JoCo Cruise in the New York Times

In case you didn't see us crowing about it on the various socials-media, the New York Times Travel section ran a lengthy, awesome article about JoCo Cruise 2019 last week. The article does a wonderful job capturing many of the things we love most about the cruise: everyone's enthusiasm, their kindness, their non-stop positivity, and most of all, the sense of community that pervades the event every year. If you haven't read it yet, check it out!

2019 Recap Video

Our video minions were hard at work again this year, and they've put together a lovely recap of the sights and sounds from JoCo Cruise 2019. The fun, the sun, the shows, the rain (that tried but COULD NOT DEFEAT US!) and so much more, all packed into three minutes and seventeen seconds. Have a look-see, or several!


If you've already booked your cabin for JoCo Cruise 2020, we can't wait to see you! If you're still considering, don't wait too long—JoCo Cruise 2020 is already over 90% sold out. We hope to have you with us next year!


[March 30, 2019] RELEASE THE KRAKEN! Also, 2020 Early Booking Ending

Release the Kraken!

We're right well chuffed to announce that the JoCo Cruise Tartan (a.k.a. The Kraken) has officially pre-sold enough kilts and other items to meet the minimum run requirements! Achievement unlocked!

You can still visit the Off Kilter Kilts site to see the different Kraken things you can order.

2020 Early Booking Period Ending

For those of you who haven't booked JoCo Cruise 2020 but are still interested, here's one last reminder that April 1st is the last day for the $100 per person Early Booking Discount. (Though as “alumni” you will still be eligible for the $75 per person Returning Monkey Discount no matter when you book.)

Cabins for 2020 are going very fast—we're currently over 85% sold out. So, you know…tick tick tick.

2019 Sponsors, Swag & Post-cruise Bonuses!

Thanks once again to all our sponsors for the bountiful 2019 swag bags & raffle items!

  • Anomia
  • Broken Token for those cool wooden JoCo Cruise 2019 magnets
  • Cheapass Games
  • Espionage Cosmetics
  • First Second Books
  • Justin & Dr. Sydnee McElroy
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Off Kilter Kilts
  • Plantronics
  • Twogether Studios
  • Ultra Pro
  • and Greater Than Games for providing the bags & assembling everything

Did you know there's more fun to be had from our sponsors post-cruise? Take a second look in your swag bag to enjoy…

Lastly, watch our social media channels for your chance to win JoCo Cruise embroidered rain jackets (too soon?) or posters signed by the 2019 guests


[March 21, 2019] Thank You! Also: Post-cruise Survey and 2020 Booking and Waitlist

Thank You!!!


By any measure, JoCo Cruise 2019 was extraordinary. It was our first officially “sold out” full-ship charter; it had the most programming (both Official and Shadow) to date; and it had our largest Land Concert event so far. Plus, you all helped raise over $80,000 for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. And that's not even counting the Great TMBG Rainout-that-Wasn't.

We simply cannot thank you all enough for your boundless enthusiasm, your joy, your unending positivity, your kindness, and your continued support of this crazy annual adventure. You are what makes JoCo Cruise such a rewarding experience year after year, and we appreciate and value each and every one of you, individually and collectively.

Post-cruise Survey

We ask that you please take the time to fill out our post-cruise feedback survey. Besides the cruise itself, it's legitimately the most important thing we do each year. Only when we know your collective thoughts on the event can we effectively work to make it better each year and more in tune with your wants, needs and expectations.

We know that this survey isn't “quick & easy.” But every section is important, and we greatly appreciate your taking the time to fill it out.

Please be sure to share this survey URL with everyone in your booking, whether or not they have a JCC User Account. We'd like our results to be as complete as possible. Feel free to share it with friends who weren't on JoCo Cruise 2019 as well; there's sections relevant to them as well.

2020 Booking and Waitlist

If you haven't already booked your cabin for JoCo Cruise 2020, now is the time! Cabins are going fast; don't miss your chance to join us again on the high seas! Also, the $100 per person Early Booking Discount expires after April 1st.

If your desired cabin category is currently sold out, you can still join the JoCo Cruise 2020 wait list.

If you booked for JCC2020 while onboard JCC2019, you should have received a confirmation email on Monday. If you made an onboard booking and didn't receive a confirmation email, please respond to this email ASAP. (And don't forget, if you did book onboard, payment is due by March 26th.)

352 days!


[March 7, 2019] Fundraising Update; Specialty Events; Terms & Conditions; Beetloaf!

It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! It's almost here! here! It's almost here!

…sorry. Just had to get that out of our system.

Anyway, JoCo Cruise 2019 is basically upon us. A few final notes before we see you VERY VERY SOON™…

Fundraising for Puerto Rico - UPDATE

As of this writing, you've donated $31,675 for Unidos for Puerto Rico. Outstanding!

And remember, we've got a matching donor (Michael Marineau) offering us another $10k if we reach $35k in donations; so including all of our matching donors, if we reach $35k, we'll be able to donate a total of $70,000 to Unidos por Puerto Rico! Not bad for what was originally a $25,000 goal.

So once again, if you're able to help with the effort, visit the JoCo Cruise / Unidos Por Puerto Rico page on GoFundMe and chip in. Fundraiser will end just before our land concert in San Juan on March 13, 2019.

Oosterdam Specialty Events

A reminder: the Oosterdam is hosting several specialty events you can sign up for during JoCo Cruise. Among them:

Sign up for these lunches in the Main Dining Room, or by calling 88 on any ship phone You can also sign up for specialty dining (Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto) and purchase drink packages in the Lido Pool Area (Deck 9, Midship) on Day 1.


Beetloaf. Yes, it's real. Yes, it's delicious.

Inspired by this year's notable Super Bowl commercial, we asked the head chef to put together a Beetloaf dish. He rose to the occasion and then some; we got to sample it when the ship was in port recently, and it's really great! It'll be on the dinner menu on Saturday night.

Twit-arr Codes

An email went out a couple days ago to each person with an active JCC User Account with that person's Twit-arr registration code. Once on board the Oosterdam, you can use that code to create a Twit-Arr account. The creators of Twit-arr have created this lovely, thorough overview to help walk you through logging in and using Twit-arr. Feel free to save it or print it to bring on board with you.

If there are other people in your booking who did not get a Twit-arr code and want one (or if, say, you misplace yours), they can get one in person on board at the JoCo Cruise Info Desk during its normal operating hours. (We cannot email codes to anyone other than people with active JCC User Accounts, and we cannot send you codes for anyone besides yourself.)

Terms and Conditions

Please note: per the “Boarding” email you received this week, every adult passenger must sign the JoCo Cruise Terms and Conditions during the cruiseport check-in process in order to be allowed to board. (Minors must have the T&C signed on their behalf by their parent or guardian.)

Passports / Check-in

Quadruple-check that your passport/travel documents are packed, please

Did you checked in online on the HAL website? Hope you did.

Two days!


[March 5, 2019] Your Unique Twit-arr Code

Hola mono marino,

You can use the code below to sign up for the Twit-arr service onboard JoCo Cruise 2019. Twit-arr is a web-based JoCo Cruise-specific messaging, calendaring, and social service provided by Sea Monkeys like you; you may create an account and use Twit-arr once you are onboard. (Your code will not work until then.)

Unique Twit-arr Key for «Name»: «Code»

NOTE: This code is unique to YOU. Codes may be used to create one account ONLY. If you forget your code or have other code related questions, visit the JoCo Cruise Info Desk onboard during its normal hours of operation.

[March 5, 2019] Boarding Process and Day 1 Info

Hi, Sea Monkeys. THIS IS THE WEEK!

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

Don't Be Late

However you are getting to the cruiseport on Saturday, Mar. 9th—taxi, hotel shuttle, driving, teleporter—HAL requires all passengers to be on board 90 minutes before departure, which means by 3:30 pm. “On board” means “checked in and physically on the ship,” so make sure you leave adequate time. And they’re very serious about this kind of thing. Don’t dawdle.

Boarding Documents and Passports

Make sure you have your passports (or other travel documents) for boarding. You should also print out and bring your HAL Boarding Passes, assuming you've checked in online ( like we've mentioned repeatedly. Online check-in must be completed no fewer than 72 hours before departure. If you forget your Boarding Passes or don't check-in online, you won't get refused entry; you'll just have to fill out the paperwork manually at the cruiseport.

When Can I Board?

General check-in and boarding should begin on Saturday at approximately 11 am. (Guests arriving before the terminal is open will need to stay in the waiting area outside the terminal.) Cruiseport staff will be on hand outside and inside to help you find where you need to go. But the process is pretty self-explanatory: you'll drop your luggage off with the baggage handlers out front (if you haven't preprinted your luggage tags, they will have tags available), you'll go through the port's security screening, and then proceed to HAL's check-in desks.

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

Checking In and Getting Your Stuff

When you check in at the pier, you'll receive your stateroom keycard (which you'll also use for all onboard purchases), as well as the JoCo Cruise Handbook (a.k.a. “the blue book”) and a printed schedule of the Official Events. Immediately following your HAL check-in, there'll be a secondary set of tables where you'll get your Red Team/Gold Team badges and lanyards. (Club SRO attendees will also get their badges and lanyards here, plus their drink vouchers and a handout overview of Club SRO procedures.) There'll also be tables with Sharpies for adding your name to your badge (and if you like, an “ask me about” topic), as well as badge pronoun stickers and “Friendshipping” social interaction buttons for all who wish them.

