Tag Archives: Online

CruiseSource.us representing at #SXSW

I’m flying out tomorrow, Friday March 12th to go to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest to attend sessions & panels about Interactive Media. South by Southwest is the yearly Film, Music, and Interactive Media Festival. The 1st week of the festival is focused on Interactive Media and is considered by many to be Geek Spring Break. Lyell Petersen, @93Octane on Twitter and the dot com in CruiseDeals.com, and I (@CruiseSource on Twitter) will possibly be the only 2 people representing the Cruise Industry at South by Southwest.

We’ve been leaders in trying to get ‘Cruising’ into the Social Media Conversation. Lucky for me, I love to talk about Social Media as much as Cruising! In the last couple of years, I’ve helped lead the way by being one of the first cruise industry bloggers, the first one to tweet from a cruise ship, the winner of the Shorty Award in Travel for my use of Twitter, the first to giveaway a cruise on Twitter and Facebook, and hosting the Social Fresh Cruise, the premier social media conference at sea. Now, I am excited to go learn the answer to the question: What’s Next?

@93Octane aka Lyell Petersen

@93Octane aka Lyell Petersen

Social Media is just a catalyst for face to face meetings and by attending South by Southwest, I will finally get to meet many of my long-time online friends in person . I also get to see many of my friends from Social Media Week, Shorty Awards, SoCruise, and other social media conferences in person again. I’m stoked (which is a good sign I am probably a geek)… feel free to follow along with my personal twitter account @RichTucker.

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Filed under Social Media, Uncategorized

How To Find the Best Cruise Deals Online?

How Do I Find the Best Cruise Deals? That is a question I find posted all over the internets as well as asked offline all the time in hair salons and at dinner parties. According AARP Magazine, following @CruiseSource on Twitter is how they find great Cruise Deal Alerts on Twitter. ABCNews recommends subscribing to CruiseDeals.com’s weekly Seamails as a key way to landing amazing deals on Cruise Vacations.

On top of ABCNews and AARPs recommendations, I have a 3rd crucial step to booking Amazing Cruise Deals:

#1 Listen to AARP and Follow @CruiseSource on Twitter!

#2 Take ABCNews.com’s Advice and Subscribe to Seamail Alerts.

#3 MOST IMPORTANT! When you are alerted of a deal that meets your requirements from one of these two sources do not hesitate…the best deals go fast!!

Don’t gamble with your vacation dollars. In the last year, CruiseDeals.com (the agency) and CruiseSource.us (the Blog) has been featured in ABCNews, AARP Magazine, Wired Magazine, USA Today, BusinessWeek, the Miami Herald and many more. The best part is that behind the Awesome Deal Alerts there is a team of dedicated, passionate Cruise Consultants who make sure that your vacation is booked perfectly.

Why Gamble with your Vacation?

Full Disclosure: WOW! Two very trusted sources, AARP and ABCNews recommends CruiseSource.us on Twitter and CruiseDeals.com’s Seamail for finding the best cruise deals.  I just want to fully disclose (happily) that I’m tied directly to both @CruiseSource and Cruisedeals.com!   We have a team of deal finders who work closely with the cruise lines to make sure that we alert our clients of the very best Cruise Deals as soon as they are released. Seamail and Twitter are the tools we use to alert our friends and clients of these deals. Go to Seamail.com to check out our current top 5 deals! As great deals come across my desk, I put them out on Twitter Real-Time.

The Shirt says it all...

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Filed under Caribbean, How to Find Cruise Deals, Uncategorized

You Never Know

So Life took a sharp right turn the minute I got off the Celebrity Century on December 17th 2009. Over the last month, I hosted the Social Fresh Social Media Cruise on the Carnival Destiny, I was one of the first on the Oasis of the Seas (interviewed in the Miami Herald for Live Tweeting from the Inaugural), and completed a 5-day cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman on the Celebrity Century in which I taught other agents Social Media basics. It had been an almost perfect end to an incredible year. I was looking forward to getting home and spending time with the family. As soon as I got off the Celebrity Century, it all changed. I received a call from my Dad telling me that Mike, my brother, had fallen asleep behind the wheel of his truck and ran into a huge tree at 7:00 AM.

He crushed both ankles, lacerated his liver and spleen, and his head went partially through the windshield. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He’s very lucky to have lived through the crash. He had to be cut out of the truck and airlifted to the Charlotte Medical Center. I rushed to the airport and got on an earlier flight home. By the time I got on the flight home, all I knew was that he had been airlifted and that his legs were in very bad shape. Once I got to the Hospital, my brother was asleep on the bed with cuts all over his head and his legs covered in bandages. The Doctors were not sure if there was enough bone structure left to attempt to fix his ankles. My brother did not look anything like himself thanks to all the cuts and swollen head from the impact with the windshield. As of now, it was my worse day ever and I couldn’t even imagine being my brother.

