Carnival steering cruise biz through uncharted social waters

Riding the bumper of last weeks designation as official confetti sponsor of the Times Square New Years Eve 2011 celebration, Carnival Cruise Lines launched this week a campaign that “inspires people to try new things to add more fun to their lives.” Carnival kind of “fun” that is.

Last week, Carnival invited everyone to get in on their signature “fun” by visiting their New Years Eve “Wishing Wall.” Visitors have been sharing their hopes and dreams for 2011 on slips of red, white and blue paper that will be added to the confetti used on New Years Eve. Make that a ton of confetti all falling literally in-your-face engagingly on Times Square.

“As a company that is built upon fun and memorable vacation experiences, we thought that it was time to help Americans put fun on the front burner,” said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Born this week is Carnivals “Hey America, DidJa Ever?” element where the line is collecting the “Top 100 Firsts” from over 420,000 Facebook fans. Fans are encouraged to tighten up relationships by sharing experiences through photos and videos aimed to create events and memories. Carnival will help make those dreams come true for fans giving away anything from cruise vactions for four to appearing on stage with a favorite band.

Carnival is tightly focused on incorporating the fun element in life for all, consulting Robert Mack, celebrity life coach and author of the best-selling book, “Happiness From the Inside Out: The Art and Science of Fulfillment.” He reasons that to live your best life, inspirational personal goals are the key, saying “If you can stay engaged and keep it fun, you’ll be more committed.”

Indeed, the line has quietly committing itself to social platforms, capitalizing on the signature “fun” element that pervades their culture. Carnival’s senior cruise director John Heald has a popular long-running blog, the company’s twitter handle, @CCLSupport, takes care of guest relations issues swiftly, the line’s website promotes more interactivity and even the line’s new batch of commercials feature actual guests having a good dose of that fun.

It looks to be a seamless package with plenty of room for expansiion that other lines will no doubt try to duplicate shortly.

Flickr photo by familymwr