How to 'Wrap' a cruise so it fits under the Christmas tree......

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2 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Short version - the girls (10 and 13yo) are getting to go on cruise with us as Christmas gift. I'm looking for ideas on 'wrapping' this as a gift. My first thought was a cruise brochure wrapped up. I have asked my travel adjent and called carnival - apparently printed travel brochures don't exist anymore.

Long version - This summer as we sat in the 100+ heat for a three game in a day soccer tournament on our wedding anniversary my wife and I realized that we have never been away alone without the kids. It is time to do that. Then schedules came out and we realized that we are both off work the first week of 2018! (we both teach, but in different districts and often have different breaks) We asked Nanna to babysit for the week and she agreed!!! Only thing left to do now was decide where to go.
We started looking at options - and were torn between a Cancun all inclusive or a Cruise. Looking at Cruises we realized how much fun the kids would have - and then the travel agent pointed out that two rooms side by side was the same price (almost) and squeezing four of us into one room. Next thought from my wife - which is a more memorable Christmas, more american girl [email protected], more electronics, more makeup, Or a family cruise. So this is their Christmas gift from Santa. The trip with just the two of us will wait.

The kids still think Mom and Dad are going alone and they are staying with Nanna. They are already good an jealous and as a 13 year old does has told us how unfair it is and bla bla bla...... They are good kids and we will have a great time as a family.

Now - how does Santa wrap up a cruise and put it under the Christmas tree.
175 Posts
Joined May 2017
I gave my kids a trip to Disneyland a couple of years ago. I packed a few small gifts like sunglasses, bathing suits, and then printed up a cute faux "ticket" and wrapped it in the last box.
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arnival Paradise to Cuba 10/2017
4,175 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Scavenger hunt - make those girls work for it!

Place first clue under the tree and send them all over the house chasing clues. Let the last clue be the boarding documents. If you do two rooms, they will have their names on their boarding documents....and watch it sink in....
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422 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by A&Jfamily
Scavenger hunt - make those girls work for it!

Place first clue under the tree and send them all over the house chasing clues. Let the last clue be the boarding documents. If you do two rooms, they will have their names on their boarding documents....and watch it sink in....
My thoughts exactly! We already do scavenger hunts for cash because my boys really prefer it. They have so much fun finding the hidden packages.
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Ottawa, Canada
15 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
We are doing the same thing for Christmas this year! Mainly because my kids have reached the age where there's nothing they really need as gifts, and it's just an exercise in filling our home with more junk!

Our plan was originally to put suitcases under the tree, pre-packed with goodies for the trip. I hit up the post-summer sales and got them some new clothes, as we have a very cold winter, and will be heading to the Caribbean.

I love the idea of the scavenger hunt, though!

We have family going on the trip with us, so we have also been toying with the idea of bringing stockings along on the trip, and taking turns putting things in the stockings the morning of each day of port for something related to what we will be doing (ie: sand toys, snorkeling mask...things they can use while we are in port). Since we won't be doing a traditional Christmas with traditional gifts, this seemed like a fun compromise.
PA - formerly NJ
212 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by TexasMustang
Short version - the girls (10 and 13yo) are getting to go on cruise with us as Christmas gift. I'm looking for ideas on 'wrapping' this as a gift.

Now - how does Santa wrap up a cruise and put it under the Christmas tree.
When my husband and I wanted to surprise our daughters...we had t-shirts made for them saying "family cruise 2011". You used to be able to order them from a link on Carnival's website, but it's not there anymore. Pretty easy though to find on a number of websites to have personalized and made.
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We gave our son a lanyard and told him it was to hold his sea pass on our upcoming cruise

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203 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Another vote for scavenger hunt! We did this when we got my parents a cruise. The last clue led to the bathtub. The note on shower curtain said 'open me'. We had filled the tub halfway, floated a toy ship, and on the walls stuck a bunch of images we'd printed, such as ship, logo, islands we would visit, words like 'vacation' 'sail away' 'family', etc. It was amazing to see their faces!!

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54 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
On Christmas Day this year, we are surprising our kids with an Alaskan Cruise. We will sail in August. Our kids are 9, 9 and 6. We will give them Alaska books (found lots of good options on amazon), a map, Alaska state flag, British Columbia flag, the Royal Caribbean brochure of all the cruises they offer, etc. I also randomly found yellow sweatshirts for my boys at Lands End that say "Always Exploring" and have a mountain range on them. Perfect for the weather and the location. We will also buy a custom t-shirt of some kind.
Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
56 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Since most drink packages do not include water bottles, we had water bottles made up with "Godzyk Family Cruise 2017" and an anchor on one side and each person's name on the other. This way they can fill them each day and use on the islands as well. It couldl be a great scavenger hunt prize or a wrap under the tree item for you. And makes a great souvenir after the fact!
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Joined Jan 2010
We wrapped an envelope with cruise docs inside a big box. On the front of the envelope it told them to go into the family room and turn on the TV before opening the envelope. We had an iMovie trailer ready that had highlights from previous family trips, building up to the big news that we were sailing on Quantum on Jan. 3. They lost their minds! :-P
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67 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
Two years ago, we did this! We bought the boys a cruise ship ornament... along with various other items to go along with it, like their own suitcase, new sunglasses, random warm-weather things to keep them guessing. The cruise ship was the last thing for them to open and we had printed the date of the cruise on it!
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392 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
I downloaded a pic of the ship we were going on and made two custom cards online (like walmart or shutterfly) with a Merry Christmas message saying we were going on family cruise on the inside and put the sealed envelope in their stockings. Then a couple of gifts were little things like swim goggles and a cute nautical or beachy outfit.
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