Category Archives: Conference Cruises

#IndieCruise Now Booking!

#IndieCruise 2011When Donna Marie, CEO and founder of the Indie Business Network started to research her idea of having Indie Business Owners join her on a Cruise Ship for networking, education, and of course fun she contacted CruiseDeals.com, the leader in Social Media group cruises. After a few weeks of planning, we’re excited that the Indie Cruise is now open for reservations, Twitter Hashtag: #IndieCruise.

Conference events at Sea, like the #IndieCruise display the incredible value of cruise vacations. We are able to offer conference style sessions, meals, room, transportation to tropical islands, entertainment, and more for the same price that most conferences charge just for admission to the conference.

The Indie Business Cruise is for Indie & Small Business Leaders. Indie Business leaders know how to connect, collaborate and succeed. They know how important it is to remain close to their industry peers so they can stay on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the world of small, independent and artisan business owners, artisan business owners.

They know that it’s vital to take online connections offline so they can be solidified and with face-to-face interactions that always result in building stronger and more robust business networks. Indie Cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you combine travel and relaxation with learning and sharing, plus the creation of life-long personal and business friendships. #IndieCruise will allow these leaders to do what they do best over 4 days with other leaders.

Follow @IndieCruise on Twitter and join the Indie Cruise Facebook page to interact with other Indie Businesses before the cruise!

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Style Pod – Fashion Social Media Cruise

CruiseDeals.com, the Cruise Industry’s Social Media Leader has teamed up with top Fashion Industry Social Media Mavens to host the first Fashion Social Media Cruise Event: Style Pod.

Modeled after the successful Social Fresh Cruise, Style Pod will give an opportunity for Fashion Industry insiders to learn, network, and have fun on a 4 day Royal Caribbean Cruise departing Fort Lauderdale on October 14th, 2010. Kimmie Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Kitten Lounge, Karen Robinovitz, Creatrix of Purple Lab and Jeannine Morris, Editor in Chief of Beauty Sweet Spot are hosting and providing content for the Social Media Conference Sessions.

Kimmie Smith, Editor-in-chief of Kitten Lounge

Passionate about Social Media and Fashion? It will be tough to find a better event to deepen your social network with others who are using the social web to increase the reach of their fashion brands. Conferences at sea are growing in popularity thanks to their incredible value. Style Pod’s rates start at only $460 which includes the conference style sessions, meals, 3 hour drinks included beach party Cozumel, and shipboard entertainment. Space is limited, Reserve your spot now on Style Pod.

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Filed under Conference Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Social Media, Uncategorized

Celebrity Century 5nt. Cruise to Jamaica & Grand Cayman

I’m in the airport getting ready to head to Miami for the 8th time this year. Those of you who have been following along know I have had a blessed year. Jess and I cruised 7-nights around Hawaii on the Pride of America. I was one of the first on the Oasis of the Seas for a 2 night inaugural sailing. I’ve toured 4 Carnival ships including the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom. And my personal favorite, I was the lead organizer of the 1st Annual Social Fresh Cruise which is the Premier Social Media Conference at Sea.

Today, I’ll be boarding the Celebrity Century for a 5-night cruise with stops in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. This will be my first Celebrity Cruise Line experience so I am very excited. In full disclosure, this is a work trip. I will be teaching a Social Media class to other Travel Professionals. So, I am not paying for the trip, but it is in not what I would consider free as I will hopefully be earning my keep.

While in Jamaica we will be doing the Dunn’s River Falls tour and in Grand Cayman we will be swimming with the Stingrays at Stingray Island. Grand Cayman is a new Island for me and I hear it is beautiful. I will be posting videos on the CruiseSource TV Channel on YouTube. Follow along to see the Celebrity Century for yourself. If the videos get you excited about trying the Celebrity Century for yourself, I have good news: In January and February 2010 you can sail on the 5 star Celebrity Century for 5-nights for only $295 per person.

