Walk Down a Boardwalk in Santa Monica…and Nice, France

Do It Here, Then Do It There….

Southern California is home to many boardwalks and paths curving along the ocean that both locals and visitors delight in walking, biking, or even rollerblading down. Here’s one of the top boardwalks close to home if you live in SoCal plus one you don’t want to miss visiting overseas.

Amble by the Ocean in Santa Monica

Walk down this path right next to the ocean in Santa Monica.
Walk down this path right next to the ocean in Santa Monica.

You can’t miss the Santa Monica Pier which rises up from the sea in a fantastic display of rides, games and other carnival-style entertainment. You don’t want to miss what’s north of the Santa Monica Pier, though, which is one of Los Angeles’ most beautiful boardwalks. More like a hiking trail than a boardwalk, the Santa Monica oceanfront walk is a manicured path winding through palm trees and lush green shrubbery while always staying in view of the Pacific Ocean.

Walk the Promenade in Nice

Enjoy sea views while walking along the promenade in Nice.
Enjoy sea views while walking along the promenade in Nice.

As nice as the boardwalks in Santa Monica and the rest of SoCal are, you may be wanting a change of waterfront scenery and the south of France is an excellent place to head for such a switch. Nice, France in particular is home to a gorgeous shoreline stretching alongside the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. The beach in front of it is made of pebbles, however, so it’s not the most comfortable platform to walk on. Luckily, Nice has a lovely boardwalk that ambles alongside the beach called Promenade des Anglais. The “promenade” in the name gives this boardwalk a much more posh feel, but don’t worry – swimsuits and beach cover-ups are still common attire along Promenade des Anglais. Along the walk you’ll encounter benches ideal for taking a break and soaking in the views. Promenade des Anglais also borders many restaurants and bars, which may entice you to take a break from your walk for a French snack or drink.

Nice is a popular port of call on many Celebrity Cruises Mediterranean itineraries (though your cruise will dock in nearby Villefranche). Find a cruise that sails there by clicking here for Celebrity Cruises Mediterranean itineraries that stop in Nice and soon you’ll be on your way to leaving SoCal and Santa Monica behind and ambling down the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

Celebrity Introduces River-and-Ocean Cruise Vacation Packages

Celebrity Cruises strives to always be at the forefront of the cruising industry with luxurious amenities, innovative onboard activities and staying up to date on the current trends. One of those current trends is river cruising, which consists of barge-like ships that traverse the rivers of Europe and Asia to take passengers to ports in the heart of a country that ocean cruise ships simply can’t get to.

Celebrity Cruises is aware that travelers may want to explore this area of the world without wanting to have to give up the modern luxury of Celebrity cruise ships and the allure of sailing the great, wide ocean so we found the perfect compromise: Celebrity Explorations vacation packages that combine river cruising and ocean cruising.

Celebrity Explorations may be especially appealing to travelers in Southern California as you no doubt love the ocean (it’s what brings many people to SoCal) yet you enjoy partaking in new experiences of which a time on a river would definitely allot you. If this sounds like you then you’re in luck as there is likely a Celebrity Explorations itinerary that appeals to your interests and cities and towns you want to see. Click here to see the Celebrity Explorations river-and-ocean itineraries coming up in 2015.

Shore Excursion Spotlight: Dog Sledding in Alaska

Picture this: Towering mountains all around you, a clear azure sky, fluffy white snow beneath your cuddly boots…and a warm tongue licking your face.

The tongue image might give you pause on that idyllic scenario, but now picture it attached to a cute, furry Alaskan Husky dog, one of a team you’ll meet before they whisk you away through the Alaskan wilderness on a dog sledding shore excursion in Alaska.

Alaska is one of the few places in the world where you can easily partake in such an adventure and for animal and adventure lovers it is a can’t miss experience. Huskies love snow and you’ll delight in watching the joy they get from frolicking and running in the powdery white substance.

When you’re sitting on the sled and being pulled around by the excellently trained dogs, you’ll have a fun sledding experience that vastly differs from sliding down the hill in your backyard while growing up. It’s not to be missed. With Celebrity Cruises, you have several options to experience dog sledding in Alaska while on an Alaska cruise.

While in port in Juneau, Alaska you can sign up for the Alaska Sled Dogs and Musher’s Camp shore excursion, during which you’ll learn more about the background and techniques of dog sledding and why it’s important to Alaska – it’s in fact Alaska’s official state sport. You’ll be taken on a mile long dog sled ride followed by time afterward to spend time with the huskies who just pulled you around. You’ll likely even have the chance to play with some Alaskan Husky puppies!

Give an Alaskan Husky puppy a hug while on a dog sledding excursion in Alaska.
Get the chance to give an Alaskan Husky puppy a hug while on a dog sledding excursion in Alaska.

Another dog sledding adventure awaits while in port in Skagway, Alaska with the Dog Sledding and Glacier Flightseeing by Helicopter shore excursion. You’ll get two adventures in one on this excursion – a dog sledding ride and a helicopter ride – and it will be an unforgettable experience. The helicopter will take you to Denver Glacier, where you’ll land and be greeted by your dog sledding team. Learn how to mush as the strong, friendly dogs race you through the vast Alaskan scenery.

