Just as I thought the summer was over, was getting ready to replace the bikini for the wooly knits, the delightful team at Celebrity Cruises with a joint effort from Great British Chefs had the genius idea of prolonging it with a little sea voyage. A full five days of decadent eating, wine tasting, luxurious lounging and blissful gallery hopping.
Never one to turn down chasing the sun, I packed my little bags, jumped in a cab and headed for the airport ready for some culture and sea cruising and a little taste of the highlife.
The pool and outdoor lounge area, with hot tubs (of course)
The central hall
Anyone for a spot of golf on deck?!…
After a gruelling 5am start, a plane ride, the highlight of which being a screaming baby and some very dodgy looking cheese rolls, we touched down in Naples. Destination numero uno, to meet our ship, the Celebrity Equinox, down at the Salerno port. This was the beginning of our 5-day adventure roaming the Amalfi coastline (of west Italy), the French riviera and finally Barcelona.
Each day we got the chance to stop, head out on bespoke tours, experience a bit of culture or just enjoy all the spoils the ship had to offer. Beginning with a sip of the good stuff.
All aboard and anchors away we could finally get down the the real work. Wine tasting with the cellar master himself. After a tour of the wine tower…. yes you heard correctly. TOWER, in the centre of the main dining room, we were shown to our pews in one of the main bars to experience a selection of their finest reds and whites.
One of the particular favourites was a bottle of Argentinian Amerone wine called Enamoure. A wine is produced in a joing collaboration between the Allegrini and Bodega Renacer vineyards, with the name representing the love between the two. It is a blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, Bonarda and Cabernet Franc, with notes of heady vanilla, dried fig, raisins, rich cocoa, and sweet tobacco. If you are a red drinker and like Argentinian wine I can almost guarantee you are going to love this one. I thought about stowing away a bottle, but alas we may have drunk it all on the ship…
As yet I have not managed to source it, but check here to see where sells it locally to you.
Each night of the trip we got to experience the different cuisines of offer. Beginning with the main dining area and ending in the healthy, signature restaurant, Blu. Blu was the restaurant of all the three specialist dining rooms that I was looking forward to. Clean, crisp flavours and innovative cuisine, with starters of tamarind glazed quail, corn fritters and and chilled seafood neopolitan and mains of yellow corn velouté with chorizo and seared duck salads with vanilla and passionfruit drizzle, all with a healthy ‘clean cuisine’ twist, how could I not be.
These are a few of the snaps from the best of their dishes.
Sweet Yellow corn fritters & Spring Onion Salsa
Seared ‘catch of the day’ with tamago, greens and a miso broth
French Onion Soup, with more than its fair share of cheese (I was only a spectator for this, a coronary was not on my agenda)
Having enjoyed all the cuisine and entertainment the ship had to offer, including the impressive molecular bar, martini bar and numerous other cafes and live music spots (they had the best equipment from The Music Critic), I also managed to find a moment to sneak in a little bit of downtime with a thai massage and a moment of relaxation in the ships very own spa area.
But enough about that for now, you are going to have to wait until the next post for that.
In the meantime, do feel free to have a look at the Celebrity Cruise website. A trip to the Caribbean, or a sail around the South east Asian islands might be just the thing for a christmas trip away.