NOTE: when you originally booked JoCo Cruise 2019, the primary contact agreed to the JCC2019 Terms and Conditions on your booking's behalf. During the HAL check-in at the pier, all adults will need to sign the JCC2019 Terms and Conditions for themselves and on behalf of any minors under their responsibility. Every passenger MUST sign the Terms and Conditions (or have it signed on their behalf where applicable) in order to board JoCo Cruise.

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

Once Aboard

Your stateroom may not be ready immediately upon boarding. (It takes a while to completely turn over an entire floating hotel's worth of rooms). If not, there's plenty of options for biding your time. The Lido Marketplace will be open, as will several of the ship's bars. Feel free to explore, familiarize yourself with the ship's layout, check out the various drink and spa packages available, and generally chill.


The Management will hold an Orientation session from 3 - 4 pm in the Main Stage theater (Deck 2, forward). We'll give a brief overview of basic JoCo Cruise logistics at the start, then we'll take any general questions you may have. You can show up when you can/wish, and leave when you wish. It's not mandatory, but it's recommended for new Sea Monkeys, and is open to all passengers.

Safety Drill

At 4:10 pm everyone must participate in the ship's mandatory safety drill. We want to set the HAL record for efficiency on this drill, so please be on time—or early!—to your appointed muster station (indicated on your keycard; ship's staff can help direct you).

“Houston, We Have a Cocktail” Sail Away Reception

At 4:30 pm, to celebrate how well the safety drill went (and also to watch the ship pull out of port), everyone is welcome to gather on the Lido and Observation Decks (Decks 9 and 10) and officially bid Regular Life “adieu” for the week and usher in Sea Monkey Life. Free champagne, mimosas and bloody marys!

What If I Miss the Ship?

If you're at the cruiseport, speak to a HAL representative on site. If you are elsewhere, you can call HAL's Travel Services Department at (800) 628-4771 or (206) 286-3294.

The Daily JoCo Cruise Giveaway!

We'll be giving away tons of prizes every day on JoCo Cruise! You can win in one of two ways:

  1. Online! Use the hashtag #JoCoCruise on any pictures you post on Instagram or Twitter. On Facebook, simply tag our Facebook page instead.
  2. On ship! We'll be keeping an eye out for random/awesome/silly/heartwarming reasons to pick YOU as a winner!

Here's a sneak peek at some of our upcoming prizes: a Plantronics RIG headset, a The Adventure Zone graphic novel & a signed copy of Illimat from Twogether Studios.

A Note about the Schedule

As previously noted, the JoCo Cruise schedule is subject to changes and additions. (There have been some changes since the schedule booklet was sent to the printer.) Updated versions of the 2019 schedule can be found:

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

Four days!


[February 28, 2019] San Juan Land Concert; D&D Night Signups; Fundraising Update

San Juan Land Concert - The Basics

As we have mentioned once or twice or thirty times, we have a big Land Concert happening at a lovely outdoor space called Bahia Urbana in San Juan this year on Wed., Mar. 13, 5 pm - 11 pm. The show will feature performances by Paul and Storm, Tune-Yards, Jill Sobule, Jonathan Coulton, and They Might Be Giants.

Here's a few more details about the event to help you plan your day…

  • Bahia Urbana is pretty much next door to the cruiseport—a 5-8 minute walk, depending on your pace. (see map below)
  • Make sure you bring your badge and lanyard; these will be your “ticket” to the event. (The San Juan Land Concert is closed to the general public, per our contract with the venue.)
  • Doors will open at 4 pm; entry will be via the bridge indicated on the map below. You may enter and exit as you wish (dash back to the ship, go grab a snack, etc.); just be sure you have your badge and lanyard for reentry. An additional exit is located on the north end of Bahia Urbana; there is no reentry via this exit.
  • Transportation between the pier and the venue will be available throughout the day/evening for those with mobility issues.
  • Food and drink may be purchased at Bahia Urbana (via the venue's on-site restaurant and bar, plus additional food/drink stations) from 4 pm through the end of the night. There are also numerous restaurants, bars and cafés within walking distance of the cruiseport.
    • NOTE: you may not bring outside food and drink to Bahia Urbana. (Water bottles are fine.)
  • This is a “stand-up rock show”-style concert, but there will be seating available towards the rear and sides, plus an area near the sound board reserved for Accessible seating.
  • There will be ample restroom facilities and port-a-potties available, including accessible facilities, both in the northwest corner of Bahia Urbana and behind the restaurant/bar area.
  • Everyone must be back aboard the Oosterdam by 12:30 am for the ship's 1 am departure. Because the ship is so near, there's no need for everyone to sprint back immediately after the last note plays; that said, expect some long lines/wait times to get back aboard post-concert.
  • Merch for all Land Concert performers will be for sale in the Lido Pool Area (Deck 9, Midship) immediately following the concert (as well as in the ship's store throughout the week).
  • If you're not ready for the party to end once the concert does, DJ Riz Rollins will be hosting a post-concert dance party back on the Oosterdam in the Lido Pool Area.

D&D Night Signup Form

From Jenn Ellis and the Department of Awesome Onboard Gaming:

“We have a very special JoCo Cruise 2019 D&D night planned at 10:30 pm on Wed. Tue., Mar. 12 (Day 4). Wanna play? Sign up here. You'll be led through a D&D adventure by a friendly Sea Monkey Dungeon Master. If you've never played D&D before or if you're an old school grognard with a Gygax tattoo, this is an adventure to stay up late for. We'll supply dice and everything you need to play and some fabulous raffle prizes.”

So if you're interested in joining this event (there was a LOT of initial interest), please fill out the D&D Night on JoCo Cruse 2019 Signup Form.

Fundraising for Puerto Rico - UPDATE

You continue to amaze us with your generosity. As of this writing, you've donated $27,071 for Unidos for Puerto Rico. (Meaning, technically, we've met our original $25,000 goal!)

We were all set to announce an Anonymous Matching Donor* who was going to give us $5,000 once we reached $25,000…BUT YOU'VE ALREADY DONE THAT! And so they did.

But in late-breaking news, we have received YET ANOTHER matching donation offer from an Ultra-Secret Matching Donor* *, who has generously offered to donate another $10k if we reach $35k. This means that, including all the donation matches already accomplished, if the community raises $35,000 here, a total of $70,000 will go to help the people of Puerto Rico!

So once again, if you're able to help with the effort, visit the JoCo Cruise / Unidos Por Puerto Rico page on GoFundMe and chip in. Fundraiser will end just before our land concert in San Juan on March 13, 2019. Click Here To Donate

*this donor wishes to remain anonymous, and may in fact be a ghost. (They aren't.)

* *this donor may in fact be named “Michael Marineau.” (They are.)

The Schedule (A Reminder)

In case you didn't see all our shouting about it in last week's email, the JoCo Cruise schedule is available online. If you haven't dropped by to take a look, we highly recommend you do so. There's over 400 hours of total programming this year, nearly half of which is Shadow Cruise events organized and run by your fellow Sea Monkeys!

Please note that the schedule is subject to change. (A few items have been added, removed or moved since it went online last week.) For those of you who won't be connecting to the internet while on board, up-to-date versions of the schedule will be available on-board in the daily newsletter as well as on schedules posted throughout the ship.

Passports / Check-in

Don't forget to pack your passport/travel documents.

Have you checked in online on the HAL website?

Good. Good.

Nine days!


[February 21, 2019] The Schedule! The Schedule!

The Schedule! The Schedule! The Schedule!

“When does the schedule come out?”

“Where is the schedule?”

We have heard your cries. And the answer is: HERE! HERE IT IS! RIGHT HERE!

The dwarves have been working overtime in the Mines of Ered-Schedulär to forge this, our biggest, heaviest schedule yet. (We weighed it.) It includes OVER 200 HOURS of Shadow Cruise events, plus all the shows, panels, dance parties, gatherings, hangouts, late-night pizza, you know and love. Dive in and see all the awesomeness!

A few notes/caveats:

  • The schedule is subject to change; updates will appear when applicable on the online schedule, and the daily printed and newsletter schedules will also be as up-to-date as possible.
  • There's still some events to be added—particularly performer/guest Office Hours, which are always the last to get fit into the schedule—as well as additional panelists and participants in official shows and events.
  • You are welcome to create a Sched account (it's free) to be able to build a personalized “My Sched” schedule, but it's not required.

Fundraising for Puerto Rico - UPDATE

First things first: as of this writing, you have helped raise $14,989 in donations as of this writing. Thank you so much!

Here's a big new update, as noted on our social media channels earlier: the next $10,000 of donations will be matched by a Very Generous Mystery Donor*, helping our community’s contributions go even further.

This means that if we reach our $25,000 goal, after the matching funds from JoCo Cruise and the new Mystery Donor* are added, a total of $45,000 will be donated to Unidos Por Puerto Rico to help with relief efforts. (!!!)

So once again, if you're able to help with the effort, visit the JoCo Cruise / Unidos Por Puerto Rico page on GoFundMe and chip in. Fundraiser will end just before our land concert in San Juan on March 13, 2019.

*whose name is Shane McDaniel. Thanks, Shane!

Special Thanks

We'd like to give a special word of thanks to a few folks who have gone several extra miles in making this year's cruise everything it could be:

  • Jenn Ellis and Twogether Studios, who have so ably organized our Game Library and tabletop gaming events this year.
  • Greater Than Games, who have been instrumental in receiving, organizing and packing our 37 pallets (and counting! Three truckloads worth!) of equipment, swag, office supplies, merch, and general “stuff.”
  • Christine Fellows and Fiona's Fineries for handing our Crafting room and events like the proverbial bosses they are.

Thank you all for everything you do. JoCo Cruise literally wouldn't be the same without you!

