Have you got questions about the Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival? Hopefully your answers are right here. If they’re not, we can still help. For questions about the festival, email our events director, Amanda Anderson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to know more about on-ship facilities? You can check out the Majesty of the Seas website here.
Q: Will this be really fun?
A: You bet your bippy it will be.
Q: Do I need a passport?
A: Yes, though you can use a passport card instead. Passport cards, which are valid for non-air travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, are somewhat more convenient and somewhat less expensive than traditional passport books. Remember to apply for your passport well in advance of travel. An awesome MaxFunster put together a comprehensive guide to the ins & outs of the passport process, which you can check out here.
Q: When does the ship set sail and arrive?
A: You can board the ship as early as 11 AM but NO later than 2 PM on September 13th. You can expect to leave around 9 or 10 AM on September 16th. The cruise line suggests you not book outgoing travel before noon if you’re leaving out of Miami, or 1 PM if you’re leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale. We strongly suggest that folks with longer itineraries consider booking a reduced-price hotel room with us at our host hotel for the evening of the 12th. We’ll have a special reception and party for cruise attendees, and you can enjoy a drink and music from our KCRW DJ.
Q: Is the cruise family-friendly?
A: The cruise is family friendly; the shows are not. Our comedy shows in particular will have strong language and adult themes. In our estimation, they’d be fine for wordly teenagers, but not appropriate for kids. It is, of course, your kids and your call. Our concert will be… a rock concert. That said, the ship has free activities for children three and over all day long, parent-supervised activities for infants and young toddlers, and baby sitting available until late at night for a very affordable rate ($10/hour and less). Also, the cruise line does not allow children under 6 months of age or women who are more than 24 weeks pregnant to go on the cruise. Click here if you’d like to check out the family options & book a room for your family, or email Amanda if you have any specific questions or concerns.
Q: Will there be group activities on board ship?
A: Absolutely! We’ve got John Hodgman, Chuck Bryant and Jesse Thorn on board to coordinate some fun, and we’re planning all kinds of stuff, like a shuffleboard tournament and a trivia contest. If past evidence is any guide, our attendees will be planning some group activities themselves. Specifics will be announced closer to the event.
Q: How are rooms assigned?
A: As on all cruises, your ticket is based on double occupancy. You’ll get you a berth in a room with a special bed that’s designed to split in two as necessary. If you’re traveling with someone else, you’ll share a room with that person. If you’re traveling alone, we’ll assign you a roommate. When you register, be sure to let us know your, uhm, party preferences so we can make sure to put compatible folks together. If you’d like a solo room, they’re certainly available, but are more expensive.
Q: What’s included in my registration?
A: Your registration includes your berth, all entertainment, and an almost unbelievable volume of food. Some off-shore activities sponsored by the ship may charge extra, and alcoholic beverages can be billed to your room. So can stuff like the spa and casino. Your registration also includes the basic level of gratuities for your housekeeping and wait staff.
Q: I can’t imagine myself going on a cruise. This isn’t really a question, just a concern?
A: Don’t worry. There will be lots and lots of other people there who aren’t the kind of person who goes on a cruise. Our estimate is that 15-20% of our attendees will actually be reading David Foster Wallace’s landmark essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” while on board. Also: as it turns out, when there’s awesome stuff going on and great people, cruises are actually kind of great.
Q: What’s up with the hotel and party the night before?
A: It can be tough to get to the dock in time for the cruise if you’re coming from out of town the day of. We’ve obtained a special rate at a gorgeous hotel the night before (hot tubs in every room!), and we’ll be hosting a get-to-know-you party with our DJ from KCRW. If you do take advantage of this, we’ll handle your transportation to the ship on Friday morning. If you’ve already purchased your cruise ticket and would now like to add the pre-cruise hotel, you can do that here.
Q: I have dietary restrictions. Will there be food options for me?
A: Every dining venue has vegetarian options. Vegetarian curries are apparently particularly well-represented. We’ve heard that vegan diners may have to occasionally make special requests or supplement with food from the (many) (huge) buffets, but can get by fine. Generally speaking, the plethora of dining options and helpful cruise staff can accommodate almost any need.
Q: How do you feel about Billy Ocean?
A: Love him.
Q: Is there a formal dinner?
A: Yes, of course. There is a formal dining night on board, hosted by the ship’s captain. Black tie is suggested (and goodness knows Jesse will be wearing black tie) but other formal clothes will suffice.
Q: Will Someone be able to legally marry me to my romantic partner on board the ship?
A: Yeah, totally. Several people, actually. Let’s do this.
Q: Does this cruise have a rival cruise?
A: Yes. The Mark McGrath & Friends cruise, featuring Sugar Ray and Smashmouth is our bitter rival.
Q: What’s the deal with tipping on board a cruise?
A: Having gone on this cruise ourselves, we can tell you that it is easy, affordable, and not at all nerve-wracking. Your ticket includes pre-paid gratuities, which covers housekeeping and wait staff, and you are welcome to tip them beyond that if you feel the staff have provided exemplary service. Here’s a guide from CruiseTips.org.
Q: Will the cruise be exclusively festival attendees?
A: Not unless we sell a LOT of tickets. Most likely there will also be elderly people, pleasantly plump families and 40-something single people just taking some time to themselves so they can figure some shit out.
Q: Is there internet on board?
A: Yes, but it comes from SPACE, so it’s a little expensive.
Q: How about cell phone service?
A: You’re going to need to check with your cellular provider on that one. Most of them offer cruise roaming but, like the internet, it can be pricey.
Q: Is this just for people who know who Jesse Thorn is or listen to podcasts or whatever?
A: Absolutely not. This is for people who love great comedy and music.
Q: It’s international waters, right? Can I gamble?
A: Yes, but please don’t murder.