Teen gets Carnival cruise in a swap for a Snapchat handle

Knowing that Darian Lipscomb likes to cruise, Carnival dangled the possibility of a sailing on the new Carnival Horizon in exchange for the Snapchat rights to @CarnivalCruise.Who owns the Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise?

It wasn’t Carnival Cruise Line.

Instead, it was a teen in Prospect, Va., who had been on four cruises and named his Snapchat after his favourite brand in 2012 when he was 9 years old.

Needless to say, the social media handle @CarnivalCruise was of some value to Miami-based Carnival. But what would entice Darian Lipscomb, now 16, to part with the name?

Carnival put on a full-court press, using its latest promotional tool, chief fun officer Shaquille O’Neal, on billboards and a mobile advertising truck, which it dispatched to Prospect.

“Hey Prospect, Does Anyone Know Darian?” said the mobile ads, listing Shaq’s own social media handle as the place to respond.

Knowing that Darian likes to cruise, Carnival dangled the possibility of a sailing on the new Carnival Horizon in exchange for the Snapchat rights to @CarnivalCruise.

The day after the billboards hit the street, Carnival surprised Lipscomb in person at his home, to officially extend the invitation for him and his family to sail aboard the Carnival Horizon.

It worked.

Carnival has the @CarnivalCruise handle in time to use it to promote the Horizon’s debut next month in the Mediterranean.

And Lipscomb will depart for Barcelona on March 31 for his first cruise in Europe. Carnival plans to make him the first passenger to board the cruise and promises surprises for the Lipscomb family throughout the voyage.

Royal Caribbean to use Snapchat for underwater tour

Specially designed scuba mask to stream three underwater adventure tours.

Royal Caribbean International will use a specially designed scuba mask to stream three underwater adventure tours to followers on the social media platform Snapchat.

The Royal Caribbean Snapchat channel will be devoted to the tours from June 21 through June 25.

The tours use Snapchat Spectacles in tandem with a custom-designed underwater mask Royal Caribbean is calling the “SeaSeeker.” It allows the wearer to “snap” while underwater.

“The SeaSeeker will enable all adventure-seekers to get a front-row seat to the thrilling adventures found underwater in a way that has never been possible before,” said Jim Berra, Royal Caribbean’s chief marketing officer.

The underwater adventures will be seen through the eyes of three well-known divers. In Cozumel, Mexico marine wildlife photographer and conservationist Roberto Ochoa will give viewers a rare glimpse into the annual migration of whale sharks.

Marine biologist Gabriela Nava will then take viewers to see a coral reef restoration project where she and her team have been working to restore the local reefs.

In Belize, fans can follow along as free diver Ashleigh Baird visits the Great Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole that is believed to be the largest of its kind.

Fans can hashtag #SeekDeeper while following @RoyalCaribbean on Snapchat.

MSC rolls out new faster internet and social media packages

MSC Cruises has worked with business communications provider Marlink to develop new faster, more reliable and cost-effective internet and social media packages for guests.

Now live onboard MSC Preziosa and MSC Divina, the high bandwidth internet packages are available via the Marlink Sealink Cloud and will be rolled out across all 12 MSC ships over the coming months. The packages will also be available on the line’s next-generation ships that are currently under construction, including MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside.

“We are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and enhance the guest experience aboard what is already the most modern fleet at sea,” said Gianni Onorato, MSC’s CEO. “We know that staying connected while on holiday is increasingly more important to our guests hence we are rolling out state-of-the-art technology to allow them to stay connected whether they are looking to share experiences and memorable moments, stay in touch with friends and family, need to stay on top of work e-mails or simply catch up with daily news.”

Aimed at those who want to be connected 24/7 to social media, the Social Package allows guests to post pictures and chat with friends via popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Snapchat, WeChat and Pinterest. Prices start from €3.90 per day or €14.90 for a seven-day cruise.

The Surfer Package is designed for moderate internet users who want to read news, sports scores and catch up on e-mails. It also includes access to social media platforms as per the Social Package. Prices start from €9.90 per day or €29.90 for a seven-day itinerary.

Meanwhile, the Streamer Package has been created for heavy internet users who need access either for work or for personal use and enables full internet and social media access, including audio and video. Prices from €19.90 per day or €59.90 for a full seven-day voyage.

Guests will be able to select their package prior to embarkation and will be easy to upgrade or top up.