Category Archives: West Coast Life

Living on the West Coast: Things to do, see, and eat.

Last Minute Trips for the Holiday Weekend and Summer

Do It Here, Then Do It There: Last Minute Memorial Day Getaways on the West Coast and Last Minute Summer Cruises

If it has suddenly dawned on you that Memorial Day Weekend is just a couple weekends away and you have no plans yet, fear not! Here are some last minute Memorial Day weekend getaways you can quickly plan and get to if you live on the West Coast.

Paso Robles

Instead of heading straight to Napa or the Santa Ynez Valley like most Californians looking for wine tasting do with a long weekend, consider a trip to less-visited Paso Robles. It may not have the sophisticated glamour of Napa Valley or the Hollywood clout of Santa Ynez Valley, but Paso Robles still packs in some beautiful scenery and award-winning wines within its vineyard-filled valley. Go there now before it hits the mainstream in terms of popular wine regions.

Carlsbad

San Diego is great for a long weekend getaway, but if you’re trying to book a last minute vacation there for Memorial Day weekend, you may find it’s expensive and booked up. Instead look slightly north to the city of Carlsbad, located about 35 miles north of downtown San Diego. Carlsbad is located right on the coast and has wide, sandy beaches plus a cute downtown area referred to as the Village with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars to pop into. Carlsbad is also home to Legoland, making it a hit for family getaways.

Palm Springs/Desert

When all else fails, looks east to Palm Springs and its neighboring city of Palm Desert. Memorial Day Weekend is sunny, yet hasn’t usually hit the triple digit heat that summer will be bringing to the inland desert region. Full of hotels, condos, and houses to rent, you should still be able to score some decent last minute accommodation in Palm Springs, even for a holiday weekend. If you want some more excitement than just lounging by the pool, be sure to pack your hiking shoes as Palm Springs is a short drive from Joshua Tree National Park.

Pacific Grove

Monterey and Carmel may get all the fame, but if you’re banging your head on the keyboard trying to find last minute accommodation for those two tony cities, look to their neighbor: Pacific Grove. This small city has its own charm with a tiny downtown area that has restaurants and cafes and a plethora of hotels that may still have some last minute availability for Memorial Day Weekend — plus it’s a super short drive to the sights of Monterey and Carmel.

Olympic National Park

This massive national park in western Washington has a number of towns on its border where you can stay — from the lovely lakeside calm of Quinault to the bustling seaside city of Port Angeles – meaning you’ll have more luck trying to find a last minute accommodation. Or you can go the rugged route for Memorial Day weekend and check for available campsites. From rain forests to waterfalls to foliage-heavy hiking trails, there is plenty to do in Olympic National Park to fill a long weekend.

Last Minute Summer Cruises — It’s Time to Book Your Dream Summer Vacation

Once Memorial Day weekend is over, it means summer is just around the corner and that means…summer vacation time! Luckily, it’s not too late to book a summer cruise, even if it’s a last-minute vacation decision for you! Here are some ideas for where to cruise this summer.

Alaska

Celebrity Solstice in Alaska
Celebrity Solstice in Alaska

Explore America’s last frontier with a cruise that lets you experience both sea views and beautiful port towns. Here are a couple itineraries that are great for west coasters due to the ease of getting to the embarkation port:

Mediterranean

Oia, Santorini
Oia, Santorini

Cobblestoned towns, sun-dappled beaches, fresh seafood…what more could you want? Check out these Mediterranean itineraries and start dreaming:

Caribbean

Family Time on a Caribbean Beach
Family Time on a Caribbean Beach

If it’s strictly sun and sand you’re after (with a good dose of gorgeous tropical views), it’s hard to beat the Caribbean. Try one of these fun and relaxing Caribbean itineraries:

To see more destinations and itineraries for a luxurious and exciting summer cruise this summer, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Do It Here, Then Do It There: Rooftop Pools in California & Pool Decks at Sea

One excellent thing about days upon days of sunshine in California is the ubiquity of pools. With so many pools dotting the landscape, it may be hard for a particular one to stand out, but this selection of rooftop pools in California don’t have any trouble with that. Read on to find out some of the best rooftop pools and lounges you can hang out in southern California, plus one innovative pool deck away from California that is coming soon and puts a whole new spin on ocean views.