Get a bird's eye view of Alaska before dog sledding through the wilderness.
Get a bird’s eye view of Alaska before dog sledding through the wilderness.

To find an Alaska cruise that visits Juneau or Skagway, visit Celebrity Cruises Alaska cruises listings or call us at 1-800-647-2251.

Celebrity Cruises Suites: Which One is Perfect for You?

Celebrity Cruises has a variety of suites to pick from to make your Celebrity cruise even better. Travelers who live in Southern California will especially love the Modern Luxury Celebrity Cruises offers. Pick and choose the suite that’s best for you based off of your interests and what type of vacation you’re hoping to have. Here’s a guide to Celebrity Cruises’ suites for Southern Californians to help you figure out what suite is best for you.

The ocean is your happy place

Celebrity Cruises Signature Suite
Signature Suite

Stay in the Signature Suite to fully experience the expansive sea and ocean views you’ll encounter on your Celebrity cruise. The Signature Suite has high ceilings with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean and a veranda leading out to salty sea breezes. Even your bathroom has a sea view, along with a Hansgrohe cantilever shower and balcony tubs with a rain shower. The Signature Suites are also located in a special part of the ship that only Signature Suite guests have access to — providing a peaceful area of the ship where you might even forget you’re not currently drifting on a wave on your surfboard.

You love the glitzy side of LA

Celebrity Cruises Penthouse Suite
Penthouse Suite

The Penthouse or Royal Suite is for you. You’ll feel like a celebrity staying in the Penthouse Suite with its 24/7 butler service, in-room dining service, and a veranda with a whirlpool. You’ll also feel like a VIP with a complimentary dinner in one of the elite specialty restaurants onboard and your own personal bar in your suite set up with a bottle of vodka and scotch along with some mixers — think of it like bottle service…in the middle of the ocean. Music lovers will especially love the Penthouse Suite, which has a separate living area with a baby grand piano.

You love checking out SoCal’s luxury restaurant and spa scene

Celebrity Cruises AquaClass Suite
AquaClass Suite

Stay in an AquaSpa suite, which gives you unlimited access to the Persian Garden and Relaxation Room in the onboard spa. You also get dining priority in the exclusive Blu restaurant, which is only accessible by guests staying in suites. Blu focuses on healthy cuisine while not compromising on flavor. AquaClass Suites also comes with 24/7 butler service.

You seek out SoCal’s hipster neighborhoods

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Suite
Celebrity Suite

Feel like your stateroom is your own personal coffee shop with complimentary cappuccinos delivered to your suite from the onboard Cafe al Bacio when you stay in a Sky Suite or Celebrity Suite. Plus you’ll have butler service to help you pack and unpack and arrange shore excursions, spa and other appointments. This leaves you with more time to explore the ship and plan what off-the-beaten-path sights you’ll find in each port.

You’re Always Looking for Kid-Friendly Activities in SoCal

Celebrity Cruises Reflection Suite
Reflection Suite

Traveling with your family? Check out the massive Reflection Suite, which has two bedrooms. Stick the kids in one room and enjoy the luxury of having your own bedroom while on vacation. Each guest will also receive a premium beverage package, unlimited Internet access for up to six devices, a complimentary dinner night out in one of the specialty restaurants and 24/7 butler service. The Reflection Suite is also located in an exclusive area of the ship only accessible by those staying in certain suites.

To learn more about Celebrity Cruises suites or to book your next cruise, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal or call 800-647-2251.

Golden Foodies Recap: Sangria and Savory Cuisine in OC

It’s always fun to be around the best of the best of the culinary world and Celebrity Cruises got to mingle with the elite restaurateurs, chefs and bakers in Orange County at the Golden Foodies Awards at the end of last month. The Golden Foodies celebrates the food industry of Orange County and held its fourth annual award ceremony on September 28 at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach.

Golden cupcakes with golden Champagne in a Celebrity Cruises glass at the Golden Foodies.
Golden cupcakes with golden Champagne in a Celebrity Cruises glass at the Golden Foodies.

The evening began with a marketplace of booths where those invited to the event were able to mingle and sample food from the restaurants up for a Golden Foodies award. Succulent sliders, savory scallops, artisan bread, farm to table delicacies and even coffee ice cream floats were served up. In addition, wineries, distilleries and breweries were at the event to serve up drinks alongside the food – including Celebrity Cruises.

We poured our Signature Sangria for Golden Foodies attendees, which is a white sangria made with an abundance of fruit. It was a refreshing hit on the hot fall night in Southern California. The Celebrity Cruises Signature Sangria is served onboard our ships.

Celebrity Cruises Signature Sangria at the Golden Foodies.
Celebrity Cruises Signature Sangria at the Golden Foodies.

Soon after the sun set it was time for the awards. Everyone filed into the banquet room where we were met with tables full of golden goodies: gold covered cake pops, cupcakes and more.

