10 Reasons You Want to Play Pub Trivia Aboard Ship


If you’ve never played pub trivia, now is a good time to take the plunge. To start, buy into the concept British homes are generally smaller than yours. The neighborhood or village pub serves as the community living room. People show up in the evening to socialize. Organized pub trivia nights are just one of the ways they keep life interesting. If your ship has lots of British people aboard, chances are there’s plenty of scheduled trivia games in the pub.

Trivia? What’s the Deal?

People initially form spontaneously into teams. Some stay together for the entire voyage. Others are dynamic, newly forming at every session. The moderator might read a group of twenty questions. Groups write their answers on one sheet, which is swapped with another group for scoring once the sessions are completed. The moderator rereads the questions, everyone shouts what they think is the right answer. The moderator gives the correct answer. Yays and groans follow. Finally, the moderator asks the room: “Who has ten or more correct?” Hands go up. This continues until one team is left, with maybe 18 correct answers. Applause follows. Everyone disperses. All this takes about 30 minutes.

What are 10 Reasons I Should Play Trivia?

OK, maybe you aren’t sold yet. Here are some reasons why this makes sense.

  1. It’s an incredibly easy way to make friends. When six people meet for the first time and ponder questions, social barriers disappear. During your voyage, as you arrive early or stay after the game enjoying a drink, you gradually learn your teammates are really interesting people.
  2. They have several games each day. The British love their trivia! Expect morning, afternoon, early evening and late night games. The evening game might be music trivia. The early evening game fits in nicely when the ship is quiet before the dinner seating.
  3. Everyone knows something. As an American, you have American history and geography down cold. You might be stumped in sports or some other category, but you will know your stuff if your team members are Brits, Canadians or Aussies.
  4. No one knows everything. You might think the only people who play are brainy people who sound like Wikipedia on legs. Even if someone knows the colors of every country’s flag, there are questions that stump them. It levels the playing field.
  5. Technology is forbidden. No one is allowed to use Smartphones or tablets. Even if they could, shipboard Wi-Fi is often spotty or slow. There’s usually no cell service, because there are no cell towers in the ocean. It’s brainpower only.
  6. Celebrities behaving as normal people. Cunarder, the magazine for World Club members of Cunard, will occasionally profile celebrities who’ve sailed their ships. You discover some head down to the pub and join trivia teams. Anecdotally, we’ve heard the celebrity lecturers presenting talks on the Queens do the same.
  7. You’ll have highs and lows. You will be convinced of an answer, sway your teammates and score the winning point. You will be convinced of an answer, face down your same teammates, persuade them they were wrong and discover they were right after all. No risk, no reward.
  8. Do you need an excuse to get away? You’re chatting with someone who is boring. Maybe the lecture is putting you to sleep. Your friends just want to sit in the hot sun all day. It’s easy to look at your watch and say: “I’ve got to get down to the pub for team trivia. They are depending on me.”
  9. You will meet incredibly well traveled people. You’ve always wanted to go to Bali. One afternoon, there’s a quiz question and Bali is the correct answer. One of your teammates knows this because they’ve either visited Bali on vacation or actually live there. Now you have a resource who can tell you everything you want to know.
  10. Do you believe urban legends? It’s been said years ago, a group of friends regularly sailed the world cruise year after year. They formed a team for the pub quizzes. Over time, one of them died. It’s been said they actually ran an ad in the New York Times seeking a replacement quiz team player willing to book the world cruise year after year! 

When you cruise, you will discover you have more free time than you ever imagined. Trivia quizzes, announced in the ship’s daily bulletin, are an interesting way to fill the time.

Story courtesy of Bryce Sanders. 

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