Tartan Reminder Reminder

This is to remind you of last week's reminder: don't forget to visit the JoCo Cruise page at Off Kilter Kilts to see the various options available featuring JoCo Cruise's very own registered tartan, The Kraken. Please note that this Kraken is 100% guaranteed to not destroy Argos.

(Due to the lead time required to register and weave this new pattern, Kraken apparel will ship in the second half of 2019. Also, a minimum initial weave will require a total of around 100 kilts or kilt equivalents to be ordered, to cover the initial production costs. But all deposits on the Kraken are 100% refundable by Off Kilter Kilts, in case the minimum run is not met.)

Passports / Check-in

Your passport/travel documents are in order and valid, right?

Have you checked in online on the HAL website?

Of course you have.

Sixteen days! (So few that we can start to spell out how many rather than listing digits!)


[February 14, 2019] Puerto Rico Fundraising, Twit-arr, Ship Time, Tartan and Other Reminders

Fundraising for Puerto Rico

Before we knew anything else about our 2019 itinerary, we knew we'd bring JoCo Cruise back to Puerto Rico. It's one of our all-time most popular destinations, which alone would have made it a shoo-in for our grand Caribbean return. And of course we wanted to show our solidarity with the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

We're also launching a fundraiser for Unidos Por Puerto Rico, an organization which facilitates and enables relief efforts on the ground throughout the island.

JoCo Cruise is matching the first $10,000 contributions dollar-for-dollar, so if you're able to help with the effort, visit the JoCo Cruise / Unidos Por Puerto Rico page on GoFundMe and chip in. Fundraiser will end just before our land concert in San Juan on March 13, 2019.

Special thanks to Alyshondra Meacham, Mary Robinette, and the Speculative Literature Foundation for their help in getting this fundraiser up and running.


Unidos Por Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth in 2017 by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rossello, in collaboration with the private sector, to provide aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The funds they collect are deployed throughout the island via small and large organizations for these purposes:

  • Reconstruction and Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Social Welfare
  • Health
  • Water & Food

Please visit the Unidos Por Puerto Rico website for more complete information about the organization, and how it distributes its funds.


Back in the early days of JoCo Cruise, a group of enterprising Sea Monkeys, lamenting the loss of ready and inexpensive access to social media while at sea, created an onboard social network called Twit-arr. It continues to this day as an onboard email/forum/social media server that runs on the ship's wifi network but does not require an Internet connection. It's accessible via any computer or mobile device, and free to use.

While The Home Office doesn't produce or provide tech support for Twit-arr—it's maintained and updated voluntarily by a stalwart group of your fellow Sea Monkeys—we help facilitate its setup.

In an upcoming email, we'll be sending everyone a registration code to create an account (if you want to use Twit-arr you'll need to create a new account even if you've had one previously) and any other necessary Twit-arr information. In the meantime, you can have a look at and/or download this overview of this year's edition of Twit-arr. (PDF)

Time Zones and DST on JoCo Cruise 2019

All scheduled JoCo Cruise events will take place on Ship Time—that is, the time set by the captain on the official ship's clocks. Ship Time generally matches the local time of the various ports of call; this can sometimes get tricky when the cruise passes through different time zones. (Just ask Principal Sabourin!) So here's the official word on how Ship Time will work this year:

  • At 2 am on Sun. Mar. 10 (Day 2 of the cruise—or, if you're a night owl, very very late the night of Day 1), Ship Time will move forward to 3 am, as Daylight Saving Time begins.
  • THAT'S IT!

(While Tortola and Puerto Rico are in the Atlantic Time Zone, neither of them observes Daylight Saving Time, so no more clock adjustments are required.)

Tartan Reminder

Don't forget to visit the JoCo Cruise page at Off Kilter Kilts to see the various options available featuring JoCo Cruise's very own registered tartan, The Kraken. Please note that this Kraken is 100% guaranteed to not destroy Argos.

(Due to the lead time required to register and weave this new pattern, Kraken apparel will ship in the second half of 2019. Also, a minimum initial weave will require a total of around 100 kilts or kilt equivalents to be ordered, to cover the initial production costs. But all deposits on the Kraken are 100% refundable by Off Kilter Kilts, in case the minimum run is not met.)

Passports / Check-in

Your passport/travel documents are in order and valid, right?

Have you checked in online on the HAL website?

You know how we worry.

23 days!


[February 7, 2019] Online Check-in Reminder, Game Library, Club SRO Update

HAL Online Check-in Reminder

This is the reminder we promised you back in October: each person in your booking will need to complete HAL's online check-in (or have it completed for them) and print their Boarding Pass no fewer than 72 hours prior to our departure on March 9th, 2019. Online check-in is available now on Holland America's website. Additional information can be found in our “How do I check-in online for my cruise?” FAQ.

You'll need your HAL Booking Number, which for your booking is XXXXXX. Also, please double-check the spelling and accuracy of the names in your booking, which our records indicate are as follows:

These first and last names must match those on your passports/travel documents, or you may have difficulty boarding. (Middle names are not needed at this time, even if they appear on your travel documents.) If any of the above first/last names are inaccurate, please reply to this email with necessary corrections.

If you don't check in online, you'll have to do it at the pier, and it will involve filling out actual paper forms, and that's way too much like work.

NOTE: during your online check-in process, HAL will preauthorize (i.e., place a hold on) a credit or debit card for each booking member’s onboard account—as of this writing, for $60 per day per person (total of $420 per person) for anyone aged 18+. (Similar to when booking a hotel room or rental car, these are holds only and the funds are not actually charged/withdrawn; your card will only be charged the actual amount you spend onboard. Note that some banks may keep these holds in place for up to 30 days.) If you prefer, you may also use cash to cover this amount at the ship’s Guest Services desk on the day of boarding.

Game Library

Would you like to play a game? We create a huge game library each year through a combination of our permanent library and Sea Monkeys bringing games to share. Check out the list of games in our library and sign up to bring a game to share for the week. The Game Library lives next to the entrance to the upper deck of the Main Dining Room (Deck 3), and is available 24/7.

This music video, while made a couple years ago—thanks, Twogether Studios and Chelsea Cain and The Doubleclicks!—is still an excellent, accurate and amusing introduction to how our game library works:

Club SRO - Latest Update

So here's some news; now, there will be not just one, but TWO Club SRO locations to remotely view the Main Concerts:

  • The Club SRO Bar (Billboard Onboard, Deck 2 Forward) - hang out and socialize in a relaxed lounge atmosphere while the concert plays on all the TV screens in the Billboard Onboard lounge.
  • The Club SRO Theater (B.B. King's, Deck 2 Midship) - enjoy the main concerts remotely in the quieter, more theater-like setting of the ship's B.B. King's Blues Club (referred to on previous JoCo Cruises as the Queens Lounge/CAC).

For Club SRO members who wish to wait for open seats at a given concert, the sign-up sheet will be available pre-show at B.B. King's; Helper Monkeys will be on hand to help coordinate your getting seats at showtime (pending availability).

Everyone is welcome to view the shows at either location, but we ask that you defer “preferential seating” to Club SRO members, and that you respect the “quieter” nature of the B.B. King's location. (If you wanna hang out and chat while watching, head for Billboard Onboard.)


If you haven't checked yet, please please please check to make sure your passport/travel documents are valid; there is still time if you need to renew your passport, but options become more scarce and more expensive the longer you wait. If you haven't checked yet, please please please please check to make sure your passport/travel documents are valid; there is still time if you need to renew your passport, but options become more scarce and more expensive the longer you wait.

30 days!


[February 1, 2019] 2020 Reminder, and 2019 Last-chance Cabins

Please note: This email was sent to those who were not already booked for 2019.

2020 – Get It While It Lasts!

In case you haven't heard us talking about it, JoCo Cruise 2020, the tenth JoCo Cruise, is on sale now. The new info: over half the cabins are already gone. (Hooray and thanks to our enthusiastic Sea Monkeys!) So if you're still on the fence about booking, don't sit on your decision too long; you know what the old adage says about them who snooze. (Plus, fence-tops are not very comfortable.)

Booking now will secure you the most generous discounts available for JoCo Cruise 2020.

Book JoCo Cruise 2020 today!

2019 – Very Last Chance for Cabins!

Record-breaking cold temperatures are neat, we suppose. Ya know what's better? Sailing in the Caribbean! Which can be YOU, in 36 days. JoCo Cruise 2019 has been sold out since last spring, but today we're releasing a small handful of “operational cabins” (held back for crew and internal use but no longer need) for sale RIGHT NOW.

Reminder of Cool Stuff Happening on JoCo Cruise 2019 (In Case You Didn't Know or Forgot):

  • Stops in Half Moon Cay (HAL's private Bahamian beach paradise), Tortola and San Juan
  • Private music festival event in San Juan headlined by They Might Be Giants
  • Plans for the largest Dungeons & Dragons event ever held at sea
  • A console gaming hub and a full old-school arcade
  • Musicians, comedians, writers, crafting, gaming, fruity drinks and the most amazing community on the waves
  • By the way, did we mention that WE HAVE OUR OWN TARTAN NOW?

So if you wanted one last shot at joining us in 2019, this is it. But don't wait; once they're gone, that's all she* wrote.

Book JoCo Cruise 2019!

So whether sooner or later (or both!), we hope you're able to join us!


*Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, we presume

[January 31, 2019] A Tartan! Karaoke! Passport and Helper Monkey Reminders!

Tartan. Tartan? Tartan!

At long last, JoCo Cruise is getting its very own registered tartan, with the help of Off Kilter Kilts. “The Kraken” is mighty like the sea, featuring the JoCo Cruise colors, and a snappy pattern derived using the Fibonacci sequence. Because of course it was.

