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

It's This Week! (Final Reminders and Important Notes) (Tue, 16 Feb 2016)

This is the week, Sea Monkeys! Here are some important reminders and a few more bits of relevant info for you…


We've said this a bunch of times, but one last time: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR PASSPORT (or other appropriate travel documentation) when you get to the cruise port on Sunday morning. Triple-check, quadruple-check, staple it to your forehead; whatever it takes to remember it.

Online Check-in

If you haven't done so, you have until this Wednesday (February 17th) at midnight to complete RCI's Online Check-In process and print out your SetSail Passes, which will save you tons of time at the cruise port on Sunday morning. Last week's email had full instructions for this process, but if you're having any difficulty, please let us know ASAP.

You can check in here (

Checking Your Information

Please double- and triple-check your booking to make sure that you and your cabinmates’ first and last names are listed *exactly* as on your passports; *Wednesday February 17th at 4pm EST* is the ABSOLUTE last moment that we can send any information changes to the cruise line. You may be denied boarding if any of this information is listed incorrectly on your booking. You have been warned!

You are listed as: XXX XXX (note: only first and last names are listed here)

Other passenger(s) listed on your booking: XXX

Shore Excursions

Wednesday is also the final day you can book shore excursions online, via your “My Cruises” account on the RCI website. You may be able to book excursions on board, pending availability; but booking online is still your best bet.

NOTE: some JoCo Cruise Exclusive excursions, if minimum attendance isn't met, may be merged into “non-exclusive” versions of the same excursion. Also, the “Carnival in St. Maarten” and “The Extreme” excursions have unfortunately been cancelled; RCI will be in contact with those who've booked it to process your refunds and offer alternate options.

Getting to Port Canaveral

However you are getting to the Port Canaveral cruise port on Sunday, February 21st—taxi, hotel shuttle, direct from airport, etc.—be aware that RCI requires all passengers to be on board 90 minutes before departure, which means by 3 pm. “Onboard” 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.

JoCo Cruise Registration

JoCo Cruise registration will take place in the Freedom of the Seas Conference Center (located on Deck 2, forward) on Sunday from approximately 11am - 3 pm. Everyone must go through Registration to pick up their official JoCo Cruise Entertainment Pass badge and lanyard (brought to you by Broken Token) during those hours. You'll also get your copy of the swanky new full-color SeaMonkey newsletter, your Sea Monkey Activity Booklet (more that below), and your FREE SWAG!

All pre-ordered merchandise should delivered directly to your stateroom by the end of the first night. Please check your order for accuracy once you've received it; if there are any issues (missing item(s), incorrect shirt size, etc.), go to the JoCo Cruise merch table outside any main stage show (and please bring your packing slip), and they'll make sure you get all sorted out.

During/after dinner on day 1, the Conference Center will be transformed into the famous JOCO CRUISE GAME ROOM, (sponsored by Steve Jackson Games).

New Monkey Orientation

If it’s your first JoCo Cruise, or you’d just like a refresher, we’re holding an orientation session at 2:45 pm on Sunday in the Arcadia Theatre (Deck 3, forward) to talk about what to expect during the week ahead, and to answer any questions you may have. (Note that many general questions may already be answered in our FAQ ( and/or in the SeaMonkey guide you’ll have been given at Registration.)

Welcome Cocktail Reception

You are all cordially invited at 4:45 pm on Sunday for an open-bar Welcome Cocktail Reception in Studio B (deck 3, midship-center from aft). Find old friends, meet new friends, get officially introduced to this year’s performers, and generally get settled in to your vacation the old fashioned way: with free drinks, including brews by Mystery Brewing Company.


As mentioned previously, the JoCo Cruise 2016 online schedule ( is available for viewing.

Twit-Arr and Cruise Monkey

Some of you may have seen/heard the terms Twit-Arr and Cruise Monkey bandied about, but may not be sure what they are. These are apps developed by Sea Monkeys over the past several years (on an entirely volunteer basis), to help facilitate communication on board.

Twit-Arr is the SeaMonkey social media network on the ship. We bring a server and (with the help of Royal Caribbean IT) make it available on the shipboard WiFi network. To access Twit-Arr you do NOT need to pay for ship Internet access. When you get on the ship you will be given a URL you can use to access it in your browser.

CruiseMonkey is primarily an app for viewing official and shadow events, marking the events you wish to attend, and creating new shadow events on the fly. It contains deck plans, shipboard amenities, and the music list for karaoke events. Additionally, CruiseMonkey is a mobile Twit-Arr client. In the same way you can use custom clients like TweetDeck with Twitter, you can use CruiseMonkey to read and post to Twit-Arr, including posting on the public timeline and sending “Seamail” (similar to multi-user text messaging). Just like Twit-Arr, you do NOT need to pay for ship Internet access to use it.

NOTE: while the online “Sched” schedule above is the “official” home for all schedule info, Twit-Arr/CruiseMonkey will be updated with any additions/changes the Home Office makes to the schedule, so you won't have to connect to the Internet while on board to get the current schedule.

Further information and installation instructions can be found on the CruiseMonkey blog (

Many, many thanks to the Sea Monkeys who've donated many hours of their own time to create and refine Twit-Arr and Cruise Monkey over the years; you folks are the bee's knees!

Sea Monkey Activity Book and Raffle Prizes

This year we’ve teamed up with our sponsors to award awesome prizes to encourage folks to do things they’d probably do anyway. Complete details can be found in Nicole Dieker's latest post (, but we’re especially excited about the Sea Monkey Activity Book, developed in conjunction with Lone Shark Games. And thank you of course to all of our sponsors (which includes Lead Gaming Sponsor Steve Jackson Games) who contributed prizes (

What Do I Do if I Miss the Ship?

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

Dining Room and Dress Code

Like last year, we essentially have the entirety of the bottom floor of the main dining room (The Leonardo Dining Room, Deck 3, aft), plus a good portion of tables on the second floor (The Isaac Dining Room, Deck 4, aft). Our dinner seating will be at 5:30 pm every night. (Except on Day 1, where we go to dinner at 5:45, immediately following our Welcome Cocktail Reception.)

Dinner is “open seating” and you may sit at any table in the dining room marked with a white “JoCo Cruise - Open Seating” table tent; and you may move to different (similarly-designated) tables each night, if you wish. Ignore any table number your Sea Pass (room key) may indicate. (If you selected fixed seating, you should have already been contacted regarding your assigned table number.)

Most evenings, the dining room dress code is “smart casual” which RCI describes as “jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women.” In practice, they are usually pretty lenient with this code, but you are well advised to avoid wearing shorts, ripped jeans, muscle shirts, or flip-flops.

Two evenings (Mon. Feb. 22 and Fri. Feb. 26) are “formal” in the dining room, which RCI describes as “suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses for women.” Again, in our experience, RCI is lenient to a certain extent, and they’ve been advised as to some of our passengers'…unusual definitions of “formal wear.”

In all cases, the RCI dining room staff and management will have final word as to what is “acceptable,” and JoCo Cruise Management will abide by their decision. If you do not wish to participate in the formal dining evenings, that’s no problem; the dress code applies to the main dining room only, and there are numerous other dining options available on board.

Bed Configuration

If, when you arrive at your cabin, you’d like bed configuration switched from its existing configuration (i.e., separated or put together), just let your stateroom attendant know (or leave a note), and they will be rearranged during dinner.

Say it with us now…SOON!

The Home Office.

JoCo Cruise 2016: Schedule, and Important Reminders (Tue, 09 Feb 2016)

Hello, Sea Monkeys. We can't believe how time flies, but here we are, fewer than two weeks away from JoCo Cruise 2016.

There's LOTS to go over in this email; we apologize for how long it is, but we promise it's important.


