Six years ago, a 9-year-old boy named Darian Lipscomb went on a Carnival cruise. To share the experience with his friends, he made his Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise.
Via Snapchat, Lipscomb shared videos of himself tubing and zip lining across the cruise ship. Over the years, he has gone on several more Carnival cruises, documenting each one with the social media app.
Everything was going well until Carnival decided they wanted Lipscomb’s handle for their own social media promotion.
Representatives from the cruise line descended up Lipscomb’s hometown of Prospect, Virginia. They posted billboards across town reading, “Hey Prospect, does anyone know Darian?”
On Tuesday night, a truck full of Carnival employees showed up on the now-15-year-old's doorstep, offering him a free cruise in exchange for his Snapchat handle. The cruise would include customized surprises throughout the trip, all of which would be documented on Snapchat. The total value of Lipscomb’s trip is about $5,000.
A spokesperson for the cruise line told the Richmond Times Dispatch that it was a “fun way to claim our handle and reward a ‘superfan’ at the same time.”
On Saturday, Lipscomb and his family will depart for Barcelona and their free cruise onboard the Carnival Horizon, the cruise line’s newest ship. The 14-day trip will make stops in Portugal and Nova Scotia. The Lipscomb family will be among the first people to stay aboard the new vessel.