Visit the Island of Catalina…and Capri

Do It Here…Then Do It There

Who doesn’t love an island getaway? For SoCal residents, it’s easy to escape to an isle of beauty and relaxation thanks to Catalina Island. Located about an hour’s ferry ride from Long Beach or Newport Beach, Catalina Island has adventures and nature.

Catalina Island, as seen from the ferry.
Catalina Island, as seen from the ferry.

Visitors to Catalina Island have many different options for how to spend a day. You can leisurely walk around the quaint main town of the island, Avalon, and take in its old Victorian homes or marvel at the impressive sailboats that line its harbor. Cars are few and far between on the island, but you can get around by renting a golf cart for a couple hours and going on the scenic drive around Avalon with a detour to the botanical garden. For a fun beach day, head to Descanso Beach where you can rent a beach lounger for the day or lie on the sand and order drinks from the servers making rounds. Those looking for adventure can find some thrills at the zipline course.

Once you’ve experienced Catalina Island, you’ll probably be ready for more island excitement, and when it comes to lovely, luxurious islands, it doesn’t get much better than Capri, Italy. Lush greenery, turquoise waters and opulent towns greet you at Capri. You can easily spend a day in Capri during a Mediterranean cruise that stops in Naples as Capri is a short ferry ride from the harbor where the cruise ships dock.

While in Capri, take the funicular up to Capri Town, where you can leisurely walk around, do some luxury shopping, admire immaculate gardens and enjoy a glass of wine at one of the relaxing cafes. Capri Town is also adjacent to a number of hiking trails from which you can enjoy rugged views of the Capri coastline.

View from Capri hiking trail.
View from Capri hiking trail.

Celebrity Cruises has numerous itineraries that stop in Naples, the gateway to Capri. You can even sail the Mediterranean to Capri onboard the Celebrity Silhouette, the first of our gorgeous and award-winning Solstice-class ships. Contact us today and get ready for your own Capri cruise vacation.

Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party Recap

Celebrity Cruises SoCal Exhibits with Orange Coast’s Best of 2014 at Rancho Las Lomas

Music was in the air, drinks were being passed out, food samples were being devoured, and a white tiger was playing in its cage.

Gorgeous and playful White Bengal Tiger at Rancho Las Lomas.
Gorgeous and playful White Bengal Tiger at Rancho Las Lomas.

Wait…white tiger? If you think one of those items don’t belong, think again, because that was the atmosphere at last week’s fun and trendy Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party at Rancho Las Lomas.

Rancho Las Lomas is located within the foothills of Orange County and consists of gorgeous old Spanish-style buildings and a zoological garden with zebras, tigers, alpacas, caracals, and more wonderful, exotic animals. It was a great backdrop for this event, which was hosted by Orange Coast Magazine and featured the magazine’s Best of 2014 choices.

Registration table for the Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party with a pool and bar behind it.
Registration table for the Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party with a pretty pool and bar behind it.

We were excited to be a part of the event and handed out Celebrity Cruises stemless wine glasses to all attendees who stopped by our booth.

Celebrity Cruises stemless wine glasses at Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party.
Celebrity Cruises stemless wine glasses.

We also partnered with Ferrari-Carano Wines and a selection of the Sonoma-based winery’s reds and whites were poured at the Celebrity Cruises booth.

Ferrari-Carano Wines poured at the Celebrity Cruises booth at Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party.
Ferrari-Carano Wines

We had a spot for attendees to learn more about Celebrity Cruises and enter a drawing to win a fabulous cruise as well.

In addition, we had the fun of greeting attendees as they arrived with our cheese booth set up next to the registration table. Guests could sample a cheese and guess what it was (Gouda!). Those with a Twitter account could then participate in our “Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises” contest.

"Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises" cheese booth at the Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party at Rancho Las Lomas.
“Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises” cheese booth.

From artisan bread and caprese salad to s’mores and chocolate chip cookie dough waffles, the other exhibitors presented attendees with a wide sampling of the best food Orange County has to offer.

Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party at Rancho Las Lomas
Artisan Bread
Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party at Rancho Las Lomas
S’mores Stand
Food, drinks, and more at the Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party at Rancho Las Lomas.
Food, drinks, and more at the Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party at Rancho Las Lomas.

And when it was time to depart, guests headed back to their car past zebras and talking macaws. A very enjoyable night indeed.

These beautiful macaws could say "hello."
These beautiful macaws could say “hello.”

Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Sweepstakes Official Rules for Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party

Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Sweepstakes

Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN PRIZE. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE ONE’S CHANCES OF WINNING.

1. ELIGIBILITY: The “Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Sweepstakes” (“Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Celebrity Cruises Inc. (“CCI” or “Sponsor”). Sweepstakes is open only to residents of California, 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees, officers and directors of Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, electronic media firm, and their immediate family members (spouses and parents, children and siblings and their spouses, regardless of where they live) and those living in the same household (whether related or not) of such employees, officers and directors are not eligible.  All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.  Void where prohibited by law.

2. TIMING: Sweepstakes begins at 6:00 p.m. on 7/17/14 and ends at 10:00 p.m. on 7/17/14 (“Sweepstakes Period”). All times are Pacific Standard Time or “PST.”

3. HOW TO ENTER: Sign into your Twitter account at www.Twitter.com (“Sweepstakes Website”). You must have a Twitter account in order to participate; there is no fee to open an account. Your participation on Twitter must comply with the Terms of Service posted on the website. This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter. If you choose to enter via a mobile phone, standard message and data rates may apply and entrants should contact their wireless provider for pricing plan details.

STEPS TO ENTER:

Photograph Requirements:

  • Photograph must be an original, unpublished picture.
  • Photograph must be in a file format and file size that is in compliance with Twitter’s Terms of Service.

Photograph may NOT include: (a) any copyrighted material including but not limited to images, copy, trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive building exteriors), look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures living or dead, or profanity, nudity or material deemed offensive to the Sponsor; (b) false or defamatory statements about any person or any third party; (c) third party trademarks which suggest affiliation with any trademark owner without permission of such owner or that dilute the value of any trademark; (d) act which is dangerous or harmful to person or property or suggests/depicts any person to undertake a dangerous activity; or (e) obscene, indecent, violent, sexually explicit, abusive, discriminatory, racially inflammatory or other morally or legally objectionable depictions of material, in the opinion of the Sponsor. If an Entry includes any of the prohibited elements listed above, the Entry will be disqualified, along with the entrant who submitted it. Sponsor reserves the right to modify or reject any Entry, in their sole discretion, that does not meet the above criteria. Once submitted, an Entry cannot be modified. BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HIS/HER ENTRY MAY BE POSTED ON SPONSOR’S WEBSITE AND EDITED, IN SPONSOR’S DISCRETION.

Entries generated by script, macro or other automated or mechanical means will be void. Any attempt by any participant to submit more than the stated number of entries by using multiple or different email addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that participant’s entries and that participant may be disqualified.  The collection of Entry registration information by Sponsor is subject to its privacy policy found at www.celebritycruises.com. By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants agree that Sponsor shall have the right to use all personal information provided to Sponsor in accordance with the Privacy Policy posted on the Sweepstakes Website.

4. USE OF ENTRIES: Entries become property of Sponsor and none will be returned or acknowledged except as provided herein. Submission of an Entry grants Sponsor and its agents an unlimited, worldwide, perpetual license and right to publish, use, edit, adapt, modify and/or publicly perform the Entry in any way, in commerce and in any and all media worldwide now known or hereinafter developed, without limitation and without notice or consideration of the entrant.

5. PRIZE and Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): a $100.00 Visa® Gift Card. Terms and conditions on gift card apply. Any expenses not mentioned above are the winner’s responsibility. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

6. WINNER will be selected in a random drawing to be conducted on or about 7/18/14 by Sponsor whose decisions are final on all matters relating to the Sweepstakes. Winner will be notified by Sponsor via Direct Message on Twitter to the account provided at the time of entry within three (3) days following the random drawing. Then the winner will be required to complete a Prize Acceptance/Address Verification Form, which must be returned within five (5) days of the date on the notification or an alternate winner will be selected.

