Halloween on the High Seas Cruises & MerryTime

Halloween and Christmas are fast approaching, and there’s still time to book passage aboard one of Diney Cruise Line’s ships. Rolling out new events for both holidays, these ships will cater to the whole family, including parties, parades, decorations, and seasonal treats.

Halloween on the High Seas Cruises, Sept. 22 – Oct. 31

Aboard the Disney Dream, passengers can enjoy trick-or-treating with Disney characters, a Costume parade, a Mousequerade deck party, and the Nightmare Before Christmas Sing and Scream show. For adults, the Evolution Night Club is transformed with a costume contest and a dance hosted by the Disney villains.

MerryTime, Nov. 12 – Jan. 6

On all four Disney Cruise Line ships, passengers can enjoy the transformation of the ships into a winter wonderland with a nautical theme. Kids can go to King Triton’s tree lighting ceremony. Family activities play games, dance, and celebrate with Disney Characters at a tropical holiday deck party. And, as no Christmas would be complete without them, Santa and his elves will greet guests.

We invite you to read more with the Disney Flyer

Mayan Celebrations

Many people are familiar with the significance of the date  December 21, 2012 as the end of the Mayan’s 5,125 year calendar known as the  Long Count.  Like Y2K before it, there  are those who believe that this date in some way signifies the end of the  world.  A sentiment that the modern day Mayans  themselves don’t actually share.  But it does  serve as the basis for several great events.

Tulum
Tulum, Flickr/Alaskan Dude

Not being so much a prelude to the end of the world as a celebration  of the culture that inspired the hysteria, the Mexican government launched the Mundo Maya 2012 tourism program to be dedicated to authentic  activities and events that promote an understanding and appreciation of the  Mayan Culture.

Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza, Flickr/ Kyle Simbourd

If you’re looking for something a little more commercial,  consider one of the many hotel chains that dot the Mexican Riviera which are offering  Mayan inspired and centered activities such as spa treatments, yoga seminars, parties  set to commence on December 21, and even activities for the kids.  Click here for more information.

For those looking for a more historic and cultural aspect,  we recommend checking out the Cancun   Maya Museum.   Recently opened, this museum is  dedicated Mayan culture featuring exhibits  that include skeletal remains that are  approximately 14,000 years old found in Tulum’s underwater caves and artifacts  that detail Mayan art, life, and architecture.

For more activities and events, click here.

It’s not too late to book some last minute trips to Mexico to enjoy these celebrations. Contact us today to get started.

German Christmas Markets

As Travel Agents we enjoy not only going to different places but visiting different places at different times of the year. Europe offers as many different Christmas experiences as it does places, and one of our favorites is, without question, the Christmas Markets of Germany.

German Christmas Market
Flickr / ReneS

Germany at Christmas time is a magical place to be. If you are looking for a magical Christmas place to visit to get into the holiday spirit, look no farther. Germany has a long history of traditional Christmas Markets or Weihnachtsmarkt’s as they are called, which date back to 1434. There are hundreds of Christmas markets all over Germany which are generally open from the end of November until Christmas Eve. Markets are open daily from approximately 10:00am – 8pm or 9pm.

Vienna Christmas Market Stall
Flickr / Wien-Vienna

Visiting a Christmas market feels as if you have stepped into an enchanting fairy tale with the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas in the air. Streets and buildings are festively decorated in holiday lights and colorful decorations. German Christmas carols are sung and small stalls are decorated with nutcrackers, ornaments, candles and a variety of local handicrafts such as children’s toys, wood carvings, tablecloths and much more. The scents in the air from freshly baked gingerbread, sausages roasting on a open fire and Glühwein which is a mulled wine that will warm you right up on a cold December night are impossible to resist!

Gingerbread
Flickr / tsteenbergen

International Halloween Traditions

While  Sandy barrels  towards the East Coast, we, here on the West Coast, are enjoying unseasonably  warm weather and looking towards Halloween on Wednesday.  For anyone wanting to add an international addendum  to everyone’s favorite candy coated holiday, here are two ways to do so:

Ireland

The country where our American version of Halloween  originated, Halloween in Ireland  is celebrated by with Adults and Children dressing up, lighting bonfires, and playing  a particular fortune telling game that features barmbrack, a fruit bread baked  with five items that were said to foretell the future of the person who  received each piece.

Barmbrack
Photo by Sylvar/ Flickr
  • A Pea
    • The person who received          this would not marry the next year.
  • A Stick
    • The person would have an          unhappy marriage.
  • A Piece of Cloth
    • Fortells bad luck or          poverty.
  • A Small Coin
    • Good fortune.
  • and a Ring
    • Telling the receiver they          would marry in the coming year.

To learn more, click here.

Mexico

Dia De Los Muertos, the holiday that most Americans associate  with as the Mexican version of Halloween, isn’t actually celebrated until  November 2 where it is actually apart of three consecutive holidays that are  celebrated in conjunction with Halloween.

Sugar Skull
Photo by Jennifer Vazquez/ Flickr

The importance of this day is that it celebrates the dead  which is achieved by building altars containing favorite foods of the dead,  cleaning and decorating the graves of loved ones, and the recognizable calavera  or skulls which can be created from sugar and decorated colorfully and brightly.  With a surge in popularity here in America,  it’s possible for anyone to create a beautiful skull with the availability of  molds, kits, and even the pre-purchased variety.

To learn more, click here.