54 Bistro Vegetable Panini

It’s the butt of many jokes these days but almost every food movement and dish does indeed now seem to have it’s own official “day,” and the ‘trend’ runs from the sublime to the ridiculous—Turkey-Neck Soup Day? March 30; Chocolate-Covered Insects Day? October 15.

However, one of the food-related holiday that has slightly more heft and history to it is World Vegetarian Day, on October 1. Created by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977 as “an annual celebration to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism,” the ‘holiday’ has been endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union and marks the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month.

In honor of World Vegetarian Day, here are two of our guests’ favorite meat-free recipes that we serve at the Aqua Spa Cafe.

Five-Bean Salad With Pepper Confit

Ingredients: 

Five-Bean Salad
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
1 cup dried kidney beans
1 cup diced great northern beans
2 quarts vegetable stock
3 thyme sprigs
1 small white onion (diced large)
1 red onion (chopped)
1 cup yellow wax beans (cleaned, blanched)
1 cup green beans (cleaned, blanched)

Bean Marinade Vinaigrette
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher sale
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (cracked)

Pepper Confit
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups red bell peppers (julienned)
1/2 cup red onions (diced)
2 tablespoons garlic cloves (finely diced)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Garnish
Frisée lettuce

Method

Combine all dried beans and soak overnight in cold water; drain. Place drained soaked beans in a casserole and cover with vegetable stock, thyme, and white and red onions. Heat to a simmer. Cook 45 to 60 minutes on low heat or until completely tender. Remove; pour into shallow container, and refrigerate. Once beans are cold, drain from liquid and place beans in a mixing bowl. Blanch both green and yellow beans; shock in ice water. Cool and drain.

To make vinaigrette, in a separate mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, lemon juice, honey and mustard. Mix well. While mixing, slowly incorporate canola oil, kosher salt and black pepper with whisk until emulsified.

For pepper confit, in oil, quickly sauté peppers, onions and garlic. Deglaze with rice wine vinegar; remove and let cool. Combine cooked beans, wax beans, green beans, peppers and vinaigrette all in a large bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Make sure salad is chilled in refrigerator before serving. Place on plate, and garnish with frisée or your choice of lettuce.

Serves 6.

**

Vegetable Panini (pictured above)

Ingredients

12 ounces fresh eggplant (sliced 1/4 inch)
12 ounces zucchini (sliced 1/4 inch)
12 ounces squash (sliced 1/4 inch)
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 ounce garlic cloves (chopped)
1 ounce fresh oregano leaves (chopped)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
To taste kosher salt
To taste black pepper (cracked)
1 cup basil pesto
6 focaccia breads (cut into 4-inch squares)
6 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella (sliced)
6 ounces fresh romaine lettuce leaves

Method

Marinate sliced vegetables and tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper and half o the pesto in refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain any extra liquid, and cook on a flat grill or Panini press/grill. Spread focaccia with the rest of the pesto, then add the mozzarella cheese and top with the grilled vegetables. Finis on the Panini press; place the romaine lettuce leaves inside of each Panini. Cut each in half, and serve.

Serves 6.

For even more recipes and irresistible photos, please check out our Excite the Senses – Top Recipes board on Pinterest.

Places to Go: St. Kitts

St Kitts Scenic Railroad

St. Kitts is a haven for many A-list celebrities—Oprah Winfrey, Sylvestor Stallone, Britney Spears and Regis Philbin all love to vacation here—while the late Princess Diana often visited nearby “sister” island, Nevis, which is where she headed to—with Princes William and Harry in tow—when news of her divorce from Prince Charles broke. To visit the island, it is clear why it serves as an oasis to so many: white sands, turquoise waters, lush rainforests and sprawling sugarcane fields (you’ll soon realize why locals refer to St. Kitts as “Liamuiga” or “fertile island) offer the perfect backdrop for first-class rest and relaxation.

Many of our Caribbean itineraries now include a stop on St. Kitts, so we teamed up with our partners over at Travel + Leisure for the must-sees and –dos when visiting the island:

St. Kitts Scenic Railway

Built between 1912 and 1926, this railway was meant to transport sugarcane from the island’s plantations to the factory in the capital of Basseterre.  A three-hour tour now takes visitors on a 30-mile loop through tiny villages and pineapple fields and close to an ancient hilltop fortress. It’s a fantastic (and lazy) way to get oriented and see the interior of the island.

