2018 off to a great start at Worldwide Cruise Associates 
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The first quarter of 2018 is off to busy start at Worldwide.  With groups and charters departing from South Florida to the Caribbean, from San Diego for a uniquely customized Mexican itinerary, and the Galapagos we have had a record number of guests sailing with us.  We are thankful for all of the new opportunities coming our way thus far in 2018.

We are excited to announce we will be exhibiting for the first time at IMEX in Frankfort May 15 to 17, 2018 and look forward to meeting new and current clients at this show. This is in addition to IT&CMA September 18 to 20 in Bangkok, IMEX Las Vegas Oct 16-18 and IBTM World in Barcelona November 27 to 29.

We have always prided ourselves in being a small family owned business with strong relationships throughout the industry for over 28 years.  One way which we highlight the importance of this is by making long lasting relationships with our clients, they are more like family than clients.  We are proud to announce one of our long standing clients just sailed on their 30th charter with us and have four more already on the books.  It truly means so much to us that Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise has partnered and grown with us to create an amazing and unique product and its own extended family. Congratulations Roger and team! 

MSC Cruises has been coined the “sleeping giant” of cruise lines in North America, but has now officially emerged from her slumber. As the current market leader in Europe, [...]
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New Cruise Ships Coming to the Market

The cruise industry has seen the consumer demand for product and is answering that call. Between now and 2027 there are already 102 ships contracted to be built. These aren’t rebuilds, but brand new ships coming to the water with a total of 248,186 births! The cost as of now is $61 billon.  

Virgin Voyages promises to bring a boat load of publicity to the cruise industry much like the movie Titanic did.  Virgin has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep this project under wraps.  We now know what the ships will look like, and that they will be different.  Passengers will be called sailors, really!  In a real gutsy move, you must be over 18 to cruise with them. My bet is it will be very popular on this issue alone.  Details about food, service and entertainment are few and far between.  This is a cruise line we will be following and keeping you up to date on.  

Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise
Brings Good Will to Caribbean Post Irma
The recent sailing of the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise brought an outpouring of goodwill, fundraising support, and free music to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the B.V.I. of Tortola and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. 

The Blues Cruise (LRBC) embarked on its 30th full ship charter from February 4-11, 2018 with over 25 music groups onboard to entertain Blues music enthusiasts in all venues of the ship for the duration of the 7-day Caribbean cruise.  Despite the severe hurricane devastation of September 2017, LRBC CEO Roger Naber elected not to abandon the original itinerary agreed upon in 2016.  Rather, he brought the sold out charter cruise on the Ms Koningsdam with 2,500 passengers and 1,100 Holland America Line crew to the Islands in need of hurricane relief and tourism dollars.  While the ms Koningsdam was in port, LRBC worked in conjunction with local tourism departments to produce free shore side music events featuring popular blues bands, inviting locals and cruise ship guests alike to attend.

Upon arrival to the British Virgin Island of Tortola, the LRBC was met by island co-organizers, the Tortola Rotary Club, local port agency Romasco Group and Worldwide Cruise Associates who all came together to organize an unforgettable event.  LRBC provided the music featuring the Legendary Ils Sont Partis Zydeco Band and the Deanna Bogart Band performing in the Pier Park.  In preparation for the event, LRBC cruise guest Jon Gale of White Rock, British Columbia began fundraising with his local Rotary Club and his efforts amounted to a donation of $18,500 with an additional $5,000 contributed by LRBC cruisers onsite during the 3 hour music event.  To date, there has been a total of $40,000 raised through efforts of the Rotary Clubs and the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise music fans to rebuild the school and community center in Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay.  Fundraising efforts continue with the Rotary Club through a grant matching program sponsored by the Canadian Government for the popular tourist island that sustained severe damage over 90% of the island as a result of the 2017 hurricanes.
The highlight of the cruise was LRBC’s large-scale land event held while the ms Koningsdam was docked in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rico Department of Tourism assisted in securing the ideal location in Old San Juan for the event while LRBC provided featured artists such as 2018 Grammy Award winner Taj Mahal, Tab Benoit and Commander Cody along with the San Juan salsa jazz band Jerry Medina.  The production of this event supported local businesses and service providers which included Caribbean Audio for a mobile stage, sound, lighting and musical equipment, as well as services needed for the expected attendance of over one thousand music fans.

