beijing_992x744Celebrity has 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. This group—known as Celebrity’s Global Insiders—share their favorite finds around the globe so that you can travel like a pro, crafting unique and memorable experiences in key destinations on all seven continents. 

The Chinese New Year period, between February and March, is traditionally among the busiest for traveling to Beijing. According to the government, over 2.4 billion road trips will be taken during the month-long celebratory period, as Chinese citizens travel all over the country to see family and friends, eat good food, and take in the sights. While Beijing will be particularly bustling during the new year, China’s capital city—which now boasts of 21.15 million people—is worth visiting any time of year.

Recognized as China’s political, educational, and cultural center, Beijing is also home to the amazing Forbidden City, which was the official residence for 24 different emperors though two dynasties. The entire complex consists of 800 buildings and is listed by the UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Other top Beijing sites include the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and, of course, the Great Wall of China.

For more suggestions, here’s how Celebrity’s Global Insiders recommend spending your time when docked in Beijing.

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

You can’t get far in Beijing without catching the aroma of jianbing, one the city’s most popular snacks. This large crispy crepe, stuffed with green onions, eggs and a dash of chili, will give you plenty of energy for all the exploring you’ll no doubt do. After visiting the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, head to Duck de Chine for a delicious and traditional take on Peking Duck, one of the most famous dishes in Beijing.

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Celebrity Cruises' Kecak Dance shore excursion in BaliThey say that art is one of the truest forms of self-expression—through it one can reveal their innermost thoughts, dreams, and desires. Indeed, art can serve as a vehicle for expressing emotions, beliefs, and even intellectual prowess. So what better way to discover what truly makes a culture distinctive than by exploring its choice of artistic expression? With this in mind, we offer an array of exciting shore excursions that focus on the various art forms unique to each of the alluring ports we visit, including the exotic island of Bali, which is teeming with spectacular natural wonders, ancient temples, and an array of intriguing sights.

So, if you’ve ever thought about cruising to Bali and have a passion for art, check out these incredible shore excursions that highlight how the Balinese have expressed themselves through art across the ages and how the variety of indigenous crafts and performance art convey aspects of the Indonesian island nation’s culture, history, and environment.

Authentic Balinese Remains

If you’re curious to learn about Balinese history and art, our Authentic Balinese Remains tour is the perfect choice. This shore excursion takes you on a journey through time for a look at Bali’s past and present through artistic renditions. One of the highlights of this tour is a visit to Kertha Gosa Pavilion, Bali’s original court of law. This 18th Century architectural marvel features a beautiful ceiling mural depicting the epic Hindu tale of Bhima Swarga. You’ll also experience traditional Balinese art first-hand at Kesiman Village, where you’ll create your very own batik—an ancient Indonesian craft that is essentially the wax-resistant dying of cloth.

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Earlier this month, singer-songwriter—and current AXESS magazine covergirl—Kacey Musgraves announced that she was adding almost a dozen new shows to her 2015 Same Tour, Different Trailer show and fans rejoiced. The country wunderkind is country music’s first female artist to have her debut album reach gold in eight years, and she’s also the first female artist to have multiple Recording Industry Association of America singles on her debut album. Though the “Merry Go ’Round” artist may not be a household name outside of the country music scene just yet, we’re pretty certain that it’s only a matter of time.

Born in Golden, Texas, Musgraves wrote her first song in elementary school, honing her music skills by both singing in church and playing the regional opry circuit. After high school, she recorded her first album, moved to Austin, and was chosen to participate on the reality show Nashville Star. Although Musgraves finished a disappointing seventh, she had caught the country-music bug and consequentially moved to Nashville to pursue her dream. The rest—as they say—is history.

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Junot Diaz Travel Tips

Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz would make for an ideal travel companion. The author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which the BBC recently named the 21st century’s “best novel so far,” is smart, well-traveled, and always ready with a suggestion for a new book. “I am an insane reader,” Díaz says in the latest issue of Celebrity Cruises’ AXESS magazine. There is nothing I won’t sink my eyes into and enjoy immensely.”

