Monthly Archives: February 2014

Options for Seeing Hawaii for the 1st Time

Many of you may know that I love Hawaii. I fell in love with the Aloha spirit when I first visited the Big Island on my honeymoon. After several other visits to the islands, I still can’t wait to go again. Maybe its is the warm weather, the fresh fruits and vegetables, or the laid back friendly attitude of the locals. Or maybe it is the history and the culture that draws me there. Whatever it is, I am always dreaming of returning and relaxing in the sun.IMG00235-20120214-1601.jpg

What is your favorite Island? What are your favorite sights? How do you know what island is right for you? These are all questions I have been asked. Some of these are easy to answer like the Big Island is my favorite and I love seeing the whales playing off sure during the winter. There are others that are harder though like “What island is right for me?”.429 ft. Akaka Falls

Each of the Islands has its own feel and appeals to a different group of people. A call to travel agent specializing in Hawaii can get you the answer to the right island question. You can expect the agent to ask you a few questions about what you like to do, what you like to see, what type of accommodations do you prefer,  and more about your lifestyle. They can then match you to the island that fits you the best.

Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

But what if you want to experience more than one island yourself? You would have to arrange inter-island flights and hotels on each island you want to see. This type of planning becomes much harder making the dates and times all match up but there is another option. You can take a Hawaiian Islands cruise. Most of the major cruise lines offer cruises to Hawaii. Most offer cruises from the west coast during the winter months as they repositions ships to do Alaskan Cruises and other markets. They offer stops at multiple Islands giving you the day to explore and get a feel for each one.

Pride of America along the Napali Coast

Pride of America along the Napali Coast

But what if you don’t want to spend so much time at sea sailing from the west coast all the way to Hawaii and back? Norwegian Cruise Line offers a 7-day round-trip inter-island cruise from Honolulu on the Pride of America year round. This cruise gives you by far the most time on the Islands, after all the reason you’re visiting Hawaii is to experience Hawaii. Two full days in Maui and a day and a half in Kauai as well as two days, at different ports, on the Big Island are included on this itinerary. You will also experience cruising past the Napali Coast line on Kauai. This is a truly great option to see what each island has to offer.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

There are many ways to experience the Aloha Spirit. My suggestion is to take the plunge and do it. You will not regret it.

Author: Nathan Nehmer, nate@cardinalcruiseandtravel.com

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Categories: Cruise, Hawaii, Norwegian Cruise Line, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrity Announces New “Suite Class” Taking Pampering to a New Level

Celebrity is now joining in on giving the ultimate in pampering by unveiling the “Suite Class” experience on their ships.  Exclusive new benefits include a suites-only restaurant, VIP lounge, complimentary premium beverages, plus much more. A personal butler will also be there to help take care of every need. This will truly be an over-the-top experience.

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“Our guests are accustomed to exceptional quality and service, and for those wishing to further indulge in the very best while on vacation we have launched ‘Suite Class’, specially designed to appeal to the most discerning vacationer,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “We know that suite guests value privacy, personalized service, exclusive access and flexibility, and providing them with their own unique benefits, such as a dedicated restaurant with a dining experience like no other, is just another way that we are significantly elevating the guest’s vacation with us.”

Reflection Suite Bathroom

Reflection Suite Bathroom

 

There are 3 levels to the new “Suite Class”. The Entry Level is for guests staying in the Sky Suites. The Mid Level is for guest staying in the Signature Suites and the Celebrity Suites. Finally, the Top Level is for guests who are staying in the Royal Suite, Penthouse Suite, and the one of a kind Reflection Suite.  The higher the level the more amenities are offered to you. You can see these by clicking on the link below.

