Eat French Cuisine at Home in OC, then Sail to France

Eat it Here, Then Eat it There…

Orange County is home to a diverse range of cuisine that is inspired by flavors from all over the world. One worldly cuisine style that you can find in Orange County is French. It’s no secret that the French put an emphasis on high-quality cuisine and as a result, the signature dishes of France are often intricate culinary masterpieces.

Find French Cuisine in Orange County

When looking for authentic French cuisine in Orange County, two top places to head are Pinot Provence in Costa Mesa and Fig & Olive in Newport Beach. You can learn more about the French restaurants of Orange County plus the area’s other top restaurants at the Golden Foodies in September.

Experience Culinary Bliss in France

If you really want to experience the wonders of French cuisine, though, you should head to France. An easy way to do so is on a cruise. With Celebrity Cruises, you can stop in Le Havre, the gateway port to Paris, while on a Northern Europe cruise. There are even food-related shore excursions you can do while in port so you don’t miss out on any of the tastes of France.

Mediterranean cruises also will let you experience French cuisine when they stop in the south of France along the French Riviera in the gorgeous port cities of Nice, Marseille, and Cannes. You’ll be able to dine on fresh seafood prepared in traditional French sauces and spices, and try other popular French dishes like Coq au Vin and Pot-au-feu.

Celebrity Cruises’ French Restaurant

If you need more of a French cuisine fix once you’re back onboard your Celebrity Cruises ship, make a reservation to dine at Murano, an upscale specialty restaurant onboard Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice-class of ships that focuses on traditional French cuisine with contemporary twists.

To book your cruise to France, visit or talk to your local travel agent.

It’s Not Too Late to Book Your Summer Cruise

Summer is right around the corner! Are you ready for it? If you haven’t booked a summer vacation yet, then the answer is no, you are not ready. Luckily, it’s not too late to book your summer cruise and when planning a last minute vacation, cruising is one of the least stressful ways to go.

Thanks to the ease of having everything you need on the ship, you can simply unpack your suitcase and then know that quality dining, entertainment, and activities are just a short stroll away. Plus, there are incredible views to be seen from every side of the ship.

Your cruise will take you to an array of beautiful and exotic destinations and you don’t need to worry about what to do there if you don’t have time to preplan a trip — just book a shore excursion and you’ll be conveniently picked up and dropped off at the ship while having an adventure or touring historic sites in between.

Celebrity Cruises makes it easy to find the last minute summer cruise that is right for you.  Just go to, click on Plan a Cruise and select the destination you most want to visit and summer month you have free and start browsing all the awesome itineraries that come up. Not sure what ship to sail on? It’s hard to go wrong with one of our Solstice-class ships, which are award-winning and feature innovative features like the real grass Lawn Club, hot glass shows, frost-covered martini bar, 5-star restaurants, and more. Select itineraries are also eligible for the excellent Pick Your Perk offer is you book by May 31.

Start planning your last minute cruise and make the most of summer!


Tour Flower Fields in Carlsbad…and then in Holland

Do It Here, Then Do It There…

Love to see things in bloom? Visit flower fields close to home in Carlsbad and in the Netherlands during a European cruise.

Carlsbad Flower Fields

When you have spring fever in southern California and want to see some gorgeous flowers in bloom, you can easily do so. Just take a quick jaunt to Carlsbad, a coastal suburb located in North County San Diego. Every spring from March through May, rows upon rows of colorful flowers sprout on a wide hillside in Carlsbad overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You can view the flowers while driving by or even while shopping at the nearby Carlsbad Premium Outlets mall. To get up close and personal with the flowers, purchase an admission ticket to the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, which lets you walk around the flowers and makes for a peaceful morning or afternoon. The flowers you’ll see are of the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus variety and they cover nearly fifty beautiful acres.

Cross the Sea for Some Tulips

If you want more flower delight found at flower fields that are famous across the world for their beauty, head to the Netherlands on a cruise. During a stop in port in Amsterdam, you can leave the city behind and tour some of the incredible fields of tulips that the Netherlands is known for. Millions upon millions of tulip bulbs burst into bloom each year, and the best place to see these expansive tulip fields is at the massive gardens of Keukenhof. You can easily get there on the Accessible Keukenhof shore excursion, which takes you to the garden and gives you several hours to tour the tulips and other flower varietals that can be found on its premises. After you are done exploring the garden, you will be conveniently transported back to your ship. To book your dream flower fields cruise to the Netherlands, visit or speak to your local travel agent.

