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Cruise Ship Food: Dishes And Delicacies

Mention the word “cruise” and the word “food” is usually not far behind. Today, we’re giving you a “taste” of some of the dishes we’ve enjoyed on a variety of cruises and a variety of ships…

Crown dessert balcony dinnerThe presentation is as immaculate and tasteful as this Crown Princess chocolate raspberry dessert.

Riviera-red ginger diningSeafood delicacies like this from the intimate, upscale Asian restaurant known as Red Ginger on the Oceania Riviera.

Allure-IzumiHot Rock (525 degrees) is the name of this specialty at a specialty restaurant, Izumi, on Allure of the Seas.

Freedom-cheesecake steakhouseCheesecake (and wine to match) — the perfect postscript to a meal when dining in the renowned steakhouse on the Carnival Freedom.

Eclipse-elegant expressA treat that comes when you have “Elegant Tea” on Solstice Class ships like the Celebrity Eclipse.

Epic-slime cakesThis baby’s called “slimecakes” — the Nickelodeon spin on “pancakes” on the Norwegian Epic and, yes, it does taste better than it sounds or looks.

Coral-chef's tableOn the Coral Princess, the Chef’s Table includes an old standby — surf ‘n turf — or steak and lobster, exquisitely cooked and displayed, of course.

Reflection-dessert buffetEvery ship has them, the fabled dessert buffet, and this caloric delight is from Celebrity’s newest ship, the Reflection.

The Nature Of…Nude Cruising

When the subject of nude cruises is raised, as it has been a couple of times before this at cruisingdoneright.com, there’s a natural tendency to get cute with phraseology and double-entendres.

You know…there’s nothing to sea…turn the other cheek to a rude nude…buff in a boat…nakationing…sunscreen mandatory, clothing optional…

As people who take them will readily say, their cruises are not going away. They’re Nude cruisegrowing. They used to be categorized as one-off theme cruises that occupied part of a cruise ship. Not any more.

In November, a “Bliss Cruise” will occupy the Celebrity Silhouette, a Solstice Class ship that carries 2,886 passengers. On this cruise, all but 2,886 of them will be wearing clothes. The whole ship has been booked and the cruise is 80 per cent sold, six months in advance, through Bliss Management in Florida.

Next February, “The Big Nude Boat” cruise will be on the Celebrity Constellation, which carries 2,170 passengers. It’s an annual event booked by Bare Necessities in Texas, a company currently offering six nude cruises on a variety of ships, including the Carnival Miracle.

Perhaps the most astounding statistic in this phenomenon is that 70 per cent of nude cruisers come back for another cruise, compared to 62 per cent of cruisers wearing more than sunscreen, and that in 23 years the seas have gone from hosting one nude cruise to 45.

The best one-liner came from Orlando Sun Sentinel writer Arlene Satchell:

“Well, this certainly makes packing easier.”

In the news…

• Next Princess ship (2017) to be based in China year-round
• Windstar christens Star Breeze, second of three all-suite power yachts
• 113,000 sign petition opposing dredging Venice lagoon
• Explorer of the Seas in Australia after multi-million-dollar makeover

Today at portsandbows.com: Up to 50% savings on Princess deals

Celebrity Summit
7 nights
June 14, 2015
Bayonne (return): King’s Wharf
Inside: $569
Cost per day: $81

Change in Plans for the Century


Here's a twist…a cruise ship is being un-Solsticized before it's Solsticized.

You won't find that word in the dictionary, and you won't find that news in Celebrity's news channels…or even see that it has been validated by the cruise line.

However, here are some facts…

• The last time we were on a Celebrity ship (the Reflection) it was crystal clear from cruise-line officials that the entire fleet was going to be raised to the standards of the remarkable and popular Solstice.

• The Century, oldest ship in the fleet (age 18), had four sailings canceled for next February, when it was scheduled to go into dry dock for a month to be refurbished.

• Yesterday, Celebrity confirmed that the Century will be in dry dock for just seven days — long enough to change the carpets and the upholstery, polish the marble and paint the walls — while simultaneously re-scheduling three sailings.

So much for Solsticizing the Century.

It could still happen, of course, but what's more likely is that the last ship of the Century Class will be sold…just as the Galaxy (2009) and Mercury (2011) were. With the success that Celebrity has had with its classy ships, this doesn't sound like a financial issue.

It sounds like the Century is an 18-year-old ship that just lost its chance to drink from the fountain of youth.

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam
14 nights
October 13, 2013
Barcelona, Cartagena, Malaga, Cadiz, Ponta Delgada, Fort Lauderdale
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $49

Solstice Surgery To Make It All Better


When a cruise ship visits Vancouver, the jewel that sits between ocean and mountains in British Columbia, it must sail under the Lions Gate Bridge and into Burrard Inlet. No ship has ever been too big to fit under the Lions Gate…

Not so fast.

Celebrity's Solstice will become the biggest ship to visit the Canadian port in 2014…after it undergoes what is being called "minor surgery" to its mast. The options were to skip Vancouver and sail just from Seattle to Alaska, as the Solstice is this year, or to ruin one good mast by running into the bridge deck.

By next summer, the mast will be hinged.

According to Celebrity's Ross Nacht, the Solstice will be "the premier ship to call in Vancouver" and he's right. Next to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's industry giants, the Solstice Class ranks with the best ships anywhere, if not in size then in class.

Who could imagine that one of them — the flagship nonetheless — would need to be modified because, as one Vancouver newspaper puts it, "Vancouver is so irresistible that a massive cruise ship plans to go under the knife for a chance to spend a little time" there?

Celebrity Infinity
11 nights
June 3, 2013
London (return): Paris, St. Peter Port, Cork, Waterford, Dublin, Liverpool, Glasgow
Inside: $1,049
Cost per day: $107

Despite Breeze, Time for Reflection

We had to make sure we heard right when talking to the young man in the elevator at the Marriott Miami Biscayne. On the way to the 30th floor, we had been talking about cruises, since that's what brought us to this hotel. On the way from the airport, we noticed several billboards that trumpeted the Carnival Breeze as "Miami's new hottest destination."

"So the Breeze is here," we said.

"Yes," he replied. "It sure is. It's so strong it can blow you right off the balcony."

Oh…that breeze.

A lot of people are coming to Miami to see — and ride — the other Breeze, the biggest cruise ship Carnival has ever ported here. With the billboards, strategically placed between the airport and the Port of Miami, you'd think everybody knew about it.

All of which makes it a little problematic for Celebrity to attract attention as it launches its new ship, the Reflection, soon to sail weekly trips to the Eastern Caribbean. Some of us are here to see — and ride — the Reflection, the fifth and most magnificent Solstice Class ship, all of which are magnificent. How it compares to the Breeze doesn't matter much to people who like to cruise, because the two have different demographics.

The Reflection has been sailing in Europe since its sail-out in October. It crossed the Atlantic in the middle of last month and has made a couple of short cruises into Caribbean waters as an introduction to travel agents, media and friends of cruise people.

So far, it's being viewed as a winner, and not just because it won't blow you off a hotel balcony. To people who are familiar with cruise ships, they know that by one word.


Note: We're also covering the North American debut of the Reflection for our colleague Phil Reimer this week. You'll find more from the new ship at www.portsandbows.com.

Norwegian Dawn
7 nights
February 3, 2013
Tampa (return): Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64

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