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

Email Archive: 2018 Sailing

We Did It! 2018 Wrap-up and Exit Survey (Sat, 3 Mar 2018)

Aww, Is It Over Already?

Well, we're all back on land, even if our inner ears are telling some of us otherwise. (We promise, it will go away!)

We once again want to thank every single one of you for making JoCo Cruise 2018 such a fabulous experience all-around. Dare we say it…? Best. Cruise. Ever.

Exit Survey

It's no secret that it's the Sea Monkeys who make every JoCo Cruise great. We very much value your thoughts, input and suggestions. As such, we ask that you please take a few minutes to fill out our JoCo Cruise 2018 Exit Survey ( . Your replies are completely anonymous, so please feel free to be as honest as possible. It's wonderful to hear about all the things you loved, but it's equally important for us to hear about anything you believe could use improvement, so that we can continue working to make every JoCo Cruise the Best. Cruise. Ever.

Please make sure you share the above link with everyone else in your booking, so that we can get as complete a set of responses as possible.

JoCo Cruise 2018 Exit Survey

2019 Onboard Booking - Reminder

Those of you who booked JoCo Cruise 2019 while onboard the 2018 cruise should all have received an email confirmation at this point. If you booked but have not received a confirmation yet, please contact us ASAP.

Also, as a reminder, your payment is due by March 5th—a minimum payment of $375/person, or your complete balance if you elected to pay in full—to retain your onboard booking.

Please also make sure you've reviewed the JoCo Cruise 2019 Terms and Conditions ( .

#JoCoCruise Memories Giveaway

Oh, you thought because “we're no longer on the cruise” you were safe from our daily giveaway? Wrong! No one is safe from awesome gifts! Starting Monday we're giving away tons of prizes via Facebook ( , Twitter ( and Instagram ( , so keep your eyes peeled all week for your chance to win board games, gaming accessories, crafty items and more!


During Day 6 of the cruise, a number of posts and threads on Twit-arr were deemed by the Management to contain bullying, offensive and/or problematic content in violation of the our Code of Conduct (and several of which resulted in Code of Conduct Violation reports, which were dealt with by JoCo Cruise and our Code of Conduct Advisory board).

Because policies, procedures and workforce were not in place to adequately monitor and moderate Twit-arr content, and because our primary responsibility is to try to protect the health and well-being of our passengers, the Management had Twit-arr taken offline. Coding changes were made to re-enable just Seamail and Calendar functionality, and these services were reactivated the morning of Day 7. We apologize for the inconvenience this downtime may have caused anyone.

JoCo Cruise and the Twit-arr team will be working together over the next year to develop more effective and safe messaging solutions on JCC2019 and beyond. We'll solicit and encourage Sea Monkeys’ suggestions and input once we begin that process.

We'll see you at the taco bar in our dreams!


Boarding Process and Day 1 Info (Thu, 15 Feb 2018)

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 Sunday, Feb. 18th—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, assuming you've checked in online ( like we've mentioned repeatedly. Online check-in must be done 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.

When Can I Board?

General check-in and boarding should begin on Sunday 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

When you check in at the pier, you'll receive your stateroom keycard (which you'll also use for all onboard purchases), as well as the JoCo Cruise Handbook (a.k.a. “the blue book”) and a printed schedule of the Official Events. Immediately following your HAL check-in, there'll be a secondary set of tables where you'll get your Red Team/Gold Team wristbands (for Main Concert access), and your badges and lanyards. There'll be several table with Sharpies for writing your name on your badge. (Badges also include an optional “Ask me about…” section as a potential conversation starter and to share your enthusiasms.)

NOTE: when you originally booked JoCo Cruise 2018, the primary contact agreed to the JCC2018 Terms and Conditions on your booking's behalf. During the HAL check-in at the pier, all adults will need to sign the JCC2018 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 at the start, then again at the end (in case anyone couldn't get through boarding in time for the start); 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.

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, or I'm Denied Boarding?

Our FAQ has answers:

The Daily JoCo Cruise Giveaway!

We'll be giving away tons of prizes every day on JoCo Cruise! You can win in one of two ways:
1) Online! Use the hashtag #JoCoCruise on any pictures you post on Instagram or Twitter. On Facebook, simply tag our Facebook page instead.
2) On ship! We'll be keeping an eye out for random/awesome/silly/heartwarming reasons to pick YOU as a winner!

Here's a sneak peek at two of our upcoming prizes: You've Got Crabs & a Plantronics headset…

Twit-arr and Cruise Monkey

Several 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

As previously noted, the JoCo Cruise schedule is subject to changes and additions. Updated versions of the 2018 schedule can be found:

  • on the Sched page online
  • in the daily newsletter
  • on printed and digital schedules posted throughout the ship
  • via the on-demand menu of your in-stateroom TV

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

Three days!


2018 Schedule and Other Very Important Things (Thu, 8 Feb 2018)

2018 Schedule

The 2018 online schedule is now open for proverbial business:

The schedule is subject to change; while on board, updated versions of the schedule can be found:

  • on the Sched page ( online
  • in the daily newsletter
  • on printed and digital schedules posted throughout the ship
  • via the on-demand menu of your in-stateroom TV
  • deep inside your heart (it was there all along!)

Regarding Time Zones and Calendars

All events listed in the schedule are on Ship Time, which will be on Mountain Time (GMT-7) for Days 2-7 (Mon-Sat, Feb. 19-24). Ship clocks will move forward at 2 am to 3 am early Monday morning (or, if you will, very late Sunday night). They'll change back at 2 am to 1 am early Sunday morning (or, again, very late Saturday night).

As such, the Sched calendar is set to Mountain Time. (Sched doesn't allow for different time zones on different days, because conventions don't usually move around.)

This generally won't be an issue for you: all printed and digital calendars will always reflect Ship Time, which will also match the local time in our ports of call.

It may be an issue for you, however, if you subscribe to the 2018 schedule iCal feed for iCal, Outlook and Google Calendar, or export it to enter into your calendar manually. (If you don't plan to do this, skip the rest of this section.)

IF YOU USE THE ICAL SYNC to your calendar, and your device's time zone is set to Pacific Time, all of the calendar event times on Day 1 will be be listed as one hour earlier than they actually are on Day 1 (Sunday 2/18). If you manually update your device’s time zone to Mountain Time on Day 1, the event times for Day 1 will be correct, but your device’s clock will be one hour later than Ship Time. As long as your device’s time zone is Mountain Time for the rest of the week (Mon-Sat, 2/19-24), both the clock and times on the calendar will be correct.

In other words: please be aware that relying on the iCal feed on Day 1 may cause you to show up early or late for events. Pay attention and double-check.

Check In Online

You all should have received an email last week reminding you to go through HAL's online check-in process ( . Here is yet one more reminder to do so. Checking in online will save you the time and headache of filling out forms manually at the pier; nothing so silly as a BUNCH OF PAPERS and a PEN should stand between you and GETTING ON BOARD IMMEDIATELY and starting to HAVE FUN instead of COMPLETING a bunch of BUREAUCRATIC BUT NECESSARY PAPERWORK on DRY LAND and making EVERYBODY BEHIND YOU WAIT.

Online check-in is only available until three days before boarding; after that, it's ink and parchment for you at the pier.

Last Call for 2018!