Float at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego 

Enjoy skyline scenes of San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter from the trendy pool chairs and lounges surrounding the large aquamarine pool at Float. Partake in blissful relaxation during the day and thumping beats and dancing around the pool at night. You’ll also find daytime dance parties (called Sunburn) on Saturdays during the spring and summer months.

The Rooftop by STK at Andaz San Diego

Andaz is another place to go in San Diego for relaxation during the day and DJ-spun beats at night, all around the shimmering rooftop pool. This sophisticated pool is also adjacent to a restaurant serving menu items with organic, local ingredients.

The London West Hollywood, Los Angeles

The rooftop pool at this swanky hotel in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles has a country club vibe and garden décor. Along with views of downtown LA and Beverly Hills, you’ll be able to enjoy poolside concierge service or rent a fancy cabana for the day.

Upstairs at Ace Hotel, Los Angeles

This hip rooftop bar has an urban feel and is located in the trendy Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The concrete pool is surrounded by lounge chairs boasting views of the LA skyline. Along with typical DJs on the event schedule for the pool, there are also live bands. Foodies will enjoy that Upstairs serves creative appetizers alongside specialty cocktails.

Presenting the Pool Deck on Celebrity Edge

Skylines and city views are great, but sometimes you’re just in the mood for looking at the sea. If that’s you, you may be interested in that aforementioned innovative pool with incredible ocean views…

In December 2018, a new cruise ship will sail its maiden voyage that is set to revitalize the cruise industry and what passengers expect from a cruise ship. That vessel? Celebrity Edge, the first ship in the Edge Class by Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Edge features many amazing features, including infinity veranda staterooms, a cantilevered dining experience on the side of the ship called the Magic Carpet, designer suites with plunge pools, rooftop gardens, top-notch entertainment, and a wide assortment of bar lounges and restaurants.

Oh, and one more thing – a stunning pool area.

Celebrity Edge’s main pool can be found on the aptly named Pool Deck. What makes this pool area so special is the amount of detail that has gone into making it modern and bringing the outside in. Feeling sunshine on your shoulders isn’t anything new while swimming on a cruise ship, but Celebrity Edge’s Pool Deck has panoramic windows positioned to make viewing the passing sea and land formations easy to take in. Plus, two raised hot tubs shaped like martini glasses give passengers another amazing vantage point for taking in those glistening ocean views.

The Pool Deck also has luxurious cabanas lining one side of it, which can be rented out. Lucky users of the cabanas will continue to have ocean views while lounging in comfort on poolside beds and couches and sipping cool drinks or ordering lunch and snacks.

Pool Deck Cabanas on Celebrity Edge
Pool Deck Cabanas on Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Edge’s first sailing will depart December 16, 2018, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which will also serve as Celebrity Edge’s homeport. Celebrity Edge will offer two different itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. One will be an Eastern Caribbean cruise that visits San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The other itinerary option sails around the Western Caribbean and stops in Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman. You can visit all ports of call and make your vacation a 14-night one by booking back-to-back sailings.

Bookings are already open for Celebrity Edge, and you can secure your vacation on this innovative ship by visiting www.CelebrityCruises.com/Edge or by speaking with your travel agent. And stay tuned for more Celebrity Edge and spectacular pools in the coming years – three sister ships to the Celebrity Edge will be debuting in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

 

 

West Coast Christmas Markets & Christmas Celebrations at Sea

Ready for some holiday magic? Christmas markets are a great way to do so and you don’t have to travel all the way to Europe to experience one. Here are two ways to have some Christmas entertainment fun close to home on the west coast and while sailing the sea on a cruise.

