The policies set forth in the FAQ below also serve as JoCo Cruise Crazy’s Terms and Conditions.
What the Heck?
What is this “JoCo Cruise Crazy” thing?
A cruise? I dunno. I don’t think I’m a “cruise person”/I hate the sea, and everything in it.
The Caribbean…AGAIN!? But I wanted to go to Alaska/Europe/Mexico/The South Pole!
Okayfine. But why is it eight nights this year?
What can you tell me about the Independence of the Seas?
What kind of entertainment can I expect?
Are we taking over the whole ship?
Are kids allowed?
Is there an age limit for passengers?
How and when can I book my cruise?
Can I book the cruise directly with Royal Caribbean/through a third-party travel site/from a shady guy in a van in a back alley, and just purchase the entertainment pass through you guys?
Oh my gosh, this is so expensive!
What’s included in the cruise price?
What’s NOT included with the cruise price? How are they going to “get me”?
The cruise fare and Entertainment Pass used to be separate. Why is everything now lumped together into one price?
Are there any discounts available?
Are there discounted rates available for children and infants?
Can I attend only one/a few events at a discounted rate?
Can I pay my cruise fee/Entertainment Pass fee all at once/in installments?
I want to reserve a room for three/four people, but haven’t found all my roommates yet. How should I handle that during booking?
Where can I go to find roommates?
Can my roommate(s) and I pay separately?
Can someone else pay for some/all of my trip?
Is there an extra charge for a single-occupancy room?
What Is your cancellation policy?
What about trip insurance?
The “Terms and Conditions” Legalese
I’m Booked! Now What?
The JoCo Cruise Crazy Code of Conduct
When should I fly in/out of Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)?
Can I get help finding hotel accommodations before and/or after the cruise? How about flights to Ft. Lauderdae?
How do I add my Crown & Anchor Society number to my booking?
Can I apply RCI Shareholder’s credit to my JCCC5 booking?
Okay, I have booked my cruise; what do I need to know to get prepared?
How will I get into the JoCo Cruise Crazy events?
What happens if I lose my badge?
Is this a good opportunity to corner a Famous Person and talk to him/her for three hours about my movie idea where he/she plays a kind of nerdy superhero with the power to read through walls?
Gotcha. But surely I will get to eat dinner with the Famous People, right?
Will there be an official autograph session? If not, is it cool to ask for autographs?
I have special dietary needs. Can they accommodate me?
Will I be able to access the internet?
Will Twitt-arrr be available?
But Twitt-arrr won’t help me–I’m a proud member of the WiFi Temperance Brigade!
Which dinner seating will I get?
JoCo Cruise Crazy 5 is an eight night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, with music, comedy, and other performances from Jonathan Coulton and friends. Since the first JCCC in 2011, it’s become a popular vacation choice for tabletop gamers, technophiles, and creative-minded people of all stripes. It departs from Fort Lauderdale, FL on January 31, 2015 and returns February 8, 2015, with ports of call at Philipsburg (St. Maarten), Basseterre (St. Kitts), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Labadee (Royal Caribbean’s resort area on Haiti).
We hear that a lot. So let’s go to the numbers: around 75% of JCCC cruisers had never been on a cruise before JoCo Cruise Crazy. And the overwhelming majority come back and sail with us again and again. The reason? JCCC is unlike anything else at sea—it’s not your Grandma’s cruise (though she’ll probably love it, too!)—with a week’s worth of entertainment and activities specially crafted for Our People.
Yep. Nothing significant has changed in the world of cruising since we held this first-of-its-kind event in 2011: for North American passengers there’s no other cruise destination that comes close to the Caribbean’s affordability, overall value, and FUN QUOTIENT.
As always, we at JoCo Cruise Crazy looked for the best value for our cruisers, and the chosen itinerary far and away provided the most bang-for-the-buck. There are roughly 800 skabillion different factors in play when scheduling a JCCC, and we juggle considerations of affordability, location, time of year, cruise line, ports of call, and alignment of the planets, among many others—and this itinerary ended up being the best balance of these many (and often contradictory) variables.
Of course there’s also something special about spending an entire week at sea. And having eight nights will allow us to bring you lots of awesome special entertainment, while also allowing some “breathing room” for you to relax, hit the beaches, hang out with old friends and meet new ones, and come up with your own trouble.