One final reminder that booking for JoCo Cruise 2018 ( closes on February 10th. Last call for friends and family with any last-minute travel plans

New Monkey RAs

As noted in last week's email, a number of our experienced volunteers will be serving as “New Monkey RAs” during the week. The New Monkey RAs will be wearing pink sashes throughout the week; even when not “officially” working at events as Helper Monkeys, they are still happy to answer any questions you may have, and generally are there to help. Keep an eye out for them, and say “hi!”


While the weather will generally be “shorts weather” down in Mexico, things can get chillier in the evenings/nights, and it can get breezy on deck, particularly when we're at sea.

So when packing for the cruise, you may want to bring a sweatshirt/light jacket/wrap, especially if you plan to spend much time on deck. Just a suggestion.

Getting Back to the Airport

Once the cruise is over (BOO!), there's numerous ways to get back to San Diego International Airport:

  • Grab or pre-book a cab or shuttle (there will be bunches of them waiting at the cruiseport)
  • Use a rideshare app
  • Pre-book a transfer directly with HAL; instructions are here (under “Are Transfers Included?”)

2019 Booking Now Open!

As you've likely seen at this point, booking for JoCo Cruise 2019 is open now ( ! It's never too early to get a jump on next year's cruise—especially once you see some of the plans we have in store.

Also, as a Returning Monkey, nobody gets more JCC2019 discounts) that you do! ($75/person savings as a Returning Monkey, plus another $100/person Early Booking discount if you book by April 1, PLUS a 5% discount if you pay in full at the time of booking!

See our complete pricing list ( , and dig into our 2019 FAQ ( to get more info.

Sea Monkey Send-Off Ticket Sales End on Sunday at Midnight

The folks over at Team Pandy sent out a reminder that ticket sales for the Sea Monkey Send-Off will be ending this Sunday (2/11) at midnight (PST), and that less than 15% of tickets remain. Last week they announced the full decadent menu ( for the evening complete with 4 types of tacos, freshly fried churros and quesadillas made to order - with lots of options for vegetarian and vegan Soy Monkeys™. Check out all the details including Breweries, Meaderies, Cideries & Kombucheries, right here…

full menu and tickets here (

Ten days!!!


Online Check in Reminder (Sat, 3 Feb 2018)

Online Check in Reminder

Checking in online is a great way to save time at the cruise terminal AND to make sure that your personal data is correct. HAL's Online Check-in process ( must be completed more than 3 days before sailing (otherwise you will have to check in ON PAPER at the terminal, like it's the dark ages).

When checking in, please double-check that everyone is listed correctly:

  1. Your and other guests in your booking's names match your/their travel documents
  2. Your and other guests in your booking's country of citizenship, gender and birthdate match your/their travel documents
  3. All the guests in your booking are listed (our guest listing for your booking shows: XXXX)
  4. If anything is incorrect, please write to us at ( right away
  5. If there are no errors, please do not write to us

You'll need the following data to start online check in ( :

  1. Your HAL Booking Number: XXXXX
  2. Your Last Name

Here is the online check in link ( . You can find instructions on the whole online check in process here ( .

P.S. If you don't have your HAL Booking Number and you booked recently, fret not. We will be sending it out later this week.

New Monkeys; 24/7 Hot Tubs; TV Access and More (Thu, 1 Feb 2018)

Creeping ever closer to Go Time!

New Monkeys

If you're a new Sea Monkey this year, don't forget that we have numerous resources available to help ease you into the “swing” of things. To name a few:

  • If you haven't checked it out yet, check out the JoCo Cruise New Monkey Handbook ( , filled with info and advice for how to get the most out of your first JoCo Cruise.
  • It's strongly advised that all New Monkeys attend the Orientation session we hold on the first day; get a walkthrough of the cruise basics, and get any and all questions answered.
  • We have numerous events planned in the first several days of the cruise specifically designed to help New Monkeys get acclimated, meet new friends, learn some new games, and so on. (More on this when our full schedule goes live next week)
  • We've assembled some of our friendliest veteran cruiser volunteers into a New Monkey RA squad, who will help out on board to answer your questions and to offer guidance and suggestions. More info coming!

24/7 Hot Tubs

Late-night Soaking Monkeys rejoice: we've worked with the Oosterdam staff to arrange the maintenance schedule such that at least one hot tub will be available at any given time 24 hours a day, for the duration of JoCo Cruise!

TV Access

We know that some of you like to bring gaming consoles or laptops to connect to your in-room TVs. The Oosterdam has new, larger flat-screen TVs this year (compared to last year on the Westerdam); but they require manual access by one of our cruise TV Tech Specialists to properly connect and switch inputs. You may request this service at the Sea Monkey Help Desk once on board; you'll be contacted to schedule a convenient time for setup. Please note that returning to “regular” ship TV requires scheduling another TV Tech visit.

Booking Deadline - February 10

Just one more reminder that booking for JoCo Cruise 2018 closes on February 10th. If you have any friends or family seeking a last-minute getaway, you know the best possible place for it.

Hotel Availability

We've been informed that the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport-Liberty Station has a limited number of additional rooms available for the “JoCo Cruise” rate of $239/night. Call the hotel directly at (619) 222-0500 and identify yourself as part of the JoCo Cruise group to receive this special rate.

Additionally, Homewood Suites is offering a discount rate of $159/night for the night of Feb. 25 for folks who'd like to stay there post-cruise. Book via this link before Feb. 3rd to receive this rate. (Limited availability)

Data Use Onboard

Because of HAL's new “per minute” onboard Internet plans this year, data use and speed are more important than ever. If you plan to use onboard Internet, the following options are suggested to help curb unwanted network usage:

Sea Monkey Send-off — Now Open to Non-Monkey Pals!

Don't forget, the Sea Monkey Send-off is open to the public! If you have friends in the San Diego are who'd like to come have some great food and craft beers and hang out with a bunch of awesome nerds, all to help benefit a good cause, please send them to You can also catch up on the latest doings at the official Facebook event page ( .

17 days!


( (

Onboard Internet; More Deadlines; Game Library, and More (Thu, 25 Jan 2018)

It's so close now! Can you feel it? That faint buzzing in the air?

That's CRUISE FEVER. (Don't worry, it's not the bad kind of fever where you have to go to the infirmary; it's the good kind, where you get all excited about your trip. But you knew that, because you're a grownup who understands metaphor.)

Onboard Internet

Internet on the Oosterdam is offered on a “per-minute” basis. You can either pay as you go for $0.75 per minute, or purchase various blocks of time at a discount:

  • 100 minutes for $55 ($0.55/min.)
  • 250 minutes for $100 ($0.40/min.)
  • 500 minutes for $175 ($0.35/min.)
  • 1000 minutes for $250 ($0.25/min.)

You can sign up for any of the above options once on board directly on your device.

Please note, especially to those new to JoCo Cruise: Internet on the ship is slow at best. You will definitely not be able to stream video, and are advised against depending on streaming audio or sending and receiving large files. Even on a “regular” cruise, connections are slow compared to what you're probably used to; and our group will have FAR higher Internet demands than a “regular” cruise. In our various ports of call, there will be restaurants, cafes and other establishments that offer free or low-cost wifi if you require a higher speed connection.

Also, when planning to use onboard Internet, it will be extremely helpful for both you and everyone else to turn off automatic backups (iCloud, Backblaze, etc.), and other programs that automatically update (such as iTunes). Doing this will greatly lower overall bandwidth usage, and will save you both time and money.

