OpenChime.com has announced that it is a new, free venue for cruise passengers to find vendors in ports of call or in their embarkation city for tours and excursions, bypassing what it called the escalating prices of cruise line offerings.

According to founder, Erdem Kiciman OpenChime can connect cruise passengers with local service providers of any kind and with over two million vendors in its database, it is easy to find anything that might be needed, from local tour guides in St. Thomas and dolphin encounters in Cozumel, to car services in Miami and Jet Ski rentals in Jamaica.

No matter what type of service is needed, OpenChime can help, said Kiciman. After submitting a vendor request via a simple online form, OpenChime finds the vendors, contacts them and has the vendors send the consumer a personalized response with more information about their services and pricing. The average user will spend less than 60 seconds on the site submitting their request and can save as much as 75 percent off the vendors’ highest price. By having access to multiple bids, the consumer saves money and time.

"We are proud to offer OpenChime free of charge to consumers that are planning a cruise and give them a level of vendor selection power and insight that has never before been available," Kiciman said. "

OpenChime claims it can help consumers find any service, anywhere, and make the vendor selection process easier than ever. Site users do not need to make numerous phone calls to foreign countries or send dozens of emails to unfamiliar vendors in exotics ports of call. With OpenChime, users get all the information they need to hire a business, including ratings from third parties.

In June 2011, OpenChime received seed funding from Lightbank, the Chicago investment firm started by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

OpenChime, based in Chicago, IL, is a free online service that helps people easily connect with local service providers of any kind. From plumbers, maids and gardeners, to scuba instructors in Mexico and hot air balloon rides in California, no matter what the consumer needs, OpenChime can help them find people who can help. Users input what they need and OpenChime handles the rest: finding businesses, contacting them, and sending you their personalized responses in one clean email.