Recently it came to my attention that @CruiseBuzz (Carrie from www.cruisebuzz.net) – founder of the Travel Twitter Group -was going to be travelling on an all expenses paid trip to Alaska. This sounded like such a great opportunity, I just had to get the whole story. Here are her responses to my questions about the trip.
Adam: Can you tell us a little about the trip?
Carrie: Princess Cruises held its first-ever Twitter press trip last November and invited a group of travel Twitterers aboard to share their cruise experience with their followers in â€œreal time.â€ Based on the enthusiastic response by all the participants (and their followers), Princess is hosting another Twitter-centric trip this summer to Alaska.
The trip begins with three days of excursions from Princessâ€™ wilderness lodges in Fairbanks and Denali National Park. One of the highlights of the land tour will be traveling through the interior of Alaska on the Princess Rail.
The three days on land will be followed by seven days at sea exploring the glaciers and pioneer Alaska towns aboard Coral Princess. After departing from Anchorage, the ship will cruise by Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park, before making stops in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and finally ending in Vancouver.
Adam: How did you get picked, what goes into their selection process?
Carrie: As someone who frequently tweets about travel, I was offered the opportunity to participate. I am not sure about the selection process because I don’t work for Princess Cruises, however I can say that I was probably a good candidate because I spend 100% of my time promoting and talking about cruise travel.
I have a travel agency and it is my job and passion to talk about travel and to share my enthusiasm about travel with clients and prospects. I have been building a social media network that makes it easy for me to interact with travel vendors like Princess Cruises, and to jump into conversations between vendors and customers. I got picked because I have a consistent social media presence.
Adam: What do you hope to offer your readers and followers through this trip, why is it worth doing?
Carrie: It is exciting to be able to use Twitter to share what’s happening now and layer that experience into my social network.
I am hoping to develop an authentic Alaska cruise experience to share with my social media circle. I will be reviewing a book, filming videos on my Flip camera for YouTube, posting updates on Facebook, writing blog posts, and using Twitter to let people know what’s happening.
The #FollowMeAtSea experience is cutting edge and in my opinion, an example of the potential for real-time marketing.
Adam: What has Princess Cruises asked of you for this trip?
Carrie: Princess Cruises mentioned that their guests on the #FollowMeAtSea Twitter trip tweet throughout each day about our experiences as well as blog during or after our trip to Alaska. They have also asked that we let our followers know that this is a hosted trip.
Adam: What are the challenges of a trip like this for a travel blogger?
Carrie: The challenge for me is to find the right balance between how much and what to tweet while on the trip. While I tweet constantly anyway it is a little different tweeting for multiple days and with a group of people. Some of the pros of this are that we can all share in the experience and speak about it.
Also, since Twitter is so open, anyone can “hijack” your hashtag. Often it is important to participate in the conversation, but some tweets you have to just let go by.
Lastly, I agree with the environmental green groups and their feelings about travel and its effects on the planet. So I am using this experience to feature CarbonFund to offset emissions. According to an executive at CarbonFund, the offset amount for a 7-night cruise is equivalent to 1.25 tons per passenger. To offset this amount, go to www.carbonfund.org/calculators