Booking Deadline - Last West Coast Cruise for a While

If you have friends who haven't booked yet, let them know that it's “last call” for JoCo Cruise 2018—February 10th will be the last date for booking cabins on this year's sailings.

It's also last call for sailing from the West Coast for at least a while. We're not quite ready to announce 2019 details yet (SOON™!), but we can tell you that after two terrific years sailing out of San Diego, JoCo Cruise will be returning to its East Coast origins.

So if those lollygagging West Coast pals of yours were thinking they might wait for 2019, tell 'em this will be their last opportunity to join the fun without a cross-country flight. (Or train, or drive, or Forrest Gump-style run; we're not fussy.) Of course, they're more than welcome to book both years, while supplies last!

Feminist Frequency Radio

We're happy to formally announce that Anita Sarkeesian ( and Felix Kramer ( will be hosting a special live recording of the Feminist Frequency Radio ( podcast on JoCo Cruise 2018.

Game Library

Would you like to play a game? We create a huge game library each year through a combination of our permanent library and Sea Monkeys bringing games to share. Check out the list of games in our library and sign up to bring a game to share for the week. Want to see how our game library works? We made a music video to tell you all about it.

Loreto Food Fest

Tickets for the Loreto Food Fest continue to sell very well, and will continue to be available online until January 31st. Remember: while you can buy them on site in Loreto, ordering your tickets online is the only way to guarantee you can take part in this year's fest, featuring [sic]. Order your Loreto Food Fest tickets right here ( .


We've said it a bunch, but one more time: is your passport valid for at least 6 months after we return? (August 25, 2018 or later?) Are you SURE? Because without proper identification for international travel, Homeland Security and Holland America will not let you board for JoCo Cruise!

If any of your answers were “no,” fear not—there's still options. There are services available for getting expedited passports (check on Google); and HAL has a web page all about what travel documentation is required (,%20Visas%20%26%20Vaccinations) . Even more info for U.S. citizens can be found at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website ( .

In-room TVs

Ohhhh man, did Holland America up its in-cabin TV game. Their new system features on-demand menus, and we're working with the Oosterdam's crew to load it with tons of special JoCo Cruise content.

In addition to the “usual” features (like on-demand movies and TV, info about booking onboard amenities, and checking your stateroom account), they've foolishly granted us the ability to build out our own content. This will include:

  • Daily schedules (which will be updated as things evolve)
  • Live streaming of events from the Main Stage, plus an on-demand archive off all those events (plus Yeshmin Blechin's popular daily Mourning Show)
  • Shadow TV and tabletop gaming demos
  • Onboard FAQ and other useful JoCo Cruise-specific info
  • A few fun surprises; maybe also some odd surprises and Easter eggs

To access this trove of goodness, just pick up the remote in your cabin and go to town—the menu-based navigation is intuitive for anyone who's used a computer since 2002 or so.

Sea Monkey Send-off — Now Open to Non-Monkey Pals!

Don't forget, the Sea Monkey Send-off is open to the public! If you have friends in the San Diego are who'd like to come have some great food and craft beers and hang out with a bunch of awesome nerds, all to help benefit a good cause, please send them to You can also catch up on the latest doings at the official Facebook event page ( .

24 days!


2018 Booking Deadline; Food Fest Tix; Karaoke Songs; Also: More. (Thu, 11 Jan 2018)

We're back from this year's site inspection, and now we're that much more excited about the upcoming “real” cruise. The Oosterdam has a lot of cool and interesting improvements and upgrades compared to the Westerdam last year—from decor and carpeting upgrades in many spaces to the wholesale revamping of several of the ship's bars and lounges. (Including the new Billboard Onboard bar and lounge on deck 2, which we expect to be this year's big new late-night hangout space.) The short version is: you're gonna love the Oosterdam; we sure did.

Booking Ends February 10th

The deadline for booking JoCo Cruise 2018 is February 10th. If you have family or friends (or, heck, enemies) who are still on the fence about booking, please make them aware of this deadline.

Performer News

  • He's been with us for the past several years, working with Jean Grae; but we've finally gotten off our stupid duffs and officially added Quelle Christopher ( to our performer lineup.
  • Unfortunately, Cards Against Humanity won't be able to join us this year, and we will be sorry to miss their late night improv shows. Their absence will make us sadder than __ .

Loreto Food Festival Tickets: Back on Sale!

The JCC2018 Online Store monkeys have discussed things amongst themselves, and they've agreed to reopen the store to allow people to continue purchase vouchers for the Loreto Food Festival ( . Thank you, hard working retail monkeys!

Karaoke Song List

As usual, there will be karaoke events on board this year. And we're once again using the massive song library of our friend Joel Stitzel ( (thanks, Joel!), and the events will once again be hosted by Sea Monkey Randy Parcel (hi, Randy!).

Because this library is far too extensive to print out physically, we're making it available for you to download to your own mobile devices. If you're interested in doing karaoke this year, we strongly recommend you grab the song list now.

Download the JCC2018 Karaoke Song List

Deadline Reminders

One more reminder that January 18th (a week from today) is the deadline for the following:

Sea Monkey Send-off — Now Open to Non-Monkey Pals!

Don't forget, the Sea Monkey Send-off is open to the public! If you have friends in the San Diego are who'd like to come have some great food and craft beers and hang out with a bunch of awesome nerds, all to help benefit a good cause, please send them to You can also catch up on the latest doings at the official Facebook event page ( .

37 days!


Shutter Monkeys, Deadlines and Stuff (Fri, 5 Jan 2018)

The Home Office is currently out on our site inspection cruise, wherein we sail on the Oosterdam and meet with the various department heads and go over our schedule and needs. (We know: it's a hard knock life for us.)

Rest assured, we are looking out for all our Sea Monkeys' best interests, and we know what's most important to you.

So we've confirmed: the mediocre pizza is still here, and will be available late into the night. You're welcome.

Kidding aside, we're looking forward to a number of improvements and expansions to last year's culinary offerings, including much-expanded vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for both the dining room and Lido Restaurant, plus (wait for it)…ALL DAY TACO BAR. Additionally, we've been informed that two of the fifteen total Loreto Food Festival stalls will be dedicated to vegetarian options.

More info to come soon.

Wanna Be a Shutter Monkey?

ShutterMonkeys are a group of Photography Volunteers that roam the ship taking awesome pictures of EVERYTHING. Concerts, events, other Sea Monkeys, the ship, ports and beaches, the works! After the cruise, we’ll gather all the photos, sort through them, and create an amazing Memory PhotoBook, which will be digitally distributed to every attendee FOR FREE.

For thems that aren’t satisfied with pictures composed of ones and zeroes, the Photobook will also be formatted so that people can have it printed as a physical book at the printer of their choice.

Prerequisites for being a Shutter Monkey:

  • Have a good camera (preferably a DSLR or Mirrorless high end camera)
  • Have a keen eye for action and people photography
  • Love to take pictures of people having fun (and having fun while doing it)
  • Have previously sailed on a JoCo Cruise (we don’t want your first cruise to be spent working!)

If you are interested in becoming a ShutterMonkey, please e-mail Steve Petrucelli at (!) to sign up!

Some Deadlines

A few upcoming deadlines you should bear in mind:

A Brief Word about Controlled Substances

Given the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in California, we feel it's important to remind everyone: regardless of legality in one's home state or country, it is prohibited to bring “illegal drugs” on board the Oosterdam, including marijuana (medical or otherwise). Anyone caught trying to bring such substances on board are subject to a sizable fine, and may be prohibited from boarding. So, you know…leave your dank at home, please.

