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Holiday Exchange 2013
Celebrate the Holidays of Season with your Cruise Critic Friends -- Halloween - Thanksgiving - Hanukkah - Christmas - Kwanza - The New Year
Before giving my wife a gift of a cruise for Christmas (our first cruise, very excited) I searched this forum for how others had given the gift of a cruise. I struggled to find anything I liked (almost certainly it was a poor job of searching by me. No doubt there's some really clever ideas and I just failed to find them).
For my wife's gift, I made a picture holder with a series of waves and a cruise ship that bobbed up and down when she turned a crank. Where the picture would be, I put the boarding pass. I made mine from thin metal and engraved the details into the ship but anyone could do the same thing with heavy card stock. Maybe as a pop-up card with moving bits and with a little pocket for the boarding pass! Michael's has a ton of cruise inspired stickers and scrapbooking paper, so you don't even have to be very artistic or crafty.
A clever person could also make a mini diorama in a box - with blue paper as the ocean and a toy boat secured in the middle. If its a hinged style box, make the inside of the lid as the sky with a sun. Again,a pocket for the boarding pass and it would be super cool to take one of those Christmas cards where you record you own message and scavage the working bits. Use the switch to trigger it when the box is opened or when the boarding pass is pulled from the pocket. A personal greeting or a song would make that a very special gift.
No idea if my pictures will show up, but hopefully all this helps the next poor guy who's looking for a way to give a cruise as a gift. Best of luck and enjoy!
Neat idea! I am currently working on figuring out how to surprise my nephew and niece with their first cruise for their Christmas gift. I've been working on a scavenger hunt, but I've also got about a million other ideas, and I can't decide which one or what to do! What was the best way anyone has been surprised?
Been There, Sailed That: July 17, 2014 ~ Carnival Elation * Surprise cruise with niece and nephew * February 5, 2013 ~ Disney Magic 4 Nights in Mexico * M&M's in Mexico *
May 18, 2012 ~ Disney Magic 5 Nights in Paradise * Bahamian Rum Runners Rule the Seas! *
We gave our kids a Disney Cruise one year. We setup a scavenger hunt around the house and the final clue sent them to a countdown calendar for the cruise. They really enjoyed it . . .
Liberty of the Seas (4 night) 01/09/2014
Disney Magic (Western) 02/25/2006
Disney Wonder (4 night) 02/13/2005
Explorer of the Seas (Western) 03/13/2004
Disney Wonder (3 night) 02/26/2004
Sovereign of the Seas (3 night) 03/20/2003
I vote for the scavenger hunt. I did this a few years ago for my husband (for our anniversary) and it turned out wonderfully! What made it better is that I recorded it with our camcorder and now we go back and watch it every year on our anniversary. Makes for great memories!!
I gave my Dad a cruise for his birthday and I bought him a suitcase and presented that to him first, just with the intention of having him think what an odd gift lol! Then after I cooked and fed him a nice lunch I presented him with another gift, a photo book I made using Snapfish. It started out saying happy birthday and then proceeded to tell a story using photos from one of my my own cruises about how his real gift was actually coming a few months later onboard an amazing cruise. It was so awesome!! He was totally surprised and still keeps the photo book beside his recliner at home and looks through it from time to time I wanted to give him something he could look at every day and think about his gift to come, as well as something that after the cruise was over would remind him of the fun times we had, the photo book totally worked perfectly for what I was trying to achieve!
__________________ Norwegian Getaway December 2014
Celebrity Reflection April 2014
Carnival Breeze September 2013 Carnival Glory May 2013 Carnival Fantasy January 2013 Carnival Pride October 2012 Disney Fantasy September 2012 Carnival Glory May 2012 Carnival Fantasy January 2012 Disney Magic November 2011
My mother had gone on her first cruise with her sisters, and within the year one of the sisters passed away. Afterwards, anytime we would bring up the discussion of a cruise, my mom would get sad. We decided cruising is too much fun to hold so much saddness, and new memories needed to be created. We booked our entire family a cruise near Christmas, and planned to give them all their tickets on their birthdays. My mom's was first. I bought her a scrapbook, and filled out the first third with photos from her earlier family life, her parents, and siblings, and in particular her sister that had recently passed away.
I'm a photographer that does a bit of graphic design, so I created cruise tickets and placed them in the half done scrapbook with a note that said, and this is to create new memories to fill up the rest of the book. She cried and cried. It's always a goal of mine to make the gift so good I get tears.
We told my nieces they were going to be staying with a friend so Nana could go on the cruise. Which they bought! My FIL & MIL are out of town, so we ended up just mailing hers in her card, pretty boring - but she was surprised!
My oldest's birthday is in February, so we had to tell her before her birthday, but we only told her the night before we gave the youngest her tickets. The youngest was a bit obsessed with Titanic. I made her birthday cake as a ship, and attempted to decorate it like the Titanic. Funny enough the cake was a bit too heavy on the rear, and began "sinking" into the flat sheet layer cake... So funny enough it was a bit More Titanic-like than I'd planned. We also gave her the tickets in a card. She jumpped around like a banshee... I thought for sure it wouldn't be such a surprise, since she watched us give everyone else get tickets before her. Apparently leaving her with a friend was a bit too convincing... We had a wonderful cruise with all our family there! It was a great Christmas!
Last year my grandchildren received a cruise for Christmas. We got them stuffed animals and purchased "Cruise clothing" for the animals. We then made sign and sail cards and had lanyards for each animal with the date of the cruise and the child's name on the paper. We had them all open the gift at the same time. It took a few minutes for them to understand that we were going on a cruise.