Oh, man. ManOhManOhMan. We’ve been hard at work all year putting together this enchilada, and are finally ready to unveil this year’s official schedule:

[JoCo Cruise 2016 Schedule](

Our new online schedule lists the following (in style!):

  • Main Events: These are the “big shows” of the week—the main performances in the Arcadia Theatre and Studio B, cocktail parties, and other events designed for full group participation. We don't schedule any other official events to conflict with a Main Event.
  • Featured Events: Other events, in smaller venues, often featuring our performers and guests—office hours, side concerts, meetups, karaoke, and tons of other fun things.
  • Gaming Track: New and improved for 2016! Brought to you by [Steve Jackson Games](, and organized with the help of Jenn Ellis and Keith Baker (of [Twogether Studios](, makers of Phoenix: Dawn Command) this expanded roster of events is designed to encourage people to try new games, learn more about their favorite games, and give those new to modern tabletop gaming a place to start.
  • Writing Track: It was a hit in 2015, so bestselling and award-winning veteran Sea Monkeys John Scalzi and Pat Rothfuss are bringing back events about writing and the creative process to JoCo Cruise 2016. Whether you’re an aspiring writer or just enjoy hearing about the craft, we have a full week's worth of panels, readings and events for you.
  • Shadow Cruise Events: This online schedule also includes all Shadow Cruise events submitted so far. So now you have a single online source for everything happening on board!

And of course the JoCo Cruise Game Room, sponsored by Steve Jackson Games, will be open 24/7. Again, we're bringing in a bunch of our own 4-top card tables, to facilitate MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT GAMING(1).

The JoCo Cruise schedule is subject to change. When in doubt, this [online schedule]( is THE definitive, accurate and updated source for information.

Sea Monkey Activity Book

This year, when you get your swag bag at registration, look inside the front pocket for your new “Sea Monkey Activity Book”. Designed by our friends at [Lone Shark Games]( in conjunction with JCC, you can use this book to help you get acquainted with all that JoCo Cruise has to offer, including your fellow Sea Monkeys! Even better: participating earns you raffle tickets for chances to win prizes donated by many of our generous sponsors. Complete details can be found inside the book; we'll announce raffle ticket claim info on Day 1.

Some Important Reminders

Now then…below are some important reminders. Please read through this email and make sure everything is taken care of.

Online Check-in

Reminder: If you haven't done so yet, don't forget to go through the RCI Online Check-in process (as outlined in the last email we sent to you) and print out your SetSail Passes, which you can do until three days prior to sailing (by midnight on Wednesday, February 17th).

Please make sure that your passports and other travel documents are in order! You can find all the information about required documents on Royal Caribbean's [Travel Documentation page](

Passenger Names

The first name and last name displayed on your passport (or other legal document described [here]( must match the name in the Royal Caribbean system.

Your name is listed as: XXX XXX (note: only first and last names are listed here)

Other passenger(s) listed on your booking: XXX


  • There are exactly 2 guests in your booking, no more, no fewer.
  • The spelling of your name matches your legal documents exactly. Only first and last name are needed. You should *not* include your middle name.
  • The spelling of the other passengers’ first and last names matches their legal documents exactly. (Note: if your other passengers have signed up for a user account, they too have received a copy of this message. Nevertheless, if you notice an error, we ask that you respond, copying them).
  • There are no dummy names listed on your booking.

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

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

Shore Excursions

If you're new to the cruise and the general concept of shore excursions, JoCo Cruise blogger Nicole Dieker has written a handy guide to the process called, obviously, [“Everything You Need to Know about Excursions”](

Monarch of the Seas / Opt-out

Every year, we randomly select one Sea Monkey to become the Monarch of the Seas. It's largely a ceremonial title, but does have its privileges: front-row-center seating for all main events for the Monarch and their consort/family; a really nifty crown created by Fiona’s Fineries; and deferential treatment (optional) from all Sea Monkeys (YMMV).

If you or anyone in your booking would prefer not to be in the pool of potential Monarchs (we know that not everyone cares for that degree of attention and fuss), just fill out the [Google “Monarch Opt-Out” form](

12 days!


(1)JCC claims no responsibility for the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your individual gaming experience.

(2)which will be in the Game Room, sponsored by Steve Jackson Games!

Helper Monkeys! RCI Online Check-in! Other Things! (Sun, 17 Jan 2016)


With the growth of the Gaming Track this year, Volunteer Coordinator Bob and Cruise Mom Thera are on the hunt for a few more Helper Monkeys willing to spend time at either the Table Top Taste Test or another Gaming Track event. (They will make sure you'll be trained on and understand any game you'd be supporting.) This year the Taste Test will include games from Cheapass Games, Greater Than Games, Looney Labs, and of course, Lead Gaming Sponsor Steve Jackson Games!

If you'd like to help out, please fill out the [Helper Monkey Application](

Your RCI Reservation Number - XXXXXXX / My Cruises Account / Online Check-in

Most of you should have received your RCI reservation number from us several months ago; but as a reminder, it's listed above. You'll need this number to set up your “My Cruises” account on the RCI site; this account will allow you to enter your passenger information, get checked in for the cruise, purchase shore excursions, etc. Below is a brief walkthrough, if you're new to the process or need a refresher.

When you go to the [RCI website](, go to the “Log-in” link in the upper right and select “Log-in to My Cruises”. (If you haven’t set up an account previously, you can create one there.)

Once you’re logged in, look under “Purchased and Held Cruises”. If your reservation number isn’t listed there, you can select “Don’t see your reservation?” and add it. Date of Departure is February 21, 2016; enter your last name as it appears on your booking (XXX), and your reservation number (XXXXXXX).

Once you've added and selected your reservation number, it’ll take you to your “Countdown to Cruise” page. From there, you can see your passenger information, purchase beverage packages and shore excursions, make spa reservations, and most importantly: complete your online Check-in process. Doing this will save you a TON of time at the cruiseport, as you won't have to check in manually, which involves having to WRITE A BUNCH OF THINGS on ACTUAL PIECES OF PAPER like some sort of CAVE PERSON.

The “Check-in Online” button is on the right side of the “Countdown to Cruise” page, and will walk you through the process of entering your booking's guest information, onboard expense account info (they don't use cash on the ship; all purchases get charged to your room via your room key), and signing your cruise ticket contract. Once you've completed this process, you can print out your SetSail Passes, and then tuck them away safely to bring with you to Port Canaveral on Feb. 21st.

You can check-in online up until three days before our departure date of Feb. 21st; so don't forget.

Special Needs

If you have special needs (dietary, CPAP machine, allergies, etc.), please fill out RCI's [Guest Special Needs Form]( if you have not already done so. You'll need your booking (XXX), and your RCI reservation number (XXXXXXX) when filling out this form.

NOTE: You must submit special needs requests to RCI directly. JoCo Cruise cannot process these requests.

Overstock Merch Store - Extra Hours

Stop the presses!!!…what? Email is a digital medium, and there's no presses? Well, heck. In any case, we wanted to tell you that we're keeping the [JoCo Cruise Overstock Merchandise Store]( open for a while longer—through the end of the month, to be precise. The Overstock Merch Store will remain open through January 31st for all of your stuff-from-previous-JoCo-Cruises-at-reduced-cost shopping needs! (You'll need to log in to your JCC User Account to shop.)

Charter About Shuttles to Port Canaveral - SOLD OUT

Charter About has informed us that they officially have no more spaces available for Orlando-to-cruiseport and cruiseport-to-Orlando shuttles. If you haven't made your pre- and post-cruise transportation plans yet, you will need make alternate arrangements. (And there are plenty of shuttle companies available, don't fret.) We see that some Sea Monkeys are making plans together on the [JCC2016 Facebook group](; so you may also want to check there. (This is a closed group, so you'll need to request to be added before being able to view content.)

This Year's Free Gift

We know many of you LOVE to plan ahead. And we know that luggage space is also often at a premium.

