We hear that a lot. So let’s go to the numbers: around 75% of JoCo Cruise cruisers had never been on a cruise before JoCo Cruise. And the overwhelming majority come back and sail with us again and again. The reason? JoCo Cruise is unlike anything else at sea—it’s not your Grandma’s cruise (though she’ll probably love it, too!)—with a week’s worth of entertainment and activities specially crafted for Our People.
Yep. Nothing significant has changed in the world of cruising: for North American passengers there’s no other cruise destination that comes close to the Caribbean’s affordability, overall value, and FUN QUOTIENT.
It’s the same ship we were on for JoCo Cruise 2013, and has a nearly identical deck plan to the Independence of the Seas (our ship for 2014 and 2015). For those unfamiliar, the appeal of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class ships to JoCo Cruise at this stage is:
Lots of venue choices for JoCo Cruise Official and Unofficial (“Shadow Cruise”) events.
Lots of room for gaming and gathering—an entire 4,000 square foot Conference Center!
The ship in general is relatively new compared to other hardware in the industry, and has more activities. And although there will be a lot of total passengers on the ship (as many as 4,200, of which JoCo Cruise 2016 will likely represent around 25%), it’s so thoughtfully designed that it never feels crowded (with the possible exception of sailaway, when most people choose to be on the upper decks to watch the land go bye-bye).
Adequate dining room space to accommodate our entire group at the same dinner seating.
Other passengers are relatively close to our age bracket compared to some other cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean’s ships have plenty of activities for kids.
Performers, concerts, and shipboard events will be announced here on the JoCo Cruise site in the coming months. Purchasing your cruise on jococruise.com guarantees you a seat for all of the Main Performances, and admission to all other official events and gatherings. You’ll be given a (very spiffy) JCC2016 attendee badge and lanyard, which will be required for admittance to the exclusive JCC2016 events. If you do not purchase your cruise directly from JoCo Cruise, before JCC2016 sails, you will not be admitted to any exclusive JCC2016 events.
In addition to the Main Concerts, the wildly popular evening events will be back, plus the new Gaming, Writing, and other Featured Events. Plus a bevy of meet-ups/drink-ups, Q&A sessions, etc.
And of course the 24/7 game room—the cuddly, beating heart of JoCo Cruise—will be back in full force. Naturally, there will also be all sorts of opportunities to hang out and do stuff with your fellow Sea Monkeys, many of whom organize “Unofficial” events in what has been come to be known as the “Shadow Cruise.” We’ll also once again help facilitate Shadow Cruise events, and will have a limited amount of event space we can offer to organizers. We’ll have more info on how that process will work later in the year, once we’ve worked out our space requirements with RCI and the Freedom of the Seas.
But to find out what your fellow Sea Monkeys are already planning, or start a discussion about an event you’d like to hold, visit the Jonathan Coulton Forums to get in on the action.
Maybe someday, but not this year. So once again there will be plenty of other folks on board who aren’t there for us. Therefore, please take it easy on the Promenade zombie hordes and the “very drunk Arrrrr’s” when traveling amongst the Normals.
Most certainly. Although be warned that there’s often some “adult” material. All ages may attend the shows, but they will not necessarily be “family friendly;” so use your own judgment and parental standards.
THAT SAID…Royal Caribbean has a TON of fun things for kids of all ages to do. (No doubt you’ve seen their commercials, with rock climbing walls, a wave-surfing pool, ice rink, parades, kids-only areas, etc.), as well as lots of supervised activities. So go ahead and bring the whole family, whether or not the kids are interested in Beardy McInternet and his rabble. And once you get past two people in a cabin, the third and fourth people are significantly cheaper.
Yes! Don’t lose all hope! Over the course of the year, a number of cabins usually free up due to cancellations and/or Royal Caribbean letting us add more cabins to our allotment.
You can sign up on the JoCo Cruise wait list whether you’re not yet booked on JCC2016, or you’re already booked but are seeking to switch to a currently-unavailable cabin type. When signing up on the wait list, just indicate which cabin type(s) you are interested in, and you’ll be notified if a cabin of your desired type comes available.
