| Scrapbooking may be one of the hottest trends in hobbies, but Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC), who is introducing a personalized travel album option for passengers sailing on its four ships, is banking that folks may want to chronicle their trip tales -- without the do-it-yourself hassle.|
RSSC has teamed up with the New York-based SharedBook, a company that creates personalized, professionally printed, full color books (in hardback or softback) for a wide range of companies (Cruise West is the only other cruise line to offer the service).
The process is actually quite simple. Shared Book, in conjunction with RSSC, creates a template for itineraries, including ship info and destination features. Each template reflects the different ships' personalities and voyages (such as, for instance, a recipe for Paul Gauguin's wickedly popular -- and delicious -- Tahitian vanilla creme brulee). Finally, travelers' own photographs, memories and dedications are seamlessly integrated with the standard material, bound and published.
Specifically, all books come with:
personalized front cover and dedication page
professionally written stories about the cruise experience, including the ports of call
shore excursions and time onboard
history and culture
food and wine
My Regent Seven Seas Cruises Pages for personal photos and journal entries
Books can be as long as 200 pages, and fellow passengers can swap photos and "write" in each others' keepsakes.
Once the traveler gathers all the materials, they upload them to a SharedBook site, which places them in the right spots and then prints the product (as well, Regent offers a "white glove service" for Luddites who don't want to go near a computer). The book takes about 7 -10 days for printing.
According to Regent spokesman Andrew Poulton, the appeal for offering passengers such an option is that RSSC is "moving into the direction of customization and personalization, of creating unique experiences for each individual guest." The personal travel album, he notes, "falls right into the category of giving passengers something truly personal -- and memorable."
The books are available for those sailing on Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia, Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska, and Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager in Europe.
Prices vary depending on cover material -- they're priced at $55 for softcover and $98.95 for hardback. Unless, that is, you're sailing on Seven Seas Voyager this summer. In a celebration of that vessel's inaugural Baltic cruise, passengers can have their books -- for free.