JoCo Cruise 2016 Feedback Thread
edited February 2016 in JoCo Cruise
Let's get this ball rolling! Be as specific or general as you think is necessary. Home Office is listening. If the upcoming survey isn't enough to cover your thoughts, this is a great place to write them down. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand GO!
2. Lines. Nerds are good at following them if they are told politely where to go. Judicious use of line tape showing arrows where the line should be might help with situations like the Jim Boggia concert. In particular I recall lines snaking around the casino on the early JoCo Cruises.
3. WiFi. Shipboard WiFi sucks and we all know it. If we're going to take over next year's boat, we might want a better result than this year where we struggled with the shipboard IT in getting any sort of working DNS workaround to the malfunctioning CruiseMonkey app.
I floated the idea of maybe just setting up our own network with a series of routers and repeaters scattered about the ship, but then the issue becomes how do you find time to place the hardware and remove it.
Maybe we can bring just a handful of boosters and routers and place them strategically in spots like the main venues and the conference room? Just brainstorming.
4. The Home Office. Deserves a lot of love and appreciation for making really complex things look so easy.
5. Event scheduling was close to perfect this year. My only suggestion would be to give a 10 minute window between events in the same venue, to give a little extra mandatory time to clear the room.
Will add more as I get more time to reflect.
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.
[Events] I think THO is well aware of how poorly the Jim Boggia event was handled. There are a few things are obviously learned. Never give Jim Boggia a smaller venue, even for his side projects. Also, never give Jim Boggia only an hour. And it's unfortunate that we didn't recognize the need for line management sooner. But I think the most important aspect we need to consider is how we handled clearing the room for sound check. There are DEFINITELY better solutions than shoving people out the side door and having them fend for themselves. Solution A, ask the present Sea Monkeys to stfu during sound check (which I am confident this community could manage, especially under the condition of "Be quiet or we will immediately ask you to leave"). Solution B, have a person of authority (Thera, Bob, Sara, or even any Helper Monkey really) escort them out the side entrance, through the crowd, and to the front of the line. That would also be further viable with the aforementioned line management. I understand the unfavorable conditions of how things ended up happening, but it was simply not an acceptable solution, and a plan of action should be prepared for future instances.
[Shadow Cruise] I did not miss The Labyrinth/Raven/Crypt/Whatever as much as I thought I would. Olive Or Twist and Star Lounge were both great venues for Shadow Cruise events.
[Misc] I really appreciate the Helper Monkey lapel pin, but it kind of made my purchased lapel pin redundant. If it's possible to let slip any planned Helper Monkey items before the merch store goes up, that would be convenient.
[Events] I know my overly stubborn stance on recording policies will not be changing anyone's mind, but I would like to point out a perfect example of why I'm against them. A substantial portion of Michael Ian Black's show was tailored specifically for the Sea Monkey audience. It was a hilarious set that he nailed many times over. And now that is a memory that's lost forever. I could not even tell you what 2 of the 3 JoCo songs he came up with were, and I only remember the third at a concept level. I love preserving these special moments that happen on the ship, and I feel like every recording restriction put in place actively works against that. End grump. Carry on.
[Events] I absolutely LOVED how JoCo rotated through musicians for his band show. Instead of just Roderick comes out for the Roderick song and Boggia comes out for the Boggia song, the way the rotation was handled allowed for a lot of performance stuff we've never gotten to see before, and that was fantastic.
[Events] After watching Boggia and Roderick go at it in terms of musical talents, I absolutely want to see some sort of dedicated Jim Boggia Vs John Roderick show.
[Hotel] I was upset to hear that the Marriott went out of their way to shut down every potential iteration of the cheese party. I would recommend against grouping at a Marriott hotel in the future.
[Misc] Magnets were AMAZING, both as an exciting addition to our doors throughout the week, and for making newsletter delivery substantially more efficient. Please keep doing those!
[Misc] I was not terribly thrilled with the approach that Sarah took to introducing the new Facebook page. Particularly, "While this group is an excellent resource for meeting fellow 2016 Sea Monkeys and New Monkeys, the page will be the place to go for the latest news and updates about JoCoCruise as a whole." Perhaps I'm in a particularly sensitive position about this, but that comment came off as very dismissive to all of the Sea Monkeys who put so much love and care into the Facebook groups. I understand the value of having a such a page and I have no objection to its existence. But mayhaps you should avoid trying to devalue the Facebook groups, especially when "the latest news and updates" are objectively appearing in the groups long before they show up on the page, if they end up there at all. You'll have to forgive me if this introduction sparked some friendly rivalry between Facebook interfaces.
[Misc] Obligatory unviable request for 7 sea days and no ports, especially now that we have a full charter.
I have some feedback for Twit-arr but I will wait for any calls to specific feedback there.
Also, I'm on a Mac, and in every browser I have, any post @anyeone has commented on prompts me to log in to http://www.anyemercy.com. Does that happen to anyone else?
Hotel cheese party went down like this.
Talked to event management on site, as they never called me back. Take away:
- we need a new venue
- no food, no drink
- they are aware of the idea of "room parties", plan to actively patrol and shut down
- the game room that's already reserved will be monitored
- even saying "so, potentially hundreds of nerds will find another venue. We can't even cut the alcohol, do JUST cheese?" was met with a firm NOPE.
SAD CHEESE PARTY NEWS: JOCOTEL CHEESE PARTY IS CANCELLED
The cheese party on the boat is still a go. Please contribute all of your goodwill and your dairy products to that endeavor.
The Marriott is not willing to have such a party under any circumstances, either with or without wine, nor in any private rooms. Given the remote location of the hotel relative to anything other than other hotels, and the fact that Saturday is only three days away and I am home sick, I don't see any other way to do it.
Please accept my sincere apologies that I was not able to pull this together, and do enjoy the party that the amazing and talented Beth is hosting on the boat.
They did find a nearby restaurant to accommodate us in the end, but that doesn't change any feelings towards the hotel.
ETA: @Angelastic: huh, I didn't realize that we couldn't change our profile pics any more. That might be a thing to ping @Scarface about.