When is it?
The Cosplay Cruise will be held on July 10th, from 7-12pm.

What time should I get there?
We’ll be departing from Tower Hill Pier at 7pm and docking on the opposite side of the river at 12 midnight. We recommend getting there no later than 6:30pm though, to ensure you’re on board for cast off! The sooner we can check tickets, the easier the evening will be for everyone.

What can I do during the day?
This event is in London on a weekend, so we’re expecting some of you will organise an unofficial meet beforehand. There are some lovely pubs near our boarding area, which also serves as a beautiful backdrop for Cosplay photoshoots. Central London itself also has the pleasures of Orbital Comics, Forbidden Planet, Chinatown, the Japan Centre, Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo Toys, the Trocadero Arcade and tons more. Just don’t be late for the boat!

What’s the nearest tube station?
Tower Hill. It’s on the north side of the river. There is a tube map here, which has a big red circle around the stop. It’s on the District and Circle lines, so very easy to get to. We’ll let you know if there are any planned engineering works around the day.

How much is a ticket?
A very reasonable £25 per ticket.

How can I pay?
We will be taking payment by Cheque, Money Order or PayPal.

We’re using PayPal for convenience but due to that service’s infrastructue, all transactions will unfortunately include a 3.4% + £0.20 service charge, meaning your ticket will cost £26.09 in total if you choose to pay via PayPal.

Once I buy a ticket how do I get it?
To keep the paperwork down, we’ve decided to email you a ticket you can print off once your payment has been confirmed. It will have your reference number on it which we can crosscheck against our records.

So I just bring the ticket?
No. You MUST bring some form of ID with you – a passport or driving license is preferable. This is to both prove you are the person to whom the ticket belongs and prove you are 18 years old or older. For legal and insurance reasons, this is an over-18s event only.

What ID can I bring?
See above. Some form of Photo ID is mandatory. If you absolutely don’t have ANYTHING to show who you are, and that your age is 18+, email us beforehand and let us know what you CAN provide, and we will consider if we can accept it.

What route does the boat take?
The Dixie Queen embarks and disembarks from Butler’s Wharf and travels downriver to the Thames Barrier before turning back, taking us past the Millennium Dome en route.

Can I leave my stuff anywhere?
There is a fully functioning cloakroom, though be aware it is NOT suited to storing 500+ anime fans’ giant shopping hauls. Please be sensible with what you want to bring on board, and if you have any large items, leave them in your hotel room on shore before coming to the pier.

Can I get changed on board?
There are bathrooms for both male and female guests but nothing you would call a changing room. If you really need a lot of room to get changed you can do so behind the screens we will have set up on the stage.

Can I sell anything at this thing?
Of course! If you have some accessories you’d like to sell please email us and we’ll make sure you get a table to do so. We’d quite like someone to do some nautical themed pieces, or something specific to the event. That would be just precious.

Is there a cash machine?
No. Let us emphasise that again. THERE IS NO CASH MACHINE ON BOARD THE DIXIE QUEEN. The bars can accept card payments but we strongly recommend you bring as much money as you think you will need. Better to have too much than too little!

Is the boat making any stops?
Only if people are naughty. And if you ARE naughty then we WILL have to throw you off. If the boat has to make an unscheduled stop to throw you off then you will pay our costs of pier docking, approximately £150, plus any additional fines. That’s part of the Terms and Conditions of buying a ticket. If you read them. Which we hope you do!

Of course, we’re hoping no-one will be stupid enough to get themselves thrown off, so once we’re moving, it’s non-stop for five hours!

How loud can the music go?
92 decibels, which is plenty loud considering the acoustics of the boat. That’s also the legal limit for the Thames.

Why July 10th?
Because it doesn’t clash with any potential England World Cup game! To answer seriously, we wanted to make sure it was in good weather, and mid-July gives us the best chance of that. We also wanted to hold it in the summer, so by then anybody at University would be free of exams. Finally, we wanted to avoid any conflict with the rest of the UK anime convention schedule.

