Category: Tips & Tricks

Regent Seven Seas Cruises® to Debut New Serene Spa & Wellness™ Fleetwide

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 468 0

A new experience in travel wellness, Regent guests will enhance their voyage with exclusive, destination-inspired spa treatments, rejuvenating fitness classes, nutritionally balanced cuisine and wellness tours as they journey around the world

Serene Spa & Wellness™, originally designed to perfect luxury on board Seven Seas Splendor™, will launch fleetwide ahead of Seven Seas Splendor’s maiden voyage

On October 1, 2019 Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, the world’s leading luxury ocean cruise line, announced they are introducing a new globally inspired spa brand that will debut across its five-ship fleet this winter. Serene Spa & Wellness™ will offer exclusive treatments integrating techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world, creating a tranquil haven of health, beauty and wellness that offers restorative treatments and services to soothe both the body and mind.

The groundbreaking menu of services reflects treatments originating from many of the 450 destinations to which the cruise line sails, and includes globally renowned ELEMIS facial therapies, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, luxury Kérastase salon services, fitness classes, and personal training, plus a series of wellness tours and nutritionally mindful cuisine selections served in restaurants on board.

“Regent is deeply inspired by the peace and serenity that can be found in every region of our globe, and we are bringing the beautiful traditions and tried-and-true techniques of the world’s cultures into the exclusive experiences of Serene Spa & Wellness™ through spa treatments, cuisine and captivating shore excursions,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We originally developed this innovative experience for Seven Seas Splendor™ in our pursuit to perfect luxury for our newest ship, and then decided to expand Serene Spa & Wellness™ for guests to embark on a global journey of relaxation on all Regent ships. Serene Spa & Wellness™ will set a new benchmark in luxury spas at sea.”

Experience the best of destination-inspired body and beauty treatments

Serene Spa & Wellness™ integrates globally sourced, natural ingredients that promote health and balance for the body, mind and spirit. In addition to traditional spa services, examples of globally inspired techniques and treatments offered exclusively at Serene Spa & Wellness™ on Regent Seven Seas Cruises include:

  • The Regent Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Sea Buckthorn from the Mediterranean coast)
    This bespoke full-body therapy features a synergy of rosemary, sea fennel and sea buckthorn from the Mediterranean coastlines worked into areas of tension to ease and soothe muscles while helping to detoxify. Warm eucalyptus-infused paraffin mitts and boots enhance this signature experience, deeply nourishing and hydrating hands and feet.
  • Around The World Massage. (Destination Inspirations: Basalt from China, Coconut Poultice from Caribbean, Bamboo from Asia)
    Fusing techniques from the corners of the world, this choreographed therapy is one of optimal wellness: the earthly scents of Indian cardamom, Egyptian coriander and eucalyptus soothe the mind; Swedish massage movements work freely throughout the body to relax; volcanic rocks release muscle tension and stagnant energy in the legs; bamboo stalks glide over muscles to deeply alleviate discomfort; warmed coconut poultices are delicately worked over the face, neck and shoulders; and argan oil from Morocco conditions the scalp.
  • Sea Lavender & Samphire Body Polish. (Destination Inspiration: Samphire from Northern Europe)
    Hydrate skin with a nourishing, exfoliation duo. Nutrient-rich extracts from sea lavender and samphire smooth parched, dry skin cells while a moisturizing milk of macadamia nut and sea salt moisturize to allow a thirsty skin to replenish. This lavish body experience includes half or full-body massage.
  • Deep Sea Heat Mask & Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Bladderwrack Seaweed from Baltic Coast)
    Recharge your body with a detoxifying treatment designed to alleviate deep-seated tension and muscular distress. Rich in minerals and trace elements, an aromatic, warm mask with potent algae from the Baltic Sea is applied on to the back to release tension and ease aches and pains while a back or full-body massage relaxes the body.
  • Calming Rose Facial. (Destination Inspiration: Hand-picked Organic English Roses from the United Kingdom)
    Comfort sensitive skin with a natural blend of delicate rose absolute to intensely hydrate the dermis. Luxuriously indulgent, precious rose extracts smooth fine lines, strengthening and protecting the skin’s barrier. A warm rose balm is massaged onto the hands and arms to induce relaxation. Skin is left feeling soothed and replenished with a petal softness.
  • Kérastase® Elixir Ultime 24-Carat Indulgent Ritual. (Destination Inspiration: Rose from Morocco)
    This indulgent hair ritual nourishes, protects and instantly restores hair. Relax with the aromatic scent of rose during a luxurious treatment in which camellia and marula oils and white tea extracts are massaged deep into the scalp. This highly concentrated experience provides a sublime transformation, leaving hair silky, weightless and beautiful.
  • Regent Manicure and Pedicure. (Destination Inspiration: Frangipani from the South Pacific)
    Hands and feet are soaked in a hydrating milk protein while a vitamin-rich oil strengthens nails and cuticles. Warmed frangipani oil is massaged to further replenish moisture. Includes filing, cuticles and polish.

