Cruise lines have added escape rooms -- interactive experiences in which people are "trapped" in a room for a set period of time and can only "escape" by solving a series of puzzles -- to their already dizzying array of onboard activities. If you like solving puzzles, here are four seafaring escape rooms you should try on your next cruise.
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Updated October 10, 2019
1. "Escape the Rubicon" Puzzle Break on Harmony of the Seas
Located outside of the kids club, "Escape the Rubicon" on Harmony of the Seas is a space-adventure-themed Puzzle Break escape room. For a fee, four to 12 players can climb aboard the S.P.S. Rubicon, a "steam-powered starship" that is scripted to lose power and quickly find itself in danger, forcing participants to solve a series of puzzles in order to restore Rubicon's power source.
The 60-minute experience is so challenging that fewer than 30 percent of groups manage to escape in the hour. But fear not: Just like in land-based escape rooms, an employee is there to provide hints, should you need them.
Royal Caribbean Itineraries
Rhapsody of the Seas7 Night Western Caribbean CruiseTampa, Key West, Grand Cayman , Cozumel, Costa Maya, TampaNow
Mariner of the Seas3 Night Bahamas & Perfect Day CruisePort Canaveral , Nassau, Perfect Day at CocoCay, Port CanaveralNow
Liberty of the Seas7 Night Western Caribbean CruiseGalveston, Cozumel, Grand Cayman , Falmouth, GalvestonNow
2. "Escape From the Future" Puzzle Break on Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas
Like "Escape the Rubicon," the "Escape From the Future" Puzzle Break lets up to 12 players attempt to solve a series of puzzles to escape the room in an hour. The differences are that "Escape From the Future" is free to play, and it doesn't come with a narrative. The crew member manning the escape room can help provide clues, but you're on your own without much direction when the timer starts.
The puzzles your team has to solve to escape include crosswords, sudokus and mysterious pictures and codes. As time passes, the answers will help you move forward to find your key. Almost as challenging as "Escape the Rubicon," only about 40 percent of groups are able to successfully escape in 60 minutes.
3. "Escape the Big Top" on Norwegian Escape, Breakaway, Getaway, Epic and Encore
If you're sailing on Norwegian, make sure to fit "Escape the Big Top" into your schedule. This escape room has multiple teams competing against each other at once, while working on a series of several puzzles, as opposed to one group all working together to solve a single puzzle.
"Escape the Big Top" doesn't have its own room; rather, each ship hosts it in an existing entertainment venue, allowing passengers about an hour to solve as many puzzles as they can. Cruisers can sign up to play for free at each ship's onboard box office.
Norwegian Cruise Line Itineraries
Norwegian Sun5 Night Caribbean - Western CruisePort Canaveral , Costa Maya, Cozumel, Port CanaveralNow
Norwegian Sky5 Night Bahamas CruiseMiami, Key West, Great Stirrup Cay, Freeport, Nassau, MiamiNow
Norwegian Jewel7 Night Alaska CruiseVancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, SewardNow
4. "Phantom Bridge" on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess
Passengers on Princess Cruises' Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess can take part in the "Phantom Bridge" escape room while at sea.
Developed through a partnership between Princess Cruises and Discovery, Inc. as part of the line's Discovery at Sea programming, the largely digital 23-minute for-fee experience allows groups of up to six people to choose puzzle complexity, allowing for more than 700 possible outcomes.
Princess Cruises Itineraries
Grand Princess15 Night Hawaiian Islands cruiseSan Francisco, Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui, Ensenada, San FranciscoNow
Regal Princess7 Night Eastern Caribbean cruiseFort Lauderdale , Princess Cays, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Fort LauderdaleNow
Royal Princess7 Night Mexican Riviera cruiseLos Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Los AngelesNow