How to Decorate for a Cruise Ship Theme Party

by Gina Scott
Provide separate sections for socializing at your cruise ship theme party.

Provide separate sections for socializing at your cruise ship theme party.

Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images

Party themes add spice to an otherwise typical get-together. A cruise ship theme is a perfect choice for a bon voyage party or any summer gathering because its decor is festive by nature. The key to a cruise ship party is to recreate the fun atmosphere on the boat. Several additions to your party transform your setting into another world on the sea.

Items you will need

  • Plywood
  • Buoy and life vest
  • Life Savers candy
  • 4-8 round picture frames
  • Leis
  • Drink umbrellas
  • Shot glasses
  • Chaise lounges
  • Beach towels
  • Casino games (blackjack, roulette)
  • Nautically-themed plates and napkins
Step 1

Transform the entrance into the gangplank of the ship. Make a slight ramp out of plywood to create the effect that guests are entering the cruise ship from the pier. Hang a sign over the door that uses your last name or some other play on words to name your cruise, such as "Anderson Adventures." Greet people at the door with leis and drinks decorated with umbrellas to add to the festivities.

Step 2

Dress up like the typical employees of a cruise ship. The party's host and hostess make a great captain and cruise director respectively. For even more fun, take on the characters of the popular television show, "The Love Boat." Humor your guests with impersonations of Doc, the ship doctor, or Isaac, the bartender.

Step 3

Divide the party into different sections representing all the things you do on a cruise. Create a deck in your backyard with chaise lounges, mock shuffleboard and beach towels. Mimic the entertainment area of the ship by creating a small dance floor and play disco music. Make sure you also have a bar area even if it's for serving non-alcoholic drinks.

Step 4

Position life vests and life preservers around the party as decorations. Use them as centerpieces on tables that you have set up throughout the different rooms for mingling. Locate round picture frames and hang them in various rooms representing different floors of the boat. For example, print pictures of the same sea scene and place that photo in two frames in one room. For another room, print blue wavy pictures for the frames as though you were in a cabin underwater. Also, hang cutouts of sea life on the walls, such as fish, dolphins and seagulls. Blue balloons and fresh flowers are readily available decorations that will portray the celebration of a cruise.

Step 5

Serve your food buffet style. Some cruise ships serve many of their meals informally. Give your party this same feel by setting up your food in a buffet and gather some fun nautical plates and napkins to go along with the theme. Decorate the tables with balloon bouquets and use nautical elements for serving your cuisine. Place a bowl in the middle of a life preserver to hold chips and use over-sized seashells for holding utensils, napkins or food items like rolls.

Step 6

Send your guests home with personalized party favors. A roll of Life Savers candy with a special thank you note and reminder card for your next party is a simple favor idea. If you want to spend more effort, have shot glasses printed with the date and name of your party. Perhaps you can start an annual cruise party tradition.

Tips & Warnings

  • Set up casino games like blackjack and roulette to entertain your guests.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

Photo Credits

  • Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images