Some innovations to cruise ship activities don’t require a multi-million dollar renovation of a large part of the ship; a theory proven this week by P&O Cruises Australia which has this week introduced the classic Italian sport of bocce on three of its ships.
In collaboration with New Zealand sports equipment company Packaworld, an inflatable and portable 9m x 2.5m ‘Packabocce’ court especially suited to smaller and shared spaces such as cruise ships has been developed and is now available as part of the entertainment schedule onboard Pacific Dawn, Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel.
Bocce is similar to lawn bowls and involves four balls per side, up to four players per team and up to eight players per game. Like lawn bowls, games take place one end at a time and see all players line up at the same end. A “pallino” or jack is thrown by one team into a central part of the court, after which one player at a time launches their bocce ball either at shoulder height or underarm with the aim of having it stop as close as possible to the pallino. Tactics can also see players aim to move an opponent’s ball away from the jack or by hitting the jack and having it move closer to their ball.
One point is given for each bocce ball that stops closer to the pallino than an opponent’s ball, however only one team scores points per frame. Points are tallied each frame, with the winning team being the first to score 12 points or another pre-determined level.
Games will take place regularly throughout a voyage on the top deck of the ship, or elsewhere if space and weather dictates. Guests should check their onboard program each day to find out where and when a bocce game will take place.