San Francisco Christmas Fair

One way to experience the magic of Christmas on the west coast of the USA is to step back in time at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. You’ll feel like you’re in London…in the 19th century. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is pretty much exactly like it sounds like: a Christmas festival reminiscent of a Charles Dickens novel. You’ll encounter actors dressed in traditional Victorian garb as you walk down lamplit lanes decorated to reflect a London street from many Christmas’ past. Stop at the different stalls to browse holiday gifts or buy roasted chestnuts. There are also many different performances, including old-fashioned dance and music, plus entertainment created for children.

The annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair takes place in San Francisco’s Cow Palace Exhibition Halls and runs from the weekend after Thanksgiving to mid-December. You can purchase tickets here.

Vancouver’s Christmas Market

Just north of the USA/Canada border, you’ll find the British Columbia city of Vancouver. During the month of December, a portion of downtown Vancouver is turned into a winter wonderland reminiscent of what you might expect to see in Europe. Wooden stalls line the festival, filled with delicious holiday treats and gifts.

There is also a photo op with Santa Claus, live music, and a massive Christmas tree. Also, don’t miss stopping by one of the huts serving traditional Glühwein, a festive mulled wine. The Vancouver Christmas Market is at the Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver and you can get tickets to it here.

You can also find some Christmas cheer in Stanley Park (Vancouver’s gorgeous waterside and wooded park) at Bright Nights. Holiday animation and characters are on display and there is also a train ride you can go on around the park.

Christmas at Sea with Celebrity Cruises

When it comes to Christmas, most people who celebrate the holiday are used to spending it at home or at a relative’s house. While traditions and family time are usually wonderful, you may sometimes find yourself wondering what a non-traditional Christmas looks like, such as one spent at sea. At Celebrity Cruises, we don’t have to wonder; we strive to provide a festive and fun Christmas at sea for our guests who cruise with us over the holiday. Here’s what you’ll find when cruising over Christmas — just be prepared that you may be spending some time on the phone convincing your relatives to join you on a cruise for Christmas next year (though if you want to keep it to yourself and escape the relatives next year, we won’t tell!).

Celebrity Cruises Christmas Decorations

It’s not Christmas without a Christmas tree and on Celebrity Cruises you’ll find numerous adorned Christmas trees onboard when sailing during the holiday. You’ll come across garlands, gingerbread houses, reindeer statues, poinsettias, and other Christmas decor as well when exploring the ship.

Though not technically a decoration, kids will also love the ambiance of being around a white bearded jolly fellow: Santa Claus, who is onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Christmas sailings and even hands out gifts.

Christmas at Sea Dining

Christmas at home can mean hours upon hours of food prep followed by more hours of cleanup in order to have a successful Christmas meal. When sailing on Celebrity over Christmas you just need to dress up in your favorite holiday outfit and show up at the main dining hall for a Christmas feast served to you. After dinner, enjoy a special holiday drink at one of the bars and lounges onboard.

There will also be onboard holiday-themed entertainment and activities like caroling and crafts onboard Celebrity Christmas cruises. To find out more and to book your Christmas cruise, visit www.celebritycruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Drive to Your Next Vacation Thanks to West Coast Cruise Departures

Want an easy way to get to your next vacation? If you live on or near the west coast of the United States, you’re in luck. Here is a list of cruise ports that do roundtrip sailings from the west coast of North America. You can drive right to the cruise port, park your car, and easily get back to it after your cruise ends. No hassle with long lines at the airport or worrying if your luggage will get lost while flying to your cruise.

Seattle

Cruise to Alaska from Seattle.
Cruise to Alaska from Seattle.

Pacific Northwest residents can easily drive to this cruise port, located right in the gorgeous city of Seattle, Washington. Celebrity Solstice sails out of Seattle and does 7- to 9-night itineraries to Alaska. Sail up the Inside Passage and past Tracy Arm Fjord with Alaska ports of call in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, plus a stop in Victoria, British Columbia.