Ask one of our Cruise Specialists for a full menu of treatments is available

 

Focusing on holistic wellness, both on ship and on shore
Serene Spa & Wellness™ services extend beyond the physical spa venue:

  • Fitness experts at Fitness by Serene Spa & Wellness™ lead popular exercise classes, such as Pilates, yoga and meditation and are available to offer advice and demonstrate the use of fitness equipment.
    Equipment includes spinning bikes, dumbbells, treadmills, Technogym® strength machines, workout mats and step benches. One-on-one training can be arranged with a fitness instructor.
  • Savor the best of world cuisine with Serene Spa & Wellness™ Selections in many restaurants on board. Drawn from a globally inspired approach to healthy living, these culinary dishes are as flavorful as they are nutritious. An extensive array of innovative options is available in restaurants across Regent’s fleet, featuring exquisite dishes influenced by a myriad of global fares including delectable plant-based cuisine.
  • Serene Spa & Wellness™ Tours offer curated shore excursions designed to enhance wellness through immersive experiences. Soak in a restorative, mineral-rich thermal spring in Rome or experience a taiji (tai chi) class on a beautiful and serene beach on Palma de Mallorca. Guests can refresh with a Mediterranean breeze as they calm their mind and strengthen their focus through a yoga class overlooking the seaside town of Taormina.
  • Experience the healing, detoxifying and tension-releasing power of the European-inspired Serene Spa & Wellness™ Hydrothermal Suite, exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor™ and Seven Seas Explorer®. Relax before or after spa treatments and enjoy Regent’s multisensory aromatherapy steam room, chill room, infrared sauna and experiential showers.

 

Serene Spa & Wellness™ opening schedule
Serene Spa & Wellness™ will launch on each Regent ship during these voyages:

Seven Seas Explorer® – Dec. 7, 2019 voyage
Seven Seas Mariner® – Jan. 6, 2020 voyage
Seven Seas Voyager® – Jan. 7, 2020 voyage
Seven Seas Navigator® – Jan. 23, 2020 voyage
Seven Seas Splendor™ – Feb. 6, 2020 voyage

5 Reasons to Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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From awe-inspiring natural wonders to unmatched feats of human engineering, UNESCO’s World Heritage List is your guidebook for the trip of a lifetime. Seabourn Cruise Lines has selected Five Reasons why you need to include a UNESCO World Heritage site to your must-see travel list.

WHAT IS UNESCO?
UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded in 1945, it is the arm of the United Nations dedicated to fostering peaceful communication between nations and preserving cherished heritage sites around the world. The agency promotes growth in five core areas: education, culture, natural sciences, social and human sciences, and communication and information.

WHY SHOULD TRAVELERS KNOW ABOUT UNESCO?
In 1972, UNESCO inaugurated the World Heritage List, a prestigious index of places around the world with resounding universal value. The World Heritage sites are bastions of natural beauty, cultural significance, or a combination of both, and they epitomize the values, history, and triumphs of their home countries. With over 1000 sites and counting, the World Heritage List is the ultimate traveler’s guide—a bucket list of destinations worth seeing.

FIVE REASONS TO VISIT:

DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS
In addition to the landmarks on every world traveler’s radar, like the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu, the World Heritage Committee surfaces sites you’ve likely never heard of. From the wooden churches on Chile’s Chiloé Island to the Jodrell Bank Observatory in northwestern England, the list will broaden your travel horizons beyond the usual tourist destinations.

 

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
The World Heritage List unearths some of man’s earliest creations: rock engravings in the Great Plains dating to the Contact Period; the oldest salt mine in Europe; Buddhist cave art from the 5th and 6th centuries. It’s one thing to know that we’ve been around for a long time—it’s another thing altogether to see proof of it.

 

SUPPORT PRESERVATION
Preserving the cultural and natural integrity of threatened sites is one of UNESCO’s core objectives. The World Heritage List has a special designation for properties at risk of destruction—whether by natural disasters, armed conflict, or any other forces—and reserves funds to support and protect these sites. The ongoing conservation efforts ensure that cherished cultural landmarks will thrive for generations to come.

 

MARVEL AT SUPERLATIVE SIGHTS
To make the World Heritage List, a site must pass several stages of rigorous evaluation and meet at least one of 10 selection criteria. In short, every location is unequivocally superb. From archaeological ruins and sacred monasteries to animal sanctuaries and volcanic parks, there are marvels of all kinds for travelers of all interests.

