This is an archive of e-mail sent out from The Home Office - official communications.

2017 Sailing

Worst First Page and Surveys! (Fri, 7 Apr 2017)

Oh, Hai Again!

We know the cruise is over (booooo!), but we had a few more items we thought you might be interested in (yaaaay!).

Worst First Page

One particular highlight for us this year was the variety show's “Worst First Page”, wherein several of our performers presented the first page to a made-up, intentionally terrible fantasy or sci-fi novel. And boy, were those entries wonderfully, epically awful.

As promised, we've published everyone's stories so the whole group can enjoy them (since Red Team and Gold Team heard different stories from different authors). Below are several different formats. As a bonus, it includes the official lyrics to “The Shire”, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo's re-lyric'd version of “Ikea” from this year's “The Both After Dark” event. (NOTE: This document is strictly for 2017 Sea Monkeys; please don't publicly repost.)

Worst First Page - PDF
Worst First Page - Word Document
Worst First Page - Rich Text Format

If anyone converts it to any other formats, please send those our way and we'll gladly forward along the new version(s) to the larger group.

Exit Survey Highlights

We also thought you'd like to see some of the general feedback from our 2017 Sea Monkey Exit Survey.

In no particular order:

  • A little more than half of all 2017 Sea Monkeys have participated in the survey, which is on par with prior years.
  • The Official events (the main concerts in particular) were, as always, the most enthusiastically received element of JoCo Cruise.
  • Among this year's New Monkeys, 75% primarily heard from a friend, from Jonathan, or a guest performer. 16% primarily heard about JoCo Cruise on social media or online generally, and 5% while at a convention or live event.
  • You loved Loreto and the music festival (we agree!), but felt the town's food festival (logistics in particular) could have been better (we agree!)
  • The game library was a big hit! Hooray for organization (and thank you, Jenn Ellis)!
  • People enjoyed gaming in the dining room during non-dinner hours (as well as everywhere else on the ship), but folks also missed having a specific, dedicated 24/7 gaming space. Working on this for 2018.
  • A significant number of “night owl” respondents would like more and more varied late-night food and drink options, hot tub hours, etc.
  • Shocker: you noticed that the Internet this year was…let's say “sub-optimal.” Of course we’re already in discussions with Holland America to improve it for 2018. Unrelated: if anyone has a spare communications satellite you're not using, please contact us.
  • Some found our first “full ship” year to be, at times, overwhelming—New Monkeys in particular—and some weren’t sure how to get comfy within the overall community. We’re already working on improved and “organic” ways to help folks feel as comfortable and welcome as possible, and to find increased and easier inroads to the JoCo Cruise environment and community for 2018. One size does not fit all!
  • Some of you liked having lots of pre-cruise emails and information, while others were equally adamant about wanting less. Please make up your minds! Ha ha, we are just kidding; we’re looking at implementing a “minimalist/bare-bones” email list option for 2018 Sea Monkeys.
  • 95% of respondents would “Definitely” (82%) or “Probably” (13%) recommend JoCo Cruise to a friend. Thanks! That’s how the overwhelming majority of Sea Monkeys learn about JoCo Cruise.

Thanks again for your honest, thoughtful and thorough survey responses. (And if you haven't yet, you are still welcome and encouraged to participate.) It’s one of the most important tools for helping us keep JoCo Cruise a fresh and fun experience and community that's unlike any convention, festival, cruise, or other gathering in the world!

THO

P.S. There's also a higher-res version of the above group photo if you like. (Photo credit: Michael Bain)


Thank You, 2017 Sea Monkeys! (Wed, 15 Mar 2017)

We Did It, Sea Monkeys!

We're all back on Dry Land, we've gotten some sleep, and are struggling to make the floor stop slowly swaying.

Dare we say it? BEST. CRUISE. EVER. We certainly hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. You are an incredible bunch of people, and it was a genuine pleasure being onboard with you all week.

2017 Exit Survey

We have one more favor to ask of you. When you have a few minutes, could you please take our 2017 Exit Survey? Your feedback is EXTREMELY valuable to us, and has a direct impact on future JoCo Cruises, so please respond honestly and as thoroughly as you can (all responses are anonymous).

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JCC2017ExitSurvey

If you're the main contact for your booking, please forward this link to the other passengers in your booking so they can respond as well.

2018 Booking

Those of you who have already booked your cabins for 2018, we thank you, Those of you who booked onboard using the Analog Booking Forms (i.e., paper), you should have received your email confirmations/requests for deposit. (If you booked onboard and didn't receive that email, let us know ASAP.)

If you haven't booked yet, don't dawdle too long—we're nearing the cutoff point for the 6% Pay in Full discount, and the $100-per-person Early Booking discount expires May 4th.

https://jococruise.com/2018/book/

Thanks,

THO


Booking is Closed and Other Updates (Wed, 1 Mar 2017)

SOON™, But For Real

Important Booking Information

The last changes to the Manifest have officially been sent to HAL as of noon PST yesterday (Feb 28). Everyone who a) booked recently or b) has sent in booking changes (name changes, berth cancellations or additions, etc.) recently should now see their updated data in your HAL accounts. No more changes are possible to your bookings at this point. We look forward to seeing you onboard!

Limited Upgrades and Additional Cabins Available Onboard

CHERISHED GUESTS, We at the Home Office are happy to announce that a NEW PROGRAM will be available for your delectation in 2017. Should you desire an upgrade of your ONBOARD ACCOMMODATIONS, this can be arranged through HOLLAND AMERICA GUEST SERVICES at rates NOT MUCH WORSE than ON LAND. Please call HAL Guest Services onboard for rates and availability. UNFORTUNATELY, no haggling will be permitted. The ship DOES NOT have access to your online prices and CANNOT make pricing exceptions.

[Editor's Note: this entry was written by the Booking Monkeys, who just got a new caps lock key and have been breaking it in.]

Sea Monkey Gathering Spaces

The following spaces in the “official” JoCoHotels will be available on Monday, March 3rd for hanging out, gaming, and as general Sea Monkey Gathering Spaces:

  • Marriott: San Diego Ballroom A, 12 noon - 6 pm
  • Wyndham: Coast Ballroom, 12 noon - 11pm

One More Bit of Sad News, Darnit

We regretfully must announce that, due to a family emergency, N. K. Jemisin will be unable to join us for JoCo Cruise 2017. Our thoughts are with her, and her presence will be greatly missed this year.

Thank You, Sponsors

We wanted to give one last email shout-out to all our great sponsors this year; you all help make the cruise go. Hail to thee!

Special extra shout-out to the folks at The Broken Token and Greater Than Games for their last-minute help with signage and logistics these past couple weeks.

If you decide to share your excitement about JoCo Cruise this week, please consider using our hashtag #JoCoCruise2017 so we can like your posts and check out your pictures! You can also tag us, our social media links are below!

Three days! THREE!

See you SOON™,

THO


Boarding Process and Day 1 Info (Mon, 27 Feb 2017)

Hi, Sea Monkeys. THIS IS THE WEEK!

SOON™ is now EXTREMELY SOON™! So we wanted to give you a basic walkthrough of the boarding process and important Day 1 events.

Be There on Time

However you are getting to the pier on Saturday, March 4th—taxi, hotel shuttle, walking, etc.—HAL requires all passengers to be on board 90 minutes before departure, which means by 2:30 pm. “On board” means “checked in and physically on the ship,” so make sure you leave adequate time. And they’re very serious about this kind of thing. Don’t dawdle.

Boarding Documents and Passports

Make sure you have your passports (or other travel documents) for boarding. You should also print out and bring your HAL Boarding Passes upon completion of the HAL Online Check-in process. https://book2.hollandamerica.com/olci-iu/#/findBooking. You need to do this no fewer than 72 hours before departure. If you forget your Boarding Passes or don't check-in online, you won't get refused entry; you'll just have to fill out the paperwork manually at the pier. (Which is no fun.)

When Can I Board?

General check-in and boarding should begin on Saturday between 11-11:30 am. (Guests arriving before the terminal is open will need to stay in the waiting area outside the terminal.) Helper Monkeys and pier staff will be on hand outside and inside to help you find where you need to go. Suite guests, please note that you have a separate line/area for check-in once you're past security.

NOTE: HAL should have provided you with “boarding times” during your online check-in process. This is to help ensure that everyone doesn't all arrive at once and to avoid soul-crushing lines and wait times. That said, if you are new to JoCo Cruise and your boarding time would have you miss most/all of the New Monkey Orientation (see below), you may check-in earlier than your “assigned” time. (We ask that only New Monkeys do this, please; see previous note re: soul-crushing lines and wait times.)

Checking In and Getting Your Stuff

In previous years, we've had a separate onboard registration for everyone to get their ID badges (to indicate who on board were Sea Monkeys) and swag and such. This year, *everyone* is a Sea Monkey, so there's no separate registration process this year!

When you check in at the pier, you'll receive a badge and lanyard (not needed for event access this year, just for “nametag” purposes), your JoCo Cruise 2017 program, and a Twit-Arr info sheet (more on that below). Immediately following your HAL check-in, there'll be a secondary table where you'll get your Red Team/Gold Team wristbands (which will be used for Main Concert access). There'll also be a table with Sharpies for writing your name on your badge.

NOTE: when you originally booked JoCo Cruise 2017, the primary contact agreed to the JCC2017 Terms and Conditions on your booking's behalf. During the HAL check-in at the pier, all adults will need to sign the JCC2017 Terms and Conditions for themselves and on behalf of any minors under their responsibility.

Pre-purchased merch (where applicable) and swag will be delivered directly to your staterooms on Day 1. How convenient!

New Monkey Orientation

The Management will hold a “New Monkey Orientation” session from 1:30 - 3 pm in the Vista Lounge (the ship's main theater - Deck 2, forward). We'll give a brief (~10 min.) overview of basic JoCo Cruise logistics three times: once at the start, once halfway through, and once at the end. (Because some people may not have boarded by 1:30, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to go through the basics.) In between, we'll take any general questions you may have. You can show up when you can/wish, and leave when you wish. It's not mandatory, but it's recommended for new Sea Monkeys, and is open to all passengers.

In the event the theater fills up, New Monkey Orientation will also be simulcast in the Queen's Lounge/CAC (Deck 2, midship) and on the ship's TV channel 35.

Safety Drill

At 3:15 pm everyone must participate in the ship's mandatory safety drill. We want to set the HAL record for efficiency on this drill, so please be on time—or early!—to your appointed muster station (indicated on your keycard; ship's staff can help direct you).

“Bye, Real World!” Cocktail Reception

At 3:45 pm, to celebrate how well the safety drill went (and also to watch the ship pull out of port), everyone is welcome to gather on the Lido and Observation Decks (Decks 9 and 10) and officially bid Regular Life “adieu” for the week and usher in Sea Monkey Life. Free champagne and mimosas!

