Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Cruise Critic's Holiday Gift-o-Rama

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  • What it is: XCS Video Mask by Liquid Image ($149.99)

    Why we like it: Sure the Caribbean is perfect for fruity frozen cocktails and duty-free shopping, but for the more adventurous cruiser, sailing into those turquoise waters means spending an afternoon chasing sea life. The conundrum? It's awfully tricky to capture the memory of that sea turtle floating about just inches away with those cheap, low quality waterproof cameras. The solution? This innovative scuba mask, which features a built-in waterproof digital video camera (it also takes still images), making it perfect for chronicling your swimming, snorkeling and of course, scuba diving adventures.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: The Vinnibag ($28)

    Why we like it: Many cruise lines allow passengers to set sail with a bottle of wine in tow (ok, they may be subject to a corkage fee). But a lot can happen between the time you board an airplane to fly to your port of embarkation and when your luggage is delivered to your cabin. We're thinking busted bottles of booze here, and that's where the Vinnibag comes in. The Vinnibag suspends your breakables in an inflatable air cushion that conforms to the shape of whatever it's holding, so that no matter the circumstance it remains safely cocooned in your luggage. It's even designed to stand up to altitude and temperature fluctuations. And for those who don't imbibe, it's perfect for toiletries, gourmet souvenirs and bottles of whatever you're bringing back on the trip home.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Lego Digital Camera ($39.99)

    Why we like it: With tons of activities for any age group, cruising definitely makes for a perfect family vacation. But it's always a good idea to come prepared for extra downtime. The Lego Digital Camera will not only prove a great diversion for antsy little ones while onboard and in-port, but it'll give them the opportunity to capture their favorite cruise memories. This camera has a 1.5-inch LCD screen and holds up to 80 photos, which can be easily transferred to a computer via USB -- heck, kids are so tech-savvy these days, they may even be able to operate it sans adult assistance.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Saress Beach Dress ($29.99)

    Why we like it: Sometimes it's a pain to have to go back to your cabin for an outfit swap between laying out by the pool and grabbing lunch at the buffet. This simple garment can save time and hassle with its easy-to-wear design. With wrap styling and slightly stretchy material, it will flatter most shapes and sizes -- just slip it on over a swimsuit and you'll be ready to transition from deck chair hog to ship (or port) explorer. It even folds conveniently down to handbag size, making it easy to tote along on shore excursions.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: PowerMonkey Portable Charger ($99.99)

    Why we like it: The PowerMonkey portable charger allows everyone in the family to keep their gadgets fully charged for days at a time, making it perfect for cruisers on the go. The device is capable of powering up everything from cell phones to MP3 players, PDAs and portable gaming devices. It features three charging methods -– universal main charger, USB or solar -– so you won't have to worry about finding space in your cabin to plug it in. Plus, you can easily attach the PowerMonkey to your daypack via an included Velcro strap, making it easy to charge your electronics while in port. Add in the fact that it's lightweight, compact and water-resistant, and you'll understand why we get such a charge out of it.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: TravelSmith's Waterproof Caddy ($20)

    Why we like it: TravelSmith's waterproof caddy is one of those super-simple items that can make your cruise go just that much more smoothly. This slim, lightweight pouch measures seven inches by six inches and comes with a sealed inner compartment that is certified waterproof to 60 meters. That means it'll protect such essential objects as your cruise key card, identification, camera, cell phone and more. Even better, you won’t have to worry about where to stow your belongings when you’re ready for a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub – just throw it over your shoulder or around your waist and go for it. And, of course, it’s great for water-based shore excursions like catamaran sailing and snorkeling.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Gargoyles Sunglasses (Approx. $95)

    Why we like it: Every cruiser needs a sturdy pair of sunglasses to get them through those sunny Caribbean days, and we think Gargoyles fit the bill. These shades are lightweight, offer 100 percent UV protection and feature shatter-resistant ballistic defense lenses — that means you likely won't have to worry about crushing them in your day pack while on your excursions (or you know, sitting on them when you're trying to get settled in your deck chair). Plus, you can easily have your prescription added to the lenses. They are even available in dozens of styles and colors, so you're sure to find a pair perfectly suited to the cruiser on your to-gift list.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Eagle Creek Pack-It Compression Sacs (From $10)

    Why we like it: It can be a pain to pack for a cruise. Will you need a windbreaker? A cardigan? A tuxedo? Sometimes you just don't know until after you've gotten a feel for the onboard vibe. By using these compression sacs you can save 80 percent of the space in your luggage, which will leave you room to pack for any weather conditions, special occasions or unexpected shore excursions. Plus, you won't have to worry about trying to find the ship's self-serve laundry or paying to have your clothes cleaned before the second half of your sailing. Eagle Creek's space savers come in small, medium and large (or sets of all three), so you can choose to use them for some of your stuff or all of it. You can even bring along a few empty ones to stow souvenirs or your dirty duds.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Rock-It 2.0 Portable Speaker ($24.99)

    Why we like it: The Rock-It 2.0 and cruising are a match made in heaven. This tiny device is only about two inches long and weighs next to nothing, so it won't take up extra space in your luggage or your cabin. But the real kicker is how it works. With the use of just two AAA batteries or a USB cord (included) The Rock-It takes music from devices such as MP3 players and smart phones and turns it into vibration sequences that are transmitted to the Rock-It pod. Attach the pod to any object (a glass, a clock, your suitcase, etc.), press play on your audio device and that object is instantly transformed into a speaker. Because it's so transportable, and requires almost no extra accessories, it's even great for toting to the beach while in port.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Mini Surge Ro-Tector ($11.99)

    Why we like it: Cruise ship cabins are notorious for their lack of power outlets -- in fact, many cabins have just a single standard American outlet, meaning cabinmates often have to take turns plugging in. This stocking stuffer sized power strip/surge protector is an ideal option for charging your laptop, cell phone, camera and more while on a cruise. It features one fixed outlet and two rotating outlets, so you'll be able to plug in a space sucking AC adaptor or bulky three-pronged cord without blocking any of the other outlets. Heck, you can even blow dry your hair while your camcorder powers up.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Hideo Design Feather Light Luggage ($79 and up)

    Why we like it: If you cruise at least once a year, it's probably worth investing in a quality piece of luggage. Hideo Design's Feather Light line is soft-sided, but because the bags are constructed from water-repellent nylon and reinforced with heavy nylon bands they are durable enough to withstand getting to and from the ship, whether that be by plane, train or automobile. Once you're in your cabin and unpacked, your bag can easily slide under the bed or be folded up and placed in a drawer. Plus, strategically placed storage pockets maximize available space, so you can travel with as few bags as possible. This luggage is available as a trolley, a duffle or a messenger bag, so you'll be able to choose just the right one for your packing style.

    Where to get it: Check it out here.
  • What it is: Bonus Gifts from the Cruise Critic Store!

    Why we like it: Cruise Critic fans undeniably love showing their CC pride while cruising, and there's no better way to do so than with some sweet travel gear. We've got everything from t-shirts to knapsacks, luggage straps and beer koozies all proudly emblazoned with the Cruise Critic logo. Plus, every week through Christmas Eve, we'll be featuring a new special offer!

    Where to get it: Check it out here.

    Get two Cruise Critic travel bags for $10
    BOGO Cruise Critic luggage straps
    Use promo code JINGLE to save 20 percent on all non-sale Cruise Critic store items through December 31.
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