JoCo Cruise Crazy

By JoCo July 14, 2010

I said it on the Twitters but I’ll say it again: it’s ON! And it is totally JoCo Cruise Crazy!

JoCo Cruise Crazy

Come cruise with me, and MAYBE FALL IN LOVE (but probably not)! There are plenty more details on the site, but here are the basics: it’s a 6-day cruise on Holland America’s ms Eurodam from Ft. Lauderdale January 2-8, 2011 with ports of call at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Georgetown, Cayman Islands. There will be entertainment of the comedy and music variety every day from me, Paul and Storm, John Hodgman, Wil Wheaton, Molly Lewis, Mike Phirman, and Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy from Rifftrax. It’s going to be fantastic.

Tickets are on sale: book now if you dare!


Anonymous Al says

I, unfortunately, will not be in attendance. But I wish you and other cruise goers well!

Eric says

I'm sure it'll be great. Have fun!

Nathan says

I assume this is the plot of a sitcom and the cruise will crash and all of you funny people will have wacky adventures on an island every week?

Jonathan M says

If only I could afford it I would be all over this. Still, I hope there will be video so that I can pretend to have memories of this purely awesome happening!

Andu says

Dear Mr. Coulton, I am Andu, my wife is Lu and we are big fans. We're going to try our darndest to make it because you are a fantastic musical guy and, though we don't really trust Archimedes' principle or even his vice-principal, we're willing to risk it to hang with you and your presumably entertaining friends. Hooray for nautical musical shenanigans.

p.s., I hugely enjoy listening to your and Senior Hodgman's epic hobo piece while I bake apple cake though I despise it when I'm baking banana bread. Go figure.

Bryce Jensen says

Sorry if I this has already been covered, but will your shows on this cruise be with your new band or solo w/ Paul and Molly accompanying? (just assuming that Storm will be too drunk) :)

Anonymous Me says

I would love, love, love to go, but I simply can't afford it. If the cruise is a success, will there be more in the future? Perhaps to Alaska? (or even northeastern Canada?) I have absolutely zero interest in ever traveling to the Bahamas (or Florida, really).

Dominic says

This is...the worst time to be a uni student...bah...someone gift me a couple grand, eh?

Ron says

My fiance and I have loved you for years and now I get a chance to meet you, aside from the time I chickened out as you walked inches away from me (the red headed guy) in Atlanta at the They Might Be Giants concert???

Count me in.

JoCo says

@Bryce: haven't fully decided yet - don't know if I can afford to bring the band or not. Ideally it would be a healthy mix of stuff, but certainly there will be a lot of stuff that we all do together, because we like that sort of thing.

@Anonymous Me: we shall see.

SLAM says

Heart-pounding excitement here!

Hubby and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary next month and have been trying to find a trip to suit the occasion. This is it! We will just have to celebrate a few months late.

Can't wait!

sevinPackage says

Booked our tickets. Hopefully in the first 250 because special treatment is always nice. Cheers to everyone who we will cruise with!

Tailspin says

Booked!!!!! Friggin' w00t! Now to wait on pins and needles for 5 months...

Theanderblast says


jared. says

i couldn't have booked this any harder.

Dave Redford says

Wow. It sounds really neat and all, but I'm starting to worry about where this geek explosion is going. Geeks are just going to become the new bourgeois? I mean, I realize we're the new middle class, but does that mean we are all expected to be DINK yuppies now, unaware of our decadence? Maybe I'm alone here.

Anyway, I have a good job, and a good household income, but also have a mortgage, a car loan, and a family of four... no way can we spring for $1800+fees+flights to Florida at a moments notice. Clearly those with gobs of disposable income who don't know what to do with it can get to be VIP with the new geek rockstar... the rest of us, second class. I mean come on, doesn't this seem just a little fucking tacky? Ick. Maybe I won't bother trying to get a wristband in Sept...

SquareWheel says

I wish I was reckless and could spend my money on things like this.

Tina says

Dave: wow, that's harsh. Someone had the idea, they posted a survey to gauge whether there was enough interest; there was, so they decided to go for it. Why attach a sinister motive to it? Do you really think that everyone who goes on this cruise will end up being close friends with JoCo and everyone?