Please note that first priority will be given to passengers who are already booked on JCC2016; after that, cabins will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Also, note that even if more inventory is added, it may not be at our currently published prices.
And of course, per usual, only those who book through jococruise.com will be permitted to participate in any JoCo Cruise concerts, events or activities. No exceptions.
Because JoCo Cruise did not buy out the whole ship for JCC2016, it is theoretically possible to book the same itinerary for a lower cost through a third-party booking site, or Royal Caribbean themselves. However, you can only see the exclusive JoCo Cruise shows and take part in the exclusive JoCo Cruise events if you buy through us. No exceptions.
There are also a number of credit card and other discount vouchers that, for contractual reasons, are not redeemable for JoCo Cruise. The ONLY discounts available for JCC2016 are for those who attended in 2015, people who have sailed on any previous JoCo Cruise event, children under the age of 3, and anyone who books through June 12, 2015.
The markup we apply to the “regular” cruise fare is what enables us to bring awesome entertainers and personalities every year, and to pay everyone who works the very long hours necessary to organize and operate JoCo Cruise. Also, the more people we have in our official group, the easier it is for us to commandeer rooms and spaces on the ship for cool stuff and activities.
So while we understand the desire to get the super-bestest available price possible, we hope you can understand our reasoning. After all, if you just wanted to go on a “normal” Caribbean cruise, you wouldn’t be reading this FAQ. And if we didn’t apply a markup, there’s no possible way we could even put together JoCo Cruise. Which would give many people a sad, ourselves among them.
Technically that’s not a question. But yes, yes it is. It’s a seven night cruise on a giant frigging boat. Also, you probably have to fly on an airplane to reach it. That said, we work hard to make it as affordable as possible, and the markup over Royal Caribbean’s prices covers our costs to bring all the Official guests aboard (including their cabins, airfare, etc.), pay staff to help things run smoothly, and other expenses that enable us to put on A BUNCH OF CONCERTS AND A WHOLE MESS OF FANTASTIC ACTIVITIES FOR YOU.
We confess that we’re hoping to make some profit from this trip; it will be a great deal of fun of course, but we are all professional entertainment people, this is our job, and it takes an awful lot of our time and energy to put it all together. If it makes you feel any better, our pay works out to be a pretty lousy hourly rate, and there is always the possibility that not enough people will come, and we will lose our metaphorical and literal shirts!
Any expenses of a personal nature (purchases made in shipboard stores; travel to/from Ft. Lauderdale; pre- and/or post-cruise hotel; shuttle to/from airport; extra gratuities for particularly excellent service; etc.)
NOTE: Gratuities, taxes and fees are subject to minor change. You will be notified in the event of any increases.
OTHER NOTE: Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to impose a fuel supplement on all guests if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel exceeds $65.00 per barrel. The fuel supplement for 1st and 2nd guests would be no more than $10 per guest per day, to a maximum of $140 per cruise; and for additional guests would be no more than $5 per person per day, to a maximum of $70 per cruise.
We went to all-in-one pricing starting in 2014 mostly because it’s simpler: our quoted price is all you need to pay for your cabin and JCC2016 exclusive entertainment. That’s it. We also found that in the first three JoCo Cruise years, very few people took advantage of the split pricing, and it was a pain in the yub-yub to implement.
All berths booked through June 12, 2015 will receive a $75 per berth discount. Additionally, anyone who has sailed on any previous JoCo Cruise event is eligible for a $35 per berth discount. All discounts will be applied to the total balance due, and JoCo Cruise will periodically check discount eligibility, and adjust affected balances accordingly. If you believe your balance was incorrectly adjusted, please contact us, and our booking monkeys will get things straightened out.
Also: Sea Monkeys who signed up via the Onboard Booking forms while on JCC2015 will receive an onboard stateroom credit on their JCC2016 room account (i.e. only ONE credit will be applied to any given stateroom.)