It’s the same ship we were on for JCCC4, and has a nearly identical deck plan to the Freedom of the Seas (JCCC3′s ship). For those who weren’t on either JCCC4 or JCCC3, the appeal of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class ships to JCCC at this stage is:
- Lots of venue choices for JCCC Official and Unofficial (“Shadow Cruise”) events
- Lots of room for gaming and gathering—an entire 4,000 square foot Conference Center!
- The ship in general is relatively new compared to other hardware in the industry, and has more activities. And although there will be a lot of total passengers on the ship (as many as 4,200, of which JCCC5 would represent around 25%), it’s so thoughtfully designed that it never feels crowded (with the possible exception of sailaway, when most people choose to be on the upper decks to watch the land go bye-bye).
- Adequate dining room space to accommodate our entire group at the same dinner seating
- Other passengers are relatively close to our age bracket compared to some other cruise lines
- Royal Caribbean’s ships have plenty of activities for kids
- An ice rink and surfing simulator. I mean, c’mon!
Performers, concerts, and shipboard events will be announced on the Entertainment page in the coming weeks/months. Purchasing your cruise on jococruisecrazy.com guarantees you a seat for all of the Main Concerts, and admission to all other official events and gatherings. You’ll be given a (very spiffy) badge and lanyard that will identify you as a JCCC5 attendee, which will be required for admittance to the exclusive JCCC5 events. If you do not purchase your cruise directly through JoCo Cruise Crazy, before JCCC5 sails, you will not be admitted to the exclusive JCCC5 events.
In addition to the Main Concerts, the wildly popular evening events will be back (Celebrity Artemis, the Moustache Formal, JoCo Live Band Karaoke, etc.) Expect other events throughout the week as well: meet-ups/drink-ups, Q&A sessions, etc.
And of course the 24/7 game room—the cuddly, beating heart of JoCo Cruise Crazy—will be back in full force. Naturally, there will also be all sorts of opportunities to hang out and do stuff with your fellow Sea Monkeys, many of whom organize “Unofficial” events in what have been come to be known as the “Shadow Cruise.” We’ll also once again help facilitate Shadow Cruise events, and will have a limited amount of event space we can offer to organizers. We’ll have more info on how that process will work later in the year, once we’ve worked out our space requirements with RCI and the Independence of the Seas.
But to find out what your fellow Sea Monkeys are already planning, or start a discussion about an event you’d like to hold, visit the Jonathan Coulton Forums to get in on the action.
Maybe some day, but not this year. So once again there will be plenty of other folks on board who aren’t there for us. Therefore, please take it easy on the Promenade zombie hordes and the “very drunk Arrrrr’s” when traveling among the normals.
Most certainly; although if you have ever attended a Jonathan Coulton show, a Paul and Storm show, or a w00tstock, you will know that there’s often some R-rated (and beyond) material; JCCC5′s concerts will be no different. All ages may attend the shows, but they will not necessarily be “family friendly;” so use your own judgment and parental standards.
THAT SAID…Royal Caribbean has a TON of fun things for kids of all ages to do (no doubt you’ve seen their commercials, with rock climbing walls, a surfing pool, ice rink, Dreamworks character parades, kids-only areas, etc.), as well as lots of supervised activities. So go ahead and bring the whole family, whether or not the kids are interested in Beardy McInternet and his rabble. And once you get past two people in a cabin, the third and fourth people are significantly cheaper.
Royal Caribbean requires a minimum age of 6 months (as of the sailing date) for their Caribbean cruises. Tough luck, newborns!
If you were a passenger on JCCC4 and filled out the Onboard Booking form, then you’re already booked. Cabin selection for these Early Booking folks begins on May 6, 2014. If you weren’t on JCCC4 or didn’t sign up for Early Booking while on JCCC4, booking for the general public opens May 12, 2014 at 12 noon EDT. Watch the site for details.
Can I book the cruise directly with Royal Caribbean/through a third-party travel site/from a shady guy in a van in a back alley, and still participate in JoCo Cruise Crazy’s exclusive activities?
Because JoCo Cruise Crazy did not buy out the whole ship for JCCC5, it is theoretically possible to book the same itinerary for a lower cost through a third-party booking site. However, you can only see the exclusive JoCo Cruise Crazy shows and take part in the exclusive JoCo Cruise Crazy events if you buy through us. No exceptions.
