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Friday, September 30, 2016

Keeping the Cruise Going After It’s Gone: Part II

Ugh, it’s over. You’ve been so excited for so long. You had a great time. Now, it’s a fast-fading memory.

I’ve been there. 19 times, to be exact. Alas, it doesn't get any easier. But I'll share some of my new ways to hold onto that vacation buzz and keep your Caribbean cruise going after it’s gone:

Start a collection. It doesn’t have to be expensive stuff—you can pick up some interesting and different magnets from the ports, usually for just a few bucks. Or, it can be postcards, salt-and-pepper shakers, dolls, figurines—or rums.

A small slice of my collection

Becalmed. Check out the lovely beach scene—complete with wave sounds—at calm.com (select “Sunset Beach” from the right menu). There’s a slew of other choices on YouTube, like this one. Or, consider making your own the next time you cruise.

Build a shrine to the seashore. Front and center on mine, is a big sign that says “Relax.” It’s surrounded by palm trees made of glass and metal, bottles of sand and other knickknacks I picked up from the Caribbean.

Deck the walls. Many of the ports—Labadee in particular, have a huge variety of very colorful and inexpensive original artwork for sale (bargaining welcome and productive). You can get pieces of all sizes and with themes ranging from the beach, of course, to music, in frames or without them.
 
A handful of the vast choices in Labadee's artisan market
Dish it out. Lusting after some dish you had onboard? Try to recreate it. You can even get the actual recipes from Celebrity on their website, by ordering their Excite the Senses cookbook.

Party hardy. Throw a Caribbean-theme party with rum drinks and some Jimmy Buffett. Carve up a watermelon boat. Add some tropical fruit like mango, papaya and pineapple. Decorate with hibiscus and bird of paradise (uh, I guess they'll have to be plastic—unless you live in Florida, like I do).

Time for gifting. With Christmas coming, you have many choices for your cruise companion. You can easily create your own from trip photos, such as a calendar, mug or mousepad. For ideas, see the posting What to Do With Those Cruise Trip Photos.

Or, buy something from the cruise lines. From Princess’ website, you can get a host of stuff, from logo-bearing bathrobes to ship-specific mugs. You can even get the adorable Princess Cruises Plush Bear.

Had a great sleep on your cruise? Wish you could have that same sweet slumber at home? Well you could try--you can buy the same bedding (well, not exactly the same bedding) you had on the ship from Royal Caribbean’s website. Sorry, your room steward won’t be coming along.