View Full Version : Any thoughts on how to surprise the kids?

Winnipeg Cruiser
July 10th, 2005, 02:57 PM

My wife and I are going to surprise our kids (ages 16 and 12) with a Caribbean cruise followed by a few days at Disney World. This is going to be a Christmas surprise for a February vacation.

Does anyone have any ideas on fun ways to surprise them? We've only come up with some lame ideas ourselves.

Thanks for your input!!:D

July 10th, 2005, 03:11 PM
When you are packing, tell them they need all those extra items because you're sending them to a Military Academy and won't be seeing them for several months.

July 10th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Hi Winnipeg, We gave our 5 grandchildren a suprise cruise as a Christmas present in 2003. I went to the copy center and had a picture of the ship blown up to about 11 x 16. Then I glued it to a piece of tag board and painted it with decopage. Then I cut it into pieces like a puzzle. They live in another state and I wrapped it in a small box and sent it to them. Needless to say it drove them crazy trying to figure out what was in such a small box for all of them to share. Then on Christmas morning they still had to put the puzzle together to figure out what the gift was. My DH and I were on the phone listening as they tried to put the puzzle together. Some of the guess that they had as they were working on the puzzle were priceless. When they finally recognized it as a cruiseship I thought my ears would bust. I got as much pleasure from the anticiaption of the gift as we did the cruise itself.

Have fun with your planning.

July 10th, 2005, 05:22 PM
That's a really cute idea, Setme2sail. Let's see, my mom bought a replica cruise ship from Toys 'R Us and put the cruise confirmation letter from the TA inside of the bridge of the ship. When I opened it up I was not very excited. I thought "What the heck is this?". (She had told me repeatedly that this was my "big gift") Eventually, she pointed out the letter inside and I was more than stoked.

July 10th, 2005, 05:33 PM
My parents gave a cruise to my brothers and I one Christmas. I actually already knew, but it was a big surprise to my brothers. What they did is they gave us a lot of things that you would need on a cruise, or are otherwise cruise-related. We got summer clothes, beach towels, sunscreen, seasickness medicine, that kind of thing. Then, our last present was a promotional videotape from the cruiseline. Even then, my brothers couldn't figure it out. They were like, "Cool, Mom!" trying to act all impressed by the video. So my parents said, "Let's watch the movie," and when it started is when it dawned on them.

I don't know if that's up your alley, but that's what my parents did, and I thought it was cute.

July 10th, 2005, 07:54 PM
You could arrange a Treasure Hunt. Under the tree place something for the cruise ie a piece of luggage or sunscreen. Tape a small envelope on it with a clue to the location of the next item or clue. Do this for about six times, then have a video found. Have them play the video. Then play Hangman with the name of the ship that you are going on. Show them the tickets and enjoy the smiles.

Winnipeg Cruiser
July 10th, 2005, 09:08 PM
These are some great ideas! Thanks for all your help. I'm blown away. Any other ideas would be fantastic. I was thinking maybe a boxset of season one of "Love Boat"...a show they've never even heard of.

My DW and I will have some big decisions to make. Outside of a road trip though the Rockies and a number of camping trips and rented cabins...and a weekend at Grand Forks, North Dakota once or twice...we've never done anything like this.

We will be going on the Mariner of the Seas. It looks like there's enough in the way of activities to even keep our daughter, who never sits still, happy.

The more thoughts you all have on ways to surprise the better.

Thank you all again!!!!
What a community!!

July 10th, 2005, 09:47 PM
Be sure to include something from the Disney store. We boxed up a huge Mickey Mouse when I surprised the kids with an after Christmas Disneyland trip. Although my kids (teens) were too old for such a present, they were excited to find out that Mickey was holding an "announcement" that we were off to Disneyland the next morning!

July 11th, 2005, 12:58 AM
We gave one to our parents a couple years ago. We packed it in a box with tissue paper in between each layer. We but beach towels on one layer, a roll of quarters on another layer (for the casino), sunscreen on a layer, tie for formal nights kids sunglasses for fun on another layer and a few more layers (with anything you can think of they might need)still then at the bottom made a notebook up with the cruise info on top. They never figured it out until they got to the confirmation. We had a blast doing it.

July 14th, 2005, 12:10 PM
I did similar with the boxed gifts for my parents this past Christmas. Since it was Christmas I also bought a Christmas ornament at a mall kiosk where they personalized them. The ornament was shaped like a ship and I had them put Alaska 2005 and the name of our ship (Zaandam) on it. It was wrapped and included with all sorts of other little goodies they would need on our cruise. It makes for a nice keepsake. I'm sure your kids will be thrilled with the trip!