Parking is adjacent to both Pier 61 and Pier 99 at the Port of Seattle cruise terminal (Celebrity Solstice docks at Pier 99). The cruise terminal is located in between the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, making it conveniently located for cruisers who want to explore Seattle for a bit before or after their cruise.

Vancouver

Cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia
Cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia

Just a few hours north of Seattle is another popular cruise port for Alaska, that is easy for those in the northwest USA or southwest Canada to drive to. If coming from the United States, be sure to give yourself extra time for the border crossing as it can be backed up (though it’s always good practice in general to arrive at your embarkation cruise port a few hours early before boarding begins).

The Celebrity Infinity does 7-night roundtrip cruises out of Vancouver. Similar to sailings out of Seattle, you’ll get the opportunity to see the sights of Ketchikan, Juneau, and the Inside Passage. You’ll also see Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier before your ship returns to Vancouver.

Short on time? You can also take this 5-night cruise out of Vancouver that stops in Ketchikan and sails past gorgeous scenery on the way up and back down, including the Inside Passage. You’ll also have a port of call in Victoria before heading back to Vancouver.

Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice also occasionally sail itineraries out of Vancouver.

Cruise ships leave from the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver, which is located in downtown Vancouver — making it easy to do some sightseeing before your cruise departs! Canada Place has both short term (for those who finagled a friend or family member into dropping them off and picking them up from their cruise) and long term parking (for those leaving their car at Canada Place while they cruise).

Los Angeles

A Pacific Coastal Cruise is a great way to see popular cities on the west coast of North America. The Celebrity Infinity sails 7-night and 8-night itineraries out of Los Angeles that stop in the California cities of Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Franciso, and Catalina Island, plus Ensenada, Mexico. Soak up the beaches and sunshine, and do some shopping and sightseeing in each port of call, before your ship returns you to the City of Angels. The 8-night itinerary also has a day at sea, which gives you a chance to spend more time checking out the wonderful amenities onboard the Celebrity Infinity, including the luxurious Canyon Ranch SpaClub and relaxing pool area.

You’ll depart on your Pacific Coastal cruise from the World Cruise Center, part of the Port of Los Angeles, which is located on the southern end of Los Angeles in the San Pedro neighborhood of LA, close to Long Beach. Overnight vehicle parking is available for the duration of your cruise near the terminal and shuttles transport passengers between the car lot and cruise terminal.

Ready to book your cruise that departs from a from a west coast city? Visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival: Why You Don’t Want to Miss It

Do you love the beach? Do you love wine? Do you love good food? Then we have an event you don’t want to miss: the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Running from September 29 through October 2, 2016, the festival packs a lot of fun and epicurean experiences into its four days, and Celebrity Cruises is excited to be partnering up with the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival again this year. Here’s why you should go (plus a special ticket discount!).

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival 2016

About the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

This will be the Third Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Grand Tasting events takes place at the Newport Beach Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday. Ritz Prime Seafood, Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach and The Winery Newport Beach are the setting for special events on Thursday and Friday.

The festival includes a diverse range of culinary and wine tasting options, including:

  • Two Grand Tasting Pavilions where you sample a variety of wines, spirits, and beer; plus taste food offerings from prestigious Orange County restaurants.
  • Live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs
  • Book signings for popular culinary books
  • Live Jazz music
  • Wine panels with master sommeliers
  • …and more!

The Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival also benefits a good cause and proceeds from it will go to Project Hope Alliance, the Festival’s long-standing local charity partner.

Wine tastings and local restaurants at the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

What Will Celebrity Cruises Be Doing at the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival?

Celebrity Cruises will have our own special Celebrity Lounge where you can relax for a bit and enjoy a wine tasting from a Jackson Family of Wines winery. We will also be giving away a special Celebrity Cruises gift basket each day, which you can sign up to win in our Celebrity Lounge. While in the lounge, also look for the iPad for the chance to win an even bigger prize, since you can enter to win (via the iPad) a free cruise for two to Australia and New Zealand; the winner will get to sail around these gorgeous countries for up to 12 nights while staying in a private veranda stateroom.