Children under the age of 3 (as of our sailing date of February 21, 2016) are eligible for a discount of $250 per child, which will be applied towards the total balance owed on the given booking. This discount will automatically be applied during the JCC2016 booking process.
An initial deposit of at least $250 per berth due upon booking (before June 12, 2015)
an additional $250 per berth by June 12, 2015
an additional $350 per berth by November 5, 2015
your remaining balance in full by December 1, 2015
Any bookings made on or after December 2, 2015 will require payment in full at the time of booking.
Of course, you’re perfectly welcome to pay the entire amount up front, or any amount greater than the required installments. You may also choose to pay in as many installments as you wish: after you book your trip, we will email you a PayPal link which you may use to make payments at any time. So long as you meet the minimum per person deposits as outlined above, you’ll be good to go.
If you’re booking a cabin for multiple passengers, but don’t actually have everyone’s names yet, you MUST put down the applicable deposit for each berth you expect to fill, as well as keep up with all scheduled deposits for all berths. If you initially book a double-occupancy room and then want to “upgrade” to a triple or quad at a later date, we cannot guarantee the future availability of triple/quad capacity staterooms, nor can we guarantee that our current pricing will apply to such an upgrade.
Also, if you don’t place and keep up with deposits on all berths in your cabin, those berths will not be eligible for any discounts which might have been applicable.
During the booking process, there will be a checkbox you can select for any passengers whose information you’ll need to fill in later. (In previous years, we’ve had you fill in “placeholder/dummy names;” this is not necessary for JCC2016.)
Notices for people seeking roommates can be posted in the Jonathan Coulton Forums. Our fanbase has proven to be extremely friendly, resourceful and helpful, and many folks find roommates (and subsequently, new friends!) via the discussion forum with no difficulty. It’s our fervent hope that everyone who wishes to find a roommate can find one, but we make no guarantees.
Yes! In the Payment section of the booking process you will have the option to pay a partial amount. After you complete the booking you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link that will let you or anyone else make additional payments against that booking. Your cabin will remain reserved while you coordinate everyone’s payments, but it won’t be finalized until the full initial deposit amount has been made.
Once you’ve gone through the initial booking process, each party in the booking may create their own JoCo Cruise User Account. Via these accounts, individual passengers will be able to make payments directly towards the remaining balance at any time. You’ll receive complete details about User Accounts when you book.
Though multiple people may make payments for any given booking, calculating the amounts owed by individual parties is not a service we provide; it is up to the individual members of the booking to determine how the balance should be divided. Final responsibility to pay rests with your booking’s Primary Contact (the person who created the booking), and regardless of how payment gets divided, the balance must be paid in full by December 1, 2015.
And obviously, if your initial booking deposit remains unpaid for too long past the deadline, we’ll have to cancel it in order to free that cabin up for someone else. But we will do our best to get in touch with you and resolve the situation before we take that action—our preference is to find a way for YOU to join us for the fun.
Yes. If they will be the sole payer for your booking, be sure you have all of the payment information ready when you start the booking process. Otherwise, the process will operate as outlined above: in the Payment section of the booking process, you will have the option to pay a partial amount. After you complete the booking and create your user account, your user account will contain a payment URL specific to your booking; you may forward this URL to any third party for them to submit payments of any amount. (NOTE: this payment link does not reveal any of the booking’s passengers’ personal information.)
Yes, the cruise line adds a surcharge to all single-occupancy staterooms; this is reflected in the Single Occupancy pricing is listed in the JCC2016 Pricing Table, and the correct total will appear automatically when you book.
Cancellation until and including June 12, 2015: full refund
Cancellation from June 13 through August 15, 2015: $100 per person cancellation fee
Cancellation from August 16 through October 14, 2015: $150 per person cancellation fee
Cancellation from October 15 through December 13, 2015: $250 per person cancellation fee
Cancellation from December 14, 2015 and January 12, 2016: cancellation fee of 50% refund of the cruise price
Cancellation on or after January 13, 2016: no refund
NOTE: if two or more existing bookings are merged into a single booking, this counts as a cancellation of the “discarded” booking(s), which is (are) subject to any applicable cancellation fees.
