Royal Wedding packages ready to go

Royal Wedding PackagesOn the eve of the wedding of the century, Cunard Line prepared for its own Royal Wedding festivities taking place while sailing during the festivities. Officers and crew of flagship Queen Mary 2 put final celebratory touches on board yesterday in New York as guests embarked for the ship’s first Eastbound Crossing of the 2011 Transatlantic Season.

“We will mark this commemorative occasion in the way expected of Cunard, and it promises to be a right royal event on board all three of our Queens,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “For guests sailing a Transatlantic Crossing, it is an experience like no other, and the Royal Wedding celebrations certainly add to what is already a voyage fit for royalty.”

Guests sailing any one of the three Cunard Queens will enjoy
  • Viewing party of the Royal Wedding live via satellite TV broadcast in the Royal Court Theatre and in all staterooms
  • Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea service featuring Twinings limited edition Royal Wedding Tea
  • A commemorative “Princess Royale” cocktail to mark the occasion
  • A celebration dinner and commemorative menu at each of the restaurants, including a slice of traditional wedding fruitcake
  • A royal champagne toast to Miss Catherine Middleton and HRH Prince William by the ship’s Captain
  • A Royal Wedding Ball with dancing to a big band orchestra in the Queens Room ballroom

Cunard Line goes back a long time with the British Royal Family. It was 1859 when Queen Victoria bestowed the title of Baronet to Samuel Cunard (Cunard Line founder) for his services to the country during the Crimean War. Since then, eight Cunard liners have been named by senior members of the Royal Family – four by Her Majesty The Queen, including the recent October 2010 Royal Naming Ceremony of the Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth.

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Deal watch: Royal wedding vacation packages

Royal Wedding Vacation packagesWith the Royal Wedding just days away, its not too late to get into the frenzied madness with a royal getaway fit for you, the non-royal regular person. Here are some special offers from a variety of different resorts scattered around the globe with prices between $149 for a one-night getaway (just so you can say you did something special) to $2,250 for a four-night package (so you can say you did something really special).

Enjoy a royal getaway to the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida, when you book the Royal Romance Berries & Bubbly Package on April 29, 2011. The package includes accommodations in a luxury room or resort suite category of your choice, champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries on the night of arrival and complimentary breakfast for two each morning. A package savings of over 20 percent.
Rates start at: $299 per night
Valid for travel: April 29 through December 30, 2011
Reservations: Visit www.sandpearl.com and use promo code ROYAL in the Corporate / Promotion box, or call 1-877-726-3111 and ask for promotional code ROYAL.
Maybe the Caribbean sounds more like the royal place to be. The St. Kitts Marriott Resort is offering a free room upgrade and bottle of sparkling wine when their Escape For Two package is booked on April 29th, 2011, only.
Package includes:
– Accommodations (automatic room upgrade)
– 1 massage per person (per room, per stay)
– 1 facial per person (per room, per stay)
– Breakfast buffet for two, daily
– 1 Bottle of sparkling wine
– Spa amenity basket and welcome gift
Rates: From $238 per room/night, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Based on double occupancy. Subject to availability / blackout dates.
Reservations: www.stkittsmarriott.com / Promo code ES8

The CuisinArt Resort & Spa in Anguilla is offering the “Royalty in Paradise” package on April 29th, 2011, only also.
Package includes:
– 4 Nights in a beachfront junior suite
– 1 Romantic beachfront dinner for two
– 1 Bottle Veuve Cliquot champagne
– 1 Couples Rendezvous spa package:
– Couples massage
– Floral bath soak
– Anguillian coconut pineapple scrub
– Swiss duet rain shower
Rates: From $2,250 (A $925 savings)
Valid for Travel: April 30 – November 22, 2011. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: www.cuisinartresort.com

At Mexico’s CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort is offering the Royal Romance Package, available for one day only on April 29th, 2011.
Package includes:
– Transportation from and to the Cancun Airport
– Daily breakfast buffet for 2 adults
– One bottle of sparkling wine per stay
– Free upgrade to Ocean view (room already upgraded at the time of booking)
– 40% discount on Spa treatments
– 20% discount on food and beverage, and gift shop purchases
Rates: From $149 USD per night
Valid for Travel: May 1 – November 20. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: Visit www.casamagnacancun.com and input promo code L9Z

Also in Cancun, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is offering the Royal Romance Package, available for one day only on April 29th, 2011.
Package includes:
– Transportation from and to the Cancun Airport
– Daily breakfast buffet for 2 adults
– One bottle of sparkling wine per stay
– Free upgrade to Ocean view (room already upgraded at the time of booking)
– 40% discount on Spa treatments
– 20% discount on food and beverage and gift shop purchases
Rates: From $189 USD per night
Valid for Travel: May 1 – November 20. Based on availability, blackout dates apply.
Reservations: Visit www.jwmarriottcancun.com and input promo code L9Z