Visit the JoCo Cruise page at Off Kilter Kilts to see all of the fantastic apparel and accessories you can get featuring The Kraken (not just kilts, but yes of course also kilts!)

NOTE: Due to the lead time required to register and weave this new pattern, Kraken apparel will ship in the second half of 2019. Also, a minimum initial weave will require a total of around 100 kilts or kilt equivalents to be ordered, to cover the initial production costs. (Weaving a Kraken requires many bolts of Fibonacci-patterned tartan, and an unbelievable amount of krill.) But all deposits on Kraken are 100% refundable by Off Kilter Kilts, in case the minimum run is not met.

Passports and Booking Accuracy

A couple very important reminders:

  1. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR PASSPORTS ARE VALID. Your passport (or other travel documents you're using to board) should be valid at least six months after our return date (i.e., Sept. 16, 2019 or later). Please, please, please check your passports, and renew them if necessary. Given the recent government shutdown and potential for another one in the coming weeks, we'd hate for anyone to be caught short because of processing delays. (We are aware that processing was funded during the last shutdown, but…you know, better safe than sorry.)
  2. PLEASE CHECK YOUR BOOKING FOR ACCURACY. Please take some time to log into your User Account and check that the info listed for your booking (names, birth dates, etc.) are correct; misspellings and incorrect info could lead to delays during check-in—or, in the worst case, could prevent your getting on board.

Helper Monkeys

Cruise Mom Thera and we are still on the lookout for a few more Helper Monkeys (and thank you to all who responded to last week's call for them). If you're still interested in helping out, have a look over the various Helper Monkey Species task descriptions, and fill out the Helper Monkey Submission Form. (Deadline is February 8th.)

Karaoke Song List

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

Because this library is far too extensive to print out physically—25,154 songs' worth!—we're making it available for you to download. If you're interested in doing karaoke this year, we strongly recommend you grab the song list now.

You can connect to and copy this Google Sheet version of the list. You can also go to “File - Download As” to download it in various formats (PDF, Excel sheet, etc.).

Cabin TV Access

We know that some of you might wish to bring gaming consoles and/or hook up your computers to your in-cabin TVs. Please be advised that not only are the TV connections nearly inaccessible (because the TVs are attached to the wall), it's not possible to switch to external inputs either via the TV itself or your in-cabin remote. Neither JoCo Cruise not the Oosterdam will be able to provide any sort of tech support regarding this matter.

For those of you who wish to do console gaming, don't forget that we'll have a bunch of consoles, both old and new, set up all week in Explorations Central on Deck 10. (Next to the Crow's Nest bar)

37 days!


[January 25, 2019] Too Many Updates to Adequately Convey in a Subject Line!

We're back from our site inspection cruise (that's where the Management must take a cruise on the Oosterdam to meet with staff, go over our programming, etc; yeah, it's hard to be us, sometimes), and we're chock full of news and updates. So let's right get to 'em!

Aparna Nancherla

We are plain ol' thrilled to announce that comedian Aparna Nancherla will be joining the JoCo Cruise 2019 performing lineup! Aparna was a favorite on JoCo Cruise 2017, and we're thrilled to have her back with us again.

New Monkey Handbook

If you're brand new to JoCo Cruise this year—or even if you're an experienced Sea Monkey—we understand that the event might be pretty overwhelming. Longtime Sea Monkey Nicole Dieker helped us put together this handy JoCo Cruise New Monkey Handbook, newly revised for 2019! It's filled with lots of helpful tips and ideas for getting the most out of your first JoCo Cruise experience, and it has answers to many common first-timers' questions. We highly recommend that you give it a looksee when you can.

Renewing the Call for Helper Monkeys

Our elite squad of Helper Monkeys has always been a group that has understood the spirit of what JoCo Cruise is, and helped make that real. The Helper Squad has grown from a scant handful of folks running registration, manning doors, and hand delivering newsletters to a team of over a hundred cruisers working to make sure that everything goes according to plan, and no one ever has to wonder if it's ok to ask for help.

Cruise Mom Thera has adjusted the Helper goals once more, taking some of the more office style tasks (helping with merch, scanning, hanging signs each day) and shuffling them to other folks so that our 2019 Helper Crew can focus on what they do best: making sure the JoCo Cruise is the friendliest and most helpful cruise on the high seas!

So when you have a chance, have a look over the various Helper Monkey Species, and fill out the Helper Monkey Submission Form. (We've extended the Helper Monkey signup deadline to February 8th.)

Bar Crawl / Wine Tasting?

The ship's Food & Beverage department is interested in possibly hosting a couple different “upcharge” events this year (i.e., events that would incur an additional cost, probably somewhere between $20-30 or so):

  • Bar Crawl - a popular late-night event last year, this would stop in four different onboard bars; event price would include a drink in each bar
  • “Wines of the World” Wine Tasting - a sampling of various wines from different regions

If you believe you would be definitely interested in attending either or both of these events, could you please fill out this one-question survey, to help us gauge the degree of interest in them? Thank you for your (anonymous) data.

Onboard Internet - Update

Some/many of you will be happy to know that, while we were on our site inspection cruise, we confirmed that there in fact are discounts available for purchasing Internet packages for multiple days or for the cruise duration. These discounts vary according to which package you select.

We also confirmed that the shipboard Internet worked reasonably well—but bear in mind that Internet usage on our cruise is significantly higher than on a “regular” cruise, so we make no guarantees regarding reliability and/or speed.

Friendshipping! Buttons

Our pals Jenn and Trin of the Friendshipping! podcast are once again providing us with “Friendshipping” buttons, which were very popular a few years back.

Basically, you can wear the green “YEAH” button to indicate you're up for interacting and making new friends; or you can wear the red “NAH” button if you prefer to have quiet time.

If you see people wearing these buttons on board (whether other Sea Monkeys or performers and Famous People), please respect the buttons. Even if a person wearing a “NAH” button is talking to others, please don't assume they're open to any and all interactions; let the button wearer determine if and with whom they choose to converse and interact.

A Brief Word about Controlled Substances

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

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

(Per the above list, please don't bring any catapults or archery equipment, either.)

Deadlines - Today!

A reminder of a couple other deadlines that are coming up very soon—as in, today!

43 days!


[January 10, 2019] Console and Arcade Games! CPAP Machine Needs! Deadlines! Et Cetera!

Console and Arcade Games

Over the course of 2018, we in the Home Office had a lot of meetings to discuss how we can improve the upcoming event. We came to one particular realization during this year's meetings: while there were a reasonable number of beeps and boops on previous JoCo Cruises, there weren't nearly enough of them.

As a result of this (as well as numerous requests over the past few years), we've teamed with World 9 Gaming to bring a whole slew of gaming consoles onboard this year, both old-school (NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc.) and new-school (the various generations of Xboxes and PlayStations). Our console gaming “home base” will be up in the Crow's Nest bar area on Deck 10 (in the area that was previously the Explorations Cafe, which HAL has revamped this year as their “Explorations Central (EXC)” center)*, as well as occasional pop-up events elsewhere on board.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! We're bringing an '80s shopping mall's worth of classic arcade game cabinets that will all be 100% free to play all week long! These will live in the Billboard Onboard area on Deck 2. We will make every effort to insure nobody is zapped into Tron-land and forced to battle the Master Control Program, though we make no guarantees.

*2018 Sea Monkeys will recall that the Explorations Cafe area was our dedicated onboard “quiet space.” HAL's redesign of the space this year made that area less useable for that purpose (they eliminated the wall separating it from the main Crow's Nest bar, reconfigured the furniture and removed the “comfy chairs,” etc.) There will be a new Quiet Area in 2019, or more probably, a number of rotating Quiet Areas; further details coming SOON™.


Make triple sure your passports (or other travel documentation you're using) are up to date and in your packing lists (if you keep one)!!!

CPAP Machine Needs

Cruise Mom Thera has reminded us to mention…if you will be using a CPAP or BIPAP machine while on board, please let the ship know via HAL's Special Requirements Form (You'll need your HAL booking number.) Once you've entered your booking info, the option is under “Respiratory Needs”. (Also let them know if you'll need distilled water.)

We mention this because the ship needs to provide an extension cord, as your cabin's power outlets are not near the beds, and we want the ship to be prepared with an adequate supply of extension cords.

Deadlines: Fixed Dinner Seating and Salutation Change Requests

As a reminder, TODAY is the last day to submit any Fixed Dinner Seating Requests and Salutation Change Requests.

Other Looming Deadlines

Don't lose sight of these, either:

57 days!


[December 20, 2018] Absolutely Final Last Chance on Merch; Internet Options; Call for DMs; A Few Other Things

Store Temporarily Un-closed until January 2nd

While the JCC2019 Merch Store is technically closed, someone forgot to shut the door all the way. So you all have a few extra days to place any last-minute orders.

But the boss is coming back from vacation with the key on January 2, 2019 at 12 midnight Pacific, and that will absolutely be your last chance to purchase non-onboard-store-marked-up JCC2019 merch!

Internet on the Oosterdam

The Oosterdam offers several options for accessing the Internet while on board. The below chart displays the three different daily plans available:

  • PREMIUM: Supports audio/video calling and streaming: Per day package $29.99
  • SURF: Surf your favorite sites including e-mail, news, sports and more: Per day package $24.99
  • SOCIAL: Access the most popular social websites and applications: Per day package $14.99

Other than limited “free surfing” of a select few websites, the above packages will be the only options available; there will be no per-minute or weekly plans offered. (Also note that while you are in Tortola and San Juan there should be many Internet options available, both paid and free, at area restaurants, shops, cafés, etc.)

