32 Main Pumpkin Pie

All-American Pumpkin pie is, for many, synonymous with Thanksgiving and is certainly one of the holiday-feast’s MVPs with its rich, orange-colored custard—often scented with a seasonal blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger—in a crisp pastry shell. We’ve put our signature modern luxury spin on the classic dessert by adding cream cheese—rather than cream or milk—to what would otherwise be a traditional custard. We then round out the delicate sharpness this lends the filling by topping the pie with a sweet vanilla Chantilly cream. The result, if we may so ourselves, is nothing short of perfection.

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Courtesy: Fondation Louis Vuitton

Courtesy: Fondation Louis Vuitton

Modern luxury fans, take note! The Fondation Louis Vuitton, a new art museum designed by Frank Gehry and commissioned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, opened its doors Monday, October 27 in the Jardin d’Acclimatation at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. This spectacular project—over a dozen years in the making—features 11 galleries spread over multiple levels, all with a clear focus on contemporary art, and many including pieces from LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault’s personal collection. The museum also boasts a bookshop, restaurant (“Le Frank“) by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos, and a 350-seat auditorium.

Designed to resemble a large sea vessel, with its twelve glass sails and water garden setting, the spectacular structure—itself a work of modern art—was crafted to compliment the natural environment in which it is set. Its glass shell, evokes transparency, while an assembly of blocks, known as the “iceberg,” gives it its volume and movement.

The museum’s inauguration will be divided into three phases, each marked by a temporary exhibition that will be showcased alongside the museum’s permanent collection and celebrated with a number of multidisciplinary events, including a concert by the famed pianist Lang Lang and electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. The first phase, which opened Monday, is largely devoted to architecture with the inaugural show highlighting the work of Gehry, who is also the subject of a new show at Paris’ Pompidou Centre. Other featured artists include Gerhard Richter via Thomas Schütte, Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, and many others. The other phases are pending announcement. Meanwhile,the museum’s permanent collection will be divided into four themes—contemplative, Pop art, Expressionism and music/sound—and housed in “iceberg”-like galleries.

Visitors to Paris should undoubtedly be sure to include time at the Fondation Louis Vuitton on their next trip to the French capital to check out why English newspaper, The Telegraph, calls it the “most exciting and delightful new Parisian building in a generation.”

IstanbulWith the understanding that knowledge is power, Celebrity teamed up with one of the world’s most influential travel brands, Travel + Leisure, to create a group of savvy travel and lifestyle experts who offer insights on everything from the destinations that Celebrity visits, to the modern luxury vacation experiences they provide. Celebrity’s Global Insiders uncover unique and memorable experiences in key destinations on all seven continents. 

In exotic Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, you could easily spend an entire day strolling through the Grand Bazaar, exploring the famous Blue Mosque, or wandering through the majestic Topkapi Palace to catch a glimpse of its gardens, libraries and 400-room harem. While all these sites are must-sees for anyone new to the culturally-rich city, our Global Insiders also recommend checking out the following:

MARC MURPHY CroppedMarc Murphy (Executive Chef and owner of Benchmarc Restaurants)

In between seeing the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, shopping the Grand Bazaar and cruising down the Bosphorus, you’ll hardly have time to eat, but the food in Istanbul should not be missed. For quick snacks between sights, munch on a Simit, the Turkish version of a bagel. End the day with a delicious meal at Balıkçı Sabahattin (housed in an Ottoman mansion near the Hagia Sophia) where you can choose from a variety of cold and hot tapas plus tons of fresh fish cooked to order.
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India_Taj Mahal

Diwali festivities are lighting up around the globe. Though Indians and Indian-Americans have long celebrated the five-day holiday, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” popular culture is just now starting to catch up. Not only is the holiday starting to be featured on popular television programs and in big brand marketing campaigns, but even President Barack Obama is offering yearly warm wishes. Obama is the first U.S. president to extend a greeting to all the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists that celebrate the holiday.

Originally begun as a festival to mark the year’s last harvest before winter, Diwali now celebrates the triumph of light over dark and knowledge over ignorance, and helps usher in a new year. The holiday gets its name from the clay lamps, known as diyas or deepas, that Indian families light and place outside their homes to demonstrate their inner life and welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. In addition to lighting diyas, Indians also throw bonfires and watch fireworks, share sweet treats known as mithai, and exchange gifts with family to honor the holiday.

Cruisers who are currently in the cities of Bombay , Cochin, Goa and New Mangalore should definitely take the time to explore the ongoing Diwali festivities. For those outside of India interested in celebrating the holiday, most major cities with large Indian populations have scores of events lined up to welcome in the new year.

Reflection BathroomLast week, the Eiffel Tower unveiled see-through glass floor panels on its first level as part of the popular French attraction’s 125th anniversary. The new glass walkways, which cost $38 million, offer a dramatic view of the 187-foot drop from the first level to the ground (the tower as a whole is 1,063 feet) and have become a mecca for tourists looking for the ultimate selfie.

The Eiffel Tower is picking up on long-time trend: adding glass architecture to give travelers a view that will take their breaths away. Here, our five favorite spots to get a “clear” view.

Chicago’s Willis Tower Skydeck

At 1,353 feet up, “The Ledge” gives 1.5 million annual visitors a chance to see the city of Chicago (and four different states) from 103 floors up.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Located at the Grand Canyon West’s Eagle Point, the Skywalk lets visitors walk on a glass walkway nearly 4,000 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon.

