Thursday, July 29, 2010

Celebrity Cruise Line introduces the Personal Concierge

Always looking to raise the bar regarding customer service, Celebrity Cruise Line has announced a new “Personal Concierge” program.  A perfect compliment to the “Designed for You” tag line that represents what the cruise line is all about, the Personal Concierge will further emphasize customized onboard service.  Guests will have the opportunity to convey their personal preferences, tastes, and needs to the Personal Concierge who can then match Celebrity’s onboard offerings to enhance a particular event or experience.  It could be something as simple as booking a spa appointment or specialty dining experience, to coordinating the details of a special celebration such as a milestone birthday or maybe a marriage proposal.  The consultation with a Personal Concierge is free of charge and can be done online pre-cruise or in person once onboard.  The program will be implemented fleetwide by September 1st."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Norwegian Epic Review

"Not quite two days.  I would have just under 48 hours to explore this floating resort, otherwise known as the Norwegian Epic!  Would it be possible to investigate all she has to offer in such a short amount of time? How many of her exciting dining options would I be able to try, how many bars and lounges could I linger in, and would I like her contemporary “new wave” staterooms that are unlike anything else at sea?  This was a challenge I looked forward to conquering!

Stepping onboard I was immediately taken by the openness of the ship. A big airy atrium with lots of seating, a cafĂ©, the reception desk, and the shore excursion desk still left enough open floor space to accommodate ballroom dancing if they so desired! The two-story screen, a familiar site on all recent NCL ships, is used for Wii and many other functions.  I passed through during the day to see a good size crowd cheering as they watched the World Cup semi finals on the giant screen, and then again one evening to see families munching on nachos and watching a movie. Decks six and seven are an entertainment mecca.  I like the fact that each show had its own dedicated lounge with the appropriate ambiance.  There is something for everybody.

“Headliners” was a great space, a bar in one corner, the stage in another and rows of chairs with small tables in between.  Perfect for comedy and for “Howl at the Moon”.  I enjoyed this talented rock ‘n roll dueling piano show so much I stopped by both evenings!  They take requests; in fact, there are slips for this purpose on all the tables that you complete and put in the request bowl on top of one of the pianos. So if you don’t like the music they’re playing you have no one but yourself to blame.  Singing along is encouraged even if you only know the refrain, and there was some friendly competition among patrons when they divided the place in half for certain songs!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Chat Aboard the Norwegian Epic

Disclosure: The following conversation was recently overheard aboard the Norwegian Epic.  The names have been omitted since it could very well have been you (or me)!

 Setting:  It’s a balmy Saturday afternoon. Reggae music plays in the background.  A man and woman are seated at a patio table, a plate of nachos between them. He is drinking a Corona while admiring the scenery…beautiful woman scantily clad, lounging around the pool.  She pretends not to notice his interest as she absently stirs her frosty pink strawberry colada.  As she stares out at the azure sea she “accidentally” kicks him in the shin… hard.  He’s momentarily startled but is smart enough to re-angle his chair so all his attention is focused on the lovely woman seated across from him.

 Him:  Do we have plans for this evening?

 Her: Mmmm…we’re meeting everyone in front of Shakers at 6.

 Him: The Martini Bar?  (he laughs)  You’re determined to try that sake martini,   aren’t you?

 Her:  It does sound exotic. Don’t worry, the Whisky Bar is practically next  door so you can order from there.  We’re thinking French for dinner.  I just   hope I have room for  the chocolate fondue after the mushroom soup  and  the coq au vin!

Him:  Oh.  I thought we were trying Moderno Churrascaria.  You know, Brazilian barbecue.  That’s my kind of exotic!

 Her:  That does sound good and I heard it has an extensive salad bar too.     But as a group of six it might be really fun to go to Teppanyaki.  It’s always pretty entertaining to watch them chop, flip and sautĂ© right in front of you!

 Him:  Well if you want entertainment with dinner why don’t we go to the Cirque Dreams and Dinner Show?  What were your friends saying about the act with the guy in the bath tub?  (Her face turns bright red).

Her:   It is supposed to be amazing.  But after dinner there will be plenty of time for a show.  We missed seeing Blue Man Group when we were in Vegas last year, but we  can make tonight’s late show.

 Him: Yeah, but I hear Elvis is in the house. That celebrity impersonator show, Legends  in Concert is featuring Elvis and Madonna tonight.

 Her:  Thank goodness we have seven nights aboard this ship.  Do you think that’s even enough time?

 Him:  Hmm…22 restaurants, 17 bars and lounges, lots of world class entertainment, and only seven nights.  It’s not adding up!  What do you think, same time, same place, next year?"