What are the differences between the beverage packages onboard Celebrity Cruises? Is it worth it to upgrade? How much does it cost? What other packages are available? These are very common questions and I will do my best to provide quick and easy answers.
You can choose from an array of beers, spirits, cocktails, liqueurs, frozen drinks and wines by the glass up to $9 per serving. This package also included a 15% discount on all wines by the bottle. This package will cover coffee and tea at Cafe al Bacio, bottled water and sodas. Most drinks at the Martini Bar, World Class bar are outside this package, as are most drinks in Eden.
$69 per person per day
With this package, you will receive all classic package items, PLUS: Specialty coffees & teas, craft & artisan beers, spirits, cocktails, frozen drinks, premium bottled water and wines by the glass up to $15 per serving. Also take a 20% discount off all bottles of wine!
Can I upgrade from Classic to Premium? What is the cost?
Yes, of course you can upgrade! The current cost to upgrade is $14/day plus the 20% gratuity, which totals $16.80/person/day. We have done the math on previous cruises and the upgrade always pays itself off within the first few days. Remember, this covers WAY more than just alcohol! Fresh squeezed juice in the morning and premium bottles of water are worth it just by themselves! I’m not a water snob, but those aluminum cans they are currently using are dangerous! I’ve cut my hand several times trying to open them.
If you are a Captain’s Club member, you will receive a discount according to your level. You must call in prior to sailing to receive this discount. Otherwise, you can upgrade at any bar onboard at any time during your cruise.
Classic and Select members receive a 5% discount, Elite and Elite Plus receive a 10% discount and Zenith members receive a complimentary premium package.
If you decided to NOT upgrade, when you purchase a drink outside of the package, you will be charged the difference in price, plus the 20% gratuity.
Remember….you MUST upgrade prior to sailing in order to receive this discount!
There are also a number of non-alcoholic packages you can choose.
Classic Non-Alcoholic Package
With this package, you can enjoy your favorite Coca Cola selections, juices, premium coffees and teas and bottled water.
$18 per person per day
Premium Non-Alcoholic Package
In addition to the Classic Non-Alcoholic Package inclusions, you can refresh with premium bottled water from Evian, Perrier & San Pellegrino, specialty coffees & organic teas, Red Bull Energy Drink, coconut water and offerings from Vitamin Water.
$25 per person per day
Kids’ Drink Package
Keep your kids happy during your cruise with a package created just for them. This package has a wide variety of delicious beverages for them to drink during meals, or after they’re done with their onboard or onshore activities. Purchase one before you sail, to maximize your savings, and give your kids plenty of options to enjoy. This package includes smoothies, juices, bottled water, sodas and one mocktail flaring mixology class.
$15 per person per day
The Soda Package features both fountain and canned soda for more variety and convenience. Selections include new, popular flavors such as Coke Zero, Sprite Zero, and Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.
$9 per person per day
Premium Water Package
If all you want is quality bottled water, you can easily quench your thirst with unlimited bottles of your favorite still or sparkling premium water, such as Evian, Aqua Panna, San Pellegrino & Perrier. Whether in a bar, lounge, or any restaurant, simply present your SeaPass® Card to order your favorite.
$16 per person per day
Are drink packages worth it?
A cappuccino or specialty coffee from Cafe al Bacio starts at $5. Various beers start at $6 or $7 at most onboard bars, with special offers for buckets. A glass of wine starts at $9….and that’s just the starting point.
Since the Classic Package starts at $69 per day, if you order a morning coffee, an orange juice, two beers at the pool, and a glass of wine or two with dinner for yourself, you’re already paying almost half of the daily fee when you could easily take advantage of an unlimited selection per day of beers, spirits, cocktails, liqueurs, frozen drinks, and wines by the glass, and get 15% off all wines by the bottle with a beverage package. Add in an after dinner beverage or two and you are well on your way to saving money! Not to mention an afternoon coffee or tea and the numerous bottles of water you should be drinking during the day!
Ultimately, the guests who find cruise drink packages the most worthwhile are those who don’t want to worry about getting an unexpected bill at the end of the cruise. The convenience of knowing that your drinks are already paid for can help you relax into your well-deserved vacation.
All information has been taken directly from the Celebrity website and is accurate as of June 6, 2022. Prices can (and do!) change, so be sure to check current costs.
Bonaire is one of three islands that make up the catchy nickname: the ABC islands. This colorful Netherlands Antilles archipelago lies 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela and is comfortably outside the Caribbean’s hurricane belt.
