“Gator! Did ye sign the waiver?” the captain of the Treasure Seeker called from above as a guest of the ship stood below him, tied up, an orange life vest around his neck. A few minutes before the first-mate had informed us that orange was a shark’s favorite color.
The guest the pirates had dubbed “Gator” (due to his hat whose design featured one) nodded as part of the ship wall swung open to reveal nothing but a steep drop into the ocean. Urging him forward a few steps at a time, he stopped suddenly when the captain dumped a bucket of sea water on his head instead of him having to walk the plank.
To be honest, I really would’ve loved to see somebody walk the plank.
You don’t really get more adventurous than pirates — so when I saw Hawaii News Now did a story on a new tour called Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures in June, I knew it was something that I needed to do this summer.
The pirate crew is really great — the actors seem to improvise most of their routine based on the guests and their interest or reactions. My family and I were expecting more of a set show — like more of a plot, I guess, with a little more structure that relied not so heavily on us — but the crew was really enthusiastic and made for a great time.
They learn the names of a lot of the people on board and talk to you like you’re a part of the crew as you sail to find treasure (which you do — it’s out floating in the water and they pull it up on deck half-way through the ride). They even give nicknames. I was wearing a red checkered shirt, and I received the nickname “Little Red.” Jake had a yellow shirt on and for a while he was “Big Yellow,” until they saw the small rhino on his polo, which he was later dubbed.
“Don’t be afraid, Rhino! You’re bigger than half the crew!”
When the bell sounded, you were to assemble at the main deck, and when the crew yelled, “Get back to work!” you were free to roam around the ship. That didn’t stop the crew from finding you though — they too would walk around and chat amongst the guests, still in pirate character. One pirate called Hammer Head brought around a mop for some kids to swab the deck.
There’s also a galley beneath the main deck where you can buy drinks and snacks, swords, eye patches, and different color pirate bandannas. Kids get a free bandanna and eye patch, and it’s just really adorable to see them all decked out and ready to pillage.
I think it’s a pretty fun excursion. Kids love it. They also have a night tour, but we went out during the day. I would be interested to see the difference. Be sure to look out for their Groupon deal if you ever want to check it out for yourself!