Five Faves: Sailaway Stocking Stuffers

Porthole‘s Five Faves

Five Faves: Sailaway Stocking Stuffers

If you’re seeking great gifts for your favorite cruise traveler, we’ve got a handful of fun ideas.

Is there one last empty spot on your holiday gift list? Luckily, there’s still time to get those last-minute stocking stuffers for your favorite fellow cruisers. You’ve got your Porthole Cruise Magazine subscriptions, calendars, and cruise accessories, of course. But for something that pairs nicely with these cruise must-haves, here are some of our favorite travel gifts.


* REI: Lightweight Eye Mask and Earplugs Set

You can sleep soundly anywhere — no matter how bright or how noisy — with this set of eye mask and earplugs.

The mask is made of a soothing, padded, light-blocking fabric with an adjustable strap; the corkscrew silicon earplugs hang on their own cord-keeper and block out up to 85 percent of all ambient noise. When you’re ready to wake up, the plugs stow neatly away into a pocket on the mask.



* Goal Zero: Venture 30 Recharger

You can charge your electronics on the beach or in the rain with this palm-sized, weatherproof power pack. It’s designed to store power from a USB source (in about five hours) or from a solar panel (in about nine hours). Then, it’ll charge up your camera, smartphone, tablet, or headlamp using its two high-speed USB ports — even when it’s dunked underwater.



* Roshambo Baby: Matching Adult and Baby Shades

These Italian sunglasses are made to look cool while protecting your children’s eyes (and yours!) from harmful UV radiation. The colorful plastic frames are paint- and BPA-free, so they’re safe for teething babies. And they come with a damage replacement guarantee, replacing any broken frames and missing lenses free of charge.

But breaks are unlikely — the tough, flexible material stands up to even adult-sized abuse.



* goTenna

These small, electronic devices call themselves “the high-tech buddy system.” What they are is a way to use your smartphone or tablet for texting without using your data plan or a wireless network, anywhere in the world. Simply connect the antenna to your device wirelessly, over Bluetooth, set up an account (it takes seconds), and start texting or sharing locations. It’s designed for backpackers and explorers, but will work just as well on the streets of Venice or the beaches of Aruba. There’s no monthly fee — once you’ve bought a pair of devices, that’s it; you’re ready to text any other goTenna within range (1 mile in the city, up to 4 miles outdoors), or to download any of the service’s offline maps.



* Zenith Press: Sailing Alone Around the World: The Illustrated Edition by Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum became a bestselling author in 1900 — and all he had to do was sail 46,000 miles around the world alone to do it. He was the first sailor to perform the feat single-handed, and luckily for us, was also a talented storyteller. Between April 24, 1895, and June 27, 1898, he crossed the Atlantic twice, befriended the ghost of Christopher Columbus’ navigator (a fever vision brought on, he says, by too many green plums with farmer’s cheese), crossed through the Straits of Magellan, met Robert Louis Stevenson’s charming widow in Samoa, and visited Australia and South Africa before returning to Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

What cruiser could resist passages like this, recorded off Halifax’s Sable Island:

“The fog lifting before night, I was afforded a look at the sun just as it was touching the sea. I watched it go down and out of sight. Then I turned my face eastward, and there, apparently at the very end of the bowsprit, was the smiling full moon rising out of the sea. Neptune himself coming over the bows could not have startled me more. ‘Good evening, sir,’ I cried; ‘I’m glad to see you.’ Many a long talk since then have I had with the man in the moon; he had my confidence on the voyage.”

This new edition is lavishly illustrated with the original ink drawings from the 1905 printing, historical maps, and colorful photographs of Slocum’s ports of call and a replica of his ship, Spray, that sailed in the 1930s. It’s also filled with excerpts from other sailors and sailing enthusiasts inspired by Slocum’s journey.


— Grant Balfour

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!