Bonaire is laid-back by design. Large chain hotels have been kept out and eco-preservation has been enforced since the 1970’s, making this some of the best dive and snorkeling sites in the world. The island’s relaxed and slow pace helps maintain the island’s chief attributes…its national park and pristine wilderness, both above and below the surface. This is the place for adventure sports: diving, caving, sea kayaking, mountain biking, wind surfing, and cliff jumping, to name just a few. Bonaire continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism.
The culture contains layers of Amerindian, Spanish, African, Dutch and British influences. You will hear traces of these languages (plus some French and Portuguese) during any conversation in Papiamento, the creole language spoken. Try using a few key phrases: por fabor, danki, and bon dia—all of which mean exactly what you think they do!
Renting a golf cart is a popular activity. This is a fun and easy way to explore the island at your own pace. Be sure to reserve early….they sell out quickly! https://www.bonairecruisers.com
Visit the donkey sanctuary, take a trip to the salt flats, view the flamingos or just hit the beach. Be sure to keep an eye out for the donkeys…they were brought to Bonaire by the Spanish in the 17th century for transportation. When modern vehicles (like pushcarts) became available , donkeys were no longer needed and were left to their own fate.
Since 1993 injured, sick and orphaned donkeys have been cared for in a shelter, called the Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. Volunteers take care over 400 donkeys in an enclosed area. The shelter is open to visitors and is located south of the airport on the Kaya Ir.R. Statius van Eps. https://www.donkeysanctuary.org/?lang=en
Reduce your speed when you approach a donkey. They may cross the street unexpectedly.
The south end of the island is host to the famous salt flats & mounts. As you drive along south road, you will notice the different colors of the water, turning into an intense pink color. Cargill has been operating here since 1997 and produces some of the purest salts in the world. Depending on the grade of salt, it is used for water softeners, the chemical industry or food production. You can learn more about the Bonaire salt on a tour, either through your ship or booked independently
The Salt pyramids of Bonaire can be seen when arriving either by sea or by air, each one is roughly 50-feet high and contains approximately 10,000 metric tons of 99.6% pure salt.
The Pekelmeer Flamingo Sanctuary is one of only four areas in the world where Flamingos breed. Pekelmeer means “salt lake” in Dutch. The pools appear pink against the white salt flats because of an abundance of tiny rosy brine shrimp that live in the water. This is also how the birds get their pink color…eating the shrimp! The Sanctuary is located on the vast salt pans at the southern end of the island and is home to over ten thousand flamingos. Tourists are not allowed in the sanctuary, but the birds can be watched with binoculars from the road or nearby Pink Beach. Please take care to not frighten them….once they fly away, they will never return. https://www.tourismbonaire.com/sightseeing/pekelmeer-flamingo-sanctuary
Bonaire has over 22 beaches. On Bonaire and its sister island Klein Bonaire, the sands of some beaches are soft and blindingly white, while others are coarser and darker due to the high content of crushed shells and coral. Beach condition is intrinsically tied to the health of those reefs. You can help by taking your plastics and trash back with you, leaving the shells where they lie (they might be a home for hermit crabs) and wearing eco-friendly sunscreen. Every little bit helps to keep the sands clean for future generations to enjoy.
Be sure to pick up a Bonaire Island Map to find many sandy beaches and coves to explore and enjoy. Watch for the bright yellow stone markers painted with the site name along the coastal roads. They make it easy to find a great beach for sun bathing, strolling or snorkeling and diving.
Did you know that Bonaire has a distillery? The Cadushy Distillery was founded on March 7th, 2009 by the Gietman family and grew from a small start-up to a thriving company. They created something you would have never imagined…..excellent liqueur made out of cactus! Cadushy of Bonaire liqueur is based on the traditions of Bonaire. Lime has been used as a thirst satisfier for centuries and cactus has been an ingredient in the traditional kitchen. Be sure to stop and try some. https://www.cadushy.com
Enjoy your visit to Bonaire…..and island unlike any other in the Caribbean.
And if you didn’t watch the video already….please watch it!
Sitka is located on Baranof Island and is nestled between the mountains and sea. The arts flourish and an ancient native culture still thrives. Surrounded by rainforest, they share their home with brown bears, bald eagles, otters and all five species of Pacific salmon.
Cruise ships dock at the island’s Old Dock at Halibut Point, about five miles north of Sitka town. A free shuttle bus service runs between the dock and downtown Sitka every 10-15 minutes. Some cruise lines drop anchor offshore instead of pulling into the port and use tenders.
Either way, the drop-off point will be in downtown Sitka nearHarrigan Centennial Hall. This modern oceanfront building is the town’s visitor’s center and is the perfect starting point for your visit to Sitka. The hall features restrooms, WiFi and an information desk. Throughout the summer, there are also various cultural events to enjoy. If you’ve booked any tours or excursions with a local company, this is probably the starting point.