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Some amenities included in the new “Suite Class” are:

Private dining – A dedicated private restaurant reserved exclusively for all Suite Class guests will be available morning, noon and night. Each meal will feature unique menus that offer sumptuous dishes not available anywhere else onboard. Guests can truly immerse themselves in the local culture with specially crafted menus inspired by the local destination, and enjoy the world’s best ingredients. Memorable and inspiring dishes will be served, from locally caught seafood, to the freshest pasta. The Suite Class chef can provide a tailor-made experience to suite guests and prepare a dish to their liking, and the Cellar Master – Celebrity’s head sommelier – will select from more than 450 wines to provide the perfect pairing.

Premium ‘all in’ benefits – Premium beverages, dining across all specialty restaurants, unlimited internet access and a private bar with water, sodas and beers will all be complimentary for guests staying in Royal, Penthouse and Reflection suites.

VIP lounge – A private VIP lounge, Michael’s Club, will be available to guests staying in Celebrity, Signature, Royal, Penthouse and Reflection suites. A dedicated Concierge service and unique food and beverage experiences by Celebrity’s James Beard- featured chef will be provided to guests.

 

This amazing news from Celebrity is another example of how the mainstream cruise lines are stepping up their product to their top end customers. Just last Month Norwegian Cruise Line introduced their Butler Drawn Bath Menu for guests staying in their suites and in The Haven. You can read more about that in my earlier post Being Pampered, What Would You Pay?.  If you can afford it these options sure seem like a great way to get pampered while on you cruise vacation.

Categories: Celebrity, Celebrity Cruise Line News, Cruise, cruise news | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrity and “Top Chef”, a Foodie Dream

Are you a foodie? If you are, yesterday’s news from Celebrity Cruise Line and Bravo’s “Top Chef” might just be your dream come true.  The two announced a partnership that will bring a taste of the Emmy® Award-winning culinary competition while sailing the seas on 10 of Celebrities’ modern luxury ships. This will be the cruise industry’s first Top Chef-themed licensing partnership on a large scale.

dish-020414-top-chef-at-sea_0“Embodying passion for creativity and culinary excellence,‘TopChef’ perfectly complements our already exceptional culinary line-up and innovative dining that guests enjoy while vacationing with us,” said Lisa Kauffman, VP of Marketing, Celebrity Cruises. “We are thrilled to offer new, diverse experiences in the coming year that invite vacationers to engage in their favorite entertainment and culinary options exclusively onboard Celebrity.”

Celebrity will launch four special cruises that will feature former “Top Chef” contestants. Guests on these sailing will have the opportunity to participate in complimentary cooking demonstrations, the show’s famous, interactive Quickfire Challenges and other activities. Guest will also have the opportunity to enjoy private cooking classes and events hosted by the former contestants at an additional fee. These four sailings are:

  1. July 27 2014 on the Celebrity Summit sailing to Bermuda.
  2. August 15, 2014 on the Celebrity Solstice sailing to Alaska
  3. September 19, 2014 on the Celebrity Infinity sailing to: Paris (Le Havre), France; Bordeaux(La Rochelle),France; Bilbao, Spain; Vigo, Spain; Porto (Leixoes), Portugal; and Harwich, England departing from Harwich, England.
  4. November 15, 2014 on the Celebrity Reflection sailing to: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Miami, Florida departing from Miami, Florida.

In addition to the four exclusive cruises with “Top Chef” alums, Celebrity will also introduce Quickfire Challenges and “Top Chef”-inspired menu evenings to its modern luxury vacations on all sailings departing July 2014 – June 2015.

“‘Top Chef’ viewers are constantly asking for their chance to get a taste of the show first-hand,” said Jamie Cutburth, SVP of Partnerships, Bravo & Oxygen Media. “With their commitment to and excellence in providing top-tier gastronomic experiences, the partnership with Celebrity Cruises is a delicious way for us to satisfy this request for Bravo’s loyal and passionate fan base.”

The four exclusive cruise will be sure to fill up fast so, if you want to experience this, you should book your cruise soon.

Author: Nathan Nehmer nate@cardinalcruiseandtravel.com

Info courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Line

Categories: Celebrity, Celebrity Cruise Line News, Cruise | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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