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Author: jarouton

Joined: 8/19/2011
Posts: 8
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2009

June 08, 2013

 Do most people take a host gift for the Great Rivers of Europe Kaffeeklatsch?

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 127
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2001

June 08, 2013

 When I was on the French Christmas river cruise I think I was the only one taking a hostess gift.  It was a set of coasters from the historic Rancho where I volunteer.  The hostess opened it immediately and we chatted for a few minutes about the Rancho:  the old abobe, the Shire horses, the lovely gardens.  I also gave her a brochure with photos.

I'm glad I did it and will always take a small gift ..... I just enjoy doing it.  On my recent trip to Spain I took a beaded bracelet from Guatemala, with a small brochure from Guatemala Charities Fundraisers (GCFR).  I have traveled to Guatemala with them and, again, it was a topic of conversation ..... and the hostess wore the bracelet.  Only one of the other participants took a gift ..... candy from their home state.

So ..... not mandatory ..... but I find it fun.

 

 

Author: patmckinney

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 50
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

29 countries

Traveler Since: 2009

June 08, 2013

Ditto Sea Lion Lady.  I treat these visits as I do at home. At  home, I always bring a little something whether I am invited to a dinner, lunch, snack, card night. You get the picture. 

  I try to get something from my home state--not breakable--it is a lot of fun to do this.  Even though GCT provides some type of remuneration--it is still their home and work and effort.  I believe it is simply courtesy to do so. The home hosts try so hard to please us...

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 08, 2013

Yes.  If the trip is in the fall, I'll bring a calendar for the next year with pictures of New England.  Other times of the year, tea towels with pictures of New England.  It's nice to bring something from home, if your area is known for things.

Author: jarouton

Joined: 8/19/2011
Posts: 8
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2009

June 08, 2013

 Thanks, everyone, for responding so quickly with the helpful information. I have always taken something to the home-hosted dinners, but wasn't sure about this.

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 70
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2008

June 08, 2013

We are going on Great Rivers on June 18 and I plan to bring a hostess gift. In the past I have taken reusable shopping bags with brightly colored artwork of different aspects of our city. They lie flat and are easy to pack.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

June 09, 2013

 Sometimes we take something.  We bought an ornament from the ship gift shop last time for a Xmas tree.  We are taking the same trip on June 22 and are wondering if all will go well with the floods in the area. 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 425
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 09, 2013

Since most of the hosts for the home-hosted meals or other visits are "professional" hosts, it becomes much more difficult to find a gift idea that is unique. I recall taking a calendar to our host in Spain. She looked briefly at the pictures and then threw it in the pile with the dozens of other calendars she had already received.

Our recent philosophy of gifting has followed two paths: if the meal is at a commercial establishment, such as an agritourismo, no gift; if it is in a private home we take a gift that will be useful even if the host has received several similar gifts. Our gift recently has been one that is easy to carry, somewhat represents our home area, and will be enjoyed by the host and all others in his or her family. We take a bag of Hersey's Kisses.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 09, 2013

I'm always hesitant about bringing foodstuffs, but people from New Jersey have brought Salt Water Taffy.  People from Northern New England or New York State have brought Maple Syrup or Maple Sugar Candy.  Pecans from Louisiana.

Author: jarouton

Joined: 8/19/2011
Posts: 8
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2009

June 09, 2013

 avalarue, we are leaving on June 18 for Great Rivers, too, from Vienna. Are you leaving from Vienna?

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 70
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2008

June 10, 2013

Yes! I will be traveling with my husband Graham and my brother, Bill. We are all from Texas. I will look for you in Vienna!

Author: jarouton

Joined: 8/19/2011
Posts: 8
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2009

June 10, 2013

 My husband and I are from New Jersey. We look forward to meeting you.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

June 10, 2013

Captainlarry has a great idea.  Of course, the chocolate from Europe, any of the countries on the Rhine and Danube, Mosel rivers, have great chocolate.  But, Hersheys does have a distinct flavor than European chocolate.  Homemade fudge might be good as well.  For people going to Asia, having lived there for 13 years, plus 3 more earlier, I can tell you that Asians love US chocolate.  The Whitman's sampler (it does come in a very small box), Russel Stover, Hersheys, all are welcome by the Asians, especially Japan.  And they all come in smaller boxes or pouches.  I agree with captainlarry that dishtowels, calendars, picture frames, etc. can get a bit much for the hostess when she/he hosts quite a few meals.  Being from Arizona, I could bring a small jar of cactus jelly or candy.  It would be my luck the hostess or family used it and got sick or rashes.  I'm allergic to a lot of things in the desert, not sure I'm allergic to cactus candy or jelly but I wouldn't try it because of the allergies.  I can't imagine anyone being allergic to salt water taffy, but could imagine being allergic to maple syrup/candy, since I am allergic to many trees (not maple though), but someone could be allergic.  They can always give chocolate away, or someone else in the family could partake if the host/ess is allergic to chocolate.  I have found when I bring something, I'm one of  1 or 2 people who do, the rest don't.  I hate to leave without giving something, but I'm wondering since so many GCT guests don't bring gifts, is it expected, or  not.  One other person said it didn't matter, that she brings a hostess gift back home, as I do. But, sometimes small trinkets, towels, etc., can be too much from so many guests.  I also agree with the captain that if the place is a country style restaurant, or agribusiness, or like the lodge at the Reindeer Park with dinner hosted by a Sami family(Norway and Lapland).  These places, I wouldn't give a gift.  They are actually businesses.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 11, 2013

I agree, Singsling, about not bringing a gift if it's a family -owned restaurant or agribusiness.  And I'm beginning to have mixed feelings about bringing a gift at all, since this has gone on for years now.  At the beginning, it was all new and the host families hadn't been receiving so much. 

I'll be on the Paris to Honfleur next month, and I haven't decided what to do about it.  In the reviews, one person stated that the host didn't seem prepared for guests.  The only other review that mentioned it said it was lovely.  And when it's only an afternoon tea or coffee, not all the group takes part.

Author: mewslp

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 45
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2002

June 11, 2013

 We often take a small plant or bouquet that we have purchased that mornig for the hosts.

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