Tag Archives: Social Media

NCL Epic Video Contest – Win a Free Cruise

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/10/22/ncl-epic-free-cruise/”%5DBack in August, I came across a fun high-quality passenger-generated video about their NCL Epic Cruise Vacation. I quickly posted the NCL Epic video below in a blog post and asked the Cruise Lines: How do we get more of this?

This is the Remix V.2 version of the original:

Norwegian Cruise Line has repeatedly shown their commitment to Social Media, so it does not surprise me that they are now experimenting with a solution on how to get more high-quality passenger generated video shared across the internet. Norwegian Cruise Line is giving away a Free Cruise for 2 for best Epic Moments Video. Details:

Winning video receives a cruise for two on Norwegian Epic

Direct from NCL Press Release:

MIAMI – October 21, 2010 – Norwegian Cruise Line announces the launch of its “Epic Moments” video contest (www.ncl.com/myepicmoment), where cruisers create short YouTube videos of their vacation on board the line’s newest and most innovative ship Norwegian Epic for a chance to win a Caribbean cruise for two in a balcony stateroom on board the ship.

Cruisers can enter by uploading their vacation videos to YouTube as a video response to the contest overview video by Julie Valeriote, Norwegian Epic’s entertainment director. Every two weeks for the next nine weeks, Norwegian will choose which video is the Epic Moment Semi-Finalist for that period. In mid-February, the 10 semi-finalists will be featured on Norwegian’s YouTube channel and http://www.ncl.com and the public will have a chance to vote for their favorite Epic Moment. The video with the most number of thumbs-up on YouTube will win a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two in a balcony stateroom on Norwegian Epic.

“Freestyle Cruising gives our guests incredible freedom and flexibility on board our ships to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer. “Our newest ship, Norwegian Epic, takes Freestyle Cruising to the next level giving countless opportunities for couples, families and solo travelers alike to indulge in vacation moments of a lifetime. We look forward to seeing them come to life through our Epic Moments video contest.”

The first of 10 semi-finalist videos will be chosen on or around November 8, 2010 and will follow with nine more semi-finalists being announced every two weeks. To submit an Epic Moment video, head to www.ncl.com/myepicmoment.

I doubt I am eligible to win…. but I’m still going to go post my video now. ~ Rich Tucker

Full Disclosure: CruiseDeals.com and the other Travel Leader Leisure Group brands are proud to be top sellers of NCL Cruises.


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Norwegian Cruise Line and YouTube Partnership Announced

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/09/08/ncl-youtube/”%5DIt was 2 weeks ago when I asked the Social Media related question to the Cruise Lines: How do we get more passenger generated content like this:

This morning I received a press release announcing the YouTube & Norwegian Cruise Line Partnership.  I almost fell out of my chair due to the timing. I’ve said for years that cruising and social media are like peanut butter and chocolate; two great tastes that taste great together. Cruise vacations are full of passengers creating fun memories captured digitally as photos and videos. 75% of the US hasn’t been on a cruise vacation yet, so the cruise industry has tons of room to grow. After non-cruisers view their friends and family’s vacations online they will want to experience it for themselves.    Now, NCL needs to integrate onboard marketing and programs that will lead passengers to editing and sharing their vacations when they get back home.  Enjoy the Press Release below and make sure to checkout The YouTube Vacationer, www.youtube.com/vacationer!

Norwegian Cruise Line


YouTube Launches New Travel Channel Powered by Norwegian Cruise Line

Robust channel provides travel ideas and inspiration from experts along with ability to create personalized Freestyle Cruising videos


MIAMI – Sept. 8, 2010 – Norwegian Cruise Line today announced it is working with YouTube to power the first-ever YouTube Vacationer, a travel-specific channel within the world’s largest online video site providing vacation inspiration with ideas and advice from well-traveled experts, such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Travel Channel. The YouTube Vacationer, www.youtube.com/vacationer, is also interactive, offering visitors a first of its kind opportunity to create their own “Vacation You” video experience and share it with others.

            Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature Freestyle Cruising approach is at the heart of this site, providing users the freedom, flexibility and choice to interact with more than two million combinations of video content enabling them to create and share their own unique Freestyle vacation experience.

When interacting within Norwegian’s “Vacation You” section of the YouTube Vacationer channel, visitors will select from a series of short video clips that tap into their vacation mindset to produce a customized 60-90 second montage of their ideal Freestyle Cruising vacations. Visitors can then share their personalized “Vacation You” video with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter or email. 

“By working with YouTube on their first-ever travel-specific channel, we are giving visitors the opportunity to experience our brand and all the options that Freestyle Cruising offers,” said Maria Miller, Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior vice president of marketing. “From a marketing perspective, this opportunity is compelling because it provides a truly organic user experience and represents another great way for brands to work with YouTube.”

“We are pleased to be working with Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovators in cruise travel, on our first branded travel channel,” said Mark Day, Sales Development at YouTube. “The YouTube Vacationer channel brings the best of our partners’ travel videos into a single destination to help users explore, plan and dream about their next vacations, and it gives users a way to see themselves in a customized vacation video with Norwegian’s ‘Vacation You’ application.”