If your plan is to explore Sitka on your own, you’ll find Sitka to be very walkable. Most attractions are located within a few blocks of the harbor.
Explore the Historic District
Even if you have tours planned, it’s worth the time to walk through the downtown historic area. Stroll down Lincoln Street and walk past some of Sitka’s most important landmarks, including the Russian Orthodox St. Michael’s Cathedral and Bishop’s House.
St. Michael’s Cathedral
For over 100 years before it became a US territory, Sitka was Russian settlement. St. Michael’s Cathedral ….one of the most popular Sitka attractions….is a perfect example. Built in 1848 by St. Innocent, it was the first Orthodox church ever built in North America. The golden crosses and green onion domes are an architectural wonder and it has a beautiful and spacious interior. A $5 entry fee allows you to explore the historic icons inside the church. There are also weekly services that are open to the public.
Russian Bishop’s House
From 1808 until 1867, New Archangel…as Sitka was known at that time….served as the capital of the Russian-American colony. The Bishop’s House was the administrative headquarters for their 19th-century missionary efforts. Now, the Bishop’s House is protected as a National Historic Landmark. There is a free guided tour you can take to learn about the home’s art, architecture, and historical artifacts.
Sheldon Jackson Museum
Located on Lincoln Street between Harrigan Centennial Hall and the nearby Sitka National Park, the museum has been collecting items of historical and cultural significance since 1885. Inside you will find masks, carvings, tools, toys, boats, and other artifacts from native Northwest Coast cultures.
Tlingit Clan House
Plan a visit here to learn more about the culture of the Tlingit Clan and how they lived off the land. The Tlingit clans thrived on these remote Alaskan islands long before the first Russian settlements. Also known as the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Tribal Community House, this “house” provides an intimate look into native Alaskan heritage. Watch a live performance by the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Dancers while enjoying the fragrant scent of burning cedar. Everyone will love the energetic drum beats and the chance to join a native dance around the fire pit. You can also pose for pictures in front of the biggest hand-carved screen in Alaska.
Looking for nature activities? There are plenty of choices!
Baranof Castle State Historic Site (Castle Hill)
Commonly referred to as Castle Hill, this state park is one of the most historically significant sites in Alaska. Tlingit natives originally inhabited this area and built a strategic fortification at this site. Russians occupied this site between 1804-1867. Alaska was officially transferred from Russia to the United States in 1867 on top of Castle Hill. Today, Castle Hill is a state historic site and is also designated as a National Historic Landmark. A fully accessible walkway leads visitors to the top of the hill and provides outstanding views of downtown Sitka and waterfront. At the top. you will find interpretive panels that provide opportunities to learn more about the history of this site.
Sitka National Historical Park
This is the oldest national park in Alaska and covers 113 acres. The park is just outside the city of Sitka. It commemorates the 1804 Battle of Sitka that took place between the Russian settlers and the Tlingit tribespeople. There are 20 hand-carved totem poles scattered along the nature trails and a visitor center with more information about the battle, as well as guided tours that delve into the island’s flora and fauna. Take time to walk through the rainforest. You will have great views of Sitka sound also and opportunities to walk along the beach and explore the numerous tide pools.
Fortress of the Bear
One of the most popular excursions in Sitka is a visit to the Fortress of the Bear. If seeing bears is on your list of must-do Alaska activities, this is your opportunity! You will get within 25 feet of the distinctive Alaska brown bear in a naturalized setting. The three-quarter acre habitat is located about 5 miles from the town center in the Tongass National forest. You will enjoy 3 populations of bears and observe their unique personalities from a large covered viewing platform. The naturalists are happy to share details about the bears, their behaviors and how they were rescued.
City busses run back and forth to the Fortress of the Bear. The rescue center is supported entirely by visitor donations and is open to family members of all ages. The rescue center receives no government funding and relies solely on support and donations from local businesses, visitors and merchandise sales. http://fortressofthebear.org
Alaska Raptor Center
The Alaska Raptor Center provides medical treatment to around 200 injured birds each year. They specialize in raptors, but will aid any wild bird in need. The goal is to heal, rehabilitate and release all the avian patients, however, some are too injured to fully recover and survive in the wild. These birds join the Raptors-in-Residence team to help teach the public about raptors and the habitats they live in. Currently, there are 24 Raptors-in-Residence, including bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. http://alaskaraptor.org
Otters and whales
Sitka is known for the otter population. Book a tour through your ship or at the visitor’s center. Sitka Sound is home to the greatest variety of wildlife in Southeast Alaska – sea otters, whales, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, brown bears, puffins, bald eagles, and more! You won’t be disappointed.
