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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:02 am 
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Although, it is often tagged as bad grammar, We're gonna stick with a a two word phrase straight from our U.S. constitution. Jam Cruise 11 was even "More Perfect" than the previous three we attended. Everyone involved, bands, fan, crew, and especially the cloud 9 staff was awesome. The MSC on board staff , however, stuck to their guns and were average at best.


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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:22 am 
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Location: Seattle... or Zimbabwe
Pete wrote:
Also, it's official that we'll have a new boat next year! I can't remember the exact name, but this one might be it (I heard it's ~1000 people bigger): http://www.msccruisesusa.com/us_en/Ships/MSC-Divina.aspx

Recovery time!


We've been talking about going back next year, but not if the boat is going to have 50% more people on it. Part of the fun is the smallness of the event.

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:50 pm 
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zzyzx wrote:
Pete wrote:
Also, it's official that we'll have a new boat next year! I can't remember the exact name, but this one might be it (I heard it's ~1000 people bigger): http://www.msccruisesusa.com/us_en/Ships/MSC-Divina.aspx

Recovery time!


We've been talking about going back next year, but not if the boat is going to have 50% more people on it. Part of the fun is the smallness of the event.


shrug :) I thought going from Lirica to Orchestra was going to suck and was happily surprised to find that the additional people were really not an issue at all. I don't think this increase in capacity will be a bad thing either. It's still a small event. There are very few festivals that I can go to on land that have less than 4000 people in attendance, and NONE with a lineup like Jam Cruise. My $.02!!

The numbers, for those that might be interested:

Opera (JC5)
Capacity: 1,712 passengers Crew: 740

Lirica (JC4, JC6)
Capacity: 1,560 passengers Crew: 700

Orchestra (JC7)
Capacity: 2,550 passengers Crew: 987

Poesia (JC8, JC9, JC10, JC11)
Capacity: 2,550 passengers Crew: 987

Divina (JC12??)
Capacity: 3,959 passengers Crew: 1,325

note there are very few internal cabins on the new Divina, almost all cabins are oceanside/view/balcony - 327 inside cabins, 1,310 outside cabins

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:33 pm 
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I was looking at the Divina deck layout and some pictures online and the boat is pretty ridiculous. It makes Poesia look a little boring and old. It does look to me that it's gonna be tricky for C9 to work out a good pool deck stage set up. The largest pool area seems to be very multi-level, with no clear space for a large stage and large unobstructed viewing/dancing area. I'm sure they'll come up with something great though. Some of the bars and lounges are crazy looking, and apparently the atrium area has steps with embedded swarovski crystals, with each step apparently costing $30,000!! You know we like things that sparkle!!!

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Here's my list. A few things worse, many better, and some just plain funny.

:x :NAUGHTY: MSC Staff
IMO worse than ever. Part of it because they hated their job after Holy Ship. Another part because MSC has sent their A staff to the new ship and we were left with the "leftovers"
The biggest issue I observed (and note I'm a man writing this) is that women kept getting ignored at the bar. I had to constantly correct bar tenders that they should serve in order regardless of the customer's gender. One bartender completely ignored my wife and when I finally gave him shit about it he apologized to me but not to her. This is cultural I'm sure, but if you work in a different culture than the one you grew up in you just will have to adapt.
The staff was often rude. A waiter in the restaurant tried to right out scam me. He wanted my drinking tickets but also my room card "for inventory". I may look stupid...
One of the cabin staff walked right into our cabin when the key was in the slot. We were not ready for company at that time. At a later discussion his supervisor said that cruisers leave their keys in all the time so they just walk in. I of course responded that we tend to party all night and sleep all day and what schedule we keep on the ship is non of his business. The staff has to adapt to the cruisers, not the other way around.
I have noticed more unprofessional behavior and incidents than I have ever seen on any previous cruise. In one case there was a real safety concern where one of the crew blatantly refused to help. I have taken names and intend to report the worst transgressions to C9. I'm never one to get poorly paid workers in trouble, but there are two things I will not tolerate. One is misogyny or any other form of discrimination and the other one is arrogance about safety issues on a ship.

:( After Holy Ship
I already mentioned the fact that the staff was overworked when we came. Our cabin was not cleaned, we had one dirty robe, the fridge was raided and never re-inventoried, but I made sure we wouldn't get billed for it. Our hangers were broken, half our towels were missing and many more issues. The ship is turned too quickly to deal with it. Our cabin maid did a good job replacing stuff as we found it, but essentially it was on us to do the inventory.

:idea: Drinks
Just teach the staff how the drinking tickets work already. I'm so tired of having to negotiate every damn time in the ports. It isn't rocket science. Or maybe we should just use the cards in the port. Maybe we should skip drinking tickets all together. It's a mess for us and it doesn't seem to save any time in the bars. And the "use it or lose it" policy isn't exactly fair either. I rather pay for what I use. No BS. As I'm writing this I'm convincing myself that we should get rid of the drinking tickets. It's more of a hassle than a convenience, both for guests and staff. I also second the sentiment that the beer selection could be better.