OTHER NOTE: after December 13, 2015, cancellation fees will be applied to dropped berths within a booking, even if the booking itself is not cancelled. Example: if you have a cabin booked for four people and it drops to three people on December 15, 2015, only 50% of that berth’s cost will be refunded. Starting January 13, 2016, no refund for that berth would be issued.
Because JoCo Cruise’s contract with the cruise line allows no exceptions to its cancellation policy, no exceptions will be made to our cancellation policy under any circumstances (including but not limited to personal financial issues, adverse weather, or being denied boarding by Royal Caribbean for any reason, including health reasons). JoCo Cruise recommends purchasing trip insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances that could hinder your ability to sail on JCC2016.
In case of cancellation, any refund amounts due may be remitted either by check, which will be mailed to the address of record for your booking, or to your PayPal account, at the discretion of JoCo Cruise.
You may make these changes as desired; but after November 5, 2015, any passenger changes made to your booking will incur a $50 administrative fee.
NOTE: This fee will not be applied when adding “real” passenger information for an existing “TBD guest” berth (i.e., if you initially paid for a multi-passenger cabin but didn’t have all the passenger information at the time of booking).
Trip insurance is not included in the JoCo Cruise 2016 cruise price, but you may wish to purchase it through a third party. Each year there have been people who have needed to cancel for a wide variety of reasons, so we highly recommend it.
One option we recommend is Travel Guard. Travel Guard provides coverage in the event of unforeseen trip expenses due to: trip cancellation, interruption and delay; involuntary job loss; emergency medical treatment and/or evacuation; lost, stolen or damaged baggage or travel documents; or baggage delay. A complete listing of coverage, pricing and conditions can be found when you follow the Travel Guard link. Travel Guard may also cover your travel costs, in addition to the cost of the cruise itself. You can also call Travel Guard at 1-800-454-7107.
NOTE: when following the link, after entering your country and state/province of residence, choose “CARIBBEAN” in the destination drop-down menu. When entering your trip cost, be sure to include the cost of your travel (airfare, hotel, etc.)
OTHER NOTE: passengers who live in Minnesota, New Mexico and Texas cannot use the above link, and must call Travel Guard directly at 1-800-454-7107.
If you attended JoCo Cruise 2015 and submitted a JoCo Cruise 2016 Onboard Booking form along with a pre-booking deposit, you may be eligible to receive a per cabin onboard credit during JCC2016 (amount variable by cabin type booked). These credits are offered through Royal Caribbean’s NextCruise program. As such, the program operates according to Royal Caribbean’s rules and regulations, and the credit can only be redeemed through your shipboard account on JCC2016 (i.e., the account attached your Royal Caribbean SeaPass card while aboard JoCo Cruise 2016).
Here are the details of the program:
The onboard per-cabin credits are as follows: $25 for Interior; $50 for Outside; $100 for Balcony; and $200 for Suites.
The onboard credit may be used for anything you would regularly purchase with your SeaPass card aboard the ship (drinks, merchandise, specialty dining, etc.).
Onboard credits will appear on the cabin account of the person who filled out the NextCruise booking form. You can check your account status and balance via the TV in your room or by visiting the Independence’s Guest Services desk.
Onboard credits may only be redeemed aboard JoCo Cruise 2016.
Only one onboard credit may be applied per cabin.
If multiple passengers who qualify for the onboard booking credit have combined into a single booking, by default we apply the onboard credit to the primary contact’s account. If you wish to apply it to one of the other qualifying passengers in your booking, please contact us.
If the person who filled out the NextCruise booking form is no longer attending, the onboard credit will be forfeited.
We cannot split credits. (Though you can buy others fruity drinks or similar as a means of compensation.)
If you change your booked cabin type, your onboard credit will change to reflect your final cabin type. For example, if you initially pre-booked or booked a suite, then switch to a balcony, your final onboard credit will be $100. (You don’t retain the $200 credit; no trying to game the system, y’all!)
