We all remember the silly “Duck, duck, goose!” game we played as children. There’s a new game in town (or at sea!) and it’s become a huge craze!
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ve certainly experienced the fun of finding a cute towel animal waiting for you on your bed when you return to your cabin each evening. If you’ve cruised within the past year or two, may have seen something a little strange OUTSIDE your cabin, sometimes in the strangest places: little yellow duckies hidden throughout the ship. And if you did, you might be wondering “what in the world?”, right?
The evasion of the Cruise Ducks is real … no one is really sure how it started or when. I mean, seriously, who ever thought that hiding a small yellow duck on a cruise ship would start such a frenzy! But now this craze is wildly popular and it’s considered a big deal when you or your child finds one! (Just for fun, do a search on Facebook for Cruising Ducks, which has over 25,000 members. The page is also a great resource, especially for those looking for templates for the “Passports” many use to tag their ducks.)
So, what’s this Cruise Duck craze all about? Here are some tips on where you can buy them, how to hide them, and how to find them – just in case you want to join the fun!
The idea behind Cruise Ducks is pretty easy: people buy ducks, then hide them around the ship in hopes that others will find them. Often, the ducks will have a cute little note or “passport” attached, asking that their benefactor be contacted when found and that a picture be posted on a specific Facebook group (yes, they track the whereabouts of their ducks!). In almost all cases, the ducks will be tagged with the name of the ship and the date of the sailing, making them great souvenirs!
Although some very creative people make cute little ducks (I’ve seen some adorable crochet ducks!), most of us buy them. They are easy to find and inexpensive. (Try your Dollar Store’s infant isle, Amazon or Oriental Trading Company). You’ll be amazed at the variety of styles available!
There aren’t any real “official” rules about hiding the ducks, here are a few guidelines:
* Avoid places where a gust of wind might send the duck flying into the ocean.
* Given how many children enjoy searching for the critters, avoid using obscenities on the attached notes.
So, where do you hide/find them:
People get pretty creative when it comes to hiding these little guys. Check any greenery in a public place to see if any little quackers are hiding within. Or, if you want to make sure you’re duck finds a new home, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find one at the RedFrog Pub onboard a Carnival ship in the nooks and crannies of the fake palm trees.
Check signage for various venues around the ship or peeking out from behind furniture in the atrium – you will often see one resting gingerly atop the sign.
I wasn’t particularly creative when hiding my ducks on my first attempt -- I hid them in the corner of elevators, on the computer screens in the Wi-Fi café, on top of the ATMs, and on the corridor banisters. It really doesn’t matter where they’re found: the person who finds one is going to be excited to look down and see a little yellow quacker dude hanging out at their feet.When a duck is found, you have a difficult decision: do you keep it as a souvenir of your cruise or, after taking a picture and posting it wherever the tag indicates, do you re-hide it for someone else to find? There’s no right answer, so do whatever works for you. If you do find a duck with a tag asking you to report the find, please do take a picture and post it on the appropriate Facebook page. It’s fun to see where these silly things wind up!
The whole idea behind the ducks, of course, is to brighten your day and make you smile, even as it raises the hackles of others. Some people have complained about finding them onboard and have made some pretty ugly threats against the poor little quackers if found! Others have written to Carnival’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, and asked that they be banned from the ships! Seriously? These folks truly NEED their cruise! Not to fear, though, none of the ships has any intention of banning the little yellow ducks from joining the fun! John not only assured his Facebook followers that the ducks were welcome on board (“Hide them. Find them. Have fun with them,” he wrote), but assured would-be hiders that “most” of the crew members knew not to throw them away if they came across them.
So, I’m curious:
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