Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by LJS1138, Jun 25, 2017.
It would be nice.
My husband and I are going on the first sailing, maybe we will see y’all there! We are so excited, this is our first cruise. I have a feeling we may see some Discovery epis, or, at least clips. They need to promote the show more.
Wow, they have a cruise for everything now.
As for me, I was in the Navy. I have had my fill of being out to sea.
I haven't been in the Navy, but I think a luxury Caribbean cruise is a tad more leisurely than the military. I'm on Voyage 1. I already put in my weather order for no East Coast ice storms from Jan 2 through the 15th.
Can’t wait to meet you there, LJS1138. It appears you are an experienced cruiser, any advice for us newbies?
I only went on one cruise, before, but my mother goes a lot and a friend is a travel agent, so I pick up a lot of it. I just usually go onto Cruise Critic forums and read up on the ship and any news that might affect me.
Tip : Make sure you have everything you'll need for 24 hours with you in carry on, in case your luggage is delayed in getting to your cabin.
Tip : Bring Wet Ones hand wipes or Purell (I like Wet Ones, even though they leave me with trash, because it feels like my hands get cleaner than with Purell).
Tip: Bring crystallized ginger candy and/or Heather's Tummy Tamers, in case you get seasick.
Tip: I always like to arrive the day before the cruise and stay in a nearby hotel, just in case weather happens. I also pack coupons (or these days a smartphone app) and then do shopping for things I need in the cruise port city. That way, I don't drag them on the plane with me.
Tip: I will sometimes bring clothing that's wearable but close to being thrown out. I wear them on the cruise and then toss them before going home. Less to pack and carry home on the plane. The disadvantage to this is that, in the event that my mother is ever right about the "if you're in accident, you need to be wearing nice underwear", I won't be in Victoria's Secret, for sure...
My wife and I went last year and it was great! There were a lot of friendly people and many cool costumes. Sometimes, you'll just run into some of the stars randomly around the ship. I would only say hello or something and they were all very nice. Have a great time!
Did anyone else have the change to nab one of the celebrity excursions? I am going to the animal preserve at our first port with Connor Trinneer. I promise I will try not to make a fool of myself!
We're getting so close, I'm nervous! Big trips are always nerve-wracking for me, until I'm finally there and enjoying myself.
With my health being a random variable, I couldn't book any excursions. Enjoy the Gumbalimba, though and maybe I'll get to hear everyone's vicarious experiences.
Man... could you imagine just casually being around these people for a week or so? That sounds absolutely crazy! I don't know how I'd handle that socially but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't jump at the chance to do so!
I'm not so sure we'll be casually being around them. They'll all be working, and who knows how many of them might stay in their cabins and rest, when not working? I'm also a bit blase, since I went to college with Avery Brooks, John Prosky, Calista Flockhart and Kristen Davis. I've done work where I've had to deal with actors, so, to me, they're just people that get paid to play pretend. I'm hoping that they'll be well-behaved. (Jerry Orbach used to put up such fits that one would be embarrassed to be seen with him when he was in the midst of one.) That said, I also hope none of the other people on the cruise will harass the actors.
What'll be really nice is to be on a cruise with others of my "kind". People who enjoy science fiction, Star Trek, etc. Also nice is the "nobody under 13". I'm not anti-child, but unruly kids and infants can ruin the vacations of those around them. The shows and activities look like they will be fun. I can post a review or something when I return, assuming my health remains steady.
Just got home from the cruise late last night...it was an amazing experience! We got lots of goodies, saw great shows, and met a few of the actors. They mingled among us "common folk" quite a bit, and thankfully fans were very respectful of their time. They seemed to really be enjoying the trip as well.
There's so much that happened, I still haven't processed it all. I'll come back later to give more info!
We just got back, as well. While the majority of the actors seemed like they were sequestered and separated from the "hoi poloi", there were some who seemed happy to mingle and talk to fans, and I didn't see anyone abusing that. I only got one photo taken, though, and didn't do autographs, so I could have missed stuff in that, but there were so many events to do, especially on sea days!
My thoughts: I've decided that ECP really stands for Extremely Chaotic Productions. While I appreciate the difficulty of making what's essentially a floating convention, it's still a smallish convention (of about 2300 attendees) and any time I asked a question of the ECP staff, they either gave me conflicting info or didn't know the answer. Occasionally, I met one person who knew the answer. I didn't do any celeb excursions or paid events, and I heard from those who did that there were mixups, especially with the one Connor Trinneer hosted. There was confusion about photo retrieval and times and unfortunately, they had things scheduled so that if you wanted to do photo or autograph sessions, you would have to miss or forgo part of the daily "show". I wish I had known from the first day that I could wait until the Blue show's start time, then go in and sit in open seats, if something I wanted to do conflicted with my Red show time.
