Wanderlust: Gifts for the Internationally Minded Moms

CEL_EUR_Capri_Family_TH84157 (1)

Buying gifts for the people we love most can often be challenging—we want them to be thoughtful, personal, and demonstrative of our sentiments. Additional woes, such as purchasing a present for the person who has everything, traveled everywhere, and has discerning international tastes to boot, only serve to make the pursuit more difficult. So, with May around the corner, cue Mother’s Day-buying angst for so many of us who want to shower Mom with love, gratitude, and—of course—a gift she’ll cherish and enjoy. With this in mind, we’ve curated our favorite presents for the Moms out there with wanderlust.

 

The Food-Loving Mom

Try the World, $50 – $210

We’re a little bit smitten with this subscription box service that’ll bring Mom a taste of world travel right to her doorstep. Choose from a single stop, a “6-Month Journey,” or a “1-Year World Tour,” and Mom will receive a culinary expedition of six or seven signature delicacies selected by a celebrated chef from the “country of the month.”

Continue reading “Wanderlust: Gifts for the Internationally Minded Moms”

Designer Tech: Wearables Get A Fashionable Upgrade

Screengrab courtesy: Apple.com
Screengrab courtesy: Apple.com

While the initial entrants in the wearable tech field tended to feature clunky designs that would only appeal to a niche market more interested in functionality than fashion, wearables have now officially begun their evolution into wardrobe-staple status, with some of today’s top designers lending their stylish sensibilities to the growing wearables market, such as Diane von Furstenberg and Google, Tory Burch and FitBit, and Diesel and Samsung.

Here, some suggestions to bring your wardrobe into the future.

APPLE WATCH
Tech enthusiasts around the world have one date circled on their calendars—April 24—the day that the Apple Watch will finally hit stores and might even hit the Celebrity iLounge℠ in the near future. The sleek timepiece, which is the tech giant’s first foray into the personal luxury goods market, not only keeps time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard, but it also “taps” your wrist every time you get an incoming message, and learns your activity and fitness levels to suggest personalized all-day activity goals.

Prices start at $349, and go up to $17,000 for the 18-karat gold-cased version.

Continue reading “Designer Tech: Wearables Get A Fashionable Upgrade”

Packing for a Cruise: The Essentials

How can we help you?
How can we help you?

Packing for a cruise can intimidate even the most experienced of travelers because unlike “traditional” vacations, cruises have the prospect of “formal” and themed nights to contend with, thus vacationers are posed with the ultimate question: to pack, or not to pack, the tux or gown. What’s more, all clothing and travel items need to be packed into two suitcases, max. But worry not—cruise packing can actually be pretty stress-free; especially when you follow our top tips.

Wardrobe: Mix it Up

Most cruises feature both laidback and more formal dining options, so in addition to your casual attire—such as t-shirts, jeans, sundresses and shorts—you’ll also want to bring a set or two of dressier options for those nights when you want to take your evening up a notch. Tuxedo- and gown-averse guests needn’t worry—dark suits, or blazers with trousers will work just fine, as will contemporary nighttime looks for women. That said, should you wish to don cocktail attire, you’ll also feel right at home. Other essential items include a minimum of 2 bathing suits (so one will always be dry!), workout clothes, sun hats, sandals, and sunglasses. However, if you’re headed for a cooler region, you’ll also want to add a lightweight (but warm) coat, pieces you can layer, along with socks and suitable footwear.

Technology: Capturing the Memories

To help you remember every aspect of your trip, you undoubtedly want to pack a camera (or if you have a smartphone, a charger to make sure your device won’t let you down at the wrong moment!).

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Consumer Electronics Show 2015: What’s New for Travelers?

swarovski wearables
Swarovski wearables at CES 2015. Courtesy of @intlces Instagram.