HAL's website has a list of prohibited items ( , in case you have any questions.

(We also note that HAL's prohibited item list includes “catapults.” We are very interested in details of the cruise that resulted in this item being added to the list.)

Sea Monkey Send-off — Now Open to Non-Monkey Pals!

The folks over at Team Pandy have let us know that the Sea Monkey Send-off is open to the public! If you have friends in the San Diego are who'd like to come have some great food and craft beers and hang out with a bunch of awesome nerds, all to help benefit a good cause, please send them to You can also catch up on the latest doings at the official Facebook event page ( .



( (

Merch Store Closing; Dinner Seating and Dietary Needs; Amenities; Other Important Items (Thu, 28 Dec 2017)

Merch Store Open until Jan 1!

We're operating on Holiday Hours, and are keeping our online store ( open until 5 pm EST on January 1st, 2018.

Last chance to pre-order your t-shirts, posters, commemorative tchotchkes, and—we can't stress this enough—your vouchers if you plan to take part in the Loreto Food Festival.

Dietary Special Needs

We've been working with HAL and the ship's dining staff to have a wider array of vegan and vegetarian options available throughout the week, and menu items in the dining rooms and Lido Restaurant will labeled as vegan, vegetarian, nut-free and gluten-free as appropriate.

Anyone with particular dietary needs, particularly those with any potential medical issues, please make sure to fill out HAL's Special Requirements form ( ahead of time (you'll need your HAL Booking Number). We also strongly recommend people with special dietary needs select a fixed table for dinner (see below), and that you introduce yourselves to the maitre d' on the first evening of the cruise.

Fixed Dinner Seating

REMINDER: If you wish to have fixed seating at dinner during JCC2018, please make sure to fill out our Fixed Dinner Seating Request Form ( before January 1st. Please don't wait!

Booking Onboard Amenities

As many of you who've already explored the HAL site have learned, many amenities can be booked directly on HAL's website, including:

  • Shore excursions
  • Spa bookings
  • Gifts and indulgences
  • Canaletto dinner
  • Pinnacle Grill dinner
  • Sel de Mer dinner

Beverage packages can't be bought online, but can be pre-purchased by calling HAL Ship Services at (800) 541-1576. You can also use Ship Services to reserve one of the Oosterdam's 7-day Retreat Cabanas (located above the Lido Deck)

All the above items may also be booked once you're onboard, pending availability.

Airport Transfers

One way or another, you're gonna need to get to and from the ship, so that your actual vacation can start (and, unfortunately, end).

If you wish, you can purchase SAN-to-cruiseport and/or cruiseport-to-SAN airport transfers directly from HAL for $19 each way, by calling HAL's Key Accounts department at (800) 426-0327.

You can also make your own arrangements, or can plan to grab a taxi once at the airport/cruiseport. In other words: there's options.

Helper Monkeys Still Needed

If you're interested in becoming a Helper Monkey for JCC2018, look over our list of Helper Monkey Departments ( and fill out our Helper Monkey Application ( . We appreciate you!


Unfortunately, Ted Leo has to cancel his appearance with is for 2018. We've loved having him aboard, and look forward to having him back in future years. Huan, the Hound of Valinor has spoken for an unprecedented fourth time to express how much he will miss Ted this year.

Sea Monkey Send-Off Updates

The folks over at Team Pandy have been regularly posting info about the Sea Monkey Send-Off: details on breweries, cideries, kombuch-eries, craft sodas and more. Catch up on their posts to the official Facebook event page ( . You can also weigh in on what craft soda you’d like to see brewed for the event. Don’t forget, this event held at a Comic Art Gallery goes toward the charity Traveling Stories. Learn more and find tickets at

52 days!


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Sea Monkey Handbook! And Other Things (Thu, 14 Dec 2017)

The JoCo Cruise New Monkey Handbook

For several years we've been wanting to put together some sort of “official” guide to help people new to the cruise get a better understanding of what to expect onboard, and to help them get “into the swing of things” as quickly and easily as possible.

So this year we've worked with our friend and longtime Sea Monkey Nicole Dieker to develop the JoCo Cruise New Monkey Handbook. This digital guide is designed to give a new person a reasonable overview of how a JoCo Cruise generally works, and especially to provide help and tips for finding new friends and feeling at home on the high seas. It's not intended to be an exhaustive guide to every small facet of the event, but any new Sea Monkey would be well served to give it a read. (Could be useful for experienced Sea Monkeys, too!)

It even features a “JoCo Cruise Bingo” sheet, if you care to “game-ify” things. BINGO!

Use the above link to check it out; you also can download the Handbook in various formats there (Word doc, PDF, etc.) for loading onto your own device, or—dare we say it?—printing out a physical copy to have with you onboard.

Sea Monkey Send-Off Updates

The folks over at Team Pandy just sent out an email newsletter to ticket holders for the Sea Monkey Send-Off with details on breweries, cideries, kombuch-eries, craft sodas and more. You can view the email here ( , and also catch up on their posts to the official Facebook event page ( . You can also weigh in on what craft soda you’d like to see brewed for the event. Don’t forget, this event held at a Comic Art Gallery goes toward the charity Traveling Stories. Learn more and find tickets at

Reminders and deadlines:

Merch Store Closes Soon

Our 2018 Online Merch Store ( is only open until December 24th. You don't have much time left to pre-order your cruise merch.

In particular: We know it's very early to be thinking about a specific meal in February, but we suggest you don't delay in pre-ordering your voucher for the Loreto Food Festival ( . Only a limited number of tickets will be available on shore that day, and we wouldn't want you to miss our on all the delicious, convenient options the town will have to offer that day.

Helper Monkeys Still Needed!

Check out the list of Helper Monkey Departments ( to see the different ways you can help the 2018 cruise be as excellent as possible by donating a few hours of your time. If you'd like to join the team, fill out our Helper Monkey Application ( .

Passports? Passports!

Are your passports/travel documents in order? Are they valid for at least six months after we return (i.e., through at least August 25, 2018)? Please triple-check now, while there's still plenty of time to fix any problems.

66 days!


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The Lineup Expands Again! Fixed Dinner Seating Options! Reminders! (Thu, 7 Dec 2017)

More Performers and Guests??? (Yes.)

It's only December 7th, but Christmas is coming early with the announcement of yet more additions to our 2018 lineup!

Experienced Sea Monkeys will be thrilled to hear that JCC favorite and resident tuning authority Jim Boggia ( is back with us once again! Also, Greg Benson ( returns to host our daily morning show in the Queen's Lounge, and will probably get up to other mischief as well.

Additionally, two longtime, dear and talented friends of ours are now first-time JCC guests: Amy Berg ( and Bonnie Burton ( .

Read all about them and the rest of our performers and guests on the JoCo Cruise site ( .

Fixed Dinner Seating Requests

As previously emailed, everyone has been assigned to either the Early Dinner or Late Dinner, but within those assignments seating is generally open; from night to night, you can sit at whichever table you like.

Some people may prefer to have fixed seating for the duration of the week—either to better accommodate special dietary needs or restrictions, or to stay with a particular group of family/friends, or what have you.

If you want fixed seating, you can fill out our Fixed Dinner Seating Request Form ( for your booking (or just for some members of your booking). You may also request to be seated with friends from other bookings; if you plan to do that, please confirm ahead of time that you're all in the same dinner seating.

