Planning holiday gift exchanges on Christmas cruises warrants some advance thought and planning — particularly if you are traveling with kids. After taking numerous holiday cruises with family and friends over the years, I have learned some otherwise simple lessons the hard way. You can now benefit from these prior errors and oversights. Here are a few tips to make gift giving on your family Christmas cruises go more smoothly.
Related Post: Why You’ll Actually Love Christmas On A Cruise Ship
1. Pack All Gifts Unwrapped On Your Christmas Cruises.
Rule No. 1: Pack all gifts unwrapped. This is particularly true if you will be flying to your embarkation port. Don’t assume that an x-ray machine will provide a sufficient inspection of your wrapped packages. If TSA agents feel like they need to take a closer look inside your gift boxes, your pretty bows and carefully applied beautiful wrapping paper will not fare well. If you would like to see some examples of TSA re-wrapping at work, check out the photos with this article: The TSA May Unwrap Your Holiday Presents If You Don’t Follow These Rules. The generous use of TSA security tape adds a special touch.
Also, all of your luggage and carry-ons will be inspected when you board the cruise ship. Although the inspections at embarkation don’t begin to compare to what you find at the airport, they still take place. Anything that looks like potential contraband (e.g., alcohol) will receive a closer look.
2. Pack Your Own Wrapping Supplies For Christmas Cruises.
If you are packing gifts, then you should also pack your own wrapping supplies. Do not, under any circumstances, assume that you will be able to buy any wrapping supplies on board the ship or at a convenient port. The odds are much more likely that you will come up empty-handed. So, unless you want to “wrap” your gifts in the paper/plastic shopping bags that the ship uses for customers’ purchases, plan ahead.
The easiest thing to pack are gift bags. They are quick to assemble once on board. They don’t require much in the way of extra materials. And, when flat, they can fit in most any luggage. But, if you prefer traditional wrapping paper, you need to remember to pack not only the actual wrapping paper, ribbons and/or bows, but also your tape and scissors. These are also items that you are unlikely to find readily accessible on-board. So toss a pair of scissors and a roll of tape in your checked luggage. Read More …