CRYSTAL CRUISES TO LAUNCH EVENING BISTRO

With almost a dozen dining choices on each ship, Crystal Cruises’ most popular daytime gathering spot, The Bistro, is expanding to evening hours.  Reflecting the space’s European-style sidewalk café ambiance, the complimentary menu will offer “small bites,” desserts, and “midnight” snacks, along with premium wines and flavored coffees.  The new nightly café debuts in April on Crystal Symphony and June on Crystal Serenity, shortly after the ships go all-inclusive.

The Bistro has long been a meeting place for cruisers due to its central location and quick, easy access to continental breakfast, fresh fruits, afternoon snacks, and wide selection of teas and coffee drinks, from morning to late afternoon.  Signature Guy Buffet china and Six-Star service remains at night, but gastronomic offerings greatly expand:

· 6-8 pm: Charcuterie of cured meats, prosciuttos, and pâtés, plus international cheeses paired with premium wines and champagne.

· 8-11 pm: Artisanal cheeses, with complementary accompaniments such as truffle honey and fig chutney, plus an assortment of fresh fruits and desserts, including a chocolate fountain and petit fours handmade by onboard pastry chefs, with fine wines, digestifs, and hot drinks.

· 11 pm-12 am: Late-night munchies such as mini-sandwiches, freshly-baked pizzas, quiche, tandoori chicken, and trendy beef “sliders.”

“In traditional Crystal luxury fashion, our evening Bistro brings aboard the elegance and international panache of a European café experience—a central place to meet, people-watch, and enjoy a glass of wine or espresso and a snack,” says Vice President Food and Beverage Operations Toni Neumeister.  “In addition, this expansion really enhances the culinary and social options for guests who spend a full day sightseeing and/or like to mix up their evening dining.”

Casual dining on deck is also offered most evenings with a new Chinese “Comfort Food” menu augmenting choices on Crystal Serenity.

Extraordinary culinary experiences are a hallmark of every Crystal vacation.  The ultra-luxury line’s extensive, innovative choices for gourmandizing include coveted cheese and wine cellars, overseen by on-board, certified cheese and wine sommeliers (Court of Master Sommeliers-certified); fresh, chef-like cocktails served by certified mixologists; gourmet dining options at every meal, whether in the Crystal Dining Room, at afternoon tea, or in Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio’s specialty restaurants; and, starting this spring, all-inclusive premium spirits, fine wines, and champagnes throughout the ship.

 

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure

Continue reading

EXPERIENCE CLASSICAL MUSIC STARS ONBOARD MS EUROPA’S MUSIC VOYAGES IN 2012

Europa_gross
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to Offer Guests Established Talent and Young Stars During the Ocean Sun and Stella Maris Classical Music Festivals at Sea 

The highest ranked cruise ship in the world, according to the 2012 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships[1] Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS EUROPA is offering guests two world-class music festivals in 2012. The “Ocean Sun Festival,” the only classical music festival on the High Seas, will feature internationally acclaimed classical music stars performing on board, as well as exclusive concerts at historical sites ashore. Additionally, the “Stella Maris“ International Vocal Competition will bring together up-and-coming young singers from the most renowned opera houses in the world to perform and compete on board a Middle East and Africa itinerary. These two music cruises are the highlights of a total of nine music cruises aboard the EUROPA in 2012.

Now in its sixth year, the “Ocean Sun Festival” has been compared to the prestigious Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, California and the Tuscan Sun Festival in Italy. For an added dimension to this musical experience, international music critics will offer lectures along the route. On board, “Ocean Sun Festival” guests will experience the breathtaking violinist Janine Jansen, the aspiring pianist Igor Levit and renowned soprano vocalist Marlis Petersen. This musical voyage continues ashore with the soloists joining the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Bergen, Norway. While the classical music concerts are the highlights of this itinerary, the EUROPA will glide through the picturesque Norway fjords, with stops in the charming and multifaceted cities of Bergen and Oslo. This 12-day itinerary from August 12-24, 2012, starts at $6,670 per person/based on double occupancy for a suite.

In cooperation with the prestigious international opera houses, the EUROPA will also be hosting their fourth annual classical music competition at sea, “Stella Maris.”
Under the direction of Canadian tenor Michael Schade, a jury of famous personalities in the classical music field will judge the top talent represented by international opera houses. The distinguishing feature of “Stella Maris” is that the audience determines the winner of the cash prize worth €15,000. This prize, generous compared to others in the world of classical music, is provided by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The jury will decide on the recipients of the additional prizes, which include: a guest engagement at an international opera house, a concert, and a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon. The competition will occur on board an 18-day Middle Eastern and Africa cruise through the Indian Ocean from November 7-25, 2012, making stops in Dubai, Oman, the Seychelles and Madagascar this November. The itinerary starts at $9,150 per person/based on double occupancy for a suite.

