USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice New Media Award for Best Cruise Blogger winners Matt Hochberg and Scott Sanders share a couple of things in common: each authors a blog that’s dedicated to coverage of primarily a single cruise line, and they both have successful podcasts as companions to their blogs. Matt won for The Royal Caribbean Blog which he started in 2010 and is described as “your ultimate source for Royal Caribbean coverage,” and he hosts The Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast. The Royal Caribbean Blog is an unofficial fan blog written for other fans of Royal
Caribbean, and is not affiliated with Royal Caribbean International. Scott won for The Disney Cruise Line Blog. Since 2012, The Disney Cruise Line Blog and accompanying podcast has been an unofficial source of Disney Cruise Line news and information and a place where fans can share Disney cruise experiences.
....Matt Hochberg, a USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice New Media Award winner for Best Cruise Blogger is the creator of the Royal Caribbean Blog, and the reassuring voice of the Royal Caribbean Blog podcast. I say reassuring because if you happen to be listening to the podcast a lot, including going back into the archives to listen to episodes you might have missed or replaying episodes you’ve previously listened to, it likely means you are booked on Royal Caribbean and your sailing date is approaching! You are part anxious, and part excited, and Matt (along with occasional guests) calms your anxiety with useful information and stokes your excitement with fun insights. In anticipation of my December 2018 Anthem of the Seas cruise, I listened to every episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog podcast of the last couple of years (and if Anthem was in the episode title, let’s just say I listened to it more than once.)
....I asked Matt how the Royal Caribbean Blog came about. Matt recalled that his second Royal Caribbean cruise was on Oasis of the Seas. As alluded to earlier in The Joy of Cruising, almost every couple of years the world’s largest cruise ship is introduced. But sometimes a new world’s largest ship is so revolutionary, so spectacular, that it “changes the game” in cruising (much like Royal Caribbean’s Sovereign of the Seas discussed in Chapter 1.) Oasis was that kind of ship when it was introduced. Matt said, “I remember back when Oasis of the Seas debuted it was a really big deal, still is, and I was really pumped to go on it. It just redefined what a cruise ship experience could be. My excitement was so great that I needed an outlet for it. I was just that kind of person that I like people to share my experience. I wanted to blog about my experience. I ended up expanding that idea beyond just blogging about my cruise on Oasis to actually covering Royal Caribbean in general. There were a lot of existing cruise websites, some great ones in fact. But none of them focused just on Royal Caribbean. While they did a good job, they only got, say, 10-20% deep into what Royal Caribbean is all about and there is still quite a bit left out. I felt like I’m not going to be able to compete with the major cruise websites out there and cover the whole industry, but if I do a deep dive and cover everything Royal Caribbean, then I can really stand out from other people and bring something different to the table.” Royal Caribbean Blog was born. Matt....
....Scott Sanders is a USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice New Media Award winner for Best Cruise Blogger for the Disney Cruise Line Blog. I first became aware of Scott several years ago when I discovered his blog in advance of taking my grandkids on their first cruise, a four-day voyage on the Disney Dream. Two weeks before our sailing, Scott posted a video on his blog of his daughter’s first time on Disney Cruise Line’s AquaDuck, the first "water roller coaster" at sea introduced on the Disney Dream. So, my then 5-year old granddaughter watched Scott’s daughter Isabelle screaming gleefully riding AquaDuck—along with the many other AquaDuck videos on YouTube—over and over.
Scott’s blog and podcast are the go-to source for Disney Cruise fans looking for news, tips, and opinions in addition to, or instead of, official information from the company itself. It’s not just Disney Cruise fans that rely on Scott’s insights. Scott is extensively consulted by media such as the Orlando Sentinel and USA Today to opine on Disney Cruise Line news and developments, and has appeared in the book, The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. Scott started the Disney Cruise Line Blog in 2012. He added a companion podcast April 2016. The website is more than just a blog chronicling Scott’s cruises. In addition to posting daily trip reports when taking his family on a cruise, the website also offers fans a historical look at the various Disney Cruise Line itineraries and provides info about upcoming sailings. In addition, each week Scott summarizes the current special offers and blogs about the latest news surrounding Disney Cruise Line and its ports of call.
Scott lives with his wife Emily, and daughter Isabelle in Celebration, Florida, known as “The Community Disney Built.” Celebration is located five miles from Walt Disney World Resort and was originally developed by The Walt Disney Company. Scott is originally from the Midwest and came south to Florida for the weather and has lived in Florida for most of his adult life. Scott and Emily were married in a Disney Wedding at Walt Disney World Resort.
I asked Scott to talk about how his passion for all things Disney was formed. He told me....
Read the complete story of how Matt and Scott’s passion for cruising moved them to become a main resource for fans of two of the world’s top cruise lines in respectively, Chap 18, Royal Caribbean Blog: Matt Hochberg, and Chap 19. Disney Cruise Line Blog: Scott Sanders, The Joy of Cruising. Available now!