We’re also excited about the Top Chef Home Cook Challenge that will be happening during the event since that will be presented by Celebrity Cruises. If you’re a Top Chef fan, make sure you also check out Celebrity Cruises’ Top Chef at Sea New Year’s sailing, during which you can sail to the Caribbean onboard the same ship as Top Chef stars while attending cooking demonstrations, pop-up restaurants, and partaking in other culinary Top Chef fun during your cruise.

How to Get Your Tickets to the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

The Daytime Festival (where Celebrity Cruises will be!) is on both Saturday and Sunday. You can go one day or both days by choosing either a single day ticket or the Weekend Festival Pass, which gets you in on both days. Use code Celebrity25 for $25 off the general admission Daytime Festival ticket.

Save $25 off your Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival Daytimes Festival ticket with code Celebrity25.

There are also VIP tickets that include cooking demonstrations, wine and food pairings, 100-point wine tastings, and Champagne and caviar tastings. Browse through all the different ticket types and passes here to figure out which is best for you, but don’t delay in getting yours — tickets are limited. You’ll also see ticket options for the events on Thursday and Friday, which include special celebrity chef dinners and a luncheon.

For more information about the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, visit www.newportwineandfood.com. We hope to see you there!

2 Waterfalls You Don’t Want to Miss

Do It Here, Then Do It There…Snoqualmie Falls in the Pacific Northwest and Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

When hiking, there’s not much more of a thrill to the end of a hike – or along it – than a rushing, sparkling waterfall. From a raging waterfall among pine trees in the Pacific Northwest to a series of tropical waterfalls in the balmy Caribbean, here are two top picks for waterfall hikes whether you’re staying close to home or traveling farther away.

Snoqualmie Falls: Large and Powerful

Snoqualmie Falls on an especially misty day.
Snoqualmie Falls on an especially misty day.

For those on the west coast of the United States, Seattle is an easy flight or drive away – or you may even call it home. While the city of Seattle is full of gorgeous sights and fun things to do, those who are willing to venture a bit out of the city and into the wilderness are in for a visually amazing experience. This is particularly the case if you travel 45 minutes east of the city to Snoqualmie, a small city nestled into the base of the Cascade Mountains.

Snoqualmie’s main claim to fame is Snoqualmie Falls, a massive 269-foot waterfall that plunges down into the Snoqualmie River at a powerful speed. Depending on the time of year you visit, the spray can be so prevalent that you’ll feel it on the viewing platform located high-up in front of the waterfall (it’s generally a thicker mist in the winter due to the plethora of rain the Seattle area gets). Miles upon miles of thick trees spread out from the waterfall and river, and to the left of the falls is rustic Salish Lodge, adding some quaintness into the majestic feel of Snoqualmie Falls and its surroundings.

Those who want a closer look at the base of Snoqualmie Falls can do the one-mile roundtrip hike down the mountainside to another viewing area. The hike goes along a pretty wooded trail and also by the water plant where you get a good look at the tubes and buildings that carry the energy made by the waterfall out to the surrounding area. Snoqualmie Falls isn’t just beautiful, it’s also useful to the Pacific Northwest.

After your hike, read more about the waterfall and how it harnesses energy on the information boards by the main viewing platform or head to the onsite gift shop where you can get a coffee from the café before taking in more of the panoramic nature views.

Dunn’s River Falls: Tropical Waterfall Delight in Jamaica

Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica. Photo courtesy of Yannick Lyn Fatt via Flickr.
Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. Photo courtesy of
Yannick Lyn Fatt via Flickr.

If you want to head somewhere more exotic to see waterfalls, the Caribbean is a good place to start. One of the most popular waterfalls in the Caribbean is Dunn’s River Falls, located near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Compared to Snoqualmie Falls, Dunn’s River Falls is a bit tamer and slower, but still has its own charm.