What’s the travel and accommodation like?
Saturday night means the Tube runs all night through most Zones. If you’re looking to get a hotel, then thankfully you’ll be in Central London, so there is a lot of choice. There always seem to be an unofficial event hotel nominated, so hopefully the Facebook group will come to a conclusion on such an issue. There is a London City Express by Holiday Inn offering double rooms for £42 per person, which for Central London is chuffing good. That is about a 20-minute walk from the Tube station, or a 5-minute taxi journey. As always, there are hostels or cheaper hotels on the outskirts of London, should you wish to travel slightly further.

Why is it over-18’s only?
Short answer? Insurance. Sorry, we know it’s boring and makes it seem really exclusionary but, financially, we simply can’t justify doing an event that caters to younger fans, and practically we can’t be responsible for children being on board. There’s also the matter of the Dixie Queen having two fully licensed bars on board, which causes all kinds of bureaucratic nightmares in having under-18s allowed. Apologies to all!

Can I get a refund on my ticket?
Due to the legalities of hiring a vessel of the Dixie Queen’s class, we can only offer refunds prior to 42 days of the event, which is Saturday, 29th May 2010. After this date, we are unfortunately unable to refund purchased tickets. However, if you’d like to change the name of a ticket holder from 30th May onwards, we will of course be more than happy to do that. Just email us with the details and we will make it happen.

What’s this in the Terms and Conditions about security deposits?
We have to pay a £1000 security deposit to Thames Luxury Charters. In short, that’s to cover them in case we trash the place. To deter any of the less mature amongst you from such idiocy, we’ve made clear in the Terms and Conditions that if anybody does anything to lose us that security deposit, then they are culpable for the amount they cost us. So if you throw a £70 life-support jacket overboard, you’re paying for it. It’s that simple.

Who’s gonna stop me doing that, huh?!
The 6 security guards we’re legally obligated to provide for the night. Don’t worry – they’re not heavies, they’re fully qualified and perform security details for the ExCeL Centre and London Expo, for instance. We will be placing our trust in them to make the right decisions. They’re not there to stop people having a good time; they’re just there to make sure you don’t cost innocent people some money, lead to injury or worse.

What about the cosplay? Any restrictions?
Only a couple of very small ones. If you’ve cosplayed at a convention before, you’ll be familiar with the first rule – NO REAL WEAPONS. No wood, no metal, no glass, nothing hard enough to leave a bruise. Also, all props must be less than 3 feet long, for safety reasons.

Secondly, we’re on a boat. It’s narrow in places and we’re not stopping, so you can’t run off to the shop for fix-‘er-up supplies like gaffa tape.  That means you should wear something that isn’t especially delicate and, for goodness’ sake, nothing excessively large, long or potentially dangerous. Exercise a bit of common sense and you’ll be fine though.

Any theme for the cosplay?
We’re not imposing a theme per se but we would like to politely recommend semi-formal. Anybody who’s been to the excellent Grand Cosplay Ball will understand what we’re looking for. If you want to do Naruto and Bleach, we can’t and would never stop you from doing it, but we’d prefer a more regal nature to the costumes. Also, L from Death Note is not a cosplay. Just sayin’.

What are the drinks prices like?
They’re standard London pub prices, thankfully, so no need for a second mortgage. A bottle of Magners Cider is around £4, for example. There are two fully-staffed bars, so hopefully you will be well oiled by midnight!

Will there be food?
Short answer, no – we won’t be catering the event other than the bars being open on both decks, so they may have crisps, nuts, etc.

We’ll check with the Dixie Queen’s operators if there are any restrictions on bringing your own food aboard and let everyone know well in advance. A safe bet would be to eat heartily beforehand though!

Hey, my question isn’t covered here!
That’s not a question but you can try asking us something specific by emailing us at cosplaycruise@gmail.com – we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!