For those of you new to JoCo Cruise: every year, we give all our passengers some sort of free gift at registration. (Previous years gifts have been things like t-shirts, travel bags and beach towels.) Without giving away any details, we wanted to suggest that you allow a little space for said gift in your packing plans. Let's say, roughly a small sweatshirt's worth of space for each person in your booking. (NOTE: this year's gift is NOT a sweatshirt.)

Group Photo

Speaking of planning ahead: here's a heads-up that this year's group photo is currently scheduled to take place at 4:30 pm on Thurs., Feb. 25th (Day 5). We're in St. Maarten that day until 5 pm, but everyone has to be back on board by 4:30 pm anyway. (Each port day, everyone must be back on board 30 min. before scheduled departure.) But, if you either are planning a later shore excursion, or are just wandering around until the last minute, you might miss it. (Because it'll be on the ship's bow helipad, the captain and staff want us to complete the photo before the ship pulls away from the dock for safety reasons; so it'll be on the “timely” side, if not “early.”)

The group photo isn't mandatory; but if it's important to you to be a part of it, please make your St. Maarten plans accordingly.

35 days!


Shadow Cruise; Zoe Keating; Deadlines (Fri, 08 Jan 2016)

Shadow Cruise Events

For those new to JoCo Cruise: one of the biggest highlights every year is how you guys, the Sea Monkeys, self-organize and plan your own side events, commonly known as the “Shadow Cruise.” Almost anything goes: dance lessons, city/regional meetups, game playtesting and dungeon delving, jam sessions, you name it.

Every day on board, we reserve various spaces on the ship for these events. If you're interested in putting together a Shadow Cruise event, you can fill out the [Shadow Cruise Events Form]( to tell us more about what you have in mind—a brief description, any technical requirements you may have, and if you would like a particular venue. The poll will have a brief description of the spaces available, and we’ll do our best to match your event with the best space. (You'll need to be logged in to your JCC User Account to access the form.)

Zoë Keating!

So here's a cool thing…Performer Imogen Heap ( decided she wanted to bring a friend along to help out during her performance this year. And it just so happens that that friend is JoCo Cruise 2013 veteran [Zoë Keating](! So please welcome back Zoë and her cello and her general awesomeness—and we'll definitely find other ways for her to join in and help out during the week.

Jan. 15th Deadlines: Port Canaveral Shuttles, Overstock Merch Store, Fixed Seating

January 15th is an important day for Sea Monkeys: it's the deadline for the following tasks:

Don't say we didn't warn you!

Shore Excursions

One more reminder that you can now book shore excursions online via the [Royal Caribbean site](, including many excursions exclusively for JoCo Cruise attendees. If you go to your reservation (in your “My Cruises” account on the RCI website), you can go to the “Shore Excursions” section of the Cruise Planner to see a list of all excursions available.

Please note a couple JoCo-exclusive excursions that were made available more recently: “Carnival in St. Maarten” (a combination beach party/dining experience); and “Yoda Museum with Island Tour” (a scenic tour of St. Maarten and St. Martin, plus a stop at the newly-expanded “That Yoda Guy” Movie Exhibit).

Booking will be available online until one week before we sail. But if you miss your chance, you'll still be able to book onboard at the ship's Shore Excursions desk.

43 days!


Sea Monkey-exclusive Excursions! Plus: Solomon Georgio! Plus: Holiday Shopping Guide! (XXX) (Mon, 23 Nov 2015)

New Performer: Solomon Georgio

You thought we were done adding performers to the lineup? YOU THOUGHT WRONG.

Please welcome [Solomon Georgio]( to our Comedy Night lineup, joining Michael Ian Black, Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito for what will be a night of incredible standup comedy. Paul and Storm got to see Solomon perform live at the Bumbershoot Festival this year, and we know he's going to be a great addition to our community.

JoCo Cruise Exclusive Excursions Available This Tuesday!

Last year, we worked with RCI to create excursions that either had exclusive departure times available only to Sea Monkeys, or were special excursions created specifically for Sea Monkeys. It was a huge hit, so we've done it again for 2016.

This year's JoCo Cruise-exclusive excursions will be available starting Tuesday morning, Nov. 24th (that’s as specific a time as they could give us), via the RCI website. All excursions labeled “JOCO Exclusive” are the departures available solely to passengers registered through JoCo Cruise.

To book shore excursions, [log into your RCI My Cruises account]( If you don't have an account yet, [it's easy to create one]( From your My Cruises page, click on your RCI Reservation Number (XXXXXXX) for our cruise, then scroll down the Vacation Summary page to “Shore Excursions.” (If you haven't added our cruise to your My Cruises account, [it's easy to add]( using your name and RCI Reservation Number.

Here's the complete list of our excursions:

Mon. Feb. 22 - CocoCay, Bahamas

  • JOCO Exclusive - Parasail Adventure Tour
  • JOCO Exclusive - Stingray City Bahamas
  • JOCO Exclusive - Certified Scuba Dive Without Equipment
  • JOCO Exclusive - Certified Scuba Dive With Equipment
  • JOCO Exclusive - CocoCay Wave Jet Tour - Driver
  • JOCO Exclusive - CocoCay Nature Walk
  • JOCO Exclusive - Kayak Adventure and Snorkel Combo

Wed. Feb. 24 - St. Thomas

  • JOCO Exclusive - Kayak, Hike and Snorkel at Cas Cay
  • JOCO Exclusive - St. John Half Day Champagne Cat Sail Beach and Snorkel
  • JOCO Exclusive - Magens Bay Beach Getaway
  • JOCO Exclusive - Caribbean 'FastCat' 2-Island Snorkeling Safari and Beach Getaway
  • JOCO Exclusive - All Inclusive St. John Beach & Snorkel
  • JOCO Exclusive - Champagne Sunset Harbor Cruise
  • JOCO Exclusive - Certified Scuba Dive without Equipment
  • JOCO Exclusive - Certified Scuba Dive with Equipment
  • JOCO Exclusive - Discover Scuba Diving
  • JOCO Exclusive - St. Thomas Snuba

Thu. Feb. 25 - St. Maarten

  • JOCO Exclusive - St Maarten Airport Adventure and Snorkel Cruise
  • JOCO Exclusive - Sightsee Marigot & Beach Getaway
  • JOCO Exclusive - Sea and See Tour
  • JOCO Exclusive - Catamaran Mirabella - Beach and Sea
  • JOCO Exclusive - Discover Scuba Diving
  • JOCO Exclusive - Catamaran Sail & Snorkel Adventure
  • JOCO Exclusive - Scuba Dive with Equipment
  • JOCO Exclusive - Scuba Dive without Equipment
  • JOCO Exclusive - Anguilla Dolphin Encounter & Beach
  • JOCO Exclusive - Anguilla Dolphin Swim & Beach
  • JOCO Exclusive - The Extreme
  • JOCO Exclusive - Yoda Museum and Beach Break
  • JOCO Exclusive - St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous
  • JOCO Exclusive - 4×4 St. Maarten & Beach Escape

Sun. Feb. 28 - Orlando (Port Canaveral)

  • JOCO Exclusive - Kennedy Space Center “VIP” Tour (Airport Drop off)

Finally, the following four St. Maarten excursions are not online yet, but are coming soon:

  • JOCO Exclusive - Tiki Hut Relax & Snorkel
  • JOCO Exclusive - Island Tour and Yoda Guy (with free time at the end of tour)
  • JOCO Exclusive - Culinary Quality French Lunch with Wine in Marigot, and Yoda Guy
  • JOCO Exclusive - Taste of Carnival St. Maarten (RCI's description: “What better way than to see the Caribbean than thru a personal touch of Cultural, where the music colors and smells arose all your sense. Head back to the ship looking and feeling like you belong on the islands. Dance, Drink and laugh like we do at our festivities. Return home speaking of the Carnival Taste on your tongue or in your hips! Arrive at the spectacular dreams overseeing the neighboring Island of Anguilla and let of taste of local overwhelm your senses. Move to the carnival beat while the tasteful fumes open your appetite. Feel free to take photos and our enjoy a dance from two of our own parade revelers, in their bright and extravagant costumes. Don’t feel shy to let them teach you our local dance steps as you sip on your punch. Inquire on the chef's secrets if you wish on seasonings and trades of the Caribbean. Take a dip and lounge on the sunlight and refresh in the peaceful turquoise waters of Dreams Beach. Then enjoy a mini tour back to the ship.”)