Each package above comes with an unlimited volume of data on each day of your voyage. (Transmission speeds for each package are subject to change depending on network usage.) Please be aware that the satellite Internet connection available on board is inherently slower than land-based connections.

Instructions will be available on board for connecting and selecting your desired package.

Call for DMs

Keith Baker and the JoCo Cruise Tabletop Team are putting together the largest at-sea Dungeons & Dragons night ever for JoCo Cruise 2019. We’re recruiting a legion of Dungeon Masters to make this happen. Do we have your sword?

DMs will be running a late-night two hour D&D 5e adventure specifically designed for JoCo Cruise by Keith Baker (creator of Eberron for Dungeons & Dragons) for a table of mixed experience players. As a DM, you’ll get access to the adventure prior to sailing, one (and possibly more) guaranteed spot(s) for friends and family, the adoration and appreciation of your players, and more.

Are you down to DM and help make JoCo Cruise history? If so, please fill out our DM Submission Form.

Club SRO Notifications

Club SRO notifications have gone out at this point. If you had signed up and believe you should have received a notification but have not yet, please reply to this email.


Don't forget your homework due dates:

Happiest of Holidays to everyone, and we'll see you in the new year!

79 days!


[December 13, 2018] Merch Store Closing, Other Deadlines, Itinerary Change, Shutter Monkeys, et al.

Store Closing This Saturday!

Our merch store closes this coming Saturday, December 15th. If you want a guaranteed chance at our awesome JoCo Cruise 2019 merch, you have all of two days to do so! Hit up the JCC2019 Merch Store now and take advantage of the current pricing (because on board, the ship's store will mark everything up); and availability may be limited on board—once we run out of something, it's gone.

Act now so you can be sure to get your swag, your tchotchkes, and your shirt that you'll wear proudly in public until it becomes kinda worn so you use it as a jammies shirt from then on.

Last Call for Club SRO

Speaking of December 15th deadlines: that's also the last day for anyone to submit your application to join Club SRO . If you don't know what we're talking about here, there's a whole section in the FAQ about Club SRO .

Other Deadlines

A few more upcoming deadlines, so you don't forget:

Itinerary Change

Please note that there's been a small alteration to our itinerary. We will now be departing Tortola at 6 pm (instead of the original 7 pm); the following morning, we'll arrive in San Juan at 7 am (instead of the original 8 am).

This will not affect any of the available Tortola shore excursions, but please make a note of it in case you had potential dinner/evening plans for Tortola.

Wanna be a Shutter Monkey?

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

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

Prerequisites for being a Shutter Monkey:

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

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


Time to start this annual drum beat…if you haven't checked yet, now is a very good time to make sure your passport (or other acceptable travel documents) will be valid for the 2019 sailing. Specifically, your documents should not expire for at least six months after our return date of March 16, 2019. There's still plenty of time right now to get/renew your passport if necessary, but it gets tougher and more expensive if you wait until the last minute. You've been warned!

86 days!


[December 6, 2018] Red & Gold Teams, Team Leaders, Fixed Dinner Seating

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

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

As a reminder, on the days with Main Concerts, folks assigned to Red Team will attend the Early (5 pm) Dinner and the Late (7:30 pm) Main Concert, and those on Gold Team are the Late (7:30 pm) Dinner/Early (5 pm) Concert squadron. (On the days of our stops in Tortola and San Juan, there will be no Main Concerts onboard, and dinner will be Open Seating from 5 pm - 9 pm).

Your Booking has been assigned to XXXX Team (Late XXXX/Early XXXX)

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

During boarding, team members will receive an appropriately colored Lanyard for their badge. This badge and lanyard will serve as your pass for attending all Main Concerts, including the land festival in San Juan. Please make sure you have them with you at these events for proper entry. (No other events will be lanyard-dependent).

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

Red Leader / Gold Leader

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

If you do not wish to be part of the Red Leader/Gold Leader random drawing pool, please fill out the Red Leader/Gold Leader Opt-out Form (You'll need to be logged in to your JCC User Account.)

Fixed Dinner Seating Requests

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

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

If you want fixed seating at dinner, you can fill out our Fixed Dinner Seating Request Form for your booking (or just for some members of your booking). You may also request to be seated with friends from other bookings; if you plan to do that, please confirm ahead of time that you're all in the same dinner seating. This form will only be open until January 10th, 2019, so don't dawdle if you'd like to request fixed seating!

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

93 days!


[November 29, 2018] Lineup Update; New Website; Wait List Reminder; and Numerous Deadlines

Brrr. Cold. Winter. Cold bad. Make not warm. Cold go away please. Make it go away, Magic Cruise Ship We're Sailing on in Fewer than a Hundred Days!

Lineup Update

Happy news: please welcome author and Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri to the JoCo Cruise 2019 lineup! If you're not familiar with her stellar columns in the Post, then perhaps you know her work as Emo Kylo Ren

Pals Interested in the Cruise? Get 'em on the Wait List!

If you have any friends and family who are still remotely interested in attending JoCo Cruise 2019, please strongly encourage them to join our wait list. Each year, some cabins do come available as the year progresses (due to cancellations, etc.), but you need to be on our wait list to be notified about any new vacancies. So if you know someone who keeps saying “Heckin' geez, I wish I could go on that!” there's something they can do about that!

Please note: it's very likely that the only cabins that may be available will be Verandahs. (Historically, at this point before sailing, Interiors, Ocean-views or Suites generally don't become available.) Make sure your friends/family bear this in mind when signing up.

New Website! If you've been to in the last ~24 hours, you have likely noticed a brand new look and feel! Same cruise, shinier exterior! If you have any feedback on the new site, please share it with us.

Some Very Important Reminders A few brief reminders of some other current deadlines that we've mentioned previously, and now are mentioning again:

99 days! (Nine-Nine!!!)


[November 21, 2018] Helper Monkey and Shadow Cruise Submissions Now Open

We wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving, and we hope the Thomas Turkey sees his shadow this year so we can have six more weeks of Halloween candy. That's how this works, right?

Anyway, some important stuff…

Wanna Be a Helper Monkey?

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

If you're interested in becoming a Helper Monkey for JCC2019, please look over the descriptions of our various Helper Monkey Species ( to get an idea of the different ways you can help out this year. If you'd like to join the 2019 Helper Monkey ranks, please fill out our handy Helper Monkey Submission Form ( (The form will prompt you to log into your JCC User Account if necessary.)

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

Shadow Cruise Event Submission Now Open!

For those of your new to the cruise (and for those who aren't but feel like reading the next paragraph)…every year, we set aside a ton of space and time in the schedule for the passengers (i.e., the Sea Monkeys, i.e. you folks) to organize and present their own events. We refer to this activity as the “Shadow Cruise.” Video gaming sessions, meetups to show off tattoos, book clubs, Zumba classes, song circles and jam sessions, mini-concerts…you name it. If it's doable on the ship (and it adheres to our Code of Conduct), we welcome it! Last year, there were more hours of Shadow Cruise events than there were Official events! (And that's saying something!)

If you're interested in putting together a Shadow Cruise event, fill out our Shadow Cruise Event Request Form ( (The form will prompt you to log into your JCC User Account if necessary.)

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

Merch Store Black Friday Sale: 0% Off!

We're not actually offering any Black Friday discounts in our 2019 Online Merch Store, but we didn't want to be left out of the marketing trend.

We WILL note, however, that the store closes on December 15th. That means you only have a short time to grab your super-cool JCC2019 swag! After that, you will only be able to purchase cruise merch onboard, with the ship's store's sizable markup. SIZABLE MARKUP, GOSHDARN IT!!!

108 days!


[November 15, 2018] Review Your Cruise Details! (Dinner Seating, Beds, Past Cruises, Salutations)

Tick tick tick tick tick…that's the sound of Ol' Mister Clock inching us ever closer to JoCo Cruise! In preparation for the main event, there are a few important items we'd like each of you to review about your reservation…

NOTE: only the Primary Contact on a reservation can make any changes to your booking's dinner and bed preferences, per below; if you are not your booking's Primary Contact, please convey any desired changes to them.

Dinner / Main Concert Preference (a.k.a., “Red Team / Gold Team”)

On most days, there will be two Main Concerts in the ship's Main Theater and two corresponding dinner seatings: early (5 pm) and late (7:30 pm). People on the “Red Team” will go to the early dinner seating, then attend the late show; people on the “Gold Team” attend the early show, then go to the late dinner seating. (NOTE: Both the early and late shows will have the same performers.)

Your current team preference is listed in your user account as: Red/Gold Team (Early/Late).

If you login to your User Account (, you'll see a section in the lower left where you can select your team preference for Red Team (Early Dinner / Late Concert), Gold Team (Late Dinner / Early Concert), or No Preference. It looks like this:

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

NOTE: Dinner seating on JoCo Cruise is “open seating”—i.e., tables are not assigned, you can sit anywhere you like each night. In a future email (after Red Team and Gold Team membership has been assigned), we will offer the option for “fixed seating” for people who prefer to have the same table assignment every night (e.g., a large group of friends, people with special dietary needs, etc.). If you plan to request fixed seating, please make sure everyone else in your expected Fixed Seating party has selected the same Red/Gold Team preference.

Bed Configuration

Each cabin has a choice of bed configuration for the two main beds: separate or together. Your current bed configuration is listed in your user account as: separate/together.