Most of the buzz at this year’s the “Internet of Things”-themed Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which took place last week in Las Vegas, centered on the need for all 21st-century products to be connected to the Internet. Exhibitors like Samsung and Sony eagerly showed off new gadgets as well as upgraded older gadgets, like LG’s twin washing machine and a $1200 Sony Walkman, now equipped to play digital music.

Among all the big announcements about self-driving cars, WiFi-connected tea kettles and 3-D printers, exhibitors also debuted a number of nifty gadgets that would be incredibly fun or useful for travelers. First up is the Panasonic Lumix TZ70 travel camera, which boasts of an enhanced low-light performance and powerful optical zoom that makes it ideal for travelers. Globetrotters might also get a kick out of the FLIR ONE thermal camera, which can help you take “thermal” selfies—pictures based on the heat emanating from your body. Speaking of selfies, Lenovo’s new Xtension Selfie Flash is a small device you plug into your smartphone’s headphone jack to help brighten up your photos from the front.

Exercise aficionados determined to maintain their work out schedules while on vacation—but want to do so with style—are likely to love Swarovski’s new “Shine” activity trackers. Each piece—including the “Slake” bracelet and “Vio” pendant—not only features signature sparkle, but is embedded with expert tracking technology that measures steps, calories burned, distance and even sleep quality. Vacationers can also bring with them the Smart Mat, an intelligent yoga mat that tracks your usage and provides advice on how best to move between poses.

We’re also a fan of Sony’s racket sensor, a red, Bluetooth-connected nub that sends information about your swing to a smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, the sensor is just a prototype for now, but tennis players looking to improve their backhand can hope.

What products from CES are you most interested in trying out?

 

Last-Minute Gifts You Can Buy On Board a Ship

Holiday Gift

It’s the day before Christmas Eve and you’re enjoying yourself aboard a Celebrity Cruise, when it hits you. You realize you forgot your significant other’s/child’s/parents’ holiday gift where you wrapped it—at home.

Luckily, as a Celebrity guest, you’ve got plenty of options for fun, high-end and last-minute gifts. Celebrity is the world’s only cruise line to offer Kate Spade and Cole Haan fine leather goods, not to mention gifts from Italian-made leather brand Furla—and a trendy purse or wallet is always welcome. Our ships also sell flower arrangements and Canyon Ranch spa treatments, like deep tissue massages and seaweed peat wraps.

For the professional cruiser, we’d also suggest getting your loved a shore excursion, which can range from exploring the Great Wall of China to attending a German beer tasting in Rostock to bicycling around Old San Juan. Or you can visit Future Cruises and purchase an additional cruise from one of our new ports for the 2016-2017 season, including Abu DhabiPicton, New Zealand and Isafjordur, Iceland.

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Oprah Reveals Her Favorite Things for 2014—Traveler’s Edition

Gold BeatsIt’s that time of year again when Oprah Winfrey unveils her favorite things of the year for you to buy (or hopefully receive) during the holiday season. The life and style mogul says she “tasted, tested, sniffed, snuggled, brewed, steeped, read, shared and dared” through a bounty of products to narrow her list down to 72 of her—now infamous—favorite things for a 2014 pivotal moment on the calendar of her legion of loyal fans who want to live life like Oprah.

There are, of course, the pre-requisite Oprah-brand items and nods to her sponsors making their debut on the list, including the television personality’s newly released book, What I Know For Sure, her Teavana Chai Tea set, her meditation DVDs (produced in collaboration with with Deepak Chopra), and the tasty film she co-produced this year, The Hundred-Foot Journey. However, what we loved most is that many of the internationally-sourced products on Oprah’s list originate in cities our ships sail to, while others are perfect for our modern luxury cruisers.

