a short skit by Ted Boretti
A couple new to cruising visit the cruise director to learn about activities. They find out there may be more to do on board than ashore at any of their island destinations.
Print a copy of the complete skit below with discussion questions for the facilitator. It includes the list of characters, props you might need, description of the setting, copy of the skit, and some follow-up discussion questions.
- Introduce the skit and then ask participants and/or staff to read the different parts. Print large-print copies of the skit for the readers/performers. Give each character a copy and have them highlight their role. After reading the skit, follow up with the discussion questions.
- Plan a short performance. In addition to the large-print copies of the skit for the readers/performers, you might also need:
- A special program. Customize the one we have prepared with the name of your group (on the front) and your list of characters and other information (inside). Note: If your printer doesn't duplex, print the program front, then reinsert the paper and print the inside.
- A special sign to advertise your performance.
- PHYLLIS STRUTT: the cruise ship's enthusiastic and knowledgeable cruise director
- LESLIE and WILL: a couple new to cruising
- Desk and chair
- Two chairs in front of desk
- White polo shirt for the cruise director
- Tropical shirts and vacation wear for the cruising couple
The cruise director is behind a desk.
~ CURTAIN OPENS ~
PHYLLIS STRUTT, the ship’s cruise director, sits behind a desk. A couple, LESLIE and WILL, approach and sit in the chairs in front of the desk.
LESLIE: Is this where we can inquire about cruise activities?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Why, of course it is, sweetie. I’m your cruise director, Phyllis Strutt, and I’m here to answer all your questions and fulfill your wildest cruising desires.
WILL: Like a genie in a lamp.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Ha! I like you. Are you married? Just kidding, sweetie. I’m more like a genie on a cruise ship. And you two have picked a good one. The Opulence of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in the world.
WILL: I know. It took us nearly thirty minutes just to find this desk. We got lost somewhere down below. We opened a door and found a Zamboni smoothing an ice rink.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Why you must have been aft on Deck 9. That’s where you’ll find the ice-skating rink.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: We have a lot of passengers from Scandinavia. They seem to feel more comfortable if they have a place where they can escape the warm Caribbean breezes and enjoy the cold.
LESLIE: That makes sense, I guess.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: You betcha. Not to mention each night we have our very own Ice Capades show. We’ve got just about everything under the sun on the Opulence.
WILL: We have a question about our first port of call, Saint Diana Island. Can you recommend anything to see or do there?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Ahhh, Saint Diana. Beautiful. There’s an awful lot to see. There are waterfalls. Rock climbing. Zip lines through the rain forest. Beautiful beaches. Calypso music. Pineapple plantations. Unfortunately, there’s no possible way to experience it all in one day.
LESLIE: We’ve never been to Saint Diana before.
WILL: We’ve never been to the Caribbean.
LESLIE: Or on a cruise ship. This is our first time.
WILL: What’s the one best thing to do in Saint Diana?
PHYLLIS beckons to the couple to lean in closer.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Want me to let you in on a little secret?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Skip it.
LESLIE: Skip Saint Diana?!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Shhhh! Sweetie, keep it down. I’m giving you the inside scoop. The crime on the island has gone from bad to worse. You’ll likely get sick from the water or any food you eat. Everywhere you go, people will be overcharging you. Anything you buy will be junk. Why bother with all that when you can stay on board?
WILL: But I don’t want to miss seeing the island.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Don’t worry, sweetie! On the Opulence, we can bring the island to you! On Deck 11, you can climb to the top of our artificial waterfall, then take a zip line eighty feet off the ground across to the poolside bar on Deck 9, where you can enjoy our ship’s signature pineapple daiquiri. And it isn’t just any ordinary pool. We haul in fresh sand every morning to simulate a sandy beach. Best of all, the sand is heated from below by sensors on the deck, so if the weather is a little iffy, we can close the glass ceiling, turn on the artificial sun, and heat up the beach sand.
LESLIE: That sounds nice.
WILL: But what about the Calypso music?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: I would be happy to arrange for our onboard Calypso band to play all your favorite songs by the pool. Just tell me when you’ll be there and send me a playlist.
WILL: That does sound pretty awesome.
PHYLISS STRUTT: On board the Opulence of the Seas, we like to say, “That sounds opulent!”
