Friday, July 23, 2010

Gourmet Getaway Aboard Freedom of the Seas

I love food, but I could hardly be called a foodie. My favorite kitchen tools are a crock pot and microwave. However, I have traveled with a few real expert food writers who enthusistically recognize and reveal what spices were used in a dish just by sniffing it. And now, Royal Caribbean is offering them and other food fans the opportunity to transform their next cruise vacation into a gourmet getaway, thanks to 12 specialty voyages onboard Freedom of the Seas that are part of the cruise line’s “Epicurean Discovery” series. Designed to provide culinary enthusiasts with an experience of a lifetime, this mouth watering package features a variety of special events throughout the week devoted to cuisine and fine dining, with each sailing hosted by a different renowned celebrity chef, such as “Iron Chef” contender Johnny Vinczencz; 2010 James Beard winner for “Best Chef in the South” Michael Schwartz; and “Top Chef” Chicago contender Spike Mandelsohn.

Available exclusively to guests booking suite accommodations or higher, the 7-night “Epicurean Discovery” package offers foodies a unique educational endeavor led by gastronomic mavericks, including private dinners, a wine tasting, experiential lecture and private tour, as well as a tapas sampling reception, signed photo and cookbook.

Guests participating in the new onboard experience will still have ample time to enjoy Freedom of the Seas’ signature amenities, from the FlowRider surf-simulator, H20 Zone interactive water park, signature rock climbing Wall and only full-size boxing rink at sea to Broadway-caliber production shows, one-of-a-kind ice shows, and fully equipped Freedom DaySpa and Fitness Center, as well as enjoy the various ports of call. Sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida,

Freedom of the Seas sails 7-night cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, calling on Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay, Bahamas; and to the Western Caribbean, calling on Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico; and Royal Caribbean’s private destination Labadee, Haiti. A complete list of chefs and respective sail dates is available at

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