Star Trek Cruise Log 2: TNG Cast Jokes About Bad Episodes, Connor Trinneer Says To Get Over Trip’s Death

The second day of Star Trek: The Cruise VII had the ship speeding its way toward Aruba. On a day at sea, a ship becomes its own little world, and this floating convention filled itself with Star Trek panels and themed festivities for passengers to enjoy on their first full day on board.

TNG panel pans “Sub Rosa” and “Code of Honor,” praises positive impact of series

The event no one wanted to miss was the Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion panel. Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, John De Lancie, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, and Wil Wheaton stepped on stage to fans roaring with love and appreciation.

The discussion was driven by fan questions and some of the funniest moments came when asked about episodes that didn’t work for members of the cast. When asked about  “Sub Rosa,” Gates McFadden had the crowd laughing with her sardonic take:

Gates McFadden: Are you suggesting that “Sub Rosa” wasn’t a typical TNG script and having sex with a ghost lamp was unusual? Is that your implication? That Beverly wasn’t always running around in a night gown and drugged out of her mind waiting for Ronin? When I read that script in the seventh season, I absolutely went “You’re got to be kidding me.” After all these seasons, we find out that all the women in the Howard family had sex with the lamp. Seriously? It did put into question a lot of Beverly’s behavior. In retrospect I would have probably played every single episode differently had I know that was her arc.

Denise brought up the infamous episode  “Code of Honor”:

Denise Crosby: Unfortunately I bore the brunt of an episode that is so distasteful and horrible that I cannot mention the name, otherwise I suffer.

LeVar Burton suggested the episode “read better than it filmed,” but Crosby doubled down.

Denise Crosby: Not really. I remember walking the set and thinking: What in the hell is this? There’s no way this will get on the air. They can’t be serious. Why are they doing this? Is anyone listening?

At other points, the panel got more serious, like when as a fan who had dealt with Autism told Brent Spiner how much his performance as Data meant to them. The usually jokey actor got a bit serious, talking to them about what this meant to him:

Brent Spiner: I understand. I really do. I’m so glad that Data existed for you know, I’ve said this before, and I had no idea that there were people with Asperger’s and other things who were relating to Data because of his difficulty in grappling with humanity and with emotion and so on. I’m just so glad it happened. I had nothing to do with it, really, other than being there and being the lucky guy who got to share that with you.

The subject of how Star Trek had a healing effect on many fans was brought up multiple times and Wil Wheaton noted, “We are extremely aware. And it is one of the great privileges that comes with the work.”

LeVar Burton had a surprising take when asked if he’d ever injured himself wearing Geordi’s VISOR on the show:

LeVar Burton: In the first season, I bumped into shit, yeah. I think the only thing I hurt was my ego. I learned to navigate without being able to see my feet by using landmarks on set. After 45 minutes or an hour I would get a little bit of a headache so I liked to take it off whenever possible. But I do know that it made a better actor of me. It really helped me develop my voice. I think one of the reasons why I love reading aloud so much is a result of wearing the VISOR for seven years and one movie.

The subject of improv came up a few times during the panel. Gates McFadden pointed out how strict things were on Next Generation, saying she only got two little comic lines into the show (on “Data’s Day” and “The Big Goodbye”). Brent Spiner agreed they were strict with the words, but noted that producers and directors were “generous in terms of how we interpreted the words.” When asked if he could reveal what line Q was going to say to Picard when he pulled away from a whisper in the final court scene in the series finale, John de Lancie revealed that one of his most famous moments was actually an improv:

John de Lancie: We are all schooled in being able to do things that get sent out into the ether and people like you go, “Oh my God, what was that about?”… It’s an actor’s trick. It was an improv.

Perhaps the biggest crowd cheer came from a bit of an improv moment from Wil Wheaton, when asked what question he would like to get from a fan. The actor said:

Wil Wheaton: To whom should I write this $10 million check to? … To whom do I write the check to make Star Trek: Legacy happen?

Brent Spiner helpfully replied, “That would be CBS.”

The TNG panel played to a packed house

Connor Trinneer talks death of Trip

Later in the day, Connor Trinneer hosted a more intimate event he calls “The Hot Seat,” in which he brings a cast member on stage in the lounge and takes them on a deep dive into their career and personal life. This time, Trinneer invited John Billingsley to be his honored guest (and occasional victim). Billingsley recounted his time playing many unsavory characters, spoke highly of his current efforts to help the needy through Hollywood Food Coalition, and revealed that Dr. Phlox was likely the character he appreciated most throughout his career. When the Enterprise finale was brought up, Trinneer’s comment about Trip was simply “He’s dead. Get over it.”

John Billingsley and Conner Trinneer at STTC7

“He’s dead, get over it.” – Connor Trinneer on Trip Tucker

Day 2 gets heavy on science and deep on people

There were tons of activities to keep fans occupied while out at sea….

T-shirt party with Star Trek stars

Passengers opting to simply go up to the Lido deck to enjoy the pool and sun were treated to a “T-Shirt Party” hosted by Chase Masterson in which Trekkies wore their brand-new Star Trek Cruise VIII shirts and enjoyed free cocktails.

