Nautical and Nice – These are some gifts to win a cruiser’s heart.

Monday Mantra

Gift Guide … Gift Guide … Gift Guide …

Nautical and Nice

These are some gifts to win a cruiser’s heart.

To judge by the emails that pop into my inbox and the brochures that are delivered by my postman, a cruise is an enormously popular gift choice. If that’s the case, I must have been born into the wrong family and made the wrong friends because never have I found a packet of cruise documents tucked into my stocking or hidden in the box that holds the underwear and socks that I typically find under the tree.

What exactly are your options if you don’t want to drop big bucks yet want to deliver some holiday joy to your favorite cruise fan? Here are a few:

OCEAN BEDDING:Beach bedding I’m not talking about the little starfish stuff that grandma has in the guest room but bold, in-your-face images of crashing surf and stunning sunsets on sheets, pillowcases, and duvets. There’s a good selection at Vision Bedding, who can even print your favorite vacation photo on bedding, shower curtains, and more.

NCL_Gem_Cuervo_BOOSTEDDSCN0947MAKE IT YOURSELF: If you try, really try, you just might be able to track down the recipe (or a near recipe) for your cruise fanatic’s favorite on board dish: Norwegian Cruise Line’s pretzel rolls, Carnival Cruise Line’s warm chocolate melting cake, Crystal Cruises’ mushroom soup, and more. Whip it up and transport the gift recipient back to onboard paradise. Almost.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION BREAK: Porthole Cruise Magazine Calendar 2017 - Beautiful Photographs of Beautiful ShipsA subscription to Porthole Cruise Magazine provides a year of cruise news, reviews, and entertainment — the best of which is written by me. And if you really like the person, pair the subscription with Porthole’s wall calendar.

-CRUISE STUFF: Some cruise lines offer their merchandise via a “shop” right on their website. So plan ahead! Grab that T-shirt, baseball cap, or jacket now instead of waiting to board where you’ll be at the mercy of the shop’s opening hours.

-LOCAL PRODUCTS: Christmas1Many years ago, I picked up a small tin of Julius Meinl coffee at a duty-free shop in Vienna and since then I — previously a Folgers Instant girl — have ordered my coffee directly from that Viennese specialty shop. The moral of the story is: You can find nearly any product in the world online. You may pay like sin for postage, but there you go.

Since it’s December 21, it’s probably too late for most of my gift suggestions so I strongly recommend that you bite the bullet and give your favorite cruise fan the best gift of all: a 2016 cruise. Particularly if that favorite cruise fanatic is me.

Happy holidays!

— Judi Cuervo

Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.