In years past, some families with young children have requested to sit with/near other families at dinner. We've set aside a (non-mandatory) “Family Seating” area in the dining room. There's a section of the above form where you can request this, if you're interested. Doing so doesn't commit you to sitting there or assign you a table; it merely gives us a sense of how large we should make that area for each seating.

And now, a series of incredibly helpful reminders and deadlines, like little digital notes pinned to your jackets…

Helper Monkeys Still Needed!

Helper Monkey signups are, frankly, kinda low compared to previous years. Please take a moment to look over our list of Helper Monkey Departments ( to see the different ways you can help the 2018 cruise be as excellent as possible by donating a few hours of your time. If you'd like to join the team, fill out our Helper Monkey Application ( .

Merch Now or Pay Later

Because 'tis the season of shopping: remember that the 2018 Online Merch Store ( will close on December 24th. You know generally how stores work, we would imagine. This particular one is for our cruise.

And don't forget that you can pre-order vouchers for the Loreto Food Festival there as well! (Which I guess maybe sorta makes our store a restaurant too? Maybe not. Never mind.)

Shadow TV

The Shadow TV Channel Content Submission Form ( is open if you wish to submit original content for broadcast on the ship's TV. Deadline is January 1st.

Hotels and Sea Monkey Send-off

Do not forget to check our Travel and Accommodations page ( for info on special “JoCo Cruise” hotel rates in San Diego, and to consider the Sea Monkey Send-off ( event happening the night before we sail (Sat., February 17th).

You can also RSVP on the Sea Monkey Send-off Facebook event page ( for the latest updates about everything happening that night.

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Red Team and Gold Team; Theme Days; Shadow TV; Merch Reminder and More (Fri, 1 Dec 2017)

Dinner/Main Concert Assignments (Red Team & Gold Team)

Back by popular demand (just kidding, no one demanded anything, Sea Monkeys are very polite!), it's the “Red Team / Gold Team” Dinner/Main Concert assignments! All wings report in!

As a reminder, on Days 1, 2, 3, 6 & 7, folks assigned to Red Team will attend the Early (5 pm) Dinner and the Late (7:30 pm) Main Concert, and those on Gold Team are the Late (7:30 pm) Dinner/Early (5 pm) Concert squadron. (On Days 4 & 5, there are no Main Concerts and dinner will be Open Seating from 5 pm - 9 pm)

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

(You either requested this seating in your User Account, or were assigned it after either indicating no preference or making no selection.) This team assignment should be reflected in your JCC User Account page—the selection menu will be defaulted to your assigned team.

During boarding, team members will receive an appropriately-colored silicone wristband; this wristband will serve as your pass for attending all Main Concerts. 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

As in previous years, each team will be randomly assigned a leader. Red Leader and Gold Leader will each receive an appropriate “crown,” front row seats to the Main Concerts for them and their “wingpersons,” and the praise and approbation of their fellow Sea Monkeys.

If you prefer to opt out of the Red Leader/Gold Leader random drawing pool, 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: 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.)

Theme Days

Here are the Theme Days for this year's cruise. Passengers are encouraged to embrace each day's theme as they deem appropriate—theme-appropriate dress/cosplay is welcomed, but never required:

  • Day 1 (Sun. Feb. 18): Welcome New Monkeys! We'll be holding events specifically designed to make our first-time Sea Monkeys feel welcome and to help them ease into the swing of things. Make a particular effort on this day to seek out new Monkeys and help show them what a great decision they've made by joining us!
  • Day 2 (Mon. Feb. 19): Space! Day It's like the ocean, but drier and somewhat larger. Cosplay as your favorite alien/space pirate/astronaut/astronomer/etc.; take some time to stargaze tonight; and generally Get Excited About Space!
  • Day 3 (Tue. Feb. 20): Cosplay Day We have a bunch of terrifically talented cosplayers every year, and today is your day to really pull out all the stops. Sky's the limit; show off your best!
  • Day 6 (Fri. Feb. 23): Formal Night See note below.
  • Day 7 (Sat. Feb. 24): Jammies Day Everyone's running out of clean clothes anyway, so today is one big day-long celebration of the fact that nobody can make us put on “real” clothes if we don't want to!

Formal Night “Rules”:

  • Formal wear is encouraged, but not required, at dinner.
  • “Formal wear” is defined VERY flexibly. 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).

Merch Now or Pay Later

ATTENTION MERCH WANTERS: The 2018 Online Merch Store ( will close on December 24th. That means you only have a few more weeks to grab your Loreto food fest tickets, your Rebecca & Steven Sugar designed shirts and posters, lapel pins and more! After that, you'll only be able to purchase cruise merch onboard, with the ship's store's sizable markup. SIZABLE MARKUP, I TELL YOU!!!

Shadow TV

We're once again dedicating one of the ship's TV 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 Form ( to 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,, etc.), DO NOT email it directly. No Flash video, and please no obscure/esoteric video formats. No YouTube URLs; 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: January 1st. You may submit multiple items, but one submission only per form entry, please. We will not be accepting any submissions after Jan. 1st, nor during the cruise itself.

Hotels and Sea Monkey Send-off

Here's your usual reminder to check our Travel and Accommodations page ( for info on special “JoCo Cruise” hotel rates in San Diego, and to consider the Sea Monkey Send-off ( event happening the night before we sail (Sat., February 17th).

79 days!


Reminder: Shore Excursions on Sale Tomorrow (Tue, 28 Nov 2017)

Shore Excursions

Just a quick reminder that JCC2018 port-of-call shore excursions—or as HAL calls them, “EXC Tours”—will be available on Wednesday, November 29th (that's tomorrow!) at 12 noon EST/9 am PST. Snorkeling, SCUBA, beach trips, historic and culinary tours and more will all be at your metaphorical fingertips!

Once they go live tomorrow, log into/create your HAL Account on ( using your HAL Booking Number (which is XXXXXX, per our email last week) and check the EXC Tours section to see the complete list of excursions you can purchase.

Note: bringing the excursions “live” for sale is a manual process within HAL; as such the noon/9am timing may not be exact, and every item may not roll out immediately. THO has no access to nor control over the process or timing.


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HAL Booking Numbers; Check-in; Loreto Food Fest Preorders; Also Other Things (Thu, 16 Nov 2017)

Your Holland America Booking Number is Here!

Your Holland America Booking Number is XXXXXX

Once you've logged into your HAL Account on ( (or, if you're new, created one) and added this booking number under “My Reservations ( ”, you can pre-purchase onboard amenities (drink packages, specialty restaurant reservations, spa reservations, etc.). Shore excursions for JCC2018 will also become available for purchase on Wed., Nov. 29th.

You will also use this number to go through HAL's online check-in process (see next section). All guests should complete this process (or have it completed for them) no fewer than 72 hours prior to our Feb. 18th departure.

This email was sent to any guests in your booking who have user accounts AND have a booking number assigned to them already. You can view the Booking Number status for all guests in your booking at your JoCo Cruise User Account.

Technical Note: If you've changed any of your booking info such as cabin number or last name in the last few weeks, HAL may not have this update yet. Don't worry, THEY WILL! (Please allow a few weeks for processing.) Please don't check in online until your information is correct on the HAL website.

Holland America Check-in XXXXXX

Each person in your booking will need to complete online check-in and print their Boarding Pass no fewer than 72 hours prior to our departure on February 18th, 2018. Online check-in is available now on Holland America’s website ( . You'll need your HAL Booking Number (listed above) for this. Additional information can be found in our FAQ: “How do I check-in online for my cruise?” ( .