Currently working as the fiction editor at Boston Review and as the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at MIT, Díaz says travel to his home country remains a priority. “I left Santo Domingo when I was six years old, but I never forgot about it,” he says. “I think that fueled a lot of my returns and a lot of trying to immerse myself in that place that once was mine.”

In between his teaching and activism work on behalf of writers of color, Díaz is currently at work on a science fiction tome, which will feature a 14-year old female protagonist with superpowers.

At our behest, Díaz pulled together three tips to guarantee terrific travels: Read More

Celebrity Cruises, Culinary Shore Excursions, Sorrento, Italy, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, Roseau, DominicaThe South Beach Food & Wine Festival kicked of its festivities today, featuring many of our favorite celebrity chefs, highlighting some fabulous new food trends, and bringing together gatherings of people to celebrate all things food and wine.

A fantastic dining experience is something we can all appreciate, and we here at Celebrity Cruises® know that for many, a key highlight of cruising with Celebrity is our dedication to world-class cuisine. While on board, you can delight in delicious dinners, both in the dining room or at one of our specialty restaurants. Ashore, we can help you continue the culinary experience with a number of food- and wine-based shore excursions, many of which are designed to showcase the unique flavor profiles that are native to a specific port of call. So, if you’re going on a Celebrity cruise vacation any time soon and are craving a taste of delicious dishes and vintages, be sure to check out these amazing food and wine tours.


Private Cooking Experience in Sorrento

Few places embody the essence of exquisite cuisine as much as Italy. And now, the secrets of Neapolitan cuisine are yours to uncover with our Private Cooking Experience in Sorrento. Depart from Naples and take a picturesque drive along the spectacular Amalfi coast to the magnificent 15th Century Palazzo Marziale in Sorrento. This breathtaking palace is now a bed and breakfast and offers the perfect backdrop for your hands-on culinary experience. Upon arrival and introductions, you’ll take a guided walk into the historic city center to gather fresh local ingredients to take back to the estate’s private kitchen, where you’ll learn how to prepare typical Neapolitan dishes like potato timbale, ravioli, grilled beef entrecôte, and the popular Italian dessert, tiramisu. After working up an appetite in the kitchen, toast to your day with a glass of Prosecco and then savor your original culinary creations. Buon appetito! Read More

SobeWFFThe South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SBWFF), which takes place Feb. 19 – 22 in Miami, is a highlight on the food world’s calendar. This year the annual event, which is now in its 14th year, is making some changes to its signature events, as well as adding some completely new foodie experiences.

Small but significant changes to the Grand Tasting Village (with tasting tents and culinary demonstrations), will probably be most apparent to SBWFF regulars, who are sure to note new additions, such as the new space layouts, expanded guest access, and including new space layouts, expanded guest access, and an inaugural class of “Culinary Captains,” hosted by local chefs, such as Timon Balloo of Sugarcane and Tim Andriola of Timo and Basil Park, who have each been selected to represent a different South Florida neighborhood.

Other new additions for 2015, include the festival’s first-ever “Yappie Hour,” hosted by television personality Rachael Ray. Here, guests will be able to snack and sip alongside their four-legged friends. Meanwhile, Emeril Lagasse will judge the fest’s first ever cocktail competition, “The Art of Tiki.” This year, the grilling event that has previously been known as “The Q” will become “Meatopia,” where everything is required to be cooked over an open flame. Read More

Get The Look: Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda Shorts

Courtesy of

Last year, music producer Pharrell Williams made a much talked about fashion statement at the Grammy Awards by wearing a large, Western-style Vivian Westwood hat. This year, the “Happy” singer ditched the headgear for a gray Adidas shorts suit—complete with bow-tie—that appeared white under photographers’ flashes. While some fashion critics dismissed his look as being too casual for an awards show, everyone could agree that Pharrell’s athleisure look was perfect for a trip to Bermuda.