Santa Catalina Island’s Glass-Bottom Boats 

Catalina is famous for its glass-bottomed boat tours, which offer passengers an underwater perspective of the island’s marine life. Available night and day, tours takes advantage of the island’s crystal clear water to show visitors the colorful swarms of fish, kelp forests and aquatic plants located around Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve and other locales.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

Guests at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort offers guest multiple opportunities to see the water below them. The King Water Villa, for example, features a glass desk, which has been set over glass panels, to give the impression that it is “floating over the water below.” But what’s most impressive is the resort’s all-glass undersea restaurant—the only one of its kind in the world.

Celebrity Reflection Shower

Where’s the best view from Celebrity Cruises’ passenger ship Reflection? It’s not where you might think. Reflection’s top suite offers a cantilevered glass shower that juts out from the 14th deck of the vessel, giving its occupant a 360-degree view of the sea.

Reader, where’s your favorite place to see “clearly”?

CEL_PuertoRico_SanJuan_5With the understanding that knowledge is power, Celebrity teamed up with one of the world’s most influential travel brands, Travel + Leisure, to create a group of savvy travel and lifestyle experts who offer insights on everything from the destinations that Celebrity visits, to the modern luxury vacation experiences they provide. Celebrity’s Global Insiders uncover unique and memorable experiences in key destinations on all seven continents. 

Puerto Rico, one of the largest islands in the Eastern Caribbean, boasts a stunningly varied landscape comprised of mountaintops, underground caves, coral reefs, white-sand beaches and an enormous rain forest that supplies fresh water to most of the island. At the same time San Juan, the capital of the commonwealth, is a big city with a bustling business district, glitzy resorts and is one of the most stunning examples of colonial living in the Western world.

Here’s how our Celebrity Global Insiders recommend spending your time when docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

MARC MURPHY CroppedMarc Murphy (Executive Chef and owner of Benchmarc Restaurants)

Whether you choose to spend your time relaxing on the beach or getting the perfect handmade Panama Hat at Olé (105 Calle Fortaleza), make sure to try these San Juan favorites. Start the day off right with a coffee and a breakfast Mallorca (fluffy bread stuffed with Ham and dusted in powdered sugar) at the classic La Bombonera. For lunch or dinner (maybe both!) take a bite of a mofonogo, a fried plantain dish that is the mainstay of local Puerto Rican cuisine. Some favorite spots to sample this tasty dish are Café del Angel or El Jibarito. Read More

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—is the well-known Mexican holiday that serves to honors the deceased. Elaborate culinary dishes and having plenty to drink are key to the many parties, which are so integral to this annual celebration that blends indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism, which was brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadores.

In Mexico, the festivities take over much of the country, as family members and friends gather at cemeteries to honor their dead relatives. Cruisers stopping by Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Valleta, Mexico in the weeks after Halloween should keep their eyes peels for omnipresent calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls) designs, which feature on everything including candy, parade masks, and storefront window displays. Though they may see a little macabre at first, the skeleton and skull imagery is actually used as a reassuring reminder to everyone involved that death is a natural part of life, and even those that are long gone will always be a part our communities if we remember them and honor their memories.

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Courtesy: Bravo

Courtesy: Bravo

This past year, we launched four “Top Chef”-themed signature sailings—with the final adventure setting sail November 15—and are gearing up for more adventures down the line.

In the meantime, we’re eagerly anticipating the premiere of the twelfth season of “Top Chef” on Bravo, which airs tonight, October 15th. For the first time, the show will be set in the historic port city of Boston and features a new recurring judge—former cheftestat Richard Blais—who will be offering his support (and critiques) to the new season’s competing chefs. Some other “firsts” for the long-running show include a competition on the field underneath the Green Monster, the first “Top Chef” food festival and the first fan appreciation challenge. Read More

Goop HomepageReady for a little more “Goop” in your life?

Earlier last week, Goop, the digital lifestyle media company founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, announced that it was branching into e-commerce and had hired Lisa Gersh, the former CEO and president of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to run the company. To start, the site will offer Goop-branded goods and continue collaborating with A-list designers—like Michael Kors—to sell site-exclusive collections (Goop currently premieres one exclusive limited edition collaboration and an edit of its favorite brand weekly.) Eventually, according to Reuters, Goop “will launch its own label, stretching into apparel—starting with basic wardrobe staples—beauty and home.”

Founded in 2008 by Paltrow—who is Celebrity’s AXESS cover subject for 2014, Goop is clearly growing up beyond its roots as a newsletter-turned-website. Read More

How to Pair Beer With Food

Funky Buddha Brewery

When Steve Hindy founded Brooklyn Lager in 1988, it was not to rave reviews—people did not like the brew’s darker pour and more bitter taste. Today, however, that same recipe is considered to be an entry-level craft beer that paved the way for the ever-growing craft beer industry. Indeed, the craft beer movement has proven to be phenomenally successful and grown from an independent, hipster “scene” into a main-staple of the food and beverage industry.

With the craft beer industry booming, brewers are looking for increasingly complex and delicious ways to produce the tastiest beers on the market. In the case of South Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery—which is partnering with Celebrity Cruises for a Brew Cruise next March—this means mixing up mouth-watering beers like Sweet Potato Casserole (“a big, rich, sticky beer full of sweet potato and marshmallow flavor”), Pip’s Pumpkin Porter (“slightly roasty with flavors of pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie”), and Don’t Tell Reece Peanut Butter Cup Brown Ale (a “big brown ale” with “waves of peanut butter and a chocolate layer”).

Given how many strongly flavored beers the brewery produces, John Linn, Funky Buddha Brewery’s Brand Director, is chock-full of advice on how to best pair beers with food.

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