Shipboard settings are a delightful mashup of forced-proximity and neighbor tropes, and the ships themselves can be anywhere – a river, an ocean, space, or the sky! So when it comes to ships, do you prefer yours to set sail or countdown for launch? Here’s a handy quiz to help you decide!

Would You Rather… A shipboard romance challenge!

Would you rather salute:

Space’s finest female captains:


Historical lady officers?

Would you rather discover your shipboard lover is

Secretly your fiancé?


Secretly the major deity of your religion?

Would you rather watch a traumatized hero set sail with

A princess on the run?


A failed psychic?

Would you rather see a YA romance on…

A quest for mysterious potentially-alien artifacts?


A cruise on the Mediterranean?

Would you rather watch the hero rescue the heroine from

An alien race violating treaties of non-contact with humans?

  • Class 5 (series) by Michelle Diener


Himself, a pirate out for revenge?

OR, Steampunk bonus!

Airship pirate kidnappers trying to extort a ransom from her wealthy brother?

Would you rather see the protagonists manage superior officers who are

Drunk and derelict in their duty?


Giving orders that are woefully immoral?

Would you rather see your lead embark with

An experienced sailor?


A fraud?

(Neither of those is on a spaceship, you say? Well, you get what you pay for…)

So what’s your final choice for this Setting Smackdown? Would You Rather a spaceship or a ship on the water? Or do you ship all the ships, as long as they’re relation-ships? (Ugh, I made it to the last sentence before I did that.)  Let us know in the comments!

Our previous Setting Smackdowns:

Georgian vs. Victorian

France vs. Italy

Stage vs. Screen

Coffeeshop vs. Bakery

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I'm a history geek and educator, and I've lived in five different countries in North America, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the usual subgenres, I'm partial to YA, Sci-fi/Fantasy, and graphic novels. I love to cook.