LESLIE: Honey, maybe we will skip Saint Diana and just get off the ship in the Catamaranos. Phyllis, can you recommend an onshore excursion there?
PHYLLIS STRUTT makes a sour face.
WILL: We’ll get sick?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Let me begin by saying that the Catamarano Islands are world famous for their miniature flying golden lion monkeys.
WILL: Ooooooooh. I love monkeys!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: And then there’s Dolphin Cove where the wild dolphins let you ride upon their backs.
LESLIE: Honey, swimming with dolphins!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Not just swimming, sweetie, riding. They’re like little bucking broncos of the sea. Unfortunately, the Catamaranos have been overwhelmed by a malaria epidemic. You won’t hear about it in the news because the island economy is so dependent on tourism that the Catamarano government is keeping it hush-hush.
LESLIE: Can they do that?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Yes. Just like the Catamarano military can confiscate all your camera film at gunpoint before you reboard the ship so that photos of the crisis don’t get out. It’s sad but true. It’s best you just stay on board.
WILL: You don’t think we can just wear lots of bug spray, not take any photos, and then see the monkeys and dolphins?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: I have a better idea. Visit our Biodome on Deck 22. We have a state-of-the-art, walkable rain forest complete with trees, plants, tropical birds, and, of course, Catamarano miniature flying golden lion monkeys. Our cruise cameramen will photograph the monkeys sitting in the palm of your hand, on your head, or in your shirt pocket. If you still want the authentic island experience, we can confiscate your photos and you can even wear bug spray, even though there are no bugs. So it’s even better than the rain forests of Catamaranos.
WILL: That sounds opulent!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: That’s the ticket! I knew I liked you. Are you married? Just kidding.
LESLIE: What about the dolphins?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Aft on Deck 27 you can visit our Aquacircus, where you can swim with sharks and sea turtles.
LESLIE: But no dolphins?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Sweetie, first you can swim with our dolphins, then you can play water volleyball with them. They’ve been trained by the experts. I’ve played them myself a few times and I’ve never won. Let the trainers know and the dolphins will go easy on you.
LESLIE: Volleyball with dolphins, honey!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Now doesn’t that sound…
LESLIE and WILL: Opulent!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Goodness gracious. I can barely keep up with you two! And you say you’ve never cruised before.
LESLIE: By the time this cruise is over we won’t want to go home.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: And you won’t have to. Where are you two from?
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Don’t you mean “The Paris of America”?
LESLIE: Wow. Not many people know that nickname.
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Well the reason I know it is because Deck 31 boasts our own miniature Cincinnati, complete with a scaled-down bridge to Kentucky, the Cincinnati Music Hall, the Cincinnatian Hotel, the famous Shillito Department Store, Great American Ballpark, and a complete recreation of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
WILL: That’s where we live!
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but if you take a look around, you might even be able to find all the comforts of your home sweet home. 142 Carroll Avenue, Apartment 3B, if I’m not mistaken. Isn’t that…
WILL: I was going to say “creepy.”
PHYLLIS STRUTT: Sure, it may feel creepy at first. Our ship is more like a small floating planet than a boat. But trust me, after a few days, you’ll start to forget there are even islands out there worth visiting. You may even forget the outside world even exists. That was the goal we had in mind when we built the Opulence of the Seas. Welcome aboard!
~ END SCENE ~
- Have you ever been on a cruise ship? What kind of a cruise did you go on? Where did you visit? What was the ship like? Does the idea of going on a cruise appeal to you?
- It seems as if this cruise ship, the Opulence of the Seas, has attempted to make life very convenient for its passengers by bringing all of the possible adventures of the islands on board. What do you think are the pros and cons of having such elaborate conveniences? Do you think it is a good thing the passengers never have to leave the ship to have a good time?
- Of course, such a massive cruise ship as the Opulence of the Seas does not exist in real life. But if a ship like the one described in this skit did exist, would you want to take a cruise on it? Do you think you would enjoy the opulent amenities described by the cruise director?
- Some cruise ships today do offer such things as ice-skating rinks, zip lines, mini golf courses, and rock-climbing walls, as well as dozens of different restaurants, shops, and cafes. If you could add one elaborate amenity to a cruise ship, what would it be?
- Visit your local travel agency for some cruise brochures to pass out and discuss during the activity.
- Show this YouTube video of a virtual tour of a cruise ship.