Massachusetts Bay Lines hosts birthday parties for a range of ages for Boston area residents. Whether you choose to dress in formal attire or something where you want to dress up, we are here to toss some ideas around.

Everybody’s obvious favorite aboard a ship is a Pirate Party and with the popularity of the Jack Sparrow series (played by hunky Johnny Depp) who can blame them.

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Costumes - Pirate Parties typically begin with the expected ripped shits, bandanas and tattoos. However we encourage people to think further. Pirates came in many nationalities back in the day, and suffered horrible health conditions. So perhaps you add an oriental twist to your make-up and blacken a few teeth, or don a messy wig. Create a t-shirt with your own Jolly Roger (pirate flag)- and remember there was no Dollar Shaves arriving in the mail back then so Moustache’s and Beards rock and rule. For the more feminine persuasion consider two routes- Go super femme fatale or blend the genders and butch it up a bit. Accessories are a mustbangles, earrings and swords, daggers, pistols were always at arms-length. Visit your local marine

store for some hemp as a belt and learn a few knots to impress your fellow piratticalized friends.

Invites - The BEST I’ve ever seen is to take a couple Cap’n Crunch cereal boxes and cut them up into postcard size invites, on the back with the help of a glue stick, affix the recipients contact information.

An alternative and guaranteed crowd-pleaser but requires a team is to gather returnable bottles (plastic is cheaper to send) and stuff a message (the party details) in a bottle, label the outside and send. Sometimes people put these in a box (with colorful paper and chocolate gold coins) to avoid odd size USPS surcharge.

Food - Fruit and lots of it! Pirates, to prevent scurvy on long voyages, required lots of citrus. Make a fruit bowl out of a watermelon in the form of a ship- everyone will love it! In addition anything on a

skewer, kabobs play well with the sword wielding crowd. Beef, chicken, pork anything with red, green, yellow, and orange peppers and some pineapple. The spicier the better for these world traveled saltydawgs- Caribbean spices are a favorite, marinate overnight for BEST flavor- serve on a bed of rice or spinach. If you can find an old wooden chest, large or small, as an ice bucket for Rum & Tequila bonus!

Music - Pirates are not known for loving showtunes but the beloved musical The Pirates of Penzance offers some off the beaten path ideas. In addition most gaelic classics work. Think: Whiskey in the Jar by the Dubliners. The Chieftains, The Pogues, or the Clannad, Clancy Bros all work. Blend these with some Bob Marley for interesting results.