After you’re done roller skating, riding bumper cars, and wiping out on the surf simulator on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, sign up for Puzzle Break, an activity in which you can stimulate your brain as well as your body.
Seattle-based Puzzle Break created the "Escape From the Future" game especially for Anthem of the Seas. Introduced in April, the game invites up to 15 passengers — mostly strangers — to work together as a single team ... to escape a "locked" room. (Don't worry: The room isn’t really locked.)
At the start, you and the rest of the group watch a brief video with only a few basic rules and the scantest of instructions detailing what’s about to happen. You'll be given one hour to figure out the puzzle. Then, a game leader starts the clock, and you’re off!
Chances are you’re also very confused.
To be successful at this game, you need to be able to keep your cool, even when confronted with dozens of contradictory clues, images you’ve never seen, and languages you don't understand. But that’s the point.
Here’s what we can tell you without spoiling the fun: You’ll be turned loose in a space filled with unfamiliar objects that, upon closer inspection, seem to relate to each other. Figure out how they relate, and why, and you’ll get closer to solving the puzzle and “escaping” the room.
The keys to this game are simple: patience, an open mind, and a group big enough to make it interesting. It won’t work with just two or three players — it’s collective knowledge that solves the puzzle — so make friends on board, and recruit them to play along with you.
The content isn’t scary or suggestive, and all ages are allowed, though kids younger than 11 or 12 might not have the patience to follow along.
Puzzle Break is typically offered twice during a cruise, but it may be available more often on longer sailings. The challenge is complimentary and played in Fuel, the ship’s teen club. You can’t reserve spots ahead of time, so check for game times in the daily Cruise Compass newsletter, and arrive early to secure your place.