What If I Miss the Ship?

Fear not! We’ve prepared some info in case flight disruptions or other delays cause you to miss the ship, right here in this handy FAQ item.

Twit-arr and Cruise Monkey

Sseveral Sea Monkeys have developed apps/tools over the years for use during JoCo Cruise. While they are not “official” (i.e., not generated by the Home Office), many folks have found them useful.

  • Twit-arr is an onboard server that works over the ship's wi-fi (without requiring an actual Internet connection) for onboard social media communication; you can connect to it using any device with a web browser. You'll receive a handout with complete Twit-Arr instructions on Day 1.
  • CruiseMonkey is an app that integrates Twit-arr, the JoCo Cruise online calendar, and has the complete list of songs for Sea Monkey Karaoke. It's free and is available in most platforms' app stores.

Special thanks to the Sea Monkeys who've written and tested these apps over the years on their own time and for no money. You all rock!

A Note about the Schedule

A number of Shadow Cruise events were added to the schedule over the weekend, and a few other event times/dates were tweaked. If you haven't looked lately, check out the JoCo Cruise Online Schedule.

Side note: because JCC2017 switches from Pacific to Mountain time late Saturday night, and stays there until late Friday night, the schedule has been set to Mountain time. (Sched doesn't allow for events to change time zones partway through.) Please note that, if you sync the schedule to your iCal/other personal calendar, be conscious that a) your device's time zone is set properly during the week, and b) events on Day 1 occur on Pacific time—don't show up an hour early to stuff!

If you decide to share your excitement about JoCo Cruise this week, please consider using our hashtag #JoCoCruise2017 so we can like your posts and check out your pictures! You can also tag us, our social media links are below!

Five days!

See you SOON™,

THO


The JCC2017 Schedule (and More) (Fri, 24 Feb 2017)

It's The Final Countdown!

Dun-nuh nuuuuh nuuuuuh…duh-nuh nuh nuh nuuuuuh! JoCo Cruise 2017 is almost upon us! Cue the synthesizers and the neon-colored polyester clothing!

The JoCo Cruise 2017 Schedule

The calendar monkeys working super-hard these past couple weeks, and are happy to announce that the JoCo Cruise 2017 Schedule (https://jococruise2017.sched.com) is now available for public viewing!

A few notes about the schedule:

Yes, there's a pretty ridiculous amount of stuff happening.

There are more performers this year than ever before. There are more amazing Sea Monkeys sailing this year than ever before. There is an entire ship filled with things to do—no holds barred.

You may run into a situation where two or more things you really like are happening at the same time. But the flip side of that is, no matter where you turn, at almost any time, you're gonna end up doing something awesome. Difficult choices, but only great results.

The schedule isn't 100% final yet.

While the “official events” are pretty much in place, there's still some Office Hours being scheduled, and some performers/guests are still being confirmed for existing events (panels, etc.). Additionally, there's a number of Shadow Cruise events still being finalized. Shadow Master Bob (aka rhaje) is hard at work finishing off this last stretch of scheduling, and we will have it done ASAP and he will finally be allowed to see the sun again and sleep, not necessarily in that order.

But please give up special props to Bob for wrestling with the nearly 300 hours of Shadow Cruise event requests that came in this year. Yay, Bob! [party hat emoji]

The schedule is subject to change.

Because…well, because it is. Nothing is eternal.

Finding the Schedule Onboard

The online schedule (https://jococruise2017.sched.com) will always be available to those with Internet access. Shipboard Internet, however, is not always reliable. So you'll also be able to see the daily schedule in the following places while on the Westerdam:

  • Daily newsletter (delivered to your cabin each evening)
  • Schedules posted throughout the ship (outside the major venues; elevator banks of Decks 2, 3, 9 and 10; and info screens located throughout the ship)
  • TV channel 42 (viewable on any cabin TV)
  • Helper Monkey Info Desk (Atrium, Deck 1 midship)
  • PA Announcements (important daily events will be announced over the ship's PA because WE CAN DO THAT BECAUSE WE OWN THE BOAT)

Pack Your Passport!

Make sure your passports are with you when you leave for San Diego. You know how we worry.

Online Check-in

Reminder: If you haven't done so yet, please go through the HAL Online Check-in process. Each member of your party will need to complete online check-in and print their Boarding Pass no fewer than 72 hours prior to our departure on March 4th, 2017. Additional information can be found in our FAQ: “How do I check-in online for my cruise?” (https://jococruise.com/faq/#how-do-i-check-in-online-for-my-cruise)

Check Your Name Spelling

When going through HAL's Online Check-in process (https://book2.hollandamerica.com/olci-iu/#/findBooking) , please double-check that the spelling of everyone's first and last names listed in your booking matches what's on your/their passport/travel documents, and that the number of people in your booking is correct.

Our records indicate there's X guest(s) in your booking, with first and last names as follows:

XX and XX

If any changes must be made, please reply to this email as soon as possible. If another passenger's name is misspelled, please cc: them in your reply to us.

Please do not respond if this information is correct, as we receive quite a lot of emails already.

Featured Sponsor - Orbit from Hachette Book Group

Orbit is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group. They publish across the spectrum of science fiction and fantasy – from action-packed urban fantasy to widescreen space opera; from sweeping epic adventures to near-future thrillers.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

Eight days! Eeeeek!

See you SOON™,

THO


We're Back from our Site Inspection! (Thu, 16 Feb 2017)

So Close We Can Taste It!

SOON™! We still have a few cabins available, so be sure to tell your friends, family and perhaps even strangers about our nerdtastic cruise!

Site Inspection

We in the Home Office just completed the “site inspection,” wherein we travel on the Westerdam, meet with the various department heads, and go over our plans for JCC2017.

We can't talk a whole lot of detail yet, but we can note the following:

  • The crew are unfailingly accommodating and friendly; they're going to be a pleasure to work with.
  • This past week's sailing was full, but it never felt overcrowded or oppressive. Bodes well.
  • The weather on this trip was mostly similar to that of previous JCCs: temperatures generally in the mid/high-70s during the day, less humid than the Caribbean. Being on deck at night was less blustery/cold than in years past, though still definitely colder than during the days (usually mid-60s or so), and the wind did kick up on a couple nights.
  • The culinary staff are looking forward to our event—we've specifically requested at least one “ethnic” dish on each night's dinner menu, and told them to “feel free to show off.”
  • We'll be flying a JoCo Cruise flag from the ship's top mast. (Does this make us pirates? Will we have established our own floating country?)
  • The late-night pizza will be…exactly what you expect it to be.

PassportPassportPassportPassport. Also: Passport.

Are your passports in order? Good. Make triple sure you pack them with you when you leave for San Diego. You know how we worry.

Online Check-in

Reminder: If you haven't done so yet, please go through the HAL Online Check-in process. Each member of your party will need to complete online check-in and print their Boarding Pass no fewer than 72 hours prior to our departure on March 4th, 2017. Additional information can be found in our FAQ: “How do I check-in online for my cruise?” (https://jococruise.com/faq/#how-do-i-check-in-online-for-my-cruise)

Hotel Availability Ending Soon!

Time is running out to book your room and join your fellow Sea Monkeys at the Marriott Marquis!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Featured Sponsor - The Cloak & Blaster

The Cloak & Blaster is the premier Orlando destination for tabletop games, pub grub, and craft beer. With a game library of more than 300 board games and 100+ beers, ciders, and meads, anyone will find something they enjoy. If tabletop isn't your thing, you can ascend the stairs to the Citadel Lounge, a Mass Effect themed video game area. Whether you're ready to play your favorite RPG in full costume or sip on a local brew in shorts and a t-shirt, everyone at this gaming craft pub for geeks will find something to geek out over.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

Sixteen days! (Yes, we've gotten to the point where it's stylistically appropriate to spell out the numbers!)

See you SOON™,

THO


Theme Days, Internet Plans and Lots More Stuff) (Thu, 9 Feb 2017)

Happy Taco Thursday!

Yes, we know it is normally on Tuesdays, but we don't send emails on Tuesdays. Live your best life! Now, on to a few important announcements:

Theme Days!

While every day of JoCo Cruise is unofficially themed “Best Day Ever!”, there will be several days with specific, official themes. To wit:

  • Day 1 (Sat. Mar. 4): “Welcome, New Monkeys!” Day - Being new to JCC, especially on a full ship this year, can be intimidating. Please take some extra time and effort this day to help acclimate our new Sea Monkeys and bring them into the proverbial fold. Encourage people to join whatever game you're playing. Introduce yourself to a stranger and find out some facts about them. Sit with people you don't know at lunch and dinner. Show them what makes JCC so very special to you.
  • Day 3 (Mon. Mar. 6): “Formal” Night - Formal wear (“formal” defined however you wish to define it) is encouraged (but NOT required) after 5 pm. Fezzes, tiaras and moustaches encouraged (but not required)
  • Day 5 (Wed. Mar. 8): Cosplay Day - Cosplay is encouraged and welcomed (though not mandatory) every day of the cruise. But if you're only going to cosplay once, this is the day. Go nuts! The only stipulations: no full face masks or weapons (per HAL regulations).
  • Day 6 (Thu. Mar. 9): Pajamas Day - No need to bother putting on “daytime” clothes today; it's Unofficial Saturday today, and we're all staying in our jammies. Robes, slippers, decades-old t-shirts, superhero-themed feeties…it's a ship-wide sleepover!

You are, of course, not limited to these days if you want to dress in additional cosplay, formal wear, or whatever floats your metaphorical boat. Let your uniquely-shaped flag fly!

Some Sad News, IMMEDIATELY Followed by Some Happy News

Sad news: Peter Sagal will be unable to join us this year. Our tote bags will fly at half mast over this loss.

But wait, wait…don't despair! (See what we did there? #reference) We are happy to announce the addition of performer and all-around delight Tawny Newsome (https://jococruise.com/artist/tawny-newsome/) to our happy lineup of improvisers (Janet Varney, Hal Lublin, Mark Gagliardi, Craig Cackowski and Carla Cackowski), whom we are officially dubbing the “Workjuice (http://thrillingadventurehour.com/wjplayers/) Sea Org”.

Westerdam Internet

The Westerdam offers several different paid Internet packages onboard:

  • Social Plan (limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp): $14.99/day, $69.99/full cruise
  • Enhanced Plan (general web surfing and email. Does not support streaming music or Skype): $24.99/day, $99.99/full cruise
  • Premiere Plan (fastest possible connection, supports Skype video calling): $29.99/day, $139.99/full cruise.

More details are found in this handout (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2nD4sZgr96NMUlFdzE3NzNlT3h0NWhVSm5xbktOWmh6M0Vr) which you may download and share. Let the arguing over which is the best choice commence!