7. GENERAL TERMS: Any prize notification or prize returned as undeliverable will be awarded to an alternate.  Prize can be substituted at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Prize is not transferable. Taxes are the winner’s responsibility.  Prize acceptance constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner’s name and likeness, address (city and state), photograph, voice, prize information and/or biographical information and any statements made by entrant regarding the Sweepstakes or the Sponsor for publicity, trade, advertising or promotion purposes at any time or times, worldwide and on the World Wide Web, without additional compensation, notice, review or approval.  By participating, entrant agrees (a) to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor which shall be final in all respects; and (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, Twitter, Inc. (“Twitter”), and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors (collectively “Releasees”), from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including, without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death that may occur in connection with, preparation for, or participation in the Sweepstakes, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Sweepstakes-related activity, including travel and including, without limitation, personal injury, death and property damage.  Releasees are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, incomplete, illegible or postage-due entries or Internet technical, hardware, software, telephone, or transmission failures of any kind, which may limit a person’s ability to enter the Sweepstakes.  Releasees are not responsible for any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from entering or downloading any materials in the Sweepstakes.  Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or suspend advertising the Sweepstakes on the Internet should a computer virus, unauthorized intervention or other cause corrupt the integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant found to be disrupting the operation of the Sweepstakes or its web site. If the integrity of the Internet portion of the Sweepstakes is compromised in any manner, Sponsor reserves the right to modify Sweepstakes and randomly select a winner from valid entries received that are unaffected by the problem. In the event of a dispute as to the identity of any online entrant, entrant will be deemed the individual named on the online entry form. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or website. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY ALTER OR DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW AND SHALL NOTIFY THE APPROPRIATE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL AUTHORITIES OF SUCH ATTEMPTS. Submission of any digital computer materials containing malicious computer code, viruses, bugs, worms or any other intentionally destructive or harmful computer materials is also a violation of the law and in addition to automatically disqualifying the entrant, will be subject to any prosecution or claim the Sponsor determines is warranted. By participating, entrant agrees that, in the event of a dispute regarding this Sweepstakes (a) any and all claims, rights or causes of action will be litigated solely in a court of competent jurisdiction in the County of Miami Dade, State of Florida; and (b) these Official Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Florida, with the exception of Florida conflict-of-law provisions.

8. WINNER LIST: For the winner’s name, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Winner’s Name, 1080 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132-2096 or email SoCalEvents@celebrity.com.

9. SPONSOR: Celebrity Cruises Inc., 1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132.

Art Galleries in Laguna Beach…and London

Do it Here, Then Do it There…

If you’re looking for an artistic way to while away an afternoon in Southern California, look no farther than Laguna Beach in Orange County. The small city located right next to the Pacific Ocean is home to dozens of art galleries in the city’s charming and easily walkable downtown area. Across the Atlantic Ocean is another pedestrian-friendly city that also has its fair share of art galleries: London, England. Southern California residents who love art should visit Laguna Beach, then make plans to fly over to London for more art-centric afternoons.

Here: Visiting Art Galleries in Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach has art galleries ranging from contemporary to historic. A big draw for animal lovers is the Wyland Gallery, which is located on the coast highway and is full of paintings and sculptures by the world famous artist, Wyland, depicting scenes from the sea, with an emphasis on majestic whales.

Those looking for some artwork done by locals will enjoy browsing through the Laguna Art Museum, which was founded by the Laguna Beach Art Association, an organization that dates back to 1918. The focus of the Laguna Art Museum is on California artists and California-inspired artwork, both from the past and present day. Much of the art on display depicts scenes from the lives of Californians and the history of California.

There are also many contemporary art galleries in Laguna Beach, which are hard to miss. Simply walk along the streets of the downtown village of Laguna Beach between Myrtle Street and Legion Street (and beyond if you’re really feeling like getting exercise) and you’ll run into a variety of Laguna Beach art galleries — they’re quite prevalent and hard to miss.

Now There: Visiting Art Galleries in London

London, England has some of the most prestigious art galleries in the world and during a northern Europe cruise, you can have the chance to visit them when your cruise stops in Southampton, the gateway port to London. Many cruises also start or end in Southampton, meaning you can tag on a few more vacation days before or after your cruise to spend time in London.

Here are the top art galleries to see in London depending on your interests:

The National Gallery: Features artwork from the 13th century through the 19th century, including art by Van Gogh, da Vinci, Botticelli, and Renoir.

Tate Modern: Located in an old power station, Tate Modern has an urban feel to it, which is the perfect backdrop to the multitude of contemporary and modern art it houses. This is one of the premier galleries for modern art in the world.

Tate Britain: This gallery focuses on paintings and other artwork by British artists and boasts the largest collection of British art in the world.

Barbican Art Gallery: Focusing on art forms like photography, design, and architecture, the Barbican Art Gallery is an intriguing glance at some of the world’s most inventive art forms.

Hayward Gallery: This innovative museum features exhibits from international artists that push the boundaries of the art world. Its building is also interesting to see, as it is in the rare Brutalist style of architecture.