Over in Curacao, the Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino is has their Royal Treatment Package which includes three night accommodations in a Deluxe Room and a half-day of pampering at the spa for two guests. Spa treatments include a 50 minute relaxing massage, 60 minute food reflexology and your choice of a Mini Facial or Gentleman’s Total Care Facial
Rates: Three night package: $1,180
Valid for Travel: Now until Dec 23, 2011
Reservations: Call 877-264-3106 or email reservations@kurahulanda.com

Not interested in a fabulous resort at discounted prices? How about a cruise then?

Priced at $2904, the Royal Caribbean Royal Wedding Package offers a wide range of royal wedding stuff like a tiara for the bride, a 12-rose hand-tied bouquet, strawberries and champagne, toasting flutes and a keepsake server each engraved with a crown and dinner at the captains table. Included are the services of a wedding planner and photographer along with a boutonniere for the groom, announcements and a wedding cake.

Oh, and if you happen to see the royal couple along the way, let us know would you?

New British beer is first to contain Viagra, commemorates Royal Wedding

British beer ViagraPrince William may be losing his hair, but it seems a bit presumptuous to assume that he’s lost his mojo, as well. But that won’t stop Scottish craft brewer BrewDog from releasing Royal Virility Performance on April 29th. The world’s first beer to be enhanced with Viagra, the 7.5-percent ABV India Pale Ale also contains purported natural aphrodisiacs Horny Goat Weed and chocolate, as well as “a healthy dose of sarcasm.”

The beer was specially created to honor the upcoming Royal Wedding, and features a label with the words, “Arise Prince Willy,” and “Celebrate Big Willy Style.” BrewDog has sent several bottles to Prince William for the wedding night (no comment yet from the Royal Family, but one senses the brewery should perhaps have targeted Prince Charles, who is in a more appropriate age demographic).

Just 1,000 bottles of the ale, which retails for £10 a pop, will be produced for the time being (available here; one bottle limit per customer), although production will continue if it’s a uh, big success. All proceeds go to the charity Centrepoint, which Wills supports. According to James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, says, “As the bottle says, this is about consummation, not commemoration.”

BrewDog claims that consuming three bottles is equivalent to taking one Viagra. No comment on how sexually attractive you’ll be with that beer gut.

Need more royal wedding buzz? Visit Monaco.

monaco harborCome April 30, legions of devoted Royal Wedding Watchers will suffer the disease known as RWW, or Royal Wedding Withdrawal*.

Never fear, RWW sufferers – help has arrived, in the form of one of the world’s richest countries, Monaco. On July 1 2011, the principality will celebrate the nuptials of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and elegant South African Olympic swimmer Miss Charlene Wittstock. Okay, so it’s not *quite* the same. He’s the son of Grace Kelley and Prince Rainier III, but the once devoted bachelor prince is in his 50s and has two illegitmate children, neither of whom can inherit the title as per Monaco’s inheritance laws. At present, Prince Albert’s sister, Princess Caroline, is the heir presumptive to the title.

Still. It’s a ROYAL. WEDDING.

On July 1, 2011, the civil wedding ceremony will take place in the Throne Room of the Prince’s Palace. Later that evening, a large concert will be offered by the newly-wedded couple at the Port for all residents and visitors. On July 2, 2011, the religious wedding ceremony will take place in the Main Courtyard of the Prince’s Palace.

To be celebrated by Monseigneur Bernard Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco, more than 3,500 invited guests will witness the wedding on giant screens in the vicinity of the Palace and screens will also be set up at prime locations throughout the Principality to enable residents and visitors to watch the proceedings.

The couple will take a special procession route in a Lexus luxury hybrid vehicle, underscoring Prince Albert’s commitment to environmental conservation, to the Church of Sainte Devote where the bride will lay down her bouquet. The official dinner and a gala ball will be held at the Salle Garnier and the Terraces of the Casino later that evening followed by fireworks for all of Monaco to enjoy.

[Flickr via davharuk]Never visited Monaco? Here are a few things to do:

Royal Houses Exhibition at Grimaldi Forum
This summer the Grimaldi Forum will showcase important pieces from four centuries of historic European monarchies with The Magnificence and Grandeur of Royal Houses in Europe exhibition. Open July 11 through September 11, 2011, 600-plus artifacts will provide visitors with a unique glimpse into the imperial homes and lives of Europe’s most powerful and respected leaders and couples.

