The one and only TadCruise

It’s with great pleasure that I bring you the TadCruise. That’s right, the Tadpool gets to finally meet in it’s natural environment; the water. If you haven’t been following this saga let me get you up to speed.

 "That's not even the right ship..."

"That's not even the right ship..."

In the time I’ve been a member of the Tadpool on Facebook there has been at least three posts saying basically the same thing; wouldn’t it be awesome if we all went on a cruise together. And it would, so after that third post I said; “Obviously people are into this idea. Why not see if we can make this happen?” Turns out I had just volunteered for the task.

So I reached out to my friend Teras Cassidy of Geek Nation Tours, probably the man most familiar with how to herd nerds on trips. Fresh from accompanying him on one of his adventures I knew I could count on him. So I got to work and what follows is the results. First, the basics.

What: 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

When: Saturday September 24th, 2016

Where: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Costs

CategoryTypeBase fare+ Port fees+ TaxesTotal cost per person
(based on double occupancy)
NInside$516.00incl. w/ taxes$397.00$916.00
CVOutside$609.00incl. w/ taxes$397.00$1006.00
D8Balcony$819.00incl. w/ taxes$397.00$1216.00

Now the fun stuff

A cruise is pretty awesome on it's own, but it wouldn't be a TadCruise if there weren't some TadPool-centric things going on. Cruises are already boiling with activities for the active athlete to the sun-bathing vacationer and everyone in between. I go into more details in this blog post but here's a quick overview of what you can expect.

Essentially, I want everyone to have as many opportunity to hang out with their fellow TadPooligans while at the same time being able to ditch the group if and when they want some time on their own. Keep in mind that there is still time for things to change, activities added, modified or removed.

Meals
As a group, we will all be seated together at the dining room. The main dining room is just one of several places to eat but I'd like us all to have breakfast together so we can go over the day's activities so that people who want to form groups can do so easily. Also, as part of the trip, beer and wine are included at diner.

Cocktail Party
If there are more than 13 of us there will be a cocktail party. The details will have to be ironed out, but I'd love to have this a meet-and-greet on the arrival day so we can all get comfortable with each other and get things started on the right note.

Boardgames Night
As the name implies, a boardgames night is pretty high on my list of priorities for activities. It's a great way to hang out and have fun late into the night.

Scavenger Hunt
The Oasis of the Seas is an immense ship with an impossible amount of things to see. Sports centres, spas, pools, bars, pubs, art, etc. So let's do what the inquisitive mind of a geek demands we do and explore. I'll have the details for all of you on the sailing day, but there will be a scavenger hunt with prizes, etc.

Trivia Night
On our last night on the ship we'll be able to have some fun with a Trivia Night. We'll give out the prizes for the Scavenger Hunt. Play some bar trivia and end the trip on a high note.

Potential activities

There are a lot of awesome things we can do on this cruise and if the stars align and certain conditions are met, I'd like to see the following events and activities added to the list. Think of these as options unlocked with certain achievements.

Podcast Recording
Coverville himself, Mr. Brian Ibbott, has expressed interest in participating in this trip (is it the casino Brian?) and perhaps recording an episode of a show. I'd love to put this in the list of official events but I also don't want to commit anyone to anything until I've talked to them officially.

Costume Contest
If there are enough people who sign up, I definitely would love to see a costume contest. This would be an interesting challenge as bulky, complex costumes are definitely more difficult in a cruise setting.

Active Nerds
The Oasis of the Seas has an impressive gym and a track that runs around the ship and I plan on taking advantage of these facilities. Assuming there's interest in this, I'd love to form a small group of geeks who'd join me in a short run in the morning and a trip to the gym before breakfast to stave off the negative effects of living a week on a floating buffet.

Shore Excursions

Shore Excursions aren't included in the base price of the cruise and although I would love to see us all hang out during these stops, I realize that different interests might make that impossible. Shore Excursions can be decided later and added to your reservation then. The only caveat being that space is limited on most of these. That being said, I did come up with a suggested list of activities which you can look up in my original blog post but here's a quick recap:

Labadee, Haiti
Labadee is essentially a large beach resort. Hence, no recommended activity, but instead consider the day as a TadPool Beach Party. We can all form groups and enjoy whatever we want and get together on the sand to chill during our free time. Personally, I'm keen on doing some kayaking.

Falmouth, Jamaica
The standard activity here is visiting the Dunn's River Falls and I won't stop anyone, but I'd love to get a gang together to go snorkelling along Montego Bay. It's not too expensive an excursion and even those who don't feel like swimming can stay on the catamaran, enjoy the sun and a complementary drink.

Cozumel, Mexico
The culturally minded can certainly go visit the ruins of Tulum. Having been already however, I'm thinking of perfecting my knowledge of inhebriants by doing the Tequila Experience.

What now?

The next step is getting people to sign up and pay their deposit. The initial deposit is 100$ (Canadian, roughly 80$ US as of February 20th)) per person and must be paid to Geek Nation Tours who are negotiating the trip for us. So we can negotiate additional group perks and start organizing the aforementioned activities, we need registration by March 14th 2015. The more of us are registered by that date, the more leverage we have to organize more fun stuff and make this a once in a lifetime event for everyone involved. To get additional details and pay you deposit, email Teras Cassidy with the following information:

  • Subject Line : TadPool Cruise Deposit Contact
  • Day and time when Teras can call you
  • How many people you plan on being

This way Teras can answer any questions you might have about the cruise in person and make sure you have all the information necessary regarding your registration. This important especially if you have children to determine how room accommodations will work.

If you have any questions or recommendations regarding the activities and organization of the cruise, don't be shy and drop me an email. I'll be glad to hear your thoughts and answer your questions as best I can.

I'm alone but don't want to pay double for a cabin. What do I do?

If you want to come on the TadCruise (and you do) but you don't have a buddy to share a cabin with, don't worry! I have good news:

  • The deposit is a headcount deposit so there is time to adapt your cabin situation before full on reservations are made and cabins assigned
  • If you're alone, send me an email and I will try to match you up when the time comes. Include the following information: Name, age, gender, cabin category, deal breakers for your roommate (smokes, snores, likes DC over Marvel) and things you worry might annoy a roommate (smoke, snore, Tourettes)
  • I'll try to build a database of people and working with Teras distribute cabins so everyone has a roommate they'll get along with
  • Once I've got everyone squared away, I'll put people in contact with their roommates in case they want to iron out details and get to know each other
  • I will not put men with women because I don't want to deal with drama unless it's explicitly stated that this is something people are okay with
  • You can also shop around on the Facebook group and post that you are looking for a roommate and find someone there

important notes and details

Here's a few things I want to lay down here so as to be transparent about the procedures:

  • Prices were converted from Canadian dollars from the original quote I was given.
  • Prices are subject to change until final booking. Sorry, that's just the standard disclaimer.
  • Deposits aren't refundable.
  • Add 10$/day for gratuities
  • Flights and travel to and from the airport are not included.

Hope to see as many of you there as possible!