Interested in Visiting Laguna Beach or London?

Laguna Beach is most easily accessed with a car; take the Laguna Canyon Road (Hwy 133) exit from the 5 Freeway. Street parking (usually with time constraints) can be found or there are several pay parking lots located around the city where you can park longer.

To visit London via cruise, check out Celebrity Cruises’ excellent northern Europe itineraries that stop in Southampton; click here for Southampton cruise itineraries.

 

Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party

It’s event time again for those of us at Celebrity Cruises SoCal and this time we’re excited to be heading to the Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party on July 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and we hope you join us!

Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party Details

Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party
Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party

The Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party is hosted by Orange Coast Magazine and will feature companies from around Orange County that have been selected as the “best of” its category by Orange Coast Magazine. Restaurants, bars, beauty companies, and many more local companies will be at the party. There will be food samplings, signature cocktails, and craft beer served from the Best of 2014 winners and their partners. In addition, you can relax at the beauty stations set up around the party or chat with other local companies about their services and products. Celebrity Cruises will be hard to miss at this event as we’ll be handing out some delicious cheese by the entrance to the event with the chance to win a $100 VISA gift card as part of our “Name that Cheese with Celebrity Cruises” sweepstakes. Find out how well you know your cheeses. We’ll also be sharing information on Celebrity Cruises vacations and current promotions we have going on — such as our wildly popular 123go! deal, which gives you free drinks (including alcoholic ones), free gratuities, or an onboard credit of $300 (use it toward a spa treatment, specialty dining, or more) on your cruise. Cruise to Europe and you can get two of these special offers for your cruise.

Orange Coast Best of 2014 Location

The Orange Coast Best of 2014 Party will be held at Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Foundation located at 19191 Lawrence Canyon in Silverado, California. Due to the location, the event will have a safari theme and attendees are encouraged to dress in safari attire. Tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased here. A portion of the proceeds will be going to benefit Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Foundation.

Hope to see you there!

Top California Wine Regions

California is a land of surf and sunshine, yet a particular type of agriculture is what keeps many people traveling to and around California time and again: the vineyard. California is home to a many wine regions and we’re going to break down the most popular for you.

Napa Valley

Wine tasting in Napa.
Wine tasting in Napa.

Napa, the wine region that pretty much started it all…at least for America. Before the Napa-based winery, Chateau Montelena, won the Paris Wine Tasting Event of 1976 — nicknamed the Judgement of Paris — American grown grapes and wine were frowned upon by the international wine community. The win put Napa and California on the map. Today it is known as one of the premier wine regions in the world. A visit there means the chance to taste at world-class wineries, many of which are housed in gorgeous building with stunning vineyard views. The food scene is also prevalent in Napa Valley, with gourmet restaurants often specializing in farm to table cuisine with extensive wine lists of local vintages. For great wineries and excellent restaurants, your best bet in Napa is to head to the quaint meandering town of Yountville or the country scenery of St. Helena. Reservations are typically needed at most wineries.

Sonoma

Sonoma Wine Barrels
Sonoma Wine Barrels

Sonoma is Napa’s neighbor to the west. Though it may not be as popular as Napa, that doesn’t stop Sonoma from producing some of the best wine in California. The tasting rooms may not be as opulent as Napa, but the views and wine are often just as good — and sometimes better. Sonoma also has a lovely downtown area with shops and good restaurants. While you may need a tasting reservation at Sonoma’s most popular wineries, for the most part you can just show up to the majority of tasting rooms and enjoy a flight of wine.

Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez Valley
Santa Ynez Valley

This gem of a wine country is located near the coast in central California. Though given more national attention after the movie Sideways came out, the wine region is still a long way from having the draw Napa has — which isn’t a bad thing. You’ll find passionate winemakers, welcoming tasting rooms with low tasting fees and — oh, yes — some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world. Santa Ynez borders the lush seaside city of Santa Barbara, which has world class dining ans shopping along with its own hip wine tasting area called the Urban Wine Trail.

To taste some of the delicious wines of California, head to the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival this summer from August 21 – 24, 2014. You’ll get the chance to taste the vintages of some of the top winemakers in California plus sample cuisine from local restaurants and beer from local breweries and Celebrity Cruises will have a booth at the event where we’ll be giving away prizes and pouring a delicious drink. Visit www.lafw.com to find out more about the event and get your ticket for it.