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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.

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.

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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.

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

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The Bahamas was laid back and enjoyable.

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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!