Jumping on the plane now! Please forgive any grammar or typos I did not have time to edit. ~ Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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Filed under Caribbean, Conference Cruises, Miami, NCL Pride of America, Ship Reviews, Shore Excursions, Social Media

Social Fresh Cruise Recap

Social Fresh Cruise, 11.12.09 – The recap

Cruisedeals.com and Social Fresh, LLC teamed up to bring the 1st Premier Annual Social Media Cruise to the Carnival Destiny on 11.12.09. CruiseDeals.com is a leader in Group and Conference Cruises and Social Fresh is a leader in Social Media Conferences. on 11.11.09, we teamed up with the South Florida Social Media Community to throw the Social Fresh Bon Voyage Tweetup which was the largest Tweetup in Miami history. By the end of the Social Fresh Cruise, we proved that “Social Media and Cruising are like peanut butter and chocolate, two tastes that taste great together”. Most of the Social Fresh attendees have been long-time evangelist for the importance of making online connections stronger by taking advantage of opportunities to meet face to face. On Social Fresh Cruise, we took Face to Face to another level.

Chris Brogan Videoing, Allie Sullivan, Katey Dietz & Kit Mueller Sailing away

We shared many once-in-a-lifetime experiences with those who are equally as passionate about the impacts of Social Media on all aspects of business. We had a diverse group of attendees who create incredible content online for a wide variety of audiences. We even had few owners of Social Media Applications in the mix of attendees. Cruising with a group of people who share a passion whether it is Golf, Poker, Bridge, etc. adds value to the cruise experience. Cruising with some of the most Social people involved with Social Media today, and it was a homerun.

Chris Brogan Questioning the Social Fresh Cruisers

Chris Brogan Questioning the Social Fresh Cruisers

We had 6 hours of Interactive Sessions with content and direction from Jason Keath, Chris Brogan, Greg Cangialosi, Amber Naslund, DJ Waldow, Lyell Petersen, Ryan Wynia, & Katie Morse. We had an impromtu Bloggers Roundtable that was wide open with all kinds of great lessons learned flying around the table. At the bottom of this post are links to the note for all of the Sessions.

Ryan Wynia Presenting Audience to Army at #SoCruise

We were in Cozumel from 7AM – 10PM. We had a 3 hour beach party scheduled from 2 – 5 PM at Carlos and Charlies. Everyone went their own way in the morning and we all met up at 2PM. At Carlos and Charlies, everyone shared fun stories about how they spent the morning in Cozumel. Many like @Kitmueller and I rented scooters and toured the entire Island. @ChrisBrogan and some others ate Fresh Grilled Lobster on the backside of Cozumel. At Carlos & Charlies (Charlos & Carlies according to Greg), 3 hours of Beach + Sun + Cervezas + Social Media Peeps = one of the highlights of the Cruise.

@nikinotes, @ashevilleallie, @Cmajor, & @girlgamy

The Social Fresh Crew at Carlos & Charlies

Each night we ate dinner as a group in our own designated section. The Dinners on the Carnival Destiny were delicious as always. I’m surprised Carnival did not go broke after @DJWaldow and @LuggageBoy put away multiple entrees each night. I can’t talk too much since I did eat two Lobster Tails on the formal dinner night. Social Fresh Cruise is one of the few Social Media Events that your non-social media spouse wants to attend. And with the amount of time that we put into social media, we sometimes need to reconnect with them too.

Dinners on the Destiny were Delicious!

At night, we played together in the Casino, sang Karaoke, danced in the discos, watched Rick Springfield perform on the Lido Deck, and on the last night we all dressed up in our Bathrobes to dance to ‘I’m on a Boat’ in the Piano Bar.

@dougmeacham & @Cmajor Rocking the Mic

For the past 2 years, my big two passions have been Social Media and Cruising. So although I’ve been on a lot of cruises, the Social Fresh Cruise was by far the most fun and valuable. The Cruise attracted the FUN Social Media Leaders who needed a vacation and saw the value in getting away with 50 other Social Media Insiders. By disconnecting for a couple days we actually made our strongest online connections. While the Cruise was close to perfect, we did have some places where we can improve the experience. We look forward to making the Social Fresh Cruise 2010 even better.