Please note: the onboard credit will be listed on your JoCo Cruise User Account home page with an actual dollar amount of $0. This is because the credit is coming from RCI, not JoCo Cruise, and will apply to your onboard stateroom account balance. We list it as a marker to assure you that your credit is in our records. If you booked while aboard JoCo Cruise 2015 and that marker does not appear on your account, please contact us.
All members of your booking (including children) must have and bring with them a valid passport (or other acceptable documentation) that will not expire for at least 6 months after the ship returns on February 28, 2016.
All members of your booking are responsible for getting to the ship on time, both for initial embarkation and at each port during the sailing. JoCo Cruise does not handle or pay for any attendee’s travel arrangements to or from the ship, at any time.
All members of your booking must check-in online with Royal Caribbean prior to sailing. JoCo Cruise will notify the lead person of each booking when the check-in process is open, at which point it will be the lead person’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary information is accurately provided to Royal Caribbean.
The Freedom of the Seas is currently scheduled to depart from Port Canaveral, FL at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, 2016. Royal Caribbean requires all passengers be on board at least 90 minutes ahead of time—3 p.m. Departure time is subject to change; after you’ve checked in on the Royal Caribbean website, you’ll be able to verify the time as the sailing approaches.
It is strongly recommended that you fly into MCO at least a day prior to sailing, to allow for weather/mechanical/unexpected delays in travel. (Weather is no joke in February: there has been snow in various parts of the US each of the previous years, and a blizzard in 2013; a few people got stuck and were unable to attend the cruise or had to meet up with it halfway through) If you choose to travel to MCO on the morning of sailing, please note that the ship is scheduled to depart at 4:30 p.m., and Royal Caribbean requires that all passengers be checked in and on board no later than 90 minutes before departure, which is 3 p.m.* Please make allowances accordingly; we would absolutely hate for anyone to be left behind, but there are no exceptions to our refund policy in the event of missing the cruise.
*published departure time as of March 30, 2015 and subject to change
As we did for previous JoCo Cruise sailings, we will have an “official” hotel this year—once we have finalized arrangements, complete information will be found on our Travel and Accommodations page. You are more than welcome to make your own hotel arrangements if you wish; use of the “official” JCC2016 hotel is not required (but is a lot of fun!)
Please note that our “official” hotel this year will be in Orlando, not Port Canaveral. (In short, this is because the Daytona 500 is happening the weekend we depart, so it was not possible for us to secure the number of rooms required for our group at any acceptable Port Canaveral hotels.) You are still welcome to make your own hotel arrangements in Port Canaveral if you prefer.
The JoCo Cruise organization does not handle travel arrangements (flights, trains, etc.) for attendees beyond the cruise itself. We recommend you visit one or more of the numerous online travel sites and/or airline websites for assistance, and strongly recommend you compare prices at more than one site for the best possible deal.
If you have a Crown & Anchor Society number, you’ll be able to enter it when you enter all your other information on the Royal Caribbean site via a link we’ll provide closer to the sailing date. Some benefits may not apply to your JCC2016 booking—JoCo Cruise doesn’t have any control over or special knowledge of this process, and it will between you and Royal Caribbean.
You will be shunned and thrown overboard*. However, first we will cross-check your name on our master list of paid attendees; and if you are on that list, we will just issue you a replacement badge. That was a close one!
* You will not actually be shunned nor thrown overboard.
Special dietary needs, such as vegetarian, diabetic or gluten-free meals, are easily accommodated with advance requests. Kosher meals and a Health Conscious Dining option are also available. To arrange special meals, contact RCI directly at [email protected]; please include in the e-mail your name(s), RCI reservation number (which will be provided to you as we get closer to the sailing date), ship name and sail date. Special meal requests should be made no less than 45 days before sailing. (Vegetarian meals are available on all menus in the dining room and at the Windjammer Cafe every day, and do not require special requests.)