There are also a number of credit card and other discount vouchers that, for contractual reasons, are not redeemable for JoCo Cruise Crazy. The ONLY discounts available for JCCC5 are for those who attended JCCC4, people who have sailed on any previous JCCC event, children under the age of 3, and anyone who books through May 27, 2014. See the Pricing page for complete details.
The markup we apply to the “regular” cruise fare is what enables us to bring awesome entertainers every year, and to pay everyone who works the very long hours necessary to organize and operate JoCo Cruise Crazy. Also, the more people we have in our official group, the easier it is for us to commandeer rooms and spaces on the ship for cool stuff and activities.
So while we understand the desire to get the super-bestest available price possible, we hope you can understand our reasoning. After all, if you just wanted to go on a “normal” Caribbean cruise, you wouldn’t be reading this FAQ. And if we didn’t apply a markup, there’s no possible way we could even put together JoCo Cruise Crazy. Which would give many people a sad.
Technically that’s not a question. But yes, yes it is. It’s an eight night cruise on a giant frigging boat. Also, you probably have to fly there on an airplane. That said, we work hard to make it as affordable as possible. Although JCCC5 is moderately more expensive than JCCC4, it’s comparable to JCCC3. And on a per-night basis, JCCC5 is actually less expensive. JCCC is also less expensive than most other comparable fan/music cruises, particularly on a per-night basis. (And of course NONE of them have Jonathan Coulton!) The markup over Royal Caribbean’s prices covers our costs to bring all this talent on board (which includes their cabins, airfare, etc.), pay staff to help things run smoothly, and put on A BUNCH OF CONCERTS AND A WHOLE MESS OF FANTASTIC ACTIVITIES FOR YOU.
We confess that we’re hoping to make some profit from this trip; it will be a great deal of fun of course, but we are all professional entertainment people, this is our job, and it takes an awful lot of our time and energy to put it all together. If it makes you feel any better, there is always the possibility that not enough people will come, and we will lose our metaphorical and literal shirts!
- Government taxes and fees (currently $112.06 per person; subject to minor change)
- Gratuities (for stateroom steward, head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter; $114 per person for most suites, $96 per person for Junior Suites and all other staterooms; subject to minor change)
- Access to all exclusive JCCC5 entertainment and events
- All your on-board meals (excludes optional meals in the ship’s “specialty” shipboard restaurants)
- 24-hour room service (though there is a modest fee for late-night service)
- Tea, coffee, iced tea, and lemonade
- Use of the gym (yes, there are Sea Monkeys who use the gym)
- Most onboard (non-JCCC5) entertainment
- The wind at your back, the sky overhead, the sea spray in your face
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
- Use of the spa
- Casino action
- Royal Caribbean shore excursions
- Some “specialty” dining venues
- Ship to shore telephone & internet access
- Any expenses of a personal nature (purchases made in shipboard stores; travel to/from Ft. Lauderdale; pre- and/or post-cruise hotel; shuttle to/from airport; extra gratuities for particularly excellent service; etc.)
- Medical services
NOTE: Gratuities, taxes and fees are subject to minor change. You will be notified in the event of any increases.
OTHER NOTE: Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to impose a fuel supplement on all guests if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel exceeds $65.00 per barrel. The fuel supplement for 1st and 2nd guests would be no more than $10 per guest per day, to a maximum of $140 per cruise; and for additional guests would be no more than $5 per person per day, to a maximum of $70 per cruise.
The cruise fare and Entertainment Pass used to be separate. Why is everything now lumped together into one price?
We went to all-in-one pricing starting with JCCC4 mostly because it’s simpler: our quoted price is all you need to pay for your cabin and JCCC5 exclusive entertainment. That’s it. We also found that in the first three JCCC years, very few people took advantage of the split pricing, and it was a pain in the yub-yub to implement.
All berths booked through May 23, 2014 will receive a $75 per berth discount. Additionally, anyone who has sailed on any previous JCCC event is eligible for a $35 per berth discount. All discounts will be applied to the total balance due, and JoCo Cruise Crazy will periodically check discount eligibility, and adjust affected balances accordingly. If you believe your balance was incorrectly adjusted, please contact us, and our booking monkeys will get things straightened out.
Also: Sea Monkeys who signed up via the Onboard Booking forms while on JCCC4 will receive a $100 per stateroom credit on their JCCC5 room account (i.e. only ONE credit will be applied to any given stateroom.)
The JCCC5 Pricing page list full details.
