Justus Productions

CLUB MACE 2022 UPDATE!

Working dates: July 9-July 16, 2022

As we continue to make plans for the trip, the basic itinerary is still the same.  Only the dates have changed at this point.   Below is the same information sent out last year.   Any updated changes will be in RED

The house we are looking at, the Kerry Manor House sleeps 30 with 15 rooms.    Note that we cannot confirm the house until we are sure we have adequate deposit money. Your deposit will be refundable until the house is booked and confirmed.    The house is booked and we will be the only ones there.

As we make plans, we have several options for excursions.   Here is a list of some that we are looking into. Note that we are currently hoping to do all of these, and some will happen on the same day as others as they are close together or on the way.

Cliffs of Moher The Cliffs of Moher stand at 214m (700 ft) tall at their highest point and range for 8 kilometres (5 miles) over the Atlantic Ocean. O’Brien’s Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. On a clear day, one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins & MaumTurk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The state-of-the-art Atlantic Edge Interpretive Centre is an exciting and recent development at the cliffs. Housed at the centre of the underground building is a huge domed cave containing images, exhibits, displays & experiences that will delight young and old alike. Visitors enter via a viewing ramp which provides access for all to the main dome. You will ‘walk on water’ as you enter and follow the bird’s feet from there. The dome is organised into four principal themed areas exploring different elements of the mighty Cliffs of Moher: OCEAN, ROCK, NATURE and MAN. You may recognize them from The Princess Bride!

Bunratty CastleThe Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. We invite you to wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country, which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past. Within the grounds of Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park, where 19th century Irish life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting. Meet and chat with the Bean an Ti (Woman of the House) and various street characters including the Policeman and Schoolteacher. Enjoy the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of this enchanting place as you stroll from house to house or around the charming village complete with school, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and of course the pub! There is also a banquet at the end of the day in typical medieval fashion. Huzzah!

Blarney Castle and ParkHistoric Blarney Castle is most famous for its Stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word ‘Blarney’ was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as ‘pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending.’ The Stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk. Many treasures are to be found on the grounds of the castle. The Rock Close, and its surroundings, is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a centre of worship in pre-Christian days. The entire Blarney Castle Estate has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch’s Kitchen, Druid’s Cave and many other delights, telling a story of centuries past. 

Jameson Experience Midleton – (Note: The legal drinking age in Ireland is 18) Triple distilled whiskey like that at the Old Midleton Distillery isn’t just born smooth and balanced. It takes a very carefully crafted process used over hundreds of years to get it just right. This tradition began in 1780 with the great Master Distiller John Jameson who discovered that three distillations was best for his Jameson Irish Whiskey and we continue his legacy to this day. From the 18th century to the 21st, let the expert guides at the distillery lead you through the extraordinary story of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Look, listen and learn, not to mention have your palate tickled by the unmistakable taste of the Irish whiskey that’s triple distilled to be twice as smooth for one great taste. — This is not the main Distillery that is in Dublin, this one is in County Cork

Ring of Kerry – This scenic drive is considered a must-do along the Wild Atlantic Way. From here, when the weather is good, you can see Skellig, the site of Luke Skywalker’s voluntary banishment. Also along the way, you can see places that Charlie Chaplin used to frequent.

Muckross House – (Note: Currently we are looking at admission for touring Muckross House only.  If you would like to tour the Traditional Farms, please let us know so we can include that in the final price.) Muckross House, set close to the shores of Muckross Lake & amidst the beautiful scenery of Killarney National Park, was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist Mary Balfour Herbert. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was the designer. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843. Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century land-owning class. While in the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores. During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Between the months of April and July, Muckross Gardens are spectacularly adorned with the red and pink flowers of mature Rhododendrons. Other features include a Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden. An Arboretum, containing many trees from the Southern Hemisphere, was established in 1972. Muckross Traditional Farms are situated adjacent to Muckross House. These working farms recreate and portray the traditional farming methods, and way of life, of a typical local, rural community of the 1930s. The Walled Garden Centre incorporates the Garden Restaurant, Mucros Craft Shop and three Mucros Craft Workshops. 