FWIW: our testing on the site inspection so far indicates that the Internet on the Westerdam is the most reliable for any JCC to date. Granted, it hasn't been tested by hundreds and hundreds of nerds descending upon it at once, and it certainly isn't what anyone would describe as “zippy,” so YMMV. But so far, so good. *knock all the woods*

Online Check-in

Reminder: If you haven't done so yet, please go through the HAL Online Check-in process. Each member of your party will need to complete online check-in and print their Boarding Pass no fewer than 72 hours prior to our departure on March 4th, 2017. Additional information can be found in our FAQ: “How do I check-in online for my cruise?” (https://jococruise.com/faq/#how-do-i-check-in-online-for-my-cruise)

Check Your Name Spelling

When going through HAL's Online Check-in process, please double-check that the spelling of everyone's first and last names listed in your booking matches what's on your/their passport/travel documents, and that the number of people in your booking is correct.

Our records indicate there's X guest(s) in your booking, with first and last names as follows: XX and XX

If any changes must be made, please reply to this email as soon as possible. If another passenger's name is misspelled, please cc: them in your reply to us.

Please do not respond if this information is correct, as we receive quite a lot of emails already.

Deadlines Re-reminder

Several important deadlines are approaching, so be forewarned:

Shore Excursions and Accessibility

The HAL shore excursions department (called “Journeys Ashore”) requests that any guests with accessibility needs who are interested in booking or have already booked shore excursions please download and fill out this Journeys Ashore accessibility form to ensure that they are correctly advised of the excursions that will best fit their individual needs. Please submit completed forms directly to HAL at HAL_shorex_access@hollandamerica.com (mailto:HAL_shorex_access@hollandamerica.com) or fax it to 206-501-2653. You may also use that email for any questions regarding accessibility of their Journeys Ashore program. Please indicate that the inquiry is for a charter when contacting Journeys Ashore.

Another Note from Lone Shark Games

We once again turn over temporary control of this email for another brief message…

We’re excited to have some Sea Monkeys on board that are well versed in the flora and fauna of the Mexican Riviera. Monica Brunelli, a zoologist and first-time Sea Monkey, will be on board and available to talk about some of the wildlife we may see in our travels, as well as discuss some of the curious local legends and mythologies that have been puzzling zoologists and cryptologists for decades. Monica has gifted JoCo Cruise with some cool tidbits for a pamphlet you'll receive when you check in!

Hotel Availability Ending Soon!

Time is running out to book your room and join your fellow Sea Monkeys at the Marriott Marquis!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Featured Sponsor - Ultra Pro

With intriguing strategy games, casual mind teasers, fantastic deck building products, and family-friendly games, you can be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for in Ultra Pro's wide selection of titles.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

23 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Food Festival Survey, Deadlines and Other Important Announcements (Thu, 2 Feb 2017)

Good Day To You, Sea Monkeys!

We hope you enjoyed our 2017 JoCo Cruise Reddit AMA (https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5ra0lf/we_are_the_organizers_of_joco_cruise_ask_us/) ! Here are even more answers, to questions asked and unasked.

Loreto Food Festival

During JoCoachella (our concert in Loreto on Tue., Mar. 7th), the municipality and the Loreto Restaurant Association want to throw a food festival featuring local restaurants and vendors. They've asked us to help with some information gathering to help them properly plan for the Army of Nerds™ sailing into their town.

The bullet points:

  • Seven different restaurants/vendors will set up tents and offer a tasting menu from roughly 3 pm to 9 pm (times not 100% finalized yet), at the rear of the town square (basically, at the opposite end of the square from the JoCoachella stage).
  • You purchase seven tickets on site for US $25, cash only. (No “just get one or two tickets” options, only the seven-ticket package.)
  • Each ticket gets you one dish from any of the seven restaurants'/vendors' menus. (e.g., you can get seven dishes all from one vendor, one from each, etc.)
  • You must use these tickets to get food from these tents/stands; no direct cash purchases.
  • Vegetarian options will be available.

Given that info, if you think you would partake in this food festival, please fill out this one-question Google form (https://goo.gl/forms/Ua8xzfbqe60lYIAB3) before Fri., Feb. 10th. Please reply only if you believe you'll “definitely” or “very likely” purchase tickets; they're trying to get an accurate idea of how much food to prepare.

Deadlines

Several important deadlines are approaching, so be forewarned:

The Onboard Game Library

Every year our onboard tabletop game library grows—both games that have been donated by our Awesome Sponsors, and games that people loan to the library for the week. This post in the JCC Forums (by our Forums Poobah Bob on behalf of our friends Jenn Ellis and Keith Baker of Twogether Studios) outlines how the game library will work this year. (Many thanks to our friends Jenn and Keith for coordinating this year's game library.

If You're Crafty, You're Just Our Type

Speaking of linking to posts…as we've mentioned previously, we're dedicating an entire room on the ship (the Westerdam's Digital Workshop) as a crafting space. Here's another forum post (posted by Shadow Cruise Overlord Bob on behalf of sponsor Fiona's Fineries) outlining some of the activities planned and supplies available this year.

Immigration Executive Order

We know that some of you have concerns about the recent executive order on immigration and how it will affect your cruise. The situation is still obviously very much in flux; even our own government seems uncertain about how this order will be enforced, and to whom it will apply. (For the record, we don’t like it either.)

Unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete advice for you right now, but we are watching the situation very closely. We’ve reached out to the people at Holland America who deal with these kinds of things, and to the extent we can get any useful information, we will certainly share it with you. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your immigration status as it relates to this cruise, you can sign up for this mailing list: http://eepurl.com/czTD9f. We’ll send any updates we have to that list, and we’ll do our best to get you all the help we can in figuring out what to do.

We will not share this email list (provided by Mailchimp) with anyone else. We'll continue to monitor the situation over the next few weeks.

Site Inspection

Many of you already know that, prior to the actual cruise, THO staff must make the noble sacrifice of going on a “site inspection cruise”—we spend a week on the Westerdam, meet with the crew and go over the many, many, many, many details of our upcoming event.

The entire Home Office will be doing this next week, February 7-14. Our Internet access will be more limited (we'll see just how much), and will do our best to get back to any questions/issues emailed to us during that time, but cannot promise how timely said responses may be. At the very latest, we'll get back to you as soon as we return to the office.

Hotel Availability Ending Soon!

Time is running out to book your room and join your fellow Sea Monkeys at the Marriott Marquis!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Featured Sponsor - Cheapass Games

Cheapass Games was founded by James Ernest in 1996 and their first game was the well-known Kill Doctor Lucky. Their latest game, TAK, is based on the game from the second installment of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle and was successfully kickstarted!

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

29 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Dinner Seating, End of Bookings and More (Thu, 26 Jan 2017)

Oh hey, Sea Monkeys…

Happy Thirsty Thursday! (Assuming you are thirsty. We don't know.) As for us, we're certainly thirsty for all those fruity drinks in 37 days!

Booking Ends February 23rd

If you have friends or family who are still considering coming on JCC2017, please let them know that booking will close on February 23rd, 2017—or whenever we run out of cabins, whichever comes first. That ticking sound you hear? It's the calendar. (Which is strange, because this calendar has no mechanical parts. But nonetheless.)

Dinner - Fixed Seating and Family Seating

JCC dinner seating is generally “open seating”—that is, people are mostly free to sit at whatever table they wish each night. We've found that many of our Sea Monkeys enjoy the opportunity to “mingle” nightly, spend dinner with new friends they've made earlier that day, etc. Some folks, however, prefer to have the same table each night—either for better and easier management of dietary restrictions, or they just like the consistency and not having to search for a new table each night.

If you want fixed seating, you can fill out our Fixed Seating Request Form for your booking (or just for some members of your booking). If you request Fixed Seating, you will be notified of your table number, and you will sit at that table each night. You may also request to be seated with friends in another booking (or bookings) as well; if you plan to do so, please confirm ahead of time that you're all in the same dinner seating (Red Team or Gold Team).

Additionally, last year some families with young children who wanted to sit with/near other families at dinner requested we set aside a (non-mandatory) “Family Seating” area in the dining room. If you're interested in sitting in the 2017 Family Seating area, please check the appropriate checkbox at the top of the seating request form. This doesn't assign you a table or commit you to sitting there; it merely gives us a sense of how much space to set aside for Family Seating for both the early and late dinners.

Not One, but TWO Cackowskis!

Please welcome to the cruise lineup our good friends and outstanding improvisers and performers Craig and Carla Cackowski. They will be joining current performers Janet Varney, Hal Lublin and Mark Gagliardi for the closest thing to a Workjuice Players (http://thrillingadventurehour.com/wjplayers/) reunion that the high seas shall likely see for some time.

A Tiny Bit More Parade Rain…

We regretfully announce that Ed Brubaker will be unable to attend JoCo Cruise this year. He's as bummed about it as we are or even moreso, we promise you. [insert picture of a sad kitten in a Captain America outfit here]

Passport Reminder

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: please make sure your passports (or other travel documents) are in order and valid. If you have travel document questions, see HAL's FAQ on the subject (http://www.hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-planning/PlanningAndAdvice.action?tabName=Cruise+Preparation&contentMenu=Passports,+Visas+%26+Vaccinations&WT.ac=pNavLP_AlreadyBooked_bx_EssentialDoc_btn).

Hotel Availability Ending Soon!

Time is running out to book your room and join your fellow Sea Monkeys at the Marriott Marquis!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Featured Sponsor - Lone Shark Games

And now we're excited to turn the computer keyboard-shaped, metaphorical microphone to the folks at Lone Shark Games for a brief message…

We at Lone Shark Games are excited to be sending two of our game designers Mike Selinker and Elisa Teague to hang out on the boat! You may know them from their creations Geek Out!, Betrayal at House on the Hill, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and The Maze of Games, among other endeavors. If you are feeling brusque, sad, ill at ease, or otherwise verklempt, Mike and Elisa would be happy to spin you a cheerful tale at a cost of zero dinero. You can join them in their nightly carousals as long as you like hanging out with a game inventor till after dark. And if puzzles and tricks of language are your game, they are here to expand your enigmatic horizons. Now, everyone knows they’ve got a malevolent streak, and apparently they’ve have been knocking heads with Mr. Scalzi lately. They’ve probably got something epochal up all their collective sleeves. In the past, in a chosen set of words like this they might have hidden ten things that might be on the local menu. Don’t worry, because it is certain that’s the only thing they’ve got cooking.

(http://lonesharkgames.com/)

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

37 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Dinner Assignments, Formal Night and More (Thu, 19 Jan 2017)

Oh Hello! We didn't see you come in.

Just kidding, this is an email, and we can't see you at all. Happy Thursday, Sea Monkeys!

Dinner/Main Concert Assignments - Red Team and Gold Team

We needed a more compact, less meal-oriented way to refer to our Early Dinner/Late Concert and Late Dinner/Early Concert groups. And us being nerds, it didn't take us long to come up with a good solution: Red Team (Early Dinner/Late Concert) and Gold Team (Late Dinner/Early Concert). (For the record, the assignment of which group got which color was done via coin flip.)

