Editor's note: We want Cruise Critic members to enter! Visit Cruise Critic daily from October 15 through October 19 for tips on how to create an attention-grabbing video. And if you have tips to share, be sure to e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you thought past-passenger programs were only good for a free cocktail party, think again. Norwegian Cruise Line is giving its repeat guests the opportunity to vie for the title of Norwegian Gem's godmother via an online video contest.
The contest is just one of the high-tech tactics being used to hype the ship's launch -- just last week, we reported on the cruise line's "sitelet" gemitgirl.com, created specifically for new-build Norwegian Gem. Here's how the new contest works:
Starting Monday, October 8, female members of NCL's past-passenger program, Latitudes, will be able to submit a video on gemitgirl.com explaining why they should be named the godmother of Norwegian Gem. The marketing bonanza that has surrounded the 93,000-ton, 2,384-passenger ship has been pegged to its position as the "It" Girl of the fleet -- hot and hip -- so it is no surprise those are some of the qualities the line is looking for in its godmother.
Additionally, applicants must possess the "'free spirit' of NCL's Freestyle Cruising," including:
Sophistication, independence and confidence
Eagerness to explore new destinations and learn new things
Glamour, style and culture
Youthful and adventurous spirit -- regardless of age
If this is starting to sound like a post-prison profile of Paris Hilton, bear with us. Entrants are also encouraged to include how many times they've cruised with NCL and exhibit their own unique talent (if they have one) that exemplifies the line's "freestyle" spirit.
Entries may be submitted until November 12, and will be judged on creativity and originality. The top five will be announced on gemitgirl.com November 15, and the grand prize winner will be selected with the help of a public vote open through December 7. All five finalists will be flown to New York to attend the christening ceremony on December 18 and set sail on the ship's two-night inaugural cruise.
But only the grand prize winner, once announced, will get to christen the ship. She will also receive a seven-day cruise in the luxurious Garden Villa on Norwegian Gem for her and five of her "entourage" (friends). If you haven't cruised with NCL before, you can't win the grand prize -- but a video submission will enter you to win a seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruise for two aboard Norwegian Gem in 2008.
Further details, including the contest terms and conditions, can be found online at gemitgirl.com starting on Monday, October 8, 2007.
Ready for your close up? Create your video at home, or -- if you'll be onboard during the open call for entries -- visit one of NCL's complimentary onboard videotapings; you'll receive a DVD that you can submit online once you return home. (These sessions will be offered on every ship except Norwegian Crown, which is leaving the fleet.) More info on the submission process should be available on October 8. You'll also be able to check out "sample" videos on gemitgirl.com, created by famed improvisational group Second City.
Remember: All submissions will appear on gemitgirl.com, where visitors can rank them by a variety of by traits including funny, glamorous, freestyle, chic and "too hot." There is also a category for "most viewed," so don't do anything we wouldn't do....
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor
Norwegian Gem's Godmother Could Be ... You
October 4, 2007