Cheese and Whiskey Experience –(Note: The legal drinking age in Ireland is 18) Award-winning local farmhouse cheese and Irish Whiskey are a match made in heaven. Enjoy, compare and contrast four lovely Irish whiskeys with four farmhouse Irish cheeses while engaging in a sensory perception class by a skilled whiskey expert. Receive a free crystal tasting glass at the end of your experience!

Some are close to the Kerry Manor House others will have some travel time.   Here is a schedule that we are working with for the moment. More than 1 excursion per day will happen where time permits. But this is not final by any means.

Day 1. Arrive Saturday July 9.  Settle In.

Day 2. Sunday EXCURSION

Day 3. Monday – EXCURSION

Day 4. Tuesday Open Day

Day 5. Wednesday – EXCURSION

Day 6. Thursday – Open Day

Day 7 Friday – Open Day

Day 8 Saturday – Depart

There is lots to do around the Manor House including fishing for Salmon and Trout on the property.  Some basic equipment is included and we can look into renting more if needed.

For Food, there are several restaurants close by.  Some we can walk to and others may require a car. I will work on a list of these as we move forward.  We can also either cook or talk to some caterers. We can definitely make a grocery list beforehand. Individual orders (at individual costs) can be placed and if we want to agree on a communal meal or two, that will be an additional cost. 

Now to the fun part, the price.   This price includes some great excursions, trip insurance and airport transfers. It does NOT include flights, although we are hoping to be able to coordinate some group rates to help with that.  

We will start looking at flights this summer and be in touch on booking.

The cost has increased slightly.   We are now at $1721 per person for double occupancy and $2130 for single occupancy.  

Some food is included, but this price does not include airfare.

A link is available for payments.    I will be redoing the link to make it a little more open since we have had to make the date change.    For those who originally signed up, I will be sending out information on what has been paid to you soon.   For anyone new signing up, you will have 12 months to pay.    A deposit will be required to secure your room(s).   The final pay date for all travelers will be in April 2022.  Below is a payment schedule show roughly when monies are due.

Once we set up payments, then the money becomes non-refundable. Insurance, which is included in the fee, may cover some of the paid costs if you are unable to attend.   I believe we are getting a great trip with lots of time to see Ireland, make new friends and play some games.

PAYMENT PLAN

Single Occupancy7 PaymentsDouble Occupancy
 $                  400.004/15/2021 $                  325.00
 $                  290.006/15/2021 $                  235.00
 $                  290.008/15/2021 $                  235.00
 $                  290.0010/15/2021 $                  235.00
 $                  290.001/15/2022 $                  235.00
 $                  290.003/15/2022 $                  235.00
 $                  280.00Final Balance (estimated) 4/15/2022 $                  221.00
 $              2,130.00 $              1,721.00

These prices are fairly accurate but are still an estimate, until we have everything booked with the exact numbers.   I feel confident that the pricing is good and will not change.   I will use PayPal for the payment plan.   Each price is per person.  The total price includes Insurance for the trip.   Payments are non-refundable, but may be covered under the insurance if you will not be able to attend.

CLUB MACE 2021 UPDATE

I am later than I wanted to be in getting this info out, but those of you who know me would expect no less.

For CLUB MACE, here are links to the 2 places we are exploring at the moment. I am working on pricing that includes 3 excursions and 1 special dinner. The idea currently is for a 7-8 day event. For now, you can look at the spots we have in mind. Depending on the number of people who want to go, one or both of these choices may not work. But this will give you a good idea of the direction I am going and what I would like to do. The excursions include, The Blarney Castle, The Cliffs of Moher and a visit to a distillery. Here are the links for the lodgings.

http://www.ballyburcastle.com/

https://www.lisheencastle.com/

Ballybur is in the Republic of Ireland with room for 24 and Lisheen is in the Republic of Ireland room for 14.

Soon, I will be asking for a $50 deposit per person to get some final estimates of interest. Once I have an idea of who will be going, we can start working on costs, travel, etc. Based on the 2 locations, the price with Lodging and excursions (no air travel or food included at this point) we are estimating between $1200 and $1800 per person.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for your interest and patience. I will have more information on location and prices soon.

Club MACE 2017 NEWS!

