Tag: celebrity cruises

View All Tags

/ / / / / / /

Cruise Ship Bars are Becoming Cruise 'Hip' Bars on Celebrity Reflection

March 24, 2015 at 12:56 PM | by | Comment (1)

Most bars on cruise ships are pretty decent – you tend to have your champagne bar, martini bar, the big lounge with the live performers, and the nightclub, which is usually pretty empty but at least you can get some dance music every once in a while thrown in amongst the 60s nights.

But Celebrity Cruises has definitely upped the cool factor with a couple of bars that can be found on all Solstice class ships: yes, there’s the Martini Bar, but this one has an actual ice-top bar with ice-blue mood lighting, and there’s the Molecular Bar specializing in fancy foams and complex cocktails by award-winning mixologist Junior Merino. And then, unique to Celebrity Reflection, is the au courant pop-up nightclub concept.

Alexander Yepremian, the Reflection’s Cruise Director, had the brainiac idea to start a nightclub that would dock in a different bar each night at 10:30 p.m., with killer names like “Liquid” and “Indulgence.” On one particular night, this writer was having a glass of Pinot Noir at the club chair-rich Cellar Masters wine bar when crew started to move in carrying lights, sound equipment and cages large enough for cage dancers to shake their booty in. By the time I left, about an hour-and-a-half later, the DJ was throwing out some sweet sounds, the crowd was swaying and imbibing, and people were lined up outside on the red carpet waiting to get in.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

What It's Like Running a Hotel At Sea: Celebrity Reflection's Hotel Director Tells (Almost) All

March 18, 2015 at 10:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

Have you ever wondered what it's like to run a hotel at sea as compared to one on land? Well this is the kind of thing that occupies this writer’s brain so I took some time during my vacation aboard Celebrity Reflection to speak with the ship’s Hotel Director (because yes – they have that), Jamie Petts, to get the inside scoop.

Like a hotel GM, a ship’s Hotel Director oversees pretty much everything to do with running a regular hotel including F&B, housekeeping and guest services. But unlike a GM who also looks after revenue and bookings, Jamie’s concerns are more hands-on: getting 3,000 people off the boat and back on 25-minutes later, whether the tenders are working properly and if the pools can open on time due to rough seas.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Celebrity Cruises Wants You to Take Care of 'YourSelfie' While Onboard

March 11, 2015 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Relax. This story is not about Selfie Sticks.

With the ferociously brutal winter almost behind us, this contributor decided to take some desperately-needed recuperating time, not just for my hunched-over, heat-starved body but for my rattled, over-worked brain as well. I really needed to unplug both mind and spirit.

The only way to prevent me, however, from sneaking an illicit peek at my emails and “only answering a few” was to book a cruise where that privilege costs a pretty penny. Ergo, I found myself on Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection, their newest ship on the block.

Celebrity has keyed into a traveler's need to disconnect and so they teamed up with Randi Zuckerberg, former Facebook and current Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, and big advocate of finding a tech-life balance. The two brands came up with a series of spa and wellness treatments that encourage you to Take Care of YourSelfie. Clever marketing name aside, I didn't need to be told twice.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / / / / /

There ARE Affordable Cruises to Antarctica and We're Just Back from One

February 10, 2015 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (0)


The 'Azamara Journey' off Port Lockroy, Antarctica

The Antarctica travel season is an extremely short one, lasting from December through February. Owing to mercurial weather, strict regulations on tourism, complicated logistical planning, and the high price of what are considered once-in-a-lifetime trips, some ships will only squeeze a few voyages into those few months. As such, planning for your trip to Antarctica is best accomplished early and armed with as much first-hand information as possible.

And here's a little nugget we feel compelled to share after our own 17-day sail on Azamara Club Cruises' Azamara Journey: taking a "big ship" to Antarctica is not only possible, but it's potentially the travel deal to rule all travel deals.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

3 Awesome Cruise Deals to Jump On During 'Wave Season'

January 13, 2015 at 1:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Thinking about cruising in 2015? Then say hello to our new cruise specialist, MaidenVoyage. As a travel agent who spends day in and day out booking cruises for curious travelers, she knows cruise lines and ships like the back of a muster drill script. Got a question about cruises? Even a stupid one? MaidenVoyage has heard and seen it all, so don't be shy. Send your cruise question to her!

It's that time of year when everyone is resurfacing after the holidays, making "get fit" resolutions and dreaming of spring. But it's also that time of year when folks get to planning their vacations, either for this year or 2016 and 2017. (Ahem, guilty!) And if you're thinking about hitting a beach with crystal blue waters, you're in luck.

Right now, we are in the midst of cruising's WAVE SEASON, which lasts from January-March, and has some of the best cruise ship deals we will see all year.

Here are some of my favorite cruise deals along with some tips on how to ride the wave season for all it's worth:

more ›

/ / / / / /

Cue the Nautical Puns. Virgin Cruises is Happening!

December 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM | by | Comments (0)


Branson with a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant in the Bellagio fountain, Las Vegas

As the new year approaches, so does what the cruise industry calls "wave season." This means a slew of great promotions are offered at the beginning of the year, every year. It's perfect timing as most of the country is in a deep freeze. Before the deals, however, comes news of what to expect with cruise ships in 2015 and 2016. Here's the latest:

· Airplanes and spaceships and cruise ships, oh my?