Your booking has been assigned to Red/Gold Team (Early/Late)

Your team assignment should be reflected in your JCC User Account page (the selection menu will be defaulted to your assigned team).

Once on board, team members will receive an appropriately-colored silicone wristband; this wristband will serve as your pass for attending all Main Concerts and the Loreto JoCoachella event. Please make sure you have this wristband with you at these events for proper entry. (No other events will be wristband-dependent.)

Red Leader / Gold Leader

In previous years, we've randomly selected one passenger to become the Monarch of the Seas, a ceremonial position that grants the recipient a crown, scepter, front row seats for them and their Royal Consort, and the praise and approbation of their fellow Sea Monkeys.

This year, we are TOPPLING THE MONARCHY. IT IS TIME FOR A NEW ORDER!

…Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, in lieu of a single Monarch of the Seas, this year we'll randomly select one person from each team to be appointed Red Leader and Gold Leader. Our two leaders will receive an appropriate “crown,” front row seats to the main concerts for them and their “wingman”/“wingwoman,” and the praise and approbation of their fellow Sea Monkeys. (So, really, not very different.).

Everyone is automatically entered into the random drawing to be selected as Red or Gold Leader. If, however, you prefer not to be considered for the position, just fill out the Red Leader/Gold Leader Opt-out Form. (You'll need to be logged in to your JCC User Account.)

And to be clear: while there are two different “teams,” these teams are not rivals. Rather, just like in the original Star Wars, they are allies working together towards a common goal: creating the best JoCo Cruise ever. And destroying any Death Stars we might encounter.

“Formal” Night

The question has been asked by many of you: will there be a Formal Night this year? The answer: yes.

For those new to us and/or cruising: cruise ships usually appoint one or more evenings to be “formal,” wherein formal attire is required in the dining room area during dinner.

We will have a Formal Night this year, currently scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th. But since we have the whole ship this year, our rules for Formal Night are a little different:

  • Formal wear is encouraged, but not required, at dinner.
  • “Formal wear” is defined pretty much however you want to define it. Tuxedo and cocktail dress? Fine. Sport coat and slacks? Sure. Starfleet uniform? Awesome. Full Scottish regalia? Bonnie. You get the idea.
  • Fezzes and tiaras are encouraged—but not required. (The wearing of fezzes and tiaras on Formal Night has become a sort of JCC tradition for many.)
  • The only restriction: no full face masks (HAL regulation).

There's more “themed dress” info coming soon. But first, we should probably get a little sleep…

Passport Reminder

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: please make sure your passports (or other travel documents) are in order and valid.

Hotel Availability Ending Soon!

Time is running out to book your room and join your fellow Sea Monkeys at the Marriott Marquis!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Featured Sponsor - Green Ronin

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle-based company dedicated to the art of great games. They have published the roleplaying game hits Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds. For an unprecedented three years running, Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & EnWorld Award for Best Publisher and have also won more than 40 awards for excellence.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

44 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


A Special Note Re: Main Schedule, Shore Excursions and Indulgences (Wed, 18 Jan 2017)

As noted in last week's email, shore excursions and other JoCo Cruise pre-purchase options will become available today (Wed., Jan. 18th) at approximately 9 am Pacific time.

To help you schedule things like spa treatments, specialty dinners, etc. so that they won't interfere with the main concerts and other events planned for everybody, below is the schedule of said main events.

There will, of course, be plenty of other Official and Shadow Events during the week. The schedule below indicates only the “main” daily events, and we won't be scheduling any other Official events to conflict with the events in the below calendar, nor Shadow events (unless specifically requested).

As a reminder, everyone will be assigned to either the early or late dinner seating. Those assigned to early dinner will attend each day's late concert, and those at the late dinner will attend the early concert. (Everyone who had previously submitted a preference will be getting their preferred dinner seating.) Please note the couple of exceptions in the schedule below.

JoCo Cruise 2017 Main Event Times

Day 1 - Sat. Mar. 4 (Embarkation Day)

  • 5 pm: Early Concert / Dinner
  • 7:30 pm: Late Concert / Dinner

Day 2 - Sun. Mar. 5 (At Sea)

  • 5 pm: Early Concert / Dinner
  • 7:30 pm: Late Concert / Dinner

Day 3 - Mon. Mar. 6 (Cabo San Lucas, 11 am - 7 pm)

  • 6 pm - 9 pm: Party on Lido Deck (no main concerts this day; dining room will be “Flexible Open Dining”)

Day 4 - Tue. Mar. 7 (Loreto, 11 am - overnight)

  • 5 pm - 12:30 am: “JoCoachella” Concert in Loreto (one big show for everyone at once)

Day 5 - Wed. Mar. 8 (Loreto until 3 pm)

  • 5 pm: Early Concert / Dinner
  • 7:30 pm: Late Concert / Dinner

Day 6 - Thu. Mar. 9 (At Sea; Scenic Cruising in Bahia Magdalena, 3:30 pm - 6 pm)

  • 11:30 am: Early Concert
  • 1:30 pm: Late Concert
  • 6 pm: Early Dinner (note later start time)
  • 8:30 pm: Late Dinner (note later start time)

Day 7 - Fri. Mar. 10 (At Sea)

  • 5 pm: Early Concert / Dinner
  • 7:30 pm: Late Concert / Dinner
  • 10 pm: Farewell Party on Lido Deck

(Schedule is subject to change, though we don't expect any.)

Are we there yet?

THO.


Booking Numbers, Shore Excursions and More! (Thu, 12 Jan 2017)

Can You Feel It, Sea Monkeys?

It's getting closer…you can hear it in the wind….taste it in the air…JoCo Cruise is only 50 DAYS AWAY! (Okay, technically 51. But you know: round numbers and all.) And things are really starting to pick up steam here in the Home Office.

HAL Booking Numbers

You should all have received, or should very shortly receive, your HAL booking numbers via a separate email. (Unless you've booked in the past ~48 hours, in which case you'll receive your booking number as soon as we get it from HAL.) As noted in that email, you can use your booking numbers to check-in online on the HAL website—a process that will save you a great deal of hassle and headache at the pier on March 4th. With your booking number, you will also be able to pre-purchase drink packages, make spa and specialty dinner reservations, and book shore excursions.

All of these pre-booking options will be made available next Thursday, Jan. 18th at 9 am Pacific time. (This time is approximate, and is handled by HAL; JoCo Cruise does not control the timing.) Speaking of which…

Shore Excursions

In the meantime, you can see and download the full listing of shore excursions that will be available through HAL this year. There's all sorts of fun stuff to do: snorkeling, kayaking and SCUBA; nature, historical and culinary tours; sport fishing, whale-watching, and tons more!

You are, of course, not required to book shore excursions through HAL. But HAL stands by the quality and safety of all excursions they offer, plus you get the peace of mind that, in the unlikely event of an excursion getting back to the ship late, the ship won't leave without you. (Or in the even unlikelier event that the ship must leave, HAL will cover the expenses of getting you to the next port of call.) You can check the HAL website and the PDF booklet linked above for full details, terms and conditions.

Wait…MORE Performers?!? (Yes. More Performers.)

Did you think we were done announcing new guests and performers? BECAUSE WE ARE NOT!

We very warm-heartedly welcome animator, songwriter, director and creator of Steven Universe Rebecca Sugar to our roster!

In addition, we are quite literally making JoCo Cruise 2017 more magical this year—by inviting magicians Mike Pisciotta, Eric Jones and Jared Kopf to join us.

Check out their bios linked above and be sure to give them a big, friendly Sea Monkey welcome!

With the Good Must Sometimes Come a Little Bad…

We're sad to announce that our good friend Jim Boggia and our new friend Matthew Weiner will be unable to attend JoCo Cruise 2017. Darnit. [Pause to make appropriate frownie faces here.]

Hotel Availability Ending Soon!

Time is running out to book your room and join your fellow Sea Monkeys at the Marriott Marquis!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

JoCo Cruise in the News - Last.fm

Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, Nerf Herder and other awesome artists were featured in the video essay “The Last.fm Guide To Nerd Rock,” (http://www.last.fm/features/post/2259045%3Afeature%3A0e25f260-948d-493c-b5ce-1fcf6ac029b5) wherein folks at Last.fm dived into just what Nerd Rock is and where it came from!

Featured Sponsor - Fiona's Fineries

Fiona's Fineries is an Historical Clothing Company, specializing in Renaissance Garb.

“What is our quest? Not to seek the holy grail, but to provide comfortable, pretty and affordable garb (NOT costumes) that the discerning Patron or Participant of Ren Faires and SCA events can wear, beat up, get dirty, sweat in and in general live in for days on end, then throw in the washer (or in some cases, dry clean) and repeat the whole process. It's out mission to prove that bodices and corsets, if made and worn correctly are comfortable and a joy to wear and be seen in. And secretly, it is our hope to see every single attendee of Ren Events wearing our clothes.”

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

51 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Your JoCo Cruise Cabin Number! (Thu, 5 Jan 2017)

First Hello from Us of 2017!

We've emerged from our “Between-Christmas-and-New-Year's” Cocoons of Inactivity and Overeating, and are ready to greet the new year as beautiful new (albeit Tums-popping) butterflies. We hope you're having a great 2017 so far, Sea Monkeys! Now, on to the good stuff:

Cabin Assignments! Get'cher Red-hot Cabin Assignments!

Your booking has been officially assigned a Westerdam cabin for JoCo Cruise 2017! Huzzah!

Your booking's cabin number is XXXX

You can view more details on your assigned cabin and get a link to view the map of your cabin's specific deck in your user account (https://jococruise.com/2017/account/) .

We know you're waiting on your HAL booking numbers as well. HAL needs to make sure all ducks are absolutely in all their duly appointed rows on their site for our charter. But we promise those booking numbers will be coming SOON™. VERY®, VERY© SOON™.

Passports/Travel Documents

Please, please, please make sure your passports/travel documents are in order for the cruise; we would hate for you to be denied boarding because of expired/improper documentation.

The HAL website has a thorough page outlining necessary travel documentation (http://www.hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-planning/PlanningAndAdvice.action?tabName=Cruise+Preparation&contentMenu=Passports,+Visas+%26+Vaccinations&WT.ac=pNavLP_AlreadyBooked_bx_EssentialDoc_btn) for U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. NOTE: it's strongly advised that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond our return date (i.e., until at least September 2017).

2017 Photobook: Digital

The JCC2016 photobook (a 60-page commemorative book filled with photos from last year's cruise) was a huge success, raising thousands of dollars for the Worldbuilders charity in the process. So big thanks to the many ShutterMonkeys (photo volunteers) and other folks who helped make it happen. It also wouldn’t have happened without Blackbox’s generous logistics support. Group hug!