Dunn’s River Falls cascades down a series of natural platforms for over 600 feet, so it looks like multiple smaller waterfalls all mixed in together. What’s especially fun about visiting Dunn’s River Falls is that you can walk around the falls and splash about in the little pools that form at the base of each waterfall.

An exciting way to visit Ocho Rios is via a Caribbean cruise and once there it’s easy to get to Dunn’s River Falls on a shore excursion. Celebrity Cruises has a variety of fun ways to do that depending on your interests.

There’s the Aerial Explorer and Dunn’s River Falls shore excursion that involves trekking to the falls followed by a chairlift ride that takes you 700 feet up for a bird’s eye view of the tropical forest beneath you.

Those who like some relaxation after hiking will enjoy the Bamboo Beach Club VIP and Dunns River Falls shore excursion which takes you on a guided walk to Dunn’s River Falls then transports you to the blissful Bamboo Beach Club where you can relax on a comfortable lounge chair and drink a cocktail on an exclusive area of the beach, or rent water sports equipment to take out on the water.

For travelers who want to a glimpse into history while visiting a destination, the Brimmer Hall Plantation and Dunn’s River Falls excursion is a good option since it pairs a visit to an 18th century plantation with Dunn’s River Falls plus a buffet lunch at a local hotel.

Instead of taking a bus to the start of the trail, cruise via a luxurious catamaran to Dunn’s River Falls on the Champagne Catamaran Magical Escape and Dunn’s River Falls shore excursion where you’ll hike to the waterfall and then return to the catamaran for more sailing around the sea. While on the catamaran, you’ll have mimosas, coffee, fresh fruit juice, and delicious snacks.

Which waterfall would you most like to see and hike around: Snoqualmie Falls or Dunn’s River Falls?

Do It Here, Then Do It There: Two Famous Bridges to Visit

Love some great views and engineering masterpieces? Head to these iconic bridges, one close to home in California and another farther away in England.

Do It Here: the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Tom Hilton via Flickr.

A popular thing to do when visiting California’s Bay Area is seeing the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The red bridge gleams brilliantly against the blue sky and water…or hovers faintly and mysteriously in the thick gray fog that often hangs over the city. Whether you can see the entire bridge in all its glory or just pops of red through clouds, it’s a must-see while in San Francisco and if you have a car you should drive across it. Here are two other great ways to experience the Golden Gate Bridge while in San Francisco.

Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge: If you’re feeling adventurous, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge instead of driving. Next to the multiple driving lanes and whizzing cars is a cordoned off walking path. Bring a windproof jacket even on a warm day as the breeze across the bridge can be harsh and chilly. The walk will be a little under four miles long if you park at the south or north end and walk all the way to the other end and back. For a shorter walk, just walk to the nearest tower and back.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area: If you drive across the bridge from downtown San Francisco, be sure to pull off into Golden Gate National Recreational Area and park by the Vista Point for an impressive view of not only the bridge, but also the San Francisco skyline across the bay.

Do It There: Tower Bridge in London

Tower Bridge in London
Tower Bridge in London

Across the Atlantic, there’s another iconic bridge with two towers and a memorable exterior: the Tower Bridge in London.

Built over 120 years ago, the Tower Bridge gets its name because the two vertical posts flanking the bridge look just like a tower you might see as part of a castle. While visiting the bridge, you can actually go inside these towers and see exhibits and do tours, including the historic Victorian Engine Rooms, rotating “Art at the Bridge” series, and an engineering tour. Sometimes morning yoga classes are even offered in the walkway. The elevated walkway also just got a new makeover with a dramatic glass floor that gives you a potentially heart-pounding look at the cars whizzing by you below.