The goodwill has continued after the conclusion of the cruise with Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise donating directly to further support Caribbean hurricane relief causes.  LRBC donated $9,638 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Puerto Rico, a non-profit organization providing meals to citizens who were the hardest hit by the hurricanes, some still without power after six months.  In addition, The Holland America Foundation received $10,000 from LRBC and in conjunction with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation will match the LRBC donation, generating $20,000 to support relief and rebuilding efforts for those most affected by the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Naber states, “whenever possible, the LRBC likes to share in music and cultural exchanges with the local people and places we visit.  Our cruisers share a mutual love of music as well as an appreciation for the uniqueness of each destination.”
Written by Scott Burnett
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The Charter Experience
JoCo Cruise

Eight years ago, Johnathan Coulton invited his fans to join him on a cruise ship. His idea was to have a week-long floating "summer camp" for geeks, with lots of tabletop gaming, cosplaying, music, comedy, comic books, science fiction readings, panels, presentations, and workshops. About 375 "Sea Monkeys" took him up on his offer. It turned out to be something people loved, and so the “JoCo Cruise” became an annual event. I was invited this year as a performer (doing talks, panels, and workshops), joining 1,600 other Sea Monkeys to take over an entire cruise ship (Holland America's MS Oosterdam) for a trip from San Diego to Baja California, Mexico. It was the eighth JoCo Cruise, and Carla and my daughter Jane came with me. The boat was gorgeous and clean and the food was excellent. There was a poolside taco bar that I visited frequently, several restaurants, lots of cozy nooks to hang out, and a buffet that was open until late at night. There was also 24-hour-room service at no extra charge. I ate my way from one side of the ship to the other, gaining five pounds over the week. Also, this cruise was a full-ship charter - Sea Monkeys only. As JoCo says, having the entire ship means not "having to juggle and fit our programming around the rest of the passengers and their schedule. Because we are the rest of the passengers!" That made all the difference in the world.

The thing that really made the cruise unique, though, was the passengers. I could relate to everyone! (JoCo describes the passengers as "technophiles, tabletop gamers, and creative-minded people of all stripes." Sounds right to me.) A lot of the people told me they've been reading Boing Boing since it was a print zine. A couple of people even said they have the first issue, which came out in 1988! Everyone was interesting. Some dressed in fancy costumes. Many carried ukuleles. There were 10-year-olds and 70-year-olds. I felt comfortable around these people and temporarily transformed from being a full-on introvert into a semi-introvert!

The Sea Monkeys were in a state of bliss being together and doing things they loved. I soon learned that the thing we all loved the most was playing games. Coulton told me that the Sea Monkeys had brought with them almost 2,000 pounds of tabletop games, which were collected on shelves in a library in the main restaurant so people could check them out and play them. Everywhere you looked on the ship people were playing games. We played Letter Tycoon almost every day. Jane and I loved playing social deduction/deception games like Two Rooms and a Boom and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Playing these games late into the night was one of my favorite parts of the cruise.

In addition to games there were many other activities. Each day was packed with stuff to do, such as making puppets, taking a photography class, going to a comic book writing workshop, watching a movie like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in the screening room, or listening to a talk about black holes and explosions in the Universe. The staff did a great job of making things run smoothly. It really did feel like summer camp, only with better food and funner things to do. The nightly concerts featured comedy, music, interviews, and talks. I went on stage and told my story of losing my Bitcoin wallet password. I also gave a talk about the history of making things, and organized a card magic meetup.

I spent a lot of time on the 10th level of the boat in the Explorer’s Lounge – ordering espressos, playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch Carla gave me for Valentine’s Day, reading an advance copy of Gary Lachman's scary and fascinating book, Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, and staring out the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows at the endless ocean.

We stopped in three places in Baja California: Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, and La Paz. My favorite by far was the little town of Loreto. It was quiet and pretty, and they had good ice cream, as author Patrick Rothfuss can attest:

Some people never even got off the boat, because they were having too much fun playing games and doing the scheduled activities.

It's hard to convey how wonderful this cruise really was. Carla, Jane, and I didn't want it to end. We want to do it again next year!

JoCo Cruise will be in the Caribbean, It sails March 9-16 from Ft. Lauderdale Florida, and the ports of call are Half Moon Cay, San Juan, and Tortola. The special guests are They Might Be Giants! If you register for JoCo 2019, tell them I sent you!
Used with permission, written by Mark Frauenfelder

Read the full article and see pictures!
Check out more reviews at www.cruiseco.com
150 S University Drive
Suite E Plantation, FL 33324
Contact: (954)452-8800


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