St. George’s Anglican Church

Fires and earthquakes have damaged the impressive stone church many times over: English soldiers burned it in 1706, a 1763 fire burned its Anglican successor, an 1842 earthquake followed, and another fire in 1867 destroyed the church yet again. Fortunately, parishioners throughout the years would not allow the structure to remain in ruins, and restoration work continues to this day.

Romney Manor

Acres of gardens are the draw of the property, once owned by the Earl of Romney and, since then, six other families, including Samuel Jefferson II. Highlights include a bell tower and an enormous 350-year-old Saman tree, as well as a workshop, called Caribelle Batik, where you can watch artisans hand-printing fabric using batik, an Indonesian wax-resist dying process.

Reggae Bar & Grill

Drop by Reggae Bar & Grill near the island’s southeastern tip, not only for the potent beverages and live music, but also for the atmosphere. Make use of the on-site water sports equipment, order the catch of the day (such as lobster grilled in its shell), or simply kick back in a lounge chair under a palm tree, piña colada in hand, as you gaze out across the Atlantic to Nevis.

To learn more about Celebrity cruises to St. Kitts (and off-shore excursions), sail over to the Celebrity website.

galway oyster festival

Celebrity Cruises docks at three Irish cities: Belfast, Cork and Waterford. Head to our website to learn more about booking a cruise to Ireland and if your availability overlaps with any tasty events like the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival—Galway is but one of many foodie festivals scattered on Ireland’s cultural calendar.

Now in its 60th year, Ireland’s Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, which is held annually on the last weekend in September at the Spanish Arch in Galway, is now one of Europe’s largest and longest-running food events, attracting over 22,000 visitors each year, who collectively consume thousands upon thousands of Galway’s famous oysters. First launched in 1954 as a tourism gimmick, the event is now a multi-day affair that marks the kick-off to Galway’s oyster season.

Indeed, Galway is known the world around for it’s magnificent mollusks, and when in Galway, there is—in many an expert opinion—only one place to eat them: Moran’s Oyster Cottage, which opened its doors in 1797. Immortalized by Nobel-winning poet, Seamus Heaney, in his poem “Oysters,” the cottage has also played host to Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, the Emperor and Empress of Japan and more.

Celebrity Cruises docks at three Irish cities: Belfast, Cork and Waterford. Head to our destinations page to learn more about booking a cruise to Ireland and if your availability overlaps with one of many foodie festivals scattered on Ireland’s cultural calendar.

Five Other Top Cities to Eat Oysters

Cruise Lingo App

You’re dining in a restaurant on the Côte d’Azur and want to ensure your French server understands that you are allergic to shrimp, or maybe you’re visiting your company’s Tokyo office and want to greet your Japanese colleagues in their native tongue, or perhaps you are in Venice meeting a long-lost relative for the first time and you want to express your delight in Italian.

Although we tend to take it for granted that much of the world speaks adequate English, there are always certain moments while traveling—whether for work or pleasure—when you wish you spoke the language of the country you are visiting, even if just to say “thank you” or “hello.”

Thank goodness for modern technology! These days we are rarely without our smartphones, and with this in mind, we created the Cruise Lingo app, which enables you to communicate—no matter the country—like a pro. Indeed, the days of holding multiple language dictionaries, phrasebooks, calculators, currency convertor charts and translation guides are outdated and over, because now, there’s an app for that.

Just released to the Apple App Store  and Google Play Store the updated Cruise Lingo app is a fun, easy and useful way to learn essential foreign phrases (including slang), local cultural tips, and monetary information, for your next trip.

The free version of the updated Cruise Lingo includes over 40 phrases for each of the 11 languages supported, including phrases crafted specifically for you during your cruise, and a 10,000 word offline dictionary. It also provides free audio language lessons as well as help speaking the international language of money. The tip calculator and a currency converter keeps you informed of exchange rates and aware of how much something costs in U.S. dollars.

Aside from the updated design and feature enhancements—like quiz mode—one new feature that is particular exciting is the live translator, which allows you to speak with a real person in real time for translations in 180 languages.

