Traveler. General discussions regarding the TYPE of AGENCY to be used to purchase travel will be allowed, as long as no recommendations for any source of purchase are posted. However the true "independent traveler" usually plans their own travel!

    We will remove violations of the "third-party recommendation" guideline without warning. \

    The Independent Traveler reserves the right to approve or deny links which lead directly to or link to travel-related material or message boards that is not located within The Independent Traveler. This does not mean all links will be removed, but rather that they will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

    Use of Content
    By becoming a member and posting on our forums, you hereby grant Independent Traveler the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in Independent Traveler's message boards or in our published trip reviews (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    Professionals, Tour Operators & Travel Agents
    Travel professionals and travel agents (and their associates, employees or designated representative) are encouraged to participate in the discussions on the Board and establish themselves as experts on a particular topic by responding to members' inquiries with useful answers.

    In doing so, you are welcome to sign your name and note your professional business. You may not list your phone number, business location, web site address, contact info or e-mail address. Responding to members' inquiries on the boards with an ad for your services, or conducting tour business, is not allowed. This includes mentioning pickup locations, scheduling times of tours, etc. Only items of a general nature may be discussed on the forums by any tour operators. If you stick to general information about the destination, you should be fine.

    The Independent Traveler considers requests to be E-mailed for additional information as soliciting and will return those postings to any travel agent, tour operator or anyone trying to sell or promote themselves on The Independent Traveler. Additionally, attempts to circumvent our rules may result in your company name being censored from our forums. Please, abide by our Community Guidelines so that legitmate recommedations by our members may remain on the forums!

    Travel professionals and property owners (and their associates, employees or designated representative) may not list or refer members to their World Wide Web sites.

    One-Post Wonders
    This phenomenon essentially amounts to single or multiple posts created by a brand-new member which tout tour operators/businesses in estinations. Posts of this nature will be removed from the boards without notification to the author.

    Harassment, Flaming and Trolls

    The harassment of our members is not allowed.

    We are committed to providing an online environment that is free from these types of harassing postings. Please, don't attack another poster or group of posters. Do not harass, threaten, embarrass, or do anything else to another member that is unwanted. This means: don't say bad things about them, don't keep sending them unwanted Instant Message notes, don't attack their race, heritage, etc. If you disagree with someone, respond to the subject, not the person. Postings of this nature will be removed from the boards.

    Postings that have been placed on the boards to disrupt the flow of conversation will be removed.

    Multiple occurrences of harassment/flaming will result in your loss of posting privileges on our message boards.

    Profanity and Vulgar Language
    The use of profanity and foul or vulgar language is not acceptable. Keep in mind that members come in all ages and all have access to our Travel Boards. Using asterisks to blank out several letters of a word is *still* considered a violation if the vulgarity is discernible, as are acronyms for a series of vulgar words. There are far more powerful ways to get a point across. Discussions of any nature that staff feels inappropriate for the Travel Boards will be removed.

    Illegal Activities
    The Independent Traveler prohibits the conducting of illegal activities on our Travel Boards, including (but not limited to) the posting of pyramid scheme/chain letter/make money fast-type information.

    In addition, the discussion of illegal activities, such as (but not limited to) drugs on all of is also not allowed.

    Copyright Infringements
    The posting of large blocks of text obtained from the Internet, online newspapers, web sites, magazines, etc., defeats the purpose of our Travel Boards. All of this information is available to everyone online, and doesn't add to the idea of sharing firsthand experiences and cruise advice. Also, the majority of information out there is protected by an author's individual copyright. Therefore, we will remove such information from the message boards. You may LINK via url to the information.

    However, travel company press releases are welcome on the boards, if you clearly indicate the source.

    Posts in Foreign Languages

    Our forums are accessible from around the world. We welcome the participation of everyone. All we ask is that if you POST in your native language, that you simulaneously post your questions/comments in English -- in the same post. These are moderated message boards, and each and every posting is read by a volunteer moderator. They must be able to understand your posting to allow it to remain. Additionally, you will receive a far greater response to your question if you consider that the majority of our cruise community do only converse in English. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Spelling and Grammar Errors
    It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes at one time or another, and that there are many users who use English as a second language, especially on our Travel Boards. There are also a number of people who suffer from learning disabilities and who have difficulty noticing their spelling mistakes. Do not make comments on the spelling and grammar of other users. It is simply not a productive expenditure of energies.

    Please Browse BEFORE You Post
    Browse a topic first to see if your question has already been asked or answered by someone else. This is your #1 best resource! And please post your messages in an appropriate folder so that you'll receive the best possible response. It is very time consuming to move misplaced messages that are in the wrong topics.

    Continued Below
    Last edited by Up4Travel; 10-20-2010, 10:56 AM.
    Senior Manager Community

    "Montauk on my Mind"

    Create your own countdown clock!

  • #2
    Re: Community Guidelines

    Posts Appear Immediately
    We do not review messages before they are posted and you cannot delete your own messages once they are posted. As much as we'd like to, our volunteer staff is too busy to delete messages for you, extend spell-check services or rescue you from a momentary lapse in good judgment! If you don't see your message after posting it, close your browser or click your "refresh" to see your posting. You'll see it -- and so will everyone else!

    Answer Postings on the Boards, Not in E-mail
    Please try to answer message board posts on the boards instead of E-mail when appropriate. There is a lot of great information that we're all missing because it is passing through private E-mail. There are of course times when private E-mail is more appropriate but if you have information that would be helpful to many people, please try to come back to the boards and post it rather than replying to a posting through E-mail.

    Typing in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS is considering shouting by many, so please double check your caps lock key before posting.
    More guidelines

    Board Manipulation, Rich Text, Graphic Images
    The creation of additional user names by members with the intention to deceive our members, or to inflate their opinions by manipulating a discussion will not be allowed. These users will be banned from posting on the boards, user names blocked as well as all resulting IP addresses associated with said user names.

    The use of some features on our message boards can greatly enhance your online Travel Board experiences. However, postings that are difficult to read, too BIG or too small, too light in color, etc., will be removed and we may ask you to repost. Please do not manipulate postings on the boards by "bumping" topics to the top of the forum. Members will assume something of value has been posted, only to find that the newest posting is nothing more than a "bump post". This only wastes everyone's time.

    Private Addresses and Phone Numbers
    If you wish to respond to a post with your name and address, please send it via E-mail and do not post it publicly on the boards. It is not a wise idea to publicly post your address and/or phone number online. Our staff will delete these postings.
    Senior Manager Community

    "Montauk on my Mind"

    Create your own countdown clock!