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The Royal Caribbean/ Cruise Critic Party program lets
cruisers-to-be meet their future shipmates by posting messages on
the Cruise Critic site (www.cruisecritic.com).
The passengers then meet on board, at an informal gathering set
up by Royal Caribbean.
The cruise line, which will arrange the Cruise Critic parties
for any sailing of seven nights or longer, views the new service as
one that adds value for Royal Caribbean passengers.
“Our ship staff noticed groups of guests getting together and
having a great time with friends they’d made online before the
cruise,” said Daniel Hanrahan, senior vice president of marketing
and sales. “By partnering with Cruise Critic, we are able to offer
that opportunity to more of our guests and further enhance their
Royal Caribbean said word of the new service like just about
anything on the Web has spread quickly. At press time, some 4,500
people registered on the Web site to participate in the Royal
Caribbean/Cruise Critic Parties, and that happened before RCI
officially announced the program. As many as 200 passengers signed
up for a single sailing.
Clients who have completed the booking process can register
online for a party by going to the Royal Caribbean site (www.royal
caribbean.com) and clicking on the Info and Extras link on the
left-hand side of the page. A link for Royal Caribbean Cruise
Critic Parties can be found in the yellow Additional Services box,
and travelers can enter their reservation ID numbers there to
register for parties.
Registered travelers can follow links to the RCI message boards
on the Cruise Critic site to start meeting fellow cruisers and
share travel tips before their sailings.
When at least 25 passengers sign up on a particular cruise the
entire group will be invited to meet onboard at a Cruise Critic
party set up by the line. Registration for the party closes two
weeks before the departure date, and Royal Caribbean sends out an
e-mail to confirmed party guests as a reminder of the event. On the
day of departure, clients receive printed invitations in their
cabins with the date, time and location of the party.