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group confirmed today that Virgin Cruises is a GO, with two planned ships. While itineraries, sail dates, and ship specifics are hush-hush for now, Branson has dropped some hints:

We plan to shake up the cruise industry and deliver a holiday that customers will absolutely love.

They’ll be sailing on the latest ships offering great quality, a real sense of fun, and many exciting activities all delivered with the famed Virgin service.

How will the Virgin Cruise experience really compare to or include(?) their other travel offerings, like the airlines and Virgin Hotels? Are we bracing ourselves for another megaship or something more intimate? Where will the itineraries travel to? Will it be the saturated Caribbean, hot spot China, easy Europe? Whatever the decision, we'll be booking that inaugural for sure.

more ›

/ / / / / /

Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: The Eastern Caribbean

March 5, 2013 at 9:27 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited...but not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Newsflash. This is actually the best time to take a Caribbean cruise. It's not the holidays (with their premium prices), nor is it hurricane season. A ship is not a Florida beach full of spring breakers, and the temperatures are just right for tanning and swimming without sweating your face off.

Our mind immediately jumps to the newest ship plying the waves, the Celebrity Reflection. We've been on it ourselves and we recently spotted it pulling into St. Maarten, another destination that's definitely tops for a Tax Refund Vacation.

more ›

/ / / / / /

The Evolution of Cruise Ships, from 1975 to 2013: The Ship Itself

February 8, 2013 at 12:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypes—the fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.

The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:

1. Activities
2. Technology
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves

The average ship of 1975 had eight guest decks, none of them named with any creativity (ex: "Main Deck," "B Deck") while the Celebrity Reflection and similar megaships regularly boast of 13 or 14 guest decks with names ("Solstice Deck") that sound more natural than naval.

Sure, 13 decks to explore sounds like quite a bit, but then consider that the number of cabins has also risen from 500 in 1975 to 1,500 in 2013, so all that fresh space means more room for more new friends. Oh, and the chance of scoring a cabin with a verandah? Nearly 0% in 1975, depending on your ship. Heck, having a large window was living in luxury, and a dinner plate-sized porthole was far more common. In 2013, the percentage of cabins with private verandahs has skyrocketed to an impressive 85% on the Reflection, and even portholes on the lowest decks have expanded to dimensions approaching picture windows.

more ›

/ / / / / /

The Evolution of Cruise Ships, from 1975 to 2013: Cabins and Suites

February 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | Comment (1)

Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypes—the fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.

The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:

1. Activities
2. Technology
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves

There was once a time when going on a cruise meant days of fun in the sun balanced out by the small miseries of showering in a teeny-tiny restroom, sleeping in a dreary room without a balcony (or even a window larger than a dinner plate), and forgoing the usual comforts of home. Happily those days are in the past and instead cruisers can bunk down in two-bedroom suites with wet bars, baby grand pianos, massive bathrooms larger than studio apartments, and balconies galore. Even the average cabin of 2013 makes suites of 1975 looks like steerage class. Ah, evolution.

Naturally prices have risen as well—like from $550 double occupancy for a 7-day Caribbean cruise in 1975 to $890 for the same in 2013—but though the price is nearly double, the amenities and space ratios are easily quadrupled.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

The Evolution of Cruise Ships, from 1975 to 2013: Drinking and Dining

February 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM | by | Comment (1)

Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypes—the fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.

The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:

1. Activities
2. Technology
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves

Beef Wellington. Poached lobster. A tower of chocolate eclairs. Daisy-shaped pats of butter to accompany as many glistening dinner rolls as you care to eat. These are the usual suspects on a cruise ship's menu, and it's as true today as it was in 1975. The big difference is that, now, there are actually other options. The ships of 2013 offer healthy and light cuisine, cater to vegetarians and food allergies, and even employ sushi chefs to handcraft rolls to order.

Boiling it down, the decades have brought a needed shift to put quality over quantity.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / /

The Evolution of Cruise Ships, from 1975 to 2013: Technology

February 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM | by | Comment (1)

Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypes—the fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.

The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:

1. Activities
2. Technology
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves

There were no cell phones in 1975, or personal computers. Of course this is huge "duh" fact, but let that sink in for a moment when you think of the hundreds of passengers onboard a cruise ship and their near complete break with communication when they stepped onboard. Sure, there were in-room radios and ship-to-shore calling, if you wanted to pay the per-minute price, but nothing like the connectivity they now offer.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

The Evolution of Cruise Ships, from 1975 to 2013: Onboard Activities

January 30, 2013 at 5:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypes—the fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.

The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:

1. Activities
2. Technology
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves

"We're getting weirder."

It's a phrase that's been popping up in print more and more often, in attempts to describe how modern interests are evolving faster than ever before. Sure, we have the internet and its constant stream of new information and influences to mostly thank for that. Instead of coffee, we're drinking macchiatos or requesting cups brewed through a Chemex. Instead of going out for a steak dinner, we're hungry for hamachi or sous-vide venison. We're getting weirder and, oh boy, do the cruise lines know it.

more ›