The Quest for a Ship On A Stick

cruise ship in port

Carnival Splendor

Cruise ships plan entertainment each day, which passengers can participate in if they choose. They all have a daily paper delivered each evening with the next day’s activities. On Carnival they call it the Fun Times. Winners of various competitions throughout the cruise are sometimes awarded the much coveted ship on a stick.  I had heard of these ship-shaped trophies, but never actually seen one.  Before this cruise we had never participated in any activity which offered such a wonderous prize. Tina looked through the daily schedules for things to do because we had to find something to entertain 12-year-old Justin for part of the day or he would spend the entire time on board sliding down the waterslide, which would probably result in one heck of a sunburn.

cruise ship prize winners

winners of the scavenger hunt

On the first sea day we tried out a scavenger hunt. We got quite a few items, but the other teams had more. One team had them all and they won a ship on a stick.  Our first glimpse of this much talked about trophy.  Now that we had seen it we wanted one too.  What sort of mystic spell does this gold colored plastic ship cast that once people lay eyes on one they will go to great lengths to have it?  We got medals for participation even though we came in last place.  The medals are actually metal and of better quality than the trophy yet something that easy to get does not carry the importance of something you have to earn.  Perhaps if the medals were not given out so freely they would mean more.

win this

Carnival Medal

Later we tried Win Lose or Draw.  It came out in a draw.  They divided all the participants into two teams.   The game started with each team making a list of things for the other team to draw.  Then the girl who ran the games picked something from one team’s list for one of them to draw while the others guessed within a time limit.  When they finished the other team got a turn.  At the end of the game both teams had the same number of points so each team received one medal.  No ship on a stick for anyone and the team members had to decide which person got to keep the medal.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that giving medals to less teams in the scavenger hunt and having one for each person on the winning team (if they’d had one) for this game might have made a bit more sense.  Then again perhaps they do give the entire team medals should one team actually win.  I’ve only played that game the once so I really don’t know.

games on a cruise ship

John draws the picture for win lose or draw

Most onboard trivia games are short, individual, and one set of questions on a particular topic and then done.  We went to one called Super Duper Trivia.  This game had teams of 2-10 people.  They say more is better, which to some extent is true because of more brains to come up with answers, but it also means more chances to make the wrong choice when faced with multiple suggestions.  We grouped up with the people around us. Every team had to name themselves so I suggested Random People since our team was composed of all the random people sitting in the same area. One of the other people wanted it to be Brilliant People instead so the team went with that and in doing so probably cursed ourselves to be anything but.

Each team rolled a giant die first for the subject of the question and then again for the number points a correct answer would score. If they got the question wrong the next team could steal if they came up with the right answer.  If not that question died and did not pass on to a third team.  If it had things might have gone differently in the end as we knew the answers to several questions that we never had a chance to answer when two other teams could not.

competition on a cruise ship

Justin rolls the giant die

Justin became our official team roller. He rolled 6 for the points and we got the question right, starting the game with a lead since we were first to go. Nobody else got 6 points of their own the first round, but one team missed their question giving the team after them a chance to steal, which they did.  The team that stole that question got their own question right and jumped into the lead. They got another steal or two in later rounds as well which put them well ahead of everyone else.

Meanwhile we had no opportunities to steal and missed a couple of our own questions so though they would not say who had what for points or where each team stood we knew we were nowhere near the top of the pile.

When time ended for that day they said we had to come back for part 2 the next sea day.  About half of the people from the first day’s team showed up for the finale, everyone wearing some sort of Carnival swag as it was worth 10 points if everyone on the team had some.   At least some of the people from each team came back so we did not move up in the ranks due to any whole team not returning.  We wore the medals from the scavenger hunt for our swag and the other 2 returners on our team each had a ship-on-a-stick tucked into a front pocket of front of their shirt, won in a ping-pong tournament.