Children under the age of 3 (as of our sailing date of January 31, 2015) are eligible for a discount of $250 per child, which will be applied towards the total balance owed on the given booking. This discount will automatically be applied during the JCCC5 booking process.
JoCo Cruise Crazy is a package deal, indivisible, and justice for all. And you’ll get at least a dollop of Jonathan every day—when he’s not doing his own shows, he’ll be hosting and generally popping up all over the place. And if you’re considering this trip because you only want to see one of the other acts, you can just wait until they get their own damn cruise!
Yes! The deposit/payment schedule is as follows:
- An initial deposit of at least $250 per berth is due upon booking (before May 29, 2014)
- an additional $250 per berth by May 29, 2014
- an additional $325 per berth by October 2, 2014
- Your remaining balance in full by November 10, 2014
Any bookings made on or after November 10, 2014 will require payment in full at the time of booking.
Of course, you’re perfectly welcome to pay the entire amount up front, or any amount greater than the required installments. You may also choose to pay in as many installments as you wish; after you book your trip, we will email you a PayPal link which you may use to make payments at any time; as long as you have made the initial required per person deposit and are meeting the minimum deposit requirements, then you can make as many payments in whatever amounts you wish at whatever times you wish, so long as it’s paid in full by November 10, 2014.
I want to reserve a room for three/four (or more) people, but haven’t found all my roommates yet. How should I handle that during booking?
If you’re booking a cabin for multiple passengers, but don’t actually have everyone’s names yet, you MUST put down the applicable deposit for each berth you expect to fill, as well as keep up with all scheduled deposits for all berths. If you initially book a double-occupancy room and then want to “upgrade” to a triple or quad at a later date, we cannot guarantee the future availability of triple/quad capacity staterooms, nor can we guarantee that our current pricing will apply to such an upgrade.
Also, if you don’t place and keep up with deposits on all berths in your cabin, those berths will not be eligible for any applicable discounts.
During the booking process, there will be a checkbox you can select for any passengers whose information you’ll need to fill in later. (In previous years, we’ve had you fill in “placeholder/dummy names;” this will no longer be necessary for JCCC5.)
Notices for people seeking roommates can be posted in the Jonathan Coulton Forums. Our fanbase has proven to be extremely friendly, resourceful and helpful, and many folks find roommates (and subsequently, new friends!) via the discussion forum with no difficulty. If you are still having trouble after consulting the forum, please contact us, and we will see what we can do to accommodate you; it’s our fervent hope that everyone who wishes to find a roommate can find one, but we make no guarantees.
Yes! In the Payment section of the booking process you will have the option to pay a partial amount. After you complete the booking you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link that will let you or anyone else make additional payments against that booking. Your cabin will remain reserved while you wrangle everyone and squeeze the money out of them, but it won’t be finalized until the full initial deposit amount has been made.
Once you’ve gone through the initial booking process, each party in the booking may create their own JCCC User Account; via these accounts, individual passengers will be able to directly make payments towards the remaining balance at any time. You’ll receive complete details about User Accounts when you book.
Though multiple people may make payments for any given booking, calculating the amounts owed by individual parties is not a service that we provide; we leave it up to the individual members of the booking to determine how the balance should be divided. Final responsibility to pay rests with your booking’s Primary Contact (the person who created the booking), and regardless of how payment gets divided, the balance must be paid in full by November 10, 2014.
And obviously, if your initial booking deposit remains unpaid for too long a time, we’re going to have to cancel it so we can free it up for someone else; but we will do our best to get in touch with you and resolve the situation before we do that. Our main objective is to find a way for YOU to join us for the fun.
Yes. If they will be the sole payer for your booking, be sure you have all of the payment information ready when you start the booking process. Otherwise, the process will operate as outlined above: in the Payment section of the booking process, you will have the option to pay a partial amount. After you complete the booking and create your user account, your user account will contain a payment URL specific to your booking; you may forward this URL to any third party for them to submit payments of any amount. NOTE: this payment link does not reveal any of the booking’s passengers’ personal information.
Yes, because the cruise line adds a surcharge to all single-occupancy staterooms. The Single Occupancy Surcharge varies according to cabin category; all surcharge prices are listed on the JCCC5 Pricing Table, and the correct total will appear automatically when you book.
