Here are some Halloween tips, suggested by Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke, to help Aussies get into the spirit of a cruisey Halloween and have their own Carnival spooktacular on land.
If you are having your party at home, start planning the day before. There is an abundance of themed decorations you can buy and plenty of craft tips to make your own decorations online. Pumpkin lanterns are a must. You can make your own by carving out fresh pumpkins or if you don’t have the time you can buy cheap and cheerful plastic pumpkins or swanky Halloween lanterns that you can re-use every year. Another must, are cobwebs and spiders, and you can make your own black paper bats to cover your walls. Place a few skeletons and tombstones in your front yard as well. Your local party shop will have plenty of decorations or start surfing online. Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend get decked out with giant spider’s webs and ghoulish decorations to amp up the onboard atmosphere.
Costumes – Be the Ultimate Host
Who wouldn’t want to dress up for Halloween? The options are endless – vampires, ghosts, goblins, witches, warlocks, zombies and the list goes on. If you are the host, you need to lock in a great costume. If you are a couple why not go as a devilishly delicious duo like Gomez and Morticia Adams, Frankenstein and his Bride, Uncle Fester and cousin It, Sookie Stackhouse and Vampire Bill (True Blood) or a Zombie Bride and Groom. If you are single, why not go as the sultry Elvira Mistress of Darkness, Dracula, Beetle Juice or Chuckie the doll. Make an effort with your costume, if you are looking great you will feel good. Onboard Carnival’s ships, guests are invited to parade their costumes with the best awarded a prize. Why not offer prizes for the best dressed at your party? Face painting is a fun thing to offer to kids and adults alike and is always in hot demand on Carnival’s ships.
Gruesome and Grisly Cocktails
Experiment beforehand and come up with your own kooky cocktails like Patricia’s Poison, Fred’s Festering Fuel or Wendy’s Widow Maker. If time is short, then simply search the net for Halloween cocktail recipes. There are plenty of recipes to choose from like Smokin Skulls, Witches’ Brew, Zombie Slim Shooters and the Green Goblin to name just a few. This year Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend are serving Vampire’s Kiss and Witch’s Brew (can point to recipes on website).
Toxic Tasty Treats
The sky is the limit with tasty treats themed for Halloween – let your imagination run riot with such hideous treats like Sausage Roll Fingers, Cauldron Curry, Devils Eggs, Ghostly Goulash, Chilling Chilli, Screaming Chicken Skewers, Pulsating Pasta, Buffalo Bat Wings and Brain Jelly Moulds. For dessert why not terrify your guests with Strawberry Ghosts (strawberries dipped in white chocolate with chocolate icing for eyes and mouths), Spider Cupcakes, Slimy Swamp Jellies and devilishly delicious Death By Chocolate Cake. The menu on Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend on October 31 is to die for with guests set to devour Carnival’s Spider Cookies, Scary Cheesecake and RIP Chocolate Pumpkin Pate (can point to recipes on website).
Downsize the Party
If the thought of inviting ship loads of people to your house for a party seems scarier than watching Nightmare on Elm Street, then start small. You don’t have to go all out, why not start with a Halloween movie night for your closest friends and scare the heck out of them. Here are some of the movie classics that you should include in your scream-a-thon; Halloween of course, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Shining, The Exorcist, The Blair Witch Project, The Ring, Carrie and The Omen. Even though it’s a movie night, you can still dress up and be sure you put on ghoulish treats like slimed jelly, graveyard cupcakes and poisoned popcorn for your friends to enjoy. Carnival Spirit’s kids clubs show PG-rated movies like The Adams Family or Monsters vs Aliens, while up on the top deck the midnight show at the poolside Dive-In movie theatre shows a Halloween horror movie. Families can also retreat to their cabin and watch a Halloween themed movie.
Turn the Table on Trick or Treaters
Make trick or treaters work for their treats. Just like we do onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s ships, when we ask our smaller guests to give us a little show in order to earn their treats, this is something everyone can try at their house on October 31. Some of the ‘assignments’ include:
Show me your best zombie walk
Give me your best witch’s laugh
Show me your scariest face
Give me your best werewolf growl
Party Time – Terrifyingly Tenacious Tunes
Keep adults entertained with some adult games like Halloween trivia. It’s one of the most popular activities on Carnival’s Halloween cruises. Questions can include which country did Dracula come from and what is the name of the motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho? Teams can even be arranged based on costumes, like ghosts v goblins or witches v warlocks.
You know a good party is all about the tunes, so party the night away into the witching hours with some grisly and gruesome songs that are sure to set the dancefloor alight this Halloween. A good place to start is with bands like The Zombies, Living Dead, Poison, or The Grateful Dead. If you are really keen for the full spine-chilling effects of thunder, background screams in the night and bone-jarring evil laughter there are a few soundtracks available for downloading online from streaming apps like Spotify or Pandora.
Halloween Cocktails (Grown Up Treats)
30mls Patron Silver Tequila
30mls Cranberry Juice
Good shake of grenadine
Step By Step
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Shake well and strain into a shot glass.
40mls Bacardi Rum
90mls Ginger Ale
Step By Step
In a pint glass, combine ice, Bacardi and ginger ale.
Top with a float of Chambord and garnish with a lime wedge.
The Ultimate Halloween Music Playlist
Or, how to scare the socks off your guests! Spooky song suggestions by Carnival Cruise Line’s VP Jennifer Vandekreeke.
There is nothing that can make a party howl more than an awesome playlist. Here is a top 10 playlist that we think epitomises Halloween. Not all of them scream Halloween, but they certainly will get your ghoulish guests in the mood to dance.
1. Thriller, Michael Jackson
Who can pass up playing this masterpiece from 1982? Die-hard Jackson fans even have a zombie-inspired dance to go with it. Thriller, the album, is still one of the biggest selling albums of all time. And the video clip, which cost about $500,000 to make, is one of our favourites.
2. The Monster Mash
This vintage tune has stood the test of time and is a regular for most Halloween parties. The Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Picket & the Crypt-Kickers hit the number #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart in 1962 and it is still going strong.
3. She’s Not There. The Nick Cave and Neko Case version sends chills down your spine.
This may not be everyone’s idea of a Halloween song but I love it. Anything with Mr Cave singing gives me the creeps. The song originally belongs to The Zombies who released there slick version in 1965 – but try Nick’s version with Neko, it has a more haunting quality to it. It will have your guests looking over their shoulders.
4. Highway to Hell, AC/DC
Okay, the title on this AC/DC song says it all. Perfect for Halloween. Written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott, it was released in 1979 and has become the most played Australian song around the world. Bon Scott died just six months after its release and never saw the extent of its popularity.
Alternatively, just put on the Pandora Halloween mix. I’m sure Spotify and all the other music streaming services have the same thing.
About Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise line in the world with more than four and a half million guests travelling every year. The cruise line has two ships deployed in Australia, Carnival Spirit – the largest and newest cruise ship to be based in Sydney year round – and sister ship Carnival Legend, sailing from Sydney each summer. With 45 activities to enjoy each day, both ships offer fun-loving families and couples memorable and great value holidays. www.carnival.com.au