JoCo Cruise Holiday Shopping Guide!

JoCo Cruise Blogger Nicole Dieker has made a holiday shopping to JoCo Cruise Merchandise, including goodies from our performers and featured guests. Check it out [here!]( And, of course, don’t forget to check out this year’s [JoCo Cruise purchasable stuff and things](, including the amazing Three Monkey Moon t-shirt, and new-for-2016 Photo Book, whose profits will go to Pat Rothfuss’s Worldbuilders charity.

And remember—the store will only be open until December 15th. This merch will be available on board the *Freedom,* but will be subject to the cruise line's steep markup.

89 DAYS!

JoCo Cruise: Esposito, Butcher, Flansburgh, Merch! (Fri, 13 Nov 2015)

New Performers Confirmed: Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher!!

We are happy to announce the addition of comedians [Cameron Esposito]( and [Rhea Butcher]( to our “Comedy Night” lineup. As some of you may recall, Cameron had to cancel her appearance on last year's JoCo Cruise; so we're very excited to get this “do-over” opportunity! And anyone who saw Rhea's set last year knows she's “one of us.”

Are You Ready for DJ FLANS?

We have also just confirmed that [John Flansburgh]( (as in, “…from [They Might Be Giants]( will be returning to JoCo Cruise for 2016 to DJ our annual dance party. Flans's JoCo Cruise DJ sets back in 2012 achieved legendary status, and we are thrilled to have him back on board with us this year.

JoCo Cruise 2016 Merch Store is NOW OPEN!

The wait is over, and [the JoCo Cruise 2016 Merchandise store is open for business](! We had an incredible amount of fun coming up with this year’s designs, and are excited to unleash them: t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts (because yes, it can sometimes be a bit windy and chilly on deck at night), beach towels, pins, challenge coins, and more. (Note you will be asked to log into your JoCo Cruise User Account if you are not already logged in).

Completely new for 2016: an Official™ JoCo Cruise 2016 Photo Book, a sort of yearbook (weekbook?) that will capture the shows, hangouts, destinations, and general tomfoolery through vivid images and (probably) flip captions. Pics will be harvested all cruise long by the ShutterMonkeys (led by BatSteve). All profits from sales of the Photo Book will go to Pat Rothfuss' [Worldbuilders]( charity, with shipping costs and services provided by our friends at [Blackbox]( Neat!

With the exception of the Photo Book (which we expect will be shipped out a couple of months after JCC2016 returns), all merchandise will be ready for you to pick up aboard the Freedom at JoCo Cruise Registration. We estimate that photo books will ship to the address of your choice around June, 2016.

But don't delay—the store will only be open until December 15th. You snooze, you lose! (This merch will be available on board the *Freedom,* but will be subject to the cruise line's steep markup.)

Passports, Shuttle to Port Canaveral, Nag, Nag, Nag…

Seriously, folks. Make sure your passports are up to date. And there’s no time like the right now to secure a seat on a shuttlecraft to whisk you from the Orlando area to Port Canaveral (which is about a 45 minute drive away). In fact, it might be good to review the [Travel & Accommodations]( information, and [Royal Caribbean’s “What to Know before You Go” page](

New Performers; Next Deposit Due; Shuttles; and More! (Fri, 30 Oct 2015)

New Performers Announced; Live SPONTANEANATION

What's that, you say? There's not enough performers on the JoCo Cruise roster yet? Okay then…let's add the following newly-confirmed folks to our lineup:

There. Happy now? 'Cause we sure are!

Related: Paul F. Tompkins will now officially be doing a live recording on JoCo Cruise of his outstanding half-interview, half-improv podcast, [SPONTANEANATION](, featuring Matt Gourley, Amanda Lund, Janet Varney and special guest interviewee [Jean Grae](

Reminder: Next Deposit Due November 5th; New Change Fees Begin

As a reminder, the next deposit of at least $350 per person in your booking is due next Thursday, November 5th. As of right now, according to our records, you currently have a balance due on your account. You can view your booking’s current minimum balance due and submit a payment by logging into your JoCo Cruise User Account:


Please also note that after November 5th, any passenger changes made to your booking will incur a $50 administrative fee.

NOTE: This fee will not be applied when adding “real” passenger information for an existing “TBD guest” berth (i.e., if you initially paid for a multi-passenger cabin but didn’t have all the passenger information at the time of booking). It *will* be applied if you are adding or dropping a berth from your booking, or changing your existing passenger data (i.e. one friend can’t go and you bring another instead). So if you’re currently thinking about making any of these types of changes, now's a good time to do it!

Lastly, please also note [potential applicable cancellation fees for any dropped berths after December 13, 2015, per our Cancellation Policy](

For more details on the JoCo Cruise deposit schedule, see [](

For more details on the JoCo Cruise cancellation schedule, see [](

For more details on potential fees when making changes to your booking, see [](

Reserve Your Port Canaveral Shuttle

As you make your travel plans for JoCo Cruise, we'd like to remind you that Port Canaveral is a good 40-ish minute drive from Orlando and the [Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside]( (the official JoCo Cruise hotel), so you'll need to arrange transportation to and from the cruiseport—and taking a cab will be VERY expensive.

One available option is via Charter About, who has arranged special round-trip shuttle pricing for Sea Monkeys. Complete booking information can be found on our [Travel and Accommodations]( page. Whatever shuttle service you use, we recommend you not put off this part of your travel plans; the cruise is still several months away, but that time will go quickly, and we don't want anyone to get stuck making frantic last-minute (and potentially very expensive) arrangements.

Site Inspection: Freedom is Ready for Us

The JoCo Cruise Management recently went on our site inspection (a kind of “pre-cruise” wherein we sail the JoCo Cruise itinerary to meet with ship staff, help solidify our events schedule, and so on), and we're returned from it extra-excited about this year's experience. Notably, many of last year's favorite new events and elements are planned to return (whiskey tastings, Indian dishes on the dinner menu and special Indian Lunch events, etc.); we're expanding spaces for some of our events (we're officially going to be using the upper floors of the dining room during the day for expanded tabletop gaming and shadow cruise events); and there's plans in the works for a special, extra-improved cheese plate! (We know how important this is to many of you.) The ship's staff are looking forward to making the Sea Monkey experience as awesome as possible; several of them remember us fondly from our last time on the *Freedom of the Seas* three years ago!

Side note: we also visited in St. Maarten with Nick Maley, a.k.a. ”[That Yoda Guy](“. He is expanding his museum and adding more exhibits—just this week he added a Carbonite Han Solo—and can't wait for our group to return to the island. (Yes, he remembers you all *very well*.) There will be several Sea Monkey-exclusive shore excursions that include stops at the museum, and we highly recommend a visit when we're in St. Maarten. (We promise, full information on shore excursions is coming…SOON™.)

Clamshells on CocoCay available NOW

Speaking of shore excursions, you can reserve Clamshell “Beach Loungers”, floating mats, etc. right now, and there’s no time like the present to secure ‘em. Just log into your Royal Caribbean account, select our sailing, and you’ll find them in the shore excurions section (where our exclusive excursions will soon be appearing).