 

GAIN SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE
The World Heritage Committee works with a range of stakeholders to preserve the integrity of cherished landmarks and foster sustainable tourism. Seabourn has recently extended its partnership with UNESCO, pledging to continue supporting World Heritage sites through philanthropic donations and educational initiatives. As the official cruise partner of UNESCO, Seabourn offers more than 250 shore experiences at over 170 UNESCO designated sites and has also created special World Heritage Discovery Tours at a number of ports worldwide. Lastly, you’ll enjoy enhanced content on seabourn.com thanks to our partnership with UNESCO, aimed to increase awareness of some of the world’s most storied destinations.

 

 

Dining aboard The Paul Gauguin

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During every meal onboard The Gauguin, with every sumptuous bit you sample, and each time our attentive staff fill your glass, you’ll begin to realize that dining on the high seas with Paul Gauguin Cruises is truly something special. Embark upon a five-star culinary adventure, designed just for you by some of the world’s most talented and award-winning chefs, including Jean-Pierre Vigato. What’s more, every one of the onboard dining options is included in your cruise fare. Bon appétit!

La Veranda
Dine al fresco or enjoy wraparound ocean views from the dining room of La Veranda, where you can find an ever-changing selection of buffet breakfast and lunch items and a la carte options, many of which are inspired by the destinations visited. In the evening, La Veranda is transformed to a reservation-only dining venue serving Jean-Pierre Vigato’s gourmet cuisine.

Le Grill
When your day’s plans call for a more casual dining experience, Le Grill is where you’ll want to go, located by the pool and offering a buffet breakfast, grilled lunch favorites, salads, and fresh tropical fruit. In the afternoon, stop by for tea with finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, desserts, pastries, and petit fours. Return in the evening to sample Polynesian specialties in a relaxed atmosphere. Reservations required for dinner.

L’Etoile
The exquisite main dining room is dressed to impress with perfectly appointed décor, fine table linens, and delicate china. Join fellow cruisers every evening for dinner and sample a tantalizing array of expertly prepared dishes, perfectly paired with complimentary wines.

Wine Program
Paul Gauguin Cruises serves complimentary wines in each dining venue, lounge, and bar which are selected by wine sommeliers. Additionally, The Gauguin features a special Connoisseur Wine List with Champagnes from France and a variety of wines from California, Washington, Oregon, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Chile which can be purchased by guests by the bottle.

Wine Pairings
The Gauguin’s sommeliers also provide suggestions for food and wine pairings to enrich and enhance dining experiences. Paul Gauguin Cruises also features winemakers who provide educational lectures and wine tastings on select sailings.

Odyssey of the Seas

Introducing Royal Caribbean’s newest ship – Odyssey of the Seas

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It’s time to see just how far adventure can take you. Introducing the newest Royal Caribbean® gamechanger, Odyssey of the SeasSM. From bow to stern and St. Thomas to Santorini, it’s bold in every direction on the latest Quantum Ultra Class feat — debuting fall 2020 in Fort Lauderdale and sailing from Rome summer 2021.

 

HIGHLIGHTS YOU WILL FIND ONBOARD

ALL THE THRILLS
• RipCord® by iFLY® — Your clients can feel the freedom of freefall without even leaving the deck.

• Sky PadSM — Whether bouncing around a sugarcoated world, or a planet lightyears in the future, it’s gravity-defying fun in this bungee trampoline experience.

• FlowRider® — The surf’s always up as 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome heads your clients’ way.

 

ALL DECKED OUT
• Resort style pools — Island vibes are set to max with two uncovered pools, plenty of shady casitas, and hammocks primed for sweet ocean breezes.

• North Star® — It’s time to raise the bar on adventure — with 360-degree views of the world from 300 feet above sea level in our signature observation capsule.

• Solarium — Peaceful swimming pools, whirlpools with ocean views and ambience for days — and nights.

 

ALL FOR THE FAMILY
• SeaPlex® — The largest indoor activity space at sea serves up family friendly thrills like bumper cars, a trapeze school, glow-in-the-dark laser tag and PlaymakersSM Sports Bar & Arcade overlooking all the action.

• Adventure Ocean® — It’s time to play outside the lines with wide open play places and dedicated spaces for all types of activities for kids.

• Teen spaces — Teenagers don’t have to choose between game time and hanging out. Spaces like Social133 put them in the action, indoors and out.

• Splashaway BaySM — Pint-sized cruisers will find gallons of adventure onboard — at the fun-soaked Splashaway BaySM aqua park with slides, water cannons and more.

 

ALL OUT DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT
• Giovanni’sSM Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar — Pizza, pasta, wine — now there’s even more to love at this reimagined trattoria.

