ELVIS MAY HAVE LEFT the building, but it’s only because his ship’s come in, and you can join the King on a number of upcoming Elvis-themed cruises. A five-night Bermuda cruise departing Baltimore Oct. 14 this year aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas is just one example. Elvis imitators and tribute artists will also entertain passengers during Royal Caribbean’s week-long 14th Annual Memories of the King Birthday Cruise aboard the Allure of the Seas sailing the Eastern Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale come Jan. 21, 2018.
Cruises with a theme rate among the most popular offerings at sea, with literally hundreds of special-interest itineraries available. Themed cruises sell out fast, filling staterooms with fans and fanatics of music, food, wine, crafts, sports and even cats, so book early. Some themed cruises cast their spell over an entire ship, and some are simply add-ons appealing to some passengers during a regular cruise. Either way, a theme, if it’s close to one’s heart, can enhance, if not consume, a voyage.
Music lists among the top cruise themes. Elvis imitators are just a few of the stars joining Holland America’s lineup on the Malt Shop Memories Cruise through the Caribbean on the ms Eurodam Nov. 5–12. Expect tributes to Dion, Brenda Lee, Jay and the Americans, the Coasters, Buddy Holly and many more, along with an all-hands-on-deck sock hop. Blues lovers might prefer Holland America’s Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #29 departing Oct. 21 from Fort Lauderdale, while Celebrity Cruises announced The Moody Blues Cruise will kick off its 2018 sailings Jan. 2 that year. And connoisseurs of the classics might be tempted by Ponant’s many music-themed cruises, including the Athens-to-Venice Homage to Callas, the curtain rising May 3.
Wine fanciers have plenty of chances to slake their palates this year. There’s Silversea’s Trentadue Winery Cruise & Tuscany voyage April 22, Regent Seven Seas’ Sbragia Wine Cruise May 31, Seabourn’s America Wine Society & Sullivan Vineyards – Tuscany Tour and Wine Cruise July 4 and AmaWaterways’ St. Francis Winery & Vineyards – Paris & Normandy Aug. 5, just for starters.
Dancers, too, can delight in themed cruises, ranging from Royal Caribbean’s Dance Cruise Europe – British Isles venture June 27 to Carnival’s Polka Dreams @ Sea – Polka Cruise April 2. Those with money in the bank can invest in a financial-themed cruise, such as Crystal Cruises’ 2018 Chairman’s Circle Wealth Cruise May 16 or Princess Cruises’ The Stock Whisperer Trading Cruise July 9. Sky watchers are the perfect observers of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2’s World Space Week blasting off Oct. 6. And motor sport fans can rev up for Azamara’s Monaco Grand Prix 2017 voyage May 24 (or be at the starting line for next year’s cruise May 21, 2018).
There are hundreds of other choices. Every cruise line has its own special themes. Not even cat lovers are excluded. The annual Meow Meow Cruise, featuring mixers, group dancing, trivia contests and scavenger hunts (but no cats) will be held on board Carnival’s Victory on a four-night, round-trip cruise from Miami Oct. 23 as it claws its way across the Western Caribbean.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
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Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
To allow visitors to safely and responsibly enjoy their trip to Barbados, the island announced streamlined port entry protocols. Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness released the following protocols for all travelers planning on coming to the island.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Mar Del Cabo launched a new luxury beach fishing experience with an interactive paella workshop for guests. The Los Cabos-based hotel offers guests an immersive experience that takes them through the journey of creating paella, starting with a fishing session.
COJE Management Group raised the bar when it comes to cuisine and cocktails. The Boston-based group, founded by Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta, offers guests the ultimate dining experience with old-world hospitality and an array of cuisines for every guest to enjoy. With culinary director Tom Berry incorporating the cuisines he encountered during his travels to South America, Cuba, Japan, Southeast Asia and France, each restaurant has distinguished itself as a must for anyone visiting Boston and each is designed exclusively in-house using inspiration from different regions and countries around the world.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.