We’ve all had slide or DVD nights with our pals to relive our cruises, but how many of you have faithfully recreated the ships buffet for your evening?! Well, my obsession is such that I successfully recreated Independence of the Seas’ Windjammer buffet when we got together with friends to share our cruise pictures last year.
Most of the food choices from the ship were present; such as the Jade oriental counter, the fast food, salad, sushi and of course the desert choices, creating a real fusion of culinary styles giving an authentic cruise buffet overloaded plateful of food. It was all laid out just like on the ship with hot plates mimicking the serving stations, cutlery wrapped in napkins and other little touches. The only things missing were the queues and the spectacular views over the back of the ship. We welcomed our friends into the mock Windjammer by lining up like the waiters at the start of service and clapped along to ‘We Will Rock You’ – just like we’d experienced on the ship – and then gave them a squirt of hand sanitizer to make them properly feel like they were on-board! It was silly fun that gave us all a good giggle and added to the theme of the evening.
This year I was trying to think of a way to top the Windjammer experience. After some thought I decided it probably would not be possible to recreate the Rock Britannia promenade party, the ice shows or The Quest game show from the ship. Instead I focused on another thing we always enjoy with our friends on-board – the quizzes and games.
After much deliberation and many changes of direction, I settled on the idea of creating a cruise related board game. Weeks later and after much hunting around toy, model, art and craft shops trying to find all the bits I needed, I came to the conclusion that it would all have to be self made. Before I’d even settled on the design of the game itself I’d decided I wanted to use mini ships as the counters. I didn’t want basic cut out pictures, so instead set about making them out of kids modelling clay. Four two inch long ships made up the fleet, representing a cute Cunard liner, a baby RCI super ship, a diddy Celebrity Eclipse and a mini P&O Ventura. I spent several evenings obsessing over the smallest of details, including adding the surf simulator and mini golf course to the RCI ship. It was actually very therapeutic and my wife said she’d never seen me so quiet or engrossed in any task!
The board and cards were designed and printed on the PC quite easily. The game itself ended up being a simple dice game where you ‘sail’ around the board trying to collect passport stamps from the various cruise destinations. Along the way there were all sorts of pitfalls and bonuses to be had, with mini dice games thrown in for good measure including shuffle board and mini golf, as well as a few quiz rounds.
By incorporating many of the memorable and funny events from the cruise into the random chance style cards, I managed to recreate some of the emotions and experiences we’d had on the cruise. It personalised the game, brought it to life and helped to bring our memories flooding back. It was a great precursor to the excellent DVD slide shows both couples had prepared and added a quirky dimension to another fun cruise reunion night.