For JoCo Cruise 2017, after consulting with our number-crunching and logistics monkeys, we’re excited to announce that the photobook is going ALL DIGITAL. And the very best part: we’re including it at no additional cost (i.e., it’s gonna be FREE.)

Turns out that producing a high-quality physical thing takes a lot more lead time than something made of ones and zeroes. Who knew? So we should be able to make a downloadable PDF available for your perusal much SOONER™ after this year's cruise. For those who still want a physical book, it’ll be formatted for you to be able to bring it to the online or brick-and-mortar print shop of your choosing.

Good Cabins Still Available

Yes, we know you're already booked on JoCo Cruise 2017, so mentioning this might seem like trying to sell a new car to someone sitting in a new car they just bought.

But we wanted to note that there are still cabins available on board—including some shmancy Neptune suites that have recently come available.

So if you're interested in upgrading (Neptune suites come with many wonderful amenities, from free laundry service and breakfast mimosas to concierge service and access to the exclusive Neptune lounge, and more!), have a looksee. And if you have friends who are still on the fence for some reason, please go push them off the fence(1).

Featured Sponsor - Blackbox!

Blackbox is a shipping company from the creators of Cards Against Humanity. Their mission is to help creators ship stuff directly to their fans for a fraction of the cost and effort on the part of the creators. They even ship for Kickstarter campaigns! Visit their very cool website to see if they're right for you.

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

58 days!

See you SOON™,

THO

(1)Onto our side of the fence, of course(2).

(2)And please push them gently, onto a pile of pillows if possible.


New Guest and Forum Announcements! (Thu, 22 Dec 2016)

Holly Jolly Sea Monkeys!

It's the second best time of the year! We don't know if there'll be snow but have an email update!

Riz Rollins Is On The Boat!

The Management is pleased to welcome DJ Riz Rollins to the 2017 lineup!

Check out Riz's bio below:
Writer and DJ Riz Rollins (just 'riz' to his friends) has been a presence in the Seattle music landscape where he has hosted a variety and electronica show on 90.3 fm (http://www.kexp.org/) for almost thirty years. A stalwart in both the club and event scene, he has played alongside a diverse roster of artists that includes Nirvana and James Brown, Die Antwoord and Funkadelic, Amon Tobin and Osunlade. Proficient with a plethora of styles that include disco, hip hop, house, world, R&B, ambient, jazz and gospel, he regrets that he won't be slugging his vinyl on this trip, but maybe he'll invite you over for tea and rekkid playing, hopefully soon.

JoCo Cruise Forums

It's reasonably well known that we employ a million monkeys sitting at a million typewriters at all times. Well, the monkeys have been busy lately—we upped their caffeine and Skittles intake—and they've conveniently churned out the code for JCC website discussion forums (https://jococruise.com/forums/) !

It's our hope that you'll use these forums to:

  • Organize activities amongst yourselves (especially shadow cruise events)
  • Socialize and perform other human functions in an Internet-enabled way without needing to traipse about on platforms owned by large brands (we are a tiny brand, yay!), and which do not reach all Sea Monkeys. (You're of course still welcome to use the Sea Monkey Facebook groups, etc.; these forums are merely another option for interaction, not intended as a replacement.)
  • Hear from THO in a less formal context than mass emails.

You'll need to log into your JCC User Account to post messages and replies. As these forums are brand new, we also welcome all feedback/suggestions regarding them.

Merch Stores Closing

Final reminder that tomorrow, 12/23, is the final day to order from the JCC2017 Online Merch Store and the Sponsors/Vintage Merch Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/sponsors/) to get the best available prices on the JCC2017 merch that you NEED AND MUST HAVE AND DEFINITELY WILL BUY. (We took an online course in marketing; did you see our subtle sales pitch there just now?)

Don't Forget Your Passport!

Passports are necessary for JoCo Cruise 2017. It generally takes 4-6 weeks to acquire a passport. Do not wait! Already have a passport? Please ensure that its expiration date is September 2017 or later. (This is a Holland America requirement.)

JoCo Cruise in the News: Professional Geek Podcast

Paul & Storm chatted with Professional Geek Podcast about their magical balancing act, JoCo Cruise & other nerdy stuff. Listen to the podcast episode here (http://www.professionalgeekpodcast.com/single-post/2016/12/20/Episode-14-Paul-Storm)!

Happy Holidays!

Thank you so much to our sponsors, performers, volunteers and, of course, our Sea Monkeys for making this crazy cruise possible. We hope you have a great holiday!

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

72 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Helper Monkeys and Crafty News! (Thu, 15 Dec 2016)

Hey there Sea Monkeys!

It's your weekly JoCo Cruise update!

Call for Helper Monkeys

Over the course of the week of JoCo Cruise, we rely on the aid and generosity of the Sea Monkeys who are willing to volunteer some of their time on board to help our events run smoothly—helping staff our information booth, keeping lines for events orderly and trouble-free, helping demo games and maintain our onboard game library, and so forth. These few, these happy few, we call our Helper Monkeys.

If you'd like to know more about being a 2017 Helper Monkey, you can check out our breakdown of the different Helper Monkey Departments (https://jococruise.com/jcc-2017-helper-monkey-departments/) . Note: we've updated the different categories—given our move to a full ship this year, there's some new ones, and some old ones have changed or been removed.

Apply to be a Helper Monkey here: https://jococruise.com/joco-cruise-2017-helper-monkeys-needed/

Many thanks in advance to those of you willing to Heed the Call and donate your time. The more, the merrier!

Crafting Space

The Westerdam has an entire room called the Digital Workshop. This workshop is usually dedicated to teaching the usual cruising clientele (who are…well, let's say they're “well-seasoned” or “not as used to daily computer use”) how to use email, Microsoft Word, and so forth. If ever there were a space wasted on a group of people, it's the Digital Workshop on our Sea Monkeys.

So, for JoCo Cruise, we are taking over the Digital Workshop, stuffing the computers into a closet for the week, and turning the room into a dedicated crafting space. We're working with our friends at Fiona's Fineries to stock the room with basic crafting supplies, and to schedule special crafting events and classes during the week.

Crafting, of course, won't be *limited* to this space; but it's a perfect spot for small groups (up to ~15-20) of our various knitters, scrapbookers, stitchers and other makers to gather, work together and share tips and info.

Merch Stores Closing

Today is the deadline for guaranteed pre-ordering from the JCC2017 Online Merch Store and the Sponsors/Vintage store.

Because we are Benevolent Overlords, we are going to leave both of these stores open until December 23rd. But we're placing our 2017 merch orders based on our sales numbers through today (after adding on our estimates of what we expect to sell on board the ship), so inventory will be “capped” from tomorrow forward. If there's a “run” on something after tomorrow, we could run out and then you'd miss out and be sad and maybe cry. (And *nobody* wants that. Not even Mean Carl who works in the warehouse.)

Booking Numbers / Shore Excursions Update

We've received a number of questions about this lately (variations on “when will I be getting my HAL booking number?”), so to address it all in one place:

The Home Office is almost finished reconciling everyone's cabin placement requests—a time- and labor-intensive process mostly handled by Office Manager and resident hero Anna. Once that's complete (which should be Very Soon™), the passenger manifest goes to Holland America, who'll assign everyone HAL booking numbers, which you can then use to “check-in online” on the HAL website, make spa and specialty restaurant reservations, etc. As soon as they do (we can't say how long it will take them, but hopefully not long), we'll be forwarding them to all of you.

Related: we're also currently working with HAL's Shore Excursion team to line up the best possible range of excursions and experiences in Cabo San Lucas and Loreto. Once you've received your HAL booking numbers, you'll be able to log in on their site and book the excursions you desire.

Sorry we can't be more specific, but we at least didn't want you to think we weren't working on it.

JoCo Cruise in the News - Open the Fridge

Check out this interview from Rob “T3K” Piontek of Open the Fridge! He chatted with Jonathan and Storm about music, Creative Commons and the JoCo Cruise. Click here to listen (http://www.openthefridge.net/2016/10/17/nycc-2016-interview-with-nerd-rock-stars-jonathan-coulton-and-greg-dicostanzo/)!

Sponsor Spotlight - ThinkGeek

If ThinkGeek isn't on your holiday radar for the geeks and nerds in your life, then you're in for a treat! Featuring tons of geeky products including apparel, functional and fun home and office decor, electronics and gadgets, outdoor and survival gear, collectibles, and much more, there's something for all types of geek.

“Find the perfect gift, whether your loved one is into science or science fiction.”

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

79 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Reminders: Merch Store & Shadow Cruise (Thu, 8 Dec 2016)

'Tis the Season!

Happy Holiday music time! We have some updates for you.

Merch Store Closes December 15th

You've only got one more week to pre-order JoCo Cruise 2017 merch (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/merch/index/) and Sponsor/Vintage merch (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/sponsors/) online. Store closes December 15th. Act soon, because studies have shown that snoozing has a high correlation with losing.

Reminder: Shadow Cruise and Shadow TV submission forms

A quick reminder, per last week's email, that you can now submit Shadow Cruise events as well as content for the Shadow TV Channel (https://goo.gl/forms/xaNUXZcQady299Hr2). Only you can put the “U” in “cruise”! (Good news—the preceding sentence has been nominated for Worst Sentence Ever Written about JoCo Cruise for the 2017 Cruisey Awards!)

Sponsor Spotlight - Greater Than Games

Greater Than Games, LLC is focused on cooperative gaming and gaming as a group experience, rather than as a competition. They make innovative games with mechanics designed to facilitate the sorts of gaming experiences that they've always wanted to have!

“We love playing games and we love our ridiculous process of game creation, and we hope to continue producing high quality tabletop games for many years to come. Our passion for board games, dedication to quality, and guiding life philosophies are reflected in the innovative designers, keen developers, and talented artists that we choose to work with.”

(https://greaterthangames.com/)

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

86 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Shadow Cruise Events, "Shadow TV" and More! (Thu, 1 Dec 2016)

Winter is Coming, Sea Monkeys

Just thought you should be aware. Also, you know…brace yourselves and stuff.

Shadow Cruise Event Submissions Are Open!

For those of you new to JoCo Cruise, one of our very favorite parts is the way passengers self-organize for a whole range of activities. Early on in the cruise's history, this process was labeled the “Shadow Cruise,” and each year we dedicate time and spaces on board for Sea Monkeys to do any manner of things. Swing dance lessons, crafting, book clubs, mini-concerts and song circles, support groups, hangouts, video gaming, stargazing…you name it.

Got an idea for a new Shadow Cruise event? Returning and planning to resubmit an annual favorite? Use the JoCo Cruise 2017 Shadow Cruise Event Submission Form (https://jococruise.com/jcc-2017-shadow-event-requests/) to submit your Shadow Cruise Event.

