Caching in on a Cruise: Geocaching During a Disney Cruise
|by Brian White, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 05-20-2010
PassPorter.com > Articles > Disney Cruise Line > Making Magic
Discouraged by the additional cost of port excursions? Overwhelmed by the choices? Just want to get out and discover a little local flavor that the various ports of call have to offer without the rest of the passengers tagging along? Perhaps you should check out geocaching!
Geocaching is basically a high-tech treasure hunt. Instead of searching for the proverbial ‘X marks the spot' using a map and compass, though, you head out the door armed with latitude and longitude coordinates and a GPS receiver to help you find the treasure.
Thousands of people take part in geocaching every day. They start by looking up coordinates to a cache location on the Internet and then use their GPS receiver to guide them to the treasure, or cache, which was hidden by another geocacher. The coordinates could lead to a local park, a museum, or the top of a mountain – the adventure is largely up to you!
While at first blush it may sound very simple, once you arrive near the cache coordinates you must then rely on your treasure hunting skills, as the GPS receiver may only get you to within 20 or 30 feet of the cache. While geocaching rules don't allow a cache to be buried, it may be hidden beneath sticks, a log or palm fronds, or otherwise camouflaged. Cache "hides" can run the gamut from very simple to deviously difficult.
Geocaches also vary in size from a large plastic container down to a thimble-sized magnetic container. A traditional cache might consist of a Tupperware container with a logbook and small prizes inside. Once you find the cache, you sign the logbook and may take something from the cache, leaving something else in its place for the next treasure hunter. Once back at home, you can also log your find online, which allows you to easily maintain a virtual logbook of all of your adventures, along with maps and pictures that you upload.
I found it!
Geocaching in Massachusetts - photo by pbwhite
While older children and adults will likely be more interested in the journey and the search for the cache, don't be surprised if the little ones take longer to chose a prize than it took to find the cache!
On the geocaching website, each cache is rated on a 5-point scale for both the difficulty of the journey to the cache location and the difficulty in locating the cache itself. This allows you to tailor your cache hunts to your crew's desire for a challenge!
Why Cruise Caching?