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How to Surprise Kids with Cruise

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I need help with ideas on how to surprise my kids with a cruise for Christmas. We are going on Harmony of the Seas leaving January 26th and this will be the kids Christmas present. Does anyone have any great ideas? Their ages are 15, 13 and 10. We've never given our kids a trip for Christmas so we want to make it super clever and fun. 

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I'm doing the same thing - although we are leaving the day after Christmas for our trip.  Figured I would wrap a bunch of pictures (like CoCo Cay Water Slides and a pic of the room we are staying in), a bathing suite and then finally the check-in packet.

 

Hoping it works.

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Give them a little cheap model of a ship and when they look at it tell them we are going on a real ship next month.

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How about "guess your BIG gift" game? For each child, wrap cruise related items such as sun block,sun glasses,  hat, mini travel sized items, then a travel back pack, or beach bag, countdown calendar with the travel days circled  - all leading up to photocopies [YOU keep the original docs] of the fly/cruise docs. 

 

Darcy

Edited by WatchHill

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Get a huge box.  Place a few items such as suntan lotion....cheap sunglasses.... bathing suits...flip flops...along with a ton of rolled newspaper.  You can wrap the items individually inside the box.  At the very bottom of the box have an envelope with a copy of the cruise documents.  

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We surprised our kids last Christmas by booking a spring break cruise for this coming spring break...gotta book those early! I had a custom puzzle made and they had to put it together to figure out the gift (ports, ship etc) They loved it. Whatever you do, enjoy the surprise and have a great cruise!

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Just now, DoctorWhoGirl said:

We surprised our kids last Christmas by booking a spring break cruise for this coming spring break...gotta book those early! I had a custom puzzle made and they had to put it together to figure out the gift (ports, ship etc) They loved it. Whatever you do, enjoy the surprise and have a great cruise!

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I love that!!!!!!!

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I understand why you want to surprise them but think about this.  Part of the cruise experience should be for your kids to plan what they want to do on the ship and on land.  By not telling them in advance, you deny them that pre-cruise excitement.

 

DON

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when we did it kids were younger so I wrapped a plastic toy boat and wrote name of ship in glitter stick ... it was Disney so they immediately understood.

 

But I like the puzzle idea for older kids like OP . . .

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25 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

I understand why you want to surprise them but think about this.  Part of the cruise experience should be for your kids to plan what they want to do on the ship and on land.  By not telling them in advance, you deny them that pre-cruise excitement.

 

DON

As I read the plan the kids find out Dec 25 about a Jan 26 cruise....plenty of time.

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First, most of his gifts were for the cruise.  Flip flops, goggles, you get the drift - might as well have been underwear. He was 10'ish at the time and we spent lots of time at the pool in the summer so he thought the stuff was 'nothing surprising'.  Then we did a scavenger hunt through the house with clues winding up to a HUGE, gaudily wrapped box.  In the box was a big blow up cruise ship and some Helium balloons. When opened, the balloons lifted up a letter from Santa outlining the itinerary and stuff to do in port.  And telling him we were leaving the next day so he better get busy packing.

 

We thought this was his cusp year of thinking Santa/No Santa and we went over the top to make it special .  Some kid in school was telling him to join the No Santa team.  We told him that kiddos that believe, usually get better gifts.  The John Travolta strut  he had coming off the bus the first day back was epic as Will (Captain of Team No Santa) got legos.  And we got another year of captaining Team Santa 🙂

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19 hours ago, Ams1201 said:

I need help with ideas on how to surprise my kids with a cruise for Christmas. We are going on Harmony of the Seas leaving January 26th and this will be the kids Christmas present. Does anyone have any great ideas? Their ages are 15, 13 and 10. We've never given our kids a trip for Christmas so we want to make it super clever and fun. 

Hide the tickets in the playstation 4 you will surely have got them also.

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3 hours ago, Katrine822 said:

Will (Captain of Team No Santa) got legos. 

geez, maybe, that's all his parents could afford.

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1 hour ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

geez, maybe, that's all his parents could afford.

Nope.   Know his parents and not the case at all.  When a kid goes out of his way to target others (mine specifically), and in this case purposefully try to ruin Santa for a bus full of mixed grades, I think his parents overspent. 

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If this is your first cruise as a family I would also recommend a scavenger hunt. Starting with hints of fun things they can do on the ship and then growing to the final ship and maybe some videos of the ports and ship to wrap it up. If not your first cruise together, you will need to be a little more sneaky/creative on the clues.

 

I miss our family cruises, your kids are at a great age. Have a fantastic family trip.

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We did a surprise Christmas gift for our kids and grandchildren last year almost the same ages for the grandkids.  We put some gifts in the g-kids packages like snorkels & such but in our kids packages, we gave them a CD with a video of the upcoming trip showing a pictures of the 4 br. suite, the ship, some of the ports, etc.  All in all the whole presentation took about 15 minutes to do but the excitement built as each child opened his or her present then our children opened their CD and we played it.

Fun for all. 

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On 10/31/2019 at 2:16 PM, donaldsc said:

I understand why you want to surprise them but think about this.  Part of the cruise experience should be for your kids to plan what they want to do on the ship and on land.  By not telling them in advance, you deny them that pre-cruise excitement.

 

DON

 

They have a month between Christmas and embarkation.  Plenty of time for them to build up the excitement level.

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Done this a few times. Best idea was doing one of those personalized books and the last page told what we were doing.

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We have done this twice, both times with grandchildren a bit younger, and we were taking them on Disney cruises.  In both cases, we did not tell them where we were going, and when we got on the plane we still did not tell them.  In one case we went to Disney World for one night first, but we told our older granddaughter that we were only there for one night and then going and staying in a cabin.  With the other grandchildren, we stayed at Disney World for several days first, and then had a limo take us to the ship, and we didn't say a word until we got next to the ship.

 

This might not work as well with older children, as they will need to pack and plan for the trip.  You could do what many of the others have suggested, or you could just put a copy of the first page of the trip documents in an envelope and let them open them, presumably simultaneously. 

 

It's a nice surprise, and I am not sure that there is any bad way of doing it.

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Tell them your taking them on a week long beach vacation.  

Check into the hotel the night before.

In the morning, tell them they have to take a cruise ship to get to the beach.

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I made pictures of my kids and put the russian fur hats on them and on the back wrote "where in the world is ......"    That's pretty creative for me.  They all got it.  I like the puzzle idea.  Too bad my kids are all grown now.

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On 11/1/2019 at 7:26 PM, Mike981 said:

 

 

I miss our family cruises, your kids are at a great age. Have a fantastic family trip.

 I miss ours too.  That was a fun age to go.  It is all new and exciting.  I am going on a cruise with my kids in January.  Now my youngest is 21.  I am giving them a cruise ship gift card as a gift  I will make a fun suitcase gift card holder for it..  They are paying their own way so I can't surprise them.    You will have an amazing time!

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On 10/31/2019 at 3:01 PM, Ams1201 said:

I need help with ideas on how to surprise my kids with a cruise for Christmas. We are going on Harmony of the Seas leaving January 26th and this will be the kids Christmas present. Does anyone have any great ideas? Their ages are 15, 13 and 10. We've never given our kids a trip for Christmas so we want to make it super clever and fun. 

This is how we did it a few years ago.  Our Son and Daughter and their families were given an envelope with clues inside and told them that they had to answer all the clues and once done they should know what their Christmas gift was.  It was a great surprise and we made many wonderful memories.

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