Musical Legends Headline Sporting Summer Music Festival
This year’s Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Music Festival, from July 8 through August 27 at Salle des Etoiles, offers, yet again, a list of legendary musicians as key performers. Janet Jackson will open the festival on July 8 and 9, Stevie Wonder will return after his acclaimed performance last year and Sting will perform on July 25.

New National Museum
Monaco’s recently opened Nouveau Musee National de Monaco (NMNM) is located in two venues – the stunning Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber. The newly re-designed venues focus on modern contemporary works of art and will feature two exhibitions annually that will spotlight the cultural, historic and artistic virtues of Monaco.

Spectacular Dining
In addition to the five restaurants that boast a combined eight Michelin stars, fine food connoisseurs will appreciate the Principality’s many new culinary offerings including a transformed Le Vistamar at the Hotel Hermitage, which recently re-opened its doors under the direction of Chef Joel Garault. The Horizon at The Fairmont Monte Carlo has proposed a new menu featuring a “chic and ethical” concept, demonstrating Executive Chef Maryan Gandon’s commitment to sustainable development and the planet. YOSHI at the Metropole Monte-Carlo – Chef Joel Robuchon’s only Japanese inspired eatery – recently received a Michelin star.

Relax and Rejuvenate
Monaco has a distinct advantage: a combination of climate, sunshine and abundant natural resources drawn directly from the Mediterranean Sea. This summer the Monte-Carlo Beach Spa will re-open, highlighting its sleek makeover and unique location, nestled in the pool area overlooking the sea.

Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House

Among one of the world’s most famous cultural landmarks, the Monte-Carlo Casino and Opera House continues to be a “must-see” attraction in Monaco. Travelers from around the world can try their hand at the Casino’s gaming tables and witness operatic performances in the Salle Garnier, where 45 world premieres have been held and Matisse and Picasso designed sets and costumes in the not-so-distant past.

*This fake disease was made up by the author, whose only claim to medical knowledge is that her father is a doctor.

London calling: DUKES LONDON concierge offers top 10 tips for visiting London

dukes londonSo, you weren’t invited to the Royal Wedding. While you won’t get to sit next to the Beckhams or drink tea with the Windsors for the big event, you can still experience the best of London (without worrying about your face appearing in Page Six’s ‘what were they thinking?’ layout of wedding fashion gone wrong).

Ian Steiger, Head Concierge of the historic DUKES LONDON in St. James’s and the Concierge of the Year 2010, is offering tips for London travelers who want to see the best of the city, without all the chaos but with a little royal flair. Here’s what he suggests:

1. Buckingham Palace isn’t the only Royal residence in town. Visit Clarence House, the official residence of Princes Charles, William and Harry, which offers public and private tours from August 6th through September 4th.

2. The best place to catch a glimpse of William departing Clarence House for the Royal Wedding will be the steps of the Duke of York “Son of George III” statue on Carlton House Terrace. Show up early, says Steiger: “Royal watchers will begin queuing two or three days ahead.”

3. While St. James’s Palace isn’t open to the public, it’s a great spot to see the comings and goings of Royal Family members. The palace was the Royals’ official residence from 1699 until 1837.4. Even the Royal Family goes out on the town. Among great dining spots they’ve been known to frequent: Annabel’s, a private club that is a favorite of the Prince of Wales; Wiltons, a famous fish restaurant founded in St. James in 1742; and Le Gavroche, Michel Roux Jr.’s Michelin Two-Star French restaurant in Mayfair.

5. For those without an invite to the Royal Wedding, DUKES LONDON will host a special Royal Wedding Champagne Afternoon Tea on April 29. The wedding will be shown on the big screen in the Regal Marlborough Suite, while Champagne, tea, finger sandwiches and assorted cakes and pastries will be served (price is approximately $55).

6. Glimpse Prince William’s maternal side at Spencer House, the ancestral home of the family of Diana, Princess of Wales.

7. Spring and summer bloom with possibilities in London. Prime among annual events that the Royal Family never misses is the Royal Ascot Races from June 14-18 and the Chelsea Flower Show, May 24-28.

8. Art lovers will be enthralled by the Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition of contemporary works, scheduled this year from June 7-August 15. Meanwhile, the lesser-known Courtauld Gallery is among the finest small museums in the world, with a collection stretching from the Renaissance to the 20th century.

9. Visit historic buildings, including Marlborough House, built with red bricks from Holland in 1711; Burlington House, begun in 1660 and remodeled twice since; and St. James’s Church, which was fashioned by Christopher Wren for his friend Henry Jermyn from 1674-86 and restored with a garden of remembrance following bombing damage from the London Blitz.

10. Can’t get enough of the Royals? Tour Buckingham Palace, one of the few working royal palaces in the world, from July 23-October 3; or head for Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world with 900 years of British history to go around. It’s open daily from 9:45am-4:15pm.