• Teppanyaki — Your clients have front row seats for authentic Far East flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional style right at their table.

• Two70® — By night, the lights go down in this open area panoramic living room, where windows become screens, and aerialists, robots and more take your clients on a journey like no other.

• Music Hall — This is the premier place for live music lovers where the industry’s best cover bands rock like the real thing.

 

CONNECT WITH US TODAY TO BOOK YOUR CRUISE ON ODYSSEY OF THE SEAS!

FALL 2020 — Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
6 to 8 Night Eastern/Western/Southern Caribbean

SUMMER 2021 — Sailing from Rome, Italy
7 to 12 Night Mediterranean, Greek Isles and Holy Land itineraries

Crystal Endeavor Expeditions

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On August 10, 2020, Crystal Endeavor will embark on her maiden voyage from Tokyo. The groundbreaking vessel under Crystal Expedition Cruises will sail a remote and remarkable journey through the islands of Japan and the Russian Far East, Antarctica via the Ross Sea; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines.

We are most excited for the Crystal Endeavor’s Indonesian Immersive & the Great Barrier Reef that sails for 16 nights from Bali to Cairns on October 15, 2020.  You’ll journey through the legendary Spice Islands and Papua New Guinea, to Komodo Island where you may encounter its famous dragons. And of course the breathtaking underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.

Throughout this voyage you’ll want to don your wet suit for fascinating deep water discoveries like Lizard Island, nestled within the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and Ribbon Reef, constituting approximately 125 miles of it. Lizard Island is an ideal spot for expedition adventures that range from snorkeling to rugged hikes through mangroves and acacia woodlands in search of the yellow-spotted monitor lizard and even taking the time to sun yourself along white sand beaches. Ribbon Reef presents opportunities to dive deep into the coves, caves and canyons that house a rainbow of sea life within an isolated haven of turquoise. In Kalabahi, Indonesia, a snorkeling adventure will take you to the coastal waters of Pura Island, where the coral reefs still thrive and tropical fish dart in and out, playing hide-and-seek with visitors. You may also meet some of the local Alor tribe, who farm and fish the land.

There are adventures and eye-opening discoveries in each of these spectacular destination, and even aboard the expedition ship itself.

NCL Japan Cruises

Cruising to Japan: 11 Incredible Ports to Explore

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When you journey to Japan you will experience a land of culture, history and sites beyond your imagination. To ensure you see all you are meant to, read on to discover 11 incredible ports to explore when you sail Japan with Norwegian Cruise Lines

If you’re looking through Norwegian’s Asia cruises, you’ll find no shortage of beautiful and exotic ports, many of which are in Japan. In fact, you can even book a cruise that primarily explores some of Japan’s most iconic destinations. One option is a 13-day cruise from Yokohama. If you’re planning a cruise to Japan, here’s a look at 11 incredible ports in Japan you can’t miss.

1. Shimizu (Mount Fuji)
Shimizu is a popular port because it’s the gateway to Mount Fuji (pictured above), but it’s also one of Japan’s most beautiful ports. Here, you can visit Japan’s first sushi museum, check out the archeological site of Toro that dates back to 200 BC, or wander through a 650-year-old black pine forest. If you’re interested in regional specialties, you’ll find traditional wooden handicrafts, fabrics, and local eats like a sweet jellied confection known as yokan.

2. Kobe
Kobe, Japan, is famous for its iconic beef, but it’s also the gateway to the popular city of Osaka. Here you can visit Ikuta Shrine, one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and spend the rest of the day eating and drinking your way through one of Japan’s most beloved food destinations. Enjoy an endless amount of street foods, and don’t miss Kobe’s Nada District, which is the top sake-producing region in the county.

3. Kanazawa
Travelers who want to learn more about Japan’s Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1886, should book a cruise that stops in Kanazawa. This is the second-largest city to survive World War II intact. You can explore the old castle town, the Nagamachi samurai district, and teahouses in the geisha district. You’ll find no shortage of temples and museums, plus a historic market that dates back to 1721.

4. Sapporo
Sapporo is one of Japan’s youngest cities and was the host city for the 1972 Winter Olympics. World class skiing and the annual ice festival are two reasons people flock to Sapporo, especially in the winter months. From Sapporo, you can also visit other iconic destinations, such as Hokkaido, or mineral-rich hot springs like Noboribetsu.

5. Beppu
Beppu is famous for its countless hot springs. The most famous of these is Jigoku, or Hell Circuit, but you won’t be taking a dip here, as it’s only for admiring. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be able to view thousands of cherry blossoms in the spring or the stunning leaves of autumn. For local food specialties, don’t miss stopping by the historic Tomonaga Panya. This bakery dates back to 1916, and its signature specialty is the wanchan (doggie) bun.

