In a short period of time, cruising and social media is proving out to be a perfect match just as I was quoted last year in the Miami Herald:
On Cruisesource.us, Rich Tucker, business development specialist at Cruisedeals.com in Charlotte, N.C., writes: “Cruising and social media are like peanut butter and chocolate. Two tastes that taste great together.”
Cruise vacations are a natural source of rich content. The new ships being built today like the NCL Epic are architectural masterpieces loaded with innovative technology and design. 2 years ago, I was almost the only blogger taking advantage of Inaugural Cruises to get content for the CruiseSource and flickr pages. The times have changed. Over the next few weeks, the internet will be flooded with video, pictures, and reviews of the brand new NCL Epic. To get an idea of all the high quality NCL Epic content being created by travel pros and media check out the CruiseDeals.com dedicated NCL Epic site a growing collection of the best NCL Epic videos, photos, and articles from across the internet.
My two passions are social media and cruising; I try to combine them when at all possible:
I will be in Miami in time for the NCL Welcome Party at Bicentennial Park in Miami FL. We’re hosting a NCL Epic Bon Voyage Happy Hour Tweetup with our friends @24K & @VegasBill to network with the South Florida social media and technology community as well as all of the media and travel professionals coming to Miami to attend the NCL Epic 2 day inaugural event.
Imagine all the pictures, video, and status updates created from cruise vacations:
Each week 100+ cruise ships take thousands of passengers to beautiful destinations where each one of them are taking tons of pictures and video. An extremely high percentage of them come home very pleased with their once-in-life-time experience want to share it with friends and family.
Content is only one reason why Cruising and Social Media are like peanut butter and chocolate:
Using Social Media, to stay connected after the cruise:
Cruises are the most social form of vacationing. From the moment you get on a cruise ship, you are sharing your vacation experience with 1000 – 4000 other passengers from start to finish. You meet other passengers in the casino, at the shows, in the discos, on shore excursions, Surfing on the Flowrider, on the grass lawn, etc. It is not rare for cruise passengers to make lifelong friends while on cruise vacations. Some even choose to cruise together on future vacations. The high adoption rate of social media application like Facebook and Twitter makes it fairly effortless to stay in touch with new friends. All of these new cruising friends will lead to larger group vacations.
Why the cruise industry has so much to gain from Social Media:
Almost 75% of the US has yet to go on a cruise vacation. Many have not tried cruising because of objections like being confined on a small cruise ship, not enough to do while on board, or other misconceptions. Some others have long standing traditions when it comes to vacations, like always going to a local beach for a week. When 25% of the population goes on cruises and post pictures and videos from their cruise vacations, their friends will ask questions and become more interested in trying out cruising. People do not trust advertising, but they trust their friends. In order for the cruise lines to take full advantage of social media, they will need to significantly reduce the cost of the Wi-Fi onboard the ships. If I was the cruise lines, I’d look at the passengers using Wi-Fi as advertising and price it at the break-even point. Or make Facebook and other social apps free of charge while on the ship.