Cruising Ducks; Spreading Fun & Joy on a Cruise

“Joy is the highest expression of love.” -Abraham Hicks

After 17 cruises over the course of 14 years, our 18th cruise brought an unexpected, first-time discovery. 

One afternoon, as we waited for the elevator to no doubt head off for another meal, something caught my eye.  Tucked into the ceiling tile right above my husband’s head I spotted colorful paper.  When I reached up to pull it out, it fell to the floor.  What in the world!?

We found our duck on Super Bowl Sunday and took our selfie with our Cruising Duck as we settled in to watch the game.

It turns out that we had found a Cruising Duck!  The duck has a tag that gave an explanation and some directions and since we’ve been home, I have learned all about the Cruising Ducks and joined the Cruising Ducks Facebook group.

I don’t know how we’ve managed to have never heard of Cruising Ducks before, but what fun! 

Have you ever found one? If not, it is so much fun and I’m sure you will want to join in on all the fun. Here is everything you need to know if you’d like to join the fun on your next cruise.

Our first Cruising Duck found on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas on Sunday, February 13, 2022

What is a Cruising Duck?

A Cruising Duck is a simple rubber duckie with attached instructions.  Fellow cruisers bring them on board and hide them around the ship for others to find.  While the ducks are left where other cruisers, like us, can find them I discovered in my research that even ship staff looks for and collects them as well. 

How did Cruising Ducks get its start?

According to the Cruising Ducks Original Group on Facebook, 10-year-old Abby, together with her father, started with 50 ducks which they hid for others to find on their March 2018 cruise.  Their idea was to have some fun and make others smile.  Simple as that!  I love that there are people in the world like Abby who spread joy and remind us all to have fun.  Don’t you?   The world needs more joy!  Thanks, Abby!

Since that time, the kindness project that Abby and her Dad started has spread across cruise lines and others have joined the fun. 

How can you get involved?

It’s easy! Buy ducks, attach your tag, and hide them around your cruise ship. One caution to remember and to pass on; DON’T hide your ducks in shops, pools, or hot tubs, and we don’t want our ducks to accidentally end up in the ocean so don’t hide one where they would be blown overboard.    

What do you do if you find a duck?

Well, lucky you!  Wasn’t it fun to find a Cruising Duck? Now I bet if you’re like me, you want to join the fun! 

As you find a Cruising Duck, a tag will be attached that will provide a call to action.  You can keep your duck or hide it again for others to find. The call to action will encourage you to take a selfie with your duck and post it on social media. Share your duck and the smiles it gave you by posting your selfie to the hashtags on the tag (on Instagram and Facebook). I’ve also encouraged anyone finding my ducks to tag me as well so I can see the smiles that my ducks gave and so I can see where my ducks go on their adventures.

If you don’t have a social media account, no worries!  This is a kindness project that everyone can participate in and enjoy.  It’s all about having fun and sharing joy.    

Where to get your ducks

Oriental Trading and Amazon are great spots to get ducks at a pretty reasonable price.  They have ducks of all sorts from the traditional rubber duckie to ducks that are decked out for any type of holiday if your cruise falls during a holiday. 

Some participants like to hide other things like duck key chains, stuffed ducks, stickers, or other personalized prizes as well so you can spread the joy in a personal way. 

Express yourself with your ducks! Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Tagging your ducks

Don’t sweat it on this part. Remember, this is supposed to be fun! I made my tags (see below) but you can buy tags on Etsy or Amazon (search by using Cruising Duck tags).  Make sure that your tag says, “Keep or hide, you decide,” and gives good calls to action like where to post pictures on social media if you’d like to encourage participating in this part.  I can’t wait for our next cruise and it’s going to be exciting to see where my ducks end up!  

These are two versions of my labels and I’m still tweaking them as I post this blog.
Be sure to let me know if you find one of my ducks!

I know that people who own Jeeps have a similar kindness project.  I often see pictures of Jeep owners being “ducked.”  Every time, I wish I had a Jeep.  Now I don’t need a Jeep.  I can have fun with my fellow cruisers. I also see that some of my fellow cruisers hide 50-100 ducks on their cruises but you hide as many as you wish. No pressure!

Oh, what fun!  I can’t wait to find your ducks and I can’t wait to hide mine for you to find!

Enjoy your cruise and have fun with your Cruising Ducks!

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