How You Can be a Top Chef While Sailing the Caribbean

Celebrity Cruises Top Chef at Sea
Celebrity Cruises Top Chef at Sea

If Top Chef is one of your favorite shows and you fantasize about cooking competitions and hobnobbing with famous chefs, but don’t think experiencing the world of Top Chef could ever happen to you — think again. On Celebrity Cruises this November you can sail around the Caribbean on Celebrity’s Top Chef Signature Sailing onboard the Celebrity Reflection, which lets you feel like you’re a part of the Top Chef show. Here’s how.

To begin with, you’ll step on the ship and know that you’re about to sail with six of the “cheftestsants” from the hit Bravo TV show. You’ll have an opportunity to meet these celebrity chefs and take photos with them during a meet and greet onboard the ship. For those who have a competitive streak, sign up to be part of the Quickfire Challenge onboard the cruise. You’ll be on one of three teams and will compete in cooking challenges against each other under the assistance of one of the chefs from the show. If you’re not on one of the teams, you can still experience the fun by sitting in the audience to watch the challenges and vote on the winner. You can also take cooking classes from the six Top Chef chefs onboard as well as attend a private dinner cooked by the chefs in one of the Celebrity Reflection’s specialty restaurants.

Top Chef Signature Sailings are not new for Celebrity Cruises, but this upcoming signature sailing has some fun new activities for Top Chef at Sea guests, including a “Dual” Cooking Demonstration where two chefs will demonstrate cooking techniques while also engaging in a fun competition and you and the rest of the audience get to pick the winner. The second new Top Chef at Sea activity is chef-hosted shore excursions during which you’ll get to spend time in port with one of the top chefs while partaking in a food related excursion.

So Who Are These Six Top Chefs?

Southern Californians may already be familiar with one of the chefs sailing on Top Chef at Sea if you love Hyde Sunset or Cooley’s in LA as those two restaurants’ executive chef and Top Chef contestant, Chris Crary, will be onboard. The five other chefs include Doug Adams, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, and Ash Fulk.

More About the Top Chef at Sea Signature Sailing

Top Chef at Sea departs November 14 from Miami onboard the Celebrity Reflection, the latest ship in Celebrity Cruises’ award-winning Solstice-class of ships. You’ll sail for seven nights around the Caribbean, with stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas; and Philipsburg, St Maarten. This means you get three days at sea for Top Chef related fun! To book this cruise, visit or call your local travel agent.

Sail to Alaska from Seattle Onboard Celebrity Solstice

An Alaska cruise is one of the top vacations for U.S. travelers right now. It’s not hard to see why: easy to get to cruise departure ports, the comfort of staying in the U.S, gorgeous scenery, and incredible activities to do while in port in Alaska. Celebrity Cruises takes it one step further by offering the chance to sail at sea on the modern Celebrity Solstice cruise ship.

Celebrity Solstice in Alaska
Celebrity Solstice in Alaska

The Celebrity Solstice is the debut ship of Celebrity’s award-winning Solstice-class. It features the innovative Lawn Club, which has real grass covering a large portion of the top deck. Adjacent to the Lawn Club is the Hot Glass Show, where you can see experts blow intricate glass creations while sailing at sea. Celebrity Solstice is also home to a variety of world-class, gourmet restaurants, opulent suites, a theater that hosts a variety of fun and entertaining acts, and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

Explore the port cities of Alaska.
Explore the port cities of Alaska.

This summer, you can explore both Alaska and the Celebrity Solstice when the ship sails from Seattle for a number of itineraries. Seattle is a convenient port to get to with direct flights or easy connections from major airports all over the country, including direct flights from LAX.

Hike glaciers and do other exciting activities in Alaska.
Hike glaciers and do other exciting activities in Alaska.

From Seattle, your cruise ship will sail up along the Tracy Arm Fjord and through the Inside Passage while you stop at a variety of ports, including Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. While in port you can explore quaint fishing towns, canoe down rivers, hike glaciers, dog sled through thick snow, or other cultural and exciting excursions.