For even more useful features and unlimited access to all language upgrade to a Premium membership at our introductory price of $9.99 for one-month, $19.99 for 3 months or $49.99 for one year.

Regular pricing for access to all languages is $19.99 for one-month, $39.99 for 3 months or $99.99 for one year.

You can learn more about Cruise Lingo and the full suite of Celebrity Cruises mobile apps here: celebritycruises.com/mobile.

Ryder Cup 2014 Tees Up in Scotland

Courtesy: Twitter/rydercupusa

Courtesy: Twitter/rydercupusa

In just under a week, the world’s best American and European golfers will descend upon Scotland for the biennial Ryder Cup at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire (September 26 to 28; www.rydercup2014.com). And this year, the match-play golf competition is set against slight political intrigue, as last week, Scotland’s citizens voted to stay with the United Kingdom and not become a fully independent country.

Officially begun in 1927, the Ryder Cup is put on by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, with each group selecting 12 golfers to represent their continental teams. This year, Team USA is led by Tom Watson, and includes well-known players like Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, and Bubba Watson. Meanwhile, the European team is captained by Irishman Paul McGinley, and includes Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, and Justin Rose on its roster. Considering that McIlroy, Stenson, Garcia and Rose are respectively ranked 1, 3, 4, and 5 in the world right now, Team Europe is handily expected to defend their title and win for the sixth time in the USA v. Europe’s last seven meet-ups.

Given Scottish fervor for golf, tickets for the main tournament days are largely sold out, but tickets to Practice Day and the Ryder Cup Gala concert—featuring artists like Jake Bugg, Texas, Nile Rogers, Twin Atlantic and Nina Nesbitt, as well as talent from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland—are still available.

Hardcore golf fans all dream of attending one of the majoy championships. So we’re excited to announce that next year, Celebrity Silhouette’s 12-Night British Isles cruise will offer guests the opportunity to take part in an exclusive: The British Open Golf Championship shore excursion. The trip, which grants entry to the Open, is to be escorted by a golf pro and a meet-and-greet with former PGA player Steve Parry. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity also includes an overnight stay in Edinburgh. Check out our website for more details.

 

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The name Oktoberfest is somewhat of a misnomer, for although part of Germany’s annual celebration of beer and Bavaria does indeed take place in October, the majority of the fest’s events actually take place in the second half of September.

The root of the festival’s name, Oktoberfest, dates back to October 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen and the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the royal event in the fields in front of the city gates. The wedding festivities ended on October 17th with a horse race. Modern Germany continues to the now annual tradition of Oktoberfest, which has grown to be the largest festival in the world (more than six million people fro around the globe attend each year). However, the celebrations have been moved up by a few weeks in order to take advantage of September’s warmer weather and stay out in the tents longer.

This year, the festival runs starts on Saturday, Sept. 20, with the grand entry of the Oktoberfest landlords and breweries, and ends on October 5. On the opening Saturday, the Mayor of Munich officially taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at noon, and then everyone is invited to fill their steins at any of the 14 enormous beer tents, including the new horse-themed Marstall tent.  On Monday to Friday, beer is sold from 10 am to 10:30 pm; and on Saturdays, Sundays and Friday October 3rd, the tents serve beer from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday is host to the Oktoberfest Costume and Rifleman’s Parade, one of the fest’s main highlights.

Celebrity guests who are stopping by Berlin or Warnemunde may want to consider a detour to Munich for the authentic Okotberfest experience, if you have enough time on your schedule.

For guests outside of Germany, Oktoberfest has taken on a cultural life of its own, and countries as varied as Vietnam, Canada, Peru and India now host their own versions of the German celebration. Indeed, practically every state in America tries to join in on the Oktoberfest bandwagon as well, though many say that the best U.S. celebration is Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, which features seven stages of non-stop live German music, over 30 vendors serving roughly 200 dishes (including 80,500 bratwurst and 23,004 soft pretzels), and an annual mass performance of the Chicken Dance.

Prost!

Credit: Instagram.com/l_d_f_offical

Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby below “Double Space for BMW” Credit: Instagram.com/l_d_f_offical

If you plan to visit the London Design Festival—which began this past Saturday and runs through Sunday, Sept. 21—this year, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. The 2014 edition of the event, which celebrates the best in British design, boasts of 300 events with 250 partners ranging from retailers to educators, to businesses young and old. Early highlights include “Double Space for BMW,” a kinetic sculpture by2012 London Olympic torch designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and architect Zaha Hadid‘s “Crest” demountable sculpture over the pool in the center of the V&A’s John Madejski Garden.

Conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans and first staged in 2003, the London Design Festival is meant to “promote the city’s creativity, drawing in the country’s greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver an unmissable celebration of design.” Now, thanks to social media, the fest is also inspiring anyone with a smartphone camera. Below are some of our favorite shots from Instagram so far:

Credit: instagram.com/fancylampcreative

Credit: instagram.com/fancylampcreative

Credit: Instagram/bethanryder

Credit: instagram.com/bethanryder

Credit: instagram/wuy20

Credit: instagram.com/wuy20

Credit: instagram.com/tubanar

Credit: instagram.com/tubanar

Credit: Instagram/jchaps21

Credit: instagram.com/jchaps21

Credit: instagram.com/maxfraserdesign

Credit: instagram.com/maxfraserdesign

Credit: instagram.com/silvigiu

Credit: instagram.com/silvigiu

Credit: instagram.com/olivermarshall

Credit: instagram.com/olivermarshall

Credit: instagram.com/feeldesain

Credit: instagram.com/feeldesain

If cruisers are already near London for the design festival, consider checking out these other recommended must-see spots in Southampton, England from our partners over at Travel + Leisure.

If you want to expand your art interest onboard, you are welcome to partake in a self-guided iPad® art tour around our ships, which house one of the world’s largest permanent collections of contemporary art.

Image courtesy of the International Agatha Christie Festival 2014.

Image courtesy of the International Agatha Christie Festival 2014.

In her lifetime, Agatha Christie wrote 79 novels (including six under a pseudonym), 19 plays, 22 short-story collections as well as an autobiography. The brilliant creator of such memorable character like the detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, made Christie a literary household name and a figurehead of the mystery and crime literary genre; indeed her creative plots continue to inspire and fuel new creative works to this day, and retain a loyal following.

The next 12 months will be particularly exciting for Christie fans. On Sept. 9, HarperCollins will publish The Monogram Murders, the first Hercule Poirot book in 39 years. The story, set in the 1920s, is penned by contemporary crime writer Sophie Hannah and was commissioned with the blessing of the Christie estate. The book, which will be Poirot’s 34th full-length adventure, is described by HarperCollins as being “a diabolically clever puzzle that will test [Poirot's] brilliant skills and baffle and delight longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time.” (Eager fans can download the first chapter from the official Agatha Christie website as a teaser.)

Between September 14 to 21, Christie fans will gather at the International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay, Devon, which is Christie’s birthplace. The 2014 fest is of particular importance because, though the festival has unofficially been in existence since 2004, the 2014 fest will officially bring all related events under one fully-integrated umbrella. Hannah, unsurprisingly, will be a featured speaker at this year’s festival. (Admission to the Festival Hub is £5.)

2015 marks the 125th anniversary of Christie’s birth, giving way to a number of tribute events and programming. The BBC has already commissioned a three-part adaptation of “And Then There Were None,” one of the author’s most popular novels, as well as a six-part series “Partners in Crime,” based on Christie’s lesser known married couple detectives, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. The broadcaster is also planning a series of documentaries about Christie.

Christie fans traveling to the United Kingdom in the coming should make time to take a day trip or two and explore the origins of their favorite mystery author, or bring a copy of The Monogram Murders to read poolside.

Vogue Book Cover

Vogue & The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People.

Abrams, September 23, $50.

Every year, one of the world’s most exclusive tickets is an invitation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Gala. The glamorous affair—a major fundraiser for the Costume Institute—never fails to be awash with the year’s most sought-after A-list celebrities and top models who partner with the world’s best design houses to collectively play their part in the red-carpet display of spectacular haute couture.

Traditionally, Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor in chief and the artistic director for Condé Nast (Vogue’s publisher), has kept the ball’s guest list as exclusive as possible. For this year’s ball, for example, she reportedly raised ticket prices to $25,000 in order to keep the guest list and invitees as stellar as possible.

On September 23, publishing house Abrams will release Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People, a gorgeous, 272-page collection of the most stunning images from past balls and exhibits for fashion loyalists who are interested in getting a closer look at the gala and how it has evolved over time.

The beautiful coffee table book, penned by Vogue’s European editor-at-large, Hamish Bowles, and edited by Vogue’s social editor, Chloe Malle (with an introduction by Wintour and a foreword by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s director and CEO, Thomas P. Campbell),delves into the history of the Costume Institute and the fashion world’s “party of the year,” which dates back to 1948, when it was first thrown in the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza. The book is filled with a plethora of exhibition and fashion-shoot photography from the likes of legendary names, including Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino.. Within it’s pages, readers will also uncover an in-depth exploration into the Institute’s more notable gala themes, such as 2005’s Chanel, 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, 2013’s Punk, and even 2014’s Charles James.

A must-buy for all fashion and history lovers ; cruisers might even find inspiration for Celebrity’s formal-dress evening events. Starting Oct. 14, Celebrity Reflection guests can also shop for Kate Spade, Cole Haan and Furla onboard the ship for the first time and try to recreate their favorite looks.

celebrity ilounge

Celebrity Cruises shares a unique relationship with Apple, being the first Authorized Apple Specialist at sea. Our Celebrity iLounges—available on all ships except the Celebrity Century—offer a number of how-to tutorials, from organizing audio and digital books, to creating a website. The on-hand product specialists can advise on all Apple products, from iPods to MacBooks, and pretty soon, the Apple Watch, if Tuesday’s much anticipated Keynote by CEO Tim Cook in Cupertino, California is anything to go by. Here, our summary of what you have to look forward to… Coming to a Celebrity iLounge soon.

THE ONE WE WERE ALL WAITING FOR

What: iPhone 6

Confirmed: As expected—or hoped—Apple will soon be releasing the iPhone 6. Actually, to be more specific, the iPhone 6 ($199 on a 2-year contract for 16GB model) and the iPhone 6 Plus ($299 on a 2-year contract for 16GB model).

He said: “They are, without a doubt, the best iPhones we have ever done.”

What you need to know: The new iPhone 6, which will come in a choice of silver, gold or “space grey,” will be thinner and feature a bigger screen plus an operating system that is 50 times faster than the original iPhone. Other new features include: rounder edges, power button on side, new sensor, barometer, improved 8 mega-pixel camera, mobile calls over WiFi, iOS8, NFC for Apple Pay (see below).

When can you get your hands on it? Available for pre-order on September 12. Shipment starts September 19.

 

THE GROUNDBREAKER

What: Apple Pay

He said: “Wallet: Your days are numbered.”

What you need to know: This one was a surprise. ApplePay, the company’s new payments system, integrates with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch to allow users to pay with a single touch, thanks to a technology called near-field communication. Apple said it had already signed deals with American Express, MasterCard and Visa—which along with banks represent 83% of all credit card payments volume—and the new payment system will be accepted at over 220,000 locations, including McDonalds, Whole Foods, Disney, Target, and Apple stores (of course). Uber and OpenTable have also put themselves up to be the proverbial ApplePay guinea pigs.

When? October. But only in the US, much to the chagrin of Asian and European consumers.

 

DO BELIEVE THE HYPE

What: Apple Watch

What he said: “We have one. More. Thing.” [Cue wild applause.]

What you need to know: This is the company’s first wearable device. The much speculated Apple watch features a flexible Retina display, a built-in heart monitor, wireless charging and select built in apps. What’s more, it can sense force as well as touch. Apple has designed a range of digital watch faces that can be combined with a choice of six different straps, including a sports band, which is both sweat and chemical resistant, a “leather classic buckle” designed to look like a traditional watch strap, and a stainless steel bracelet-style brand. The Apple Watch will launch with three collections, each of which comes in two sizes—the basic Apple Watch collection and the Sport collection, with a stronger case. For the ultimate Apple aficionado, there will also be the Apple Watch Edition: “Made from an 18-carat gold” that’s been developed to be up to twice as hard as standard gold.

When can you get your hands on one? We have been promised an early 2015 release date.

How much? Starting from “just” $349, said Cook.

 

With so many new Apple devices hitting stores in the next few months, we’re certain our Celebrity iLounges will be filled with passengers looking for tutorials and advice come this fall—and we will be on hand to welcome you in with open arms.

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