The ship: The NCL Jade is a nice ship, although it's not a ship for kids. That said, since the Star Trek cruise was mostly 13+ (with a few young uns grandfathered in from the single day they opened for 6+, or because they're the family of the celebs), I didn't experience any problems from the minors aboard. The ones I did see seemed very well behaved and interested in Star Trek, so the lack of things to do for children had no effect on the cruise. The outdoor pools are unheated, so most folks were in the hot tubs. The food was all right, nothing special. The buffet coffee was ashtray flavor, but it was fine in the dining rooms and restaurants. So if I hated the coffee at the buffet breakfast, I simply moseyed on to Finnegan's (O'Sheehan's renamed) or the Grand Pacific and got coffee there. My cabin steward was friendly and accommodating. Just about all the ship facilities were clean and inviting. The stateroom was nice, and the TV in the stateroom showed Star Trek episodes and movies on various channels
The basic events: These took place on sea days, or after 4pm on port days. The schedule was jam packed. I found myself wishing we could have afforded the time and money to go on both cruises, as we could have then been able to attend most of what we wanted. These included Rick Searfoss (real astronaut) and Phil Plait (actual astronomer) speaking about real science matters, Lolita Fatjo speaking about scripts and behind-the-scenes stuff, Q&A panels with the cast of TNG, DS9 and VOY, some fun script readings, a women's view panel with all the female actors, makeup sessions, writer's workshops with Robb Perlman, Karaoke (some nights hosted by the celebs), and various small performances that the celebs choose to do. There were "ship building" competitions, tribble toss, Gorn Gong Show, Poker (extra fee) with Jeffrey Combs, pub crawl (extra fee) with Robert O'Reilly (Gowron), and wine tasting (extra fee) with Casey Biggs (Damar).
The big show: Each night, 1-3 celebs would put on a show, 2 times per night, at 6pm for the early show or 9pm for the late show. George Takei and Brent Spiner swapped, so that they weren't doing 2 shows in a single day, but all the others were the same show repeated the same day. LeVar Burton talked about Reading Rainbow. Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois did some readings (I missed the first night). Denise Crosby did Interstellar Improv, which was great She, Robert Picardo and Rene Auberjonois (there might have been a 4th there, but I forget at the moment) did a showing of TOS: The Way To Eden, with no sound, and they provided an impromptu script that was hilarious. George Takei spoke about his life and Brent Spiner did lots of show tunes (which people didn't seem to like). Robert Picardo and his friend Jordan Bennett also did show tune/story stuff, which, again, people didn't seem to like, although Jordan Bennett has an absolutely amazing voice. One night, they had Star Trek Squares, which was a Hollywood Squares thing that was amusing enough, but only had 4 actual celebrities and Jonathan Frakes seemed fairly put out to have been in it. (To be fair, Frakes wound up having to sit in last minute for other stars who fell ill. Spiner, Auberjonois, Picardo and Urban all got sick, either before or during the cruise.)
The parties: Just about all the parties were fun, or seemed fun, but I'm in my 50s and didn't last past midnight on most nights.
The celebs: Photo and autograph sessions were snaking lines and confusion, for the most part, but the celebs themselves seemed in decent spirits. Some, like Denise Crosby, were friendly and open. Others were more aloof, although I couldn't tell, since if I saw an aloof, I didn't bother them. I don't know about how it was up in The Haven area (where most of the stars were), but if you were in a normal cabin, you could probably go the whole cruise without bumping into any stars. I mostly bumped into Casey Biggs, Ethan Phillips and Vaughn Armstrong, who had penthouses on the 11th deck. Except for one night where he introduced someone, I never saw LeVar Burton around the ship.
The other passengers: In the whole week, I didn't meet anyone I didn't like. Everyone was friendly, supportive, fun and interesting and I considered it the highlight of the cruise to meet all these other Trekkies/Trekkers, from all countries and cultures, who all came together for this.
The value: Now, given that a similar 7 day cruise on the Jade to the Western Caribbean would have been $2900 less for our cabin type, was the Star Trek Cruise worth the extra $2900 we spent? Would that money have been better spent by going to a land-based Star Trek convention? For my husband, who hates being on boats, the answer was yes. This was fun to do, but not a great value. For me, I like cruising and I like conventions, so it was like having a moving convention. We certainly can't do it every year, especially if they don't have price drops like this year.