Sail to Alaska this summer and enjoy these views.
Sail to Alaska this summer and enjoy views like these.

To book your Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Solstice, visit or speak with your local travel agent.

Dine at Fig & Olive in OC and Luminae on Celebrity Cruises

Eat it Here, then Eat it There

If you love Fig and Olive at Fashion Island in Orange County, then you’ll love the fine dining exclusivity of Luminae onboard Celebrity Cruises, a suite-class restaurant that specializes in locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Chic Dining in Orange County

If you live in southern California and haven’t dined at Fig and Olive yet, you should quickly get yourself over to Fashion Island in Newport Beach (in which Fig and Olive is located) and seat yourself at one of the restaurant’s elegant tables. While dining — which you can choose to do either indoors our outside on the patio — you’ll be surrounded by a French Riviera garden ambiance with olive trees and flowers planted all around.

The menu features some of the best dishes from the Mediterranean region with creative twists. Dine on Tuna Crudo from the raw bar, paella del mar or zucchini blossom and goat cheese ravioli from the pasta menu, or Provence roasted chicken or veal milanese from the poultry and meat menu.

It’s an upscale dining experience in one of California’s ritziest neighborhoods and you’ll feel like a million bucks while dining there — as will your tastebuds. Fig and Olive is located at 151 Newport Center Drive in the Fashion Island shopping complex. You can reach the restaurant for reservations or questions at 949-877-3005.

Luminae: Exclusive Gourmet Dining at Sea

Luminae onboard Celebrity Cruises
Luminae onboard Celebrity Cruises

Luminae is the latest restaurant onboard Celebrity Cruises’ fleet of ships and can be found on every single Celebrity ship…if you’re staying in a suite. That’s right, Luminae has an air of exclusivity as it is only available for dining to guests staying in Celebrity Cruises’ popular Suite Class of staterooms.

Dining at Luminae is a modern, sophisticated affair with white and gold decor on the tables and walls, and large picture windows highlighting the rippling ocean and passing scenery and providing an sunlit dining experience throughout the day. Luminae is complimentary for Suite Class guests who can choose to eat there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu at Luminae consists of gourmet cuisine with menu items you can’t find anywhere else onboard.

Sample entrees you can enjoy at Luminae include roasted lamb loin with Merguez sausage, marinated cucumber, and herb yogurt; Maine lobster tagliatelle with roasted artichokes, tomato and lemon confit, and bread crumbs; and Cote de Boeuf with roasted root vegetables and bearnaise sauce. Delicious appetizers and desserts can also be enjoyed.

To find the suite onboard Celebrity Cruises that is perfect for you, visit or talk to you local travel agent.

Taste Celebrity Sweepstakes Official Rules

Taste Celebrity Sweepstakes Official Rules


1. ELIGIBILITY: The “Taste Celebrity” (“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 2:00 p.m. on 5/17/15 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on 5/20/15 (“Sweepstakes Period”). All times are Pacific Standard Time or “PST.”

3. HOW TO ENTER: Sign into your Twitter account at (“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.

a.) Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of Celebrity Cruises at

b.) From your own account, mention @CelebritySoCal and include in the tweet (”Entry”) a.) your guess for what country the food picture was taken in that is printed on the card handed out at Taste of the Nation event held in Laguna Beach, California on 5/17/15 (required portion of tweet); b.) the hashtag #TasteCelebrity. Your tweet must contain the specified #hashtag to be eligible for entry in this Sweepstakes. Limit of one (1) Entry per person or email address or Twitter account.

c.) Optional: As part of your Entry you may opt to include a photograph of yourself alone or with others. If the photograph includes other people, you must obtain prior permission to submit the photograph from all other people included and the person’s parent or legal guardian if the person is a minor in his or her state. Also optional, the photograph may include a caption in English, not to exceed the maximum number of characters in compliance with Twitter’s Terms of Service.

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 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 5/22/15 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: Taste Celebrity Sweepstakes, 1080 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132-2096 or email

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

Wine Taste in Temecula…then Sip Wine in France

 Do it Here, Then Do it There…

If you love wine tasting, then you’ll be glad to know there’s a fun place to do it close to home in southern California and a bucket list wine tasting experience overseas in France.

