|JoCo Cruise 2017
||[Mar. 11th, 2017|11:48 pm]
At the last moment, someone was not able to make the cruise and he sold his ticket to me at a discount. A fortuitous concatenation of work events enabled me to take advantage of this opportunity!! This "Jonathan Coulton-convention-on-a-cruise-ship" was awesome!!! I thought I'd get seasick, but I arrived on the ship completely exhausted after trying to get 2 weeks worth of work completed in one week. My theory for this pleasant surprise is that I was too tired to fight becoming acclimated to the rocking of the boat. After all, I get seasick in the back seat of a car! I was delighted to have felt no discomfort whatsoever and had no trouble eating. I stayed 100% away from alcohol just in case, though.|
The food the first night was apparently designed for people who no longer had taste buds - I had to send everything back it tasted so bad. The chef adjusted and I was thrilled with the food in the dining room thereafter: prime rib, lamb, duck and lobster that included proper gravies, sauces, rues and butter with the proper spices. The food on the Lido deck was consistently wonderful. The food at high tea was hit or miss. Frankly I was dying for simple cucumber and cream cheese on squishy white bread and biscuits. The quality of all the food was very high, though. I normally have trouble with "bad dairy", but the ship must get its dairy stores from an organic farm or from non-US sources since I had no digestive discomfort at all despite my eating all the ice cream I desired.
We had a small inside cabin with no window. I thought this might be an issue, but the ship is EXTREMELY well ventilated. My shower barely steamed the mirror - and at home my mirror is completely steamed up. Me and my roommate kept a tidy room - unpacking and closeting all our clothes and belongings. Even in our small cabin there was sufficient storage to have everything unpacked and to store the bags, too. The beds were EXTREMELY comfortable. I slept well every night. The service was also very good. NOTE: there is absolutely no privacy on a ship - cameras everywhere and staff in/out of the room multiple times a day. The larger cabins are decadent compared to mine. However, there are points to consider. Windows provide light. My room was so dark that sleeping was very satisfying. Also, on a ship repairs to the exterior are common and repairs make noise. From my interior room I heard nothing. My room had no view, but I sat next to windows at every meal, so I didn't feel like I was missing anything. The luxury of a window and balcony would have been nice, but my cruise was not less for not having them. Honestly, there was so much to do that I spent little time in the cabin anyway.
The panels were awesome. There were panels by podcasters discussing shipboard epidemics (and how wonderful the record of the Holland America Cruise Line is) to sing-along sea shanties to game demos to JoCo Concerts to Author readings and everything in-between. There was always something to do.
The port at Cabo San Lucas would have been more fun for me if I could have joined an expedition. Everyone in my party had booked excursions and by the time I committed to the cruise anything I was interested in was already booked. I ended up just walking around town. It wasn't pleasant due to the intrusive hard-sell tactics of the business owners, cat calls and gaudy/tacky signage. I didn't stay long.
Loredo Mexico on the other hand was lovely. The historicalness (historicity?) of the town has been preserved. The pavements were properly maintained; the grounds were spotless and the people were pleasant rather than pushy. It reminded me of Savannah, Georgia which I also recommend visiting. The town threw us a Food Festival in the town square and JoCo & Friends performed. It was a warm and windy evening, but extremely satisfying.
The next day a few of us went ashore to spend time on a beach. The beaches were nice, but unfortunately the weather had turned cooler and the sea was cold. I believe this was the cause of our sniffles on Friday. Note to self, take advantage of good weather while it lasts, because tomorrow's weather isn't guaranteed.
Overall, the price is well worth the experience. If such a favorable concatenation of circumstances should arise again, I will definitely make sure I have savings to be able to do this again!!