Winnipeg Cruiser
July 14th, 2005, 08:52 PM
Thanks again! Does anyone else have any ideas? We want to make this a fantastic surprise for the kids.

Thank you!!

July 14th, 2005, 10:52 PM
could you maybe get a friend to video a "newsflash" item that ***** family have been seen onboard cruiseline **** something along those lines.
can you get footage of the ship leaving port or are you too far away?
put it in the VCR and while the kids are watching their shows ,quietly turn on the video and watch their faces.
i think you shoule have the camera ready then too!!!
good luck

July 15th, 2005, 09:33 AM
Hi again, Winnipeg or should I say Winterpeg. I'm from Brandon.

Winnipeg Cruiser
July 15th, 2005, 08:55 PM
Hello CaptData.

How are the mosquitos there? They're the size of poodles here. We'll be driving through your town tomorrow on our way to a campground in Saskatchewan. Not exactly the same as a cruise...but still better than working.:D

When is your next cruise?

By the way, as you know, not exactly Winterpeg here now. I don't know what we'd do without the central air.

Bye for now.

July 16th, 2005, 12:12 AM
Hi, How about a DVD or VHS of Pirates of the Caribbean? Maybe Disney PJ's (the catalog has really neat ones for teens). Camping World catalog and stores have a Caribbean Cruise Domino game...stocking stuffers with cruise items. Subtle but they all add up to disney and cruise.....Maybe formal wear? I will keep thinking. Connie

July 16th, 2005, 09:43 AM
Hi, next cruise 182 days rt Hawaii. Misquitoes are bad, river is high and it rained so much that the rose bush drowned. Enjoy your camping trip in SK.

July 16th, 2005, 10:36 AM
Hi, When we surprised our kids with a cruise for Xmas, I went to the travel agency got 4 Princess brochures wrapped them up. then placed them under the Tree (one for each of us). I also put cruise related things in our stockings. I will never forget the look on their faces when they opened the books! Robin

July 17th, 2005, 12:29 AM
We gave our kids (16, 12 6) a Disney cruise for Christmas. I bought tanks, shorts at end of the season sale and wrapped them. Then I filled a box with all sorts of travel sized items wrapped individually. The last thing they opened was the video that Disney sent. It was a great surprise and a great cruise!

July 19th, 2005, 03:21 PM
These are great suggestions. I am making notes for when I get our family cruise.


Winnipeg Cruiser
September 10th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Thanks again for these great suggestions. Are there any more?

September 10th, 2005, 02:42 PM
We surprised our two boys with a trip to disney years ago when they were younger. We went during the school year and I talked to both of their teachers and got all of the work that they would miss while we were gone, we bought they all new clothes, packed for a week at disney, told them that we were going to take their dad to the airport for a business meeting and we had them at the airport and getting ready to step on the plane before they knew they were actually going on vacation. Just before we had to get on the plane their dad gave them each a "going away card to read" which was actually a "surprise you are going on vacation" letter with spending money in each envelope for each of them. I still don't know how we pulled it off without them knowing it!

Winnipeg Cruiser
December 27th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Hi Everyone,

Here is what we did: We started by giving small (weird) things like nightlights, travel alarms and summer clothes. We got lots of giggles and smart comments. We gave them beach towels and they laughed and started wrapping themselves up in them as though they were blankets. We really dragged out this process. Finally, we gave them each a calendar on which we had created a countdown from Jan 1st to the day we leave: 41 on down and on the day we leave we had a sticker which said "It's A Special Day" and then my DW and I acted as mystified as the kids were. Next came new carry on luggage with sun tan lotion and under water cameras in them and the jig was almost up. The excitement just kept on building. The last thing we gave them was a 16 x 20" framed montage we had created out of pictures cut out of all kinds of cruise brochures and magazines with the cruise itinerary and picture of the Cruise Ship right in the centre. We'll never forget how exciting the whole thing was!

After the excitement was dying down to just a fever pitch the kids had to locate one last item glued onto the montage which represented Walt Disney World. It was a tiny, tiny, tiny image of mickey glued into a corner of one of the other pictures. The excitement picked right up again.

They are still floating around in disbelief. And we are too, really.

Thank you again for all your advice. It really aimed us in the right direction!

December 29th, 2005, 07:48 PM
Congratulations! It sounds like you really pulled it off. You'll have a great time, the Mariner is a wonderful ship.... "M-I-C......see you real soon":D

December 29th, 2005, 07:55 PM
Wow! What a great way to share the love!