Pre-Greetings From JoCo Cruise!

Here’s half of a conversation I’ve been having quite a lot recently:

“In about two weeks, it’ll be my first time on Jonathan Coulton’s geek cruise.”

“Yes, geek cruise. A cruise for geeks.”

“Yes, those exist.”

“No I’m not making it up. This one has been around for eight years. It’s JoCo Cruise.”

“You know, Jonathan Coulton?”

“Come on, he wrote a bunch of hilarious amazing songs. He did that great acoustic cover of Baby Got Back? He wrote the theme song to Portal? He’s on NPR?”

“Yes, this is a real thing. I’m not making this up.”

“I swear I’m not making this up. Ugh, ok come on, let me show you…”

It goes around like this.*

Anyway, to be clear again, I’m not making this up. There is a legendary geek cruise, it is sailing in about two weeks and I will be on it!

* The one exception to this rule is the people who already know Jonathan Coulton, love Jonathan Coulton, and have also always wanted to go on this cruise. These are my people. You may become one by the time this post is over…

WHAT IS JOCO CRUISE


A good question. So, if you didn’t get the answer from above, Jonathan Coulton is an incredibly talented and self-described geek and musician. He became famous for his delightful and delightfully weird and wonderful songs, like this one, which is an memo from one co-worker to another, only one of them has become a zombie:

It’s so good.

In 2011, Coulton decided to launch a cruise for his people, and called it JoCo Cruise Crazy (based off another one of his delightful songs, Tom Cruise Crazy). About 375 people took over the ship and they tried to see if it was a success.

Oh, it was.


This will mark the eighth annual cruise, now known just as JoCo Cruise. We’ll be sailing the Holland America Line’s ms Oosterdam, starting San Diego and hitting different spots along the Mexican Riviera. The cruise will contain such things as:

Nerd Celebrities
Live Podcasts
Board Game Rooms
Writing Events
Karaoke
Dance parties
Meetups/drinkups
And Shadow Cruise Events, which are events planned by the guests on board to teach skills or entertain or just basically be badass together.

According to the site: “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.”

BUT REALLY, A CRUISE?


I have ALWAYS wanted to go on this event ever since it launched, and I’m so glad this year I’m taking the plunge (nautical references!) and getting to. Really, I’m so excited about this cruise, I may explode before it happens. I want to buck all the stereotypes you think you might think might happen on this ship, including that:

Cruises are for old people: Apparently not. This is an entire takeover of the ship and it’s filled with wonderfully nerdy people of all ages (some of them may be elederly, but nerds are very welcoming to all kinds of people).

Geeks are anti-social: Untrue from all the geeks I’ve met, and apparently even more so for this cruise. You’re encouraged to make friends, join tables of strangers, play board games with new people, go to Shadow Cruise Events to learn new things from interesting people, so exciting!

The food is terrible: We literally are making a stop in a Mexican city and heading to a food festival. Oh my god yes.

The entertainment is also terrible: Maybe? Although when you have legendary icons like Maria Bamford, Michael Ian Black, Bonnie Burton, Cameron Esposito, John Hodgman, Aimee Mann, Paul and Storm, Patrick Rothfuss and Wil Wheaton on board, all just hanging out or teaching you things or playing games or performing, I think that would be wrong.

I WANT TO GO


Well, of course you do!

If you’re feeling cheeky and impulsive, you can still buy a ticket for this year’s trip up to the 10th (so you’ve basically got less than two days.)

Otherwise, booking for next year’s cruise is already open and will sail through the Caribbean. Go nuts and book away.

I’M IN SAN DIEGO, DON’T WANT TO CRUISE, BUT DO WANT TO HANG OUT WITH GEEKS


Well, what do you know, I have something for you too.

In addition to the cruise, I’m also going to be checking out the Sea Monkey Sendoff. Basically, this is an event the night before the ship sails for people on the cruise, and people who like the idea of the cruise, to come together, eat tacos, drink beer and nerd out as a wonderful inclusive group, all for a good cause.

Here’s what the site has to say about it:

The 1st Annual ‘Sea Monkey Send-Off’ is a one-of-a-kind exclusive festival in the famed San Diego Comic Art Gallery featuring hand-selected local craft beverages (beer, cider, mead, even alcoholic kombucha), authentic Mexican street tacos, live music and large format video games. Best of all, proceeds for the event benefit Traveling Stories, a San Diego non-profit that provides books and reading experiences for children in need.

It all happens Saturday, February 17th  from 6-9PM. If you’re in the area, don’t miss it.

I CAN’T GO THIS YEAR, CAN I LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH YOU?

Always! I’m going to be Tweeting, Instagramming and Facebooking my way through this beautiful part of the world at @AlexShebar. Make sure to follow me on everything. And afterwards, I’m sure I’ll have a few videos and blog posts to share about the whole experience too!

CAN WE HAVE ONE MORE JONATHAN COULTON SONG, PLEASE?

Ok, but only because you asked nicely.

JoCo Cruise sails from San Diego from February 18 to 25. More info can be found at jococruise.com.

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