WHAT: Club MACE Gaming Cruise.

WHEN: July 2nd – 8th, 2017

WHERE: Port Canaveral, FL

We will be travelling to Nassau, Grand Turks and Amber Cove on a 6 day tour. During the trip, we will have opportunity to play games and experience the boat. We will be travelling on the Carnival MAGIC. It is a larger ship than we have had in the past with more to do and more food tor try. Based on 2 people in a cabin you can expect to pay from $910 per person for interior cabins to $1250 per person for a balcony. Their are other options such as suites also. And if you have additional people in the room, the price per person drops.

An a average day for us on the ship: Wake up, eat breakfast, play some games or sit by the pool, eat lunch, plays some games/pool eat at the early dinner seating and then play some more games. And of course snack all the time we play games.

For more information on pricing, please contact with Outlander Travel.

We plan on having some great excursions on the trip and will post more as we go. You can hold a reservation or go ahead and book your room. I am already working on mine.

I look forward to travelling with you guys again.

If you are interested in attending Club MACE 2017, send email direct to Outlander Travel via the form below.

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Club MACE 2015

JustUs Productions has been involved with organized gaming events for nearly 20 years now, but only recently has Jeff and the gang gotten into gaming cruises.  Although not an original idea, for a company like JustUs Productions it is no small task.  However, Jeff Smith and his friends at Outlander Travel have now put together two amazing gaming cruise trips for the MACE crowd.  The first one was 2013 and I could not afford it at the time.  I saved up for the 2015 trip and we finally got to experience Club MACE.

Of course, my first question is just how much gaming is going to get done on a cruise.  The cruise that was picked was a Carnival ship out of Charleston, SC that would take us to Grand Turk Island in Turks and Caicos, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas. There is a lot to do on a cruise, including swimming, laying out in the sun, and eating.  I had already been on one 4-day cruise but this was a 7 day cruise.  I was not sure how different it would be.

There were 18 of us on this one, and many were more casual gamers than me.  Jeff Smith likes to really ramp up the swag for the cruise and we all got several games in a nice tote bag.  I hope to have some reviews of these games up here soon.  Some were silly games, some were party games and some were more involved games.  I am more into the more involved games but I was not sure how much of those would be played.

Also, I planned a horror RPG game with a nautical theme for the cruise with hopes of getting enough players to play in two or 3 short sessions over the cruise.  I picked an adventure I found in RPGNow called Fright Night: Ghost Ship, written for the d20 system in 2005.  The fine guys at Hogshead Publishing were kind enough to dig up a higher resolution version of the ship in the adventure for me to print out on plotter.

In the board game department, I really thought I could change the dynamic of the trip (based on what I saw in pictures from last year) and bring more “meaty” games – longer and more involved games like Eldritch Horror, Relic, A Game of Thrones, and Spartacus.  Those are just a few of my favorites.  I thought perhaps there might be 2 or 3 people willing to play them at least once.

GAMING CRUISE LESSON #1:

The key about packing for a cruise is packing light.  We were fortunately driving to the port but we still were limited on luggage based on what we could carry.  So my advice to those considering bringing some board games, regardless of the type, lose the box.  It is the most bulky part of the game. Use large ziplock games like the picture below.

2015-06-16 20.07.57

 

Some games may require larger than the normal gallon bags you get in the grocery stores, however.  I ended up using bags I had collected from work while unpacking computers.  They tend to pack all the paperwork, software and manuals in large ziplocks.

Once packed and the kids tucked away at the in-law’s house, my wife and I traveled to Charleston for a one night stay there before boarding the ship. We had arranged with a certain hotel that if we stayed the night, they would allow us parking for the week and a shuttle over to the port.  If you drive to the port city and can arrange something like that, I highly recommend it.

Upon arriving at the hotel, Jeff “Cruise Master” Smith presented us with our Club MACE bags.

clubmace.bags

As you can see, they were substantial.  Jeff went all out on the swag.  They were already gaming when we arrived at the hotel, which did not surprise me.