:| Food
Still better than JC9 and earlier. I personally think it went down somewhat from JC10. Ironically the Indian dishes came out perfectly (the lamb curry was to die for!). A funny moment was when one Italian guy saw me demonstratively poor the soggy mess they called lasagna down on a plate. I just laughed as I did it. What else can you do? He actually blushed. Not his mom's lasagna I bet :D. Anyhow, the food doesn't reach my bitching threshold this time so let's move on.

:| The Ports
OK. The only suggestion for improvement is that we should have activities announced ahead of time. The reservation of excursions over the TV didn't work (it was still set for Holy Ship!). The result was that we had no chance to do what we wanted. We did get to enjoy other stuff though so it's no major debacle. Just one of these minor annoyances that would be so easy to fix. I always prefer ports where you get a chance to see something of the local culture and nature, but I also know that it's getting harder and harder to get into such ports. Cruise lines prefer the wholly owned private islands where they can keep all the revenue. One thing that could be improved is the port announcements. I don't know if you noticed, but C9 port announcements only came out in the hallway speakers and was inaudible for the most. MSC announcements goes out in cabins and bars as well. I'm absolutely not in favor of speaker diarrhea, but for important updates, such that we need to bring ID to Turk and Caicos, you probably want to snatch one of the MSC microphones so that people get the message. Even better of course if you can get all the info on the papers that are handed out during the night!

:? A Well Intended Mess
What did you like the new screens in the elevators that said "where the hell am I" and then showed any arbitrary deck regardless where the elevator was. I have never seen so much confusion in and around the elevators. I'm sure it was well ment, but if you really want to help people, don't put up a screen saying "Where the hell am I" if you have no means of telling the viewers where they actually are. It did create a lot of comical situations though.

:CLAP: Various Improvements
I don't know what to attribute to MSC and to C9, but I agree with the other posters that said that getting on and off the boat went smoother this year and that opening up a dance floor in the theater was a really good move.

:CLAP: :DANCE: Cloud 9
Standing Ovulations! :D Seriously, the people at C9 pulled together an amazing experience. Second year in a row that it was nothing short of outstanding. C9 staff on board was very helpful and did everything within their power to keep the boat rocking (so did the weather BTW :D). Not much you could do better. Yes maybe one thing. Be more active on the forum. You probably read the vibe here (I hope you do!) frequently, but don't be strangers. We love you people, don't be shy!

:CLAP: :DANCE: Music
Wow! It was fantastic. Everything you can dream of. You can tell that the artists love Jam Cruise as much as we do. Conflicts are inevitable. Wednesday was tough for me. KDTU + Soul Rebels + Greensky at the same time and then Hot Buttered Rum + Moe at the same time. Can somebody invent human cloning already?! But it was great. The Jam room was better than last year (even when they swapped hosts). The Spot was rocking almost the entire trip. Not a dull moment. I'm still ecstatic!

:CLAP: :DANCE: Musicians
What an awesome bunch. Over the years I'm getting to know more of them as persons and it just adds to the whole experience. They are so down to earth and real. When we were picking up snorkle gear at Coco Cay my wife dropped her sunglasses. Immediately the guy behind her picked them up and handed them over like a true gentleman. Just that it was Skerik. This is what I love about the whole jam scene. There are no divas. Jam Cruise brings out the best in people both on and off stage. More than anywhere else the musicians and the audience create music together in some way. I think that's the reason both groups keep coming.

:CLAP: :DANCE: Virgins
Never seen so many and it makes me so happy. Everyone I met were awesome people. My first year there was maybe just a tad of clickiness going on at some times by the oldtimers but none of that this year. The noobs clicked right in and fit like a glove. I hope that all of you that went on your first trip feel the same way. Your are now Jamily. Don't forget this forum in between cruises!

:CLAP: :DANCE: Costumes
All time high turnout on zebra! I hope there is a zebra lounge on the MSC Divina, if that's where we're headed next year. Blue was also amazing. I was watching a sea of blue on the pool deck from deck 15. We're such a sparkly jamily!

Love
Knut

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:32 pm 
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serk wrote:
shrug :) I thought going from Lirica to Orchestra was going to suck and was happily surprised to find that the additional people were really not an issue at all. I don't think this increase in capacity will be a bad thing either. It's still a small event. There are very few festivals that I can go to on land that have less than 4000 people in attendance, and NONE with a lineup like Jam Cruise. My $.02!!


I actually have been thinking about this and it clicked that the change for me from Jam Cruise being a must see, never miss event and it being a good time that I would like to go on but only if I can fit it into my time and budget happened with the move to the larger ship. It could be coincidental - doing the same event 5 years in a row won't be as exciting as the first few times - but personally I felt that the larger crowds led to more issues in general.

4000 people is starting to be Horning's Hideout size and NWSS has some pretty impressive lineups and also doesn't cost $3000 for a couple. OTOH, North Plains isn't exactly a tropical location in January so Jam Cruise will always have some advantages over anything else and I'm starting to miss that pool stage and the Jam Room.

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I'm on my way
To New Orleans
I'm not gonna take it no more.

Ain't hesitating,
Ain't deliberating,
I got to see it again.


