True/Slant News Cruise

Posted by andreaitis on June 9, 2009

I read Jeff Koyen’s post The world’s 10 worst cruises yesterday with a sense of superiority and snark.  Who would go on an Adventures in Parrotdise Cruise? Or a Float2Paradise Psychic Medium Cruise?  Do I even know anyone who knows anyone who would go?   The only possible reason I could fathom dramamine-ing up for ShipRocked or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man Cruise would be to cover it for a story.

Except… late at night,  as I was waiting for the Beta day adrenaline to dissipate,  my mind wandered.   Jeff identified the top 10 plus several more of these wacky theme cruises.  Clearly, people are going.  It must be a lot of people, making lots of money for the cruise lines, or there wouldn’t be so many of them.

And that’s when it hit me: a True/Slant News Cruise

Before you scoff and smirk, let me explain.  We’re a new business in a tough economy.  We know it’ll take a while for the advertising market to bounce back, so it makes sense to look at other revenue opportunities.  If James Carville and Mary Matalin can do it, why can’t we?

Here’s how it would work:

* Our 100+ contributors would be on board.  They would sit with passengers during meals and chat and be generally sociable.  Except for Taibbi.  We’ll exempt him from this part.

* We’ll set up discussions on various news topics, featuring our contributors.  We’ll also set up some debates.  Rick Ungar will argue with everyone.

* We’ll have News Tech 101 sessions, where we teach people how to find news on the Internet and their mobile devices, how to use Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, etc.

* We’ll have some special cooking seminars with Robin Dorian, Mike Hess and Susan Toepfer.

* At night, we’ll have a T/S Jam Session.  After all, we have some real-live musicians on the site.  Rozzo, Knowles and Carlozo, start working on the set list now.

These are just initial thoughts, but you can see the potential.

I’ll get to work on the business plan.  Who’s in, and what’re you bringing to the (floating) table?


22 Responses to “True/Slant News Cruise”

  1. Susan Toepfer said

    Hey, Andrea, I’m in–I can cook, but also dust off all my old People magazine speeches. Everybody loves to talk about celebrities!

  2. As long as it’s a booze cruise, count me in.

  3. andreaitis said

    With all these journalists on board booze is a prerequisite. Scott, are you up for playing Isaac the Bartender?

  4. Ben Lebovitz said

    If we’re far out enough to be in international waters, and I can set up a 3 card monte game, I’m so there.

  5. andreaitis said

    Excellent idea, Ben. Some poker lessons, too? Maybe even a T/S Poker Tournament?

  6. Vickie Karp said

    And I can hold a poetry workshop for the poker game losers. I won’t tell them it’s poetry. I’ll tell them it’s song lyrics and that Crosby, Stills, and Knowles and will make them famous. And that Taibbi and Ungar already submitted sonnets.

    • andreaitis said

      Vickie – you should probably also mention the booze. It’ll make the Taibbi and Ungar sonnets that much more fun.

  7. mrsandyclark said


    If I had to go on a cruise with a sociopath, a surly highly-opinionated person that likes to argue, people that actually like to cook (Try forcing down over 5,000 calories a day and tell me you would like to cook.), some tech geeks, “musicians” and a whole host of writers with idiosyncrasies that I don’t even recognize; it would definitely be you guys.

    God, no classes, at least not for me. (I realize I could benefit from some tech training, but that would take away from the illusion of a vacation.) I’d be willing to teach a class on how to call-out all of my comments, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

    Of course, I too, would be heavily sedated…Compazine suppositories with cocktails. Would there be Kitten Day Care? When I got Valerie, they said she was a “special needs” cat. I think because she had severe pneumonia after they (The SPCA.) spayed her before I got her that she may just be retarded…maybe a lack of oxygen for “x” amount of time or something. No stigma here as she will never be around another animal and I love her even if I do have to put on 5 bandages a day or so. If Day Care is provided, I recommend some kind of mesh gloves. Of course I would need a single occupancy State Room. Trust me, it would be best for everyone involved. I’d either be a slut the whole time or in a coma from too much Compazine suppositories and cocktails.

    I bet Ken Layne, you, Knowles, Ryan, Diane Dimond, Matthew Greenberg and Brian Donovan would be a blast to hang out with…cocktails etc. If you all hate each other, it would probably be even more fun.

    I assume since it’s a cruise, there is a gym somewhere on board? I’d do my best to get the cruise on the top of that list.


  8. Mark and I did a wedding in New Orleans a few weeks ago. Our set list is ready and waiting. Very cruise-friendly.

  9. Karen Dukess said

    I’m in as long as it’s a cruise to somewhere. Being on a web start-up’s cruise to nowhere just sounds too ominous.

  10. “We’ll also set up some debates. Rick Ungar will argue with everyone.”

    Can I cover for Rick when he needs a break?

  11. Rick Ungar said

    Andrea…you already know me so well..
    I’m in and I promise to argue with anyone about anything. And when I get tired, I know that Brian can be counted on to step in for me.
    The only problem with the booze cruise part is the more I drink the nicer I get. Before long it will be “I love ya, man” and then what?

  12. Vickie Karp said

    That’s exactly when to write that boozy sonnet.

  13. andreaitis said

    Note to self: water down Ungar’s drinks.
    And Karen, no worries on the itinerary. I found …we’ll just pick islands with newspapers and do some News Cruise tours. See how it’s all coming together?

  14. Count me in for the booze cruise and fishing, sustainable fish only (of course).

  15. iskid2astop said

    I’m so in!
    Give me some time to develop usable skills. Most of mine include reading, eating, sleeping.
    I’ll be the guy who organizes the sports. That’s a skill I guess. I can take pictures too. I hope people being in them is not required.

  16. Bill Barol said

    Andrea: What would I bring to the table? What would I BRING to the TABLE? Perhaps you haven’t seen my little side project for the summer:

    And yes, I do own my own Swing-A-Way ice crusher.

    See you on the dock.

    • andreaitis said

      Perfect, Bill. Are you already working up a special T/S drink? And, for the duration of the cruise, I’m pretty sure we’ll have to change your name to Booze Barol.

  17. Matt Pack said

    I’m prepared to provide six days and seven nights of jokes about Sammy Sosa.

  18. andreaitis said

    I’m booking you for the Lido deck, Matt. We’ll call it Pack’d with Laffs. That’s cruise humor. Trust me, it’ll go over big.

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