We’ll email everyone a check-in reminder closer to sailing.

Special Needs

For guests with medical, dietary or other special needs, Holland America has a thorough FAQ regarding the subject ( Passengers with such needs should submit a Special Requirements Information (SRI) form ( via the HAL site. (You'll need your HAL booking number to complete the form.)

NOTE: guests with non-life threatening dietary restrictions should contact the Ship Services Department at 1‐800‐541‐1576 and ask them to add that information as a note in your booking.

ALSO NOTE: You must submit special needs requests directly to HAL, as they must handle them directly. JoCo Cruise cannot process these requests.

(This information is also contained in our FAQ: "I have medical, dietary, or other special requests for the cruise line. What should I do?"

Loreto Food Festival Tickets Available for Preorder

Now available in the JoCo Cruise 2018 Merch Store ( : preorder tickets for the Loreto Food Festival!

As they did in 2017, the town of Loreto will be holding a big ol' food festival during the day of our big land concert (Wed. Feb. 21). For just $25, you can preorder your tickets for the event—technically, a voucher that you will exchange in Loreto for a wristband and seven tickets, each of which you can redeem for various food items at the vendor stalls.

This event was a big hit last year, and preordering is the only way to guarantee your attendance; tickets will be available on shore that day, but availability will be limited. Vouchers will be delivered to your stateroom on board the Oosterdam (along with any other preordered merch). DON'T LOSE THEM!

Please note that drink tickets are not included in this package, and must be purchased (cash only, US$) directly at the festival.

Returning Monkey Status (Cruise History), Bed Configuration and Early/Late Dinner Selection

We ask that you please log in to your JoCo Cruise User Account ( as soon as possible to do three things:

  1. Confirm that our records regarding Returning Monkey Status (past cruises) for you and your booking companions are correct
  2. Confirm that the beds in your cabin are configured properly (separate or together)
  3. Select either the Early (5 pm) or Late (7:30 pm) dinner seating if you haven't done so yet.

For those new to us: because there's more Sea Monkeys than there are seats available in the ship's Main Theater, we present each Main Concert twice; while the Early Dinner folks are eating at 5 pm, the Late Dinner folks are watching the Main Concert; then everyone switches for the 7:30 pm dinner/Main Concert. 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; and only the Primary Contact of a booking may select that booking's dinner seating.)

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to request fixed dinner seating with/near guests in other cabins (a form for requesting this will be available in December), please make sure that you have both chosen the same dinner seating NOW. This will save you time later during the request process; you MUST be in the same dinner seating as anyone you'd like to have fixed seating with.

Hotels and Sea Monkey Send-off

Here's your usual reminder to check our Travel and Accommodations ( page for info on special “JoCo Cruise” hotel rates in San Diego, and to consider the Sea Monkey Send-off ( event happening the night before we sail (Sat., February 17th).

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Cabin Numbers! Merch Store! Important Things! (Thu, 9 Nov 2017)

Your 2018 Cabin Number!

Your booking has been officially assigned an Oosterdam cabin for JoCo Cruise 2018! Huzzah! Your booking's cabin number is XXXX

You can view more details on your assigned cabin (including a personal note from us about your placement!) and get a link to view the Oosterdam Deck Map in your user account ( .

We know you're waiting on your HAL booking numbers as well. HAL is still putting all their HAL ducks in HAL rows on their end. But we promise those booking numbers will be coming SOON™. VERY®, VERY© SOON™.

JoCo Cruise 2018 Merch 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 2018 Online Merch Store ( 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 ( will be open between now and December 15th. You can go to the store—you'll be automatically prompted to log into your JCC 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 2018, all ordered merchandise will be delivered directly to your stateroom. How convenient! And no postage & handling charges!

Our 2018 merch will be available on board the cruise as well (there are a few items from prior years that will only be available online); 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 2018 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. Savings!

Cards Against Humanity Live

An extremely popular event last year, Cards Against Humanity Live will be returning for JoCo Cruise 2018! Join them late-nights in the Queen's Lounge; pitch your card ideas to the game's creators and writers, and the best suggestions will be acted out live. The worst suggestions will be mercilessly ridiculed.

Sea Monkey Send-off

Don't forget about the Sea Monkey Send-off ( event happening the night before we sail (Sat., February 17th). Craft beer, street tacos, live music, great company (your fellow Sea Monkeys), and best of all, it benefits the Traveling Stories nonprofit, which provides books and reading experiences for children in need.

Go to ( for full information and ticketing info.

San Diego Hotels

Booked your pre-cruise hotel yet? If so, ignore the next paragraph.

See our Travel and Accommodations page ( for info on the special “JoCo Cruise rates” available at the Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station and the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport-Liberty Station. Wherever you decide to book, don't wait too long!

101 days!


JoCo Cruise 2018: Shadow Cruise! Helper Monkeys! Other Things with Exclamation Points! (Thu, 2 Nov 2017)

Shadow Cruise Event Submission Now Open

For those of you new to the cruise (and for those who aren't but feel like reading the next paragraph)…every year, we set aside a ton of space and time in the schedule for the passengers (i.e., the Sea Monkeys, i.e. you folks) to organize and present their own events. Video gaming sessions, meetups to show off tattoos, book clubs, Zumba classes, song circles and jam sessions, mini-concerts…you name it. If it's doable on the ship (and it keeps to our Code of Conduct ( ), we welcome it!

Last year, we had over 315 hours (!!!) of Shadow Cruise events. So if we hear anyone say “there's nothing to do today”, we will all laugh in their face!

If you're interested in putting together a Shadow Cruise event, fill out our Shadow Cruise Event Request Form. You'll need to be logged in to your JCC User Account to complete it. (If you're not logged in, the page will prompt you.)

NOTE: unless specifically requested, Shadow Cruise events will never be scheduled during Main Concerts or while the ship is in any port of call.

Wanna Be a Helper Monkey?

JoCo Cruise is a big, big event. (Like, a whole cruise ship's worth.) And one of the reasons it can properly function at all is the army of volunteers who donate time on board to help monitor events, man the Info Desk, sell artist merch at shows, and a ton of other tasks. We call these stalwart volunteers our Helper Monkeys. And you can be one too!

If you're interested in becoming a Helper Monkey for JCC2018, fill out our Helper Monkey Application ( . We also strongly suggest you look over our list of Helper Monkey Departments ( to get an idea of the different things you can help out with this year.

Please note: we do not use first-time Sea Monkeys as Helper Monkeys. We appreciate first-timers' willingness to help out; but it's important to us that people on their first JoCo Cruise spend that time enjoying and getting familiar with the event and the Sea Monkey community.

Sea Monkey Send-off

Please don't forget about the Sea Monkey Send-off ( event happening the night before we sail (Sat., February 17th). Craft beer, street tacos, live music, great company (your fellow Sea Monkeys), and best of all, it benefits the Traveling Stories nonprofit, which provides books and reading experiences for children in need.

Go to ( for full information and ticketing info.

San Diego Hotels

As previously noted, a convention is in San Diego the weekend we sail, making hotel rooms potentially more difficult to come by than in previous years. So as a gentle reminder, please don't delay in booking your pre-cruise hotel rooms.

And yes, there are still currently rooms available for a special “JoCo Cruise rate” at the Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station and the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport-Liberty Station. See our Travel and Accommodations ( page for complete info.