Mike & JoJo at the Zoo a few weeks before the wreck

It is now Tuesday, December 22, 2009. Mike went through 4.5 hours of surgery yesterday and the doctors were positive about the results. They were able to get all the bones in the correct placement and now it is up to Mike’s body to heal properly. After surgery his heart rate remained extremely high, he was running a fever and of course was in excruciating pain. They moved him back into the Trauma Intensive Care Unit so that they could keep a closer eye on his situation. They got his Heart Rate and Fever back down by Midnight. Today, he is in full recovery mode with a slight possibility to be back home on Christmas Eve. Mike has two beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife. Him being home for Christmas would make for a very special Christmas.

I share all this because I’ve shared all my good times of 2009 here on my blog, CruiseSource.us. The reality is that times are not always good. I wanted to explain why I had not gotten to my final reviews of the Celebrity Century, and to let you know that they are coming soon. Although it has been a tough week, I am truly blessed as we have had tons of prayers and well wishes from all of our friends online and offline. As you head into the Holiday Season and into the New Year, please remember how quickly loved ones can be taken from you or how fast things can dramatically change in your life. Going through this experience has given our family time to reflect about all the good times spent on family vacations and other shared life-experiences. At the end, all we have are memories. Having lots of memories from beach trips, sports, and other lifetime experiences has made this ordeal a little more bearable… I’m personally going in to 2010 living by the quote: dream like you are going to live forever; live like you are going to die today. Make it a point to spend more time with loved ones in 2010. Don’t keep putting off that family trip to Disney, Europe, cruise vacation, or whatever is on your list to do next. You never know when life may take a sharp turn on you.

Hold me to living 2010 to the fullest, subscribe to CruiseSource.us to remind you to check back in.

Leave a comment about what you’re not going to put off in 2010.

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Filed under Caribbean, Celebrity, Family, Social Media, Travel Reviews

CruiseDeals Twitter Strategy

I was asked yesterday by one of my @cruisesource Twitter Followers if we were also @cruisedeals on Twitter. The short answer is yes. Semi-long answer: Some of the best Cruise Deals have very limited availability. In order to be one of the first alerted to each week’s best deals, we have friends who have signed up to have Cruise Deals delivered directly to their cell phone by @cruisedeals via Twitter. You too can have the deals delivered directly to your Cell Phone by texting phone # 40404: FOLLOW CRUISEDEALS . Due to people signing up to get deals text messaged to their phone, we have decide to only alert our @CruiseDeals followers of the very best Cruise deals each week.

@CruiseSource is our Twitter ID in which you can find Original Cruise Advice, Real-Time Reviews, Personalized Cruise Quotes, Conversation, Contests, and much more. I won the Shorty Award for providing the best #Travel Content on Twitter in 2008 with the @CruiseSource account. whether you are passionate about cruising or looking to go on your first cruise, you should follow @CruiseSource on Twitter and Text FOLLOW CRUISEDEALS to phone #40404 to be the first to receive the best Cruise Deals each week. Your typical Text messaing rates apply based on your cell phone plan. If you get unlimited Texts, then they are FREE!

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Support Biz on Twitter and They will support you back

Seems like you can’t go far online without running into Sites trying to get you to pay for information on how to market your business through Social Media.   Proper use of Social Media for businesses is very similar to the real world.  In what used to take a lifetime, you now have the ability to make 1000s of in-depth connections with people who share common interests as yourself in months.  I have found my Rule #1 to being a Business effectly using Twitter and I will share with you.

RULE #1:  Buy from other businesses who utilize Twitter to engage their customers.

Case Study:  @CruiseSource & @Tshirtmaker

We needed T-Shirts for the CruiseDeals.com office.  Did I open up the Yellow Pages?  No.  I tweeted a message on Twitter asking for T-Shirt Printing Recommendations.    I woke up the Next Morning to find several people responded.  @TshirtMaker on Twitter responded that he could have my shirts completed by Tuesday.   I had never talked to @TshirtMaker, but he was obviously listening and took advantage of my question about T-Shirts.   We exchanged a few emails and designs.  Then we agreed on a price and the deal was complete.  I feel very comfortable doing business with people on Twitter because it is a public transaction initiated on Twitter.  They are going to ensure that the transaction goes very smooth because they know it will be reported back to Twitter that it was either an awesome or sub-par experience.

We received the T-Shirts.  I wrote a blog post with pictures of our awesome new T-Shirts.   It just so happened that @TShirtMaker was in the process of planning a Cruise Vacation.  Of course, he booked his cruise through CruiseDeals.com and had a very positive online booking experience.

An email that @TshirtMaker sent to me after he booked his cruise spurred another idea that could possibly bring a lot more T-Shirt business to my new friend @TshirtMaker.  You shouldn’t expect to do business on Twitter or other Social Media sites if you are not willing to support and purchase from other businesses on Twitter.

For most on Twitter, acquiring new business is not about pushing a bunch of mass marketing to your followers (no wants that)…it is about making as many real connections as possible because those connections will turn into repeat customers and will be happy to recommend you to their growing network of friends.  Just as you will recommend them when someone mentions needing their services!

