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ICruise lets consumers book trips via mobile-optimized siteBy
Consumers can access the mobile site by entering http://www.m.icruise.com on their mobile browser. According to the company, the mobile site has the same functionality as its Web site.
“Our strategy is specifically to increase leads, bookings, and client loyalty by giving our clients and prospects a better user experience when they visit our website from their mobile device,” said Uf Tukel, founder and co-president of WMPH Vacations and iCruise.com.
“A lot of vacation discussion and planning occurs away from the personal computer,” he said. “Our mobile strategy which includes our Cruise Finder iPhone and Android apps, and now our mobile site makes it very simple to find a cruise, share it with friends, save to favorites, and even book the trip online if they like.
“A small percentage of all cruise vacations are booked online – we are more interested in them finding something of interest, and then give them the tools to book it on their personal computer or through the help of one of our cruise travel agents.”
ICruise is a unit of WMPH Vacations, a global cruise and travel retail company headquartered in Delray Beach, FL.
The iCruise mobile site features information on more than 20 cruise lines, 200 ships, and 12,000 itineraries.
Consumers can also browse ship amenities, public room photos and port information.
Consumers can browse cruise information
Additionally, users can complete online pricing and booking on 10 cruise lines including Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Via the mobile site, consumers can also search cruises by destination, departure port, cruise line and cruise ship.
There is also a View Hot Deals tab that shows users the most recent offers.
The mobile site also features port directions so that consumers know how to get there and port weather.
In addition, the company is integrating social into its mobile offerings and letting consumers connect with the company via Facebook and Twitter.
“I was one of the first iPhone users in our office, and like so many others, got hooked on the Apple ‘There’s an App for That’ commercials,” Mr. Tukel said. “Well, there wasn’t a real app for cruise vacations and we wanted to be the first to have one.
“And, honestly, I liked the sound iCruise on the iPhone,” he said. “We went mobile on a marketing whim and quickly discovered there’s real value in simplifying a complicated buying process by removing the distractions that are common on the Web.”
This is not the company’s first foray into mobile – it is its third.
In addition to rolling out a mobile-optimized site, iCruise also has a CruiseFinder iPhone and Android app.
“Mobile is a very important part of our overall initiative,” Mr. Tukel said. “The iCruise tagline is ‘more choices, more discounts, expert cruise advice.'”
“Our clients and prospects have more choices in how and when they can search and book cruises as well as communicate with us,” he said. “We are presenting many cruise lines, ships, discounts, prices and the professional design of our mobile offerings reinforce the fact that we are experts in our field.
“It also helps us reach those who never even thought of a cruise vacation.”
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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