On departure day, we piled pretty tightly into one van and headed over the the port.  Before long, we were out to sea.  I spent a lot of time with my wife, exploring the ship and finding our room.  The others did the same but it wasn’t long before they settled down and started playing more games.  Again, they were were casual and party type games.  Given the choice, in our situation, I chose to spend more time with my wife.  It was our first time away from the kids in at least a year, so we just could not muster up a mood to play games.

Throughout the week, however, there were times we settled down and played some games.  On the second day, I got a chance to run part of the adventure I prepared.  I will be writing about that separately.  I also played Wizards card game, Mars Attacks dice game, and Dementalism card game.  We never really settled down to play my “more involved games” other than the one RPG session.  This brings to me to my second lesson.

GAMING CRUISE LESSON #2:

This pretty much applies to any gaming event – know your audience.  Unfortunately, no one seemed interested in the games I brought but it was also hard to really dedicate that much time to them.  The others did play a majority of the swag games they got, but most were 2 hour games or less.  The cruise environment was also a little less conducive to the types of games I brought, but I am sure with the right audience, we could have played at least one.
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I know that they did get one session of Dungeon Crawl Classics in, which I am sure was fun.

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Although this was billed as a gaming con, for me it was more a vacation with my wife.  Being without kids and having all that we had at our disposal made it difficult to put my mindset into the gaming mood.  Don’t get me wrong, though.  This was an amazing trip.  My wife and I had a blast and made some lasting memories with friends, old and new.  From a gaming perspective, it was pretty light for us.  Many others played a lot more than we did.

GAMING CRUISE LESSON #3:

I recommend you decide ahead of time what you plan to do with the cruise. Is it going to be a gaming cruise or a cruise with a little gaming for you.  In the end, it was a cruise with my wife, that happened to have a little gaming on the side.   In my case, I chose time with my wife over the games they were playing, in part because of the games we had to choose from but also because my wife and I rarely get these opportunities without our kids.

Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos was beautiful.

2015-06-23 11.09.30

 

Half Moon Cay was probably the most memorable moments of the cruise.

2015-06-24 12.09.47

The Bahamas was laid back and enjoyable.

2015-06-25 13.32.25

 

It was a great vacation with my wife but also with some good friends.  Would I do more gaming if I could?  Probably not.  I did just enough for my tastes. I know others did a lot more.  And they seemed to enjoy it a lot.  We also enjoyed some of the entertainment on board together and that made for some more lasting memories.

Club MACE was an absolute blast and I would do it again.  Thanks to Jeff and Outlander Travel for their hard work on making this happen.  Hopefully we will see you in 2017 on another one.

Club MACE 2013 a Success!

From Jeff Smith:

For those of you who were not able to attend Club MACE, you missed a great time. We started the trip by meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Jacksonville. We parked our cars there (saving us quite a bit of money) and got a chance to meet everyone. The next day, Saturday, we set out and boarded the Carnival Fascination. With only one lost bag and a lost passport to slow us down, we began the day.

Once on board, we walked around, ate some lunch, swam a little and enjoyed the early afternoon. Around 3:30 pm we had our safety check to learn where the lifeboats were located. Then at 5:00 we had a meet and greet to make sure that everyone was on board and to discuss supper and the rest of the evening.  At 6 pm we arrived in the Sensation Dining Room for our first meal as Club MACE. I had the Lasagna. It was great.  The remainder of the trip consisted of gaming in the Passage to India Lounge,working out with a great crew from Fitness One in Kernersville, eating and playing more games.

We did have Monday on Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s private island. Some of us rented a wonderful cabana (there will always be a cabana at Club MACE). Some of the group hung out on the beach and a few stayed on the ship (I think). On Tuesday, we docked in Nassau. Many left the boat and had adventures ashore. I stayed on board and enjoyed the pool, the water slide and the food.

During the trip Jodi won a spa package and Carolyn won some serious cash playing BINGO. Various amounts of money were won and lost in the casino. I was a loser.

The days were filled with gaming, ship activities and all around fun. At Club MACE, we do want to game, but we encourage people to experience the offerings of the ship. Just ask Jodi and Carolyn how they feel about that.

As we discuss the trip and make arrangements to go again, please join us. We want to see you at Club MACE!

To all who went, thank you for making year one a great success and a pleasure!