I have been on the Norwegian Pearl, one of the Jade's sister ships, and there were more activities available to kids, so I have to imagine that they just weren't operating for this particular cruise. The Splash Academy, the main children's hangout place, had been transformed into a little shop by Anovos (some really great artwork in there).
I actually ran into LeVar Burton several times, just walking about the ship and then again on the beach in Harvest Caye. I also shared an elevator and chatted a bit with Rene Auberjonois, and also saw Brent Spiner and Michael Dorn around a few times. My husband chatted a bit with John de Lancie (or as he calls him, Discord). And for some reason I kept running into George Takei, even at the buffet one day, which I figured the celebrities would probably avoid. We didn't pay for any autograph or photo sessions, but did get a free photo with George Takei for being "red squad" members (which I think just means we signed up for the cruise early, before they lowered prices some).
I went on the Connor Trinneer excursion in Roatan. The issue was that there were quite a few of us, but they separated us into groups (5-6 I think) for the purposes of the animal preserve tour, and someone neglected to mention to Trinneer's handler that the small group he ended up in wasn't the only group there for the excursion. However, we ran into their group about halfway through the tour, and an outspoken member of our own group went up to his handler and explained the situation. After that, Trinneer moved around to the different groups. So I got to hang out in an insectarium with Connor Trinneer, with monkeys and parrots flying around. How odd is that?? It was an interesting day. We actually saw him around the ship a few times as well.
I enjoyed the LeVar Burton reading. He read two children's books (one of them being a book he wrote) and then part of an essay he wrote about a science fiction writer he admires. My favorite performance was the MST3K-esque show put on by Denise Crosby, Rene Auberjonois, and Ethan Phillips. At our show we didn't have Robert Picardo, and they did the episode And the Children Shall Lead. As for other events, the Riker chair mounting competition on the last sea day was great. It ended early, so Frakes spoke for a bit, and he was hilarious! He also really seemed to be enjoying it, and even mentioned that he must miss the convention circuit because he was all amped up for the crowd. The TNG panel was also good.
The themeing was great. There were a lot of little touches here and there that made it special. On the pool deck there was a giant cube that had screens on all four sides (it was called the Borg Cube), and they would often play clips from the shows. In the evenings they would play an episode or movie, and so my husband and I would grab dinner at the buffet and bring it out to the pool deck to enjoy the show. It was nice to be able to watch with a crowd, rather than just at home in your own living room.
The two things I enjoyed most about the trip were Harvest Caye (your typical idea of a warm Caribbean beach vacation - so relaxing, and I finally got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean), and just seeing everyone in costume all week long. Just walking down the halls you would see Klingons, Andorians, and lots of Starfleet Uniforms. It felt like we were really a part of Star Trek, in that universe, and it was a lot of fun, even for a very shy person like me. I mused to my husband that it will be a disappointment to go back to normal life where people just wear regular clothes every day.
I would definitely do this cruise again. For me it was the perfect trip, because I love cruising. I am not a fan of conventions, because to me they feel like a waste of money to spend hours waiting in a line. But this trip was like the best parts of a convention, without all of the waiting, plus all the interesting food you can eat (anytime you want and without having to cook) and a service to clean up after you wherever you go. At the TNG panel, for example, we strolled up to the seats about 5 minutes before it started and were in the second row.
I'll be honest, I shed a tear or two when we had to leave...
I felt down when it was the last day, too, and wishing we had the money and time for the second week. If we did have $ to blow, I'd go every year.
My wife and I sailed on the second week of the 2018 cruise and it was FANTASTIC! We went into it with our eyes wide open expecting it to be more about the experience and less about the destination.
There was never a lack of things to do/see/experience. The schedule was PACKED with events centered on the personalities. What I loved was that ECP scheduled the on-board events at times when we were all on the ship and not when we had to choose between an excursion/shore leave or missing a show. Sadly though because there were so many simultaneous events, we had to make some hard decisions at times about what we wanted to see the most and missing something else that was not offered again later. While I know there is only so much time available, I'd suggest that ECP consider implementing multiples of the same sessions throughout the week so people can get more of a chance to experience them.