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How to Choose Your First Cruise

This is the beginning of a Series of posts on How to decide on your next cruise.

 

In this down economy many people new to cruising are looking at cruising for the first because of Cruisings great Vacation Value.  This series to help those pick out their first cruise. 

 

If you are a first time cruiser or even a cruiser who has only been on one cruise line choosing your next cruise can be slightly overwhelming because of all the choices.   This Series of posts that I am going to post daily for the next will help you make the best decision possible when booking your first cruise.  I am assuming this is your first cruise, but even if you have been on several cruises hopefully this will be a useful resource for you. 

 

The First thing you want to do when trying to decide on your first cruise is find a website with an easy to use search engine to help you search for cruises by destination, date, cruise line, duration, and Home Port. 

 

There are a lot of factors that go into booking your first cruise…two of the primary factors are budget and the length of time you can get away for your cruise.   These are personal, but if you are working with a good Cruise Consultant you want to be open and reasonable about your budget.  

 

So the Upcoming Articles in this series which will have a new article posted daily are as follows:

 

  1. Which Cruise Line is right for my first cruise?
  2. Which Destination is right for my first cruise?
  3. What time of year is the best for my first cruise?
  4. So many Choices for Cabins, how do I choose one?
  5. Money Saving Tips for your first cruise. 

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Filed under Carnival, Celebrity, First Cruise, Royal Caribbean

Shorty Awards: Travel Finalists

Shorty Awards just completed the nomination phase for the Twitter users in various categories who utilize the 140 character limitation the best and give their followers the most useful content. Shorty Award “Final Round Voting” goes from January 12th – 23rd, 2009. The winner gets a $1000 Grant to travel to New York City for the Award Ceremony in February 2009. This is the first year of the Shorty Awards and so far it has been successful in attracting visitors to shortyawards.com and in attracting followers to @shortyawards on Twitter

@CruiseSource, CruiseSource.us’s Twitter account, is a top 5 nominee in the Travel Category; these nominees will be voted for by Twitter users. The account with the most votes wins the Final Award. In the Travel Category, CruiseSource is happy to be the only cruise-specific Twitter account to be nominated as a finalist.

@CruiseSource would not have been nominated if it was not for the Support of friends and followers on Twitter. Many of those followers found @CruiseSource during the promotion with CruiseDeals.com (@CruiseDeals) when we gave away the first cruise ever to be given away Twitter to Twitter user @Toryn.

Of course it would be a wonderful honor for @CruiseSource to win the first-ever Shorty Award for the Travel Category. So if you have not already voted please go to http://tr.im/shvote and vote for @CruiseSource. The best part has been that thanks to the nomination process we are running against some awesome users of Twitter and other social media networks. Prior to the Shorty Awards I was unaware of these users and blogs. For the travel enthusiast I recommend following these users on Twitter and visiting their websites. I think you’ll be very impressed.

I wanted to take a moment to recognize the other Travel Twitterers on that I have met through the Shorty Awards:

The #Travel Category Highlights:

Twitter Shorty Award Finalists –
Voting goes from January 12th – 23rd, 2009: Please go vote at http://tr.im/shvote

@CruiseSource – Website: CruiseSource.us – Cruise Advice, Deals, Industry Insight, and Fun.

@Soultravelers3 – Website: Soultravelers3.com – a family of 3 completing a slow trip around the world. They are on 2.5 years and their daughter is under age 8. A great story to follow.

@Juliemarg – Website: – Thingsyoushoulddo.com – She is always filling Twitter with cool things to do in cities across the US.

@WildEarth – Website: WildEarth.tv – Daily Live Safari videos in the Bush of Africa.

@MaineWindJammer – Website: mainewindjammer.com – The Schooner J&E Riggin Team, they post the happening of the Maine WindJammer Team in Rockland, Maine.

Here are some of the awesome Travel Twitter users I have met during the Shorty Awards Process and recommend you checking them out on Twitter:

@DanTraveling – Videographer in Southern US – website: Dantraveling.com

The Traveling Mama’s – @Cajun_Mama, @MudslideMama – Website: TravelingMamas.com

@EverywhereTrip – Gary Arndt Tweeting across the world, 45 countries since March 2007

The Matador Network – they were very close to be a finalist in Travel. The worlds Largest Independent Travel Magazine. They are building a great travel community.

@WorldNomad – Travel Safety Expert and Social Media Evangelist – Website WorldNomad.com

@RoadRetraveled – Simone Di Santi – Travel Tidbits Podcaster, and Travel Videographer – website: Aroadretraveled.com

@InfoaboutAlaska – a Great twitter resource for, you guessed it, info about Alaska.

There are many more Travel Users Providing great content on Twitter in 140-character posts. Those short posts will lead you to their blogs and their websites that contain a wealth of valuable travel content. If you are not yet on Twitter and you enjoy travelling go to Twitter.com right now, sign up and start following this list above. You’ll be happy you did!

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