The popularity of the escape room concept has been growing steadily in recent years and has become an exciting activity for families and groups of friends to try. Most cities around the UK now have at least one of these and, in even more recent times, they have made their way onto several cruise ships too.
If you’re not familiar with the idea of an escape room, it’s basically a claustrophobe’s nightmare. A team of people (numbers can vary) are locked inside a room and have a set amount of time (typically an hour) to try and get out. To do so, they must solve various different clues inside the room to eventually crack the code/find the key and open the door. Most escape rooms will have a theme, establishing you and your group as characters like scientists, astronauts, wizards on their way to Hogwarts or anything else that fits the story.
As more and more ships are including these real-life puzzles amongst the things to do on board, we take a look at some that you should definitely give a go.
Royal Caribbean has added escape rooms to seven of its ships thus far: Anthem, Ovation, Harmony Symphony, Independence, Mariner and Navigator of the Seas. On board the two Quantum class vessels, you will get the chance to play ‘Escape from the Future’, a puzzle concept that is themed around space and astrology, and that tasks you with completing Sudokus, crosswords and other brainteasers to locate the key. This activity is free and is located in the teen area known as Fuel.
The escape rooms on the other ships are available for a small fee, but you shouldn’t let this stop you trying them on your next sea day. Harmony of the Seas is home to ‘Escape the Rubicon’, where you’ll be transported to another world in order to secure your escape before oxygen levels are exhausted. Meanwhile, ‘The Observatorium’ can be found on board the newly refurbished Navigator, Mariner and Independence of the Seas, as well as Symphony of the Seas. This story turns things on their head a bit, switching it so that you’re not trying to escape but to save the world from an impending asteroid strike.
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL has taken a different approach to their escape room concept, taking over a venue used for something else rather than hosting it in a dedicated space. The location will change depending which ship you are sailing with, but the story is the same. Entitled ‘Escape the Big Top’, this puzzle-breaking experience pits teams against each other in real time, rather than just having one team trying to get out. A circus magician from has cast a spell on the audience (you), making them invisible, and it’s your job to help the ringmaster solve the clues to uncover the three magic words and return everything to normal.
So far, this interactive experience is available on Norwegian Breakaway, Getaway, Epic, Escape and Bliss.
Although Princess Cruises has been operating a ‘pop-up’ escape room for a few years, guests will be pleased to hear that a brand new, digitally enhanced puzzle experience is planned for new ships Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, set to launch in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Named ‘Phantom Bridge’, the activity will be the first ever cruise ship escape room to combine virtual and physical elements.
The cruise line have said that there will be 700 different possible outcomes, meaning there are plenty of reasons to play again and again. Taking over the ship, players will navigate using digital controls that have been disguised as real ones, taking the vessel to various different periods in time to try and save the day. Projections, touchscreens and physical elements will all be used to create an immersive game that will feel realistic and exciting. New clues may even appear from nowhere, so there’ll be a need to keep your eyes peeled at all times. This is certainly one escape room that we can’t wait to try.
If you would like to try any of these escape rooms for yourself, we can help you book your cruise on any of the ships mentioned above. Call the team on 0800 035 0701 or get in touch via our contact form.