How to Pursue No-Cost Cruising Souvenirs
Who? Me? Only
if you think there’s something strange about packing a fluorescent
highlighter in my tote bag. What
for? Why, to mark my
shipboard daily schedule of activities of course.
“Walk a Mile.” Check.
“Pool Games.” Possibly.
but only if there isn’t a sports theme.
“The Newlywed or Not-So-Newlywed Game.”
Never—my husband just won’t cooperate.
so it goes… I highlight the onboard activities with a purpose. Are
you catching on? I’m a
cruising pirate. I want
STUFF. You know, the
booty—those logo prizes that are only earned or won.
No one can buy my pink and gray denim cap embroidered with
the “Norwegian Cruise Line” logo, the heavy-duty Princess
Cruises commuter mug that fits the cup holder in my car so
perfectly, or my Royal Caribbean 50’s night “Greaser”
tee-shirt. I earned that last one by lip-synching “Stop In the
Name of Love”—my husband unkindly suggested I was the only
contestant old enough to remember Diana Ross & the Supremes, but
that didn't stop me.
My treasure trove
is stuffed with key rings, caps, visors, shirts, cups, mugs, waist
packs, bookmarks, totes and beach bags, umbrellas, and t-shirts.
Whew! What haven’t I
acquired? Well, there’s
that most coveted of all shipboard prizes, the Carnival “ship on a
stick.” My chest wasn’t
hairy enough, nor are my knees exceptionally knobby, so I had to
pass on those contests. And,
while I carted tap shoes and sequins to participate in the
ubiquitous passenger “talent” show (on a heaving show lounge
stage!), I didn’t earn a prize. Not
even a consolation gift, although technically it wasn’t a contest.
But back to fun
and games. My favorite is
Novel Quest, a peculiar sort of team competition—a scavenger hunt
without the hunt. Participants
must come up with the demanded item without leaving the room.
Pretty simple when a picture of Honest Abe is requested.
However, it’s slightly more difficult (and hilarious) when
the Cruise Director requests a pair of men’s boxer shorts…
without the man inside them. Does
anyone play this game on land?
Liar’s Club and the Newlywed-and-Not-So-Newlywed Game, a shipboard
adaptation of the popular television quiz show.
It was never so much fun on TV.
is familiar with Trivia. My
cruising pal Judi is a master of esoteric and obscure knowledge.
I mean, how many people do you know who care that Farfel is
the name of the dog in the old Nestlé’s commercials?
Well, Judi cares and it pays off to be her Trivia partner.
Judi’s known to be somewhat picky when it comes to prizes,
though. Not just anything
will do. Like the time on a Holland America Line ship when she won a
lovely mantel clock and wanted to trade it for the less desirable
second prize—a ballpoint pen. Judi’s
practical explanation, “I don’t have a mantel.”
An unwritten rule
of pirating is that you have to use your stuff.
Judi’s husband Michael won a Costa money clip in 1990 and
carries it to this day—he’s never found a better one.
Some passengers gloat over jackpot
winnings in the casino. To me, that’s just money.
I’d rather have something that mere cash can’t buy.
And who doesn’t love their Holland America Line tote bag? I use mine
over and over and over. I
stay dry in the rain with my Celebrity umbrella, sip coffee from my
Princess Cruises commuter mug, and keep my place in the book I'm
reading with a Silversea Cruises bookmark.
All the goodies pictured above were prizes I've earned over the
However, if shopping is your bag, Cruise Diva offers
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Shopping on Your