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Cruising Duck Tags 101: Make Your Rubber Duck the Talk of the Cruise

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Have fun with cruising duck tags! Your go-to guide for creating, hiding, and finding adorable ducks on your next cruise.

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Table of Contents for Duck, Duck Cruise Tags

Introduction: What Are Cruising Duck Tags?

So you've heard about the cruise duck game, huh? If not, check out our article that explains the cruise duck game in detail.

Cruise duck tags are little tags, usually with a waterproof label, attached to a rubber duck toy that's hidden on a cruise ship as part of a fun, ship-wide scavenger hunt.

The tag often contains information like what to do if you find the duck, social media hashtags for sharing your find, and sometimes even tracking details to follow the duck's journey.

Think of it as the duck's passport for its seafaring adventure!

Why Cruising Duck Tags Are a Big Deal

Finding those cute rubber ducks is more than just a game win; it's a social connection. Cruisers love sharing pictures of their newfound ducks and tags on social media. This often leads to online chats and friendships with the original hiders.

Types of Tags for Cruise Ducks

Let’s get down to specifics. Tags can be as plain or as elaborate as you want. Here are some general categories:

  1. Basic Tags: These are your run-of-the-mill, no-frills tags. They do the job, and that’s it.

  2. Custom Tags: Want to flex a bit? Get your tags custom-made with your family name, state, Facebook group name, etc.

  3. QR Code Tracking Tags: These come with bells and whistles that allow the hider to follow the duck's journey. For details on how to create QR tracking tags, read our article.

  4. Themed Tags: Christmas or holiday cruise? Easter Cruise? Anniversary? There are tags for that. (And holiday ducks, too!)

Remember, the type of tag you choose can add an extra layer of strategy and fun to your game.

How to Get Your Hands on Cruising Duck Tags

Ready to join the tag gang? There are a few ways to go about it:

  1. Pre-order: Many people order their tags before the cruise to get exactly what they want. Lots of online shops specialize in this.

  2. Onboard Shops: Some cruise lines sell these tags onboard, usually in the gift shop. But stock is limited and may be pricy.

  3. DIY: Feeling crafty? You can make your own tags at home with a few simple supplies such as card stock paper, scissors, pen, hole punch and ribbon.

  4. Swap or Borrow: There's often a community of players onboard who are willing to swap or lend out their tags. Keep an eye out for social gatherings or message boards about it.

  5. Download a free template for cruising duck tags.

Where to Buy Tags for Cruise Ducks

So you're itching to get your hands on some tags? Here are your best bets for buying ducks:

  1. Online Shops: google cruising ducks and you'll find many options such as Amazon, Party Stores, Etsy and more.

  2. Cruise Line Shops: Some cruise lines sell tags as official merchandise. Check their website or onboard stores.

  3. Craft Stores: If you're the DIY type, craft stores can provide all the supplies you'll need to create your own tags.

Information To Include On Cruising Duck Tags

Basic Information

  1. "You've Found a Cruising Duck!": A simple, straightforward statement that informs the finder what's going on.

  2. Hashtags: Many cruisers include a specific hashtag so people can share their finds on social media.

  3. Tracking Information: If you're interested in following your duck's journey, you can include a tracking number or QR code that links to a website where finders can update the duck's location.

  4. Simple Instructions: Briefly explain what the finder can do. For example: "Take a selfie, post it online, and re-hide me for someone else to find!"

  5. Optional Personal Note: Some people like to add a personal message or the name of the ship where the duck was originally hidden.

Extra Information

  1. Origin Information: If you’re celebrating a specific event, like an anniversary, you can include this info to add a personal touch; or add the ship name and sailing date of when the duck was hidden.

  2. Small Logo or Image: If you're particularly crafty, adding a tiny logo or image can make your duck tag stand out.

  3. Contact Info: If you're comfortable with it, you can add an email or social media handle so the person who finds the duck can directly let you know it's been found.