Living the life à la Ms. O can come with a hefty price-tag, and although readers get a discount at checkout, with promo code (you guessed it) OPRAH, some things just seem absurdly decadent, and we can’t even imagine the self-admittedly frugal, and ever practical, Winfrey shelling out $700 for gold headphones. That said, being that Beats by Dre are a sponsor of her The Life You Want tour, she probably didn’t have to…

Before you globe trot to get her goods, you need to travel in style. Here are some luxurious items you can take on your cruise, as suggested by the Grand Dame herself…

TRAVELLING WITH OPRAH:

Golden Beats By Dr. Dre – “These Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Wireless headphones and the matching Beats Pill (a.k.a. speaker) in glossy gold make me want to get my dance on. And we’re the first magazine to have them! Both items are Bluetooth enabled and shockingly lightweight—and will sound as good as they look for years to come.” — Oprah ($700, NeimanMarcus.com)

Big O Key Rings – “I would like this O Key Ring and Ossential card cases even if they were called something else. The ring slips over your wrist and connects to a scratch-resistant leather case that holds your credit cards and money. Perfect for running errands without lugging around a big bag.” — Oprah ($55-$75 O-Venture.com)

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Looks to Further Blend Content and Commerce

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. Continue reading “Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Looks to Further Blend Content and Commerce”

Top 5 Caribbean Shopping Ports

CatamaranThe best part of a Caribbean cruise is the chance to visit a variety of island paradises, each one with its own special brand of allure. Some are hailed for their beaches, others for the unusual wildlife. These five are celebrated for the shopping —duty- and tax-free, luxurious shopping for top designer goods at bargain prices.

St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, has cemented its reputation as the shopping capital of the Caribbean. It doesn’t hurt that U.S. citizens get a $1,600 duty-free allowance here—twice as much as on other Caribbean islands. The streets are lined with 18th-century warehouses converted into luxury shops packed with imported brand-name merchandise. Look for exceptional prices on fine jewelry, watches, perfumes, liquor and cosmetics.

Grand Cayman

Savvy shoppers refer to this refined island as Brand Cayman, and after one look around George Town it’s easy to see why. No sales tax means duty-free shopping everywhere. The area near the tender dock is home to large emporiums and bustling shopping centers that proffer a vast array of local and imported items. Look for deals on top watches, fine jewelry, designer sunglasses, and state-of-the-art electronics. Local Tortuga Rum Cakes make great gifts.

Jamaica

Shiny new stores packed with shiny new things: it’s no wonder Falmouth is becoming one of the Caribbean’s top shopping destinations. The rising shopping star’s retail stores are housed in a brand-new shopping complex that’s just steps from the cruise pier. Take advantage of incredible prices on diamonds, watches, electronics, liquor, and more. The Historic Falmouth Cruise Terminal is also a top spot for local items like jerk seasoning, rum, and the prized Blue Mountain Coffee.

St. Maarten

The Dutch capital of Philipsburg is one of the hottest shopping destinations in the Caribbean. The action is on the narrow, cobblestone Front Street, which runs parallel to the boardwalk by Great Bay. The duty-free shops offers stellar savings —up to 40% off mainland prices —on watches, fine jewelry, cameras and liquor. However, be warned: the shopping on the French side of the island can be pricier than at home, so stick to the guaranteed stores in Philipsburg.

Cozumel

Silver jewelry, colorful pottery, gourmet vanilla extract, and Mexican textiles are all good buys in San Miguel, the only city on the Mexican island of Cozumel. There’s also a superb collection of duty-free shops selling luxury goods —including limited-edition watches by coveted brands like Hublot. Start your day at the Forum Shops at the far end of the shopping strip. If you need to fuel up, there are many local restaurants where the guacamole is fresh and the margaritas are toast-worthy.

Victoria and Albert Museum Shows Off ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion’

ValentinoWhat do a leopard-print gown by Roberto Cavalli, a 1980s Gianni Versace suit and a beaded silver gown by Mila Schön — famously worn by Lee Radziwill to Truman Capote’s 1966 Black and White Ball — have in common?

They are all iconic pieces of Italian design and on display at the newly opened exhibit “The Glamour of Italian Fashion, 1945 – 2014,” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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