If you would like to change this, the Primary Contact on your reservation can do so via their User Account. The area to make this change looks like this:

Confirm Your Returning Monkey Status

As with last year, User Accounts are now linked to each guest's past JoCo Cruise history.

We want to be sure our Returning Monkey data is accurate though, so we need your help! Please check out the Returning Monkey status for yourself and those in your booking via your User Account in the “Your Past Cruises” section:

If we're missing any sailings for you or anyone in your booking, please email so we can update our records.

Hint: the best way to maintain an accurate cruise history is to have your own JoCo Cruise User Account that you “link” to your booking each year you attend. If you have missing cruise history info, it's likely your User Account isn't properly linked to this year's booking. We can help! Just reply to this email with the details.

Salutations / Pronouns

The Oosterdam defaults to using “Mr.“ or “Ms.” when addressing guests in written communication, based on the gender listed on their travel documents. If you prefer the Oosterdam use a different salutation from the above to address you in correspendence, please fill out our Salutation Change Request form.

Making these changes is a manual process for JoCo Cruise and the ship. PLEASE do not submit spurious, “joke” or vanity requests to change prefix.

114 days!


[November 1, 2018] More Lineup News? Yes!

Tune-Yards Join JoCo Cruise 2019!

We are THIS excited [insert emoji of person holding hands as far apart as possible] to announce that Tune-Yards has joined the JoCo Cruise 2019 lineup.

We've been fans for quite some time, and are thrilled to have them be a part of our event. If you're not familiar with their music, we are jealous that you get the joy of hearing it for the very first time.

Shadow TV 2019

As with last year, every stateroom TV has on-demand programming, allowing us to make available rebroadcasts of the nightly main concerts, some movies and shows of our choosing, and even pictures of cats.

And as with last year, one of these on-demand “channels” will be dedicated to passenger-created content—“Shadow TV”. Have you made something you think the other Sea Monkeys would enjoy watching? Use the Shadow TV Channel Content Submission Form to submit original content for broadcast on board now until January 1, 2019.

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

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

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

Club SRO: Act Fast

Space in Club SRO is filling rapidly, so if you are interested but haven't filled out our online “I Want to Join Club SRO” application yet, now's the time.

In case you missed it in our previous couple emails, Club SRO members receive $100 onboard credit plus five (5) drink tickets; In return, they will not have guaranteed seating at the nightly Main Concerts (and can either wait until show start for available seats, or watch the show via simulcast or on-demand). Complete Club SRO info can be found in our FAQ.

JoCo Cruise 2019 Merch Store

Don't forget to stop by the JoCo Cruise 2019 Online Merch Store between now and December 15th for all your JoCo Cruise-related shirt/poster/lapel pin/patch/challenge coin needs!

Win JoCo Cruise Swag!

This Friday (that's tomorrow!) we're giving away a JoCo Cruise swag pack! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to find out how to enter to win!

128 days!


[October 19, 2018] Your HAL Cabin Number and Booking Number

Here's Your 2019 Cabin Number!

Your booking has been officially assigned a cabin on the Oosterdam for JoCo Cruise 2019! Huzzah!

Your booking's cabin number is # # # #

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

And Here's Your Holland America Booking Number!

Your Holland America Booking Number is % % % % % %

Once you've logged into your HAL Account on — or, if you're new, created one—select “Already Booked - Manage My Bookings” and use this booking number. Once complete, you'll be able to pre-purchase onboard amenities (drink packages, specialty restaurant reservations, spa packages, etc.) and shore excursions (see below).

You will also use this number to go through HAL's online check-in process (see below). All guests should complete this process (or have it completed for them) no fewer than 72 hours prior to our March 9th departure.

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

Shore Excursions (“EXC Tours”)

In each of our ports of call, Holland America's EXC Tours department offers a variety of activities and tours you can take advantage of on land (biking, kayaking, horseback riding, walking tours, etc.), sea (snorkeling, beachside cabanas, a pirate cruise!) and even air (zip-lining in Tortola). HAL takes care of all scheduling, logistics and pricing; you just handle the “having fun” part. Also, you have the peace of mind that, in the (extremely rare) event that your tour return is delayed and the ship must depart, HAL will handle all arrangements and expenses to get you to the next port of call.

You can view a complete list of EXC Tours available (including a downloadable personalized brochure) for JoCo Cruise 2019, and begin choosing and reserving excursions, under the “EXC Tours” tab once you've logged into your “Manage My Booking” page. Excursions may be changed or cancelled up to three days before our departure.

Holland America Online Check-in (Booking Number ######)

Each person in your booking will need to complete online check-in (or have it completed for them) and print their Boarding Pass no fewer than 72 hours prior to our departure on March 9th, 2019. Online check-in is available now on Holland America's website. You'll need your HAL Booking Number (listed above) for this. Additional information can be found in our “How do I check-in online for my cruise?” FAQ.

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

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

Medical/Dietary/Special Needs

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

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

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

For detailed information on accessibility of shore excursions, HAL strongly recommends contacting their Shore Excursions Department prior to embarkation at 1-888-425-9376 (or locally at 206-626-7320) or visiting the Shore Excursions Office on board.

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

141 days!


[October 12, 2018] Club SRO Update/Reminder

Club SRO: Quick Update (and Reminder)

As noted in our email to you last week, we've started a new program this year called Club SRO, designed for JoCo Cruise guests who don't need or want to attend the onboard main concerts.

Brief recap: people who join Club SRO each receive a $100 credit to their onboard stateroom accounts, plus five (5) drink tickets, each redeemable for one drink (up to $10 value). In return, they will not have guaranteed seating at the nightly Main Concerts, instead can either wait until after the show start for open seats (if available), or watch the show via simulcast in the Billboard Onboard lounge or later on via their stateroom TVs. Complete info about Club SRO can be found in our FAQ.

A couple notes:

  • Policy change: Club SRO passengers aged under 21 at the time of sailing will now receive drink tickets—their drink tickets will be valid for non-alcoholic beverages only. Shirley Temples all around!
  • This year's simulcasts (and archived main concerts) will be vastly improved, with higher quality video and shot with multiple cameras. No more “filmed with a potato” main concert footage for us!

If you're interested in signing up for Club SRO, please fill out our online “I Want to Join Club SRO” application. Separate applications must be submitted for each individual seeking to join Club SRO.

JoCo Cruise 2019 Merch Store is Still a Thing

Don't forget to stop by the JoCo Cruise 2019 Online Merch Store between now and December 15th for all your JoCo Cruise-related shirt/poster/lapel pin/patch/challenge coin needs!

148 days!


[October 4, 2018] Merch Store Opens; Club SRO; Lineup Notes

JoCo Cruise 2019 Merch Store is NOW OPEN!

The JoCo Cruise 2019 Online Merch Store is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Now is your chance to pre-order official JoCo Cruise Merchandise.

We're very, very excited about this year's artwork—our “sprue” art by new friend James Provost, and our “camp” art by old friend Adam Levermore. We've got t-shirts, posters, challenge coins, lapel pins and patches, along with some ANCIENT TREASURES! (i.e., leftover items from previous JoCo Cruises, offered at a discount.)

You can go to the store to place orders—you'll be automatically prompted to log into your JCC User Account—and process payment (via PayPal) between now and December 15, 2018. Your completed order balance and payment will be reflected in your User Account. Once on board JoCo Cruise 2019, all ordered merchandise will be delivered directly to your stateroom. How convenient! And no postage & handling charges!

Our 2019 merch will be available on board the cruise as well (though the “Ancient Treasures” will only be sold online); but all on-board sales must go through the ship's store system, which adds a significant markup. So you'll never get better prices on JoCo Cruise 2019 merch than right now.

Plus, all online orders of $51 or more will receive 5% off their order, and online orders of $85 or more will receive 10% off. Savings!

Club SRO

This year, JoCo Cruise is piloting a new program called Club SRO, which will be available to a limited number of guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Club SRO is designed for JoCo Cruise guests who don't need or want to attend the onboard main concerts (e.g., people who don't like crowds, nerd-adjacent spouses, sixteen-hour-a-day dungeon masters, etc.).

People who join Club SRO will not have guaranteed seating at the evening main concerts in the ship's Main Theater, and instead have the following options:

  • wait until five minutes after “morning announcements” have begun for a given main concert, at which point they may occupy any open seats, if available (JoCo Cruise staff will direct this process);
  • watch the show via live simulcast in the Billboard Onboard Lounge; or
  • watch the main concert later on via the “JoCo TV” menu on your stateroom TV. (All JoCo Cruise main concerts are uploaded to the “JoCo TV menu the following day.)

Club SRO members will each receive a $100 credit to their onboard stateroom accounts. Additionally, Club SRO members aged 21 years or older at the time of sailing will receive five (5) drink tickets, each redeemable for one drink (up to $10 value) at any shipboard bar during JoCo Cruise.

Please see the JoCo Cruise FAQ for additional information regarding Club SRO, including:

If you are interested in signing up for Club SRO on JoCo Cruise 2019, please fill out our online “I Want to Join Club SRO” application. Separate applications must be submitted for each individual seeking to join Club SRO.

NOTE: completing this form DOES NOT guarantee membership in Club SRO; you will be contacted by the Home Office regarding your Club SRO status, and with additional information as applicable. Again, numbers are limited; first-come, first-served.

Please remember that because Club SRO is a pilot program (in “beta,” if you will), we may need to sort out potential unforeseen issues and refine the program this year. Details of the Club SRO specific offerings may change as we approach our sailing date.

Lineup Additions!

We are jazzed to announce that singer-songwriter and crowdfunding pioneer Jill Sobule will be joining JoCo Cruise in 2019!