Shadow Master Bob Gorski returns once again this year to help coordinate all Shadow Cruise events (as he has in previous years) according to schedule, capacity and technical needs and limitations.

As in previous years, Shadow Cruise events will not be scheduled to conflict with the daily Main Concerts or while in port (unless specifically requested).

Introducing Shadow TV

This year we will have control of several of the ship's broadcast TV channels. We are dedicating one of the channels to passenger-created content— “Shadow TV”. Have you made something you think the other Sea Monkeys would enjoy watching? Use the Shadow TV Channel Content Submission Formto submit original content for broadcast on board.

IMPORTANT: You MUST control all rights to all content (audio and video) in your submission. Don't submit, say, a “Weird Al” video, or an original video with someone else's music on the soundtrack.

Please use the form to submit all media via a download/cloud storage service (Google Drive, Dropbox, box.com, etc.), DO NOT email it directly. No Flash video, and please no obscure/esoteric video formats. No YouTube videos; all submissions must be downloadable.

The Management will review all submissions and reserves the right to approve or reject submissions for any reason, including (but not limited to): copyright violations and/or violations of the JoCo Cruise Code of Conduct.

Submissions deadline: February 1, 2017. You may submit multiple items; but one submission only per form entry, please. We will not be accepting submissions after Feb. 1st or during the cruise itself.

Online Merch Store Reminder

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Spendalot Tuesday and Coin Purse-Jingling Wednesday have all come and gone, but the JoCo Cruise Merch Store and Sponsors and Vintage Merch Store remain open for all your JoCo Cruise 2017-related mercantile needs.

As a reminder, the stores are only open through December 15th, so don't dawdle too long. (2017 merch will be available on board, but at a hefty cruise-store markup.)

JoCo Cruise in the News

Geek & Sundry got the low-down on JoCo Cruise from Jonathan and Storm at New York Comic Con 2016. Check it out here (http://geekandsundry.com/hit-the-high-seas-with-your-favorite-celebrities-on-joco-cruise/).

Sponsor Spotlight - Worldbuilders!

Worldbuilders is a charity founded by author Pat Rothfuss in order to use the collective power of readers, fellow authors and book lovers to make the world a better place. Specifically, the money raised by Worldbuilders goes to three charities: Heifer International, Mercy Crops and First Book. These charities bring aid, education and literacy to those in need. A portion of the sales from JoCo Cruise 2017 will benefit Worldbuilders. (https://worldbuilders.org/)

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

93 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Store Fixed: Vintage and Sponsor Merch (Wed, 23 Nov 2016)

Sponsor & “Vintage” Merch Store… Now With More “Functioning Properly”

Hola monos del mar,

Earlier today we launched our sponsor and “vintage” merch store to much fanfare. HOWEVER, along with that fanfare there was an insidious and unchanged configuration boolean that launched as well.

Long story short, the store was set up to go through a test version of Paypal that definitely didn't work. If you bashed your head against this problem we are sorry. We can assure you that the responsible parties have been thrashed.

The Sponsor and Vintage Merch Now Works as Advertised.

So please step right on in to the JoCo Cruise 2017 Sponsors and Vintage Merchandise Online Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/sponsors/)! (You'll be prompted to login to your JCC User Account if you're not already logged in.)

Like the “main” JCC2017 Merch Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/merch/) , this store will remain open for pre-ordering through December 15th; all orders placed will be delivered to your stateroom on Day 1 of the cruise.

Also, please note: “Vintage” merch will *only* be available for pre-order, and will not be available for sale on the ship. (Whereas 2017 merch *will* be available, but at a significant markup because of the ship's store system.) And in many cases, there are VERY LIMITED quantities available—so don't miss out.

Finally: Sponsor and Vintage merch is not eligible for, nor subject to, the discounts available in our “main” store.


Vintage and Sponsor Merch, ThinkGeek Winner and More! (Wed, 23 Nov 2016)

Happy Turkey Eve, Sea Monkeys!

Hug a turkey to celebrate. That's how this works, right?

“Vintage” and Sponsor Merch Store Now Open

We've been cleaning up the Home Office basement, and we found a bunch of perfectly good stuff on the back shelves. Specifically: limited supplies of items from JoCo Cruise 2016! Oddly, though, the folks at Antiques Roadshow didn't seem to think it was for them. Fine. Their loss.

And your merchandise cup overfloweth even more…eth! Several of JoCo Cruise 2017's sponsors—Greater Than Games, Green Ronin and The Broken Token—are making a number of products available online for our passengers as well. There's all sorts to choose from: RPGs; board, card and dice games; expansions; plus a number of JoCo Cruise-branded special items!

So please step right on in to the JoCo Cruise 2017 Sponsors and Vintage Merchandise Online Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/sponsors/)! (You'll be prompted to login to your JCC User Account if you're not already logged in.)

Like the “main” JCC2017 Merch Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/merch/), this store will remain open for pre-ordering through December 15th; all orders placed will be delivered to your stateroom on Day 1 of the cruise.

Also, please note: “Vintage” merch will *only* be available for pre-order, and will not be available for sale on the ship. (Whereas 2017 merch *will* be available, but at a significant markup because of the ship's store system.) And in many cases, there are VERY LIMITED quantities available—so don't miss out.

Finally: Sponsor and Vintage merch is not eligible for, nor subject to, the discounts available in our “main” store.

Returning Monkey Status and Dinner Seating Reminder

Per last week's email: please log in to your User Account (https://jococruise.com/2017/account/home/) to select your booking's preference for Early or Late dinner seating (or no preference), and to confirm that our records regarding Returning Monkey Status for you and your booking companions are correct.

Any Returning Monkey Status corrections are requested ASAP; we need this information to help us with some Home Office stuff!

Bookings with no dinner seating selection after November 30 will be assumed to have no preference, and will be assigned accordingly.

(Please note that only the “primary contact” for a booking can make dinner seating and bed orientation selections for your booking.)

ThinkGeek Contest Winner!

Congrats to Michael Simpson, the winner of the ThinkGeek (https://www.thinkgeek.com/) JoCo Cruise Giveaway Contest! You may know Michael as the magician The Amazing Bart. We're so excited to have him joining us on the cruise!

Sponsor Spotlight - Everyone!

On the day before the day all about giving thanks, it seems appropriate to thank EVERYONE for helping to make JoCo Cruise awesome. From our sponsors (https://jococruise.com/#sponsors) to the Sea Monkeys to everyone in between who has helped make this cruise so much fun: we are genuinely very thankful for you all.

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

101 days (and dalmatians)!

See you SOON™,

THO


Merch Store Now Open, Plus Other Updates and Reminders (Thu, 17 Nov 2016)

JoCo Cruise 2017 Store is NOW OPEN!

It's the moment that some percentage of you have been waiting for with varying degrees of anticipation (we don't like to dictate): the JoCo Cruise 2017 Online Merch Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/merch/) is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Now is your chance to pre-order official JoCo Cruise merchandise.

For those of you new to us: the Online Merch Store (https://jococruise.com/2017/shop/merch/) will be open between now and December 15th. You can go to the store—you'll be automatically prompted to log into your User Account—to place orders between now and then, and your order total will be added to your User Account balance, which you can then pay at your convenience. Once on board JoCo Cruise 2017, all ordered merchandise will be delivered directly to your stateroom. How convenient! And no postage & handling charges!

Our merch will be available on board the cruise as well; but all sales on board must go through the ship's store system, which adds a significant markup. So you'll never get better prices on JoCo Cruise 2017 merch than right now. Plus, all online orders of $51 or more will receive 5% off their order, and online orders of $85 or more will receive 10% off.

The art for this year's merchandise was created by Alison Cowles, a wonderful young artist who's done work for They Might Be Giants, among others—and has also had several songs featured on Sesame Street. Neat!

This year, we've got two different t-shirts, polo shirts, lapel pins, challenge coins and posters! We also have a limited supply of custom dice sets and emoji magnet sets from JCC2016. Get 'em while they're hot!

Reminders: Dinner Seating, Returning Monkey Status (Cruise History), Bed Configuration

As noted in last week's email, we've requested you log in to your User Account (https://jococruise.com/2017/account/home/) to do two things:

  1. Confirm that our records regarding Returning Monkey Status (past cruises) for you and your booking companions are correct
  2. Select your dinner seating (Early or Late)
  3. Confirm that the beds in your cabin are configured properly (separate or together)

We ask that you please confirm your Returning Monkey status(es) and bed configuration ASAP; we need this information to help us with some Home Office stuff.

Additionally, you must select your dinner seating (which also determines which daily Main Concert you'll attend) before November 30th. Those who have not made a selection by then will be assumed to have no preference. (NOTE: everyone in a given booking receives the same dinner seating; if you wish to “split the party” dinner-wise within your booking, please contact us directly.)

ALSO NOTE: so far, more people have selected Early Dinner than Late. If the current trend holds, we will have too many people at Early Dinner and will be forced to reassign some people. If you haven't selected yet, please consider the Late Dinner—or better yet, No Preference—and if you're selected the Early Dinner but would be willing to switch, please consider doing so. Many thanks for your help and consideration in this matter.

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

Don't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego!

There are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

JoCo Cruise in the News

Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm were on GeekDad’s The Great Big Beautiful Podcast! Listen Here (http://jococruise.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=611c1ed9f37c639055a7017fe&id=997ef9f83b&e=8fc26bbb29)!

They discussed JoCo Cruise, whether they were ever pushed to be more “mainstream” in their music, STEM vs the arts, how the internet has become a crutch for many musicians, and the future of the music industry. And stick around after their chat for a performance of “You Ruined Everything” from the October 8th show at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

Sponsor Spotlight - The Broken Token!

The Broken Token designs and sells organizers and accessories for table top games! Their organizers are designed to optimize space within a game’s box, and combine base games and expansions into one box. Faster set-up. Faster clean-up. Get your favorite games to the table more often and simplify game night! (http://jococruise.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=611c1ed9f37c639055a7017fe&id=be4874079b&e=8fc26bbb29)

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

107 days!

See you SOON™,

THO


Hey there, Sea Monkeys.

Everyone can always use some good news—and we're happy to put some more of it out there!

Hrishikesh Hirway is joining JoCo Cruise and bringing his Song Exploder podcast with him!

Hrishi is a musician and composer. He makes music as half of the band Moors, and on his own as The One AM Radio. He scored the films Our Nixon and Save the Date. Hrishi is also the creator and host of the podcasts Song Exploder and The West Wing Weekly. He studied art and design at Yale University, and lives in Los Angeles. On Song Exploder, musicians take apart a song, and piece by piece, tell the story of how it was made. The show is produced and edited by Hrishikesh Hirway. His own background as a songwriter, producer, and arranger (with his project The One AM Radio) led him to doing remixes for other artists, and every time he would hear the isolated tracks for their songs, he found it fascinating. Inspired by that, along with a love of editing, and stories about problem-solving and creativity, Hrishi launched the show on January 1, 2014. The inaugural episode was with Jimmy Tamborello of The Postal Service, deconstructing their song “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” Since then, guests have included Spoon, U2, The Microphones, Tune-Yards, The Books, Julia Holter and other innovative artists letting listeners into their recordings and their process. Song Exploder has also aired on NPR's All Things Considered and on 99% Invisible.