- Cancellation until and including May 29, 2014: full refund
- Cancellation from May 30, 2014 through July 20, 2014: $100 cancellation fee per person
- Cancellation from July 21, 2014 through September 20, 2014: $150 cancellation fee per person
- Cancellation from September 21, 2014 through November 20, 2014: $250 cancellation fee per person
- Cancellation from November 20, 2014 through December 20, 2014: cancellation fee of 50% refund of the cruise price
- Cancellation on or after December 21, 2014: no refund
NOTE: if two or more existing bookings are merged into a single booking, this counts as a cancellation of the “discarded” booking(s), and is subject to any applicable cancellation fees.
Because JCCC5′s contract with the cruise line allows no exceptions in its cancellation policy, no exceptions will be made to JCCC5′s cancellation policy under any circumstances (including but not limited to personal financial issues, adverse weather, or being denied boarding by Royal Caribbean for any reason, including health reasons). JoCo Cruise Crazy recommends purchasing trip insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances that could impact your ability to sail on JCCC5.
Cancellation Refund Policy
- In case of cancellation, any refund amounts due to you may be remitted either by check, which will be mailed to the address of record for your booking, or to your PayPal account, at the discretion of JCCC.
What about trip insurance?
Trip insurance is not included in the JCCC5 cruise price, but you may wish to purchase it through a third party. Each year there have been people who have needed to cancel for a wide variety of reasons, so we highly recommend it.
One option we recommend is Travel Guard. Travel Guard provides coverage in the event of unforeseen trip expenses due to: trip cancellation, interruption and delay; involuntary job loss; emergency medical treatment and/or evacuation; lost, stolen or damaged baggage or travel documents; or baggage delay. A complete listing of coverage, pricing and conditions can be found when you follow the Travel Guard link. Another advantage is that Travel Guard will cover your travel costs as well, not just the cost of the cruise itself. You may also call Travel Guard at 1-800-454-7107.
NOTE: when following the link, after entering your country and state/province of residence, choose “CARIBBEAN” in the destination drop-down menu. When entering your trip cost, be sure to include the cost of your travel.
OTHER NOTE: passengers who live in Minnesota, New Mexico and Texas cannot use the above link, and must call Travel Guard directly at 1-800-454-7107.
JoCo Cruise Crazy reserves the right to refuse any booking for any reason.
When you book JoCo Cruise Crazy 5 or some time not long thereafter, you’ll be asked to check a box that indicates that you agree with this release. When you register with Royal Caribbean you will be asked to agree to a separate release, which is separate from the JoCo Cruise Crazy 5 release.
I agree to comply with the stated terms and conditions for participating in JoCo Cruise Crazy 5, including those in the FAQ /Terms and Conditions as posted on the JoCo Cruise Crazy website and updated from time to time.
I understand and acknowledge that attending JoCo Cruise Crazy 5 may involve risks, and I assume all the risks of attending this event, both known and unknown. In consideration for permitting me to participate in JoCo Cruise Crazy 5:
- I release and discharge the organizers of JoCo Cruise Crazy 5 (the “JCCC5 Organizers,” as defined below), and their successors and assigns, from all expense, liability, loss and damage arising from my participation in JoCo Cruise Crazy 5, even if arising from the negligence or fault of the JCCC5 Organizers or others; and
- I waive and agree not to bring any claims against the JCCC5 Organizers in connection with my participation in JoCo Cruise Crazy 5.
The “JCCC5 Organizers” include JoCo Cruise Crazy 5, 20 Goto 10, Inc., Paul and Storm LLC, Worldwide Travel and Cruise Associates, and their respective owners, partners, members, employees, contractors, representatives, volunteers and agents.
This waiver and release governs my participation in and actions at JoCo Cruise Crazy 5, including my travel to and from the event. It will be construed broadly to provide a waiver and release to the full extent permitted by law. I am agreeing to this waiver and release on my own behalf, and on behalf of my successors, assigns, and personal and legal representatives, and I agree that this waiver and release is binding on each of them.
I have read and understand this waiver and release, and I agree to it freely and voluntarily.
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It is strongly recommended that you fly into FLL at least a day prior to sailing, to allow for weather/mechanical/unexpected delays in travel. (Weather is no joke in February: there was a blizzard across much of the US the afternoon/evening before JCCC3, and a few people got stuck and were unable to attend the cruise or had to meet up with it halfway through) If you choose to travel to FLL on the morning of sailing, please note that the ship departs at 5:30 pm, and Royal Caribbean requires that all passengers be checked in and on board no later than 90 minutes before departure—4 pm. Please make allowances accordingly; we would absolutely hate for anyone to be left behind, but there are no exceptions to our refund policy in the event of missing the cruise.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is also in the region, but is roughly 40 miles from Fort Lauderdale. FLL is literally less than four miles from the Port Everglades Cruiseport. If you choose to fly into MIA, be sure to plan your arrival times and ground transportation accordingly.