@JakRose, Founder of Social Fresh & @Nikisnotes

@LuggageBoy aka @findmespecials and Autumn enjoying the Sunset

All Photos in this post were taken by Steve Hall, @Adrants.

We book 100s of group cruises each year. If you would like to do a conference or themed group cruise please email me at rtucker@cruisedeals.com .

A few of the tweets from attendees after they returned from the 2009 Social Fresh Cruise (#SoCruise is the Twitter Hashtag):

@GeekMommy DITTO! I’m looking forward to CO in Feb, and #SoCruise next year!
Posted By MissKatieMo

Really missing all of my #socruise #sofresh people. I’d break an ankle instead of just sprainig it to cruise w/ them all again. Wild.
Posted By @GeekMommy

@93octane Lyell! I had a blast! Thank you for being such an awesome host! #socruise
Post by @JenChicago

@tomtravel2 Sure thing! Most valuable for me was an informal bloggers roundtable – a great peer-to-peer discussion. Very helpful! #socruise
Posted by @MaidenVoyage

@RichTucker many thanks again for an awesome trip. Finally got to relax for a bit;) #socruise
Posted by Elizabeth Hannan

Links to the Session Notes:

Real Online Communities – Amber Naslund of Radian 6 & DJ Waldow Community Mgr. Blue Sky Factory

The Future of Connectivity – Greg Cangialosi CEO of Blue Sky Factory

Future of MicroBlogging – Lyell Petersen aka @93octane the dotcom in CruiseDeals.com

Reverse Q & A with Chris Brogan Author of Trust Agents

The Recording and Music Industry Today – Katie Morse aka @misskatiemo

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Filed under Conference Cruises, Mexico, Miami, Social Media, Uncategorized

Conference Cruises, Business or Pleasure?

I feel like we, the cruise industry have done a poor job educating businesses about the value of Conference Cruises.
We are planning the Social Fresh Cruise, which is the premier Social Media Conference on a Cruise Ship. All of the attendees are leaders in Social Media and they attend multiple social media conferences each year. The companies they work for pay the other conference throughout the year, but because this conference is on a cruise ship several of the individuals have to pay for it themselves. It appears that about 30% of the attendees are paying for the cruise on their own.

The Social Fresh Cruise starts at $395 per person, which is close to the price for tickets for many of the conferences through-out the year. Then they have to pay for Hotels and Meals which adds up quickly. The $395 includes a 4-day cruise, 8 hours of Social Media Sessions, breakfast and lunch buffets, semi-formal dinners, 2 cocktail parties, broadway style shows, free shore excursions, etc. The conference sessions content will be managed by Jason Keath, Greg Cangialosi and Chris Brogan, one of the best in the Social Media industry. But, it appears that many companies do not get it. The fact that it is on Cruise Ship…they label it a vacation. I admit that it will be the funnest Social Media Conference of the Year, but is that reason enough for the company not to pay for it? We need the companies to focus on the amazing value…not that most people go on Cruise Ships to vacation.

Fortunately, Leaders in Social Media understand the huge personal benefit of networking with other leaders in a more relaxed setting like a Cruise Ship.  They also cross paths all year and never really get to focus on strengthening their relationships.   As I look toward planning Conference Cruises for other industries, the fact that some companies will not pay for their employees attendance because it is on a cruise ship could be a potential deterrent to making the attempt.

Any Cruise Agents run into this issue while planning business-related group cruises?  Have you planned an event on a cruise that an Employer would have paid for if it were on land but because it was on a cruise ship it was a vacation? What can we do better to Market Conference Cruises so that Companies are more willing to pay for the Cruise?

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Filed under Conference Cruises, Social Media