JoCo Cruise 2018

Those of you who follow me on social media probably know that for the last several years, I’ve been a part of the JoCo Cruise. What’s more, over the last couple years, they’ve brought on Worldbuilders as their official charity, and they donate a portion of the proceeds every year. (More on that later, for those of you who are fans of Worldbuilders.)

For those of you who don’t know, (and why would you, because I haven’t ever written a blog about it, though I’ve meant to for years) JoCo Cruise is kinda like a convention, except it’s on a cruise ship. So you can go to a panel about writing, go to workshop about game design, then go and drink rum out of an actual Pineapple on a beach. Or go snorkling. Or sit by the pool. Or go listen to some live music. Or hang out with your fellow geeks and play games. By the pool, at the bar. With, and I cannot stress this enough, rum.

If that wasn’t cool enough, last year the cruise took over the *entire* boat. So not only are there no normal cruise-goers giving us the side-eye. But we have full control over all the event spaces, so the amount of programming has become truly insane.

You can see the full schedule from last year right here, just so you know the scale of what I’m talking about.


(Some of the guests from a previous cruise.)

This year is only going to be bigger and better, and booking has been going on for a while now.

It’s a chunk of change. But if you’re in the habit of going to conventions, you know that after you factor in hotel rooms, taxis, all your meals, badges, and extra events, you can easily spend as much as the cruise just attending a 4 day convention. More if it’s a convention like San Diego Comic con…

And this cruise isn’t just four days. It’s a 7-night, 8-day trip, with stuff going on literally at all hours. And the price includes all the JoCo Cruise events, 24 hour room service, all your onboard meals, use of the onboard gym, etc etc.

  • But Pat, I hear you say, “What sort of things happen on the cruise?”

Honestly? So much stuff. It’s almost ridiculous to try to mention all of it.

There’s performances every night. Dozens of musicians. Last year there were some cool magicians I’ve since seen on TV. Last year we had Nightvale on board, and I participated in one of their shows.

I myself usually do some panels, some readings, some performances.

Well, there’s usually a fair number of podcast recordings, like the one I did with Max last year…

This year, I’ve let Paul and Storm know that I want to sing at least once…. So there will be that train wreck to watch as well…

Tak made its debut on the Cruise, and was first playtested there. This year Travis McElroy is going to be there. So I’m guessing we’ll have some fun and games with him. And some D&D if I have anything to say about it…

There are things like the Gaming Room and Library, where you can settle in and play a board game with anyone who happens to pass by.


All photo Credits to Steve Petrucelli and JoCo Cruise Shutter Monkeys


There’s concerts every night that have performers like The Doubleclicks, Paul & Storm, Jonathan Coulton, and so many more.


(Jonathan Coulton, complete with Zombies trying to eat his brains, here.)


(Jean Grey here. I became a fan of hers *because* I saw her on the cruise.)

And, I mean, you’re on a CRUISE.




For those of you curious about the price, here’s someone’s complete breakdown of all of the costs associated with this trip:

“But Pat!” I hear you cry. “The cruise isn’t until February, why would I want to book so soon?”

Well, there are a few reasons…

First of all the sooner you book, the more options you get for booking your cabins. Actual cabin placement is made in order of booking, with preference for folks who have booked early.

There’s also a “Refer a Friend” program where folks who already booked on the 2018 cruise can refer a friend. When both of them make their booking they’ll each receive a $125 onboard credit to their accounts, which they can use for fancy food, adult beverages, or buying merch and swag in the stores onboard. You can read up on the full info here, but it’s a limited time offer, so book soon.

If you don’t already have a friend sailing on board, there’s another special opportunity you can take advantage of: the Worldbuilders Charity Booking.

If you enter the offer code “worldbuilders” when booking a new cabin, two things will happen:

  1. Worldbuilders will receive a $250 donation on your behalf
  2. Everyone in your booking will have guaranteed attendance at a special onboard meetup with me.

This doesn’t count if you make a booking and cancel, obviously, and there’s a couple of other rules and restrictions as well (all of which you can read here) but once again, it’s a limited time offer, so if you’re hoping to get in on this one you should book now.

There’s also ALSO a Child discount of $250 per child under the age of 3 (at the time of sailing). That’s gonna be true the whole time, but it was still worth noting. I almost always bring my boys, and it’s a ton of fun to have them there. Oot wants nothing more than to spend as much time as humanly possible in the on-ship pool.

Anyway, there’s a whole bunch of options, all broken down on their Pricing Page, but, as with everything, the sooner you book, the better off you are.

So… yeah. There’s a reason I go on this every year. It’s a lot of fun.

One thing I learned in working with Nerdcon is that no matter how cool something is, there’s no guarantee it’s going to last forever. So if you’ve been thinking about it for a while, maybe jump in and try it this year.

Here’s the booking link one more time.

Hope to see some of you there,


This entry was posted in a billion links, conventions, cool things. By Pat21 Responses


  1. davedujour
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    The gaming table tells me this sorting system should be implemented: (blatantly borrowed from Omegacon, Siren, WI.)
    “Behold ye the advent of “CoCoGaZoRS”, or the Color Coded Game Zone Return System. The game tables will be designated into several “color zones” (clearly marked with tablecloths) and matching Post-Its for coordinated labeling will be provided. If you bring games to share please label them clearly with your full name and badge number if possible.” – the labelling system is just colored Post-It Notes.