Additionally, JoCo Cruise 2019 will host a live recording of the Our Opinions are Correct podcast, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz.

Unfortunately… We regret to report that, due to schedule conflicts, Clive Thompson will be unable to participate in JoCo Cruise 2019. Darnit!

JoCo and “Friends” at New York Comic Con!

ALERT: New York-area Sea Monkeys…Join Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm for a night of music, hilarity and general nerdery at The Bell House! For the first time in nine years, (and only the second time ever), they will be playing the entirety of They Might Be Giants' Flood album! You don't need a New York Comic Con badge to attend, click here to get your tickets.

But wait, there's more!

Join JoCo Cruise featured guest Travis McElroy and his friends, who are also our friends (including Janet Varney, Jonathan Coulton, Jean Grae, Patrick Rothfuss, The Doubleclicks and more) at the Hammerstein Ballroom Saturday night. Click here for tickets.

156 days!


[6 September 2018] Updated 2019 Lineup! Also: Theme Days!

We hope everyone's had a nice, restful summer. While we're sad to see the days slowly getting shorter and the boardwalk getting empty, we don't despair; that just means that there's more nighttime in which to celebrate, and more funnel cake, crab fries and churros for the rest of us!

Speaking of sweet things…

2019 Lineup Update

To heck with any marketing-y preamble; here's a list of the performers and guests we've just added to the JoCo Cruise 2019 lineup

  • Greg Benson
  • Jim Boggia
  • Matt Chapman
  • Quelle Christopher
  • Solomon Georgio
  • Jean Grae
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Molly Lewis
  • Katie Mack
  • Aimee Mann
  • Annalee Newitz
  • Emily Nussbaum
  • Dannah Phirman
  • Mike Phirman
  • Riz Rollins
  • Pat Rothfuss
  • Nathan Sawaya
  • John Scalzi
  • Clive Thompson

Visit our website for the complete current lineup, including photos and bios.

And we're not nearly done, either! Additional performers and guests coming soon!

Theme Days!

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

  • Day 1, (Sat. Mar. 9): Welcome, New Monkeys!
    We'll be holding events specifically designed to make our first-time Sea Monkeys feel welcome and to help them ease into the swing of things. Make a particular effort on this day to seek out new Monkeys and help show them what a great decision they've made by joining us!
  • Day 2, (Sun. Mar. 10): Science!
    Science is awesome, and deserves to have a whole day to celebrate it. (It deserves more than that, actually; but there's only so much we can do on a theme cruise.)
  • Day 3, (Mon. Mar. 11): Cosplay Day
    We have a bunch of terrifically talented cosplayers every year, and today is your day to really pull out all the stops. Sky's the limit; show off your best!
  • Day 6, (Thu. Mar. 14): Formal Night (also Pi Day)
    See notes below.
  • Day 7, (Fri. Mar. 15): Jammies Day
    Everyone's running out of clean clothes anyway, so today is one big day-long celebration of the fact that nobody can make us put on “real” clothes if we don't want to!

Formal Night “Rules”:

  • Formal wear is encouraged, but not required, at dinner.
  • “Formal wear” is defined VERY flexibly. Tuxedo and cocktail dress? Fine. Sport coat and slacks? Sure. Starfleet uniform? Awesome. Full Scottish regalia? Bonnie. Your best t-shirt? Skrelnik. You get the idea.
  • Fezzes, tiaras and mustaches are encouraged—but again, not required. (The wearing of fezzes and tiaras on Formal Night has become a JoCo Cruise tradition for many.)
  • The only restriction: no full face masks (per HAL regulation).

Social Media Giveaway!

We're giving away an official JoCo Cruise throwback water bottle! You can enter this Friday on either Twitter or Facebook by following the instructions on our giveaway post. (You must have a U.S. mailing address to win.) Good luck, and be sure you're following us on Twitter and Facebook to enter!

184 days!


[14 June 2018] Special Sea Monkey Hotel Rates! (and some other things)

Special Sea Monkey Hotel Rates

We've been able to secure special rates for Sea Monkeys at two Fort Lauderdale-area hotels, for those who want to come down a day or two early and start your vacation that much sooner. The following rates are available for March 7 & 8, 2019 overnight stays:

Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale 17th Street - $294/night for a 1-King bed (up to quad occupancy) or 2-Queen bed (up to 5-person occupancy) balcony room with separate living area; includes complimentary breakfast.

TRYP Maritime by Wyndham - $245/night for a 1-King bed standard or 2-Queen bed standard room (both up to quad occupancy); includes complimentary breakfast for two.

Booking information for the above hotels (including the group codes necessary for getting the above rates) can be found on our “I'm Booked, Now What?” page.

FYI, these rooms will sell out VERY QUICKLY. So if you're interested, act fast. And to be clear: you aren't required to stay at either of these hotels; there are numerous hotel options available to you throughout the Fort Lauderdale area.

UPDATE: Adding Berths

If you are still interested in adding berths to your existing booking but have not yet done so, please see our updated FAQ regarding adding berths Specifically: because our 2019 event is projected to be at “100% occupancy,” anyone wishing to add berths to their booking who has not already signed up on our Berth Additions Wait List will need to pay an additional $350 fee per added berth (only assessed if and when we are able to add the requested berth(s) to your booking). While we'll do our utmost to get everyone on board that the Sea Police will let us, we can't guarantee that we can accommodate any further berth addition requests.

NOTE: the above fee does not apply to anyone who has already joined the Berth Additions Wait List, nor to anyone 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).

#FlashbackFriday Social Media Giveaways

The Flashback Friday giveaways are still on! We've given away limited edition apparel, signed posters, Bags of Holding & more to lots of lucky winners! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for your chance to win!

267 days!


[24 May 2018] Berth Additions Wait List Reminder; Also, Giveaways

REMINDER: Berth Additions Wait List

A brief followup reminder, per last week's email: anyone who is planning to add new berths to your existing booking, please sign up for our Berth Additions Wait List by May 31st.

Q: I'm unsure whether I need to sign up on this list or not.
A: Here's the simplest way to know for sure:
Log into your User Account
Look for where it lists your cabin type and a number—”VB FOR 1“, “E FOR 4”, etc.

That number = number of berths in your booking

If you plan to add any more berths than that, sign up for the Berth Additions Wait List

If you have any more questions at all about this, please email us ( As we noted last week, those on this wait list will be the first to receive updates regarding berth availability. Our goal is to satisfy all requests possible, but we need to know how many there will be.

Weekly Giveaways & JoCo Cruise YouTube

We have fun things in store on social media (read: FREE STUFF!) beginning with a Twitter-exclusive giveaway on Friday! Not on Twitter? Never fear: we'll have other giveaways in the coming weeks on our other channels with all sorts of ways to score goodies. Be sure you're following our official Twitter, Facebook & Instagram accounts! #followustowinfreeprizes

Also, check out our YouTube Channel & new videos, and be sure to click “subscribe” while you're there. More videos to come!

288 days!


[17 May 2018] JoCo Cruise 2019 is Sold Out!

JoCo Cruise 2019 is Officially Sold Out!

You've likely heard us mention this elsewhere, but…while we're still over ten months away from our sailing date, JoCo Cruise 2019 is officially sold out! This is entirely new territory for us here at the Home Office, and we are very, very excited to see this unprecedented level of enthusiasm for this year's cruise.

IMPORTANT: Adding Berths

As you know (because we just mentioned it in the last section), JoCo Cruise 2019 sold out in record time. In fact we are so sold out that we are currently projecting the Oosterdam filled to 100% occupancy. As such, there are some heretofore-unencountered restrictions on adding berths, which we are still sorting out to some extent.

If you are planning to add a berth/berths to your booking, and have not already selected and paid for those berths, please read the rest of this section and sign up for the Berth Additions Wait List by May 31

Triple and Quad Staterooms
All triple- and quad-occupancy cabins are currently booked. If you have made a single- or double-occupancy booking but plan to upgrade to a triple or quad, please join the Berth Additions Wait List Additional third and fourth berths will be offered to the wait list based on stateroom availability.

Single Occupancy Bookings
If you've booked a single-occupancy stateroom and plan to add a second berth, please also join the Berth Additions Wait List Once we have clearer projections on guest count and know the number of waitlist requests, we will start processing this portion of the waitlist. (This may take some time). We hope to be able to satisfy all single-to-double berth addition requests, but we need to know how many there will be.

I've joined this waitlist; when will I know if I get my added berth(s)?
There are still some unknowns and variables involved, and we're working with the cruise line to determine exactly how many guests we can safely bring. We'll be doing everything we can to accommodate everyone's Berth Addition Wait list requests—we want as many guests as the Sea Cops will allow to attend JoCo Cruise 2019. Finally, please be aware that the cruise line may require additional fees for berths added above “100% occupancy.” (This may not occur, but we wanted you to be aware of at least the possibility.)

So again, if you are planning to add more berths to your booking, please join the Berth Additions Wait List by May 31. Those on this wait list will be the first to receive updates regarding berth availability. Our goal is to satisfy all requests possible.

Righteous Video

We had a camera crew join us in 2018 to help us make some promotional videos for JoCo Cruise. Here's one of them!

Whether you were on JCC2018 and want to relive some memories, or are new to the cruise and interested in getting a “taste” of the event, give it a click! We think they did a really great job of capturing the excitement, fun and overall “vibe” of the event.

Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future notifications and videos and such!

2019 Wait List

If you have friends or family who didn't get a chance to book yet, there is still some hope. A limited number of cabins will likely become available between now and the sailing date (from cancellations, etc.)—but the only possible way to get them is to sign up on the JoCo Cruise 2019 Waitlist

Please see our Wait List FAQ for full details as to how the wait list works and how/when listees will be notified if a desired cabin category comes available.

