Halloween Party on board HS Debussy

Halloween party on board

Halloween is the funniest celebration that can take place on board. Most people may think Halloween is a children’s type of holiday, but when you are on the vessel – away from your family and friends – you are allowed to have your part of fun and a distraction like this can be the best and easiest alternative. Having fun – from time to time – is a way of recharging the batteries after a hard week of work and preparing yourself for a next one. The more people involved in the event, the funnier it could get and even the evenings that follow can be brighten up by the hundreds of photos and videos everybody shares with everybody.

When you are in the middle of the Ocean – with no stores in the vicinity from where to buy a costume or just a mask – you have to put your imagination to work and improvise. You can get inspired by one of the numerous horror movies you usually watch while on board and try to do your best with the least tools. Sometimes a torn bed sheet and a worn out overall can be transformed in wonderful costumes with a touch of paint and a creative mind. If you are lucky enough to visit an American supermarket in the months of September or October, you can ‘invest’ few dollars in a very scary mask which can make the best impression on the audience. Not only in American supermarkets you can find a Halloween mask because the tradition of costumed parties celebrated on the 31st of October spread out around the world – from England to New Zealand and from Argentina to Philippines. More and more adults started to enjoy this kind of celebrations as a way of having fun and socializing and they are not afraid of being criticized or ridiculed by those people who choose not to get involved. You are the one who decides how you like to enjoy this celebration and, if you choose only  to admire from a certain distance, you can, at least, make yourself useful and take as many photos as you can and share them with the people involved.

This is what I did at my first Halloween party ever which took place on board HS Puccini three years ago. We were in the South China Sea, underway to Davao, Philippines, and I celebrated my first Halloween Party among a Filipino-Romanian crew. The barbeque party had been planed long in advance and everybody was invited to prepare for a Costume Contest. The captain took his role seriously and inaugurated the party, using a funny pirate mask disguise and his right hand – the chief officer – joined him in the play.

Halloween party on board HS Puccini (2)

The other members of the crew chose to have fun admiring and taking photos. And I did the same, although I had prepared a witch hat for myself which I didn’t dare wearing it – I gave it to the chief officer to complete his costume and it looked very nice on him. Seeing that the promised Halloween Party was a real thing, two Filipinos ( an ordinary seaman and an oiler) decided to take part in the Contest and – after a few minutes of preparation – they appeared in front of everybody wearing a very funny and hand made ‘zombie costume’ which spiced up the party and won the first prize.

Halloween party on board HS Puccini (1)

They really deserved the prize bottle and they happily shared it with everybody on board. Although only four people participated in the costume contest, the party was a success and everybody had a lot of fun. Mission accomplished. I promised myself next time I would be more courageous and get involved in the event – organizing, but also using a nice costume.

And the occasion came up this Friday, when people around the world celebrated Halloween and so did we – the crew of HS Debussy.

The Halloween Party was planned and advertised for one month in advance. Everybody had time to prepare a costume or to buy one from a supermarket in USA. I was very excited about the event and very curious to see how many crew members would join in, having the previous experience. Very determined this time, I bought a witch hat and a Venetian mask for myself and I was waiting forward to participating in the Costume Competition. And so were 18 others – but I was to find out about this only at the right time. I could have asked them for some details few days in advance, but I really wanted to be surprised on the spot.

The long waited Friday finally arrived and everybody on board had his part in the preparation – in the kitchen, where good food was prepared, in the aft station, where the suckling pig was roasting on the grill, in the barbeque area, where the tables and chairs were arranged, the walls decorated (by me) and the music and light equipment was mastered by ship’s electrician.

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Halloween decorations

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The costumes were ready and waiting to start the Halloween Party. The dinner was served in open air and after that we raised our glasses to congratulate our bosun whose birthday was celebrated exactly on Halloween Day.

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At 7 o’clock the ‘Jack – O – Lanterns’ were lighted up and the Costume Competition started.

Jack O Lantern - Halloween Party

I was quite amazed to see that almost everybody disappeared from the tables, eager to dress up and disguise themselves. We did the same, but came back in a few minutes ready to welcome all the costumes and treat them with candies.

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In a very short time, the first costumes entered the scene and they were followed by others and others, until 11 of them made their appearance in a very well organized schedule, like taking part in a performing act, supervised by a great director. The scene was immediately taken by the most scary and horrible personages from the most horror movies ever, each one trying to impress the audience while moving and dancing on Michael Jackson’s most amazing song – ‘Thriller’.

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Although I intended to be seen as a witch, I ended up being regarded as the Good Fairy, which didn’t upset me a bit. The candies I distributed among the competitors and spectators must have done a better job than the green hat I was wearing. The Captain took up his favourite disguise and dressed himself as a pirate – but a very funny one, not dangerous at all.

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With 11 horror masks dancing around in the darkness, the officers on board joined in, completing the costume display with four more zombies ( self made ) and some other more friendly characters.

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In the end, after voting and counting, five of the costumes were awarded a prize and some of us had even more fun trying others’ costumes and masks.

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HS Debussy - trying different masks

The party continued until midnight with music and karaoke and everybody agreed that it was a real hit. Some even said that they had never seen anything like this before and I can only say the same.

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Thanks to the ‘Shoe box Christmas‘ program which is undertaken by the Seafarers’ House from Port Everglades every year, all the crew members got their Christmas presents almost 2 months in advance. We are very grateful to all the good and kind American volunteers and charity workers who made this possible.

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I had the best Halloween party of my life and I am very happy I had the privilege of taking part in such a wonderful event, among such friendly people.

PHOTO GALLERY

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