Bermuda shorts date back over 100 years to a time when the British—who continue to govern the territory—needed a formal, yet tropics- and breeze-friendly uniform for their soldiers. The solution was to pair a more standard military jacket with short khaki trousers, measuring 22 inches from the waist to hem. As time passed, the shorts became a hit with locals and merchants started selling the bottoms in a variety of prints and colors.

Today, it’s common to see Bermuda shorts worn all over the island by tourists and businessmen alike. The unofficial rule is that each pair of shorts’ hems should not be more than 6 inches above the knee, for decorum purposes (2-3 inches is more preferable). The shorts’ material can vary, though twill, cotton and khaki remain popular.

If you’re looking to acquire your first pair of authentic Bermuda shorts, look no further than King’s Wharf in Bermuda, where English Sports Shop and A.S. Cooper & Sons, which are known for their collections of shorts, are certain to have just what you are looking for. (TABS also makes an authentic Bermuda short.) For men, finish the look off with a sports coat and for the ladies, pair the shorts with your favorite heels or espadrilles, for the complete Bermuda look.

Romantic shore excursionsRomantic foodies rejoice. With Saturday being Valentine’s Day, and the South Beach Food & Wine Festival opening just five days later on the 19th, what better excuse do you have to sweep your partner off their feet with savory sensations and sweet treats? After all, many of us can agree that the best way to capture someone’s heart is through their stomachs.

Here at Celebrity Cruises®, we couldn’t agree more. We know just how exciting this time of year can be, which is why we make it our goal to offer an array of intimate and romantic shore excursions that cater to lovebirds everywhere. If you’ve got a Celebrity cruise planned for this week, then get ready to wine and dine your significant other with these special romance-inspired destination experiences:


Luxurious Beach & Spa Retreat in the Caribbean

If you’re heading to the Caribbean on a Celebrity cruise and are looking for the ultimate romantic escape, look no further than our Celebrity Exclusive: Jade Mountain Beach and Spa Day. This one-of-a-kind experience combines the beautiful tropical scenery of St. Lucia with the serenity of a 5-star resort. Read More

Sacher Torte

Looking for the ideal ending to your Valentine’s Day dinner? Why not wow your beloved with our signature Sachertorte, a favorite of many of our guests. The chocolatey, fruity dessert pairs perfectly with an aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, such as the Kim Crawford wine we serve on board our ships.


Sacher Biscuit

5 large whole eggs
4 ounces unsalted butter (softened)
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces dark semisweet chocolate (melted)
3 ounces all-purpose flour
2 ounces almond flour

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With 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. 

2015 is a big year for Singapore. The diamond-shaped city-state and island is turning 50 and has a slew of events scheduled for its big Golden Jubilee. In addition to art weeks, new public sculpture unveilings, and numerous museum exhibitions, special highlights include the colorful Chingay Parade in February, the National Parks Board’s Bloom Gardens display in March, a reveal of the National Museum’s revamped permanent galleries in September, Singapore Dance Day in October, and the Jubilee Walk in November.

Though the Golden Jubilee is Singapore’s primary calling card in 2015, it’s hardly the island’s only attraction. Singapore boasts of an eclectic mix of cultures, religions, ancient treasures and British colonial impressions that give rise to a unique identity—which is expressed through its unofficial language, Singlish, its cuisine, its architecture, and even its stores.

Here’s how Celebrity’s Global Insiders recommend spending your time when docked in Singapore.

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

Singapore is a multi-faceted city where the food and shopping options are endless. There’s Little India, Chinatown, Kampong Glam (Arab Street) or the high-end Marina Bay.  In Marina Bay, go up to Sky Park on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the city.  If it’s classic Singapore dishes you’re after, opt for the Curry Laksa soup, at Sungei Road Laska, a mix between Chinese and Malaysian-style soup that combines vermicelli noodles, coconut milk, shrimp and a blend of spices.

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