For information on these itineraries visit www.hl-cruises.com or call one of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ sales agencies below.

 Disclosure

Continue reading

St. Lucia’s Calabash Cove Resort & Spa


Relax and Renew Body and Soul at St. Lucia’s Calabash Cove Resort & Spa
After the hectic holiday season, start the new year relaxed and fresh at a tranquil, beachfront boutique resort on the idyllic island of St. Lucia.



St. Lucia, West Indies — Recharge after the hectic holidays with a rejuvenating escape to peaceful, picturesque Calabash Cove Resort & Spa. At this beachfront boutique resort on the stunning Caribbean island of St. Lucia, where temperatures this winter will average a balmy 80 degrees with soothing trade breezes and the Pitons World Heritage Site provides a stunning backdrop, relaxation and renewal rises to a new heights.
Luxurious accommodations include the 1,000-square-foot Water’s Edge Cottages with secluded plunge pools, outdoor rain showers and private hammocks, as well as unique Swim-Up, Sunset and Oceanview Jr. Suites. All of the resort’s accommodations offer unparalleled views from the luxury of your balcony and are beautifully appointed, making use of natural materials such as Balinese mahogany wherever possible. Relax in Whispers, the resort’s music and reading library overlooking the ocean, or roam the quiet walkways of Cove Gardens, an enchanting labyrinth of groves, ponds and terraces alive with fragrant local flora and fauna and the soothing sounds of birds and wind chimes.
Nourish and indulge the senses while rejuvenating body and mind at Calabash Cove’s own Ti Spa, Fitness Centre and Beauty Parlour, located next to Sweetwaters, the resort’s 100-foot, infinity-edge designer pool. The spa features private treatment rooms, staffed by knowledgeable and skilled associates, and an array of offerings designed to relieve the body of stress, including:
Island Romance A candlelit aromatherapy massage for two using specially blended essential oils. Rekindle your fire at the boardwalk or the gazebo, as the waves caress your soul.
Mineral Mud Body Mask A nutrient-rich body mask gently but effectively cleanses, tightens and purifies, leaving your whole body refreshed and radiant. Step into the Caribbean Sea to allow the ripples of the waves rinse you before enjoying a soothing massage.
Sea Salt Scrub The water’s edge of this serene resort is the perfect setting for this exhilarating scrub. As you savor the sounds of the sea, your body will be exfoliated using natural sea salts with a blend of ginger, lime, cucumber and almond oil. A dip in the ocean followed by a light massage will relax your mind and body.
Island Fruit Body Scrub A blend of island fruit, natural oils and sugar is used to create this tropical fruit scrub, uniquely formulated to enhance skin tone, detoxify the body and to help restore skin’s youthfulness.
Seaweed Body Wrap Seaweed captures the richness of the sea with its potent antioxidants and cell-regeneration properties that help rejuvenate skin. This body wrap will gently purify and detoxify while improving circulation and toning.
Continue the feast of the senses at the onsite Windsong Restaurant, which offers unobstructed views across the Caribbean Sea and seasonally inspired dishes made from the freshest local ingredients—so fresh that you might just see fishermen dropping their catch for our chefs right on our beach as they return from sea! Complementing Windsong’s elegant milieu is the convivial C-bar, which serves international cocktails and fine wines from the Calabash Cove Cellars amid lively island music. Choose from the European Plan (EP), featuring a daily island breakfast buffet, or the Luxury Gourmet Plan (LGP), a convenient, all-inclusive option that includes all meals and beverages throughout your stay.
Soak up the island’s beauty at the resort or choose from a plethora of land and sea excursions offered. Glide through a rainforest canopy on a zip line, for example, try your hand at deep-sea fishing or enjoy a romantic champagne sunset cruise while glimpsing the green flash at the most magical hour of the day. Kick off your New Year’s resolutions by dusting off your wintertime exercise routine and taking it outdoors in the sultry island tropics—snorkel or dive in the Caribbean’s translucent blue waters, hike to the summit of a breathtaking Piton, or jog barefoot on a powder-white sand beach. Then cool off under a waterfall. Calabash Cove’s concierge service will help you assemble a perfect lineup of active fun.
Room rates at Calabash Cove Resort & Spa begin at $425 per night from Jan. 3 to April 10, 2011, based on double occupancy. To make reservations, contact your preferred travel agent or e-mail reservations@calabashcove.com or Tammy@LMPInternational.com. Calabash Cove can also be booked through leading tour operators, including Travel Impressions, Vacation Express and the Mark Travel Company. For more information, visit www.CalabashCove.com

About Calabash Cove

Continue reading