Day two of Star Trek: The Cruise II found sunny skies as the Norwegian Jade made it way to its first port, Roatan, Honduras.
The United Federation of Planets flag flew overhead as fans readied themselves for a full day of fun with more than 30 activities to choose from.
The morning got off to a thoughtful, relaxing start with poolside session called “Nana’s Mindful Meditation Class.”
“It’s something that’s made a huge difference in my life,” said Visitor, who told the crowd of fans who joined her poolside that mindful meditation helped her overcome 22 years of post-traumatic stress. It gave her a “grounding” for herself.
“And it’s been tracked, what meditation can do for us. It’s wonderful for our brains. There’s scientific proof of it now, that it works. It’s about paying attention to this moment... Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”
Shakespeare with Armin Shimerman
To be in 13 Forward or not to be in 13 Forward? Hundreds of fans chose to be in 13 Forward for “The Conscience of the King: Shakespeare with Armin Shimerman.” Connor Trinneer introduced Shimerman, noting that Shimerman is a master teacher of Shakespeare and has performed half of the Bard’s canon . “Without further ado, the teacher...” and out stepped Shimerman.
Shimerman explained that he taught Shakespeare even before DS9. He also asked the audience, “Why are you here? Why are you here other than to see Quark talk about Shakespeare? I hope it’s because you’re interested in hearing about Shakespeare or perhaps seeing it or reading it”. He then spent the better part of the next hour detailing the rules of Elizabethan rhetoric, of making arguments, or recognizing opposites in the dialogue. His ultimate goal: “To give you an appreciation of Shakespeare in a way you’ve not had before. “
Scopes Monkey Trial
The sun was shining outside, but the lure of an event in the Stardust Theater was too strong to ignore. And that event was a dramatic reading of the Scopes Monkey Trial, led by John de Lancie, which filled the room with fans. The story, complemented by superb performances, elicited gasps and laughs and, at its conclusion, a rousing ovation.
De Lancie's wife, Marnie Mosiman, served as narrator.
John de Lancie as Darrow
Casey Biggs as Stewart
Ethan Phillips as Mencken
Robert Picardo as Bryan
Rene Auberjonois as Malone
Also on hand: three fans, all with some acting experience, handpicked by de Lancie to participate in the audio-visual presentation. Here is one playing the Butler with Casey Biggs.
A Star Trek fan as Scopes
A Star Trek fan as the Minister
The Dancing Doctor
Gates McFadden, who both danced and choreographed on TNG and also choreographed the film Labyrinth, guided eager fans through a fun-filled, basic tap dancing class.
“Tap is about changing weight — heel to toe, heel to toe. Learning how to make different sounds with your feet. What happens in tap is all about rhythm.” And the motion of the ship definitely helped those dancing fans find their own rhythm.
To Be A Voyager
Picardo and Phillips are pretty funny guys. Put them together on stage, and we’re talking lots of laughs.
Phillips told the audience he’d just wrapped a run of the Broadway drama, Junk. Backstage near the dressing rooms, all around are posters from throughout the theater’s history. And right near Phillips’ dressing room “was the poster from a show I did decades ago... How crazy is that?”
Picardo kept a black bag his foot during the panel, and people couldn’t help but wonder what was it it. “Fans graciously offer gifts to us all the time,” Picardo said. “And this is a Doctor doll that someone made. Next time, though,” he noted as he held it up for the audience to see, “I hope it’s anatomically correct.”
A pool party with loud music, free t-shirts and an hour of free drinks? That’s an hour of fun we — and lots of our fellow Trek fans — got in on.
In the Kitchen
Nana Visitor, aided by Rodney, the Norwegian Jade’s Star amusing Executive Chef, shared her love of cooking and entertaining with fans. “When people come to your house, you want it to be special, but not break the bank and completely exhaust you,” she noted.
“While drinks are happening, I like to bring out lots of little ‘bites,’ wonderful things.” Three recipes for wonderful things were featured in the presentation: Crab with Avocado Relish; Endive Spears with Roasted Beets and Blue Cheese; and Gale Gand’s Watermelon Kiwi Shots.
Exploring with The Next Generation
Fans were primed for the day’s highlight, a poolside Q&A with Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Denise Crosby and John de Lancie, moderated by Ian Spelling. The cast, for nearly an hour, reminisced about their TNG experiences, talked about their respective current projects and welcomed the Discovery cast to their world.
Dorn, prepping for an upcoming onboard panel, recently rewatched "Code of Honor.” It “was shockingly painful,” he said. “They visit a planet of black people. How could have done that in this day and age? We're (Denise Crosby) actually going to do a critique while it plays. It's never been done. I'll try to moderate it."
Crosby feels that Discovery is in good hands with its leading lady, Sonequa Martin-Green. “I worked with Sonequa on The Walking Dead, which also has a very tight cast,” Crosby said. “She’s wonderful and such a warm, calming presence. It’s perfect casting.”
De Lancie commented on the lasting friendships between the TNG actors. “In the old days in theater a group of actors would grow old together,” he said. “And so it is with them.”
