– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
The great thing about a great cruise is that so many great things are happening you don’t have enough time to write about them as quickly as you like…because there are other great things to be done.
Our next day, August 24th, was a sea day. It nicely allowed us to rest up before four hectic days visiting Israel and Egypt. However, I was so busy and having so much fun that “rest” never really happened. (I am actually writing this after having been to Israel and Egypt – which were truly fascinating and enlightening experiences – and which I will write extensively about.)
After spending some time with the kids, being a bit frustrated by the crowds around the pool and spas, and attending the Corning Hot Glass Show, which is quite popular, both in its education and the fun of hoping you will win one of the beautiful glass pieces they create in front of you, it was time to start checking out some of the Celebrity Life wine seminar offerings. Note, however, that the Celebrity Life program announced seems to be more of a repackaging of already existing Celebrity offerings; just with a bit more cache.
I attended the Reidel sponsored seminar on how the shape of the wine glass affects the taste of the wine. While I was familiar with the concept, what I had never done in quite so much detail was drink wine out of the various “wrong” glasses to confirm the glass makes a serious difference – good and bad. It was, to be sure, enjoyable and even a bit enlightening…and I have drunk and talked about my fair share of wine in my time. At the end of the seminar (which costs $87) you are given a voucher for a single set of four Reidel crystal glasses which you can carry off or have shipped for a reasonable price. You are also given the option of purchasing additional sets at a discounted price.
While I usually am very skeptical of the cruise lines pushing anything onboard which costs money, I honestly believe this seminar/purchase is an excellent value for anyone interested in wines except for the true expert. And Celebrity limits the number of people per cruise that can take the seminar to 40 (a number which was not reached on our cruise.) Also, this seminar is not available on every Celebrity cruise, so if you are interested, you may want to check in advance…though you cannot sign up for the seminars before boarding.
On the next sea day Celebrity will be holding a Wines From Around the World tasting in Cellar Masters. It is presented not so much as a seminar, but an opportunity to taste 20 different wines from 12 different countries along with appropriate canapés and such. Frankly, at a cost of $20 per person I think it is another tremendous value, even if you don’t care about another other than having a few glasses of wine. I will, of course, let you know how it goes.
I also had the honor of dining at the Captain’s Table with Captain Apostolos Bouzakis. Aside from the fact that my DW sat next to him and had nothing to do with me because she was so charmed by him and his good looks, Captain Bouzakis was the most open, friendly and animated captain I have dined with. Of course he answered questions, but he made us laugh. The Captain has invited us to the bridge and I am truly looking forward to seeing what one of the most state of the art large cruise ships has onboard.