Yo Ho and Ahoy! The First Annual Steampunk Cruise, March 16th-23rd 2013 Created by Dr Mike on 4/8/2013 1:13:42 PM
SPC Correspondent Dr. Mike gives us a travelogue from his experience on the first ever Steampunk Cruise.
Taking to the seas were about fifty five brave Steampunking souls aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Navigator of the Seas.” For seven luxurious days, we enjoyed various Steampunk activities, music, and events. Our ports of call were Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. As a member of the participating cruisers, I had the opportunity to attend panels on “Making shadow puppets,” “Steampunk/History with G.D. Falksen,” and “An hour with Captain Robert.”
Day to Day activities were typically planned for the mornings, with a larger “event” after the group’s 8:00 PM dinner.
Panels were interesting and kept the group well involved. Hands on activities got everyone talking and sharing ideas. During our first panel, we learned from author, Mary Robinette Kowal how to create vintage shadow puppets – while listening to a reading from her book (she has a lovely reading voice). Later on in the week, we had a chance to beta test the “Abney Park Board Game.” Great fun – look for the game coming out soon!
Music aboard ship was lifted by the talents of “Unwoman” who helped welcome everyone with her charm, warm vocalizations, and crowd sing alongs. Also adding to the sounds of the seas was the duo from “This Way to the Egress.” Multifaceted performers, those folks played everything they could get their hands on to keep the music flowing for our very own Clockwork Ballerina, and a real-life mermaid! As a special treat for the other 3,450 passengers, all our performers presented a concert of Steampunk music later in the week. We might have converted a few folks along the way.
There were many special events scattered throughout the week. From a grand parade on the main deck for the Steampunk folks, Pictures with the Captain, a high tea in a medieval Dungeon lounge, historical discussions with author GD Falksen (A truly dapper gent indeed), fun singing Jam sessions, and even a Vintage Swimsuit Competition.
The after dinner events – Duchess of NOLA High Seas Ball, Grand Dances were met with much promise, but issues with the ships’ musical selections did not fit where we were trying to go – these events became more socialization times with your fellow shipmates than dancing opportunities. We did have a great class in English Country dances from our Steampunk representatives from Alaska!
Although there were no specifically Steampunk excursions, several of our merry band headed ashore in Jamaica to the Good Hope Plantation High Tea. An incredible adventure ensued as we headed into the Jamaican landscape to tour a 1700’s sugar plantation, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea (cookies, scones, fruit, a little jerk chicken, and of course those little sandwiches with the crust cut off – Fancy!).
In my opinion there were two things making this cruise a success; the Steampunkers who attended the cruise, and the passengers/crew.
We had people from all over North America -Alaska, California, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, and a lovely contingent from Canada. The cruise was a perfect opportunity to spend more time together than a regular Convention would allow. Having time fostered new friendships, and you had a chance to really talk, laugh, and learn from each other. Dinner was especially a raucous affair!
For the passengers/crew – we were a bit confusing at first, but once they learned we were not part of the “entertainment” or “magic show” (No, I am not a magician…yes, I am wearing a top hat), all the Steampunkers were elevated to almost rock star status. Many questions, tons of photos, and so many compliments! The crew went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and appreciated. I have a feeling the Steampunkers are now enshrined on thousands of refrigerators across the world.
The First Annual Steampunk cruise was a marvelous time and an excellent adventure. Were there some issues? Yes. With every new event, there will be some glitches here and there, but as any good Steampunker knows “Keep a stiff upper lip and carry on!”
Dr. Mike, a Terminus native, has been shaving since birth. After spending many years studying the finest steel and highest quality soaps, he brings vast resources of straight razor shaving to the modern age. As a Senior member of the "Straight Razor Place," Dr. Mike enjoys educating the willing (and some not-so-willing) to learn the benefits of "The Noble Razor."