OpinionWhat Do Seasoned Cruisers Do with All Those Old Cruise Cards?

What Do Seasoned Cruisers Do with All Those Old Cruise Cards?

We recently asked our readers what they do with their collection of cruise cards after a cruise is over.  The responses were varied and interesting, so we decided to make a list of the many intriguing ideas that came from avid cruisers.

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A pile of old cruise cards and princess medallions
Regular cruisers can really pile up those old cruise cards.
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

As you may know, most cruise lines give you a card to use throughout the cruise.  It’s used to open your cabin, make purchases on board, and for identification when at a port of call and coming back onto the ship.

After the cruise this card becomes a keepsake for you to do whatever you would like with it.

Princess Cruises provides an Ocean Medallion instead of a cruise card and Princess fans can stockpile these as well.

Cruise cards can really add up for regular cruisers who hit the open seas on a monthly basis.

This article will detail some of the most common uses of these collectible pieces of plastic, along with some creative uses that took us by surprise.


Why save cruise cards in the first place?

cruise cards on a desk
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

For many cruisers saving their old cruise cards is a great way to remember all the wonderful trips they’ve taken around the world.  It’s also a conversational piece and opens the door to some bragging rights.

After taking a lot of cruises they can all run together in your mind, so saving these cards and sifting through them now and then will trigger memories that can help brighten those days when you’re still on land.

Every cruise card represents a certain itinerary, cruise ship, destination, and group of friends.  Sure, you can toss them in the trash, and I’ve done this a few times but now wish I would have saved every single one of them to add to my stack.

So, what do cruisers do with all those old cruise cards?

Here’s what our readers said.


Save and Stack Them

Whether they are stacked in a box or somewhere on a desk, some cruisers love to just pile them up.  They serve as a source of amazing memories at sea, as well as a bragging right as the pile gets higher and higher.


Use Them as Bookmarks

I’ve done this a few times with my old cruise cards.  They make great bookmarks, but I will admit I get distracted with old cruise memories while reading a book sometimes.  Sure, they are a tad thick for a bookmark, but you can bring an old card on your next cruise and curl up with a good book on your balcony.  The sounds of the ocean really do help provide a natural white noise to engross yourself into a great novel.


Scrapbook Them

Scrapbooking old cruise cards is another popular choice.  You can add some photos of your cruise along with the cruise cards so you can remember exactly where your ship went and what you did on that particular trip.  This makes for a great coffee table book or conversation piece as well.


Frame Them

Just make sure you have enough room in the frame for more cruise cards if you decide to frame them.  This is the ultimate bragging rights power move, but it can also be a source of inspiration for an office.  Anytime you’re frustrated at work and just need a getaway you can at least look up at the frame and remember all those great cruises you took and start planning your next one.  Use a frame with a hinge and easy access so you can keep adding to your collection.



Make Some Coasters

I’m not exactly sure how cruisers are making their cruise cards into coasters, but this was mentioned a few times in the replies.  I suppose they can be cut and joined with other cards to make some unique coasters, but it would be hard for me to cut them up, personally.


Refrigerator Magnets

Princess Cruises has switched from cruise cards to medallions, but avid fans of Princess have found uses for these as well.  The Princess Medallions are magnetic, so you can just use them as fridge magnets as soon as you get home from your cruise.    The magnetic aspect of these medallions is not very strong so you can’t use them to hold pictures and papers on the fridge, but as they will stick to most metal surfaces you can get creative with how you display them.


Make a Table Top

If you have enough cruise cards you can cover the entire surface of a table with them and add a protective coating.  This is another great conversation piece and allows you to see all of your cruises in one glance.


Christmas Ornaments

Hanging cruise cards from a Christmas tree is a popular choice for regular cruisers.  You can add some festive borders or even punch some holes in them to add some lights.  Enjoying a tree decked out in cruise cards will definitely cause some “Cruise Fever” so you might have the urge to book a cruise right after you finish decorating.


Bring Them on Next Cruise

Some cruisers stated they like to bring their old cruise cards on their next cruise and use it in the card slot so they don’t have to keep taking out their current card.  Just make sure you don’t leave the card in the slot with the lights on when you leave if you do this.

We also heard from some saying they bring their old cruise cards on cruises so they can decorate the room with them and remember all the great cruises they already had.


Throw Them in a Junk Drawer

For the less organized among us who still are a little sentimental the junk drawer is the collection spot of choice.  But if you cruise a lot this drawer will start to get very cluttered, so you might as well do one of the above or the response below if this is you.


Trash Them

There were still a few responses saying they simply throw the cards away.  I mentioned earlier that I did this a couple times and regret not having those cards now.  Admittedly, I didn’t know I would be cruising this much and would want a physical way to reminisce about all of those cruises.


What do you do with your old cruise cards?  Let us know in the comments and show off your creativity.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
OpinionWhat Do Seasoned Cruisers Do with All Those Old Cruise Cards?


  1. In icy Ohio I always keep one in the car for a quick ice scraper if it’s not too thick

  2. I give them to my grandson. He “uses them” as credit cards when we go to the stores to buy stuff. It’s cute and funny to the cashier when he says “I’ll buy it Nan” and swipes his card. While we are in line I ask him which 1 is he gonna use or if he has money to pay

  3. I put mine in a plastic sleeve that holds sports cards, 9 to a page. Then in a spiral note book, old to new. Then just turn the pages to remember! Next to each card I also put a $1 chip from casino, which use to have the NAME of the ship on them? Don’t like the new ones since they removed the NAME! Guess it saves them money? Bring back the old ones?

  4. into the scrapbook they go! I have a scrapbook for both of the trips I took and the seacard goes in there with every thing else to tell the story

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