Another near thing to see while visiting Tower Bridge is the lifting of its roadways, which was and still is considered to be an engineering marvel. The design of the bridge enables cars to pass over the river while also being able to still let ships sail through to the Pool of London docks when the roadways are up. You can find out scheduled lift times for the Tower Bridge here. 

Cruise to Golden Gate Bridge and Tower London Bridge

Ready to experience the Golden Gate Bridge and the Tower London Bridge? You can visit both via a Celebrity cruise! You can sail to San Francisco on one of Celebrity Cruises’ Alaska or Pacific Coastal itineraries that stop in the California port city, and then sail to London on a Europe cruise through the Baltic Sea. Find out more at www.CelebrityCruises.com.

Announcing the Celebrity Cruises West Coast Blog!

The Celebrity Cruises SoCal Blog is now the Celebrity Cruises West Coast Blog! We are excited to be continuing to bring you fresh content about California, but now it will apply to the entire west coast of the United States, plus Alaska and Hawaii. We’ll also continue to let you know about special deals and event coming up for west coast residents. Here’s what you can find on this site:

Cruising for West Coasters

Articles talking about what type of cruise or port of call you’ll most like based off of your favorite west coast city or activity, such as a Southern Californian who loves the San Diego Zoo may enjoy a Galapagos cruise. We’ll also highlight aspects onboard or in port during a cruise that will be of particular interest to many residents living on this side of the country, like craft beer experiences onboard Celebrity Cruises. Wondering what life onboard a cruise is like and what ship or stateroom is best for you? We’ll talk about that on this blog, too.

We’ll also let you know about special deals or promotions that you may want to take advantage of and why each deal is beneficial to West Coasters. If there’s anything new coming up in the world of Celebrity Cruises that we think will be of interest to those living in the west, such as wine-focused cruises, you’ll also likely find a write-up about it on here and why you’ll like it.

Port of Call Spotlights

Wondering what there is to do in port cities around the world? Each month we’ll highlight a new port and talk about what cruises sail to it and what activities and shore excursions you can do while there. You can also check out our existing Port of Call Spotlights in our blog archives.

Upcoming Events on the West Coast

Celebrity Cruises will have a presence at fun events like wine and food festivals all around the west coast this year. At many of these events we’ll be pouring wine or cocktails that we serve onboard our ships, plus attendees will have the opportunity to enter to win prizes, including a free cruise. Our About page lists out which ones are coming up next.

West Coast Life

This blog isn’t only about cruising. We’ll also talk about activities you can do at home on the west coast, ranging from restaurants and hikes to special attractions and historic landmarks.

Have any questions? Please feel free to reach out to us! You can reach us via the links on our Contact Us page, or leave us a comment on this page or any of our blog posts. We hope you enjoy reading the Celebrity Cruises West Coast Blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Activities in SoCal and While Cruising

Do It Here, Then Do It There…

The breeze is starting to have a crispness to it in Southern California and the ocean is beginning to cool back down…fall is here. Though it doesn’t always feel like autumn to those who grew up in colder climates, it’s still possible to find some fall fun in southern California. When you want some more seasonal experiences, head to these lovely-in-fall ports of call on a cruise.

Fall in SoCal

It’s all about the pumpkins this time of year. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie…so when wanting to get into a fall frame of mind, head to a pumpkin patch for some orange scenery and great photo ops. Some top SoCal pumpkin patches include:

Apples are another popular fall food. Go apple picking this autumn at Los Rios Ranch in Oak Glen. You’ll get a country feel with cider, hay rides, corn mazes, and — of course — apple picking.

If you need cooler weather for it to feel like fall so you can pull on those boots and cuddly sweaters, head to Big Bear Lake. Rent a kayak and paddle through the lake and look for trees that have started to change color — a rare occurrence in SoCal. For more fall color spotting while in Big Bear, take a hike through Aspen Grove.

Fall Colors While Cruising

You can also see some spectacular autumn colors and participate in fall festivities while cruising to New England or Europe this time of year.

