(8:10 p.m. EDT) -- We've seen any number of incentives to get cruisers to book -- perks like Champagne, spa services and prepaid gratuities come to mind. But one line is offering a decidedly modern enticement to upload digitally minded passengers to its ships -- a free video camcorder.
Cruise West, a small-ship line best known for its Alaska cruises, will be giving a Flip Mino camcorder (not the hi-def MinoHD for those in the know) to those who book a 2010 Alaska voyage with the line. The Flip, a cell phone-shaped camcorder whose videos can be linked easily to popular video-sharing sites like YouTube, will be offered to those who book and pay in full by May 28, 2010. The limit is one per person.
Alaska itineraries on offer range from 4 to 16 nights, such as a four-night Glacier Bay cruise aboard the line's 84-passenger Spirit of Discovery and 10-night Inside Passage sailings aboard a number of the line's ships. Prices start at $1,199 per person and include an excursion in every port -- plus the Flip, perfect for re-living that harrowing encounter with a bear or moose.
Besides being an unusual perk, the mini-cam offer points to the increasingly digital approach to vacation chronicling. The days of developing rolls of film for a slideshow presentation at your aunt's house have been replaced by the ability to capture vacation video highlights with a pocket-sized gadget and share them with the world.
Have a great video to share of your cruise vacation? Post a link in Cruise Critic's video forum.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor
Photo courtesy of Flip Video
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Book a Cruise and "Flip" Over a Free Camcorder
April 7, 2010