Taking a cruise is all about luxury, relaxation, and convenience. Until CruiseWise hit the scene, booking a cruise tended to offer the exact opposite experience. Sifting through dozens of outmoded and difficult to navigate travel sites, comparing cruise lines and cabins, and trying to figure out how to make the most of the ports visited — it can be frustrating enough to keep you on dry land. On a mission to radically simplify the way people search, compare, and book cruises online, CruiseWise is shaking up things on the high seas. We caught up with Jordan Berry, Content Captain of CruiseWise, to find out more.
Why does the cruise industry need to be shaken up?
“Cruising is a great way to travel. For as little as $45 per night per person, you can have a hassle-free, 5-star experience and visit exotic destinations while disconnecting from the world. At the same time, the technology used to book cruises online is still stuck in 1998. Before CruiseWise, potential and frequent cruisers were unable to get a true sense for what a cruise vacation entails while researching online.
How does CruiseWise do this shaking up?
“CruiseWise uses modern web technology to demystify the cruise experience. We built the features based on extensive user research, putting the cruiser and their needs in the center of our design. Researching online is just as important as booking online, which is why we have one of the largest databases of ship overviews, port highlights, and photos. We continuously look at ways to enable more intelligent cruise research. For example, we recently launched the Port Crowd Calculator, a tool that shows how crowded any port will be on any given day around the world to help our users avoid crowded ports.”
How do TaskRabbits help out the CruiseWise team?
“[pullthis]We’ve used TaskRabbits for a wide range of Tasks, from grocery shopping to feed our Honest Tea addiction to hanging white boards for brainstorming sessions. Most importantly, we used TaskRabbits to user test our website prior to launching. [/pullthis][pullshow]The diverse pool of TaskRabbits made it easy for us to choose testers that would give us a variety of responses.”
In addition to supporting TaskRabbit, a leader in the collaborative economy, what other ways does CruiseWise walk the walk of social responsibility?
“CruiseWise has a strong policy that encourages our employees to take time off to volunteer for local or national organizations. For example, last spring I was a coach for Girls on the Run Bay Area, the local branch of an international organization that coaches elementary school girls on wellness and fitness.”
What barriers do people commonly have to taking vacations?
“Cruising is a highly customizable way to travel, which also makes cruising an extremely special way to travel. When planning a dream cruise vacation there are many more factors to consider beyond date range and budget. Cruisers may be particular about the list of destinations they would like to visit, the type of onboard experience they are looking for, and the location of their cabins.
“Because of this high level of customization, information can become overwhelming. CruiseWise is where consumers come to fully understand everything a cruise vacation is and what they are getting for their money. They can make informed decisions to completely customize their dream trip.”
How do you envision the future of sea travel?
“We envision that the future of cruising, both ocean and river, also rests in the increased ability for a traveler to customize their vacation. New ships being built today magnify passenger desires to enrich their vacation with new skills, cooking classes, or even glass blowing demonstrations.
“Additionally, affiliate and themed cruises have been exploding in popularity recently. The Coachella festival is a recent addition to a long list of music events and artists that have taken to cruising to feel closer to their most loyal fans.”
If you could cruise anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
“My ideal cruise would be to Alaska. Not only have I not been there yet, but also, cruising is one of the best ways to get a taste of its natural beauty. The port stops allow you to go on excursions such as salmon fishing or dog sledding, while the ship brings you close to glaciers you wouldn’t be able to see without a helicopter tour.
“Cruise lines have further expanded their Alaska offerings recently with tour packages to Denali National Park, Calgary, and other area attractions. These tours are all-inclusive and even transport travelers in glass top trains to Mt. McKinley, provide nature experts and history tours, all while treating passengers to the comfort they can expect from a cruise vacation.”