107 days!


JoCo Cruise 2018: Poster Art! 2017 Photobook! And Other Things! (Thu, 12 Oct 2017)

2018 Poster Art

You know what's cool? I mean, really, really super-cool?

This year's poster art, that's what!

Full info about JoCo Cruise 2018 merchandise is coming soon, but we just couldn't wait to show you this awesome artwork—created by Rebecca and Steven Sugar (from Steven Universe and the 2017 cruise)!

New Guest

Please welcome the latest addition to the JCC2018 lineup, Felix Kramer ( . You can find out all about Felix and the rest of our lineup on our website ( .


Unfortunately, due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, Cory Doctorow will be unable to attend the 2018 cruise. He wished us to convey his “enormous regret and chagrin” (that's a direct quote) that he can't make it this year, and we will all be sure to raise a delicious frozen drink his honor while on board.

2017 Photobook Now Available

The JCC2017 Shuttermonkeys have been diligently working, and they have emerged from their workshop to present JoCoPhoTos 2017, the JCC2017 souvenir photobook.

If you were with us in 2017, you can relive all of the fun memories. And if you're new to the cruise this year, the photobook gives a great sense of how awesome your week is gonna be.

And the best news is, you can download it for free RIGHT NOW, via either link below!

Copious thanks to Steve Petrucelli and Liz Connor for their aid in assembling the photobook, and to the many Shuttermonkeys who contributed their work to the finished product.

Loot Crate Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Michael Rothman, winner of our Loot Crate JoCo Cruise 2018 Cabin Giveaway! (Whew that was a mouthful.) Thank you to everyone who entered and spread the word about the contest. We can't wait to see New Monkey Michael and we hope you'll all join us in making him feel welcome…unless he has a “No to friendship” button on, of course!

129 days!


JoCo Cruise 2018: Lineup Additions! Plus, Some Reminders (Thu, 14 Sep 2017)

Summer is over, alas. But autumn brings with it its own pleasures: milder temperatures, the changing colors of the leaves, the inexorable pumpkin-spicing of everything in sight…and the announcement of new performers and guests for JoCo Cruise 2018!

2018 Lineup Update

Look, look, look who else is joining us this year!

Additionally, Cameron Esposito's Queery ( podcast joins the ranks of live podcast recordings this year.

Our complete current lineup can be found on our website ( . Watch this space for future additions!

Refer a Friend

As we mentioned in our last email, you have until October 4th to refer a friend to book JoCo Cruise; if they sail with us, you can each receive a $125 onboard credit! Plus, you can refer multiple friends ( and receive a $125 credit for each resultant booking. Complete information is listed in our FAQ ( . Collect that bounty!

Sea Monkey Send-off

If you're looking for something to do the night before we sail (Sat., February 17th), and are interested in starting your celebrating a little early, don't forget about the Sea Monkey Send-off ( being thrown by our friends from Team Pandy at the San Diego Comic Art Gallery in Liberty Station. Craft beer, street tacos, live music, great company (your fellow Sea Monkeys), and best of all, it benefits the Traveling Stories nonprofit, which provides books and reading experiences for children in need.

Go to ( for full information and ticketing info.

San Diego Hotels

As previously noted, a convention is in San Diego the weekend we sail, making hotel rooms potentially more difficult to come by than in previous years. So as a gentle reminder, please don't delay in booking your pre-cruise hotel rooms.

And yes, there are still currently rooms available for a special “JoCo Cruise rate” at the Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station and the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport-Liberty Station. See our Travel and Accommodations ( page for complete info.

157 days!


August Doldrums Sale for JoCo Cruise 2018 (Tue, 8 Aug 2017)

It's August. It's hot, it's muggy, dogs are having their days…it's like you'll do anything just to get some air moving.

Maybe we should open these doors—the ones with the sign on them that says “This way to JoCo Cruise 2018 Summer Doldrums Savings Event” and which lead to several limited-time offers…

“Pay Balance in Full” Discount

Our original Pay in Full discount offer expired back in May. But we liked it, and we kinda miss it. So we're bringing you its younger sibling, the “Pay Balance in Full” discount!

If you currently have a balance due on your JCC 2018 booking, you can pay that balance in full on or before August 28th to receive a 6% discount on that remaining balance.

In fact, if you look at your JCC User Account ( right now, you'll see your 6% discount listed there. (Hi there, discount!) All you have to do to receive it is pay off that balance by the 28th.

Refer a Friend, Collect a Bounty

Scour the galaxy for friends to refer to JoCo Cruise; if they book their cabin by October 4th and sail with us, you and they will each receive a $125 onboard credit to your respective onboard accounts! (“Credits will be fine.”)

The complete details and requirements are listed in our FAQ ( , but here's the main points:

  • You (the “referrer”) must have an existing 2018 booking in good standing (minimum required payments met or exceeded).
  • Your friend (the “referee”) must not have an existing 2018 booking or have cancelled a previous 2018 booking. (Referee credits may not be applied retroactively to existing JCC2018 bookings.)
  • The referee must book by October 4 and enter your email address in the “Promo & Referrer Codes” field during the booking process.
  • If both you and they sail on JCC2018 (neither of you cancel), you will each receive a $125 onboard credit.
  • Limit of one referrer credit and one referee credit per referee cabin.
  • You may refer multiple friends ( and qualify for multiple referrer credits, but each referee must be in a separate booking.

Again, see our “How does the 'Refer a Friend' program work?” FAQ ( for complete information and requirements.

194 days!


2018 Initial Lineup Announcement, and More! (Thu, 20 Jul 2017)

Howdy, Sea Monkeys. We know you haven't heard from us in a little while. But we're back, and we've brought Very Good News with us!

2018 Initial Lineup Announcement

We're all kinds of excited to unveil our initial lineup of performers and guests for 2018! A fun mix of new friends, familiar friends and long-absent friends—it's a bunch of friends, is what we're getting at here.

Without further ado, here's the first batch of confirmed 2018 guests ( :

  • Jonathan Coulton (obviously)
  • Maria Bamford
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Cory Doctorow
  • Matt Fraction
  • Mark Frauenfelder
  • Jean Grae
  • John Hodgman
  • Jackie Kashian
  • N. K. Jemisin
  • Ted Leo
  • Molly Lewis
  • Aimee Mann
  • Open Mike Eagle
  • Paul and Storm
  • Riz Rollins
  • Patrick Rothfuss
  • John Scalzi
  • Wil Wheaton

There's lots more to come; but this is plenty enough to process for now, don't you think?

Feel free to tell your friends about all the awesome people already booked to perform on the cruise; at worst, they'll be mad jealous of you, and at best they'll come along for the ride!

Hotel Update

We have special pre-cruise JoCo Cruise rates at several different San Diego hotels ( ; but rooms are going fast. As a reminder, there is a large convention in San Diego that weekend, so hotel rooms may be more difficult to come by as February approaches. So regardless of where you decide to stay, we recommend you not delay in booking rooms.

Here's an update as to current availability in the “JoCoTels:”

  • Fri. Feb. 16: currently no JCC rate rooms available at any of the three hotels.
  • Sat. Feb. 17: JCC rate rooms currently still available at the Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station and the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport-Liberty Station; JCC rate rooms sold out at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside.