To experience the YouTube Vacationer channel, visit www.youtube.com/vacationer.

About Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 44-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility.

Today, Norwegian has 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.

Norwegian’s largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, debuted in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic, as well as the official cruise line of Legends in Concert, Second City® Comedy Troupe, Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos, Gibson Guitar, and Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Cirque Dreams & Dinner is also featured on board Norwegian Epic as the first show of its kind at sea under a big top.

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Cruise Line’s #1 Social Media Question Should Be?

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/08/26/cruise-lines-social-media-question/”%5DSo, what do you think the Cruise Lines should be asking themselves when looking across the vast Social Media landscape? I believe their #1 question should be:

How do we get more of this?

This video is getting people pumped up on Youtube about going on the NCL Epic. This is a video created by a paying passenger! People trust their friends and family! There are tens of thousands of potential online content creators cruising each week. Many of these passengers are carrying high-powered cameras and video equipment. With a little creativity and investment the cruise lines can significantly grow the amount high-quality passenger-generated content that is being created and shared online with their friends and family. 75% of the US still have not taken a cruise vacation…. Videos like this will help dispel some of the myths, like all cruisers are old, that keep some people from going on their first cruise. Thanks to the power of social media, technology, and the awesome product offered by the cruise lines we should be able to convert many more first time cruisers.

Video created by kenswift12345 of his recent family vacation.


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Social Fresh Charlotte, Recap

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/08/20/social-fresh-charlotte-recap/”%5DI recently attended the Social Fresh Social Media Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina geared toward marketers with a great showing from big brands and agencies.   One of the best parts of attending social media conferences is that when I get home I can experiment immediately with the few things that I learn.    By far, my favorite part of social media conferences is the networking at the pre/post parties and in between sessions.   Those who are the most passionate about social media seem to get the most out of the relationships made during quick conversations that happen between sessions at these conferences.  After the conference, they have to continue to grow these relationships online.   Social Fresh Cruise was created for the social media conference speakers, panelist, and attendees who want more time to truly build meaningful relations with other social media leaders.  A cruise is the most social form of vacationing and is very conducive to building life-long friendships. 

What did I learn at this Social Fresh Conference?  I learned that we have moved beyond is Social Media important to social media needs to be integrated with existing business practices and goal.   Social Media by itself is not the answer, but when properly integrated with your other marketing and branding activities the results can be awesome. 

Social Fresh CLT After Party

@JRuckman & @CruiseSource at Social Fresh CLT

I find Blue Sky Factory CEO,Greg Cangialosi to typically be about 6 months ahead of most others, and this year he was talking some Social CRM.  From Greg’s presentation, Social CRM will be one of the upcoming trends thanks in part to the slick new integration of Salesforce.com and Twitter.  In order to track ROI, we have to be able track leads from the source all the way to purchase.

Social Media is an ever expanding.  It now encompasses blogging, micro-blogging, Facebook, video creation and distribution, community management, mobile, monitoring, and much more.  As keynote Amber Naslund discussed future success will require a volunteer army from inside or outside the organization. In order to achieve success it needs to be integrated with business goals and with all traditional marketing efforts.

Photo by @TheRab.

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Top 10 things I learned about Twitter from #Cruise24

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/08/09/top-10-things-i-learned-about-twitter-from-cruise24/”%5D Last week, I conducted a Social Media Experiment that I hashtagged #Cruise24.   As far as I know, I was the first person to tweet for 24 straight hours.   I tweeted for 24 hours from @CruiseSource, without sleeping or communicating any other way.   I wanted to focus on Twitter for an extended amount of time to get a better grasp of the state of conversation on Twitter.  Luckily, I work for CruiseDeals.com and they have been supportive of all my crazy social media ideas.  I’ve included all the stats from the experiment at the bottom of the blog post:

Why? Due to my personal busyness, others busyness, and the increase in bot/spam accounts I’d been feeling like the conversation had drastically decreased from where it was a couple of years ago. I have Twitter up all day at work, but I only passively monitor the conversation outside of a few times each week where I may fully commit to the conversation.   Due to this passive monitoring, I’ve been anxious that I am missing out some potential opportunities to book cruises via Twitter.

I also used the experiment to raise money & awareness for the Cruise4Haiti by getting donations of $24 from as many people as possible.  I learned a lot from continuously searching Twitter,  attempting to have cruise related conversations, and trying to raise money over a 24 hour period.  Here are my 10 top observations about the current state of conversation on Twitter:

#1.  The conversation is still on Twitter.  There are lots of people having conversations on twitter @replying each other. I think the fact that you can’t see all of your friends @replies make it appear that there is a lot less conversation on Twitter. But there is still very little conversation about cruising outside of between travel agents and other travel industry professionals.