Can I get help finding hotel accommodations before and/or after the cruise? How about flights to Fort Lauderdale?
As we did for previous JCCC sailings, we will have an “official” hotel this year—once we have finalized arrangements, complete hotel information will be found on our Travel and Accommodations page. You are more than welcome to make your own hotel arrangements if you wish, or if you do not want to wait for details; use of the “official” JCCC5 hotel is not required.
Unfortunately, the JCCC organization will not handle travel arrangements (flights, trains, etc.) for any passengers. We recommend you visit one or more of the numerous online travel sites and/or airline websites for assistance, and we strongly recommend you compare prices at more than one site for the best possible deal.
If you have a Crown & Anchor Society number, you’ll be able to enter it when you enter all your other information on the Royal Caribbean site via a link that we’ll provide closer to the sailing date. Some benefits may not apply to your JCCC5 booking—we don’t have any control over or special knowledge of this part of things, it’s all between you and Royal Caribbean.
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Yes, you most certainly can; details are forthcoming.
Note: the credit will be applied by RCI directly to your on-board room account when you board; unfortunately, we cannot apply this credit directly to your JCCC5 booking’s balance.
Royal Caribbean has put together a very comprehensive web page for Cruise Preparation, covering a range of topics including what documentation will be required, baggage policy information and packing advice, dress code, internet accessibility on board, childcare and youth activities, booking shore excursions, and much more. This should cover most of your cruise preparation questions; but if you have any further questions or requests regarding your trip, contact us.
You will have a badge, and you will show it to the Helper Monkeys (as the JCCC volunteers are known) who are manning entrance of the venue.
You will be shunned and thrown overboard*. However, first we will cross-check your name on our master list of paid attendees; and if you are on that list, we will just issue you a replacement badge. That was a close one!
* You will not actually be shunned nor thrown overboard.
Is this a good opportunity to corner a Famous Person and talk to him/her for three hours about my movie idea where he/she plays a kind of nerdy superhero with the power to read through walls?
Not really. First of all, that’s not a very interesting superpower. Moreover, remember that all the Famous PeopleTM on this boat are actual people, so please be respectful of their time and privacy. It’s a tricky thing we know; we like Famous People too, and we also are conflicted about whether or not we should get a photo with them or get their autograph or chat or whatever. Use your judgement and common sense; if someone is having dinner with their family, or getting a massage, or sleeping, it’s generally not appropriate to bother them about anything, famous or not. There will be some time that is public-y and some time that is more private-y. Obviously we don’t want to be complete jerks and take all the fun out it—we’re not trying to institute a “please do not make eye contact with the Famous People” policy—but please, you know, just BE COOL.
Rest assured, the Famous People have been encouraged to make themselves as accessible as reasonably possible while on board, especially during the various social events we’ll be holding; and indeed, part of the criteria for performer selection is overall pleasantness/affability—our “No A**holes” performer policy has a 100% success rate so far, by our count. And we encourage you not to wait until the last night of the cruise to meet the performers/get autographs/photos, so that nobody misses their opportunity because there was too long a line of people waiting for a moment with [Famous Person X].
That said, we wish to be clear: this is not Nerd Fantasy CampTM, and nobody is “guaranteed” face time with [Famous Person Y]. It is our fervent hope that everyone who attends gets to the opportunity to meet/interact with/get the autograph of/steal the immortal soul of every person (both Famous and non-famous) they wish; and, as said above, all the Famous People are encouraged to be as accessible as they can during the cruise. But we must all make allowances that there is only so much time on the trip, that different people may have differing tolerances for sustained public interaction, and that we “canna’ change the laws o’ physics, Cap’n.”
Finally, when it is an appropriate time, but you don’t know how to approach, a good tip that came out of JCCC1′s Q&A session is to simply make eye contact and say “Hi, my name is [your name]*, I love what you do, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
*substitute your actual name here; do NOT say the phrase “your name”
Actually, there will a group of tables specially designated for the Famous People in the same dining room with everybody else. So if by “with” you mean “near” then yes, but if you mean “at the same table as” then no. We are total jerks, I know!