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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm 
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No other reviews? Surely there must be more cruisers with an opinion? Don't worry, you won't be banned forever for saying something!

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:52 pm 
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It's always the music that makes JC great, however, so many cruisers in costumes every single night was a huge source of enjoyment for me too. Eating a 3-4 course dinner in the dining room makes for a sleepy night and I think skipping dinner or snacking would be better for me. Every year it is better than before but I am still dealing with scabs from bug bites from the theater (think chiggers? fleas?-how do they get there?). Someone suggested allergies, however, I have never been allergic to anything in my life and if it was a sort of contact dermatitis, it should have been all over my body because the same maxi dress that touched my legs touched the rest of me except for bare arms and feet, both of which had bites as well. Dunno what it was, but was stupidly irritating and made me scratch like a gorilla for a couple of weeks.

I totally agree with everyone that thinks that Holy Ship damages the staff and boat and the desire to be first makes sense to me. I also recognize that it sells out faster (where do those kids get the $$). And running out of water is just WRONG! It has happened two years in a row, this time there was none for two days. Day 4 they took two water tickets for one of the large bottles that were stolen out of our room, but they would only let us have 1. I was going to use up all of our tickets when we got back from Coco Cay, but they wouldn't let me have any more. I don't drink alcohol or soda and some of the bars won't make espresso. I drank the fuzzy fart water but was not thrilled about that and still have tickets left. The only serious complaint I have for a wonderful, amazing, thrilling, spectacular vacation. Remembering The Funky Meters pool deck set is pure ecstasy! :DANCE:
:DANCE: :DANCE:


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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:57 pm 
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Yeah only one asshole in the zebra bar wouldn't let me buy a big water bottle for a soda ticket everybody else had no problem with it. I'm very disappointed in a lot of the MSC staff this year in case I didn't make that obvious before. It's of course an issue of poor management at MSC.

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:30 pm 
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LOVED IT!!

This was my second, and had a blast...although...if you saw the lovely young woman gimping around on crutches the whole cruise, that was my wife. While a bit of a bummer she was on crutches, she got better treatment on JC11 than she has received at even a local grocery store ("Is there anyone available to help me out to my car?" "No, we don't have anyone available right now, sorry." REALLY?????). People were respectful of her space, got out of their chairs ot give her a seat, etc....very impressive courtesy from all, thanks Jamcruisers and staff!

And if that wasn't enough, I got a sore throat...like a really bad one...and am allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen. You try finding tylenol/acetominaphin on a boat where everyone is drinking!!! Not easy....but I found it on Day 3, then the rest of my cruise was pain free....

Lowlights: Cabin was not really clean when we got there...still needed vacuumed and there were no pillows. Thought the staff was a little less happy and fun than last year. Was so stoked about the ice bins in the caf, but then they disappeared. We need ice and plenty of it!!! All the way through to the end. Oh, we ate in the Italian Restaurant one night....not good. Oops.

Highlights: The music was THE BEST!!! Awesome sets from everyone, the pool deck Funky Meters being my favorite. Just spreading the funky good vibes on THICK. Dance party. WOW!!! Had some great door decorations near me. Super festive group with great costumes and serious revelry every night. Food, in general, seemed better than last year...and I found the area that served breakfast until like 1pm - key! Turks and Caicos was fun, Coco Cay was great for napping and chilling on my balcony with a book while enjoying the breezes and view. Love me the cone machine, too. Had some very cool run ins with artists, including Ivan Neville, in the elevators. Loved the rock star karaoke....versions of Superstition and I am the Walrus were both great verging on epic...LOVED the Gong Show with Skerik and Dillon....Jam room rocked.

That said, I'm pre-booked and completely excited for next year....no crutches/broken 5th metatarsal for Jacqui, and hopefully no stupid sore throat for me.


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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Thanks for the cool reviews folks! Between this and tube I almost feel like I attended ... ok, actually it still feels like I missed out on the last sailing of the Poesia, but already looking forward to the JC12 line up! Sounds like M4MB did fantastic! I suspected as much. Kind of surprised not much mention of Nicki Bluhm. Her van sessions on tube are pretty cool.

Thats all for now

Jam On Folks :)

Peace!
GD

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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:54 pm 
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well I'll mention Nicki...she was absolutely one of my highlights..!!!...she "sat in " with a couple of other groups and was right on every time...fantastic..!! :CLAP: :CLAP: :DANCE: :DANCE:


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 Post subject: Re: So, how was JC11? ... Reviews please! :)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:23 pm 
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stASH wrote:
serk wrote:
Epic indeed. Blissful beyond expectations.
Yay!!! I knew it was gonna be hard to miss this year. Yeah, I was right.

serk wrote:
No awards show this year, but I think that's OK. Too few people get into it, and some of the past award categories were just dumb IMHO :lol: though I am curious as to who won the door decoration contest this year!
Plus, sometimes they give away big prizes that never get delivered, like the Panda bike that Victoria won but never got. :cry:

At least know I'm on back on the same count of days until I'm back on the boat as everyone else. Can't wait for JC12!!!


I'm happy that Victoria has her Panda Bike now!


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