Carnival Spirit: Notes on Trivial Pursuit

Another sound cough, another day off.

(Slightly related: don't you hate when you're in the middle of telling off a student and you start coughing, and you think it will go away with a few delicate barks as you continue your speech, but no, it's a bend-from-the-waist and give over to the gods kind of deal, not that you can stop the telling off for this - pause once and they just turn around and talk to each other - so now you have tears down your cheeks and a cough-cough every few words as you unwrap the cough drop and pray for the end of the sentence soon, soon, and some kids look worried and some are debating whether to risk a run with the "teacher's crying!" jab, and the one you are telling off will only stay told off for ten minutes tops anyway, and no wonder this recovery is taking forever, with the stress and misery and naps in the stairwell, and then there's also the lingering bits of illness itself.)

Back to my phone for more notes from the last go on Carnival Spirit.

Trivial Pursuit

On Spirit, this is the multi-day trivia. Have the highest score after three days, get a ship on a stick. (As opposed to getting a ship after each trivia session... yeah, I know. But we just care about the trivia. And the seven or so ships we brought home, yes, but mostly the trivia.)

First we were Team Hamster. Then Team Balcony. Then Team Vegas. I swear we're not cruising again without coming up with five less-obvious team names first. But! The next cruise will be back to Splendor for The Return of the Spa Cabin this summer (yes, yes, yes!), so perhaps we'll be too busy in the aromatherapy room to have people think we're cheaters because we know Elton John's real name and who Farrokh Bulsara is. (Okay, so we're Queen fans, yes, but I don't think the Elton John question should've prompted a "Who knows this stuff??!!" from people in their 40s/50s.)

Gratuitous Elton John link?

One problem with the trivia on this cruise was that so much of it seemed to be scheduled during the brief period that the dining room is open for lunch, then there would be a dead zone in the afternoon.

Trivial Pursuit was quite full, probably because it immediately followed sports trivia. I'd say we had about 15 teams playing of 2-6 people each.

So, Team Vegas won the first day! And was immediately booed. WTF, people? The second time, Team Bay Area - four young women from San Francisco who scooped most trivia events - won. We had a lot of great competition on this cruise - it really seemed like the ships on a stick were being given out right and left, and everyone who regularly came to trivia surely got at least one if not more. (I think Bay Area won at least a dozen or so.) Plus, things like multi-day Super Trivia ran concurrent with other trivia games, so it's not possible to win every trivia trophy. Later in the week, though, a family that had only been to a couple trivia games, one of which we'd won, got upset after we won again and started muttering things like, "Way to spread it around." I'm glad I didn't hear as I get a bit pissy at the idea that better players should sit out.

(Plus these people were just idiots - they became offended when there was a question about a country with a violent event involving a sport spectators, and Mike suggested the answer could be India. He wasn't saying India was the only place with crowd incidents at games, but heaven knows Mike has shown me article after article over the years of Throngs Gone Wrong in India after an event. Er, not because he's some kind of India-hater, but because he madly follows cricket news. Here: 1996, Cricket World Cup, match actually abandoned and awarded to other team after angry India fans can't control themselves. And that was with 6000 policemen present. Nobody is saying that violence is exclusive to India - ridiculous - but in the context of the question, India was a fair guess, and anyone protesting that no-no-no, such things don't happen in India, isn't going to win any ships on a stick unless more people than the two of us sit out. Not to mention the irony of being a poor sport after arguing that people of your cultural heritage are never poor sports.)

On the third day, the last sea day, of Trivial Pursuit, Pip announced that we'd be playing for double points. Arrrgh! Scary, but exciting as it meant people who didn't do well on the first two games or missed a game could now catch up. Believe me, Mike and I were scratching hasty notes to one another on our scratch pad with speed and exclamation points. Too many times we disagreed, or convinced the other then started doubting ourselves, often changing our answers once or twice. The tension! The drama!

And because we'd been the last to register our team name on the first day, Pip asked for our point total last. Tension and drama! Bay Area had stumbled hard, but many others had made leaps.

(But we still won by miles.)

This time there was some clapping as people quickly got up to leave. (With a laugh I thanked everyone for not boo'ing this time, but I don't think anyone heard me as the shuffle to the next thing was on.) We would've done better without some of those second guesses (that's what everyone says), but despite Regis Philbin's standard advice to Millionaire players, some of the second guesses saved us. The theme was Animals (Mike had actually begged Pip earlier in the cruise not to make it sports), so I like to think we were rewarded for being critter people.

We each got a ship on a stick, as did the runner-up. Huzzah! Even though Trivial Pursuit has the worst odds of any trivia game if the prize is your goal, it's a very satisfying win to have played so long against so many. We were certainly humbled enough times in other games to not mind the ego stroke, either.

But next cruise? Thalassotherapy.

02 April 2011 |



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Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)