Also be aware of potential fees if you are already booked and are looking to “downgrade” to a less-expensive booking.

We appreciate your follow! We may be sold out, but we have lots of prizes & fun news coming your way on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram! 295 days!


[19 April 2018] New Performers! Also: A Deadline or Two

Greetings, super friends. (Not the '70s cartoon series about superheroes, but you, because you are our friends, and you are super.) Today is Cool Announcement Day, traditionally celebrated by making cool announcements. Viz…

2019 Performer/Guest Lineup Additions

We are jumping up and down with excitement (making it difficult to type accurately) to tell you about the new guests we've confirmed for 2019:

My Brother, My Brother and Me
We've been getting them in bits and pieces over the past couple years, but we've finally managed to collect 'em all—Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy will all be on board for a live recording of their much-beloved My Brother, My Brother and Me podcast. In fact, the whole clan will be there: Clint, Rachel, Teresa and Dr. Sydnee McElroy will join us as well, with live podcast recordings of Sawbones and Shmanners in the works.

Charlie Jane Anders
Nebula, Crawford and Locus Award winner Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) was a founding editor for science fiction,science and futurism site She organizes the monthly Writers With Drinks reading series. Her first novel, Choir Boy, won a Lambda Literary Award.

Ophira Eisenberg
Ophira is a comedian, writer, and host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. She has appeared on HBO’s Girls, Gotham Live, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, The Nightly Show, Comedy Central, and VH-1. She regularly appears on and hosts The Moth, and her debut memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy was optioned for a feature film with Zucker Productions.

Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, a.k.a. Sammus, is an Ithaca-raised, Philadelphia-based rap artist, producer, and PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. Known as much for her rousing stage presence as she is for her prowess as a beatmaker and lyricist, In addition to managing a full-time music career, Enongo has spent the past eight years as a public-school and college level educator.

Cabins Still Selling Like Hotcakes (Which Sell Very Quickly)—Fewer than 60 Left

We said as much in last week's email, but it bears repeating: JoCo Cruise 2019 is selling really, really well. As of this writing, we have fewer than 60 retail cabins left. (This is ten fewer than we told you last week; you can do the rest of the math.) We're sure this new announcement will pique additional interest in booking, so if you have friends or family still deciding whether or not to join us, please give them this heads-up.

April 30th - “Penalty-free Cancellation” Deadline

Here's a quick reminder that April 30th will be the last day to cancel your booking without any penalty. Cancellation fees kick in starting on May 1st.

We would, of course, be sorry to see you go either way; but if you must cancel, we want to be sure you're fully aware of the cancellation fee schedule.

324 days!


[12 April 2018] 2019 - Fewer than 70 Cabins Left!

Fewer than 70 Cabins Remain for 2019!

We know that you're already booked (lucky you!), but it's worth noting that JoCo Cruise 2019 is selling like proverbial gangbusters, and is busting the sales curve of any previous JoCo Cruise. As of this writing, there are fewer than 70 total cabins still available.

We mention this because a) we're pretty thrilled about it; and b) if you know people who are still considering it but haven't booked yet, you should inform them of this fact, and that they shouldn't deliberate for long.

Here's a super-helpful button they can click on to hasten the process:

Help Us Improve JoCo Cruise's Onboard Social Media

We Sea Monkeys are all blessed with volunteer Open Source Software developers who've concocted special web and phone apps just for JoCo Cruise. Twit-arr (web) and CruiseMonkey (iOS/Android) offer an onboard, non-Internet Twitter-style messaging platform for direct and group messaging and forums, and have been offered on JoCo Cruise since 2012.

As is the Sisyphean lot of those maintaining custom software, the JoCo Cruise App Developers are locked in a timeless struggle against the forces of code-rot and entropy to make our apps better and stuff. To that end, we've put together a “JoCo Cruise Social Media Survey” about how (/if) you use these apps and what's important to you about them. (All responses are anonymous.)
TL;DR if you're a new cruiser: we have custom apps and we want to survey our guests about them!

Fort Lauderdale Hotels

Speaking of being forewarned…March in Fort Lauderdale is part of the “high season” for cruising and Florida travel in general. This means that, for those of you planning to fly in the day before we sail (or earlier), hotel rooms may become scarce/expensive.

We are still securing Sea Monkey-specific discount pricing at a couple area hotels—we hope to finalize and announce these in the next few weeks—but these blocks of hotel rooms will be small compared to previous years, and they will likely sell out extremely fast.

So in short: don't wait on booking your Fort Lauderdale pre-cruise hotel rooms.

Speaking of being forewarned…March in Fort Lauderdale is part of the “high season” for cruising and Florida travel in general. This means that, for those of you planning to fly in the day before we sail (or earlier), hotel rooms may become scarce/expensive.

We are still securing Sea Monkey-specific discount pricing at a couple area hotels—we hope to finalize and announce these in the next few weeks—but these blocks of hotel rooms will be small compared to previous years, and they will likely sell out extremely fast.

So in short: don't wait on booking your Fort Lauderdale pre-cruise hotel rooms.

Everybody's Talking…

People have wonderful things to say about JoCo Cruise! Have you seen the internet lately?

And check out this cool video!


You know what's better than seeing all the awesome photos, memories & news on the JoCo Cruise social media channels? Winning prizes!

We'll be giving away a coveted JoCo Cruise 2018 sweatshirt online soon - so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram! And always use #jococruise when posting your photos and memories. We love reposting!

Because, let's be real… We all strive to be even half as cool as Jean Grae.

331 days!


[8 March 2018] JoCo Cruise 2019, feat. They Might Be Giants!

You may have heard—we've mentioned it a couple of times here and there—that JoCo Cruise will be returning to the Caribbean in 2019. We've loved our time in Baja California the past two years (our land festivals in Loreto were a particular highlight), but we're equally excited to once again sail through the warm, blue waters of the Bahamas, Tortola and San Juan.

You may also have heard our other bit of recent 2019 news…

They Might Be Giants are Joining JoCo Cruise 2019!

We here at the Home Office have loved They Might Be Giants for many years, and we suspect there’s a pretty strong overlap between Sea Monkeys and TMBG fans. Now that we have brought these two great tastes together, you can finally have your cake and eat it too (the cake is the cruise and the taste is the taste of NEVER MIND, it’s not a good metaphor). We are excited too!

2018 Exit Survey

If you sailed on JoCo Cruise 2018 and have not yet filled out our 2018 Exit Survey, please take some time when you can to go through that; your input is invaluable for making JCC2019 and beyond the best possible events.

Even if you didn't join us in 2018, there are sections of the exit survey that you can provide input on, so please take a look when you have a chance.

Pay in Full Discount - Last Chance

We've already reached our initial 350-booking limit for the JCC2019 5% Pay in Full discount (wherein you can save 5% off the price of your booking if you pay your balance in full at the time of booking). Turns out, a lot of you like to save money when you can. Good for you!

BUT WAIT: there's still time if you're still interested. We've extended the deadline for the discount for a few extra days; if you want to take advantage of the 2019 5% Pay in Full Discount, you can still do so, but you must book no later than Tuesday, March 13 at 3 pm Eastern/12 noon Pacific.

And speaking of discounts going away soon…please also note that the $100 per berth Early Booking Discount ends this coming April 1st. We're not…<sunglasses>….fooling.

See you in 2019 (we hope, we hope, join us!),


JoCo Cruise 2019 Booking is OPEN NOW

March 9-16, 2019
on Holland America's ms Oosterdam
Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ports of call: Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), Tortola, and San Juan, PR
(And yes, we have the whole ship again)

Click on this text right here to book JoCoCruise 2019! [link redacted]

If you wish to book JoCo Cruise 2019, please use the above link; it's a link personalized JUST FOR YOU that will automatically log you into your JCC User Account, apply all applicable discounts to your booking, and link your booking with your JCC booking history.

Complete pricing, discount and deposit/payment schedule info can be found on our 2019 Pricing Page.

You can also check out our 2019 FAQ, including our itinerary, cancellation policy, Terms and Conditions, and Code of Conduct.

400 days!


P.S. If you want the plaintext for your personalized booking link, here it is: [link redacted]

[31 January 2018] JoCo Cruise 2019

Work on JoCo Cruise 2018 continues apace, and man oh man, it's gonna be awesome!

But we want tot take a moment to share some info we think is relevant to your interests…

JoCo Cruise 2019
March 9-16, 2019
On Holland America's ms Oosterdam
Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ports of call: Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), Tortola, and San Juan, PR

Booking opens this Friday (February 2nd) at 3 pm Eastern.

Click here for pricing, discount and payment info.

As a 2018 Sea Monkey (which you are if you're receiving this email), on Friday you'll receive a specialized link JUST FOR YOU. If you want to book JoCo Cruise 2019, please use that link. It will automatically log you in to your JCC User Account, and apply all appropriate discounts to your booking automatically. (Full discount info coming Friday.)

We're very, very excited to be returning to the Caribbean for 2019 (much as we have loved the past two years of West Coast/Baja California sailings).

Many Caribbean islands, including Tortola and Puerto Rico, are still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The Caribbean has been very good to JoCo Cruise over the years, and we very much want to be able to “give back” during this time of need. As such, we are working on ways to incorporate hurricane-relief fundraising with JoCo Cruise 2019, and our stops in San Juan and Tortola in particular.

BIG things are in store for 2019. Will you be there???


The Home Office.

  • email_archive/email_archive_2019.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/05/21 15:17
  • by nessa