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Crown Cruise Vacations | November 23, 2017

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Europe

Shore Excursion: How ‘Holy Toledo’ got its nickname

October 4, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

TOLEDO, Spain – About the closest my Aunt Minnie ever came to cursing was to mutter “Holy Toledo” whenever she had reached her “wit’s end,” another favorite Aunt Minnie saying.

I never knew what either of those meant when I was a kid. It took a trip to Toledo, Spain, to learn the origin of Aunt Minnie’s favorite exclamation. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Spanish city of Toledo and legend of the pins

September 6, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Once upon a time, two lovers were separated by war. To pray for her soldier’s safe return, the young lady would visit an image of the Virgin Mary and pray every night.

Afraid that she might fall asleep during her long vigil, the lady asked her maid to stick her with a pin if she faltered in her prayers. Then the lady would present the pin to the Virgin Mary as proof of her dedication and sacrifice. Read more...

Iceland horses an unusual breed

December 22, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

Imagine Iceland without horses, those beautiful short husky creatures that look so striking on the country’s landscape.

That’s the way it was until the Vikings came more than 1,000 years ago and brought  Nordic horses with them. Although they are smaller than most horses, I learned shortly after arriving in Iceland not to call them ponies. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Are Santorini ruins the fabled Atlantis?

January 21, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

SANTORINI, Greece – Could this actually be the fabled Atlantis? Some people think it is and some research does support that belief.

However, others believe the mysterious Atlantis never really existed. That it was a make-believe place used by the early Greek philosopher Plato to teach a lesson in humility. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Visiting the home of Eau de Cologne in Germany

October 26, 2015 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

COLOGNE, Germany  – Napoleon Bonaparte loved Eau de Cologne so much that he ordered 50 bottles a month. The famous emperor used the fragrant water extravagantly and supposedly had special boots designed where he could stash an emergency bottle of cologne. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Catacombs, Venus de Milo & much more on Milos, Greece

September 29, 2015 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

MILOS, Greece – It gave me shivers just to be standing here. Tucked into a hillside on the Greek isle of Milos are the graves of early Christians. These catacombs are from the 1st century AD. It is mind boggling to consider what took place here and how long ago it happened. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Ruins of ancient Ephesus in Turkey

June 22, 2015 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Carved into stone, the drawing of a footprint may be the first public billboard advertisement ever recorded in history.

“It pointed the way to the local brothel,” guide Bulent Yurttas said, leading us around the ancient city of Ephesus. The dots on the stone represent the number of prostitutes in the brothel and the heart carving means the women are eager for love. Read more...

Shore Excursion: Mesmerizing Mykonos a major mecca for travelers

May 4, 2015 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

I could never understand what Jackie Kennedy saw in Aristotle Onassis. But I can certainly see why the former First Lady fell in love with the Greek island of Mykonos.

Mesmerizing Mykonos is definitely one of the most popular and most-visited Greek isles. Read more...

The Best Family Destinations

November 5, 2013 | Roger

Recently, travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet released its lists of top destinations for the upcoming year. It’s hard to believe 2014 is right around the corner, but it is the time of year where lists start finding their way into the news. Today, we noticed their top ten family destinations for 2014, and there’s a lot of great calls in our opinion. Read more...

Three Reasons to See Europe by River

July 30, 2013 | Roger

Europe. In relative terms, it is not that big. But the number of things for a traveler to see and do is overwhelming.There are ways, however, to maximize what can be seen but without the “hurry up and wait” mentality that can come along with a packed, multi-country itinerary. We think one of the best ways to see the continent is to see it by boat. Not a cruise ship, but a river boat. Much of Europe was built along important rivers, after all. There are tons of benefits to traveling by river, but here’s three really big ones. Read more...