Norwegian Breakaway Under Construction (photo: Andreas Depping) It seems that for the last six months, potential passengers could count on Norwegian Cruise Line rolling out an announcement about their brand new ship the Breakaway on an almost weekly basis.

One week it was the announcement of the Aqua Park with an impressive five water slides, and before that a press release on the hit Broadway Musical “Rock of Ages” being featured in the ship’s theater on all sailings.

This barrage of updates marks a new approach to cruise line public relations where the media, travel agent partners and any one who is interested can follow a ship from conception to finished product.

Norwegian began their big media push in the summer of 2011 with a partnership with a newspaper for readers to name the new ship as well as her sister ship. In September the winners were announced with much fanfare. From then on they kept everyone abreast of all major announcements regarding the ship on their Building Breakaway blog. Topics ranged from a partnership with pop artist Peter Max, to designing the hull artwork, to completing successful sea trials.

Last month Royal Caribbean got in the media game, hyping their newest ship Quantum of the Seas. At first Royal Caribbean had kept pretty silent on their latest class of ships, however they recently exploded with content this past March and April. They first announced the name: Quantum of the Seas and then announced the ship’s godmother, Kristin Chenoweth, via a commercial during the Oscars. Usually godmothers don’t get announced until closer to the sail date (Princess didn’t announce that the Duchess of Cambridge would christen the Royal Princess until two months ahead of sailing), but Royal is using Chenoweth’s star power to propel the publicity of this ship.

Chenoweth was featured heavily in last month’s big announcement of the new features on the ship, including the North Star, a capsule surrounded by windows that transports passengers above and over the ship for spectacular views.

The more exciting and fun announcements, the better. Having these exciting features rolled out over time, instead of in one big press release gives travelers a greater opportunity to hear about an interesting feature and get excited about it.

It gives travel professionals a lot of opportunity to learn about these big ships and understand exactly what features to make sure to point out to their clients.

It also gets those of us in the travel industry excited about the new ships. A big group of consultants and Cruise Web staff will be on the May 10 Norwegian Breakaway inaugural and we are genuinely excited about the experience. From our newest staff members to our veteran consultants, we are all looking forward to exploring this 4,000-passenger ship and trying out those new unique features like the plank, the salt room at the spa or having a cannoli from the first ever Carlo’s Bake Shop at sea.

As this week continues and Norwegian continues to invite media and travel agent partners to board the ship you can be sure to see lots and lots of content being shared online detailing the ship’s food, features and fun factor. It’s a smart move in a world where consumers are online searching out tweets, facebook posts, pins and blogs to learn about what they might want to do when it comes time to plan their next “Getaway.” - Erica Kitt

Erica Kritt works at The Cruise Web. The Cruise Web is a travel agency that specializes in cruising. The expert cruise consultants focus on providing travelers with the best value for their time and money in finding and booking a cruise vacation! Visit The Cruise Web for the best Norwegian Cruise Line deals.