It’s no secret I like cruising, despite the stereotype that cruising is not for young people. I have been on four cruises to date and hope to go on many more in my lifetime. When I was in Miami in November at a social media mixer before I took off on a cruise, I met Adrian Esquivel. He is the developer for Top Cruise Club, a brand new online social network for cruisers. I have since created an account for myself, and I really like the concept.
Top Cruise Club is currently in beta and requires an invitation code to sign up, but anyone can get one by going to the website and clicking “Request an Invitation Code” at the top of the page. You will then build a profile with information about yourself and your interests, and people can write on your “deck,” which is like your Facebook wall. Some of the site’s best features include:
T.R.I.P.: This allows you to build up points for using the social network, and you can redeem these for travel gifts and rewards.
Price Investigator: This is a fare-tracking engine that monitors cruise prices and notifies you if the price of a cruise you paid for drops. If the price goes lower than you paid, you can recoup the savings.
Cruise Connect: This allows you to find and connect with people who will be sailing on the same upcoming cruise as you, so you will already have friends on board by the time you set sail.
LENS: This feature lets you keep track of your past cruises and share information about your cruises with others. Select which line and ship you sailed on and upload pictures from the trip. You can also fill out a thorough review form that includes your likes and dislikes about the experience, which can help others.
You can also create groups, which can allow you to find others with common interests (such as people into fitness, people with kids, etc.). You can also keep a blog on Top Cruise Club, which is a great place to write about your journeys. You can also post advice in an area of the site called Cruise Pulse.
I asked Top Cruise Club why their site is relevant to those of us in our 20s. Jason Cohen, founder and CEO of Top Cruise Club, got back to me with this response:
Social media as a means of communication has become as mainstream as calling, emailing, and text messaging, particularly for people in their 20’s and 30’s. Our site is perfect for this demographic – they’re already quite comfortable in the social media realm – and it’s a great platform for seeking out peers who share a similar interest – cruising! Members can utilize our site to research who will be on an upcoming sailing – and connect with members of their same age group in real life, while on their cruise.