Planning a cruise over the winter holidays this year? These cruises are some of the most popular, because the cruise lines create a wonderful, festive atmosphere on board with all the trimmings, including holiday dinners, activities and even a myriad of religious observances. In fact, it’s become a holiday tradition for many world travelers.
Another treasured tradition is the holiday gift exchange and happily, with a little planning, it can be done magnificently while on board. Here’s the secret: the true key to gift giving while traveling is to find thoughtful, compact presents that are easy to pack, while still creating that ÔÇ£Wow!ÔÇØ reaction we all love to see.
With that in mind, CruiseCompete has once again created their list of the top holiday gifts to give while at sea. (Please note prices are approximate and subject to change):
The Art of Shaving Kit. For the man who takes a little extra pride in his appearance, the Art of Shaving kit incorporates four components: a protective pre-shave oil, moisturizing cream, soothing aftershave and a badger shaving brush to keep that well-groomed look. ($60). Buy the Art of Shaving Kit here.
Pocket Compass. Expertly crafted in stainless steel by a family-owned company in the Scottish Highlands, this high-quality compass follows the style of an old-fashioned pocket watch. —Stylish and substantial, the piece’s interior lid also features a world map. Add personalization for $8. ($80). Buy the Pocket Compass here.
ION Air Pro WiFi. Got tech savvy adrenaline junkies? They’ll love the latest ION camera technology, which incorporates a Wi-Fi link to your smart phone. That means the user can view the camera’s images, adjust settings and then upload high-def video directly to the top social media sites. What’s more, it’s waterproof and has a fixed focus feature that allows you to mount it to a helmet or a handlebar to record all the action. ($350). Buy the ION Air Pro WiFi here.
The Most of Nora Ephron. Clever wit and life lessons learned are all part of this collection essays and thoughts (and one screenplay). A beautiful collection that closes with an emotionally deep page titled ÔÇ£What I Will Miss.ÔÇØ ($23). Buy the Most of Nora Ephron here.
Alpaca Infinity Scarf. This soft and cozy (100% Alpaca) camel-colored scarf’s versatility will make it her go-to accessory for those cold winter months. ($65). Buy the Alpaca Infinity Scarf here.
Yoga Mat Bag and Mat. This stylish bag features adjustable straps to hold a rolled yoga mat (included) and plenty of room to carry a change of clothes (and more). The perfect gift for someone who practices the art of relaxation— and it can be personalized for just $10 more. ($125). Buy theYoga Mat Bag and Mat here.
Kate Spade Cross Body Bag. This compact, cross body bag is perfect for the world traveler who wants to keep her hands free to explore. A gold embossed logo and exposed zipper give a hint of shine to a simple bag styled in soft, pebbled leather. ($178). Buy the Kate Spade Cross Body Bag here.
For Teens and Tweens:
Amika Ceramic Styler Hair Straightening Flat Iron. This funky flat iron features 100% ceramic plates that radiate far-infrared heat, which preserves moisture and protects the hair cuticle from damage. ($105). Buy the Amika Ceramic Styler Hair Straightening Flat Iron here.
Snap Skateboard. Die-hard skateboard riders know that sometimes you have to carry your board, and this one makes it easy — it folds up small enough to fit in most standard bags. This longdeck is made of 8-ply Canadian maple and can be purchased as just the deck or as a complete board. ($189). Buy the Snap Skateboard here.
And it seems that everything old is new again:
Konstruktor Camera Kit. Young tinkerers will love making this (real, working) 35-millimeter camera! In this age of digital photos, they may enjoy the old school feel of loading in a roll of film and seeing what develops. ($35). Buy the Konstruktor Camera Kit here.
Instagram Projecteo. Create a slide show on this old-school projector which beams Instagram images onto the wall. —Just send in images from your account and Projecteo will print them onto a miniature slide wheel using 35mm film. Then just insert the wheel into this pocket-sized mini projector and, Voila!, a vintage-feel slideshow with today’s photos! ($35). Buy the Instagram Projecteo here.
Lasonic Bluetooth Boombox. Bring back the feel of the 1980s with this retro vibe boombox, which features Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming, a 3.5mm input, a USB input, an SD card reader, dual 15W full-range drivers, a real-time clock display, EQ, full-function remote, an alarm and the requisite AM/FM radio. ($160). Buy the Lasonic Bluetooth Boombox here.
Tegu Blocks. Appease your child and your conscience at the same time with these Tegu blocks, designed for free play and packaged in their own carrying case. Naturally safe with no lead, no plastic, non-toxic, water-based lacquer finish, and no small parts, these blocks are a winner all the way around. ($26). Buy Tegu Blocks here.
Seedling Outdoor Explorer Kit. Young entomologists will find everything they need for exploration, including an A4 sketch pad, colored pencils, canvas carry bag, LED headlamp with batteries, magnifying glass, bug checklist and tips on keeping a nature journal. ($37). Buy the Seedling Outdoor Explorer Kit here.
GoPro HERO3 White Edition. This camera takes both photos and video, the price point isn’t too high and it’s both kid friendly and waterproof — a winning combination for a responsible child. Older kids will also enjoy being able to take their own pictures and sharing them online. ($199) Buy the GoPro Action Video Camera here.
Don’t want to take your gifts on board? Consider giving these handy (and timely) gifts before you leave port:
Lewis N. Clark Blanzza Digital Luggage Scale. With the airline’s limitations on baggage weights, this little luggage scale (with an easy to grip handle) helps you pack for a trip while feeling confident that you’ll avoid any extra fees caused by overweight bags. It weighs in pounds or kilograms. ($18)— Buy the Lewis N. Clark Blanzza Digital Luggage Scale here. —
Franklin Speaking Global EST-7014. If you know someone who is planning a vacation overseas and will need some help with the language, check out a little language translation device called the Franklin Speaking Global EST-7014. This small (think about the size of a phone) handheld device has a rechargeable battery and color display, and has the option of using earbuds to maintain privacy. The EST-7014 features 2.5 million entries to and from 14 languages, and also includes over 2,000 phrases that are broken down categorically into ÔÇ£Everyday PhrasesÔÇØ and 13 categories of ÔÇ£Travel Phrases.ÔÇØ Languages included are Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. ($180)— Buy the Franklin Speaking Global EST-7014 here.