Tag Archives: trip

Baby Let’s Cruise

Royal_Caribbean_02 When Royal Caribbean first approached me with the idea of a cruise I was, to be honest, a bit skeptical. I didn’t know what to expect. But this was something new…. this was something different… and I came to find out, this was something AMAZING.

Part of being a great traveler is opening your heart and mind to new experiences, embracing the experience, and making it fun. The only bad thing about this experience was it was way too short!

This past spring Royal Caribbean introduced a new luxury way of cruising with Royal Suite Class. Newly designed suites, bigger than my New York City apartment, with double floor views of the passing sea and very private terraces perfect for sipping champagne at sunset, sunbathing at leisure, reading a book in solitude, or having in-room dining with the best view of our blue planet. Not only was the suite incredible but it comes with a 24/7 “Royal Genie” or personal assistant who takes care of everything from luggage to restaurant reservations, private ship experiences, and ensures you never have to wait in line for any of the long list of activities on board the ship. The quotes dispersed throughout this post were actually hand written notes our genie would leave us everyday to keep us inspired on our journey. I’ve never in my life been so completely taken care of.

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So what was it like?

At first, overwhelming. The ship is HUGE and there are so many things to see and do! You can surf, you can fly, you can be a bird in the sky! Bumper cars and table tennis, rock climbing, and multiple pools, a casino, tons of shows and live music venues just to name a few. Or, if you’re like me, you can just relax with a good book, do yoga and spin classes, have some quiet spa time and enjoy incredible specialty restaurants each night on the ship. Among my favorite dining experiences were: Wonderland, a gastronomic restaurant that re-imagines food. Jamie’s Italian, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s take on fresh, seasonal Italian cuisine. Chops Grill, a high end and delicious steakhouse with farm-specific dry aged steak. Izumi, from sushi to sashimi! It was all so wonderful, and there were so many more options than we had time to try!

As we set sail with views of the Manhattan skyline slowly disappearing behind the vastness of sea I found myself feeling quite glamorous. It’s incredibly beautiful and completely luxurious to sail to a destination. To take the time. To enjoy the view. To drink and dine and relax all while maintaining a comfortable pace forward toward paradise. It made flying seem unbelievably inhuman. I have recently been saying to myself, the greatest luxury is time. Not in the sense of doing things more quickly, such as flying, but in the sense of taking time and having time. I took my time to Bermuda, it was so much richer an experience because of it.

Although cruising as part of the Star Class is the most VIP experience available on the seas, it wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing as it was if it weren’t for the incredible crew aboard the ship. With people from all around the world, there was always someone interesting to speak to, to learn about where they are from and what talents they possessed that brought them aboard this vessel. Everyone was happy. Everyone worked together in perfect unison, and you could feel their genuine care for each other. They set the energy and vibe on this ship and made it a wonderful place to spend five nights. So thank you Royal Caribbean for taking care of us all.

Since my return, it has been more than once I have whispered to Kevin… baby let’s cruise.

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Above, coming on board with my Steamline Luggage, Ghurka traveler, and Cuyana tote.

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Two deck high stateroom with panoramic views, walk in closet, two bathroom suites, vanity, dining room area, living room and bed facing the beautiful wall of windows looking out to the sea. 

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Casa Palopo

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Carved into the side of a mountain, high atop Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, sits the tranquil yet stylish Casa Palopo. The boutique luxury resort consists of only 7 rooms with the crown jewel being the villa on the highest perch, a perfect home to share with girlfriends or a small traveling group. The picturesque pool, the outdoor fireplaces, and the one-of-a-kind decor, with many items imported from Africa, make this a total fantasy of living. From veranda to veranda it’s impossible to feel stress here when all your eyes gaze upon is a view of nature’s spectacular show.

I wish I could have spent a thousand nights here, tucked away into the side of the hill, spending my days painting the ever changing colors of the sky and feeling the beauty of life discovered in Guatemala.

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Kelly wears a dress by Jonathan Cohen, belt purchased from a local Guatemalan market

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Snapshots from Guatemala

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I love that moment on a plane when  you begin your final descent into a new country and you catch that first glance down onto foreign soil. What are the colors? How is the light? What does the landscape look like? I’ll never forget watching the sunrise over the flat dusty plains as I touched down in Africa, or seeing the Patagonian glaciers of Chile streaked in time. Looking at Guatemala from that little frame, I was enchanted with the layers of volcanoes dancing along the horizon line of a setting sun.

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It was just a weekend getaway, a short stop through Antigua, one of the most beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have time to wander around, but I swore I would come back someday to photograph it and stay at the heartbreakingly beautiful Meson Panza Verde. We had a late dinner there on our last night in Guatemala where I discovered its enchantment. From there, we ventured around the lakeside town of Panajachel where the fashion accessory brand Mercado Global‘s design offices are located. The purpose of this trip was to discover the craftsmanship behind these artisanal bags. We spent a little time in Santiago Atitlan and in the hillside town of Santa Catarina Palapo where we slept in a dream villa.

I have many takeaways from Guatemala. The fruit is incredible. The people, so petite, have beautiful traditions they keep despite the reach of globalization. I loved comparing their dress to how the Peruvian women dress, each in their specific way. The colors in their clothing are mimicked in the textiles of the market and in the lush landscape, bursting with flowers in hues of sherbet orange and hot fuchsia. As we wandered through the old colonial built towns, there was the distinctive sound of women’s hands patting out corn tortillas. I’ll never forget the way they tasted hot off the griddle. I loved how drivers would honk as a courtesy, a way to say thank you. Perhaps my favorite feature of this beautiful country though are her volcanoes. It had not been since Bali that I found myself gazing upon such a scene. Every day brought a new view: sometimes we spotted smoke billowing from the top of a volcano, sometimes we admired their silhouettes against a setting sun. I found them a constant reminder that the earth is alive beneath our feet, and as I stood in Guatemala, I was reminded of how alive I am, too.

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Snapshots of a weekend in Paris

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It’s hard not to fall in love with Paris. Her architectural streets, her dancing light, her chalky tonality bathing  you in softness and drowned in French accents. It was a weekend away, short but everlasting in my memories, swept up in a hotel suite from a dream and made simple with long afternoon walks with nowhere in particular to go… just the way I love to see Paris.

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