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The #FollowMeAtSea Twitter Cruise

Submitted by on November 18, 2009 – 8:48 pm10 Comments

#followmeatseaAlthough I’ve been fortunate enough to travel my entire life, I had never gone on a cruise until this past week. I’ve been on some pretty big overnight ferries like the one from Split, Croatia to Ancona, Italy, but never the week long Love Boat kind of deal. A while back, Princess Cruises contacted us about being a part of the first ever Twitter press trip they were planning. The deal was simple: experience a cruise of the western Caribbean free of charge and tweet the entire experience to our followers on Twitter. After a quick five minute search around Twitter, we were able to find three other tweeps that had committed. We then immediately contacted @PrincessCruises and accepted for a multitude of reasons.

Based on speaking with friends, my expectations of a cruise experience included fancy dinners, endless buffets, time spent lounging by the pool, tons of on-board activities and typical Caribbean ports of call. With Dave, half of the duo responsible for our web development and design, as my guest, we flew down and boarded the Crown Princess in Port Everglades, Florida. After checking in, we dropped off our bags in the cabin and made our way up to the Lido deck for a few beers by the pool. Before long, it was time for our initial “tweet up” and sail-a-way cocktails on the Crown Princess’ Sabatini Terrace overlooking Fort Lauderdale and the coast. It was great to meet the rest of the Twitter group. In fact, I will say that the best part of this entire trip was meeting and getting to know the other “Twitterati” and our two hosts. Had I declined the trip, I would have missed the opportunity to learn more about Gary’s endless trip around the world, hear about Brett’s trek across the U.S. to accomplish his list of 50 things, dance with the Galavanting girls and hear Johnny Jet’s dad’s dirty jokes.

One thing I did not expect was just how friendly the on-board crew would be. Representing countries from all over the world, the crew on-board the Crown Princess was probably the friendliest and most personable group I’ve ever encountered in any resort-type setting. The friendly atmosphere wasn’t because I was part of the trip. Outside of the Twitter group setting, I repeatedly encountered and had interesting conversations with crew from the minute we embarked, from a fella named Dragan at the bar on the Lido deck to our Indian buddy at Skywalkers.

The fact that the ship is only in any given port for eight hours before moving on is probably the thing I least liked about cruising. It’s a bit of a whirlwind and you don’t really get to know the different destinations well. On the flip side, my least favorite aspect of cruising is likely to be someone else’s favorite part of the experience as you do get a glimpse of each destination that you may not have experienced at all otherwise. Also, while I really enjoyed wine-tasting and tapas followed by a formal dinner on the ship shortly after leaving Roatan, I would have preferred drinking a Port Royal beer at any of the open-air bars on the beach in Roatan’s West End wearing shorts and flip flops.

If you’re someone interested in taking a cruise, I would highly recommend Princess Cruises specifically for their attention to detail when it comes to service and cleanliness. The Crown Princess was not only clean, it was spotless at all times. I would like to thank @PrincessCruises for inviting @BrilliantTips to be a part of the “first ever Twitter press trip.” At the conclusion of the trip, @PrincessCruises announced that they are planning a similar trip next summer in Alaska. I would recommend the experience to others and those interested should contact @PrincessCruises for more information.

#followmeatsea-group

Best Part of the Trip: Meeting and getting to know the people within our group.

Biggest Disappointment of the Trip: Not being able to use Skype to conduct video calls to keep up with my three young boys at home.

Most Appreciative of: Having internet access. While slow, I had the ability to connect to and access work at home while at sea via the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi. While we were given free unlimited access for the entire cruise, accessing the internet while at sea is very expensive and ranges from .35 to .75 a minute depending on the plan you choose.

Loved: Having tacos at the Thirsty Monkey on West Bay beach in Roatan.

Hated: Getting seasick. Just once though…

Biggest Surprise: How friendly and personable the Crown Princess’ crew was. Absolutely amazing…

Pleasant Surprise: How reasonably priced drinks on-board the ship were.

Just as I Expected:
The food on the ship was non-stop and the endless buffet was endless.

Favorite Port of Call: Roatan.

Least Favorite Port of Call:
Cozumel.

Guilty Pleasure: Watching the channel on the ship that played non stop re-runs of the Love Boat. As I disembarked from the ship back in Port Everglades I couldn’t get the theme song out of my head. We often had it on as background TV in the cabin. At one point, I was deep in thought doing something on the computer when Dave yelled out… “hey. that’s J.J. Walker!” Hilarious. Another episode included a young Scott Baio and Kristy McNichol who had the hots for each other but neither would admit it until Julie the Cruise Director got them both to come around.

I would like to offer a very special thank you to our two lovely hosts Julie and Nicole who treated us like total rock stars the entire time. Thank you very much.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Best Dive Ever in Cozumel

Roatan’s West End

Have You Ever Been to Hell?

Princess Cays

Follow Us at Sea Aboard the Crown Princess

GROUP IMAGE VIA: Nicole Okoneski on Facebook

10 Comments »

  • Melvin says:

    It looks like the group photo was just taken for you! You are standing there, so perfect in the middle of all and all the others are facing you! :)

  • Mary Ellen Martel says:

    Enjoyed reading about your trip, Rich. And I have to say, for someone who doesn’t get to go very far, very often but has been on one cruise, I DID enjoy the fact that I woke up in a new port every morning and got to enjoy a little taste of many places. We all have different takes on the world.

  • I have to agree that I was pleasantly surprised by the cruise too…and I loved getting to hang with all of the others on the trip as well.
    How else would the Galavanting gals have ever learned that you and Dave can sure cut a rug?? :)

  • Cruise Buzz says:

    Thanks for the great post. It hits on some of the myths of cruising like the misconception that there is non-stop eating and not enough to do on the ship. Princess Cruises rolled out the red carpet for your group and I am glad that you were able to take full advantage of all the amenities. Cruising with a group has a lot of perks and from the #followmeatsea posts it is obvious that sailing with friends new and old is a memory maker.

  • Dave and Deb says:

    Glad you had a great time! We enjoyed seeing your tweets and were very envious of you in Paradise:) We have only done one 3 day cruise to the Bahama’s ourselves. However, I sang on a cruise in Guam for 6 months right after College. Not quite the same experience, would love to go to Alaska.

  • [...] would be tagged #followmeatsea. An excellent summary of all the events done by Rich can be found at BrilliantTrips. Gary over at Everything Everywhere also does a great job of covering the events, from another [...]

  • JoAnna says:

    Thanks for the post Rich. It was nice to get your perspective on the cruise as I know it’s been quite the hot topic over the last couple weeks. I appreciated reading your on-the-ground review of the experience.

  • Shannon says:

    Rich – Can I just say that you and Dave freaking rock? You do. Reading this post makes me laugh (especially that part about Johnny’s dad). It was our first cruise too, and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the cruise experience.

    Until next our paths cross…..
    Shannon

  • [...] This article was originally posted at Brilliant Tips From BrilliantTrips.com. [...]

  • [...] Blogger that Princess Cruises would invite me to come along with them one day.When the trip was over Brilliant Trips posted a wrap up of their time on the ship.  They ended with a note that the trip was so [...]

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