Quinceañeras at Sea

15CrownflowersIn many Latin American cultures, the quinceañera, though it does not always go by that name, is an important rite of passage into adulthood for young women. The word quinceañera literally means “one who is fifteen,” and, traditionally, the quinceañera celebration is held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday, to mark her transition from child to adult.

As the ritual is an important part of many Latin American cultures, it takes on different meanings and overtones in each culture. In Mexico, the tradition of the quinceañera is thought to date back to the times of the Aztecs, although no one knows for sure. In Aztec tradition, young women were expected to marry and care for the household, so they were only taught the skills that would help them do so better. The quinceañera was a signal that the young woman was being prepared for marriage and would soon be available to do just that. The women of the village would teach the young woman the skills needed to maintain a household and be a good wife. Occasionally, if a young girl was a member of the elect, she would be chosen as a priestess, and would be trained to that end.Continue reading

Celebrating Halloween at Sea with Disney Cruise Line®

A real treat for 2013 cruisers is just a click away! This year, Disney Cruise Line® is celebrating a very festive occasion at sea with themed sailings.

Halloween on the High Seas Cruises


Sail aboard the Disney Dream® this Halloween and have a scream! From September 22nd to October 31st, Disney Dream® will be conjuring up mischievous fun for pumpkin-lovers of all ages! Here’s a few of the activities you can look forward to when you sail on the Halloween themed cruises:

• Special Halloween decor—including a massive pumpkin tree in the atrium that sprouts overnight!

• Kids can Trick or Treat with their favorite Disney characters and march in the Costume Parade!

• Adults can enter a costume contest and dance the night away with a villainous take-over in the Evolution Night Club

• Your whole family can enjoy a Mousequerade deck party and scream along with Jack and Sally at the Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream show!

Get your scream on with Disney Cruise Line this Halloween season! Call your AffordableTours.com travel agent to book your cruise at 1.800.814.8381 or visit http://cruises.affordabletours.com/Disney_Cruises/.


Did you find this post helpful? Comment below and tell us!




Touring the European Christmas Markets with Viking River Cruise

Throughout Europe (especially Germany and Eastern Europe), in a historic tradition dating back hundreds of years, many towns and villages open their “Christmas Market” for the holiday season. Buildings light up with Christmas decorations, vendors sell hand-made, traditional toys and other Christmas mementos, and the town square is turned into an open-air celebration of Christmas. (You can watch this short video to get an idea of what to expect at a European Christmas Market.)

The Christmas Markets in Europe are rich with tradition and history, each one a unique reflection of local culture. If you have an interest in a unique Christmas vacation you’ll remember for a lifetime, consider a European Christmas Market tour with Viking River Cruises.

Let’s pick a few major cities and take a closer look at what makes some of the more notable destinations on the European Christmas Market river cruise so special.Continue reading