Yummy golden treats at the Golden Foodies.
Yummy golden treats at the Golden Foodies.

The host for the evening was comedian Frances Dilorinzo. She got the crowd engaged with jokes and banter and then the awards portion started. Award presenters included reality stars like Vicki Gunvalson and Heather Dubrow from the Real Housewives of Orange County and Vince Ferragamo, former quarterback for the LA Rams.

The big winner for the night was Chef Michael Rossi of the Ranch Restaurant, who won the coveted Golden Chef award. For a full list of Golden Foodies winners (and nominees), click here.

Want to try Celebrity Cruises Signature Sangria while sailing around the world? Call us at 800-647-2251 or visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal to begin planning your next dream vacation.

Port of Call Spotlight: Ketchikan, Alaska

If you’re planning to sail away on an Alaska cruise you should make sure your cruise itinerary stops in Ketchikan. Known for its nature and animal-themed activities plus charming downtown area, the port of Ketchikan may end up becoming a highlight of your cruise.

Ketchikan is located on the southern coast of Alaska and has a vibrant history. You’ll see remnants of the Native Alaskan tribes that used to reside in Ketchikan – and have descendants that still do. The totem poles you’ll see all over the town are one such example. You can learn more about the history and mythology of totem poles in Ketchikan at Potlach Park.

When the fishing and mining industries took off in Ketchikan in the early 1900s, a red light district also became prominent in the town. Today, all that’s left of the red light district is Dolly’s House, a museum that showcases this infamous time. Today when you amble along the picturesque boardwalk that takes you through the former red light district along Creek Street, you’ll find quaint little shops in wooden buildings propped up on pilings that stand tall right over Ketchikan Creek. The creek is home to salmon, otters, and seals during the summer months.

You’ll hear a lot about salmon while in Ketchikan as the town is known for its salmon farms and provides opportunities to fish for salmon yourself. So popular and prevalent is Ketchikan’s salmon that the town is nicknamed the “Salmon Capital of the World.” You can sign up for excursions that take you out on a boat to prime salmon fishing spots and let you ship home any salmon you catch.

If you’re looking for some nature excursions, Ketchikan has many options. Misty Fjords is nearby and you can boat to it or take a seaplane over the snowcapped mountains that have icy waterfalls trickling down their sides into the seawater below. Those who love to hike can head to Deer Mountain, a strenuous 3-mile hike from Ketchikan. For those who want some wildlife with their scenic views, sign up for an excursion to nearby Tongass National Forest, where you’ll be enveloped by a thick forest within which you may discover a black bear or two.

If you’re interested in visiting Ketchikan during a cruise, check out some of Celebrity Cruises’ top Alaska itineraries. Celebrity Cruises has many sailings that conveniently depart from San Francisco or Seattle, helping to make an Alaska cruise an ideal fit for first time cruisers as well as veteran cruisers.


Style Week OC Celebrity Cruises Design Competition Recap

Celebrity Cruises had such a fun time being part of Style Week OC as one of its sponsors! A highlight was the fashion show at Irvine Spectrum on September 20 during which Celebrity Cruises hosted a design competition.

The Celebrity Cruises Design Competition partnered with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and four students from FIDM were selected to create resort wear inspired by “Modern Luxury” which Celebrity strives for onboard its ships and four different destinations.

The destinations were Galapagos, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean. Each contestant was assigned one of the destinations.

During the Irvine Spectrum runway show for Style Week OC, the designs were modeled for the runway and a panel of four judges scored the designs. The judges were Julie Gallego, Orange County Fashion Writer; Allison Sylvester, General Manager of Nordstrom Irvine Spectrum; Marilys Ward, Regional Team Manager of Celebrity Cruises; and Nick Verreos, Project Runway, Under the Gunn Winning Mentor, Celebrity Designer and Red Carpet Expert.

First down the runway was a colorful outfit ideal for a warm Caribbean day by designer Luar.

Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Caribbean
Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Caribbean

Next was Leetal Platt’s Galapagos-inspired design that featured a shirt reminiscent of sea turtles.

Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Galapagos
Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Galapagos

Being strutted down the runway next was the all-white resort wear design for Alaska by Leonides Garcia.

Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Alaska Resort Wear
Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Alaska

Vanessa Puccini’s emerald dress design with decadent accents inspired by Europe was modeled last.

Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Europe
Celebrity Cruises Design Competition: Europe

The judges scores were tallied and designer Nick Verreos of Nikolai and Project Runway fame came out to announce the winner.

And the winner was…Leetal Platt for her Galapagos design! She was awarded $2,000 for winning the Celebrity Cruises Design Competition.

During the runway show, the gorgeous designs of Nikolaki were also displayed by models walking down the runway. There was also an Irvine Spectrum Runway Collection portion of the runway show where designs by various stores that can be found at Irvine Spectrum were modeled, ranging from the structured city style of Max Studio to the bohemian chic pieces of Kaitlyn.

Celebrity Cruises also had a booth set up at Irvine Spectrum before the runway show where we gave away gift bags and shared the fun and Modern Luxury that can be found on a Celebrity cruise.