  4. Recycling Information: It’s good to remind people that if they must dispose of the rubber duck toy, to do so responsibly so the duck doesn't end u in the ocean or seas, potentially harming its marine life friends.

Remember, the tag should be securely attached to ensure it stays with the duck and doesn't become litter. Waterproofing your tag by laminating it or covering it in clear tape can also be a good idea. After all, we want our ducks to sail smoothly!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruising Ducks


What are cruising ducks?

Cruising ducks are rubber ducks that are hidden in various locations on cruise ships as part of a communal scavenger hunt. People often tag these ducks with information or messages for the finder.

What is cruising ducks?

"Cruising ducks" refers to the practice of hiding and finding rubber ducks on cruise ships. This phenomenon has turned into a community game, often facilitated through social media.

What are the ducks on Carnival?

The ducks on Carnival Cruise Line are part of the same "cruising ducks" tradition. Passengers hide rubber ducks around the ship, each often tagged with a message or clue, for other passengers, creating a fun and interactive game for everyone aboard.

Does NCL hide ducks?

NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) doesn't officially hide ducks, but passengers on their ships often participate in the cruising ducks tradition, hiding and finding ducks throughout the vessel.

Are There Royal Caribbean Cruising Ducks? Yes, passengers on Royal Caribbean ships often join in on the cruising ducks game. The tradition isn't officially endorsed by the cruise line, but it's become popular among guests.

Tagging & Size

What do you put on cruising duck tags?

Similar to cruise duck tags, cruising duck tags often contain the hider's name, the ship's name, and the date. Additional details like a social media handle or specific hashtags are also common.

Meaning & Symbolism

What does finding a duck on a cruise mean?

Finding a duck on a cruise generally means you've stumbled upon a hidden treasure as part of the cruising ducks game. You can choose to keep the duck, re-hide it, or even add your own tag to it before re-hiding.

What happens if you find a rubber duck on a cruise ship?

If you find a rubber duck on a cruise ship, you can either keep it as a memento or re-hide it for someone else to find on your current or next cruise. Some tags may have specific instructions or requests for the finder to follow.

What do rubber ducks mean on cruise ships?

Rubber ducks on cruise ships serve as hidden treasures in a ship-wide scavenger hunt. They are often tagged with information that connects the finder to a larger community of cruising duck enthusiasts.

What is the meaning of the rubber duck?

The rubber duck in this context serves as a symbol of community, adventure, and unexpected joy. It turns an ordinary cruise experience into a treasure hunt, adding an extra layer of fun.

Why are rubber ducks so popular?

Rubber ducks have been popular as bath toys for decades. Their appeal has broadened with the cruising ducks tradition, serving as a unique and delightful way to connect people and create memorable experiences for kids.

Community & Trends

What do people do with ducks on a cruise?

People hide ducks in various locations around the ship, and others look for them as part of a scavenger hunt. Once found, people may choose to keep the duck, add their own tag, and re-hide it for someone else to find.

What is the hashtag for cruising ducks?

Hashtags allow participants to share their experiences, post pictures, and even give clues about where ducks are hidden.

Why do people bring rubber ducks on a cruise?

People bring rubber ducks on a cruise to participate in the cruising ducks game. It’s a fun community activity that adds a layer of adventure, fun activity and social interaction to the cruise experience.

It's a Wrap for Cruising Duck Tags

So there you have it—a complete guide to the feather-fueled fun that is cruising ducks. Whether you're a hider, a finder, or just a fan, remember: life's more fun when you add a little quack!

Additional Cruise Resources

Cruise Critic: This is an invaluable online resource for cruise enthusiasts and first-timers alike. Cruise Critic offers detailed reviews of cruise lines, ships, and destinations, as well as forums where you can ask questions and share experiences.

Click the photo below to see what Cruise Critic has to offer:

Whether you're looking for the best excursions in a particular port or tips for cruising solo, Cruise Critic has you covered.

We hope this article has helped you get some great ideas for cruising duck tags!


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