Dinner / Main Concert Preference

On most days there will be two Main Concerts in the Vista Lounge (the ship's main theater) and two dinner seatings: early (5:00 pm) and late (7:30 pm). The early dinner seating sees the late show, and vice versa. (Early and late seatings will see the same performers.)

If you login to your User Account (https://jococruise.com/2017/account/home/), you'll see a section in the lower left where you can select your preference for Early Dinner/Late Show, Late Dinner/Early Show, or No Preference.

If you have a preference, please go there and select one before November 30th. We will do our best to accommodate all requests, but please note that expressing a preference does not guarantee your being assigned that seating.

Confirm Your Returning Monkey Status

We've done some tinkering (read: chained Scarface to an SQL terminal) and everyone's User Accounts are now linked to their past JoCo Cruise history. We can't decide if we are more excited about the deep bench of Sea Monkey veterans, or the legions of glinting, newly minted Sea Monkeys soon to join us on the high seas. Why not both? Cheers to you ALL!

We want to be sure our Returning Monkey data is accurate though, so we need your help! Please check out the Returning Monkey status for yourself and those in your booking via your User Account (https://jococruise.com/2017/account/home/) in the “Your Past Cruises” section. If we're missing any sailings for you or anyone in your booking, please email booking@jococruise.com so we can update our records.

Please Note: our data on JCC1 is spotty. It was almost 7 years ago! (That's 49 in dog years!)

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

One more friendly reminder that you shouldn't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego. While our block at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside is sold out (sad emoji), there are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

Excited about the latest update? Share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

See you SOON (TM),

THO


Announcing New Guests and Performances! (Wed, 2 Nov 2016)

Ahoy There, Sea Monkeys!

We are so excited about our newly added guests and performances - so hang on to your fezzes!

First, we heard you like podcasts, so we put more podcasts on the boat! We are overjoyed to announce that Welcome to Night Vale and Unattended Consequences, along with Sawbones, We Got This with Mark and Hal, Gosh Darn Fiasco, The Dork Forest and The J.V. Club, will all be performing live on JoCo Cruise 2017!

This means we have a few new guests! Joining us from Welcome to Night Vale are Jeffrey Cranor (NEW!), Cecil Baldwin, Symphony Sanders and Jon Bernstein. Joining us from Unattended Consequences is Max Temkin.

We’re also having a tingle-moment because Nerf Herder, the band perhaps best known for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer theme song, is also joining us this year!

We’ve got more info about the podcasts, guests and bands below, so feel free to share the good news with your friends all over the interwebz using #JoCoCruise!

MAX TEMKIN is a designer and consultant for clients like Barack Obama, Jonathan Coulton, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He is on the National Finance Committee of Hillary for America, the executive board of the Chicago Design Museum and Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, the National Advisory Committee of DonorsChoose.org, and a member of the Patriotic Millionaires. He is a co-founder of Blackbox, a new shipping company that helps independent artists send physical goods to their customers. He also makes the games Cards Against Humanity, Secret Hitler, Humans vs. Zombies, Slap .45, Tableflip, and Werewolf, and published Samurai Gunn.

UNATTENDED CONSEQUENCES is a weekly podcast conversation between Patrick Rothfuss (Name of the Wind) and Max Temkin (Cards Against Humanity).

JEFFREY CRANOR co-writes the podcasts Welcome to Night Vale and Within the Wires. He also makes theater and dance. He has written more than 100 short plays with the New York Neo-Futurists, and collaborated with choreographer (also wife) Jillian Sweeney to create three full-length dance pieces: Imaginary Lines, This could be it., and Vulture-Wally. Jeffrey lives in New York State.

CECIL BALDWIN is the narrator of the hit podcast Welcome To Night Vale. He is an alumnus of the New York Neo-Futurists, performing in their late-night show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, as well as Drama Desk-nominated The Complete and Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O’Neill Vol. 2. Cecil has performed at The Shakespeare Theatre DC, Studio Theatre (including the world premiere production of Neil Labute’s Autobahn), The Kennedy Center, The National Players, LaMaMa E.T.C., Emerging Artists Theatre, and at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Film/TV credits include Braden in The Outs (Vimeo), the voice of Tad Strange in Gravity Falls (Disney XD), The Fool in Lear (with Paul Sorvino), and indie film Billie Joe Bob. Cecil has been featured on podcasts such as Ask Me Another (NPR), Selected Shorts (PRI), Shipwreck, Big Data and Our Fair City.

SYMPHONY SANDERS is a Chicago based actor and circus performer. As an actor she has performed in many of Chicago's regional theatres, in commercials, in the air and in voiceover. As the voice of Tamika Flynn on Welcome to Night Vale she gets to be a badass book lover where in real life she is much less well read but no less badass.

JON BERNSTEIN is the creator of Disparition is an electro-acoustic music project. Bernstein is a composer, producer, and sound designer based in Brooklyn, NY. His most recent album is Palm in Mirror.

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide. Written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Narrated by Cecil Baldwin. Music by Disparition. Logo by Rob Wilson.

NERF HERDER are best known for their powerful theme to the iconic Joss Whedon TV show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and are pioneers of the late 90’s Pop-Punk and Geek Rock movements. Formed in Santa Barbara, California, in 1994, Nerf Herder was signed to major label Arista Records soon after their ironic tribute “Van Halen” stormed the Modern Rock charts in 1996. The video for their follow-up single, “Sorry”, featured Mark Hamill and Miguel Ferrer, and played regularly on MTV. Following years saw the band touring the world multiple times, and releasing a number of albums on various labels, including esteemed indie punk label Fat Wreck Chords and novelty powerhouse Oglio Records.

The current band features founding members Parry Gripp and Steve Sherlock, with newer members Linus Dotson and Ben Pringle. Nerf Herder’s 5th album Rockingham is an explosion of geekness with songs like “At The Con,” a song written after a performance at DragonCon last year, “Ghostbusters III,” a lamenting tune about how the sequel will never be released, and “I’m The Droid (You’re Looking For),” which is made entirely of lines from Star Wars and was recorded at Skywalker Ranch.

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

One more friendly reminder that you shouldn't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego. While our block at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside is sold out (sad emoji), there are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

See you SOON (TM),

THO


More Guests! Loreto Music & Food Festival! Marriott! (Fri, 30 Sep 2016)

2017 Itinerary - Loreto Festival (JoCoachella)

The first big scoop: we’re altering our itinerary for 2017. Specifically, we'll have an extra day in Loreto. Specifically specifically, because on the afternoon and evening of Tuesday, March 7 (i.e. smack-dab in the middle of JoCo Cruise), we'll be holding a music and food festival that we’re calling “JoCoachella”.

We’ve already visited Loreto to do initial planning, and it’s going to be amazing. Not only will JoCoachella be a big event that *everyone* can attend all together, in the same space, but the town of Loreto is the perfect location. Its lovely (and huge) town square and beautiful historic Mission will be an awesome setting for a full slate of music, including Jonathan's big “full band” set. And with the town’s help, we’re working with Loreto's many restaurants and vendors to provide opportunities for everyone to sample the local cuisine. Plans are still under development, but we are already really excited about this event.

We’re also working with Holland America to offer excursions on both days in Loreto (we will of course be staying overnight on the Westerdam) to enjoy the sights and wildlife of the Sea of Cortez, one of the world’s most incredible marine environments. Yep, we’re looking into excursions to see the California Great Whale Migration up close.

In order to provide these experiences, we needed to alter our itinerary; we’ll no longer be stopping in Pichilingue. (Itinerary logistics wouldn't allow for both the Loreto festival and a third port of call, and the prospect of JoCoachella was important and awesome enough to merit the change.)

However, Holland America has also signed off on a rare treat: scenic cruising through Bahia Magdalena on our return trip. Bahia Magdalena is a wildlife-abundant 50 km-long bay along the western coast of Baja California Sur, known for its beautiful vistas, fishing villages and abundant wildlife. It’s home to an amazing array of birds including eagles, pelicans, herons and ibis, and is also on the California Gray Whale migration route. We’re tentatively planning a Lido Deck barbecue/party for everyone during our transit through Bahia Magdalena, the better to aid in our appreciation of the views.

So our new itinerary looks like this:

  • Day 1 - Sat. 03/04 - San Diego, CA (depart 4 pm)
  • Day 2 - Sun. 03/05 - At Sea
  • Day 3 - Mon. 03/06 - Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico (11:00 am - 7 pm)
  • Day 4 - Tue. 03/07 - Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico (11 am - overnight)
  • Day 5 - Wed. 03/08 - Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico (overnight - 3 pm)
  • Day 6 - Thu. 03/09 - At Sea / Scenic cruising in Bahia Magdalena (3:30 pm - 6 pm)
  • Day 7 - Fri. 03/10 - At Sea
  • Day 8 - Sat. 03/11 - San Diego, CA (arrive 7 am)

More Performers and Guests (also PODCASTS!)

We are also happy to announce our next round of performers and featured guests:

Additionally, the following podcasts will be recording live on board:

Neat! And still more on the way!

Finally, one less-happy performer update: due to schedule conflicts, Adam Savage will be unable to attend JoCoCruise 2017. He wishes us to convey his deepest regrets; he was really, truly excited to come.

JoCo Marriott — While Supplies Last!

One more friendly reminder that you shouldn't wait too long to book your pre-cruise hotel in San Diego. While our block at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside is sold out (sad emoji), there are still rooms available at the incredible San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels).

Visit our Travel and Accommodations page (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what-2017/#hotels) for full booking details.

154 days!

THO.


JoCo Cruise 2017: San Diego Hotels Going Fast (Sat, 13 Aug 2016)

San Diego Hotel Rooms - Get 'em while They're Hot!

If you haven't booked your pre-cruise hotel room yet, you probably don't want to wait; our block at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside is already sold out, and we don't expect to add any more rooms there. There are still rooms available at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina for the special JoCo Cruise rate (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what/#hotels) , but don't wait too long–you'll miss out.

Visit our Travel and Accommodations (https://jococruise.com/im-booked-now-what/#hotels) page for full booking details.


JoCo Cruise 2017 - Club HAL Update (Tue, 07 Jun 2016)

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding our recent announcement re: Club HAL (in the previous email we sent out), both in email and in the JCC2027 Facebook group; and we’ve been listening. After careful review, we’ve decided to restore Club HAL's normal operations—i.e., childcare services—during JoCo Cruise 2017.