You’re probably hungry after all this exploring and walking! You won’t be disappointed here. Sitka is home to fresh seafood, Pacific Northwest frontier cuisine and other delicious local favorites. You will find fine dining, casual meals and mobile food units….variety that will suit everyone’s style and budget. Not to be missed is a reindeer sausage from the street vendor. Truly an Alaska specialty!
All too soon, your visit to Sitka will be over. Grab a souvenir or two to remember this incredible visit to a unique Alaskan town….where the fish is fresh, culture is celebrated and wilderness beckons at their doorstep.
Fort Lauderdale….known as the “Venice of America”. The city is famous for its beaches, arts, culture and the 3rd largest cruise port in Florida. You can shop on Las Olas Boulevard, ride the water taxi on the canals, wonderful cuisine and visit the historic riverfront, all while enjoying bountiful sunshine…over 300 days each year!
Located just two miles north of Port Everglades, the strip of sand that is Fort Lauderdale beach hosts many sophisticated hotels, delicious restaurants and lively bars. If you want to see and be seen, take a stroll down the Beachfront Promenade. During your walk, feel free to pop into any of the Fort Lauderdale beach hotels for a drink or a meal.
There are many hotels to choose from, both luxury and moderate. Vacation rentals are also very popular here. Why not rent a waterfront home on a canal? Or an apartment in one of the high rise buildings? Many hotels along the beach have added amenities such as beach chair rental, salt water pools and bike rentals. No matter where to choose to stay, you will have a great time.
Visit Las Olas Boulevard to enjoy Fort Lauderdale shopping and dining. Located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, it is at the forefront of everything from fashion boutiques and art galleries to outstanding restaurants, sidewalk cafes and bars. Stroll the boulevard during the day, where you can duck in and out of cool breezeways and be surprised by what you discover. And if you are looking for a great evening atmosphere, this is the place!
Don’t miss taking a trip aboard the water taxi. You will have a prime view of the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaires Row. The captains and crew are well versed on the city and the many attractions that can be viewed from the water. The crew has seen it all and will have many stories on the area’s rich history, happenings and “who lives there?” Be sure to keep your pass handy when you depart your vessel…it’s your ticket to discounts and deals on food, drinks, merchandise and attractions at over 60 “Cruise & Save” partners. http://www.watertaxi.com
Curious about the history of the area? Stop at the Stranahan House, a preserved 1900s home furnished with antiques of the era. The house was built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, who is credited as Fort Lauderdale’s founding father, and his wife Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, the area’s first school teacher. It is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County.
Each October, Fort Lauderdale hosts as the largest in-water boat show in the world. Located steps from the beach, the show spans nearly 90 acres across three million square feet of exhibit space that is connected by an intricate network of water and ground transportation services. The five-day show attracts over 100,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors representing 52 countries with more than 1,300 boats on display. Products available to purchase range from sunglasses to superyachts and everything in between. Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend. If you want to see mega yachts up close, this is a great opportunity. http://www.flibs.com
If you are boarding a cruise ship after you visit Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades is only a few minutes away. From your hotel, you can take a taxi, shuttle or use ride-share. If driving your own car, there are plenty of options for parking. Each pier has a parking structure available. You can also park off-site. A quick google search will provide you with lots of options. Many hotels also offer extended parking for cruises….be sure to look for that option when you book your hotel. Pier information can be found here: http://www.porteverglades.net Scroll down to find ship schedules, port maps and parking information.
Enjoy your visit to Fort Lauderdale. Relax in the sun, enjoy delicious cuisine, explore the canals and feel yourself starting to relax and unwind.
Seattle – the beginning of so many fun adventures. There is much to see and do in this beautiful city.
Where to stay? Downtown is expensive…..especially in the summer! Hotels near the Space Needle are a little lower in price. To really save money, consider staying by the airport. Taxi or Uber will take about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic. You can also take the light rail.