New England and Canada

Celebrity Cruises offers Fall Foliage itineraries that stop in the scenic cities and towns of Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Charlottetown, Prince Edwards Island; Sydney, Nova Scotia; and more. While in port, walk through town or go on a hike to take in all the gorgeous fall colors.

Europe

France: While visiting the south coast of France (typically docked in port in Marseille or Nice) visit the nearby vineyards to see fall colors prettily accent the rows of vines.

England: When visiting London, head into the Cotswolds for the day to see some pretty fall colors framing quaint cottages.

Belgium: To see a big city all alit in golden and crimson fall colors, head to the port city of Bruges where you can take a boat down the canal and admire the trees framing the water and nearby streets.

Germany: It’s not fall in Germany without Oktoberfest, and though you won’t be able to dock in Munich (the Bavarian city which made Oktoberfest famous) you can visit Rostock (gateway to Berlin) during your cruise. While there, take a seat at one of Germany’s famous beer gardens and try some of the lagers that make Oktoberfest a hit year after year.

To book your New England or Europe cruise, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal.

Experience Italian Cuisine in OC & in Italy on a Celebrity Cruise

Eat it Here, Then Eat it There…

Italian Restaurants Honored at the Golden Foodies in Orange County

Do you love Italian cuisine? Then you’re in good company if you live in SoCal. So popular is Italian food that it’s even one of the categories for the Golden Foodies Awards of Orange County.

Last year, the 2014 Golden Foodies nominees were Antonella Ristorante, Cucina Enoteca, and Mare Culinary Lounge (with Mare Culinary Lounge taking home the win). 2015 voting is underway – you can cast your vote here for your favorite Orange County restaurant, and then stay tuned for who the winner is when they’re announced on September 27 at the awards ceremony in Newport Beach — and Celebrity Cruises will see you there!

After you get your fill of Italian cuisine in Orange County, experience the tastes of Italy by going to the boot-shaped Italian country on a Celebrity cruise.

Celebrity Cruises Italy Ports of Call

Celebrity Cruises has many incredible ports of call throughout Italy that you can visit. Depending on your interests, you can choose an itinerary that just stops at one or two of them along with visiting other nearby countries, or do an itinerary that is predominately Italian ports of call. Here is a list of some of the most popular ports of call – and some of the dishes they’re known for that you can try while in port:

Livorno – This is the gateway port to Florence and Pisa. Visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa or the stunning Duomo in Florence, then dine on a streetside panini and savor the quality of bread you’ll find.

Naples – Known for its delicious Neapolitan pizza. From Naples, you can also visit the Amalfi Coast, Capri, or Pompeii while in port.

CivitavecchiaRome is just a brief train ride away from this port town, where you can see Rome’s many historic sites plus eat some Offal, a meat tradition that uses the part of meat that normally gets thrown out; the history of which goes back to the many slaughterhouses that were once in Rome. The Carbonara found in Rome is also excellent.

Venice – The city built on water has amazing canal views plus is known for its Baccala’ Mantecata (a mousse style way of preparing dried, salted cod) and many tasty gelato shops.

La Spezia – For those wanting to experience the wonder of Cinque Terre, La Spezia is a great starting off point for that adventure. Each of the five small towns is also known for its local produce and fish.

Messina – Experience the world of Sicily while in port in Messina and try the local spaghetti – it may typically be considered a simple dish, but your tastebuds won’t find anything simple about the spaghetti served in Sicily.

In addition to these ports of call, Celebrity has itineraries that visit Genoa, Ravenna, Salerno, Cagliari, and Catania.

Tuscan Grille Restaurant Onboard Celebrity Cruises
Tuscan Grille Restaurant Onboard Celebrity Cruises

You can also try some Italian cuisine when onboard your Celebrity cruise ship at the specialty restaurant, Tuscan Grille, which serves up family-style Italian dishes in a setting reminiscent of an elegant Tuscan farmhouse.

To plan your cruise to Italy, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal or speak with your local travel agent.