SoCal Vineyards and Fun in Temecula

Temecula is a burgeoning wine region in southern California. The hot days and cool nights create dynamic wines, especially of the sweeter white varietals.

Going wine tasting in Temecula can be a low key outing or an extravagant affair. Party buses are welcome at many of the tasting rooms and don’t be surprised to see birthday and bachelorette parties making the rounds. South Coast with its massive grounds and tasting room and Wilson Creek — home to a famous almond sparkling wine — are both good options for such a day. Your limo or party bus will depart for Temecula (drive times are around XX from Newport Beach and XX from Santa Monica) and you’ll have fun socializing onboard your transportation before arriving at the wineries. Be sure to pack snacks and plenty of water in the limo or party bus with you.

For a day that is more about the wine experience than the party, choose smaller wineries that don’t cater to groups as much. The views at Callaway are marvelous and an idyllic place to be sipping wine while the vintages at Danza del Sol are some of the best in the area.

Wine Tasting During a Mediterranean Cruise

Wine tasting in Temecula is a fun and close to home outing for southern Californians. Wine tasting in France, on the other hand, is a much more sophisticated and exotic affair — which is why you should not miss out on such a life experience if you love wine.

While wine tasting in France during a Mediterranean cruise, you’ll be privy to some incredible, world-class wines. The best time to go wine tasting during your cruise is when docked near Nice and Provence, of which the ports of Cannes, Villefranches, and Toulon provide easy access.

Arrange a group wine tasting tour that picks you up from port and provides a guide that will take you to a selection of wineries and provide you with the history and scope of the wineries, vineyards, and vintages you’ll be coming in contact with. You can also opt for a private Celebrity shore excursion where you’ll be provided with your own car and driver who will take you wherever you want to go, so you can wine taste on your own time frame and visit the wineries most appealing to you.


As an added bonus, back onboard the ship during a Celebrity cruise, you’ll get the chance to sip wine from all over the world as part of the Celebrity Wine Experience.

Wine Taste Soon

Arrange that fun day trip to Temecula, then plan your dream wine tasting Mediterranean cruise to France by visiting or talking to your local travel agent.

Great Wine Festival 2015 Recap

Saturday was a GREAT day for a GREAT wine festival! Celebrity Cruises’ Great Wine Festival to be precise. The annual food and wine festival opened up to VIP ticket holders at 1:30 and the day continued to get more and more fun from there.

The start of the VIP hour at the Great Wine Festival.
The start of the VIP hour.

The Great Wine Festival was hosted in partnership with Legal Aid Society of Orange County and proceeds from the event went to the organization, which helps provides free and low-cost civil legal services to individuals who might otherwise be denied access to justice.

There were lots of fun and games at the Great Wine Festival. A silent auction was held where attendees could bid for wine, art, and more. Visiting lots of different booths also held a fun appeal as festival goers could get a spot crossed out on their bingo-style card for a chance to win a prize.

At the Celebrity Cruises booth, we had a “Guess that Wine” contest where attendees could sip a red or white and try to guess what varietal it was. The answer? The red was Penfolds Shiraz (Syrah) and the white was Ponzi Pinot Gris.

Guess the Wine at Great Wine Festival in Irvine
Guess the Wine

We also had a spin the wheel game where guests could win an instant prize (the motorized fans that lit up with words were a big hit!), or they could go for the ultimate prize by signing up for the chance to win an cruise for two to Europe.

While prizes and games were a lot of fun, the main appeal of the festival for most attendees was no doubt the plethora of food and wine available. Over thirty wineries poured some of their best vintages. At the Celebrity Cruises booth, we were pleased to host representatives from La Crema and the Jackson Family of Wines who poured a great selection of their wines.

Just one small portion of the wine and food booths at the Great Wine Festival by Celebrity Cruises.
Just one small portion of the wine and food booths at the Great Wine Festival.

To go with the wine was a variety of food, much of it from Golden Foodies award-nominated restaurants, including the Cellar, Slapfish, Clay Oven, James Republic, and more. For dessert, there was yummy strawberry and brownie bites in chocolate sauce from the melting pot.

Making the Great Wine Festival even more great is that it was at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century and the perfect backdrop for a day of sunshine, fun and top-notch food and wine.