Don’t be afraid to say a passing hello to the Star Trek personalities when you see them around the ship. And be sure to call them by name, not character. If they stop to chat then go ahead and strike up a conversation with them. If they don’t then just leave them be. You will find that they are there to have fun and experience the adventure with you as well. They feel just as awkward as you do since they are on display and a kind word and a no pressure chat helps them enjoy and immediately relax. If you attend their events that is a great way to make a point of contact and ask a thoughtful question later on when you see them. They love their craft so engage them with it and learn something new. Our most memorable experiences were the casual interactions we had with them.
The theme nights were great and we loved dressing up and seeing other guests go all out with costumes. Where else can you spend an entire week nerding out like this? We’d recommend each guest participate just for fun but by no means is it expected. What was not clear about the theme nights was that the “Party” was just a big nightclub dance concert. Even the Risa Festival of the Moon Party was not a big island BBQ like it was promoted, there was no food or drinks, just a display table of roast pig and drinks were ala carte. While the concert from Information Society was entertaining we felt let down by the event as we expected more having forgone dinner.
We don’t recommend you pay for the premium restaurants on the ship. The food is not worth the price above what you already paid for the trip. The buffets are easy and good enough. The dining rooms are good and easy but be sure to tell them if you are in a hurry or you could easily spend an hour or two from start to finish. We recommend that if you have the time ask to sit with another random couple in the dining room and make new friends. It will be a lovely evening making new friends and discussing things you love.
The shows were excellent as they pandered to the crowd with nostalgic Star Trek references. Do your very best to not miss a single one. Realize that there are two showings of the main shows and you determine before you get on the ship when you go (early or late). Be sure that you choose wisely as you can’t change or attend another showing.
We missed information that there was to be a door decorating contest until we arrived on the ship. Also there was a ship building contest that required glue and/or other items we did not know we needed to bring with us. The contest events should have been better promoted to guests ahead of time.
Don’t be afraid to request a room upgrade especially if you singed up before they start discounting the rates. We ended up upgrading twice and getting a much nicer room in line with what we originally paid. Unfortunately this caused ECP to mistake our status as Red Squad and we didn’t get notification of when we were to meet with George Takei or our special hats. I had to track ECP down but they were very helpful and rectified it by the last day at sea.
I’d steer clear of celebrity excursions or any ship booked excursions as they are expensive and potentially come with no interaction with the celebrity. If you want to see or do something in a port then book it independently online ahead of time. We got to scuba dive in Roatan for a fraction of the price of the excursion, with a private dive master, and a private taxi. Much better value since we booked it ahead of time ourselves. Trust me, you have a much better chance of interacting with the celebrities on the ship than hoping to sit next to one on the bus and paying top dollar for it.
If you desire to get a signature and/or picture of the celebrity of your choice then you will need to take the time to sign up for one, pay for it, and then wait in a line foregoing another event. I’ll let you determine the value of that based on what is most desirable to you.
There are other easter eggs and bonuses that come along with this cruise that I’ll not spoil here and let you experience for yourself.
Please be aware that this cruise is during the rainy season in the Caribbean. You always take a gamble when on vacation with how the weather will turn out. Our week was very windy and the seas were pretty rough the entire time. Thankfully the days in port were nice and not rainy. But if you are at all concerned about motion sickness I’d recommend getting a prescription from your doctor ahead of time for a patch and even take some chewable Dramamine with you. This is the kind of thing that can ruin a vacation real fast!
TL;DR I can’t say enough about how fun and exciting this experience was for us. If you are seriously thinking about taking this cruise and are a moderate fan of the Star Trek shows then I’d say DO IT! You may never get another chance. It’s well worth it!
This actually happened on the second week. We have not watched any of Discovery yet so we stayed clear due to spoilers but your request was reality!
Often they had public showings of different series episodes and would have them introduced by a star who was in it or even the director!
I think someone who had ship internet and Netflix (non-US) invited some people to the Discovery showing, but it wasn't widely spread, since not that many people can fit in a normal stateroom.
I also agree about the lack of knowing ahead of time some of the events and what would be needed, like the ship building or even the talent show.
We took the "ultimate ship tour" on the Ruby Princess and the last stop was the bridge. At one point the Captain waited until he figured all of us had noticed one of the crewmembers before talking about him. The crewmember was the one with the binoculars keeping watch. No matter how many fancy electronic gadgets the ship has there still is a certain amount of "old school" type things going on.
I'm going to remember the "shuttle craft" analogy - I've gotten funny looks when I tell people about going ashore in the tender.
Topazy aka Jasin.
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