6. Sasebo
Sasebo was once an old fishing village, but it transitioned into a large naval port in the 19th century. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the wide range of outdoor activities here. Visit the zoological and tropical botanical gardens with over 1,200 plant species and 80 animal species. Love Dutch tulips? Huis Ten Bosch is a recreation of a 17th-century Dutch village, complete with its own tulip fields. For traditional Japanese fare, explore the Yorozu-cho District where you can find a fun market with fresh seafood, produce, and plenty of handmade pottery and clothing.

7. Hakodate
The best views in Hakodate are seen from atop Hakodate Mountain. You can take a scenic ride up the gondola to the observation deck and marvel at the views below. Don’t miss interesting Hakodate attractions like Fort Goryokaku, built in the shape of a star, or the Hakodate market. Be sure to eat local specialties like kaisen-don, a seafood rice bowl.

8. Sakaiminato
The western part of Japan is seafood heaven, and Sakaiminato is the main fishing port for this part of the country. If you’ve eaten succulent snow crab in Japan, it comes from the Sakai Port. Beautiful sculptures from local artist Shigeru Mizuki line Kitaro Road, and the city is famed for its “Yokai” bronze sculptures of Japanese folklore spirit monsters.

9. Kochi
Kochi is another fun Japanese port, especially if you want to experience a Japanese beach. Katsurahama Beach is beautiful and is home to the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial that honors the famous Japanese peace negotiator. Settlement in this area started in 1601, and you can visit the area surrounding the historic Kochi Castle. Don’t miss trying Katsuo no tataki, which is a type of tuna tataki.

10. Miyako-Jima
Okinawa is renowned for its natural beauty, and Miyako-Jima is a beautiful port in the Okinawa Prefecture. Visitors are blown away by the turquoise water and world-class snorkeling. After you’ve worked up an appetite in the water, be sure to try Okinawa soba, a local specialty.

11. Hiroshima
Hiroshima is an emotional port for many travelers. It’s a historically rich region, but also a solemn reminder of World War II. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, where you’ll find numerous monuments to honor those who perished during the war. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Hiroshima is renowned for its local cuisine, including okonomiyaki, a crepe-like dish that some people refer to as Japanese pizza. It has vegetables, cabbage, and usually seafood. If you like oysters, don’t miss trying grilled oysters in Hiroshima either.

If your budget and vacation time allows, consider an East Asia cruise that primarily explores some of these ports in Japan. Many itineraries start or end in Tokyo, so you can add extra days to explore one of the world’s most dynamic cities on your own.

 

 

 

 

Original Blog Post can be found here

Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Kisses

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 233 0

Princess Cruises invites you to enjoy this decadent recipe from Chef Curtis Stone

PREP TIME: 1 Hour
COOKING TIME: 20 Minutes
MAKES: 20

MAKE-AHEAD:
The chocolate caramel kisses can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/3 cups whole roasted salted cashews
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
7 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
Maldon or other flaky sea salt

To make the chocolate caramel kisses:
1- In a heavy medium saucepan, stir the sugar and water over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.

2- Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes, or until it begins to turn golden brown.

3- Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cream. The caramel will bubble vigorously. Allow the caramel to cool and thicken slightly for 15 minutes. Toss the cashews through the slightly cooled caramel.

4- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper on one sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using two spoons, drop spoonfuls of the caramel cashew mixture onto the sprayed baking sheet, forming about 20 small mounds. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until the clusters are cold and the caramel becomes more firm but is still sticky and chewy.

To coat the chocolate caramel kisses:
5- Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a small bowl and set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water and to slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Remove the bowl from over the saucepan.

6- Using a small metal spatula, lift one cluster from the baking sheet and drop it into the melted chocolate to coat completely. Using a fork, immediately lift the cluster out of the chocolate and gently shake the excess chocolate back into the bowl.

7- Using a second fork as an aid, place the chocolate-covered caramel cluster on the second prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each cluster with just a few sea salt flakes. Repeat with the remaining clusters, melted chocolate, and salt.

8- Refrigerate the chocolate caramel kisses for 10 minutes, or just until the chocolate is cold and set. Transfer the chocolate caramel kisses to a platter and serve.

Autism Friendly Cruising with Celebrity Cruises

Autism Friendly Cruising with Celebrity Cruises

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We understand that cruising as a family takes extra planning. And we can only imagine the extra steps that go into planning a cruise when travelling with special needs. One of our special partners, Celebrity Cruises, offer Autism Friendly programs for all ages to help make your family cruise the best it can be.

Celebrity Cruises® offers a welcoming autism-friendly environment onboard its cruise ships. This includes sensory-friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism-friendly training for Camp at Sea staff. In addition, Youth Staff have received autism awareness training which covers the following topics: characteristics of autism and developmental disabilities, and communication tactics, such as person-first language and terms, and skills to initiate a conversation with a parent about his or her child’s needs. Your search for special needs cruise ships ends here.

Autism-Friendly Ships

Celebrity Cruises® offers autism-friendly interactive initiatives for families, including sensory-friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism-friendly training for Camp at Sea staff and more. Additionally, we offer a wide range of autism friendly products and services, which include:

> Priority check-in, boarding and departure
> Camp at Sea toilet-trained policy exception
> Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free and dairy-free
> Pagers/phones for parents of children while signed into the care of Camp at Sea programs (subject to availability).
> Camp at Sea flexible grouping by ability for children 3 to 12 years old

Autism-Friendly Films

Autism friendly films are presented in a low lighting, low volume environment. Guests are encouraged to freely talk and walk around during the film. These films will be offered on all autism group cruises, and cruises with at least five children with autism onboard. Dates and times will be highlighted in Celebrity Today.

Autism-Friendly Toy Lending Program

“In our efforts to deliver top-rated products with both entertainment and educational value, Celebrity Cruises® partnered with Fat Brain Toys—one of the most highly regarded toy companies among occupational, physical and play therapists—to offer an exclusive Autism Friendly Toy Lending Catalog. We also offer: non-toxic crayons, markers, water colors, building blocks, dominoes and picture books. Upon request, we will provide a tote bag with the Fat Brain Toys of your selection.

Autism-Friendly Activities

We offer activities for children of all abilities. Families are encouraged to consult with Camp at Sea staff regarding any special needs that their children may have in order to identify which activities are appropriate for their child and any possible modifications.

Cruising Social Story

“A Social Story is a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. These Social Stories help individuals with autism to better cope with social situations. Celebrity Cruises® offers a Social Story Booklet about cruising to help families with autism prepare for their cruise vacation.

What Do You Offer For Teens With Autism?
• Expedited check-in, boarding and departure
• Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
• Autism Friendly Toy Lending Program
• Autism Friendly Films
• Social Story Booklet
• Our Teen Program with teens-only hangouts and activities. Please note while some activities are hosted, supervision or one-on-one attention is not provided

What Do You Offer For Adults With Autism?
• Expected check-in, boarding and departure
• Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
• Autism Friendly Toy Lending Program
• Autism Friendly Films
• Social Story Booklet
• Our Cruise Activities Program.
Please note while some activities are hosted, supervision or one-on-one attention is not provided (Adults are not permitted in Teen or Camp at Sea spaces)

Travelling with Kids on the m/s Paul Gauguin

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A model on a Paul Gauguin Cruises photo shoot, Elke enjoyed her shipboard experience so much, she returned as a guest—twice. She shares some of the moments that made the voyages so special for her now 11-year-old son.

What comes to mind for you when you think of French Polynesia? Visions of stilted bungalows nestled over the crystal-clear waters of Bora Bora and Moorea? Honeymooners holding hands and strolling under swaying palm trees? For me, it’s the image of my son frolicking in sun-warmed waters, giggling, with a huge smile on his face. As a seasoned traveler, I’m always surprised when people tell me, “We always leave our kids at home when we take a vacation.” I get that couple time is important. To me, though, the amazing life lessons kids learn from travel and the enrichment they receive from local culture stay with them for a lifetime and shape who they become as adults. So, for me, the question is: why wouldn’t you take your kids?

My husband, son, and I have taken the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyage aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin twice, and to me, The Gauguin is truly the best way to experience French Polynesia as a family. So many choices filled each day! The only question is: where to begin? I think the easiest way to way to explain how wonderful French Polynesia and The Gauguin are for families is to describe our experiences and adventures in each port.

Huahine

My son loves history, and Huahine is a great first stop to take in the history of French Polynesia! Starting from the port town of Maroe, we took a tour around the island. From the dock, we stopped at Fare, a sleepy fishing village, where you can see the mountain whose ridge gave the island its name (literally, pregnant woman). At Maeva, there is Fare Pote’e, a replica of an open, traditional house that is a museum with historical and cultural information. Fare was the seat of local power for the island, so there are a host of marae (religious sites built from stone) scattered along the shoreline. This stop was very interesting to my son and transported us back in time to how life was lived here so many moons ago.

If you are interested in how pearls or vanilla are produced, you can easily visit farms for each here and be amazed by their elaborate production processes. My son was fascinated by both! The small boat ride out to the pearl farm was also a lot of fun.

Another stop that fascinated him was our visit to Faie, where you can see and even feed sardines to Huahine’s famous and sacred blue-eyed eels. My son was mesmerized by these friendly and curious creatures swimming around his feet.

Motu Mahana

French Polynesia is a water playground for all ages because of its calm waters, beautiful sandy beaches, and gently sloping shores. Motu Mahana, The Gauguin’s private islet, is just the place to dip in and enjoy some great snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Or you can just lounge on the sandbar or build a sand castle. My son gladly participated in all the motu has to offer! Throughout the day, The Gauguin’s troupe of Tahitian ambassadors, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguin, provided entertainment, demonstrations, and storytelling. The fascinating legend of how the coconut tree came to be was one that children and adults could enjoy equally. And everyone gets a fresh coconut to drink from while lounging under the dappled shade of coconut trees. What could be better or tastier than that?

Bora Bora

When we were on Bora Bora, my son the history buff appreciated the stories of World War II and how Bora Bora played a strategic role in the conflict.

And here’s something else he appreciated about Bora Bora: the beautiful coral reefs that make the island an ideal place to snorkel and dive. The Gauguin offers an onboard Discover SCUBA Diving class that can count toward PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. My son took the class on both voyages so that we could all dive together as a family. The ship’s dive team is very knowledgeable, nice, and thorough, and they put my son right at ease.

Bora Bora and Moorea both have wonderful shallow dive sites for beginners (under 30 feet) where beautiful coral and fish are abundant. The clarity is wonderful to the point that you forget you are underwater! I think I have hundreds of pictures of my son giving me underwater OK and hang-ten hand signals, he enjoyed it so much. He especially loved the blacktip sharks, giant turtles, slews of colorful fish, dynamic coral, little underwater Christmas trees, and blue-lipped clams that closed up as if by magic when he waved his hand over them.

The Gauguin also has a private beach on Bora Bora—a restful spot to lounge in shallow waters with Mount Otemanu in the background. My son played a little trick on me with a coconut that looked like an eel coming out of the water. I guess he WAS paying attention when Les Gauguines told the Polynesian legend of a prince becoming the first coconut tree. If you look at a coconut shell, it really does look like an eel’s face. Uncanny!

Moorea

Moorea was our favorite island! In fact, we loved it so much, we spent another week there both times after our cruises. We loved visiting the little idyllic motus and snorkeling until our fingers and toes turned into little prunes, which was forever since the water is so warm. My son spent so much time underwater petting the gentle and graceful rays. And what little boy wouldn’t be over the moon to be face to face with blacktip sharks? He definitely had some interesting and adventurous stories to tell his buddies back home!

On our last trip to Moorea, we kayaked out to a little motu and gathered little hermit crabs along the beach and had hermit crab races, ending in a rainbow over the water. Great memories!

By land, make sure you make it up to the Belvedere lookout point, where there are lush and gorgeous vistas of Opunohu and Cook’s Bays and Mt. Rotui. Just before you get there, you can stop at Marae Titiroa to wander among the many preserved marae platforms linked by a walking track. My son loved this trek through the cool dense forest of chestnut trees that shelters these pieces of history. There are lots of signs marking and explaining everything, and the trail is easy for families to follow. The archery platform was his favorite.

Tahiti

Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. Need I say more? My son, the little shopper, loved le Marche de Pape’ete to buy friends, family, and himself beautiful black pearl and shell jewelry, monoi (coconut oils) and fragrant tiare soaps, and colorful island-y trinkets.

Aboard ship

Of course, you don’t have to be visiting an island to have a great time! Life aboard ship fleshed out the experience for our family. On each voyage, we were blown away by the kindness of the ship’s crew and how especially sweet they were to my son—always joking with him and genuinely looking after him. I don’t think there was a staff member who didn’t know my son’s name and what he liked to eat and drink.

Their attention to detail is simply incredible. My son has a severe peanut allergy, which can be very stressful when you’re eating out, especially when you’re abroad. Hernie from the dining staff went way beyond the call of duty to make sure my son was safe AND enjoyed the amazing culinary creations on board. My son has broadened his palate, developing a taste for pâté and brie with baguettes, and he ate desserts with abandon. We definitely all tipped the scales a little heavier when we departed the ship!

There’s a lot more to life aboard than just the gourmet-quality local and French foods. We enjoyed interesting lectures about the history, culture, and the environment of the region by very knowledgeable speakers. My son loves the ocean and was very interested in hearing about coral reef restoration by one of the lecturers. We also learned local stories and legends and listened to beautiful songs sung by Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins along the way.

My son and I also had so much fun immersing ourselves in creating crafts with local materials, making several different types of bracelets (shell bracelets, local bean bracelets, and textile bracelets), hand-painted bookmarks and postcards on tapas (paper made from hibiscus bark), and leis (fragrant floral necklaces) with the local mamas of Moorea.