#2.  Commit to the Conversation. If you truly want to be part of the conversation, then you need to be focused solely on Twitter for a set amount of time.  You are not able to have meaningful conversations by casually monitoring Twitter throughout the day. Conversations are a two-way street and both members need to be committed the conversation

  • I think it’s gotten too easy for us to monitor Twitter throughout the day, looking for search terms and responding to @replies.  Thanks to Hootsuite and TweetDeck apps for Iphone and Droid it is easy to monitor Twitter all day long with multiple accounts.  This is a very passive approach and I think this is why I was feeling that the conversation had slacked on Twitter.
  • To more effectively and efficiently use Twitter, I’ll be making major changes to how use Twitter thanks to the experiment. I will share details in the next blog post!

#3 The sense of community on Twitter is still strong.  We raised about $1400 for Cruise4Haiti’s non-profit partner Airline Ambassadors.   Most of the $24 donations came from friends who I have met on Twitter and have spent time with face to face playing basketball, cruising the Caribbean on Social Fresh Cruise, at Tweetups, etc.    By utilizing twitter as a catalyst to meet as many people as possible in person, it enabled me to raise money for a great cause.  Without putting in the time to build real relationships, I wouldn’t have raised more than a couple of hundred dollars.

#4 Twitter is a social bank account.  You have to make deposits by supporting your friend’s projects and businesses.   By actively supporting and being involved with #TAMxc, #SilentClark, #SoFresh, #TPTpoker, #SCLThoops, #REBCCLT, and many other twitter hashtags in the past, I received support back from those friends for #Cruise24.

#5 It’s all about relationships. By primarily only getting donations from Twitter friends who I have met in person or share common passion, I learned that Twitter is still all about relationships.  People are not regularly clicking on links from Twitter and making purchases, but they are making purchases from their Twitter friends.   Building these relationships take time and effort.   Luckily for those of us who are serious about growing our business via Twitter, most people are not willing to put in the work to build those relationships.

#6 There’s ton of junk on Twitter.   When searching for people discussing cruise, I found so much spam and junk accounts.   It’s tough to weed through all the junk to find real people to tweet with.  I can see why some new people to Twitter get turned off.   Hopefully Twitter will do a better job of weeding out spam/feed accounts that lower the value of the Twitter stream.

#7 Too many messages coming from outside apps.  Facebook, Ping.fm, Posterous, and many other apps are feeding tweets.  These are just more messages to weed through if you are looking to have a real 140 character conversation, because the people who sent them are not actually on Twitter and will not see the @reply.   So you respond to one of these tweets, and do not get a response because the person is actually on Facebook, Posterous, FourSquare etc.   Sometimes this leads to non-real time conversations which seem to be a growing percentage of the conversation on Twitter.

#8 Don’t Butt in. 2 Friends having a conversation about the potential of booking a cruise do not respond well with a cruise account like @CruiseSource butting into their conversation.   So even when you find someone discussing  the potential of booking a cruise, it is tough to get a reply when you butt into their conversation.

#9 If you want the word to get out, get on the radar of a key influencer1 Tweet from @ChrisBrogan equals about 200 tweets from @CruiseSource for generating traffic, retweets, excitement, and awareness.   Social Media leaders with strong legit followings like @ChrisBrogan & others are so busy and overwhelmed it’s tough to get on their radars, but if you can, it will make a huge a difference.

#10. GO BIG.  View social media and Twitter as a playground.  We’re all experimenting.  Use this to your advantage and don’t be scared to push the envelope of what is possible.   Being different and trying things that have never been done will set you apart from the noise, even if it is only for 24 hours.

Rich Tucker aka CruiseSource

Tired after 24 hours of Tweeting

How do you feel about the current state of conversation on Twitter?

Thank you to all my friends who supported #Cruise24 and to all the new friends I made during the experiment.   Stats from #Cruise24:  24hrs. of Tweeting, 658 Tweets, 37 Donors, 50 net new followers, 19 non-responses from @replies (@Redbull did not respond to 5 @replies), 55 Cruise Related Conversations with mostly non-industry Twitter accounts.


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NCL Epic, Welcome to Miami!

I’ll be flying out with my Dad at 6:15 AM in the morning on Wednesday July 7th (tomorrow) headed for Miami, FL. I’m so excited to be among the first to welcome the brand new NCL Epic to her home port.

From 2 – 4 PM on July 7th, there is a NCL Epic Welcome party at Bicentennial Park. She is set to pass by the park at about 3PM. This event is open to the public, just RSVP here: http://epic.ncl.com/epicmiami

From 5:30 – 8:30 PM, just a couple blocks from the Welcome Party there is a NCL Epic Bon Voyage Happy Hour at the upscale sports bar, the Bleu Moon located on the Double Tree Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay property. Here is an easy map so you don’t get lost:

Map Bicentennial Park to Bleu Moon

We will board the NCL Epic at 11AM on Thursday July 8th! Where we will run around the ship as fast as possible capturing as much video as possible, so that by 3 PM I can focus on enjoying 2 days of Fun and Sun on one of the most innovative ships at sea!

All content from this trip will be posterized at http://nclepic.posterous.com – – everything is setting up to make this an Epic Trip! Follow @CruiseSource along live on Twitter !


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NCL Epic and Social Media

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.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/11/12/1330897_p2/wave-of-social-media-precedes.html#ixzz0sHNrLOCl

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.

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