Look, we love you. We would even say that we actually LIKE you, we like to hang out with you. You’re awesome. But dinner in particular is a time when it’s best if the Famous People have some downtime. Many of them will have just come off the stage, no doubt having given the performance of their lives to the greatest audience they have ever had the pleasure of entertaining. They will want a safe space to debrief with their fellow performers, laugh about their mistakes, high five about their triumphs, and in general commune with their peeps in a way that fosters the kind of backstage camaraderie that makes this whole thing better for everyone. By the end of dinner, the action of the adrenaline in their bodies will have terminated due to reuptake into nerve terminal endings, some minute dilution, and metabolism by monoamine oxidase and catechol-O-methyl transferase. They will begin to doubt themselves as frauds, and likely retire to their rooms to watch episodes of The Golden Girls and drink grain alcohol out of a syringe (just, as an example, you know, not everybody does this HA HA HA). Please don’t take offense—it’s a complicated emotional journey that we guarantee you do not want to watch from up close.
Beyond all that, there will be only so many of us performers, and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of you people; there is no non-ridiculously-complicated way to organize things such that everyone gets to have dinner with at least one Famous Person during the trip (and even if you could, you’d likely end up with someone you didn’t really want to eat dinner with*); and it would be inherently unfair for only some attendees to enjoy Dinner with the Stars. So rather than stir up that potential hornet’s nest, we’ve chosen to walk around it completely. Nobody likes hornets.
*Storm eats with his feet. And it’s not nearly as amusing as it sounds.
We will not be holding a dedicated autograph session; there will simply be too many people to do an official signing in a way that wouldn’t involve hours of waiting in line, ending with being hustled past the signing table with no real interaction time, which would be a pity when there are so many other awesome things to do and see and eat and drink. But it’s absolutely fine to ask any of the performers for an autograph (given the caveats described above). In addition, we’re planning to hold even more informal meet-and-greets/social events this year, so there’ll be plenty of “official” opportunities to do so in a far more relaxed, congenial setting. Otherwise, see the section above regarding when it’s appropriate to approach a Famous Person.
We’re very proud of the relaxed, “just hanging out together” vibe that has evolved as we’ve all figured out how to do this. In our opinion, events like autograph sessions would ruin that vibe. Despite some convention-style trappings, we don’t like to think of JCCC as a con; it’s more like Nerd Summer Camp. And have you ever seen an autograph session at summer camp*?
Besides, you’re going to have plenty of souvenirs and pictures by the end of this thing, and anyway we think it’s much better to focus on having authentic human-to-human interactions. Seriously: let’s hang, it will be fun!
*besides at Lake Wissahickon Autograph-Collecting Camp; that doesn’t count.
Special dietary needs, such as vegetarian, diabetic or gluten-free meals, are easily accommodated with advance requests. Kosher meals and a Health Conscious Dining option are also available. To arrange special meals, contact RCI directly at [email protected]; please include in the e-mail your name(s), RCI reservation number, ship name and sail date. Special meal requests should be made no less than 45 days before sailing. (Vegetarian meals are available on all menus in the dining room and at the Windjammer Cafe every day, and do not require special requests.)
Really? You’re saying that an entire cruise, PLUS several island paradise destinations, PLUS star-addled entertainment, PLUS special activities, PLUS the Shadow Cruise, aren’t enough for you? What kind of person ARE you, anyway?
Oh, right; you’re a nerd.
And we are too. So of COURSE there will be internet access, in the form of WiFi that’s available in virtually every cabin and most public spaces throughout the ship.
The bad news is it’s not free—in fact, it’s quite expensive if you purchase it while on board. But, as in previous years, we’re working on getting discounted WiFi plans for our group. Details TBA.
You may also opt for traditional voice and data (charged per MB) roaming through your carrier, provisioned by www.cellularatsea.com. Please see this Royal Caribbean document for details, because we don’t know any more about it than that.
All that said, you are also welcome to join the WiFi Temperance Brigade, wherein you solemnly vow not to connect with the outside world using the Internet for the duration of the cruise. In exchange, you will be gifted with superpowers which may or may not include flight, touch alchemy, and/or superior relaxation.
