Winning the contest, which begins on Monday and is only open to residents of the U.K. and Ireland, is not as easy as it looks. As many know, Twitter, the micro-blogging social networking site, limits communiques to 140 characters (not words, characters) per message. So that uber-compelling winning "tweet" must capture Celebrity in less than 140 characters. The winner will receive a two-night trip to visit Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where activities will include a tour of the shipyard (where you might catch a glimpse of Disney Cruise Line's new Disney Dream); an overnight on Celebrity Eclipse as it travels 26 miles backward, from the shipyard to Eemshaven, Netherlands (check out our report from sister ship Celebrity Equinox's "backwards adventure"); and a chance to hobnob with Celebrity executives.
Jo Briody, head of marketing for Celebrity in the U.K. and Ireland, explains: "Anyone using Twitter can tell the @CelebrityUK twitter feed why they should get the chance to see new ship, Celebrity Eclipse, before anyone else. We're looking for succinct creativity, recognition of the innovations onboard the ship, and to engage with the biggest fans of Celebrity Cruises. It really is the chance to tweet your way to the trip of a lifetime."
The trip will take place March 12 - 14 and the prize includes return flights (economy class) from the U.K. to the ship, return transfers from airport to ship, and meals and drinks onboard the ship.
Curious about Celebrity Eclipse, a sister of the very popular Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox? Facilities onboard the innovative ship -- which launches in Southampton this April -- include The Lawn Club, a dedicated area on the top deck of the ship featuring real, growing grass, where passengers can play croquet, golf, or even have a picnic; the Hot Glass Show, the first glass blowing studio at sea; an ice-topped Martini Bar; and a selection of 10 restaurants. Be sure to check out our reviews of sister ships Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox to whet your appetite!
Since the contest doesn't begin until Monday, there's a whole weekend to brush up on your tweet-writing skills (and sign up on Twitter if you aren't already on there!). On Monday, to send your missive -- remember, no more than 140 characters -- log onto Twitter, go to the @CelebrityUK Twitter feed and tell them in a tweet exactly why you should win.
The tweets will be judged by Celebrity's Jo Briody, @CruiseCriticUK editors and @CaptGreybeard, also known as John Honeywell, the Daily Mirror's cruise man.
A few things to note:
The competition is only open to residents from the U.K. and Ireland who are over 21 with a valid passport. (U.S. folk had their own Celebrity Eclipse sweepstakes late last year.)
The competition launches on 25 January 2010 and no tweets posted before 00.01 GMT on this date will be counted. The competition closes on 14 February 2010 at 23.59 GMT.
There is no cash alternative, and the winner and one guest must be available to travel on 12, 13 and 14 March, 2010.
View the full terms and conditions here.
So, get tweeting and good luck!
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor