Best Celebrity Cruises Snorkeling Shore Excursions Outside the Caribbean

When it comes to time in the ocean during a cruise, snorkeling is a fun shore excursion that practically everyone can enjoy. Unlike scuba diving, which requires hours of training and certification, snorkeling can be done after just a quick tutorial and even those who aren’t strong swimmers can enjoy it as you can wear life jackets or go snorkeling where it’s shallow.

At Celebrity Cruises, we get that snorkeling is a memorable activity many of our cruisers want to experience so we work with top tour operators to provide snorkeling shore excursions to our guests that put a focus on fun and safety in some of the most beautiful locales in the world. Most people think of the Caribbean when they think of snorkeling during a cruise, but we snorkeling shore excursions in Europe and Alaska, too, for an unforgettable time in port. Here are three of our best snorkeling shore excursions you can do on one of our cruises to Europe or Alaska.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a walled city in Croatia that juts into the Adriatic Sea in a splendor of old stones and red roofs. Just like the city’s perimeter, you can also get into the water during a day in port in Dubrovnik thanks to the Dubrovnik Riviera Snorkeling Adventure. The sea off the coast of Dubrovnik is known for being some of the best snorkeling in the Mediterranean thanks to clear water and vibrant sealife, and after a short boat ride from the Croatia coast you’ll get to experience this firsthand. You’ll snorkel for 90 minutes, followed by lunch on the boat.

Ibiza

When in port in Ibiza, a gorgeous and exciting island of Spain, do some snorkeling and kayaking on your shore excursion. The turquoise waters surrounding the water are calm with high visibility and on the Kayaking and Snorkeling the Beach in Ibiza shore excursion, you’ll get to kick around in the water as you snorkel past colorful fish and coral or glide above them on a kayak. Though you’ll be commencing your excursion from the beach, there is a support boat on which you can take a break from snorkeling and kayaking, making for a relaxing – yet still active – day.

Ketchikan

This snorkel excursion isn’t for the faint of heart as you’ll be submerging yourself into the chilly waters off the coast of Ketchikan, Alaska. Don’t fear the cold too much, though; the Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure shore excursion provides you with a 7mm wetsuit complete with boots and gloves for the excursion to keep you warm as you explore a side of the wildlife not often seen by visitors to Alaska. After you acquaint yourself with fish, sea stars, sea urchins and other sealife in the underwater kelp forest, you’ll head back to Mountain Point for a hot drink.

To find a cruise that visits one of these snorkeling destinations, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal.

 

This Holiday Give the Gift of a Celebrity All-Inclusive Cruise

Give the Gift of Memories, Not Things

Give someone the world this holiday season.
Give someone the world this holiday season.

Buying someone the latest electronic or fashion item may be a big hit with the recipient at first, but eventually technology moves on and jewelry and clothing goes out of style, as does most “things” you can purchase someone. Instead, give the gift of memories that will last a lifetime. Gifting someone with a cruise vacation gives them a gift of relaxation, new sights and sounds, experiencing a different culture, and being pampered with onboard amenities. It’s a present that they’ll never forget.

It’s a Present for You, Too

This can be a gift for yourself as well if you’re planning on going on the cruise with the person you’re gifting it, too. Give the gift of a romantic vacation for you and your significant other or some family bonding time for yourself and your son or daughter. Give them a gift they’ll love that you get to enjoy, too.

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

Your loved ones will “open” their all-inclusive cruise gift on the holiday, but won’t use it right away, giving them the fun of anticipating a big trip coming up. That doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the gift before the cruise departs, though. They can start researching things to do in port, book shore excursions, and make reservations to dine at specialty restaurants onboard.

How to Make it All-Inclusive

This is an important one. Making your cruise gift all-inclusive elevates your gift by saving the person you’re giving it to money onboard. Celebrity Cruises offers many ways to make a cruise all-inclusive. Air packages are available with the cruise as are pre- and post-cruise hotel stays and city tours. In addition, if the person you’re giving the gift to enjoys indulging in a few libations during a vacation, upgrade the cruise gift with a Celebrity Cruises beverage package that gets them unlimited alcoholic drinks plus some non-alcoholic drinks like soda and specialty coffee.

Upgrade your cruise gift with a beverage package.
Upgrade your cruise gift with a beverage package.

Purchase your gift now to take advantage of the 123go offer, which makes it easy to make your cruise gift all-inclusive by providing you with your choice of three amenities to add onto your cruise: up to $300 credit to spend onboard, free gratuities, or a classic beverage package. Right now, we also have the 123go All-Inclusive offer, which gives you all three amenities if you book a Concierge Class stateroom or higher. To find the perfect cruise itinerary for your holiday gift, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal or call us at 1-800-647-2251.

Port of Call Spotlight: Santorini

Enjoy a day in port in gorgeous Santorini, Greece.
Enjoy a day in port in gorgeous Santorini, Greece.

Santorini is a stunning Greek island known for its white and pastel colored buildings hugging the side of an impressive to behold caldera. The caldera is a cliff that was created after a volcano eruption thousands of years ago. The tip of the submerged volcano is visible from the towns along the caldera, providing an exquisite view. Elsewhere on the island, you’ll find beaches, vineyards, ancient ruins, and more. We’ve compiled some of the top things to do in Santorini during a day in port.

Thing to Do in Santorini

  • Wine Tasting – Santorini’s wine is quickly growing a name for itself as it gets a unique flavor from the volcanic soil it’s grown in. Try Santorini’s wine on a wine tasting shore excursion that takes you to some of Santorini’s top wineries where you’ll sip wine and enjoy the vineyard and island views in the process.
Wine tasting in Santorini.
Wine tasting in Santorini.
  • Take a Dip in Hot Springs – Venture off the main island of Santorini to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni where you can relax in mineral hot springs.
  • Hit the Beaches – Santorini’s volcanic makeup has created some visually interesting beaches including Perivolos Beach, which has black sand, and the aptly called Red Beach, which has a beach made up of tiny red-hued rocks and is located in a cove with massive red rocks behind it.
  • Walk Around Oia – Located on the northern end of the caldera, Oia is arguably Santorini’s most picturesque village with whitewashed buildings built into the side of the cliff. You’ll marvel they don’t tumble into the sea as you walk up and down the steps carved into the caldera as you explore the town of Oia – just remember to keep an eye out for donkeys making their way along the stairs as well. If your time in port allows for it, Oia is also considered the best place to watch Santorini’s famous sunset.
Oia, Santorini
Oia, Santorini
  • Shopping in Fira – Fira is Santorini’s main town and has many souvenir boutiques. Keep an eye out for jewelry made from the volcanic rock in Santorini.
  • Akrotiri – This site is home to the remains of the ancient Minoan town of Akrotiri, which was preserved after a volcanic eruption in 1450 BC buried the town.

Santorini is a popular port of call on many of Celebrity Cruises’ Mediterranean itineraries. Check them out and start planning your cruise vacation to Santorini today. Have some questions about our cruises? Call 1-800-647-2251.

What Thanksgiving is Like Onboard Celebrity Cruises

Imagine a gourmet meal that rivals that of five-star restaurants. Now picture that meal with traditional Thanksgiving cuisine. In an opulent dining room. While sailing in the middle of the sea. This is what you’ll encounter when doing a Thanksgiving cruise with Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Cruises has long put a focus on cuisine and offers some of the best food at sea, so it only makes sense that we go all out for Thanksgiving.

Enjoy perfectly cut and carved turkey and a variety of side dish favorites — without having to worry about any of the prep or cleanup!

Instead, just relax and enjoy your vacation. Lots of businesses offer extra holiday vacation days so if that sounds like where you work, take advantage of that by booking a vacation over Thanksgiving. Invite your entire family, too — or escape them for some rest and relaxation.

Bookings are already open for Celebrity Cruises 2015 Thanksgiving sailings. These sailings sell out fast so planning a year in advance ensures you get your first choice of stateroom type and location. Visit us at www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal or call us at 800-647-2251 to start planning your holiday cruise.

Shopping on Rodeo Drive…and the Champs-Elysées

Do It Here, Then Do It There…

If you love to shop, it’s hard to beat the shopping meccas of Los Angeles, California, and Paris, France. Here are the two shopping locations in these cities that you can’t miss. Visit one here in SoCal first, then take a cruise overseas and do more shopping in Paris.

Los Angeles Shopping: Rodeo Drive

Pretty much everyone has heard of Rodeo Drive thanks to the prevalence of Pretty Woman. However, not everyone – including many southern California residents – have visited Rodeo Drive as it can seem a bit daunting. Never fear, Rodeo Drive is easily accessible. Though you’ll have to pay for parking, there are plenty of parking lots along the road, particularly at the Santa Monica Boulevard end. Rodeo Drive is lovely to walk down as the buildings are pristine and there are manicured plants and flowers along the road. Veer off to Via Rodeo for an even more picture-perfect shopping street that is cobblestoned and car-free.

Contrary to popular belief, Rodeo Drive doesn’t only have shopping for the very rich. Yes, you’ll find Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel, but you’ll also come across the more affordable brands of Guess?, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Brooks Brothers. And if you do want to shop in the high-end luxury stores, then you’ve most definitely come to the right street.

Paris Shopping: Champs-Elysées

The Champs-Elysées is such a famous street that there is even a song named after it and you may find yourself humming it long after you experience Paris’ most prestigious shopping boulevard. The Champs-Elysées starts from the Arc de Triomphe and extends all the way to the Place de la Concorde. Along the way you’ll find shopping nirvana.

For luxury shoppers, you’ll find the typical high end brand boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Tiffany and Co. However, you’ll also come across brands its less common to find storefronts for like Karl Lagerfeld, Balmain, and Peugeot. There are also shops for the more budget-conscious along the Champs-Elysées, including Abercrombie and Fitch, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, Gap, and Sephora.

The Champs-Elysées is also lovely to walk down as it has wide, tree lined sidewalks and buildings with stately architecture reflecting past centuries.

Visit the Champs-Elysées in Paris

Celebrity Cruises has several northern Europe itineraries that make a port of call in Le Havre, which is the gateway port to Paris. After disembarking, you’ll be blissfully shopping in Paris within a couple hours. To find out more about our cruises to Paris, call 1-800-647-2251 or visit our Europe cruise itineraries that visit Paris.

 

Port of Call Spotlight: Copenhagen

With ancient castles, an eclectic history that incorporates Vikings and fairy tales, and a booming restaurant and beer scene, Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the premier destinations to visit along the Baltic Sea. During a northern Europe cruise that stops in Denmark, you can experience the history and grandeur of this beautiful port city.

Top Thing to Do in Copenhagen

  • The Little Mermaid Statue – this famous statue overlooking the sea is inspired by the story The Little Mermaid written by Hans Christian Andersen, who lived in Copenhagen.
The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.
The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.
  • Nyhavn – Hans Christian Andersen fans will also enjoy visiting the quaint seaside neighborhood of Nyhavn, where you can see the building Hans Christian Andersen once lived in during which he wrote some of his beloved fairy tales.
  • Kronberg Castle and Fredensborg Palace (You can see both of these on the Celebrity Cruises Castles of North Zealand shore excursion.)
  • Tivoli Gardens – Wander through gorgeous gardens plus have fun on rides – including a 100 year old roller coaster – and enjoy live music during your time at Tivoli Gardens.
Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen
Tivoli Garden
  • Frederikssund Viking Village – Learn about the Vikings reign in Copenhagen at this unique attraction, which has been built to reflect a true Viking village that you can walk through and learn via hands-on activities. Frederikssund Viking Village is a hit with both kids and adults.
  • National Museum – Art and history lovers will enjoy spending time in Denmark’s National Museum, located in a former palace and which features artifacts and artwork from the Stone Ages through to modern times.

To find a cruise to Copenhagen that works with your schedule, call us at 1-800-647-2251 or visit our Copenhagen cruise itineraries.

 

Why You Should Leave SoCal for a Holiday at Sea

Thanks to the warm sunshine and peaceful ocean, Southern California can be a great place to spend the holidays. This may make it hard for SoCal residents to want to leave when they often have extra days off around the holidays that they can use to enjoy this gorgeous region they live in. If this sounds like you, here are a few reasons why you may want to leave SoCal behind and head out to sea on a cruise for the holidays.

Similar Warm Weather – Which You Happen to Love During the Holidays

Heading to the Caribbean or South Pacific over the holidays might be too much of a weather switch for those northeastern and Midwest folks in our country. No snow on Christmas? They can’t wrap their heads around it. But for southern Californians, excellent weather during December is par for the course so experiencing sunshine on a cruise will be just like having it at home – only you’ll be in a much more exotic locale!

Avoid Playing Holiday Host

If you have relatives in colder parts of the country who are looking to escape the winter cold this holiday season with their extra vacation days and keep hinting at your guest bedroom, you have an excuse not to play host. “Sorry, I’d love to have you here for the holidays, but I’m actually going to be sailing around the Caribbean!” Now doesn’t that have a better ring to it than hosting tiresome houseguests?

A Capella Singers on board Celebrity Solstice
Be entertained onboard instead of having to cater to houseguests over the holidays.

No Delayed Flights Due to Blizzards

Air travel is easier from SoCal over the holidays. Yes, the airports are still crowded and busy, but you don’t have to worry about your plane being delayed from taking off from LAX because of a snowstorm. Hint: This tactic only works if you avoid layovers in northern states prone to snow and ice freezes.

You Don’t Have to Give Up the Ocean

If you’re used to being by the ocean for the holidays, a cruise is excellent because you’re literally surrounded by salt water for the majority of your vacation. While in port you can also do beach and ocean excursions – and if you’re sailing to the Caribbean or another tropical destination you’ll actually be able to enjoy your time in the water because the current won’t be so cold like it is here in SoCal in the winter.

If you’re interested in a holiday cruise (or escaping on a cruise at another time of year) give us a call at 1-800-647-2251 or visit us at www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal. And don’t forget to ask us if we have any special SoCal resident deals going on!

WOW Food and Wine Festival Recap

Even 95 degree heat couldn’t keep wine and food lovers away from the WOW Food and Wine Festival this past Sunday. The event was held at the Honda Center, home of the Ducks hockey team, but the icy floor of that sport seemed a long way away under the SoCal sun.

View of sunny Anaheim behind part of the Celebrity Cruises booth at WOW Food and Wine Festival.
View of sunny Anaheim behind part of the Celebrity Cruises booth at WOW Food and Wine Festival.

Luckily, there was plenty of water and even iced coffee and tea drinks from the Keurig booth to keep attendees cool while they meandered around the Honda Center’s Grand Terrace and sipped wine from West Sonoma Coast Vintners. Inside the adjacent restaurant (delightfully air conditioned!) food was served from the Grand Terrace and other local restaurants. Cuisine ranged from a delicious cold tomato soup purée to curry to donuts.

Celebrity Cruises Vacation Planning Zone at the WOW Food and Wine Festival
Celebrity Cruises Vacation Planning Zone at the WOW Food and Wine Festival

Celebrity Cruises partnered up with Hartford Family Winery (Hartford wines are served onboard Celebrity Cruises) who was on hand to pour their wines. In addition we provided attendees with opportunities to win prizes through a cruise giveaway, prize wheel, and Twitter and Instagram “Travel Style” contest. Celebrity also had a relaxing Vacation Planning Lounge for anyone who wanted to learn more about sailing the world with Celebrity Cruises.

Attendees dressed up in their Celebrity Cruises "Travel Style."
Attendees dressed up in their Celebrity Cruises “Travel Style.”

Are you interested in learning more about where Celebrity cruises to and what life is like onboard? Visit us at www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal or call us at 1-800-647-2251.

Why LAX Makes Celebrity’s 123go! Deal Excellent for SoCal

Celebrity Cruises’ 123go! deal just got INCLUSIVE! The 123go deal gives you the option of picking a perk for your cruise; the three perks available are:

  • Free Classic Beverage Package (includes alcohol!)
  • Free Gratuities
  • Up to $300 to Spend Onboard per Stateroom

Typically with the 123go! promotion, you only get to pick one perk, unless traveling to Europe in which case you get to pick TWO perks. Now, however, for a limited time you can get ALL THREE perks to any of our cruise destinations if you book your cruise in a concierge class stateroom or higher.

This is a fantastic deal if you live in SoCal and here’s why: LAX. 

In addition to gorgeous weather and proximity to the ocean, living in SoCal has the added benefit of meaning you’re close to LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport and one of the biggest airports in the nation. The scale of LAX and the large number of airlines that fly in and out of it each day equates to prices to fly overseas that are often lower than other, smaller airports.

What does this mean for you and the 123go! Inclusive deal? Use the money you save flying out of LAX to upgrade to a Concierge level suite on your cruise so you get all three perks of the promotion.

Or, if just getting two of the perks is important to you, simply find a cheap flight out of LAX to Europe. Here’s a hint for that: You don’t always necessarily need to fly straight to the port city from which your cruise is departing. Europe is home to budget airlines that enable you to sometimes find a connecting flight to your final destination for under $100. So, for example, if your cruise departs from Barcelona, you could find an excellent flight deal from LAX to London (which is actually quite common to find!) and then jump on a budget airline to Barcelona.

Celebrity Cruises also works closely with select airlines to be able to incorporate in air to our cruises for some great air and cruise package deals and LAX is one of the airports we often have excellent air specials for that are often better than you’ll find anywhere else, so call us first at 1-800-647-2251 to check what it would be for you to fly out of LAX to your dream cruise destination — and get the 123go! deal in the process!

Weekend Fun at WOW Food and Wine Festival

We are so excited for our last big event of 2014 — WOW Food and Wine Festival in Anaheim, California this Saturday, November 8. We would love for you to come out and see us there!

WOW is short for West of West as this food and wine festival celebrates the winemakers of the west Sonoma coast. Though Sonoma is located in northern California, WOW has a SoCal twist thanks to a partnership with Orange Coast Magazine (who know how to throw a good party!). Over 25 wineries will be pouring their creations at the WOW Food and Wine Festival. Local restaurants will also be in attendance so festival attendees don’t go hungry.

Celebrity Cruises will also be pouring wine at our booth as we’re partnering up with Hartford Family Wine. In addition, we’ll have a prize wheel where you can instantly win fun prizes, plus a photo booth where you can dress up in your favorite travel style and take a picture. Share the picture on Twitter or Instagram for the chance to win a $100 VISA gift card. You can also enter to win a 7-night cruise for two to the Caribbean while visiting our booth at WOW.

During the festival there will also be a sommelier challenge and a meet and greet session that gives attendees the chance to mingle with Grape Radio hosts and wine bloggers for Orange Coast Magazine.

The WOW Food and Wine Festival is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (with VIP entrance starting at 10 a.m.) at the Grand Terrace of the Honda Center in Anaheim. Click here to purchase tickets.

Special events and cruise deals just for West Coast residents plus cruise and travel tips for everyone!