The cruise was great, the port stops (Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten) were fun and we had a BLAST playing Pickleball on the sea days. We had brought along 3 portable nets and tape to mark the courts. The Allure of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship on the high seas and has a sports court which accommodated three Pickleball courts. We met players from Washington and Florida that joined our group. Once our group got out on the court it was amazing how much attention we gathered from other passengers. Most knew about the sport and wanted to play while others wanted to know the name of the sport. The courts were fully reserved for our group from 8 AM to 11 AM on each of the three sea days.
The Royal Caribbean staff also caught on to the game very quickly. Because we had paid to rent out the court there was always at least one Royal Caribbean person with us to ensure other guests knew this was a private event. This staff member ended up playing Pickleball while watching for other guests coming on to the courts. That was fine with us because we want Royal Caribbean to adopt this game on their ships. It is a great sport and we think that having it available to play on a cruise ship is a perfect match. It was funny to see the Royal Caribbean staff wanting more time to be with our group so that they could play more Pickleball! Even though none of them had ever played the sport previously they were athletic enough to pick up the game quickly and play competitively with our group. We talked to the sports manager after our last day of organized play and he seems excited to try encouraging the Royal Caribbean corporate office to add this as a new sport on the ship. We will be working with our Royal Caribbean Business Manager and Corporate to also convince them to add this sport to the ship’s activities. Royal Caribbean has the best sports programs on cruise ships but most of their sports don’t appeal to passengers that are 50+. Pickleball appeals to all age groups and would be a perfect new ship sport activity.
We will be setting up future Pickleball cruises for 2018 very soon and will post our 2018 Pickleball cruises. If you have a Group that may be interested, please feel free to contact us.
Thanks to Sun City Peachtree, Florida, Seattle, South Carolina and Peachtree City Clubs for your support and helping us promote the great game of Pickleball on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas!
Greg & Sharon Conrad
Peachtree City Pickleball Club Members