Fun games to play whilst on a cruise holiday

Tuesday, 18 July 2023

If you’re looking at enjoying a cruise in 2024 or you’re planning to enjoy a cruise in the coming years, then we’re sure you’ve done your research about all the activities and entertainment onboard. On our two ships, Ambition and Ambience, you’ll never get bored of things to do with a selection of wonderful bars and restaurants, a spa, a gym and wonderful Palladium, which plays host to shows throughout the day and into the evening.

READ MORE: How to organise your evenings whilst onboard an Ambassador Cruise

However, nothing can beat a great board or card game among friends or family whilst enjoying an Ambassador cruise. In this article, we take a look into some of the best games to play on a cruise, is your favourite featured?

Fun games to play whilst on a cruise holiday:

  • Rummikub
  • Monopoly Deal
  • Uno
  • Dobble
  • Bananagrams
  • Playing cards


Originally released in 1977, Rummikub is a popular board game that is played across the globe; the aim of the game is to be the first player to eliminate all their tiles by forming them into a set of runs and groups. Tiles may be laid in runs of consecutive numbers of the same colour or groups of the same number in different colours.

Rummikub might not be as well-known as the likes of Scrabble, but it is a competitive game that is great for those looking to enjoy a game or two whilst on a cruise. Rummikub comes in a compact case, so it is perfect for packing into a small suitcase or handbag.

Monopoly Deal

Monopoly Deal is like its counterpart, traditional Monopoly, but is quicker and more compact, perfect for those travelling or those who want to carry it around with them on their person. Monopoly Deal is much like normal Monopoly with different streets, stations, landmarks and colours, but the game only lasts 10 minutes or so, so it is quick and easy to fit in around a meal or before an evening performance at the Palladium.  

Uno and Uno Flip

Uno and Uno Flip are great card games that can be played between two players all the way up to a maximum of ten players. Each player has seven cards; each card has a different action on it; the aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards before the rest of the players. But don’t forget to say ‘UNO’ when you only have one card left. Otherwise, you’ll have to pick up the whole discard pile!

Cruise Mummy speaks about UNO as a great game for cruisers on her blog: “UNO is a classic card game of matching numbers and colours. The aim is to be the first to 500 points by being the first to get rid of all of your cards, scoring points for any cards which remain in opponents’ hands. A key part of the game is that you must remember to shout ‘UNO’ (which is Spanish for one) when you have only one card remaining. UNO comes with wild cards such as draw two, skip and reverse. The latest version of the game also includes fun customisable wild cards where you can make up your own forfeits or bonuses and write them on the card.”


Dobble is a fairly modern card game that is great for players of all ages, including children, so ideal if you’re enjoying a multi-generational cruise. Circular cards each have eight symbols on them, one of which matches on every single card, like a simple game of snap, the aim is to find the matching symbol on your card and on the card from the pile and shout it out, get rid of all of your cards and you’re the winner. A test of memory and speed, this fast-paced game can get heated but is great for those looking to fill a bit of spare time.


This fast and frantic game is much like traditional Scrabble, but each player has to complete their own game to win. Each player takes 21 counters and has to make words with them all; if you get stuck, you can swap counters out, but the aim of the game is to get rid of all your counters by creating words.

Lyndsey from the blog Me, Him, The Dog and A Baby wrote a review of Bananagrams on her website, commenting the following: “We had so much fun playing Bananagrams, and it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It all depends on which letters you get and how quickly you can make them into words. Bananagrams is a great game to get you thinking, to keep your brain going, and, of course, to be a bit competitive with the other players!”

Playing cards

Playing cards are a staple for those going on a cruise and should be packed in every suitcase. A pack of cards can be turned into so many different games, so it is very versatile. Try games like Crazy Eight, Rummy, Cribbage and Blackjack for something a little different; there is a game that will suit everyone.

If you’re planning to enjoy a cruise with Ambassador, whether that’s a mini cruise from Newcastle, a Canary Islands cruise or a world cruise, why not consider purchasing and packing some of these great games to play whilst onboard? For more travel articles and inspiration, make sure you check out our cruise and travel blog.