Yesterday, Avid Cruiser Ralph Grizzle wrote an interesting post in which he said he wished he’d have kept more of his cruise memorabilia. We both took part in an interesting Twitter chat on river cruising on Wednesday afternoon put on by Travel Weekly, and the conversation sparked Ralph to consider how he’d documented his early trips.

The one thing he wished he’d kept? His keycards. Which, of course, brings me to this:

Keycards from some of my past voyages. I can quit any time! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Keycards from some of my past voyages. I can quit any time! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

And that’s just what would fit on the bed of my scanner!

I jealously guard my keycards – they’re my favorite cruise souvenir, followed closely by the daily programs. If there’s a good keepsake, it’s those. I may – or may not – have three boxes full of them. And postcards of the ships.

Now, lest you think I’m headed down the same path as some of those reality TV shows on hoarders, fear not. I don’t keep everything in the daily programs – all those offers for Spa specials and diamond sales go right into the recycling bin while I’m still onboard, hopefully to be mulched down to make future cruise brochures.

I’ve also got leather travel wallets, luggage tags, and other little nick-knacks I’ve picked up along the way, because that’s what I enjoy collecting. I don’t need fridge magnets (they break) or T-shirts (they shrink). I like to keep souvenirs that bring back a memory.

One of the most beautiful document packages I've ever recieved, from ultra-luxury line Silversea. Included were a proper shore excursion brochure, a leather zippered pouch containing silver folders for air and cruise arrangements, and branded luggage tags. Oh, did we mention the entire thing comes in a beautiful, silver box? Amazing! Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

When documents come like this, I tend to keep them. Silversea’s documentation in 2010. Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

There was one thing I used to buy on every cruise: a ceramic coffee mug with the ship’s name on it. But I’ve found these are becoming less and less prevalent. There are, however, some things I’d love to see offered up as gift shop items, like the fabulous, carved wooden bread bowls on Viking River Cruises. Hint, hint.

But Ralph’s question is an interesting one. As unbelievable as it may sound, I get more out of my cruises now that I write about them. I now spend a lot more time researching the destinations than I used to, and in doing so, I’ve become more connected with some of the history – or at least the interesting factoids – of a place. For example, did you know that Prince Rupert, British Columbia was founded by a man who would end up perishing in the sinking of the Titanic?

You knew you were taking a Holland America Line cruise when you recieved that blue leather folder with real tickets and luggage tags inside. Shown here is an Oosterdam luggage tag from 2005 and a revamped Veendam tag from 2006, along with a proper, stapled cruise ticket booklet. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Anyone remember these? Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

I also pay attention to more when I am onboard. I write my thoughts down twice a day – once in the afternoon, and again every evening – even if I have no internet access. In the end, my Live Voyage Reports have become as much of a tool for me to selfishly re-live my own experiences as they are to provide readers with insight and ideas into places, destinations and ships around the world.

At any rate, I thought I’d share a few items from my personal collection with you all today as we head into the weekend. What’s your favorite cruise collectible?

NCL "Cruise News" daily program from onboard Norwegian Wind; July, 1998. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

NCL “Cruise News” daily program from onboard Norwegian Wind; July, 1998. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Princess Cruises "Princess Patter" from onboard Golden Princess in Mexico; February 2008. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Princess Cruises “Princess Patter” from onboard Golden Princess in Mexico; February 2008. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Daily program onboard Celebrity Summit's July 2010 Canada & New England voyage. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Daily program onboard Celebrity Summit’s July 2010 Canada & New England voyage. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking Daily program from onboard Viking Freya; December 2012. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking Daily program from onboard Viking Freya; December 2012. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

From the Deck Chair will return Monday as we run-up to our Live Voyage Report from onboard Silversea’s Silver Shadow in Alaska!

 

7 Responses to Cruise Collectibles: The Path to Memories

  1. […] post Cruise Collectibles: The Path to Memories appeared first on From The Deck […]

  2. Kalle Id says:

    Once again, I find myself suprised of how alike we think. As it happens, I also keep the keycards and daily programmes from my cruises (as well as from many of my ferry trips – although if I kept all of those I’d need a separate cabinet just for them I think). And if possible, I like to buy a pair of ceramic mugs with the ship’s name on them from every cruise I’ve been on (or failing those, mugs with the company logo if I don’t have them already). In fact, I’m drinking tea from a Rotterdam mug as I’m typing this.

    Personally, I would actually be interested in cruise line t-shirts and maybe hoodies or jackets – if they were a bit more stylish. Unfortunately, the average cruise t-shirts are of such a terrible design that I wouldn’t care to wear them.

    One thing I do slightly regret not buying when I had the chance was the HAL Barbie, which would have been neat just for the kitch value.

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      We do think alike, Kalle! Except I’m drinking my tea from a Zuiderdam mug 😉

      I did not know they had a HAL Barbie! That’s got to be a collectible by now.

      My feelings on the T-shirts are the same. I do have to confess to buying a blue Carnival Cruise Lines pool towel, though. Those things are fantastic!

      • Kalle Id says:

        That’s absolutely fantastic about our (near-)matching mugs! I admit to never having considered cruise line towels, but that’s mostly because I’m very specific about what type and colour of towels I want for the house.

  3. Mage Bailey says:

    What do we keep? The daily programs, the key cards, and a daily log. We both take about 600 photographs a day as we travel, and transform them when we get home. I make albums on Snapfish, on Facebook, and a hardbound copy from Facebook. Next time I’m thinking of making one through Costco. Glad to have found your blog…have a great trip.

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      Photographs are always a great keepsake, and it’s awesome that you turn yours into a book on Snapfish. I have a friend who does the same with his cruises, and keeps them on his coffee-table. Probably to lure susceptible folks like me into taking more cruises! Glad you enjoyed the blog, Mage!

  4. Mage Bailey says:

    Error….I make a hardbound book from Snapfish.

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