Unfortunately, no. Rest assured, we are genuinely happy for you and your birthday/marriage/unbounded love and devotion. But in order to be fair to everyone who makes similar requests, we must say either “no” or “yes” to everyone. And if we said “yes” to all, there wouldn’t be much time left in the show for the actual show itself*.
* Or, at least, every show would begin with a litany of shout-outs, making them collectively less special.
Not really. First of all, that’s not a very interesting superpower. Moreover, remember that all the Famous People™ on this boat are actual people, so please be respectful of their time and privacy. It’s a tricky thing we know; we like Famous People too, and we also are conflicted about whether or not we should get a photo with them or get their autograph or chat or whatever. Use your judgement and common sense; if someone is having dinner with their family, or getting a massage, or sleeping, it’s generally not appropriate to bother them about anything, famous or not. There will be some time that is public-y and some time that is more private-y. Obviously we don’t want to be complete jerks and take all the fun out it—we’re not trying to institute a “please do not make eye contact with the Famous People” policy—but please, you know, just BE COOL.
Rest assured, the Famous People have been encouraged to make themselves as accessible as reasonably possible while on board, especially during the various social events we’ll be holding; and indeed, part of the criteria for performer selection is overall pleasantness/affability—our “No A**holes” performer policy has a 100% success rate so far, by our count. And we encourage you not to wait until the last night of the cruise to meet the performers/get autographs/photos, so that nobody misses their opportunity because there was too long a line of people waiting for a moment with [Famous Person X].
That said, we wish to be clear: this is not Nerd Fantasy Camp™, and nobody is “guaranteed” face time with [Famous Person Y]. It is our fervent hope that everyone who attends gets to the opportunity to meet/interact with/get the autograph of/steal the immortal soul of every person (both Famous and non-famous) they wish; and, as said above, all the Famous People are encouraged to be as accessible as they can during the cruise. But we must all make allowances that there is only so much time on the trip, that different people may have differing tolerances for sustained public interaction, and that we “canna’ change the laws o’ physics, Cap’n.”
Finally, when it is an appropriate time, but you don’t know how to approach, a good tip that came out of our first year’s Q&A session is to simply make eye contact and say “Hi, my name is [your name]*, I love what you do, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
*substitute your actual name here; do NOT say the phrase “your name”
We will not be holding a dedicated autograph session; there will simply be too many people to do an official signing in a way that wouldn’t involve hours of waiting in line, ending with being hustled past the signing table with no real interaction time, which would be a pity when there are so many other awesome things to do and see and eat and drink. But it’s absolutely fine to ask any of the performers for an autograph (given the caveats described above).
That said, we’re very proud of the relaxed, “just hanging out together” vibe that has evolved as we’ve all figured out how to do this. In our opinion, events like autograph sessions would ruin that vibe. Despite some convention-style trappings, we don’t like to think of JoCo Cruise as a con; it’s more like Nerd Summer Camp. And have you ever seen an autograph session at summer camp*?
Besides, you’re going to have plenty of souvenirs and pictures by the end of this thing, and anyway we think it’s much better to focus on having authentic human-to-human interactions. Seriously: let’s hang, it will be fun!
*besides at Lake Wissahickon Autograph-Collecting Camp; that doesn’t count.
Really? You’re saying that an entire cruise, PLUS several island paradise destinations, PLUS star-addled entertainment, PLUS special activities, PLUS the Shadow Cruise, aren’t enough for you? What kind of person ARE you, anyway?
Oh, right; you’re a nerd.
And we are too. So of COURSE there will be internet access, in the form of WiFi that’s available in virtually every cabin and most public spaces throughout the ship.
The bad news is it’s not free—in fact, it’s quite expensive compared to land-based plans, probably because every 1 and 0 needs to be transmitted to and from SPACE. It’s also not terribly fast, especially compared to broadband. But as in previous years, we’re working on getting discounted WiFi plans for our group. Details for this sailing will be announced as soon as they are available.
You may also opt for traditional voice and data (charged per MB) roaming through your carrier. This is an expensive option, but it is available.
