We had the BEST time this time. It was awesome. Part of that is that the Sea Monkeys are the last group to see me walking again, which was cool, but the other part is just the sheer love on the boat coupled with the content and performers. It's just amazing.
In no particular order:
These might be moot, but are worth documenting:
I dunno if it's something that's even addressable, but I really found the Indy to be more run down and in need of repair than the Freedom had been. That was disappointing, but not a material issue obviously.
I don't know who did it -- someone suggested it was a collaboration between the Freedom's bev manager and the Mystery Brewing guy? -- but last year's boat had an extended beer and whiskey selection that I really missed this time around. Obviously, it's not a big deal, either, but having HAD it in 2015, I missed it this time. Would it be possible for this kind of thing to come back for the Westerdam?
I fucking LOVED the lineup this time around. All the cruises I've been on have been embarrassments of riches, but sometimes there have been act I felt I could skip for a nap or an afternoon poolside; that was absolutely not the case this time. Having Imogen Heap was a coup; bringing Zoe back was an outSTANDING development (can we have her back for a whole set?). The comedy night was stellar. Jean Grae just kills, and I'm an old white guy with only a passing familiarity with hip hop. Brosh didn't really resonate with me as much as she did with some folks, but I'm super glad I got to see her, and super glad for the folks who loved it. And Boggia remains some sort of freakishly talented music elf who possesses the magical ability to make me give a damn about the Beatles.
I feel the same way about The Both for sure, but here's the one thing I really DO want to voice: having multiple official events that start AT MIDNIGHT is really tough. I was out of gas and missed the Both as a result. That sucked. I mean, I know Angela taped it (because I found her in the room before I felt okay about going to bed), but I'm really really bummed I missed seeing it live.
I know there was pushback about midnight events after the 6-night cruise a couple years ago, so I hoped that was a settled issue, but apparently not. (Not to put too fine a point on it, but having the "early evening" concert slot taken up by karaoke while The Both played at midnight was especially vexing.)
I'm really glad Hodgman came back. I love that we have this "standing cast" of people -- him, Wheaton, Roderick, etc. It really enriches the experience.
What was UP with the reliance on the smaller, lower-seating Star Lounge vs. Studio B? Star was great for readings and other smaller events, but putting Boggia or the Both in there seemed like a weird call.