ABOVE: "Bucket list" item no. 15 at 50essentialexperiences.com.
Many travel vendors are creating their own blogs these days as they try to engage customers who are caught up in blogging, tweeting, Facebook friending, and other "social media" activities. One of the better efforts on the corporate blogging front is "50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List" from Princess Cruises.
The blog was created in 2010 with the goal of presenting 50 inspirational stories (a.k.a. "Essential Experiences") over a one-year period.
The stories are written by crew and corporate employees of Princess Cruises, such as Nick Carlton (captain of the Sapphire Princess and author of "In The Midst of a Holy Pilgrimage") and Omar Silingardi (the company's director of food and beverage services, who wrote "In Search of Marco Polo" about our favorite city, Venice).
As a bonus, the blog has weekly "reader experiences" about ports on the line's itineraries, written by contributors who are rewarded with Princess Cruises bathrobes. (One of our favorites is Shirley Brogan's "An Italian Adventure to Reach a City Underground," which describes a visit to subterranean Naples, Italy.)
50 Essential Experiences is now just three stories away from being complete: As of September 13, the blog is up to Essential Experience 47.
Karen Candy of the Princess Cruises PR department assures us that the blog will remain online when the total reaches 50, and that a sequel or new concept is in the works.
To read the bucket-list blog, go to 50essentialexperiences.com or click the "50 Essential Experiences" graphic on the home page of the cruise line's Web site at www.princess.com.
BELOW: A Grand Princess crew member enjoys another essential exerience: painting the ship's hull in Katakolon, Greece.