After the cruise industry resumed sailing from North American ports in July 2021, all cruise lines had to make major changes based on the covid pandemic. Some were obvious like vaccine requirements, masks and added cleaning protocols. Capacity was also limited and social distancing was enforced (as far as possible on a cruise ship).
Many popular activities have been changed or canceled to comply with these rules, which are mandated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Events like dances, parades, and anything that caused people to gather in an enclosed space went away. That included things like laser tag on ships that have it, because you can’t play without bumping into people.
Even on huge ships like those of the Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) – Get a free report Oasis class ships, events were compromised due to CDC related rules. It was unpleasant, but necessary given the situation on board and on land.
That started to change when the CDC started easing and then dropped its pandemic-related rules. In July 2022, the CDC stopped regulating cruises, leaving the cruise lines somewhat beholden to the ports they stop at, but mostly leaving them completely unregulated.
After that, most of the lost activity came back, sometimes first in a modified form, and later exactly as it was before the pandemic. However, a very popular activity did not return even as all the pandemic-related rules and precautions began to disappear.
That led to fears it wouldn’t be coming back, but finally some Royal Caribbean ships have offered “The Quest,” a popular 21-plus scavenger hunt.
What is ‘The Quest?’ from Royal Caribbean?
“The Quest” varies based on who’s leading, but it’s a mildly mature (sometimes very mature) game/competition designed to be riskier than traditional cruising activities. Several teams compete to be the first to get each requested item.
A message board member on the Royal Caribbean Blog, which is not affiliated with the cruise line, described it this way.
“It’s basically a giant scavenger hunt within your team. On Oasis, it was in Studio B. There are about 6 couples who are team leaders, and the cruise director calls out tasks – things to find in the audience or things to accomplish. For example 6 women’s bras, or 3 laces tied together. The team leaders have a card with their number on it, and once the task is done/found, they run to the cruise director with the item and the card, wave it in his face The fastest teams get more points,” shared HMills96.
Another poster, Jerel, put it this way.
“Basically, it’s an adult-oriented game show where people like to make fun of themselves,” he wrote. “It won’t be long before they ask for girls to wear red thongs and prove it on stage, or even ask a captain to produce 4 bras, many women will quickly rip them off by the way. It’s also pretty much guaranteed to get men dirty with seeing each other dancing and/or hairy men dressed in women’s clothing.”
Royal Caribbean is slowly bringing back ‘The Quest’
When virtually every other activity had been brought back and “The Quest” hadn’t returned, some people feared it would quietly disappear. It’s definitely an activity that doesn’t really align with the company’s family-friendly business model.
Now, however, some members of a Royal Caribbean Facebook group have posted about “The Quest” returning on their sailings (with some evidence of the event being announced on the Royal Caribbean app).
“Look what’s on Brilliance tonight, supposedly the first time on a ship since Covid,” shared Thomas Anglin, who provided a screenshot of the app.
A number of group members also mentioned that the game show has been on multiple Wonder of the Seas sailings.
“Wonder transatlantic had it,” posted Nick Miyar.
“We had it on Wonder a week ago. Every cruise director will claim the first one,” added Scott Leonard.
And while “The Quest” appears to be returning, it’s only appeared on select ships so far. However, it seems that once a ship brings it back, it becomes a regular part of every cruise (usually the last night), just as it did before the pandemic.