As we were driving down Florida’s east coast last month, we stopped in Fort Lauderdale to take a short day cruise with BlueFoot Pirate Adventures.
Our family has taken harbor tours before, but we’d never been on a cruise like this one. It’s a good thing we packed our pirate costumes (although Doug was told he doesn’t look much like a marauder — more like the financier who keeps the rest of us buccaneers afloat). Ha!
We gathered at the dock where “Captain Black Sparrow” regaled us with with tales of daring do on the high seas as we waited for all the other passengers to arrive.
Meanwhile his first mate, “Cannonball Kiki,” painted faces to make sure all the new recruits were properly tattooed and mustached for the voyage.
They gave us a brief overview of safety rules, including what to do in the event of an emergency.
All these rules and regulations were similar to the spiel you hear on an airplane before take off, but delivered with more Arrrrghs and Ahoys and Shiver Me Timbers!.
Then it was time to line up and board the ship.
The kids all sat in the bow of the ship…
… while the adults sat midship or astern.
Cannonball Kiki kept the little ones occupied with songs and stories and games like limbo…
while the Captain entertained the parents with outlandish tales about the huge homes along the coast and the people who owned them (70% of which stories he promised were 100% true).
The nice thing about sitting near the Captain (in addition to his amusing monologue) was the gentle breeze and the fact that the stern of the ship was shaded.
Also the higher vantage point gave us a better view of all those magnificent mansions.
The fun thing about staying with Kiki was getting to sing pirate songs, shoot water cannon, and hoist the Jolly Roger.
The Captain swore the kids in mid-voyage as “Official Bluefoot Pirates” with an oath that included always obeying their parents, doing their chores without complaining, brushing their teeth every day, and never staying up past their bedtime — promises we now have on video, by the way. So thank you kindly, Captain Black Sparrow!
Most of the younger crowd looked to be about 4-5 years old. Our 6-year-old Abigail and 9-year-old Gabriel fit in well enough…
… but our 11-year-old Daniel kept coming back to sit with the adults. He acted as though he thought all the kiddie activities were too juvenile for him.
But when a rival pirate named “Barnacle Bill” showed up in a speedboat, the Captain pressed a soaker gun into Daniel’s hands and commanded him to help defend the ship.
Then Dan really looked alive!
He and his brother Isaac took turns with the water gun (“Sharing is caring” is the Bluefoot Pirate Creed)…
… until Barnacle Bill was finally forced to wave the white flag of surrender.
The folks at Bluefoot Pirate Adventures let half of our party onboard for free in exchange for this honest review (thanks to another US Family Guide blogger promotion), but we paid full fare for the other four tickets. Money well spent, considering all the fun memories we made!
You can get almost as good a deal by sailing on Tuesday or Thursday, thanks to their BOGO Deal: Buy one get one 50% off!
Or, if you prefer to sail with friends, you can get $25 off a private party with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures when you use this coupon and book by October 17, 2017.
More Travel Ideas for Families
If you plan to be in Florida for long, check out our other reviews for that part of the country:
Does your family love to travel as much as mine does? Then check out my book Pack Up & Leave. It’s chockful of smart tips that will make your next family road trip or vacation more economical, educational, and memorable.
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