Sea views, adventure and mouthwatering food – I wouldn’t have expected anything less when Royal Caribbean celebrated their 50th birthday.
I am a big fan of Royal Caribbean Cruises. I have been on many of their cruise ships and am blown away with their innovation every time. When I was invited to join them for their 50th birthday celebrations, I knew it was going to be something special!
The Cliff House Hotel, a boutique 5-star hotel in Co. Waterford was the chosen venue for the event. Jennifer Callister, Head of Ireland for Royal Caribbean, was quick to point out that the Cliff House was not only chosen because of its superb reputation, but also because aesthetically, it reminded her of a ship. As I looked around at the outdoor terrace and superb sea views, I immediately saw the resemblance.
After a quick lunch in the bar, it was time for our first activity. In true Royal Caribbean style, it was an outdoor adventure sport – sea-kayaking. This was a first for me, I have been in a kayak on a lake before, but the sea currents provided a more exhilarating experience. We teamed up in groups and had the task of finding various markers at sea. The team who collected the most markers were the winners. My competitive streak was out in full force, but unfortunately I had to settle for second place.
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After an active afternoon session, it was time to relax and enjoy some champagne tasting. This was another first for me. I learned so much about how champagne is made, corked and bottled, as well as the difference between a good champagne and the cheap brands you find in supermarkets. Did you know that the smaller the bubbles, the better the champagne? – Neither did I until that moment.
After a quick shower and change it was time for the evening event. We were treated to delicious vodka-mango cocktails. They brought back memories of my cruise in the Caribbean – I’m assuming that was the objective…
Royal Caribbean then presented awards to their prestigious trade partners. The lucky winners were as follows:
- Best Cruise Performance Europe 2018: Worldchoice Ireland
- Best Cruise Performance Caribbean 2018: Tour America
- Best Cruise Performance ROW 2018: Click&Go
- Best Retail Outlet 2018: Cassidy Travel – The Pavillions
- Outstanding Contribution Award 2018: Southern Ireland, Sunway
- Outstanding Contribution Award 2018: Northern Ireland, Oasis Travel
The awards were followed by dinner in the Michelin Starred Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel. This was, to quote one of Royal Caribbean’s slogans, ‘where extraordinary happened’. It was one of the best meals I have ever had. This was echoed throughout the room – all I could hear was exclamations of delight.
The mouthwatering appetisers included Marshmallow with Smoked Popcorn, the trio of starters included Cured Bantry Bay Salmon and the trio of deserts, a Parfait Nougatine with Blackberry, Popcorn and Caramel. To say they were sublime is a massive understatement. I had the Black Angus Beef for main course, but felt like I was missing out by not having the Wild Atlantic Halibut too. It was a gastronomic feast, and one that I will cherish for many years to come.
Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, we were treated to a spectacular firework display to celebrate Royal Caribbeans’ 50th birthday, and a performance from Irish Dance music band, Scannal.
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For anyone reading this who hasn’t cruised with Royal Caribbean before, this is indicative of what you can expect from a Royal Caribbean holiday – top class accommodation, plenty of adventure and mouth watering food. I love when an event is ‘on brand’ and this certainly was.
Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line. It cruises to 260 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Caribbean was named the “Best Ocean Cruise Company” at the Irish Travel Trade Awards in 2018, “Ireland’s favourite cruise line” at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards in 2018 and 2019 and Irish media voted Royal Caribbean as ‘Best Cruise Company’ in the 2019 Travel Media Awards. For more details on Royal Caribbean Cruises visit their website or your local travel agent.
Want to know more about cruising with Royal Caribbean? Check out my reviews: