It’s finally here! The day of our embarkation has arrived! After all the cold weather in the metroplex, the girls and I are looking forward to a few days in the sun on our scrapbooking cruise to Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, and, of course, Cozumel, Mexico. I sometimes wonder if the cruise lines have some kind of special arrangement with Mexico that requires all ships in the Western Caribbean to stop at the island of Cozumel – we go there every cruise, and I don’t think that will ever change.
One thing on our cruises that has changed is the level of service provided by Crafty Neighbor. Over the last few years, we have added lots of amenities to our scrapbooking cruises, including what we affectionately refer to as “Pillow Gifts”. Pillow Gifts are a small gift from the Crafty Neighbor instructors to our scrapbooking guests which we have arranged with the ship’s crew to be delivered to their rooms each night. Since this is usually done around the time that the steward turns down the beds, they tend to set them out along with the towel animals and ship newsletter, and thus they are refered to as Pillow Gifts.
I like to extend the gift-giving even further. I really want my cruise guests to feel special and to feel like they got a really good value for their money. Since we recommend that our guests arrive in the Galveston area the day before we sail, we usually arrange a meet and greet with them to get to know everyone before we sail. As a way of saying thanks, I have started the habit of giving them a special pillow gift as well. Obviously, I can’t get into their hotel rooms to deliver the gifts, but the thought is still the same.
So last night we met up in Galveston before the cruise and I gave everyone there a little pillow gift to say thank you for being here. I like to make the gifts special and meaningful. For this year’s hotel pillow gift, I selected this little suitcase made from a simple matchbox pattern.
If you look closely at the suitcase, you can see there are a lot of fine details. It looks very intricate, but it was actually very simple. I even made “bumper stickers” for each suitcase which were customized for the number of cruises each person has sailed with us. For instance, one of our new cruisers gets stickers for Honduras, Belize, Cozumel and Royal Caribbean, while my roommate and former Crafty Neighbor, Stephanie, has stickers for all of the above plus Progresso, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Carnival. I also have stickers for the emblem of each successive cruise. I even put a little luggage tag on each one with their name.
Inside the boxes, I made a little “Cruise Survival Kit” that included some things like clothespins, safety pins, paper clips, lip balm, a bandaid, and more, along with a stamped message.
If you like this suitcase, look for a kit to be available some time after the cruise with complete instructions. We will also have the instructions available for download as well.
I hope you enjoyed our first pillow gift from the cruise! Stay tuned tomorrow as our grand adventure really begins!