Some of your fellow Sea Monkeys plan to not only bring back but to improve Twit-arr, JoCo Cruise Crazy’s internal group messaging service. We’re also already working with Royal Caribbean to hook it up to the Independence’s internal WiFi network.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, Sea Monkeys used Twit-arr to organize groups large and small, to share information and experiences about the ship and excursions, and to generally squee. It’s completely free, and runs on pretty much any web browser. It does NOT provide internet access–you’ll still need to buy WiFi if you want to check your email, shop for widgets on Etsy, etc.
Well yes, hmmm, I see your problem there WELL WHY DID YOU TAKE THE PLEDGE DUMMY? It’s true: the WiFi Temperance Brigade high priest David Rees has ruled that Twit-arr is a violation of your pledge. You will have to speak to him about the finer points of this philosophy, but that ruling has been made and is final.
Also: you do realize that the WiFi Temperance Brigade is not a legally-binding contract, and should you choose to take the oath but still use Twit-Arr, you will not be smote by any deity or deities*, don’t you?
We continue to work on improving non-electronic communications. These will include announcements at every main performance, the Helper Monkey Help Desk outside of the Game Room, and a daily JCCC5 newsletter (“The SeaMonkey”). It is a bizarrely difficult challenge staying connected with everyone when there is no internet; but honestly, that’s part of the fun of cruising. It’s rather nice to get a little bit disconnected and have things “happen to you” the way they used to in the olden days of old.
*includes David Rees, who will still believe that you are a wonderful human being who does not deserve smiting
Although there are two dinner sessions in the main dining room, all of our cruisers will be assigned to the early (6 pm) seating, which gives us greater flexibility for the evening events. There are also plenty of other dinner options besides the main dining room, but why miss the fun? If you aren’t assigned the early seating for some reason, please contact us and we’ll get it straightened out.
Like last year, dinner will be “open seating;” that is, we will have a large area reserved with table tents indicating “JoCo Cruise Crazy”; JCCC attendees will be able to sit at any table so indicated (other than the Famous People section referenced above). Also like last year, if you have a group that wishes to all sit together at the same table for the duration of JCCC5, we will be making that option available. The main concerts this year are currently scheduled to end 30-60 minutes before dinner to allow people adequate time to return to their staterooms and get ready.
Some interest has been expressed on the discussion forums in setting up a “dinner hosting system,” wherein experienced Sea Monkeys can elect to act as mentors/hosts to first-timers; and some specific dinner tables will be assigned a mix of hosts and first-timers, to help ease the new folks into the overall Sea Monkey experience. We are looking into creating such a system, and will notify everyone when more details are available.
- Be excellent to each other. We expect that everyone will treat their fellow Sea Monkeys with kindness and respect. This is an enthusiastic and supportive community, and we hope it will always to be this way. Invite people into your conversations and activities; be supportive when your fellow Sea Monkeys try new things; participate, say hello, help out. There are always a few people who are on the cruise for the first time, and we all know how lonely these kinds of events can feel when you don’t know anybody, and you’re maybe not so good with the social interaction anyway. Be inclusive and friendly!
- Don’t harass others. We think you know this already, but for the record, here are some things that are not OK: any kind of physical, verbal, or psychological abuse; threats, intimidation, and bullying; slurs about race, gender, or sexuality; unwanted romantic attention, sexual harassment, and generally creepy or stalky behavior. Don’t be a jerk, you jerk!
- Be excellent to the ship’s staff, non-JCCC cruisers, and anyone you encounter at a port of call. Bad behavior by individuals reflects poorly on our group as a whole, and we don’t want to be remembered as the rude people who ruined everyone’s cruise.
- Don’t steal things. I mean, obviously.
- Don’t use illegal substances or bring them onboard. No exceptions.
- The ship’s management has the final say. The officers and crew of our ship all want you to have fun, but they’re also responsible for the safety and well-being of every person on board. Don’t hesitate to come to us if you need help dealing with an issue; but know that if it involves the ship and its operations, ultimately we must and will defer to the ship’s management.
In general we expect that as in years past, JCCC cruisers will act responsibly and look after one another. But in the event of a breach of this Code of Conduct, we reserve the right to take action, including limiting access to events, or outright expulsion without refund.
During the cruise if you witness behavior contrary to this Code of Conduct, are concerned about another JCCC attendee’s behavior, or feel that you are being or have been harassed, contact any Helper Monkey or member of the JoCo Cruise Crazy management team (Scarface (Drew), Paul, Storm, Anna, Bob (rhaje), or Thera). Off-ship, email JoCo Cruise Crazy management at [email protected].
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