Anyway, I'm all booked (yep, another pair of DINKs with disposable income), and so looking forward to it! But I don't expect to be schmoozing with the stars during the cruise -- given that I don't know any of them personally, I wouldn't have anything to say other than, "Love your work", which I'm sure they've heard thousands of times. Boring. So I'll go, see their shows, watch them from afar when I get the chance, and enjoy the port stops, just as I would on a normal cruise.

ajs says


Let me take a shot at explaining the thinking. Jonathan makes a living from touring and entertaining his fans. He has two small children. Touring takes him away, a lot. No complaints, but nothing is really a bed of roses. There are many cities (and countries!) he may never play, or not very often. How does he mitigate these things, at least somewhat? How much would it cost a couple from Omaha to even go to Chicago to see JoCo for one night? How about someone from Paris? He would have to actually SPEND money to go play in Paris.

So, I see this as a wonderful compromise. JoCo gets to take most of a Fall off from touring while perfecting new material. Those 10 or 25 people in Paris (or Dublin, or Omaha) can have a warm, great vacation in a cold time of year and see Jonathan play 2-3 times.

Not only that, they get treated to the talents of Wil, Hodgman, P&S etc. along with all the other fun things we couldn't do at a normal gig. And they get to do it among friends that they haven't met yet. Does that make sense? It sure did to us, and by the way tickets are selling, to a lot of others as well.

rozwarren says

Will you be touring at all in the coming months? Or is going on the cruise the only way die-hard fans can catch a JoCo show? We've got tickets to see you in Sommerville. After that, how long do we have to wait for another JoCo show if we don't cruise?

Sara says

@JoCo: I would like to compliment whoever wrote the FAQ on the JoCo Cruise Crazy website. It is clear, funny, and SPOT ON about topics like the price.

Whenever an artist with such a dispersed fanbase does something new and cool, there will be tons of people who would love to be there but can't. I for one would much rather awesome things happen without me (especially if video is subsequently available HINT HINT people at upcoming shows) than JoCo try to play the same show in every city forever so nobody feels like they missed out.

jared. says


why you mad tho?

Brett Glass says

Jon, would love to jam with you, Paul, and Storm one day; however, I've just calculated the cost of going on the cruise and it'd be more than $2,000 just for me. (If I brought the wife, it'd be upward of $3K.) Dunno if I can swing that on current budget....

JRM says

I wouldn't spend the dough, but I disagree with Dave that this makes it mean. To quote Oingo Boingo, there's nothing wrong with capitalism.

That's not to say there isn't a problem.

It's Day 4's entertainment, catapulting puppies over the railing of the ship, that I have a problem with.


rozwarren says

JRM: Puppy-eating squids and sea monsters have to eat too...

Dave Redford says

First of all, re my comment about "those with gobs of money" getting to be "VIP with the new geek rockstar" referred specifically to those first 250 people who will get extra-special invite to an exclusive reception with the ... well, stars.

That exclusivity is a big part of what bugs me about all of this. Most JC shows are easily accessible -- when he goes on concert hall tours, for example, or even PAX, which despite being only in two locations seems to be a geek mecca (uh, and medina) -- But not only is this on a $2K+ ticket, but those who can afford to make that jump the earliest get even better swag. That kind of sucks, even if you think the cruise is an awesome idea.

My fear is that if this kicks off a trend, then pop-geekery will become an upper economic class instead of just a mindset.

If I can look back at this 4 years from now and say, okay, it didn't kick off a geek-culture-wide trend of high-ticket tours and exclusive VIP events, if it didn't drive a spike between wealthy geek and non-wealthy geek, single geek and coupled geek, childfree geek and parent geek (actually that one is already there in a big way), etc., then great. (Already I see divisions between "popular geeks" [once an oxymoron] and "unpopular geeks", so I'm not encouraged.)

Have a good time on the cruise. I mean that. And if it keeps JoCo in Fritos and Dew, that's also awesome. I just worry that it's yet another curtain being put up within what should be a very diverse culture, undefinable by income, family size, or any other demographic metric except your mind.

Sara says

@Dave: I may be wrong, but I interpreted the "first 250" bonus as an advertising gimmick to ensure this cruise isn't a huge bust. Having never done this before, JoCo et al have NO IDEA how many of the fans who said they'd love to go will actually have cash in hand for the real thing. As the official site says, there is still a chance that JoCo will lose his shirt on this one.

Adding early-bird incentives is a way to get people to commit early, while excitement is high and the vacation money hasn't yet been reallocated to Christmas presents. A big expenditure like this is easy to talk yourself out of, so I'm not going to fault our "stars" for trying to sweeten the pot with some basic marketing tricks.