Brent Spiner, asked to name the Trek figure who doesn’t receive credit for his or her role in TNG’s success, immediately suggested Michael Westmore. “He was masterful and did it show after show, year after year, and not just for us, but the other shows, too, and TNG and Deep Space Nine were going at the same time. That consistency was remarkable.”
Burton’s latest project is a new version of an old favorite. He’s given Reading Rainbow back to WNED and launched LeVar Burton Kids. “It’s the same thing, but rebranded,” he explained. “Just look for the app. We’re promoting children's literacy through new applications and technology.” And complementing LeVar Burton Kids is his podcast, Levar Burton Reads.
What episode was McFadden proudest to be associated with? ”That's a bit tricky, but directing ‘Genesis’ was the highlight for me,” McFadden replied. “And what Westmore did with that makeup... Dwight's spider was creepy, and Marina's take on an amphibian, amazing.” She added, “Also, ‘The Host.’ I loved the question it proposed: what is love?”
Robb Pearlman, author of "Fun with Kirk and Spock" and many other delightful novelty titles, shared a bit about his process when creating the book. Each vignette was based on an episode of TOS. He had 250 plot snippets, of which 33 were developed and included in the book. Several that appear were cut and revised from his original version, for length and impact. Working with the fans in the audience, together they created a new piece about: “See the Horta. Horta is in pain. And the Horta is a rock. See Spock. See Spock mind meld. No kill I thinks the Horta. But Spock cannot hear. But thanks to mind meld the Horta does not die.”
Have you really played Bingo until you’ve done so with the charming and affable Vaughn Armstrong proceeding over the game? Everyone had a blast, and a cool touch was the obligatory “Bingo Boogie” dance the winners had to perform... accompanied by the dulcet strains of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake Your Booty.”
Retired Air Force colonel, former astronaut, and still-active test pilot Searfoss opined that, “Human space flight is extremely difficult. Everyone involved in the programs knows the risks and dangers, but [the results] are definitely worth it.” He regaled fans with stories of his flights aboard the Columbia and Atlantis orbiters, as well as discussed lifelong friendships forged with other astronauts from the U.S., as well as other countries. “By the time Star Trek premiered in 1966, we were well along with the Apollo program, and there was a spirit in America that anything was possible.” Moving forward, he thinks that government and private industry partnerships are the best option; NASA can and should take the lead in exploration, while private companies such as SpaceX can do the “heavy lifting” with rocket systems development.
George Takei fans received a special treat on Saturday afternoon, namely a full screening of a filmed version of George Takei’s play, Allegiance. Takei himself thanked fans who gave up time in the sun to watch the screening and who greeted him with a standing ovation. “It’s an American story more Americans should know about,” Takei noted. “And we want the story to reach people’s hearts... long after those who lived through it are gone. And, at 80, I’m one of the young ones who’s still alive. This show is entertaining, educational, earnest and profoundly important. Please sit back and enjoy it.”
Science Academy Briefing
Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, examined the following topic during his session: “Is the Earth Special?” The answer is: It’s complicated. To a scientist, the oceans are the key. Liquid water on the surface of the planet indicates the possibility of life. “Water is a matrix for things to happen inside of it,” Plait explained “When you think about life, you think about water. Life formed on Earth very soon after it cooled. We had liquid water on the surface. If there’s any [other planet] that’s close to having water... life could form.” As to that man question: “Is the Earth special? It’s the only habitable planet for us we know of without space suits and submarines... but we’re in one galaxy out of billions,” Plait said, adding, Our planet is gorgeous. It’s the only one we’ve got... but it’s changing.”
Jeffrey Combs played more than a few wily characters over his time on the various Trek series, so there was no one better to host the night’s poker tourney, which he did with obvious glee.
Renewal of Vows
Visitor has a busy, busy day, trekking from her meditation class to her cooking class to overseeing dozens of couples re-tying the knot. One couple was together for 40 years, earning them a free bottle of champagne.
Visitor led the ceremony, invited everyone to “Kiss and rejoice.” She then noted, “Congrats, you are even more married than you were before.”
After an introduction by George Takei, laughter filled the Stardust Theater as Robert Picardo and Rene Auberjonois joined Denise Crosby in absolutely shredding two TOS episodes Mystery Science 3000-style; in other words, they faced the screen and improvised dialogue... hysterically and with language we can’t use here. The episodes skewered? “The Way to Eden” and “And the Children Shall Lead.”
Drink of the Day
Saturday's specialty drink was "For the Love of Troi" featuring chocolate vodka, coconut vodka, caramel sauce and coconut milk topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
Starfleet Officers Ball
Everyone looked sharp and dressed to the nines for this late-night party. It was all part of Captain Sulu’s Soirée.
Star Trek Rat Pack
Trek fans love the Star Trek Rat Pack gigs, and this was no exception. Tonight’s edition of the group featured Armin Shimerman, Jeffrey Combs, Casey Biggs, Max Grodenchik, Ethan Phillips, and Vaughn Armstrong, who regaled the crowd in the Stardust Theater with real musicianship paired with comedy songs (both originals and classics with adapted lyrics).
Read Day One's recap and keep watching StarTrek.com for the daily updates on Star Trek: The Cruise II.