Our original decision to base Home Office operations in Club HAL wasn’t made lightly, and was made with the best information available to us at the time (including the relatively low number of 2017 bookings with kids). However, we underestimated how essential Club HAL’s services are to many of those families—especially single parents and those with younger children.

Although relocating The Home Office will add some operational complexity, we’re confident it won’t affect our ability to make JCC2017 the most amazing experience possible.

Thank you to all the folks traveling with kids who reached out to us. We appreciate your candor, and hope that we’ll continue to hold your trust as we plan for JCC2017. Thank you also to the larger Sea Monkey community for bearing with us as we assessed the situation. As we get closer to sailing and begin soliciting Shadow Cruise events, we hope that those who talked about putting together activities geared towards kids will pick up those discussions.

But for now, we can all get back to dreaming about the sea. We’ll keep planning for the madness that will float on top of it next March, and continue to keep everyone informed as things click into place. Although we know we can never make 100% of the people 100% happy 100% of the time, our central aim remains unchanged: for JoCo Cruise to be the most amazing experience possible, for the largest proportion of people possible.

THO


JoCo Cruise 2017 Official Hotels; Club HAL Announcement; Pinnacle Suites (Fri, 27 May 2016)

Hola Monos de Mar,

For people planning to arrive in San Diego for JoCo Cruise 2017 one or more days beforehand—and we do recommend it, to avoid any last-minute delays—we have secured special rates for Sea Monkeys at two different San Diego hotels: the Wyndham San Diego Bayside and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina.

The Marriott Marquis, located right next to the San Diego Convention Center and the city's Gaslamp Quarter, will be familiar to anyone who has ever attended San Diego Comic Con, and is an amazing place to hang out (especially the pool areas). The Wyndham has the benefit of being literally across the street from the cruise port—it'll be a mere five minute walk from the hotel's front door to the *Westerdam* in the morning.

You're not *required* to stay at either of these hotels, of course. But it's a great way to ease your way into the JoCo Cruise vibe, hanging out with your fellow Sea Monkeys, gaming, chilling by the pool, and so forth. And we do recommend booking sooner rather than later, as there is limited availability in our discounted room allotments (especially the Wyndham).

San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina

  • Book online via our dedicated page; or call (877) 622-3056 (tell them you're with the JoCo Cruise group)
  • Nightly rate: $289 double / $309 triple / $329 quad occupancy (plus taxes and fees)
  • Complimentary Basic Wi-Fi access in guest rooms for all Marriott Rewards Members (free to join)
  • Parking: $32/day self-park, $47/day valet
  • Must reserve by February 10, 2017
  • Rate available for March 3, 2017 (subject to availability), with additional limited availability for March 2, 2017.

See San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina website for full list of amenities and further info.

Wyndham San Diego Bayside

  • Book online via our dedicated page (select Guest Type “ATTENDEE”); or call (619) 232-3861 (tell them you're with the JoCo Cruise group)
  • Nightly rate: $189 single & double / $209 triple / $229 quad occupancy (plus taxes and fees)
  • Airport shuttle included
  • Free wifi
  • Hotel is literally [across the street from the cruiseport](https://goo.gl/maps/hR9hT1GgdjL2)
  • Parking: $18/day
  • Must reserve by Feb 3, 2017
  • Rate available for March 3, 2017 (subject to availability), with additional limited availability for March 1 & 2, 2017.

See Wyndham San Diego Bayside website for full list of amenities and further info.

IMPORTANT INFO if You're Sailing with Kids

We regret to announce that Club HAL (the ship's youth program for passengers ages 3-17) will not be available on JoCo Cruise 2017. (JCC2017 needs increased Central Office space, and using Club Hal is the least disruptive to the rest of the cruise.) Although we’re planning to have plenty of kid-friendly activities throughout the week, and babysitting services will still be available via the ship, we wanted to inform those traveling with kids of this change.

If the availability of Club HAL was essential to your plans for and participation in JoCo Cruise 2017, please contact us directly.

Pinnacle Suites Available for Booking

Are you interested in doing JoCo Cruise 2017 in *style*? Like, old-school, fanciest-of-pants style? Then we recommend you book one of the *Westerdam's* ultra-luxury Pinnacle Suites, which are schmancy indeed (and suitable for entertaining small gatherings). If you’re interested in booking a Pinnacle Suite, please email us directly.

281 days!

THO.


JCC2017 Survey; User Accounts; and More (Tue, 05 Apr 2016)

Hello, Sea Monkeys!

We Have Some Questions for You…

As we slowly—but surely—work our way towards next March, we'd like to ask you, the attendees of JoCo Cruise 2017, some questions regarding your plans and expectations for the big event.

Please take a few moments to fill out our JoCo Cruise 2017 Activities Survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZRDBVS8. It won't take long, and your responses will be *extremely* helpful in our planning for 2017, especially in helping us gauge levels of interest in different types of events and activities, which will inform us on how to most effectively allocate the spaces and organizational resources at our disposal. Your responses are also completely anonymous, and won't be shared with anyone beyond The Management. Much obliged.

2017 User Account System is Up and Running!

Everyone should have received an email notifying you that the 2017 User Account System is now up and running (you can log in here (https://jococruise.com/2017/account/)). You can now make additional payments, and primary contacts can invite others in your booking to create their own user accounts to enter their personal information and make payments (as applicable). Everyone in your booking with a user account will receive email updates from JoCo Cruise. (Hey—like this one you're reading now!)

JoCo Cruise 2017 Smoking Policy

Questions regarding our smoking policy have come up several times recently, so we've updated our FAQ (https://jococruise.com/faq/#what-is-your-smoking-policy) to explain it more explicitly. But to be thorough…

The *ms Westerdam* will have several smoking areas available on board, both indoors and outdoors. (Specific smoking areas are TBD after we take our initial site inspection cruise.)

Please note that for 2017, consistent with the past several years, JoCo Cruise will maintain a policy of no smoking of cigarettes, cigars or pipes on cabin balconies. Vaping/e-cigarettes *will* be permitted on cabin balconies, as well as inside cabins and in other appointed smoking areas.

If you do not wish to be placed next to a “vaping” balcony, or if you plan to vape on your balcony, please see the applicable dropdown question in the “Stateroom Placement” section of your JCC User Account. (The default response is “I don't vape, but don't mind being near a vaping cabin” so if that applies to you, there's no need for any further action.) *Note that cabin placement requests may only be made by a booking's “primary contact.”*

This decision was not made lightly, and involved lengthy consideration and discussion of the issue. We understand that some will be inconvenienced by this policy. We regret any inconvenience experienced as a result, but have determined that maintaining a non-smoking policy on balconies is the right decision for the group as a whole.

5% Pay in Full Discount Deadline Changed

We've announced this elsewhere, and it doesn't really apply to you people directly at this point, but just to be thorough: the new final day for new bookings to receive 5% off the total cabin price by paying in full at the time of booking is May 14, 2016.

If you have any friends or family considering the cruise and considering paying in full, please have them bear this new date in mind.

(This is, in truth, because so many of you took advantage of the 10% PIF discount window.)

LOTS more to come!

333 days,

The Home Office.


Ahoy!

At long last, the JoCo Cruise 2017 User Account System is seaworthy. It took a while to dry her off after Scarface broke a bottle of champagne against our server rack (he’s been fired) and christened her the *HMS Rowhammer*, but we believe that everything is now ship-shape and, most importantly, not shorted out.

Your user account is where you can view your booking, edit passenger data, update your cabin placement requests (if you are the primary contact), and make additional payments on your booking. In the future, other features will be accessible to those with user accounts. Finally, only those with user accounts connected to their passenger record receive JoCo Cruise 2017 email updates, so it's important that you invite your cabin mates to create their own user accounts.

If you are tired of reading, you can visit your user account right now! You’ll need to login. Add this link to your bookmarks!

https://jococruise.com/2017/account/

Please note: this link is different from the link you received in your confirmation email, which was incorrect, as it pointed to the 2016 User Account System. Ignore/delete/destroy the old link, and may it never be spoken of again!

How to invite your friends to the User Account System

To invite a guest to join your booking, you must be the primary contact (i.e., listed first in your booking’s guest list). Click on the “Edit” button next to the guest’s name and select “Invite this guest to fill out their own information” in the “What type of guest is this” box at the top of the Edit Guest screen. This will send an invitation link to the guest; it will also show you their invitation link, should you want to remind and email them their link in the future. If this option is already selected, the guest received an email invite earlier today.

Once the guest links their account to your booking, they will need to fill out their birthdate and other information HAL requires for all booked passengers.

About cabin placement requests

We will be placing guests in cabins later this year, and will attempt to satisfy all the placement requests we receive. For now, primary contacts can edit their placement requests in the User Account System before we review them all. Other guests should coordinate with the primary contact to fill out the placement request form. All registered guests in the booking can view the placement requests, but only the primary contact can edit them. We'll give everyone fair notice (at least one week) via email before all placement requests must be finalized. <br/>

As always, reply to this email with any questions about the User Account System and we will get you sorted out!

340 days!

THO


JoCo Cruise 2016 Photobook Orders; 2017 Booking (Thu, 24 Mar 2016)

Hi everyone; it's us again. We have a couple quick JoCo Cruise 2016 announcements that may be relevant to your interests…

2016 Photobook Ordering

Did you miss your chance to order the 2016 JoCo Cruise Photobook? NO, YOU DIDN’T.

For a limited time—specifically, through April 15th—you can still order the 2016 JoCo Cruise Photobook for $90 at the Photobook Ordering Page (https://jococruise.com/pb2016/). The Photobook, put together in conjunction with the JCC ShutterMonkeys (coordinated by photographer Steve Petrucelli) is a “yearbook” of sorts, highlighting the events, parties, hap’nin’s, and shenanigans that took place during this year’s cruise. All profits will go to the Worldbuilders charity, with Blackbox contributing all fulfillment services. (Estimated delivery to the address of your choice: June 2016.)

Act soon, though, because once we close sales on April 15, the 2016 Photobook will never be sold again. And never is a mighty long time.

JoCo Cruise 2017 - New 5% Pay in Full Discount Deadline

To the many who have already booked next year’s cruise: thank you for joining us again. It’s going to be AMAZING, and planning is already full steam ahead.

For those who have yet to book, or have friends who might be interested: the deadline for the 5% Pay in Full Discount (https://jococruise.com/pricing/#payinfull) has changed. The new final day to pay in full and receive 5% off your total cabin price is May 14, 2016. (This is, in truth, because so many of you took advantage of the 10% PIF discount window.)

Finally, thank you again for being part of JoCo Cruise 2016. The memories and always-amazing community of Sea Monkeys keeps us chugging all year long.

THO.


  • email_archive/email_archive_2017.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/12/26 14:45
  • by nessa