Also, limited-edition prizes are old hat in geek culture; it's endemic to most of our entertainment because geeks (speaking generally) LOVE having Collector's Edition Thingies. Yes, the Super Special Gold-Plated Limited Edition usually goes to the wealthy, single geek with few responsibilities. I don't see that as a new trend but rather the status quo of geekdom.

Don't get me wrong: I'd like JoCo to continue playing places I can get to for prices I can afford--but when both music and geek cultures are rife with examples of successful "limited-edition" tricks, it must be a difficult balance to strike as a geeky musician, trying to make a living.

I'll stop rambling now. I think the composition of geek culture (and whether it was ever as diverse as you suggest) is a fascinating discussion, but possibly not best suited for this comment thread. (:

Tailspin says

@Dave - I think you have the wrong idea about how big the "gobs of money" are to be one of the "first 250". It's a $350 deposit per person, not the entire cost of the cruise. A lot of people can manage to throw $350 on a credit card to hold their spot and then spend the next few months saving up the rest. I'm as mortgaged-to-the-eyeballs, mouths to feed, yadda yadda as anyone else, which is why I have a second job to save up money for vacations.

Many fans don't ever get the chance to see JoCo, Paul and Storm, etc live because there's only so many places they can go in a year. Don't make them feel bad for having the chance to combine their hard-earned vacation with some of their favorite music, and for having a few hundred dollars free to be able to make the deposit. Those first 250 sign-ups will ensure the cruise happens for everyone else.

ajs says

"Those first 250 sign-ups will ensure the cruise happens for everyone else."

Winner winner, chicken dinner! (did you see 21?)

We went out on a limb with HAL, and do not want them feeling the urge to do any 'rug pulling' on our multiple showroom slots. The more people that join us, the better we can treat them.

SSteve says

I don't want to be part of "pileup on Dave!", but just want to point out that the early-bird signup deal doesn't seem exclusive enough to get one's dander up. It seems like it's more about saving the fifty-five bucks.

Let's assume the cocktail reception is three hours. That's 180 minutes. That means that each person gets to spend 43.2 seconds interacting with Jonathan and each featured "friend." (And we know Jonathan's fans are very orderly and would never dream of exceeding their allotted 43.2 seconds.) Plus, by the end of three hours of drinking cocktails, Jonathan is likely to be pretty sloppy so the short but frank exchange of ideas might be mildly disappointing.

Oh, they get preferred seating? Damn, I guess they're exclusivist bastards after all.

Linda says

I'm in the elite 250, but I gotta say, this is going to be old hat for me. Get a good seat at a JoCo concert? Last time he was performing within 300 miles, I went to the venue way early, stood in line, and got a front row seat. Meet the man? I waited around afterward, bought a CD, and chatted with him while he signed it. I didn't time it, but 43.2 seconds sounds about right. It cost less than $50 in ticket+travel+food. I highly recommend it for anyone who can't afford to put a down payment on the cruise in the next week*...

*Except for people who live in Paris or Omaha. They just got it tough.

Elyssa says

Dave, I don't identify as a "geek" and don't appreciate Coulton's music from that perpective but, I do sympathize with your concern on the cost of the cruise being so high. If you think about it, though, there's a whole bunch of celebrity-type people he is bringing with him. They all have to be compensated for their time and their cost of the cruise has to be absorbed somehow through ticket sales. There may also be additional staff on hand to help coordinate everything, to make sure it's a pleasant experience, each of whom will have to be compensated as well. It seems like Coulton was thinking, "If I were to have a great big party on a nice ship with friends and fans, what would be the ultimate experience?" Not, "How can I construct a fan cruise experience that will be affordable and accessible for most people?" That's just how he chose to go about it and I think that's okay. After all, he's going to be stuck there for about a week, so he might as well enjoy himself. For those who are up for the "ultimate experience," I'm sure they will enjoy themselves, too! I'm a little disappointed not to be able to afford to go, but, if it were too accessible there would probably be too many people there and, I wouldn't enjoy myself anyway. Don't know if this is consolation :)

ElyssaAgain says

Maybe to appease us poor folks, Coulton could do a mini concert cruise like the folks at Rocks Off cruises host ( I'd be up for a day trip and a three hour tour. I bet he could pack The Temptress (500 capacity). It would be fun, and for folks in the NE, nearly recession-proof, too!

Batshua says

Oh man! If only I had income!

Cameron says

Argh... I just went on the Eurodam like two weeks ago...