It’s My Party and I’ll Cruise If I Want To!
Why today’s travel-driven quinceañeras choose to celebrate at sea.
By Emma Trelles
A rite of passage is, by its very moniker, a journey of sorts, a migration between a place where one has long existed toward a new and sparkling land. At least that’s how my family and I thought of my coming-of-age party, when not only was I presented with the idea of crossing the highway from girl to woman, but with what, to a bookish and bespectacled 15-year-old, was the most significant choice of my life:
Did I want a party or a cruise?
Yes, we were planning what Americanos refer to as a Sweet 16, but what Latinos like us, Cuban-Americans to be precise, celebrate as quinces, the Magical 15, a time that not only ushered in adulthood but a modicum of independence for the quinceañera.
But first, a decision: Did I want to partake in a traditional quinces,which in the ’80s meant donning an enormous hoop-skirted gown in a flaming tropical hue, perhaps rising out of a set constructed to appear as a carriage or an oyster; a choreographed waltz of 14 pairs of alleged friends; a solo dance with my father; and other sundry rituals that would mortify me? Or, would I prefer to take a cruise with my immediate family and a friend of my choosing to ports in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Mexico?
The cruise won. And now, just a couple of decades later, a millennial crop of quinceañeras no longer have to decide between tradition and adventure. They can have both.
One travel agency that’s been helping to provide such dream cruises for girls celebrating their Quinces and Sweet 16s since 1996 is Happy Holidays Travel. Working with major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Norwegian Cruise Line, their team of experienced coordinators take care of every detail for a unique, over-the-top celebration while families enjoy a fun and relaxing cruise experience.
For the parents, it’s about economics, says Maurice Mompoint, marketing director for Happy Holidays Travel, adding that….
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*Information has been updated since printing