The rest of the teams had Carnival swag as well, ranging from t-shirts bought in the ship’s gift shop to the beach towels or bathrobes from their staterooms or the pins given by Carnival to returning guests of gold rank or higher.  (Every cruise line has some sort of loyalty program for returning guests.  More cruises means a higher ranking and better perks.)

carnival games

the girl running the trivia game

The schedule in the fun times did not say the trivia game that day was a continuation of a previous game so some new people showed up.  The newcomers banded together forming their own team called a song and a prayer as that’s about all the chance they had of winning.

All through the second day we were cursed with low rolls for the points, though we did get all but one question right and even managed a steal.  Justin knew the answer to one question when nobody else did.  One of the questions asked where to find Mount Olympus.  Though we gave Greece knowing they wanted that answer I did add in that Washington State has one as well.  The girl in charge looked skeptical and said she’d have to look that up sometime.  At the end of the game she listed off the team scores, last to first. The new team came in dead last. We were second to last. The team with the early lead continued their lucky streak of points and steals throughout the game and took first.

She had a number of prizes from ships on a stick to medals to champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to award. Everyone kind of thought she’d give something to the first place team and then work down from there awarding something to second and maybe at least third, but no, she gave all the loot to first. Did one team really need both medals and ships on a stick for the same game? Yeah, she probably should have at least given the medals to second place even if first got everything else. (We were 5th and expected exactly what we got – nothing.)  Perhaps that scavenger hunt just left me with a biased opinion of the medals and they aren’t as easy to get as I initially thought.

Another time we tried a trivia game at the Red Frog Pub, which also had groups, but just the people you came with.  Games in the Red Frog must be really popular because more people showed up than they had chairs in the room.  We didn’t win that one either, but I don’t think the prize was a ship on a stick anyway.

cruise ship trophy

Finally my very own ship on a stick!

On Grand Turk day I noticed they had Harry Potter trivia that afternoon and since Justin and I got back from the beach in time we decided to play since I thought I’d have a good chance there.  He just came along for something to do.  Each person got a pencil and a paper numbered 1-20 with a line for each answer. After asking 20 questions and saying the participants would have to help with pronunciation of the answers as she had never read the books or seen the movies, the girl from Carnival went through the list of questions while whoever got them right (or thought they did) shouted out the answers.

cruise ship prizes

Justin poses with the loot – and a towel animal

Justin’s paper was blank as he had neither read the books nor seen the movies and knew none of the answers at all. I thought I’d get everything since I have read all the books, but could not on the spot remember things like Mad-Eye Moody’s first name.  Apparently nobody else could remember every obscure tidbit she asked either.  I was the only one to say Hungarian Horntail for the dragon Harry fought in the Tri-Wizard Tournament.  Nobody remembered that the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was Newt Scamander.  In the end I had more right answers than anyone else and  finally won that elusive ship on a stick!

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2015


About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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8 Responses to The Quest for a Ship On A Stick

  1. Ralph says:

    I loved reading this post LB. Congratulations on winning a “ship on a stick”. Yay ! 😀 ❤

  2. I think I like the name Random People as much as the Village People. I’m glad that you can now cross winning a ship on a stick off your bucket list. Congratulations. Who knew that massive Harry Potter knowledge could be so rewarding? Like Justin, I’ve never read the books, either. I’ve seen most of the films, but have minimal recollection of them. I did enjoy them while watching. I have seen Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway twice and once, in Equus, full frontally naked. Pardon the pun, but that took balls and I think it helped him escape any Harry Potter typecasting.

    • Funny isn’t it how people use balls as an expression of toughness, yet that is probably the most vulnerable part of human anatomy in existence. The Harry Potter books were much better than the movies. The books always are. Books go into so much more detail than a movie has time for. I was glad they had the Harry Potter trivia because it was probably the only one I’d ever win. Too bad the other people in the super duper trivia didn’t like the name Random People because as it turned out we were a lot more random than brilliant.

  3. Art Downing says:

    Congratulations on winning your “Ship on a Stick” and I hope you have it on display in a prominent place in your house. Keep posting your always interesting blogs.

  4. chris says:

    Sounds like they asked some really obscure questions for the Harry Potter trivia. I have read all the books but might not have got any right. It has been a while since I read them though.

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