Are You Prepared? New Blog Post from Nicole Dieker

Whether you’re new to JoCo Cruise or a veteran Sea Monkey, you’ll find a lot to get excited about in Nicole’s Dieker's [latest blog post]( Plus, it's a quiz. [Check it out!](

Passport Passport Passport Passport

It's already mentioned in Nicole's blog post, and we’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: if your passport is expired, or will expire six months or less after we return from JoCo Cruise, now is the time to [get it renewed]( While you *can* get on board with alternate travel documents (see RCI's [Travel Documents page]( for complete information), having a valid passport is the easiest, least-complicated option.

113 days!

The Home Office

JoCo Cruise: Out of the Summer Doldrums! (Fri, 18 Sep 2015)

Welcome, John Roderick

We are pleased as a solar panel on a sunny day in Seattle to announce the return of [John Roderick]( to JoCo Cruise for 2016, as a Featured Guest. Welcome home, John.

Shore Excursions: Kennedy Space Center VIP Tour

You asked for it, you got it! While RCI is still finalizing the details of the many JoCo Cruise-exclusive shore excursions for 2016, we wanted to give you advance notice of one in particular: a “VIP” tour of Kennedy Space Center.

Upon our return to Port Canaveral on Sunday, February 28th, RCI has set up a number of Sea Monkey-exclusive departures for the tour featuring special access to restricted areas of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including space shuttle launch pads, Apollo/Saturn V Center and the new Space Shuttle ATLANTIS exhibit. Post-tour, RCI will drop you off at Orlando International Airport. See [RCI's complete description]( of the tour for more information.

We mention this now because the tour is only available to passengers whose Feb. 28th return flights are 4 pm or later (5 pm for international flights). While it is not yet bookable, you may wish to build this excursion into your travel plans. GET EXCITED ABOUT SPACE.

We will forward links to this and all other JoCo Cruise 2016-exclusive shore excursions as soon as they are made available to us.

We Still Need Helper Monkeys

Veteran cruisers are familiar with the Helper Monkeys, JoCo Cruise’s volunteer corps that plays an important role in keeping things metaphorically afloat. This includes handling registration aboard the ship, delivering the daily newsletter, checking badges at Official JoCo Cruise events, helping run Shadow Cruise events, and generally being “in the know” on what’s happening, to help fellow cruisers (especially new ones) get acclimated and stay informed.

This year the Volunteer Coordinator Bob (“rhaje”) Gorski and Cruise Mom Thera Heller are looking to augment the squad. If you’ve sailed with us before and would like to help out, [we’ve set up a handy form for you to let them know](, which includes more information about volunteering, and questions about how much time you’d like to spend helping, what special skills you might like to bring to the effort, and the like.

New Column by Nicole Dieker: JoCo Cruise on a Budget

Cost-conscious and/or frugal Sea Monkeys rejoice! Guest columnist Nicole Dieker’s latest blog post on the JoCo Cruise site, ”[How to Do the JoCo Cruise on a Budget](“, is here to help. Nowhere is it written in stone that a week-long cruise has to completely explode your wallet, and Nicole has unpacked an entire carry-on rollerboard of wisdom about simple ways to minimize expenses while making the most of your JoCo Cruise experience.

Yes, Cabins ARE Still Available

We’ve been hearing a lot of anecdotal reports Out There that people think JoCo Cruise 2016 is sold out. While it’s true that we did sell out our original cabin block, we were able to secure a handful more. So there’s still time to book, if you have friends who are interested. Or casual acquaintances. Or complete strangers. As long as they enjoy good music, comedy, gaming, and nerdy good times, it’s good with us!

155 days!

The Home Office

JoCo Cruise 2016: Royal Caribbean Booking Numbers! (XXXX) (Wed, 12 Aug 2015)

Greetings, Sea Monkey! Your stateroom assignment and Royal Caribbean Reservation Number are in!

We've placed you in stateroom #XXXX, a category XX stateroom on deck XX. Here's a link to the RCI map for deck XX so you can take a look at your assigned stateroom:

If you have major issues with your cabin placement, please respond to this email and we'll do our best to figure something out. If this is all gravy, congratulations: no action is required.

Your Royal Caribbean Reservation number is XXXXXX. This reservation number is applicable to the following guests(1) in your booking: XXXX, XXXX. Each guest will need to complete RCI's online check-in process, or have it completed for them, before we sail (more information below). This number will allow you to do nifty things like check in for the cruise, arrange for onboard extras (such as drink packages or specialty restaurant reservations), and booking shore excursions (important info below on that, too).

Royal Caribbean Online Check-in (XXXXXXX)

NOTE: Each member of your party will need to complete online check-in and print a “SetSail Pass” no fewer than four days prior to our departure on February 21st. Online check-in will become available on Royal Caribbean’s website 90 days before our sail date (approximately November 24, 2015). We’ll send a reminder email with online check-in instructions before that date.

Special Needs (XXXXXXX)

If you have special needs (dietary, allergies, you travel with a CPAP machine, etc.), please fill out RCI’s form:

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

JoCo Cruise 2016 Shore Excursions

As with last year, we are working with RCI to put together a number of shore excursions ESPECIALLY AND EXCLUSIVELY FOR SEA MONKEYS for our days in port in CocoCay, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Most of these are special departures that only JoCo Cruise 2016 guests may purchase and attend; but several of them are being arranged ONLY for our group. (Because you're so darn special.) Some guests may wish to book RCI shore excursions now, but in past years most guests have preferred to wait until the JoCo Cruise exclusive excursions are released. But if there’s an excursion that absolutely don’t want to miss, even if it’s not one of the “special” departures, it’s possible to book it now and switch it to the JoCo version later. Keep your eyes peeled for our shore excursion announcement emails, coming SOON™.


The fine print

  • Are there guests in your booking who are not listed by your booking number? Contact us! Suites with more than 4 people receive multiple booking numbers. Also, guests may not all receive their booking numbers at the same time given the manual process by which our manifests sync with the computers at Royal Caribbean. If your guest has not filled out all of their passenger data yet, they cannot be assigned a reservation number.
  • A note about cabin placement requests: This year we received more than 500 cabin placement requests, and we’ve worked hard to try and satisfy them all. If it was listed, here's the info we had in our file about the cabin placement that you wanted SPECIAL: Guest requests to be nearby XXXX and XXXX.
  • And here's a note to you about the cabin you were assigned: You are next door to XXXX and XXXX!
  • Who was this email sent to? This email was sent to the primary contact for your booking and any other passengers in your booking who have registered for a user account. If you have questions about this email, please contact us.

JoCo Cruise: Names and Passports (Fri, 24 Jul 2015)

Hi there sea-friend,

We cannot wait to see you onboard JoCo Cruise 2016 in just a few (211) short days! It is going to be the best.

First off, make sure your passport will be valid for six months AFTER we sail. We cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. You will not be able to board the ship if your passport does not meet [Royal Caribbean’s requirements](

Secondly, we are getting your Royal Caribbean Reservation numbers and cabin numbers / placements ready for you! We hope to have that information to you by the end of August.

In preparation for this, please check the info below and reply to this email if you or any of your cabinmates’ data is incorrect. If everything looks good, then no email reply is needed. Of course we can still make changes later, but having correct passenger data will streamline your JoCo Cruise experience (e.g. booking shore excursions and even getting onto the ship).


The first name and last name that’s displayed on your passport (or other legal document described [here]( as well as your date of birth and citizenship must match the data in the Royal Caribbean system.

Your name is listed as: XXXX, your date of birth as XX/XX/XXXX and your citizenship as USA (note: only first and last names are listed here).

Other passenger(s) listed on your booking: XXXX


  • There are currently 2 guests in your booking. No more, no fewer.
  • The spelling of your name matches your legal documents *exactly*. Only first and last name are needed. You should *not* include your middle name. Please DON’T WORRY if your name is missing punctuation like a hyphen or apostrophe. Your name must be submitted to the cruise line without those characters.
  • The spelling of the other passengers’ first and last names matches their legal documents exactly. (Note: if your other passengers have signed up for a user account, they too have received a copy of this message. Nevertheless, if you notice an error, we ask that you respond, copying them.)
  • The dates of birth and citizenships of you and your cabinmates are listed correctly.
  • If there is a dummy name listed on your booking: If you do happen to already know who will be joining you, then please log onto your user account and enter their information or invite them to create a user account. If you don’t know yet, we can add your guest’s information later.

