Tonight we played The Love Balloon by Ray Chou & Vincenzo Ferriero of Mythopoeia Games. We are the guests and a crew member of the majestic airship Cloud 9 on a peripatetic voyage through the Caribbean to Paris. The ship’s Gopher is Percy Winthrope, a young man with more energy than time determined to make everyone else happy. Staying in the Presidential Suite are George Dogwood, an elderly widower who lost his passion for life when his wife Becky passed away, and his caretaker Beatrice Clover, an aging divorcee who is tired of caring for others and needs time for herself. Henley Howard, a young, inveterate salesman running away and on the lam, has a room with a balcony view. In the Bachelor Suite is John Smith, a gorgeous hunk of man trying to travel incognito for a change. Dwight Forte is a middle-aged detective of paranormal activity determined to find romance, so he’s booked the Single Ensuite.
Our story starts at the Embarkment as we all board the ship. As Percy shows Henley around the ship to help orient him, the salesman refuses to take no for an answer and sells him a variety of trinkets and tchotchkes. After Beatrice gets George settled in his room, the old man heads for the bar, but she keeps reminding him to only have one before dinner. Dwight goes to the gym shortly after boarding asks John how to operate the treadmill, hoping to strike up a conversation and perhaps more, but his hopes for an accountability partner are not met tonight.
Our first Day in the Clouds aboard ship Henley meets George at the bar and guesses his initials, while George buys him a drink and a bottle of memories (lily perfume) from the salesman. Dwight meets Beatrice at the Buffet where they discuss their work woes, so after asking for relationship advice, Dwight agrees to take George to the casino so Beatrice can get some time to herself. Percy crashes into Dwight coming from the buffet and the passenger complains about the lack of service and cleanliness of his room. Dwight tries to get a free pass for the buffet, but Percy personally escorts him back to the buffet to restore his plate of shrimp.
At our first Port of Call in Antigua, Beatrice, John, and George ride into the Cavern of Reflection. John stories of his youth on the island, and convinces the two to splash themselves with water from the cave to rejuvenate themselves. In the Sky Tower, Henley offers Dwight a wool scarf but Dwight is disappointed that he isn’t offering anything more personal than various items stolen from his employers stock. They take in the sites and discuss visiting Paris until Dwight asks for a kiss, to which Henley replies he’ll put together a Paris date package for Dwight to purchase. John Smith lounges at the beach and Percy assists him by putting sunscreen on the bombshell’s back, gaining his attention and approval.
During Night with the Stars the group walks together along the top desk and realize they have become friends during the voyage. Under the Moonlight has Dwight finally getting his kiss from Henley, though still only on the cheek. George tells Beatrice that he’s ready to get on with living now they’ve finished the trip, and offers to give her some money when they get back home to try something new in her life, since she’s grown tired of always being at someone else’s beck and call. John Smith asks Percy if there is anything he can do for the Gopher, and they go walking off together, hand in hand.
During Disembarkment, George and Beatrice thank Percy for all the help and George asks Percy to tell the Captain that his dad enjoyed the cruise. Henley and Dwight depart together talking about their forthcoming adventure in Paris, and Henley gives Percy a black silk rose to woo John with, free of charge. John departs the ship, looking back at Percy holding the rose.