With the previous keynote running 10 minutes over it's timeslot, and technical issues further delaying the start, this keynote shrank from a 45 minute presentation to a 30 minute presentation, which as it turned out was probably a good thing. Unlike the previous, more polished / rehearsed presentations, this one came off as more like a time filler. Which isn't to say that there weren't a few interesting pieces of information, but they did tend to be few and far between.
The presentation was given by Jordan Corredera of Carnival Cruise Lines, the Head of the Interactive Strategy Team, and was moderated by Ted Wright, the founder of Fizz.
The history behind the Carnival 'Fun Ship' idea was born when their first and only ship - the Mardi Gras - ran aground on it's maiden voyage. To appease the naturally disgruntled travelers, they opened up the bars, and people started to have fun...
The presentation then moved into a Kathie Lee blooper video, which just served to eat up time.
They've had 2 big successes in social media - Carnival Connections - which launched in 2006, a site with private message boards and polls, generated over 20,000 bookings in 2006. This forum has allowed groups of enthusiasts and evangelists, such as "The MonkeyHeads" (named for a monkey head shaped coconut drink container sold on the ships) to virtually meet and organize. The other is John Heald's blog. John Heald is a Senior Cruise Director (SeaTrade Insider Employee of the year 2007)with a great personality that shines through in his blog. Despite only being launched in 2007 the site has had over 2 million views and over 18,000 comments. In 2008 a bloggers cruise was held for people who frequent his site, and over 800 attendees attended.