If any changes must be made, please make them via your user account or reply to this email as soon as possible. If another passenger's name is misspelled, please copy them in your reply to us.

If you have any questions about how to add or change passenger data via your user account, you may find the answer [here](, or you can reply to this email.

*We ask that you not respond if this information is correct, as we receive quite a lot of emails already.*

We seriously cannot wait to see you onboard! It is going to be *great*!

The Home Office

Michael Ian Black; Plus, Nicole Dieker on Cruise Dining (Tue, 07 Jul 2015)

In years past we’ve had very little to say during the summer. But this year there is too much excitement for us to keep quiet. So let’s get to it…

NEW GUEST: MICHAEL IAN BLACK We are crazy-happy to announce the newest addition to the JoCo Cruise 2016 performer lineup: [Michael Ian Black](

Michael Ian Black is a comedian, actor, and writer who began his career with the sketch comedy troupe The State. He has created several television series including “Stella” and “Michael and Michael Have Issues,” written books for children and adults, and currently stars on the television shows “Another Period,” “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” and “The Jim Gaffigan Show.”


In her latest post, Official Blogger Nicole Dieker addresses what is for many one of the biggest mysteries on JoCo Cruise: [how dining works, including the main dining room.]( Where do I sit? What’s expected on the formal nights? How many desserts can I order? How many appetizers? HOW MANY ENTREES? Prepare to be enlightened.


We highly recommend arriving the day before the cruise, and discounted room nights are still available at the Official hotel, thanks to the good people at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside. And regardless of when you arrive, you’ll need to arrange for transportation to and from Orlando (assuming you’re flying into MCO), and we’ve arranged a shuttle deal for that, too. Visit the [Travel and Accommodations]( page for more details on all of that, and more.

2016 is Sold Out? / Join the Helper Monkeys / New Photo Book / Post-cruise Hotel (Thu, 25 Jun 2015)

JoCo Cruise 2016 is SOLD OUT…sort of

Two important and extremely-related bits of news:

  1. About a week ago, JoCo Cruise 2016 officially SOLD OUT of cabins.
  2. Because we’ve known the above was imminent, we’d been working with RCI to get more cabins added to our allotment. As such, RCI has given us 40 more cabins, and as of right now they’re [available for booking]( We don’t expect them to last too long, and don’t plan to add any more cabins after this. So if you either are someone or know someone who’s interested in booking, this will be your last, best chance to “get on board.” (Ugh; sorry.)

Please note: because these cabins were added to our allotment several months after our original allotment, at greater cost to us, they’re priced higher than our original cabins. This is part of how group pricing works with cruise lines: when an existing group wishes to add more cabins, the cruise line prices them according to current demand at the time of the request.

Join the Helper Monkeys

Veteran cruisers are familiar with the Helper Monkeys, JoCo Cruise’s volunteer corps that plays an important role in keeping things metaphorically afloat. This includes handling registration aboard the ship, delivering the daily newsletter, checking badges at Official JoCo Cruise events, helping run Shadow Cruise events, and generally being “in the know” on what’s happening, to help fellow cruisers (especially new ones) get acclimated and stay informed.

This year the Volunteer Coordinator Bob (“rhaje”) Gorski and Cruise Mom Thera Heller are looking to augment the squad. If you’ve sailed with us before and would like to help out, [we’ve set up a handy form for you to let them know](, which includes more information about volunteering, and questions about how much time you’d like to spend helping, what special skills you might like to bring to the effort, and the like.

NEW for 2016: JoCo Cruise Photo Book

A couple of months ago we announced that JoCo Cruise would be teaming up with Worldbuilders, the charitable organization started by Patrick Rothfuss, to raise funds for Heifer International. Many of you have probably already seen the one of those initiatives: we donated a cabin to [Worldbuilders’ “Geeks Doing Good” campaign](, which raised a total of over $250,000 for [Heifer International]( So if you participated, thanks for donating!

Now we’re excited to announce our next project: for 2016 we’ll be offering an Official JoCo Cruise photo book (name tbd), with 100% of the profits going to Worldbuilders. Of course we can’t tell you *exactly* what will be in the book, because JoCo Cruise 2016 doesn’t sail until February, but the plan is for it to be the most incredible collective vacation album possible, capturing all the shows, hangouts, destinations, and general tomfoolery through vivid images and (probably) flip captions. It’ll be available for pre-sale along with the rest of our Official merchandise, which is currently under development in our Secret Labs Below the Ocean Floor. More details later.

Leading the effort will be veteran Sea Monkey Steve Petrucelli, who is also organizing a Photography Team (The ShutterMonkeys) to cover the week’s events for posterity. So if you’re an experienced photographer interested in joining the effort, please contact him at Spetrucelli at Gmail dot com (or @Wizzer2801 on Twitter).

Preparing for and Learning More about JoCo Cruise

Just a reminder that we’ve set up a [page to help you get ready for this February](, including info on booking pre-cruise hotel and shuttles and, for our new cruisers, info on what to expect.

You can also check out guest blogger Nicole Dieker’s posts. So far she’s done [a basic introduction]( and one about [making travel arrangements](, and she’ll have even more for you each month to help you prepare and learn more about what to expect this year.

Post-cruise Marriott Hotel Deal

By popular demand (and with the help of our friends at Marriott), you can now book the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside AFTER the cruise as well [at our special group rate](, for those of you who won't quite be ready for the vacation to end on Feb. 28th. (We understand; it helps to ease back into Real Life gradually.) Rooms are also still available pre-cruise; [get ‘em while they last.](

We are Modestly Famous, in Some Airplanes!

Very few cruises get mentioned [in the sidebar of British Airways in-flight magazine articles. In fact, in the month of June, that number is exactly four (print version) or seven [(online)]( And JoCo Cruise is among them! So join us in celebrating with a spot of tea, a reheated meal in a tin tray, a Jaffa cake or three, and a few of your favorite Doctor Who episodes(1).


The Home Office

(1)or Red Dwarf, Monty Python, Sherlock, Peep Show, etc.

Second Deposit Reminder—June 12 (XXXXX) (Sat, 06 Jun 2015)


As a reminder, the next deposit of at least $250 per person in your booking is due next Friday, June 12. As of right now, according to our records, you currently have a balance due on your account. You can view your booking’s current minimum balance due and submit a payment by logging into your JoCo Cruise User Account:


Please also note that after June 12, stateroom cancellations will be subject to [cancellation fees] ( Super important: if two booked cabins merge into one, the cabin that gets dropped will be considered a cancellation. So if you’re currently in a single cabin and are thinking about combining bookings with another person, now would be the time to do it!

For more details on the JoCo Cruise deposit schedule, see [](

Nearing JoCo Cruise 2016 Sellout

Good news! Although cabins have sold at an unprecedented pace this year, folks can still book a cabin and join the many new and veteran Sea Monkeys already aboard. But they shouldn’t dawdle: as of this writing there are fewer than *5 cabins left*.

We know that “last call” is arriving early this year, and that the timing may be less than ideal for some to book. But we wanted to make sure your close friends and family have had every opportunity to join us. Here is the booking link, which you could pass along to anyone who might be interested in coming along!


Many cabin types have already sold out. If your preferred cabin type is not currently available, you can sign up on our [wait list] ( to be notified if and when your desired cabin type(s) becomes available. Also, please note that those who have already booked *any cabin type* (and are seeking to move to a different cabin type) will have “dibs” on any newly-available cabins. Finally: while the Early Booking Discount ($75 per berth) deadline is June 12, this discount *will* be extended to anyone who signs up for the wait list by the June 12 deadline and subsequently books a cabin.