You can also go on land/sea excursions—or simply relax and take in the natural beauty of the lush green islands surrounding you, as you listen to Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins strumming ukuleles as you sit on the pool deck or paddle around the pool.

My son made a friend on board, and we found that our voyage gave us a good mix of family and new-friend time.

It was with heavy hearts that we departed the ship. My son loved The Gauguin, the ports, the activities, and the crew so very much! The amazing people and places we visited linger in our hearts and minds with the melody of the islands, and we are all forever changed as a family by our experiences there. So, yes … definitely take your kids on a trip of a lifetime!

 

 

Post c/o the Paul Gauguin Cruises Blog April 12 2019
Original content can be found here

Top 5 Tips for Making the Most of Norwegian’s Free at Sea

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 253 0

With Norwegian’s Free at Sea offer you have a lot of choices, which one will you choose? Well, you will want to take advantage of the ones that fit best with what you want to get out of your cruise vacation. If you prefer to enjoy the sights when getting off in port then the Shore Excursion credit is perfect for you. Prefer to keep in touch with family and friends and share all your experiences, Free WiFi will keep you connected! Here are some tips from Norwegian Cruise Line to help you make the right choice!

Top 5 Tips for Making the Most of Norwegian’s Free at Sea

Feel like making a good time five times more awesome? Feel Free. With Norwegian’s Free at Sea, you can enjoy Unlimited Open Bar, Shore Excursions, Specialty Dining, WiFi or Friends & Family Sail Free. Choose one, pick two or take all five! Whether you’re looking forward to toasting each day at one of our unique bars and lounges, tasting your way through our specialty restaurants or Instagramming every perfect moment to friends and family back home, Norwegian’s Free at Sea will help you vacation your way.

1. Find Your Happy Place
If you pick Shore Excursions, you’ll receive a $50 per port credit to use for the land-based adventure of your choosing. Dog sledding in Alaska. A snorkeling and champagne catamaran tour in The Caribbean. Touring the world-famous ruins of Pompeii. The possibilities for the spectacular are seemingly endless.

Plus, once you apply your port credit, you’ll also receive the Shore Excursion discount commensurate with your Latitudes Rewards tier level on the remaining cost: 10% for Silver, Gold and Platinum, 15% for Platinum Plus and 20% for Ambassador members.

PRO TIP:
Make the most of the last shore excursion of your vacation. Put your $50 credit toward an excursion that will drop you off at the airport at the end of the tour.

 

2. Savor Every Moment
When you choose Free Specialty Dining, you and a guest will receive a dining package with up to 3 free meals on a 7-day sailing at our Specialty Dining restaurants. Kick off a romantic night with bouillabaisse and côte de boeuf at our signature French restaurant, Le Bistro or dine under the stars along our oceanfront promenade, The Waterfront, while enjoying your favorite Italian foods at La Cucina.

PRO TIP:
Wherever you decide to dine, consider reserving your table for the first night when restaurants are less crowded and it’s easier to get a reservation.

 

3. Stay Connected
With Free WiFi, you can stay connected while at sea. From posting awe-inspiring photos of Glacier Bay in Alaska to sending friends back home photos of your newfound happy place in The Caribbean, you can do it all with the Free WiFi package-a value of up to $130.

PRO TIP:
Need to tweet, post, update and email a lot? Get the best deal by selecting this package where you can then upgrade to Unlimited or Unlimited Premium WiFi for a discount.

 

4. Raise a Glass to the Good Life
Morning mimosa? Poolside margarita? Wine with your filet mignon? Coming right up. Whether you like your beverages shaken, stirred or chilled, toast the good life with Unlimited Open Bar-a savings of up to $1,400. You and a guest can enjoy all the cocktails, spirits, wine, draft beer, juice and soda you like. With multiple bars and lounges on board to choose from, no two drinks will be the same, unless of course you’d like another round.

PRO TIP:
If you savor the finer things in life, then upgrade to the Premium Plus Beverage package and only pay the difference while enjoying top shelf brands.

 

5. The More, The Merrier
Whether you’re daydreaming of planning a get together for your group of old friends or where to hold the next extended family reunion, look no further than a cruise with Norwegian. With Friends & Family Sail Free, cruising with a large group will not only save money, but our diverse selection of onboard dining, activities, entertainment and amenities ensure that everyone will have an incredible vacation. When you choose Friends & Family Sail Free, guests 3 and 4 enjoy complimentary cruise fares on select cruises-a savings of up to $1,000! So go on and start calling/texting/emailing your crew about your brilliant vacation idea.

PRO TIP:
Stretch out and relax by booking in a Suite or The Haven where the first two guests receive ALL 5 Free at Sea offers and friends and family sail free.

 

 

 

Originally shared here on Norwegian’s Official Travel Blog