Date played: Saturday, December 30, 2017
Number of players: 11
Max number of players possible for this room: 12
Public or private game: Public
This escape room was located on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas cruise ship. I was excited to see that this was something offered to guests, since to me it’s a perfect idea to have an escape room on a cruise ship. It was also only about $9.00 per person, which is a steal compared to all other 60-minute games I’ve seen.
We booked our spots in the escape room through the RC website, where you can book all of your on-board activities. There wasn’t a lot of information provided, but I of course knew I wanted to play regardless of what the scenario was.
The room is located next to the kids’ club area, which worried me a little. I was afraid it would be too simplistic to be enjoyable if they were catering to a very young crowd, but there was at least some age limit listed when booking. (I don’t recall what the cutoff age was.)
The Game Master met us in the lobby area outside the escape room and went over the general rules, and then walked us inside. We had one person in our group who was in a wheelchair and they had an accessible entrance for them. There were no rules against taking pictures/videos inside, and we were able to bring any personal belongings with us (although most people didn’t have much, given that it was on a cruise ship.)
I have no recollection of reading any storyline on the website when booking the game, or of the GM giving us much to begin with. Thanks to http://www.cruisecritic.com I am going to share the apparent storyline below, but I honestly had no clue what the plot was while we were playing and could never have told you what it was even afterwards. The story for this room is as follows:
“Four to 12 people “board” the steam-powered starship, the S.P.S. Rubicon, which very quickly experiences a power outage, leaving it tumbling in space dangerously close to the sun. Participants have 60 minutes to get the power and navigation back up by solving a variety of puzzles and finding necessary props.”
Thank you again to http://www.cruisecritic.com for this content!
The first thing I was not a fan of was the fact that the GM was in the room with us the entire time. To me, nothing kills the feeling of immersion more than this. I understand that in this setting it probably makes more sense for them to operate this way, since most people playing on a cruise ship have likely never played a room before and they need to make extra sure that nothing gets damaged. But it was not my cup of tea.
I will also admit that my experience was dulled by having such a large group, and one that included some enthusiastic teens. This is not technically a fault of the room, except for maybe the fact that they don’t cap the room at a smaller group size, but it did affect my experience. I was not about to wrestle a puzzle away from anyone, so it meant that I ended up only getting to participate in 1-2 puzzles during the game. I am in the camp of people that enjoys escape rooms more for the puzzle-solving experience than the social experience, so the games I enjoy most are the ones where I feel I get to DO a lot of stuff, and in too large of a group, that’s just not possible.
I don’t remember if we were given a set number of clues to use or not, but I don’t think it really mattered. With the GM in the room, people basically ended up asking for guidance regularly. He was good about not being too specific most of the time, but in general it just felt like too much of a crutch to have him in there the whole time giving even small pointers.
The puzzles themselves were pretty good. They stayed at about a medium level of difficulty and they were logical and fair. There was one puzzle that took a few seconds to “register” once it was solved, so the GM had to step in and make sure we didn’t keep fiddling with something once it was correct so that it would work properly, but other than that things ran smoothly.
There was no real wrap up to the game, other than getting a picture taken. We solved everything, so there was no walkthrough needed, and they didn’t give out stickers or anything. My feeling when leaving was basically a shrug of the shoulders.
Play This Room If…
-You have some time to spare
-You can keep it to a small group
-You don’t mind a lack of plot/storyline to the room
Skip This Room If…
-You want a very high-quality escape room experience
-You want a challenge
-There’s no line at the buffet
Overall rating: 3 out of 5
Company website: http://www.royalcaribbean.com