Happy 13th Birthday!
Welcome aboard! Go on an imaginary cruise on your 13th birthday! A birthday party theme that offers the birthday girl and the friends entertaining party games and activities and lots of yummy food.
I’d call this a frugal birthday party idea. Easy? It depends. You don’t need to make complicated crafts or cakes for this one. It took me a lot of time to come up with these ideas. But you don’t need to do that since it is all here!
It will take some time to get everything you need and to set up the party but it is not difficult. So an easy birthday party for kids it is!
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Cruise Theme – 13th Birthday Party Ideas
Invite the friends over by sending them a cruise advertisement.
Decorations for 13th Birthday Party
Shop Around Your House
For any party I host I like to see first what do we have that can go with the theme. For example you might already have:
- fabric to go with the theme colors
- helm from Haven America (you could also make your own out of cardboard)
- brass bell
Welcome Aboard and Good Bye
Welcome the guests on board with a “Welcome Aboard” sign. We made a sign with card stock. Taped the pieces together and glued them to a ribbon. The ribbon was between two pieces of card stock. The other side said Good Bye.
Lots of lights. Since our party was in the evening when it was dark we used Christmas lights to create a fun atmosphere.
- White lights taped to the baseboard on the staircase.
- Blue lights attached to the window ledge in the Dance Club and Piano Bar.
- Lights behind a lace curtain that we hung up in front of a book case in the Piano Bar.
- Blinking multi-color lights taped to the ceiling at the Dance Club. (we don’t have a disco ball so this was our substitute)
We had recently gone on a cruise from Finland to Sweden. We displayed those photos. It is a short two night cruise but so much fun. If you are ever in Finland or Sweden you should consider going on this fun-filled cruise.
Signs and Places on the Ship
We used pretty much the whole house to host this 13th birthday party. It was fun to label various rooms with signs.
Lights and signs everywhere!
1. In addition to the Welcome Aboard/Good Bye – sign we placed signs all over the house for the various cruise ship locations.
2. Birthday of the Seas – the name of the “ship”, on the front door.
3. Car Deck – on the door leading to the garage
4. Engine Room – on the door leading to the utility room
5. Crew Only – on the door leading to a storage area
6. Guest Service – A place to drop off the gifts
7. Elevator Out of Service | Please Use Stairs | We apologize for the inconvenience. – A sign we put in a couple of places upstairs and downstairs
8. Sunset Piano Bar
9. Tahiti Dance Club
10. Ocean Breeze Spa
11. Star shaped sign on the birthday girl’s bedroom door
12. Atlantis Buffet – As the name says this is where the dinner and dessert was served
13. Since this was a 13th birthday party we labeled the door to the playroom (which was our Dance Club and Piano Bar) with number 13. It indicated that this was the 13th floor on the cruise ship. (even though I usually don’t see the number 13 in hotels nor cruise ships…)
14. Ladies – Bathroom for ladies
15. Captain – A sign on the captain’s room
16. Cruise Director – A sign on the director’s room
17. Entertainment Manager – A sign on the manager’s room
18. Paradise Promenade
- Christmas lights on the deck railing
- a couple of chairs
13th Birthday Party Games and Entertainment
I had two helpers Cruise Director and Entertainment Manager. Our cruise colors were white and blue so the crew wore those colors.
Entertainment Manager greeted the guests at the door and Cruise Director took a photo of each guest on arrival. Then she directed the guests to the customer service to drop off the gift.
Also as the guests arrived we played some music. I played the “theme” song for the Silja Line which is a cruise line going between Finland and Sweden.
Of course nobody else associated the tune with that but I did :). I don’t even know if it still is their theme song but I remember hearing that as a kid during the commercials.
The guests gathered at Tahiti Dance Club and chatted or played Spot It until everyone arrived.
Toast at the Tahiti Dance Club
Time to wish Happy Birthday to the birthday girl. We served “champagne” and the Entertainment Manager said:
“May your journey through life be clear sailing…” See the entire cool toast at Birthday Messages.
- Champagne Glasses
- Sparkling Juice or Ginger Ale
Sunset Piano Bar
I had asked a couple of the guests if they would be willing to play the keyboard.
So while they played the guests wrote messages on a picture frame mat for the birthday girl.
Photo Shoot at Tahiti Dance Club
We took group photos and photos of the birthday girl with each guest. A pretty beach scene served as our backdrop.
You can find some inexpensive ones at Party City.
Would You Rather
This is a fun way to entertain the guests at a 13th birthday party. Teens and tweens like “would you rather” questions. So we did a couple of rounds of Would You Rather questions.
Dinner At Atlantis Buffet
The great thing about cruise ships is the food! It is nice to have various options to choose from.
Serve some kid-approved party foods such as
- fried chicken
- fish sticks
- salad bar
Other things you might need for the dining experience:
- white table cloth
- charger plates
- glass plates
- wine glasses
- table cloth for the buffet
- serving dishes
Play some nice background music during the dinner.
After dinner it was time to open presents.
Letter Scavenger Hunt
Everyone was handed a paper that had the birthday girl’s full name written on it and they were asked to look for items that begin with those letters.
Life Buoy Hunt
I scattered glow in the dark rings around the yard. We sent the girls to look for them. They had to find one of each 5 colors in certain order.
Silky Hands Treatment
In the Ocean Breeze Spa we had a sugar scrub ready to be used whenever they wanted to. But they all wanted to do it together so into the Spa they went.
Dessert at Atlantis Buffet
I wanted to have some time between the dinner and the dessert so we did the above mentioned activities then headed back to the Atlantis Buffet for a Dessert Bar.
No need to do anything complicated. Just have some
- and lots of candy
The girls enjoyed chatting while eating their desserts and they also played the Telephone Game. You know the game where the first person whispers something to the girl sitting by her, then she whispers the same thing to the next one and so on. The last person says it out loud. This can be quite hilarious if you have a lot of guests.
The Show at Tahiti Dance Club
Every cruise has an entertaining show! So did ours. My daughter has lots of friends who love acting so I did not ask them until at the party if they would like to be part of a skit. And everyone I asked was excited!
I searched for short, funny skits and found a great site called Drama Notebook. They have many fun stories to act just choose what best fits your crowd.
The Entertainment director welcomed everyone to the show and introduced the actors.
The actors and the audience loved this fabulous birthday activity idea!
Dancing at Tahiti Dance Club
Most girls love to dance and certainly the ones we had at the party did.
Put together a playlist and turn the music on and open the bar.
- blinking lights on the ceiling
- lights on the window ledge
- gold stars on a wall
- beach wall scene
At the Dance Club we had a bar. We draped a couple of plastic table cloths over a bookcase. On the other side we had a table for the bartender to mix the fun drinks.
Behind the Tahiti Dance Club is the Sunset Piano Bar where a part of the program took place.
- palm tree
- other tropical decorations
- measuring cups
- plastic cups
- ice bucket
- gold fish
- a couple of bar stools
- Closed -sign
Non Alcoholic Drinks for Kids (We had three to choose from and we kept them small so the girls could come back for more):
- 2 tsp Grenadine Syrup
- 3 oz Ginger Ale
- umbrella with strawberry
- 2 oz Sprite
- 1 oz White Grape Juice
- umbrella with clementine
Cotton Candy Fizz
- Cotton Candy
- 3 oz Sprite
The girls had about an hour and half of free time to dance, chat, and to play truth or dare.
Come up with your own or check out these from Mom of 6.
It was a Fun 13th Birthday Party! I’m sure yours will be fantastic too!! Awesome way to create some lasting memories.
Host other awesome parties too!
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