    • ashleyjowill
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      I remember colored stickers on the games noting how long the games take to play, which is how I believe they were categorized.

      • davedujour
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

        CoCoGaZoRS is more about making the games easier to find at the end of the weekend by the correct owner. Games get put back on the same table they came from by matching up cheap plastic color table clothes with the same color post-its.

  2. TimFantasy
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Is it worth to go there by yourself?

    • Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

      Depends on how good you are flying solo at something like this.

      If you’d enjoy going to a new convention by yourself, I think you’d do pretty well here. It’s a pretty good place to make new geeky friends…

      If not, maybe consider roping in a couple friends to come along?

      • TimFantasy
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

        Thank you very much for the response. I will definitely have a look. Never heard of this cruise before. But it sounds awesome!

      • TimFantasy
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

        And other question:
        Have you any plans to come to Germany some time soon?
        Would love to meet you and have an autograph! :)

        Greetings from Germany!

    • cajunjoel
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

      Yes, it is. There have been many over the years who have attended alone and who have made great new friends almost right away.

  3. Samtastic
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Agh, people, help me decide! Is it worth going with small children? In February we’ll have an 8-month-old and a kid juuuust under 3 (phew, he’ll make the toddler discount cutoff). My husband and I would have to take turns going to things like night-time performances or anything strictly 21+…

    Opinions?? Pat, you mentioned bringing your kids. Are there often kids underfoot, or would I be *That* Person if I had a ride-along at meet-ups and panels?

    Is it likely to remain a San Diego cruise in future? I’m in SD so it is finally feasible without airfare!

    • Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

      I *think* this is the last year it’s going to be in San Diego.

    • Posted October 20, 2017 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

      And as far as kids go… you’re the best judge there. You know how well they travel. How well they behave…

      I bring my kids, but because I know I’m going to be busy, I always bring someone to help with childcare, too because I don’t want Sarah be stuck being full-time mom.

      • Samtastic
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

        Hm, they travel well but I don’t want to completely run off on my partner… I’ll give it some more thought. Thank you, I appreciate the response!

      • isildur42
        Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

        Pat, your kids are super cool! I had the pleasure of hottubbing with them and Sarah (and a few other seamonkeys, big hottub) this past year, and they were super cool, even around people of alternative gender identities like myself (and numerous other seamonkeys). While I am not a parent, I am strongly encouraging of parent seamonkeys to bring their kids, as the kids always seem to be having even more fun than the adults (which is already a huge amount of fun).

    • cajunjoel
      Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

      There are kids of many ages on the cruise. Some even as young as 6 months! I’ve seen parents taking them to shows in the evening and if they get cranky, take them outside until they quiet down again. I’ve seen toddlers at shows, too, wandering around in the back of the theater with watchful parents in tow. Also, check out the cruise’s amenities for children, as well as the JoCo Cruise website for more info.

      • Posted October 20, 2017 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

        Yup. There are some childcare options on the boat too. I should have mentioned that….

  4. ashleyjowill
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    After hearing a friend and her husband talk about the JoCo Cruise after going for several years since their 10th anniversary, my husband and I decided to book, celebrating my completion of my master’s degree in library science. Therefore we flew to San Diego for JoCo Cruise 2017 and had a blast. My husband is introverted and I am extroverted, and we both had fun – sometimes I explored on my own while my husband recharged in our room. We also met awesome people from all over, including an awesome woman from Australia who we quickly befriended. She booked a cruise on the ship to get early bird pricing without a roommate at the time. After thinking about it for months and talking with my husband about it, I am going to go be her roommate with someone whose main connection is how much fun we had on the cruise! I highly recommend the cruise for the people and entertainment- my only complaint is my fear of missing out, there was so much going on, I couldn’t possibly do and see everything that I wanted to. But I enjoyed everything that I did do. And you are right, it’s quite a deal when you factor in food and lodging is included.

    During JoCo Cruise 2018 I hope to say hi to you. Once I saw you waiting for dinner to start with your phone in your hand perhaps waiting for someone. I thought about saying hello but I didn’t want to bother you. Also, I didn’t know what I would say besides, hi, I’ve read your books once and enjoyed them, it’s nice to meet you. Or maybe that is OK. :) In February, my goal will be to say hello to you in person.

  5. 1999Brock
    Posted October 20, 2017 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    You mentioned NerdCon—is there any chance that will happen again? Or should I go ahead and resign myself to daydreaming?

  6. Posted October 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazing and I’d love to meet you in person, but Yikes! is that too much for my teacher allowance. Here’s hoping it’s still around when my art and writing finally make me some scratch…

  7. LuckyJackson
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, I paid in full already so can’t use your offer code. Will you have a WorldBuilders event on board for the generous types?

  8. feelingfuchsia
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    God I’ve wanted to go to this for a few years now. There’s just no way I can swing that kind of money with my partner in med school and being single income. There’s no saving for necessities, let alone entertainment. So everyone go and have ALL of the fun for me while I keep dreaming! <3

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