All that said, you are also welcome to join the WiFi Temperance Brigade, wherein you solemnly vow not to connect with the outside world using the Internet for the duration of the cruise. In exchange, you will be gifted with superpowers which may or may not include flight, touch alchemy, and/or superior relaxation.
Some of your fellow Sea Monkeys plan to not only bring back but to improve Twit-arr, JoCo Cruise’s internal group messaging service. We’re also already working with Royal Caribbean to hook it up to the Freedom’s internal WiFi network.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, Twit-arr is a custom social media platform designed by and utilized by Sea Monkeys to organize groups large and small, to share information and experiences about the ship and excursions, and to generally squee. It’s completely free, and runs on pretty much any web browser. It does NOT provide internet access—you’ll still need to buy WiFi if you want to check your email, shop for widgets on Etsy, etc.
Well yes, hmmm, I see your problem there WELL WHY DID YOU TAKE THE PLEDGE DUMMY? It’s true: the WiFi Temperance Brigade high priest David Rees has ruled that Twit-arr is a violation of your pledge. You will have to speak to him about the finer points of this philosophy, but that ruling has been made and is final.
Also: you do realize that the WiFi Temperance Brigade is not a legally-binding contract, and should you choose to take the oath but still use Twit-Arr, you will not be smote by any deity or deities*, don’t you?
We continue to work on improving non-electronic communications. These will include announcements at every main performance, the Helper Monkey Help Desk outside of the Game Room, and a daily JCC2016 newsletter (“The SeaMonkey”). It is a bizarrely difficult challenge staying connected with everyone when there is no internet; but honestly, that’s part of the fun of cruising. It’s rather nice to get a little bit disconnected and have things “happen to you” the way they used to in the olden days of old.
*includes David Rees, who will still believe that you are a wonderful human being who does not deserve smiting
Although there are two dinner sessions in the main dining room, all of our cruisers will be assigned to the early (6 pm) seating, which gives us greater flexibility for the evening events. And we typically schedule the main concerts to end 30-60 minutes before dinner begins to allow people adequate time to return to their staterooms and get ready. There are also plenty of other dinner options besides the main dining room, but why miss the fun? If you aren’t assigned the early seating for some reason, please contact us and we’ll get it straightened out.
Like last year, dinner will be “open seating;” that is, we will have a large area reserved with table tents indicating “JoCo Cruise”, and JoCo Cruise attendees will be able to sit at any table so indicated (other than the tables marked “Staff/Performers”). Also like last year, if you have a group that wishes to all sit together at the same table for the duration of JCC2016, we will be making that option available.
Be excellent to each other. We expect that everyone will treat their fellow Sea Monkeys with kindness and respect. This is an enthusiastic and supportive community, and we hope it will always to be this way. Invite people into your conversations and activities; be supportive when your fellow Sea Monkeys try new things; participate, say hello, help out. There are always a few people who are on the cruise for the first time, and we all know how lonely these kinds of events can feel when you don’t know anybody, and you’re maybe not so good with the social interaction anyway. Be inclusive and friendly!
Don’t harass others. We think you know this already, but for the record, here are some things that are not OK: any kind of physical, verbal, or psychological abuse; threats, intimidation, and bullying; slurs about race, gender, or sexuality; unwanted romantic attention, sexual harassment, and generally creepy or stalky behavior. Don’t be a jerk, you jerk!
Be excellent to the ship’s staff, non-JoCo cruisers, and anyone you encounter at a port of call. Bad behavior by individuals reflects poorly on our group as a whole, and we don’t want to be remembered as the rude people who ruined everyone’s cruise.
Don’t steal things. I mean, obviously.
Don’t use illegal substances or bring them onboard. No exceptions.
The ship’s management has the final say. The officers and crew of the Freedom of the Seas all want you to have fun, but they’re also responsible for the safety and well-being of every person on board. Don’t hesitate to come to us if you need help dealing with an issue, but know that if it involves the ship and its operations, ultimately we must defer to the Independence’s management.
