And so it begins... Star Trek: The Cruise II on Friday welcomed 2300 fans on board the Norwegian Jade, refitted as a Federation starship. Members of Starfleet were on hand as guests arrived and began to explore their starship for the next six days.
As the ship left the port in Miami, fans gathered pool side for the Launch Party with a procession of the cruise’s celebrity guests, who greeted the crowd and said a few words.
Denise Crosby implored everyone to “let their freak flag fly!”
Robert O’Reilly energized the crowd by leading them in several Qapla!' chants. It was the perfect warm-up for his upcoming Klingon Pub Crawl.
Ethan Phillips gave the crowd a taste of his late-night stand-up performances set for later in the week.
Nana Visitor told the crowd that she was going to have an Eat, Pray, Love week. She will be leading a meditation session, cooking demonstration and an evening performance with Rene Auberjonois about love.
Robert Picardo recounted the 'planes, trains and automobiles' story of his escape from the New York weather to join everyone on the ship.
Michael Dorn acknowledged that he's embarking on his first-ever cruise.
Connor Trinneer encouraged fans to join him for the Blackjack Tournament on Saturday.
While Jeffrey Combs pitched the Poker Tournament that he is headlining.
Vaughn Armstrong reminded fans of all of the Star Trek characters that he has played.
John de Lancie offered two fans the opportunity to perform in his audio play this week.
Gates McFadden is ready to dance! She'll be leading a tap class twice during the cruise.
Max Grodenchik promoted Saturday night's performance of The Rat Pack.
Casey Biggs led the crowd in a wave for Deep Space Nine's 25th Anniversary.
Brent Spiner jokingly suggested that fans can speak with him on the cruise - but not look at him.
And George Takei greeted the throng with his trademark “Oh myyyyyyy!” and adding “Here we are, going where many of you have... gone before. And we’re going in the spirit of the Great Bird... Gene Roddenberry. “
Shore Leave Bar
The Shore Leave Bar, decked out with Trek Tiki Towers and the Drink of the Day, was a central gathering point for guests. Friday's drink was a Guinan Guilty Pleasure featuring Vodka, Gin, White Run, Scotch, Bourban, Tequila, Triple Sec, Brandy, Pineapple Juice and Orange Juice. And it was available in the Star Trek Geeki Tikis!
Burton, Visitor & Auberjonois
Michael Dorn did the honors of welcoming LeVar Burton to the stage of the Stardust Theatre, introducing his old friend and colleague as someone who’s thrived in his post-Trek career.
Burton greeted the audience, saying, “I thought we would do a little Reading Rainbow live,” which elicited cheers. And he then led everyone in signing the Reading Rainbow theme song. Burton then dramatically read two selections starting with the children’s book The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, which he co-wrote.
The second story was a piece he wrote about his appreciation of sci-fi books and the works of Octavia Butler.
Following LeVar's performance, Nana Vistor and Rene Auberjonois took the stage with stories about love.
Nana and Rene opened with a flashback of when Kira first met Odo before sharing favorite poems, a job description for "mom" and much more.
Mirror Mirror Party & Information Society
The Captain's Club was the place to be on Friday night, as fans got in the spirit — and in costume — for the “Mirror Mirror” party.
DJ Needles kept everyone on their feet and dancing deep into the night and early morning.
There was no mistaking the Pure Energy in 13 Forward as Information Society rocked the house.
Artist J.K. Woodward
The artist J.K Woodward, during his “Mirror Broken” talk, shared with fans how his mission for IDW Publishing’s comic book saga was to add the Mirror Universe construct to the TNG continuity by creating visually unique, even daring versions of such characters as Picard. “The idea was based mostly on a fascist/authoritarian deal,” Woodward explained. “I used the Soviet constructivism of the 1940s to achieve the authoritarian feel.”
A full house joined Max Grodenchik and Ian Spelling for "Eat, Drink & Be Merry" trivia. 25 specially-created questions challenged fans while offering a few very funny multiple choice options.
John Paladin is once again on-board offering make-up demonations as well as the chance for cosplayers to have their make-up completed by a professional.
Moving around the ship is easy and fun with the fully decorated turbo lifts. Each lift features LCARS displays with important information and guidance for the Federation's visitors.
Cosplayers on Display
Species from across the universe were on display throughout the day and night. Here's a sample:
Keep watching StarTrek.com for daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II.