On the Hunt :: Cruising Ducks


Our family is relatively new to cruising. We took our first cruise together about 2.5 years ago, and it was a Disney cruise. Aria, our daughter, was turning 5, and I was obsessed. We had an entire suitcase dedicated to fish extenders, secret Santa exchange gifts, and door magnets. Fast forward to present day, and we want to try another cruise line. At first, I was devastated. I thought there was no way this cruise could possibly be as much fun for my now 6.5-year-old little girl. Then, I discovered cruising ducks!

cruising ducks

What exactly are cruising ducks?

It’s easiest to answer this question with a question. Have you ever heard of painted rocks?  There are typically neighborhood Facebook pages dedicated to the rocks. You find the painted rock hidden in a public place and take a selfie. Then, you post the selfie of yourself and the rock on your dedicated rock page. For example, here is my neighborhood rock page: Wylie Rocks.

Cruising ducks are the exact same except, instead of rocks, you search for rubber ducks hidden on various cruise lines. It is rapidly growing in popularity. We’re cruising with Royal Caribbean this time, and these two Facebook pages have a wealth of knowledge and examples: RC Cruising Ducks and Royal Caribbean Cruising Ducks. Hint: Other cruise lines have their own Facebook pages too.

What do I need to do if I want to participate?

Step 1: Order your ducks.

Some people choose to hide only one duck, but most families seem to hide a dozen since that’s typically how the duck packages are sold. We are cruising with a group of 24 soon, and we have ordered cupcake, zombie, art, and unicorn ducks from both Amazon and Oriental Trading.

cruising ducks

Step 2: Personalize your duck tags.

You can create your own or find free ones online. They can be found on cruising duck Facebook pages under albums, on Etsy, or by searching “Cruising Duck Tags.” on Google. If you make your own, be sure to include your name, cruise date, ship, and where you are from. Most people also add that you can keep or re-hide. You can NOT hide or re-hide in pools or shops. Below is a printable that I made; they worked out perfectly for our ducks.  Once your tags are complete, attach them to your duck. I used a hole punch and ribbon to attach the tag to the duck.

cruising ducks

Step 3: Join your ship’s cruising ducks event page.

For example, on Royal Caribbean, there are events for each ship and cruise date. If yours doesn’t exist yet, don’t be shy. Start your own event page! Then, go in and do a Roll Call.  Ask who all is hiding ducks. Share pictures of your own ducks. It gets everyone excited and shows other cruisers what the’ll be looking for. My daughter gets so excited knowing it’s essentially an Easter egg hunt with rubber ducks, and she takes mental inventory of all the ducks she wants to find. She plays for keeps, and she usually likes to hunt for one in each collection.

Step 4: Hide your ducks.

Remember: No shops or pools! And get your kids involved. You might think they only want to hunt, but they have just as much fun hiding the ducks. Aria will keep checking her hiding spots to see if the ducks have been claimed. For hiding spot inspiration, refer back to the social media pages dedicated to cruising ducks; they have some clever hiding spots that I would have never thought of on my own.

Step 5: Happy duck hunting!

Go find some cruising ducks! Personally, we try to find and take one in a collection and hide any others that we find. How do you know if they are part of a collection? They typicallt follow the same theme. Our family is hiding cupcake ducks this time. Like I mentioned earlier, our group is also hiding art, unicorn, and zombie ducks. An even easier way to tell is to check the info on the tag. If you find two ducks hidden by the same family, keep one and leave the other hidden.

cruising ducks

Cruising ducks are a free, family-friendly perk of cruising! It’s still growing in popularity, so if you can’t find anyone else on your ship participating, post a discussion on your dedicated cruise page talking about cruising ducks. You can also share this post with them! Trust me, once people know about it, they’ll be eager to join in. If you need help finding the Facebook page for your specific cruise date, just let me know—I would love to help! Cruising ducks will become a highlight of your family vacation, and even better, a new tradition!


  1. July 14th will be our first cruise and we are heading to alaska. We are associated to Gift of Life. My husband was a donor of stem cells. I reached out to them to see if they would like to be associated on the tags and maybe people could take selfies and post to this Facebook page. It would be fun for people to f8nd them and if they post it would give them awareness of Gift of Life. So excited to hide them. Any thoughts or hints?

    • Awe!!! I think that is absolutely perfect. I would add a hashtag on your tags as well. What a fabulous idea to bring awareness. I’ve always wanted to cruise to Alaska. You will have so much fun. Make sure to post about your cause and that you are hiding ducks on all of the duck and cruise pages associated with your cruise.


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