In general we expect that as in years past, JoCo Cruiseers will act responsibly and look after one another. But in the event of a breach of this Code of Conduct, we reserve the right to take action, including limiting access to events, or outright expulsion without refund.
During the cruise, if you witness behavior contrary to this Code of Conduct, are concerned about another JoCo Cruise attendee’s behavior, or feel that you are being or have been harassed, contact any Helper Monkey or member of the JoCo Cruise management team (Scarface (Drew), Paul, Storm, or Anna). Off-ship, email JoCo Cruise management at [email protected]
We’re sorry you won’t be with us from minute one, but don’t fret just yet! You may be able to meet up with the ship later.
GENERAL DISCLAIMER: The information below is intended to help you, but it is up to your own judgement in conjunction with Royal Caribbean’s policies, procedures and personnel to achieve your best possible outcome. Royal Caribbean is the final authority in matters relating to their ships and other facilities, and their decisions and guidance take precedence over any information provided by JoCo Cruise in regards to those areas.
Now then…If you didn’t get to the port in time due to travel delays or similar circumstances, notify Royal Caribbean’s Emergency Travel Team, who may be able to clear you to join the ship at one of our stops: 1-800-256-6649 Royal Caribbean’s Emergency Travel Team can help you through the process of meeting back up with the ship (securing flights, interim hotel, transportation to the new port, etc.).
If you purchased trip insurance, you may also wish to contact the provider, as it’s likely they’ll be able to help you with travel arrangements. Depending on your policy, they may also reimburse you for these expenses.
Note that JoCo Cruise does not provide travel services beyond the events it hosts on Royal Caribbean’s ship, is not an expert in travel services, and provides these suggestions in the hopes that it will help give you a general framework for your planning purposes.
If you did not purchase trip insurance, DON’T PANIC! You may feel terrible right now, but roll with it and chances are you’ll be with us before you know it.
Hey, it happens. Royal Caribbean can deny boarding for any reason they see fit. It’s their ship and, ultimately, JoCo Cruise cannot override their decision. The information below is with regard to denial of boarding for health reasons. In some cases—for example, a minor cold—guests are able to join the ship later. If you were denied boarding for health reasons and want to try to rejoin the ship later on its itinerary, read on. If you were denied boarding for other reasons, please talk with Royal Caribbean to determine your options.
In either case, please send an email to [email protected] with your status. While Internet at sea can be spotty we will do our best to assist you.
FIRST: Take care of your health! As much as we want to see you with us, your health is the first priority. If you were denied boarding for health reasons and are feeling seriously ill, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.
ALSO IMPORTANT: The information in this FAQ item is intended to help you, but it is up to your own judgement in conjunction with Royal Caribbean’s policies, procedures and personnel to achieve your best possible outcome. Royal Caribbean is the final authority in matters relating to their ships and other facilities, and their decisions and guidance take precedence over any information provided by JoCo Cruise in regards to those areas.
If you were denied boarding for health reasons, you will first need to be certified by a doctor that you are fit to travel before you’ll be allowed to board.
Send an email to [email protected] once you know your plans so that we can assist where possible and notify our staff.
If you were denied boarding for health reasons:
Take care of your health! As much as we want to see you with us, we don’t want you to put you health in jeopardy. And if you’re feeling seriously ill, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY. A Royal Caribbean agent may be able to advise you where you can go, or you can have a taxi bring you to the nearest hospital. And of course if you believe your life may be in jeopardy, call 9-1-1 from any available phone and tell them you’re at Port Canaveral, in the terminal for the Freedom of the Seas.
If you don’t feel your health is in imminent danger, secure a hotel room in Florida for at least tonight.
You should not travel until you are well, and you will also not be allowed to board until you’ve been cleared by a doctor. Once you are feeling well, this can be done at many pharmacy clinics, such as those at CVS, in addition to hospitals and other health clinics.
Unfortunately we’re not equipped to provide any direct assistance, but we can give you a road map for what to do now that you’ve talked with the Royal Caribbean agent, and are standing by yourself in the Port Canaveral terminal. You are never truly alone when you have knowledge.