Chase Masterson hosting t-shirt party

Chase Masterson is a gracious host at the poolside t-shirt party

Chase’s dancing was backed up by an enthusiastic Nana Visitor and Dominic Keating, eager to join the fun.

Dominic Keating dancing

Dominic Keating eager to join the fun

Science experts get the spotlight

Aboard the Mariner of the Seas are the “Federation Advisors,” people who’ve used their expertise to enhance Star Trek from behind the camera. Knowing that many Trekkies have a deep appreciation for the real-world applications of science within the show, Star Trek: The Cruise gives these advisors a platform to share their contributions with the fans.

First up in the morning was “The Year In Space” with Dr. Erin Macdonald. Covering the major topics in astronomy from 2023, Dr. Macdonald talked about how advances in telescope technology can not only show new information about the makeup of the universe but will compel us to go back and re-examine older data, often changing the context completely. Going forward, according to Macdonald, satellite-based telescopes such as the JWST can observe distant galaxies without needing to filter out the Earth’s surrounding background noise, bringing back a level of detail previously impossible. This new data revises our understanding of the formation of our own galaxy, going all the way back to the Big Bang.

Dr. Erin Macdonald and a big bang theory illustration

Dr. Erin Macdonald briefs the audience on the Big Bang theory

Immediately following the space panel was “From Viidian to Phage: The Real Biology Behind Depictions in Star Trek: Voyager” by Dr. Mohamed Noor. Noor’s presentation started off by highlighting why the years in which Voyager was produced made it perfectly timed to show off then-current topics in genetics and gene research. Using clips from the show, and some modified classroom materials, Noor illustrated how Klingon forehead ridges could change in intensity between different generations due to the traits being brought on by dominant or recessive genes. Broadly, Star Trek: Voyager presents believable science behind its stories, though Noor stopped short of speculating on how crossing Warp 10 could mutate two people into ambulatory catfish.

Mohamed Noor and Voyager highlights

Dr. Mohamed Noor illustrates what was happening in genetic research at the same time as Voyager’s production

Later in the day, at a panel titled “From Starfleet to Mars and Beyond,” Mike and Denise Okuda presented a slideshow and oral history of their work advising on Star Trek and other space-related sagas. By knowing the real-world space program in such detail, the two have a long track record of being able to make fictional future worlds more believable.

A close look at the real people behind the characters

The evening gave fans a chance to see a more personal side of their Star Trek guests. Anthony Rapp presented a concert of pop songs, pulling some of his favorites from the ’70s through early ’90s. He dedicated the selection to anyone struggling with loneliness, particularly queer people in unsafe life situations. A noticeable chunk of the front seats were occupied by Rapp’s castmates from Star Trek: Discovery, who attended in support of their colleague and friend.

Wil Wheaton had the opportunity to finish the evening with a reading from his book Still Just a Geek. While Wheaton approached the podium with his characteristic humor and wit, he was very up front about the fact that the stories he was about to read were his true-life experiences of child abuse and exploitation, and that the process of working through these things was extremely difficult for him. This event was listed on the schedule with a content warning, one of the only events to do so.

Wil Wheaton reading at STTC7

Wil Wheaton sharing difficult memories with a supportive STTC audience

Sci-fi partying

In between events and panels, and while drifting between parties, passengers could embrace the evening’s theme “A Salute to Sci-Fi,” which opened the door to dress from any science fiction saga or franchise. You can see a selection of some of the cosplay below…

Keep cruisin’ with TrekMovie

Check out our Day 1 cruise log for more on the launch party with cruise captain Sonequa Martin-Green. TrekMovie is also providing updates on Star Trek: The Cruise VII on Twitter and Threads. Here’s one from today:


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Oh boy. Some day I’ll have enough time to board one of these cruises, just not this year.

Same my friend but for me it’s money. Maybe I’ll be able to afford the 2045 cruise lol.

LOL it’s always a little bit of everything isn’t it?

Plus I’m guessing I would gain 15 pounds on one of these cruises.

if I can manage to stay alive,I might be able to afford a cruise in 2185!

I’ll wait for – 2265 – Celebrating the Tri-Centennial of Star Trek on the Fhloston Paradise Cruise Line!

Looks like fun.

That flashy guy next to the robot is from some old movie or comic. Anyone know which?

I believe you’re referring to Doctor Chaotica and Satan’s Robot, the baddies from Tom Paris’ “Captain Proton” holodeck programs.

I will not get over Trip’s death because it never happened. That finale isn’t canon and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise.

Hello, I was on the Star Trek cruise and the autistic fan who Brent talked to was me. I appreciate that you thought our interaction should be shared and I found it very sweet. However, you got two things wrong. I do not have “Asperger’s” I am autistic. I never said I had Asperger’s, I said I am autistic. The second thing you had no way of knowing, which is that I use they/them pronouns. If you see this, I hope there is a possibility for an edit as I do not want people reading incorrect information about me.

Thanks for the feedback. I’ve corrected your pronouns and changed the context of the article to say autism. Brent apparently, mistakenly, said “Asperger’s” when talking about it, so we’ve left his quote as-is.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate that