10 Games I've Cruised With Most... feel "free(style)" to add yours
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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Have you ever stepped into the Library or "quiet" room on a cruise ship? That's usually where they have a cabinet, or maybe a bookcase with a shelf of games on it. They're usually an abysmal selection of Monopoly, Scrabble, and Cluedo. More recently though, and to my surprise, I did see a copy of Settlers of Catan on one ship. But more often than not, if you want to play something different, you'll need to bring it yourself.

Now primarily what you're hopefully taking a cruise for is not to play boardgames. For that matter, if you don't cruise much, I would recommend your first one be about relaxation, exciting outdoor excursions, and seeing new places. But between excursions, shows, naps, spa treatments, port of call shopping, maybe some onboard gambling, and never ending buffets, there's always time for a quick game, especially on a sea day. Some play even better with a martini in hand.

I've taken these games on cruises as they travel well and play fast. I think an important consideration for cruise ship games are easy rules sets. You'll probably come across other interested onlookers who you may want to invite to a quick game, and being able to quickly explain the rules is a plus. Small size is also an important consideration. Some of these games, more than others, are a staple on every cruise I take. Unlike my usual fixed Top 10 lists which I lock in only games of my choice, feel free to add the games you've brought with on a cruise and why.

(For those wondering about "freestyle" in the title, it's a type of cruising where there are no set mealtimes, seating, or dress codes for the most part. You set your own agenda on the ship. Many of the larger cruise lines have gone to this type of cruise ambiance. I'm a fan of "freestyle" cruising.)

MY META-LIST OF ALL MY TOP 10's GEEKLISTS IS HERE: Something for Everyone!
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1. Board Game: StreetSoccer [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1690]
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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This one's a staple that's come with me on every cruise I've taken. Granted it's only for two, but it's a fast playing soccer game that my wife will play. And over the years she's gotten better to where we're evenly matched now. I've gotten a few head turns playing this in a few different places on board ship. And it draws the attention of international guests even more given the sport.
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2. Board Game: Kahmaté [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:6974]
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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Recently cruised with this one. Plays fast given you're only trying to score once. We had a few rules questions pop up that I had to check BGG for, but unless you have a WIFI package, you'll need to wait till you dock to get coverage on board at sea.
 
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3. Board Game: Age of War [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1468]
Ubergeek
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Washougal
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This one plays great even spread out in big lounge divans in some of the onboard bar areas. Bring a small dice tray along for all your dice games makes dice containment easier. A bonus is this will support lots of players so it's a good one to make gaming friends with.
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4. Board Game: Le Fantôme de l'Opéra [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1458]
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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I used to bring Mr. Jack along (see below) but more recently brought this 2-player game. It's a good pastime in the room between you and your significant other and is very thematic, so it helps if you like Phantom of the Opera.
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5. Board Game: VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1399]
Ubergeek
United States
Washougal
Washington
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Brought this along last year and have mixed feelings. Played okay with just the two of us but I think it would benefit from having more players. Again, one that makes good use of the dice tray but you'll need writing utensils to track your rolls. I laminated the score cards so one dry erase pen took care of that issue.
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6. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:573]
Ubergeek
United States
Washougal
Washington
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I've had this one on three cruises and it's a conversation starter. Find another couple and it's a short rules explanation and you're off and playing with new friends. The advantage of this one over the Iron Age is the box is smaller and easier to travel with.
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7. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:278]
Ubergeek
United States
Washougal
Washington
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I found this to be a great two player game on board. It played well in the room and at the bar. And it's another one that will grab the attention of card play aficionados in the vicinity. Its small size makes it a staple on any cruise.
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8. Board Game: Run, Fight, or Die! [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1149]
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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This was a new one I took with this year, only because I hadn't played it and it was small. Go into this game expecting that everyone will die. Usually, everyone does, or someone does sooner than others keeping play time down. Good for lighthearted game play with a non-serious gaming group. Found it a bit dull with just 2 players though.
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9. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:341]
Ubergeek
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Washougal
Washington
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Another one that travels in your pocket and suitable for large group or family play should you need to entertain relatives on board ship. I'll be taking this one with on future cruises as well.
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10. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:415]
Ubergeek
United States
Washougal
Washington
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One of the first games I brought on a cruise, more recently replaced by Le Phantom above. Good for just the two of you with a glass of wine and a catered meal to your room.
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11. Board Game: Quiddler [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:2883]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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We even played this in the waiting area at the dock before boarding the ship. Small size and pretty much no table footprint is the reason for this one. And it's easy to teach to non-gamers who wander into the game room on the ship.
 
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12. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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This turned out to be appealing to a couple passing by our gaming table. We quickly taught it to them, and they caught on immediately.
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13. Board Game: Spite & Malice [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:6312]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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I have no idea if this is the same game we play. It's just three decks of regular cards, jokers included. It's a quick no-brainer while waiting for a meal, a show, or a port landing. It's more than simple to teach to anyone.
 
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14. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:740]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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Takes no luggage space to speak of. But does need a buffet restaurant table to play.
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15. Board Game: Archaeology: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1117]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Easy to pack, easy to teach, easy to play! After spending the day exploring the ruins on one Greek island or another, this just seems like the perfect game to play!
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