1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Group and Theme Cruises
  4. The JoCo Cruise: All You Need to Know About This Nerdy Gathering at Sea

The JoCo Cruise: All You Need to Know About This Nerdy Gathering at Sea

Image: Group photo from the 2019 JoCo Cruise - Photo by Steve Petrucelli
Group photo from the 2019 JoCo Cruise (Photo: Steve Petrucelli/JoCo Cruise)

Find a Cruise

Now going into its 10th year, the JoCo Cruise is known as one of the geekiest weeks on the water -- in the best possible way. The brainchild of singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton, the cruise celebrates all things nerd, from fantasy lit and board games to cosplay and crafting.

Updated May 29, 2019

General Info

The weeklong full-charter cruise sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, March 7 to 14, 2020. As part of the voyage, 2,106-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam will visit Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.

Lineup and Highlights

Image: They Might Be Giants performing at the 2019 JoCo Cruise - Photo by Steve Petrucelli

The JoCo Cruise is a constant merry-go-round of activities for its onboard Sea Monkeys; it's impossible to do everything. There are onboard concerts featuring Jonathan Coulton and others. (The 2019 cruise boasted They Might Be Giants.) Plus, there's almost always a land concert at one of the ports. Also expect cocktail hangouts and meetups with performers, as well as shipwide gaming, crafting, writing events, theme nights and cosplay galore.

Gamers have their own special setup in the main dining room (over one ton of games, organizers say) where you can play 24-7; "friendly fez" signs let people know which games are looking for players.

Image: The Game Library onboard the 2019 JoCo Cruise - Photo by Kristin Amsden
The cruise encourages passengers to set up their own activities and programming, called "the Shadow Cruise."

The JoCo Cruise also has a cool option for people who might not be into the main stage concerts and entertainment. Club SRO (standing room only) allows passengers to opt out and instead receive a $100 credit to their stateroom accounts, plus some drink tickets.

Onboard Vibe

Really, anything goes. The JoCo Cruise promotes an inclusive environment that's welcoming for all ages (although it does skew gen X, millennial and younger). The cruise also has a positive LGBTQ environment, with meetups and events within the programming. There are even special quiet zones for introverts.
Image: A mental health panel that was hosted on the 2019 JoCo Cruise - Photo by Steve Petrucelli

Who Would Like It

Freaks and geeks who dig the "nerdy summer camp at sea" community vibe espoused by the organizers will be right at home on this cruise. Closed minds need not apply.

Image: Passengers of the 2019 JoCo cruise dressed in mermaid costumes for a photo shoot - Photo by Steve Petrucelli

How to Book

The JoCo Cruise is bookable through jococruise.com/2020overview/. If you're interested, sign up sooner rather than later, as the cruise sells out quickly. (As of May 2019, the 2020 sailing was 90 percent booked.)

Find a Cruise

Popular on Cruise Critic

Onboard Credit: How to Get It, Where to Spend It
Free. Money. Are there two more beautiful words in the English language? While money doesn't grow on trees, increasingly it can be found somewhere else -- on the high seas. Call it an incentive, call it a bonus; whatever you want to call it, onboard credit lets you spend more freely with less guilt. You've paid your cruise fare, and now you can splurge on those enticing extras -- Swedish massage, specialty restaurant, an excursion to snorkel among shipwrecks -- without busting your budget. Not many need convincing as to why onboard credit -- money automatically deposited into your onboard account-- rocks, but finding out exactly how to get it and where you can spend it is a bit trickier. We found eight ways to hit the OBC jackpot and offer even more suggestions on how to burn through it, although you probably have your own ideas already.
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. For example, fall foliage enthusiasts will find September and October the best time to cruise Canada/New England, whereas families prefer to sail in summer when temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
7 Ways to Outsmart Deck Chair Hogs
In the wee hours of the morning, under the cover of darkness, they creep. Their flip-flops smack across the pool decks of cruise ships everywhere as they shuffle like a horde of zombies armed with towels, sunscreen and books. If it sounds like a scene from a horror movie, you're on the right track. We're talking about deck chair hogs -- those inconsiderate fellow passengers who rise before the sun to stake out prime poolside real estate, mark it with personal belongings and then abandon it, rendering it useless to others. If you've had enough, we urge you to stand up to these selfish sunbathers and claim the deck chair that's rightfully yours. Join the peaceful revolution by employing the following seven tips for outsmarting deck chair hogs.

Find a Cruise