Christmas 2011 we gave all the kids and grandkids a cruise in June 2012 to Mexico. We had taken this same cruise when our children were teens and pre teens. over 20 years ago we filled their stockings with cruise "stuff" including a toy boat, so of course we had to repeat this tradition. Our kids took a few minutes to realize what was happening, their spouses and the grandkids were clueless of course. Our then 14 y/o granddaughter just looked at me and the toy boat and said "Grams, you know I'm a girl right?" Of course once the details were out everyone was so excited.
It was a great cruise, my mom, sisters and nephew joined us- just as on the original. Only difference- this time we came back with 2 additional grandchildren ( both girls, born days apart in Feb 2012).
Some of the ideas here are much more creative than mine, but you can't fight tradition!!
Watch any of the hundreds of youtube videos of people surprising their kids with Disney trips. The same works well for any vacation for adults in most cases.
Sidebar: I surprised my husband with a Disney trip this year. He thought we were going to Wisconsin, and it wasn't until we were in the car on the way "to wisconsin" that we stopped at a c-store and I told him we were going to Disney.
I packed two suitcases (it was feburary, he packed ice skates!) for us and hid them in the car before he put "our bags" in. It was fantastic and priceless.
I am trying to finalize my Christmas surprise this year for my husband and 2 teenage boys for our first cruise ever for Spring Break in April. So far I want to do a scavenge hunt sending them in 3 different directions, many times and have them collect puzzle pieces at each place. Then they will all have to come together and complete the puzzle which I think is going to be the picture of the cruise route. I want to make this a little tough.... Thoughts? Suggestions?
I really need a surprise idea for my family, maybe a few/or as many items you can think of to give them as hints, but not a scavanger hunt. Need ideas in a hurry before christmas - thanks
Hmmm, how about...
-beach towel (might be able to still find one)
-travel sized shampoo, etc.
-Rumrunner (not for the kids though, lol)
-over-the-door shoe holder
Last edited by Zombie Zin; November 21st, 2013 at 08:34 AM.
This is a small version of the framed print I am planning to give to my family for Christmas. Looks better larger. Added people to a picture of the Explorer. Made it funny on photoshop.famcruisesmall.jpg
Explorer of the Seas - 7/31/14 - Bermuda/Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas - 11/01/14 - So. Caribbean Adventure(repositioning)
Legend of the Seas - 2/6/15 - So. Caribbean Completed
Legend of the Seas - 5/10/14 - Scandinavia/Russia, Legend of the Seas - 5/2/14 - Norwegian Fjords,
Legend of the Seas - 2/3/14 - Southern Caribbean, Jewel of the Seas - 10/5/13 - Southern Caribbean, Jewel of the Seas - 10/12/13 - Southern Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda/Caribbean - 5/16/2013, Vision of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - 1/25/2013, Liberty of the Seas - Trans. Atlantic - 10/27/2012, Liberty of the Seas - Western Med. - 10/20/2012, Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda/Caribbean - 04/26/2012, Jewel of the Seas - Western Caribbean - 01/21/2012, Jewel of the Seas - Repositioning - 10/29/2011, Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda/Caribbean - 4/28/2011, Explorer of the Seas - So. Caribbean - 11/07/2010, Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda/Caribbean - 4/29/2010, Jewel of the Seas - New England/Canada - 09/2009, Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - 04/2009, Radiance of the Seas - Alaska Cruise Tour - 08/2008
Last edited by lakelorain; November 21st, 2013 at 11:04 AM.
This is a small version of the framed print I am planning to give to my family for Christmas. Looks better larger. Added people to a picture of the Explorer. Made it funny on photoshop.Attachment 293617
The kids have always been in the know when we cruise. But this year we are giving them a New Years Cruise! I was thinking all of the regular stuff you all mentioned but my husband had a great addition! New
Years hats and horns will be wrapped up
11-18-2012 Allure of the Seas
03-16-2012 Navigator of the Seas
03-25-2013 Freedom of the Seas
06-24-2013 Enchantment of the Seas
03-23-2014 Independence of the Seas
When I did this for our kids a few years ago, I wrapped up an empty ice cream container, a empty pizza box, a 6 pack of soda, a college brochure for the university in nassau, a picture of a sign saying open 24 hours, and found small white puzzle pieces at Michaels, that they had to put the puzzles together...
9/6/14 Carnival Liberty (Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel)
5/25/14 Carnival Sensation (Freeport & Nassau)
1/30/14 Carnival Paradise (Cozumel)
8/31/13 Carnival Dream (Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel)
2/23/13 Carnival Paradise (Grand Cayman and Cozumel)
9/1/12 Carnival Dream (Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel)
3/8/12 Carnival Ecstasy (Freeport & Nassau)
9/4/2011 Carnival Victory (St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitt)
6/2011 Carnival Inspiration (Grand Cayman & Cozumel) review
9/2010 Carnival Destiny (Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Nassau - Blue Lagoon Island)
1/2010 - Carnival Destiny (Cozumel & Costa Maya)
12/2009 - Carnival Imagination (Nassau Overnight)
10/2009 - Carnival Sensation - (Nassau Overnight)
09/2009 - Carnival Legend - (Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize and Isle of Roatan)
06/2009 - Carnival Imagination - (Key West and Cozumel)
12/2008 - Carnival Inspiration - (Grand Cayman and Cozumel)
10/2008 - Carnival Imagination - (Nassau overnight)
9/2008 - Carnival Triumph - (St Thomas and Old San Juan and the rest cancelled due to hurricanes)
9/2007 - Carnival Imagination - (Cozumel and Freeport)
9/2006 - Carnival Fantasy (Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Nassau)
9/2005 - Carnival Fantasy (Nassau)