Cruise lover? Here are five hilarious ways to pretend you're at sea - at home

While cruise lines are still waiting for permission to sail in SA waters, fun-loving cruisers can get their fix by recreating some iconic touches at home

07 March 2021 - 00:00
By Sharon Waugh
If you can't attend a massive dance party on your favourite cruise, make like Sharon Waugh, pictured right, and throw one in your living room.
Image: Norwegian Cruise Line & Sharon Waugh If you can't attend a massive dance party on your favourite cruise, make like Sharon Waugh, pictured right, and throw one in your living room.


It's not a cruise without a gala evening, so invite some friends over, throw on that evening gown you've been dying to wear and snap some pics. If your partner refuses to wear a tie, deny him access to the dining room.

Theme nights are another beloved aspect of cruising. NCL is known for its Glow Parties and White Hot Parties, MSC has a White Night, Carnival has an '80s Rock'n'Glow Deck Party and Royal Caribbean has a Black & White Party. Disney is a little less conventional, with a pirate theme for its main-deck party. In addition, you will likely find a selection of '60s, '70s, '80s, Country, Latin and Caribbean parties sprinkled throughout the cruise (dependent on the itinerary). By now, your dance moves could likely use some polish, so throw on some neon, a white outfit or an eye-patch, snap a glow stick and cut a (living room) rug.


Creative towel creatures left on your bed are another quirky perk of days at sea. I always promise myself that when I get home I'll learn how to make them — and then I don't. Now is the time. There is a YouTube tutorial for everything. Think of the friends you could impress!


Shuffleboard courts are the Where's Wally of cruise ships. It seems that every ship has one, often tucked away in a strange corner. Before cruising, I had never heard of shuffleboard and I still don't know any South Africans who know how to play it. If you're determined to win a cruise-line-branded souvenir or maybe a trophy, prepare now. There will be a tournament in your future and victory could be yours.


Experienced cruisers will not have found this business of hand-sanitising whenever you enter a public space all that strange. Several cruise lines have been practising this high standard of hygiene for years. The difference is that when someone sprays sanitiser at you on a ship, they often sing a song at the same time. NCL's Washy-Washy song ("Washy washy, happy happy, smiley smiley") comes in various forms on other lines, and it has become an on-board tradition across whole fleets. The next time I go for groceries, I'd really like to hear a song. In fact, I hope it becomes as viral as the thing it's trying to protect us from.


Cruising always involves getting to see Broadway-quality shows, and now you can enjoy them at home. Disney has made some of its shows — including Tangled, Beauty and the Beast and Frozen — available on the Disney Parks YouTube channel. NCL is creating a docu-series called Embark. The first episode showcases The Choir of Man, and the second has a selection of songs from on-board shows including Jersey Boys, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Kinky Boots. Bon voyage!