Reminder: Sea Monkey Send-Off Event

Just a quick reminder of the pre-cruise Sea Monkey Send-Off ( , happening Saturday, Feb. 17th, 6 pm - 9 pm at the San Diego Comic Art Gallery, in the city's Liberty Station area. A night full of craft beers, street tacos, video games and live music, with proceeds benefitting Traveling Stories ( , a San Diego non-profit that provides books and reading experiences for children in need.

Full details and ticket info can be found at Click here to access the Facebook event ( !

This event is presented by Team Pandy; it is not organized or run by JoCo Cruise.

212 days!


San Diego Hotels, Send-off, and Worldbuilders (Thu, 8 Jun 2017)

Hello again, Sea Monkeys. As the old adage goes, “June 8th is the day for announcing hotel rates and stuff” (it's a regional saying), so…

JoCo Cruise Rates at San Diego Hotels

We've secured special rates for Sea Monkeys at three different San Diego hotels for Friday & Saturday, February 16 & 17, for those of you who want to get into town and start your vacation a little early.

Complete details and booking links can be found on our Travel and Accommodations ( page, but here's the basics:

  • Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station: starting at $219/night (up to 4 ppl)
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport-Liberty Station: starting at $239/night (suites available for up to 6 ppl)
  • Wyndham San Diego Bayside: starting at $249/night (up to 4 ppl)

All hotels include complimentary wi-fi and SAN airport-to-hotel shuttle. See hotel websites for full lists of amenities.

NOTE: These rooms will very likely sell out quickly, and we cannot guarantee that we can get any more rooms at these rates (although we will try). Because there is a large convention in San Diego that weekend, hotel room availability is more difficult this year than in years past. Regardless of where you stay, we strongly recommend you not delay in making hotel arrangements for JoCo Cruise 2018.

Sea Monkey Send-Off Event

We asked our event organizer friends Team Pandy to come up with a social event for Sea Monkeys the night before we sail, to help kick things off in the proper fashion—a sort of “pre-cruise shore excursion,” as it were. They've put together the Sea Monkey Send-Off ( , happening Saturday, Feb. 17th, 6 pm - 9 pm at the San Diego Comic Art Gallery, in the city's Liberty Station area.

The event will feature unlimited 4-oz. samples of some of San Diego's finest craft beers, street tacos, Mike’s HOP-CADE large format video games, and live music by IDW’s house band, Gentlemen Ghost. Proceeds will benefit Traveling Stories ( , a San Diego non-profit that provides books and reading experiences for children in need.

Full details and ticket info can be found at Click here to access the Facebook event ( ! This event is presented by Team Pandy; it is not organized or run by JoCo Cruise.

Worldbuilders “Geeks Doing Good” Fundraiser

Worldbuilders (a charity JoCo Cruise has worked with for the past several years) has launched its 2017 summer Geeks Doing Good fundraiser! This year, in addition to the chance to win a cabin on JoCo Cruise 2018 (tell your friends!), Worldbuilders has a ton of geeky goods for you to pre-order. They have new licensed merchandise from some of the best book series, like The Kingkiller Chronicle, Dresden Files, and The Iron Druid Chronicles; and from fabulous comics Sex Criminals, Bitch Planet, and Rat Queens.

You may remember Tak from the last cruise, and if you need to expand your game collection, there are a ton of new Tak items, including two beautiful sets made by Wyrmwood Gaming. You can also pre-order a SIGNED copy of the upcoming 10th Anniversary Edition The Name of the Wind!

The best part is, everything you contribute to the campaign not only gets you something cool, it goes towards making the world a better place. You can see everything over on the Geeks Doing Good campaign page ( .

255 days!


JoCo Cruise 2018 Itinerary - Back to Loreto and MORE! (Thu, 25 May 2017)

JoCo Cruise 2018 Itinerary - Back to Loreto and MORE!

We’re thrilled to announce that in 2018 JoCo Cruise is returning to the town of Loreto to once again hold our “JoCo Cruise on Land” music festival. Plus, this year we're adding a third port destination: the seaside town of La Paz.

We’re continuing to work with Holland America to offer a range of excursions and experiences in La Paz and Cabo San Lucas tailored to our passengers' tastes. Loreto will once again be hosting a food festival featuring local restaurants and vendors—and we're actively working with the town for more of the elements everyone loved, while improving and streamlining the logistics for a smoother-run event.

And of course our “At Sea” days will be filled with a range of activities (and/or inactivities) for every species of Sea Monkey—concerts, gaming, meetups, readings, workshops, crafting, happy hours, and the ever-popular Shadow Cruise. (Though some people enjoy everything the ship has to offer so much that they skip port stops entirely!)

We look forward to 2018 being our most exciting and enjoyable itinerary to date.

More details are of course forthcoming, but here are the basics:

Arrival and/or departure times subject to change without notice.

269 days!


JoCo Cruise 2018 (Fri, 24 Feb 2017)

JoCo Cruise 2018

Yes, we know JoCo Cruise 2017 hasn't even happened yet. But we cannot stop the hands of time. (Not until that fully-operational TARDIS we ordered on eBay finally arrives.) And the time has come for some important news:

TL;DR: JoCo Cruise 2018 - February 18-25, 2018. Full ship charter again. Out of San Diego again. Booking opens February 25.

So, then, the bullet points:

  • February 18-25, 2018
  • Sailing on Holland America's Oosterdam (sister ship to the Westerdam)
  • Sailing out of San Diego to the Mexican Riviera; specific ports of call TBA (but will NOT be the exact same itinerary as 2017)
  • We once again will have the whole ship


Booking for JoCo Cruise 2018 will open at 3 pm Eastern on Saturday, February 25th at ( . Complete pricing information can be found on our JoCo Cruise 2018 Pricing page ( .

Cabin Selection

As in previous years, your initial booking assigns you a “provisional” cabin in the category you have selected. And as in previous years, you'll be able to request your preference of location, placement near specific other passengers, etc. (While we can't guarantee we can fill every request, we will do our best to accommodate everyone.)

Actual cabin assignments will be made in the following order of preference:

  1. Anyone sailing on JoCo Cruise 2017 who has booked JCC2018 on or before March 11, 2017 (i.e., before or during JoCo Cruise 2017).
  2. Everyone else who has booked JCC2018 on or before March 4, 2017.
  3. Cabin selections for bookings made after March 4, 2017 will be filled thereafter on a first come, first serve basis.

So as you can see, the earlier you book, the more likely it is you’ll get your preferred cabin type and placement.

Pricing and Discounts

The JoCo Cruise 2018 Pricing page ( should answer all of your pricing-related questions, and includes deposit/payment deadlines, our cancellation policy, and available discounts. They are stackable, and summarized here:

  • Early Booking Discount: Book by May 4, 2017 to receive a $100 per berth discount.
  • Returning Monkey Discount: Anyone who has sailed on any previous JoCo Cruise will receive a $75 per berth discount. This applies to all passengers in the Returning Monkey’s cabin, even if not all of them are Returning Monkeys.
  • Pay in Full Discount: The first 350 bookings or all bookings completed by May 1, 2017 (whichever comes first) with balances paid in full at time of booking will receive a 6% Pay in Full discount on their cabin cost (after any other eligible discounts have been applied).
  • Child/Infant Discount: Children under the age of three (3) as of the date of sailing (February 18, 2018) will receive a $250 per-child discount.


You can find more answers about 2018 (to the extent we have them yet) in our 2018 FAQ .

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

359 days!


email_archive/email_archive_2018.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/17 20:17 by nessa