Sound Transit’s Link light rail runs daily from SeaTac to downtown Seattle. Trains arrive every 6 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day. The journey will take about 40 minutes to travel between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Westlake Station in downtown Seattle. Fares run $3/adult and children 6-19 $1.50 each way. http://soundtransit.org
If staying near the Space Needle, the Seattle monorail provides a fun, quick and convenient link between downtown Seattle and Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle. It is the nation’s first full-scale commercial monorail system and a beloved Seattle landmark. http://Seattlemonorail.com
The Space Needle is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and is a treasured Seattle icon. It was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. The tower’s futuristic design was inspired by the idea that the fair needed a structure to symbolize humanity’s Space Age aspirations. The tower’s 520’ saucer-shaped “top house” provides visitors with Seattle’s only 360-degree indoor and outdoor panoramic views of downtown, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, along with outstanding views of the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. There are dining options available at the top without advanced booking….seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. http://space needle.com
Looking for something fun to do with the kids? The Underground Tour is Seattle’s most unusual attraction and is a humorous stroll through subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889. You would never know this existed without booking this tour! The 75-minute guided walking tour begins beneath Doc Maynard’s Public House, then spills into historic Pioneer Square, Seattle’s birthplace, before plunging underground for an exclusive, time-capsule view of the buried city.
Pike Place Market is a must do when in Seattle. The Pike Place Market has been a Seattle icon for more than a century. The Market spans nine historic acres in the center of downtown where everyday locals and tourists alike shop, visit and eat. http://www.pikeplacemarket.org
Founded in 1907, the Market is one of the oldest and largest continuously operating public markets in the United States . It is brought to life by the hundreds of farmers, crafters and small businesses. Be sure to watch the “show” where fishmongers throw fish to be cleaned and packaged. Wander through the market while enjoying samples of Pacific Northwest and International foods, marvel at the fresh flower bouquets and browse the craft booths. Don’t forget to take a selfie with Rachael….the large bronze piggy bank located under the big “Public Market Center” sign and clock. The statue is named after the real pig that served as the model. All money collected is donated to the Market Foundation.
The Seattle Aquarium is a public aquarium located on Pier 59 on the Elliott Bay waterfront. It is the ninth largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and among the top five paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region. The aquarium offers a unique window into ocean conservation and research that advances understanding of marine species. http://www.seattleaquarium.com
A day trip to Bainbridge Island, which includes a short ferry ride across the Puget Sound, is undoubtedly one of the best day trips from Seattle. Spend an afternoon or even a full day enjoying time on the water and the town of Winslow, where the ferry lands. It is full of hidden gems for foodies and shopping. You can walk onto the Bainbridge Island at Pier 50 in downtown Seattle or drive a car. Ticket prices vary and so do departure times. You can repurchase your tickets at https://wsdot.wa.gov/travel/washington-state-ferries
Have NFL fans in your group? You can tour Seahawks stadium! The roughly hour and a half long tour experience will entertain and educate everyone who enjoys football and soccer. From those who can’t tell a first down from a touchdown, to the die-hard football fanatic, and even those who call the stadium’s field a “pitch”. Don’t forget your camera to capture the scenes from the awe-inspiring viewpoints. There are sweeping views of Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains (on those clear days) and a stunning view of downtown Seattle, all from the 300 Level concourses. Tickets can be purchased on ticketmaster.com or in person at the NW Box Office off Occidental Ave. Tickets do sell out quickly so please plan accordingly. https://www.lumenfield.com/plan-your-visit/tours
Kids of all ages will enjoy a visit to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field.
Seattle is the home of modern aviation in the United States. In 1916, Bill Boeing founded the Pacific Aero Products Co. and began building seaplanes with local spruce wood. A visit to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the best ways to experience and appreciate the region’s long history of aviation.
Located about 9 miles south of downtown, the Museum of Flight features a massive hangar packed full of aircraft old and new. If you’re an aviation fan, visiting the Museum of Flight is a no-brainer. But even for people who aren’t really into planes, the museum offers an impressive and massive collection of amazing machines and insight into the modern marvel of human flight. Where else can you step on board a space shuttle, Air Force One, a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a Concorde jet all in the course of 30 minutes? http://www.museiumofflight.org
Do you love wine? Then Woodinville wine country is not to be missed. Just 30 minutes northeast of Seattle, in the beautiful Sammamish River Valley just , Woodinville Wine Country is home to over 100 wineries and tasting rooms representing every wine grape growing region in Washington. Currently, there are 130 wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville. Chateau Ste Michelle introduced its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1976…..it took about 30 years for the area to become a wine destination after that point. There are four distinct districts –The Hollywood District, the West Valley District, the Warehouse District and the Downtown District. If you only have one day, you can choose one district and easily walk between the wineries. Or….take a drive through the valley and visit several! http://www.woodinvillewinecountry.com
There are so many things to do in Seattle, I can’t begin to include them all. Don’t forget about the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of Pop Culture, the Original Starbucks located in Pike Place Market and the first Nordstrom Department Store! Walk the city….explore, eat fresh seafood, go whale watching.
Enjoy this magical place….Seattle, The Emerald City.