Orlando Marriott and Shuttle to Port Canaveral

Rooms are also selling quickly at the Official hotel, the [Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside](, from which you can also arrange a shuttle to Port Canaveral, and back again (or to MCO). It’s hip! It’s hap’nin! [Jump on it.](

If you’re new to JoCo Cruise, or didn’t sail with us in 2013 (which was also out of Port Canaveral), you might want to check out [Nicole Dieker’s latest post](, in which she describes how to avoid some potential travel pitfalls (from first-hand, hard-won experience).

And as always, many thanks to JoCo Cruise 2016’s awesome-o sponsors: Steve Jackson Games (our Lead Gaming Sponsor!), Cards Against Humanity, Greater Than Games, Looney Labs, Twogether Studios, Lone Shark Games, Ultra PRO, Cheapass Games, Fiona’s Fineries, Mystery Brewing, Green Ronin, and ThinkGeek.

JoCo Cruise 2016: NEXT DEPOSIT, HOTEL & SHUTTLE INFO (XXXXX) (Thu, 21 May 2015)

Hello, excellent people who will be joining us for a spectacular ocean voyage! We have a few “heads up” items for ya.


A quick reminder that the JoCo Cruise Booking-o-tron 5000 will be sending notices out soon about the next deposit, which is another $250 per berth, due by June 12, 2015. Those who’ve already paid in full should not receive this notice.

It’s also important to note that after June 12, [penalties will be applied to any cancelled staterooms]( Super important: if two booked cabins merge into one, the cabins that gets dropped will be considered a cancellation. So if you’re currently in a single cabin and are thinking about combining bookings with another person, now would be the time to do it!


For those arriving the day before the cruise (which we highly recommend), we’ve arranged for [a group rate and facilities at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside]( If you're interested, we recommend booking sooner rather than later, as rooms at the official JoCo Cruise hotel tend to go quick.

[Special pricing on shuttles to/from Port Canaveral]( is also available to those staying at the Marriott or nearby; complete hotel and shuttle details can be found in the [Travel and Accommodations]( section of our website.


This year we’ve recruited four-time JoCo Cruise veteran Nicole Dieker (a.k.a. Hello the Future) to help keep everyone informed about the cruise—especially our newmonkeys. And if you aren’t sure what a newmonkey is, you’ll definitely want to check out [her first post](

And as always, many thanks to JoCo Cruise 2016’s charismatic, mellifluous, and thoroughly tubular sponsors: Steve Jackson Games (our Lead Gaming Sponsor!), Cards Against Humanity, Greater Than Games, Looney Labs, Twogether Studios, Lone Shark Games, Ultra PRO, Mystery Brewing, and ThinkGeek.

JoCo Cruise 2016: Initial Lineup, Hotel & Shuttle Info, and More! (XXXXX) (Fri, 15 May 2015)

We've got a whole big pile of exciting stuff to share with everyone. So let's not waste any time, and get right to it…

JoCo Cruise 2016 Performers and Featured Guests (Part 1)

This is genuinely one of our favorite things: the part where we get to tell you about the initial lineup of JoCo Cruise 2016 [Performers and Featured Guests](!

We're thrilled to confirm that the following Performers will be joining us this year:

In addition, we've confirmed the following Featured Guests (folks who won't have their own Main Stage performances, but who will host their own side events and meetups, show up during main stage events, and generally be “around”):

Lots of familiar faces, some new friends, and there is much, much more to come! We will be adding performers in the coming weeks and months, and will be sure to let you know when we do.

Writing Track

In 2015 we introduced the JoCo Cruise Writing Track, a series of writing-themed panels, Q&A sessions and events. We are continuing and expanding the Writing Track in 2016, which will be coordinated and hosted by authors [John Scalzi]( and [Patrick Rothfuss]( And we are pleased to welcome the following authors to our Writing Track roster:

And yes, there will be more to come regarding the Writing Track; we promise to keep you posted about all new developments.

Hotel and Shuttles

We've finally nailed down the details about the [special rates available]( at this year's “Official” JoCo Cruise hotel—the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside—as well as [special shuttle pricing to and from Port Canaveral]( Visit our [Travel and Accommodations page]( for complete details.

Of course, while there are many advantages to availing yourself of the hotel and shuttle deals, it's not mandatory. And why Orlando rather than Port Canaveral? Because the Daytona 500 is happening on Feb. 22, coastal Florida hotels are heavily booked and generally more expensive. As a result, we weren't able to arrange a satisfactory group rate at any hotel in Port Canaveral.


We are also very happy to announce that JoCo Cruise will be partnering this year with [Worldbuilders](, the charity begun by author Pat Rothfuss to raise funds for [Heifer International][ Further details regarding our partnership are forthcoming, but we are absolutely thrilled to be working with Worldbuilders and Pat to help in the battle against poverty and hunger worldwide.

Gaming Track

As with the Writing Track, we are also expanding our Gaming Track this year, with more room for gaming events, playtesting, meetups, and tons more. We're also excited that Steve Jackson Games will once again be returning to JoCo Cruise as our Lead Gaming Sponsor.

Also returning as sponsors for 2016 are the following erudite, upright, and fun-loving folk: Cards Against Humanity, Twogether Studios, Greater Than Games, Looney Labs, ThinkGeek, and Mystery Brewing. More to come on this front, too.

Whole lotta shakin’ going on(1).

(1)no, Jerry Lee Lewis will not be joining us in 2016

JoCo Cruise 2016 Cabins Are Selling Fast (Sun, 12 Apr 2015)

Mere days after opening JoCo Cruise 2016 booking to the general public, we've surpassed our 2015 total, and the pace hasn’t slowed down much. Many cabin categories are sold out, others are hanging on by a thread (all Suites and Interiors will likely be booked soon), and it's highly unlikely we'll be able to get more if/when we sell out.

What we’re trying to say is that unlike past years, we might sell out early. Possibly within the next few weeks. So if you *are* seriously considering joining us for 2016 (or if you know someone who is), there really is no time like the present.

All that said, if we do sell out, we’ll have a waitlist. In previous years there have always been at least a few cancellations as the sailing date gets closer, so there is some chance that cabins of assorted categories could become available. First priority to book those cabins will go to those who are already booked, but seeking a previously-sold out category. Thereafter they’ll be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

And if you’re already booked, AWESOME. 2016 is going to be an incredible sailing, and not having to worry about selling our cabins will mean we can skip straight to the fun work of planning this floating enchilada earlier. And you are going to absolutely love the filling. (No spoilers…yet.)

Online Booking for JoCo Cruise 2016 Now Open! (Mon, 6 Apr 2015)

JoCo Cruise 2016!

General public booking for JoCo Cruise 2016 is OPEN as of 12 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, April 6, 2015! You'll want to jump on it now because:

  • Everyone who books before June 12, 2015 will receive a $75 per berth Early Booking discount. (Legacy JoCo Cruisers will also receive a $35 Returning Monkey discount for themselves and anyone in their cabin, regardless of when they book for 2016.)
  • Cabins are limited, and the most popular categories tend to sell out early.
  • You can only participate in the activities organized and facilitated by JoCo Cruise if you book from us directly, through No exceptions. And once our cabins are gone, they're gone.

So whether you're a legacy JoCo Cruiser, long-time consider-er, or just a person who knows a good thing when they see it, now's the time to dive on in. Digital operators (and a customer service team) are standing by. Beep-boop!

NOTE: if you pre-registered onboard or are a returning monkey, use the customized link in your inbox. It will pre-populate your data, apply the appropriate discounts, and sign you into your existing user account (if you had one).

Want to know more about what the heck JoCo Cruise is all about before booking? Sure ( !

Looking for technical details, terms and conditions, and pretty much everything else? We got ya covered ( .

