Monday, September 23, 2019

Shiver Me Timbers | Pirates on the Potomac

Years ago we took our nieces and nephew on a Pirate Adventure in Annapolis. It left us with such a positive feeling, that five years later, when we were considering what to get S for his birthday we decided to do another pirate cruise. This time, however, we opted to leave out of Georgetown.

When we made the reservations, I cringed at the late September sailing date. I imagined a cold and dreary day at sea. In fact, yesterday was perfect sailing weather and if anything I was wishing for overcast skies to provide some relief.

The pirate adventure followed more or less the same script as the one from five years ago. There was a simple story of a run-away pirate who stole the keys to the treasure. The kids had to man the water canons on the side of the ship to convince the wayward pirate to give up the keys. S enjoyed the water guns and exploring the boat. He brought along a foam pirate sword, and did a bit of swashbuckling with other kids who had brought their own pirate weaponry. At one point, all the water guns were occupied and S couldn't get in on the action. One of the staff members took S's hand and helped him find a spot; it was really sweet.

While the experiences were both positive, we recall the cruise from Annapolis was done better. I suppose it was about some of the small touches: they gave each kid a pirate name, and did a little dress-up and face painting before boarding the boat. Once on the boat, they managed to maintain the kids rapt attention. The whole thing made for a more immersive experience. I've got no idea if the Annapolis experience is still this good. And it sure is hard to beat the convenience of driving to Georgetown over Annapolis.

Most importantly, S had a ball. And when it came time to pick the treasure that he'd take home he was decisive: he selected two packages of Smarties. He wasn't interested in any of the plastic schlock. He's smart enough to know that good old fashion candy is where it's at. Smart man.

If you're looking for a fun activity for your 4 or 5 year old, a Pirate Cruise is hard to beat.

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