The Home Office.

JoCo Cruise 2016 - Firsties Booking Starts NOW! (XXXXX) (Mon, 30 Mar 2015)

Hooray! It's here! It's finally here! Firsties booking for JoCo Cruise 2016 is officially open!

Here is your personalized link to begin the JoCo Cruise 2016 booking process:

Follow this link, and it will take you through our NEW AND IMPROVED booking engine. The link above is already associated with your JoCo Cruise User Account, so the deposit you placed via Onboard Booking while on JoCo Cruise 2015 will automatically be applied to your 2016 booking.

Firsties booking will remain open until April 6th; at that time, booking will open to the general public. We strongly recommend you take advantage of this Firsties booking window, so that you'll be more likely to get the exact cabin category you wish. But you may still book via the above link even after April 6th.

Please note: there was an error in our formula calculating single-occupancy prices in the pricing table previously sent out; this has been corrected, and the prices in the booking engine and in the [JoCo Cruise 2016 Pricing Table]( are now accurate. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Plenty more information to come; in the meantime, GET EXCITED ABOUT JOCO CRUISE 2016! BECAUSE WE SURE ARE! SO MUCH SO THAT WE BROKE OUR CAPS LOCK KEY!

328 days,

The Home Office.

Firsties Booking Opens Today! (Mon, 30 Mar 2015)

Just a quick heads-up that we expect Firsties booking to open today (Monday, March 30th) between 4 pm and 6 pm Eastern time. We'd give you a more exact time, but we want to be ABSOLUTELY SURE everything is humming along perfectly before opening up.

When Firsties booking opens, you will receive an email with a link customized for you and your User Account specifically that will take you directly to the JoCo Cruise 2016 booking page. (NOTE: Don't go via the main site, because public booking isn't open yet; and don't use someone else's link, because you are not someone else.)

Some of you who might be worrying, “But what if I can't get to my computer right when booking opens? Will everything sell out and I will miss out on the cruise? Oh, woe and alas and alack!” To you we say: not to worry. Our cabin block this year is such that we do not anticipate running out of any particular cabin categories during Firsties booking. Of course, the sooner you book, the more likely you will get the exact cabin type that you want; and we especially recommend you complete your booking before Public Booking opens up on April 6th. But otherwise, cabins of all different categories should remain available for you.


The Home Office.

JoCo Cruise 2016: Itinerary (Mon, 30 Mar 2015)

Followup to our previous email…as a reminder, here are the details of the JoCo Cruise 2016 itinerary:

JoCo Cruise 2016

Sunday, February 21 - Sunday, February 28

Sailing on Royal Caribbean’s *[Freedom of the Seas]* (

Sailing from Port Canaveral, FL, with ports of call in [CocoCay, Bahamas; St. Thomas and St. Maarten](

Can’t wait to see you all there!

The Home Office

JoCo Cruise 2016 Public Booking Opens April 6! (Sun, 29 Mar 2015)

Hello, Sea Monkeys past, present and future! We have ACTUAL NEW INFORMATION FOR YOU concerning JoCo Cruise 2016. So let's get right to it:


Here is the updated JoCo Cruise 2016 booking schedule:

March 30th, 2015: JCC2016 “Firsties” cabin selection begins for all Sea Monkeys who signed up via Onboard Booking while on JCC2015. (This applies specifically to the users who filled out the Onboard Booking form.)

April 6th, 2015: General public booking begins! To book, you’ll go to the appropriate page on the brand-spankin’ new, and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll enter your party size and select a cabin type to determine pricing, after which you’ll enter your payment info for the next deposit (see below), and check out. Voila!

(During the above, you'll be prompted to log into your existing JoCo Cruise User Account, or to create one if you don't have one already.)

Please note that a deposit of $250 per berth will be due when cabin selection opens; any deposit placed during Onboard Booking will be counted towards this deposit amount. You may also pay in full, or pay any amount in between.

Additional JoCo Cruise 2016 deposit deadlines:

  • June 12, 2015: an additional $250 per berth
  • November 5, 2015: an additional $350 per berth
  • December 1, 2015: any remaining balance

As in previous years, this booking process allows you to select a specific cabin category, but not an actual specific cabin number. During booking, you will be allowed to make specific cabin placement requests (e.g., “Towards the bow,” “Near the elevators,” “Next door to [Passenger X],” etc.) Also note that it will take some time to process everyone’s cabin placement requests—they must be dealt with manually, and reconciling the often-conflicting requests can be quite complicated. Cabin placement requests from JoCo Cruise 2015 attendees will be processed before general public placement requests are dealt with.

JoCo Cruise 2016 CABIN PRICING

Our nifty new pricing grid:

![JoCo Cruise 2016 Pricing Grid](

Note that the prices listed there are BEFORE any applicable discounts, which are:

  • $75 per person for everyone who books on or before June 12, 2015.
  • $35 per person for all returning Sea Monkeys (anyone who has attended any previous JoCo Cruise) and any cabin-mates of a returning Sea Monkey.

Therefore, Sea Monkeys in a double occupancy cabin who signed up via JCC2015 Onboard Booking will see a total effective discount of $110 per person.

In addition, Firsties who signed up via the NextCruise form during JCC2015 may qualify for a cabin stateroom credit of up to $200 per cabin.

NOTE: if you’re planning to have a cabin-mate(s), but don’t have their name(s) yet, you’ll be able to add them later. However, deposits must be put down for each of those berths in order for them to qualify for the $75 Early Booking discount.

We thank you, as always, for your patience and your enthusiasm. We already have a bunch of awesome things planned for JoCo Cruise 2016, and we can’t (but must!) wait to share it all with you.


The Home Office.

JoCo Cruise 2016: Firsties Booking Information (Thu, 26 Mar 2015)

Hello there, people who a mere two months ago were in the Caribbean and enjoying themselves immensely -

Yes, it is sad that we’re not all still together on a ship. But lack of being on JoCo Cruise is a correctable condition, the first step of which will take place starting on Monday, March 30, when FIRSTIES BOOKING OPENS!

Speaking of which, this email serves as confirmation that you are booked for the next one! Your JoCo Cruise 2016 Booking ID is XXXXX.

While Royal Caribbean has already debited your onboard cabin deposit for most of you, please be aware that not all charges are completed. If you have yet to be charged, don’t fret! If you have received this email, you should be charged by the end of April. No matter what, we will ensure that you receive “Firstie” status.

Firsties booking is only available to those who put down a deposit for JoCo Cruise 2016 while aboard JoCo Cruise 2015. Only after the Firsties have had a week to secure their cabin type of choice will general public booking begin. For the benefit of your friends who couldn’t sail with us in 2015: general public booking is scheduled to open on April 6th.

We’ll send more complete details, including a link for booking, on Monday, March 30th. In the meantime, here are the exact prices for each cabin category:

[JoCo Cruise 2016 Pricing Grid](

No worries if you’ve changed your mind about what cabin category you want since submitting your deposit on the *Independence*; your JoCo Cruise 2016 stateroom credit will be based on whichever category you actually book.

The deposit schedule has changed *slightly* from what was announced, but only for the third deposit:

  • A total of $250 per berth is due upon booking (including your deposit from JCC2015)
  • An additional $250 per berth will be due on June 12, 2015
  • $350 more per berth by November 5, 2015
  • Any remaining balance is due by December 1, 2015

And as ever, you’re always free to pay any amount above the minimum (or pay it in full), and you’ll be able to make payments at any time through your User Account.

Otherwise, painstaking levels of detail will be available Soon™ in the FAQ of our swanky, rebooted website. Also coming Soon™ will be details about the Official pre-sailing hotel, and other info that will help with your planning. Not that you like to plan well ahead or anything; we just thought we’d throw it out there.


The Home Office

  • email_archive/email_archive_2016.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/12/29 16:00
  • by nessa