Culinary Cruises & Tours
So you love to travel – and you love to cook. Maybe you’ve shopped for cooking schools, tours and cruises. But the fact is, you can’t really imagine going to Italy, France or the Napa Valley in California and spending all your time in the kitchen. Heck – you can stay home and do that!
We have the perfect solution…our Culinary Cruises & Tours provide you quality time with expert cooks in local kitchens and onboard ships, yet you’ll never feel like you’re stuck in a classroom – you’ll immerse yourself in a destination’s culture by embracing the local cuisine. Of course, you’ll eat well, too, on seasonal specialties in some of our favorite restaurants and on luxurious cruise ships…just like you were born to do.
We invite you to check our articles for culinary vacation recommendations…
If you see something you like, or if you would like me to “make your travel dreams come true” – please give a call at 931-484-8228 or Email Me. Thanks so much!
Did you know, a vacation is a terrible thing to waste?
As promised, here is the continuation of my first article...Eat With the Locals in Hawaii
Let’s go to O’hau and Maui………
O’ahu will continually surprise you with all she has to discover. Hawai’i's “Gathering Place” is for visitors who want to indulge their senses and still be able to feel the throbbing heartbeat of Hawai’i's resort excitement.
O’hau is an island of contrasts, a cosmopolitian city back-dropped by two magnificent mountain ranges and home to Diamond Head and the beach that first made these islands famous – Waikiki.
O’hau has more restaurants than all the other islands combined. Picking and choosing is not an easy task, but for fast food that doesn’t taste like fast food, head to the Diamond Head Market & Grill, just outside of Waikiki.
You can grab gourmet items – both inside at the deli or outside at the counter – before you embark on the day’s adventures. Kapi’olani Park is nearby and perfect for a picnic.
Chef and owner Kelvin Ro has assembled a stellar menu…but, craved-after items include blueberry cream-cheese scones and an irresistible portobello mushroom burger perfectly grilled.
Open Daily 7 Days a Week
Hours of Operation: Market/Bakery/Deli: 6:30am-9pm
Grill/breakfast: 7:00am-10:30am Grill/lunch & dinner: 11:00am-9pm
Please note: breakfast ends 10:30am & lunch begins at 11:00am
3158 Monsarrat Ave. Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
(808) 732-0077 fax (808) 732-0088
When readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines were asked to name the “best island destination in the world,” they chose Maui. Not once, mind you, but seven years running.
Let’s face it…the best way to know what a town or city is all about is to immerse yourself in its culture by embracing the local cuisine and its seasonal specialties.
That’s all well and good you say. But how do you find those out of the way places frequented by the locals?
I travel alone most of the time and have been able to develop a nonchalant attitude of bellying up to the bar at a local hotel, pub, or restaurant and getting into conversation with the person next to me. This person is usually a long-time resident and will more than likely know every hot spot in town that is worth a visit. He or she have probably been there, done that. If not, they know someone who has…
As I’m writing, something just came to mind….I have a message for all you single ladies who may be reading this. Come to think of it – married ladies as well… I’m not suggesting taking the “someone” you just met along with you – unless you want to. I’m only saying it’s an effective way to get inside information about where you happen to be at the moment. Believe me – if he’s tall, dark and handsome and wearing an Armani suit and Gucci loafers – he’s probably married!
Here’s a tip: have a pad and pencil in hand while enjoying your beverage of choice…start jotting down notes to yourself and you’ll look the part of a professional writer out on the prowl for new material. Most folks love to brag about their surroundings to strangers…
Guess I got off the beaten path here…sorry Charlie. Let’s give this another try and take off for Hawaii.
Where the locals eat in Hawaii!
When you’re away from home and visiting the islands of Hawaii, where do you go for a good meal? Here are a few suggestions of how you can “immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture.” You’ll just have to guess at my sources…
Lana’i is a world apart from its neighbor islands of Maui and O’hau. It’s 13 miles wide and 18 miles long and is truly “Hawai’i's Secluded Island.”
Remote from the pressures of the outside world – relaxation is the name of the game. Even though Lana’i is fast earning a reputation as a hideaway for the rich and famous, it’s still a place where you can sit back and enjoy the wonders of what was once the “pineapple paradise” of the Hawaiian island chain.
Lana’i may be small, but guests enjoy the best dining experience of two worlds. The elegance of award-winning resort dining or the casual comfort of family-run restaurants in Lana’i City. Here, “drive-in” meals or picnic spots can be created anywhere your four-wheel drive can take you.
May we suggest: Pele’s Other Garden…
Posted on 07. Sep, 2009 by Elaine Johnston.
Nobody said it was going to be easy…
If you are an avid cruiser, you are well aware of how ships are growing in size from one year to the next. The bigger they get, the more people they hold. The more people they hold, the longer the lines are for food service in the buffet, getting into the theater, waiting for a drink, and getting on and off ship while in port.
Once you’re off the ship, it’s than another set of lines waiting to get you on and off sightseeing motor coaches. Sort of like herding sheep. Trying to find the right coach for the right tour is yet another challenge. Cruising is not for wimps…
Relief is on the way!
Any cruiser will tell you that shore excursions are an integral part of the cruise experience. They give you a taste of the destinations beyond port attractions and open up a world of possibilities for enjoyment beyond the decks of the ship. But, as many experienced cruisers will tell you, the excursions offered by the cruise companies are getting stale. Intimate on-shore excursions are in demand – especially for “foodies” looking for new wine and food experiences.
Thanks to companies like ShoreTrips, you can have a broader range of shore excursions than ever before including culinary adventures.
Founded by former travel agents Barry and Julie Kemp, ShoreTrips offers tours that last just long enough for the average port dockage – with a few key differences. They offer the same things the ships offer, but offer it in a smaller way with companies that are passionate and with guides that are trained to be ambassadors of where they live.
ShoreTrips’ goals are simple: to provide a unique and authentic experience of each port in an intimate setting – a drastic contrast to the hundred-person shore excursions offered by most major cruise lines.
One of ShoreTrips’ biggest assets is the thoughtfulness of its founders, who’ve devised exciting excursions based on their love of travel and knowledge of the destination. In Nassau, for example, the Kemps found that clients who didn’t want to spend the day at Atlantis had little else to do during their day at port. So they found a great little hotel called Graycliff, a Relais & Chateaux property that’s within walking distance from the port, and put together a package. For $119 you tour the wine cellar, the third largest in the Caribbean. You then have a multi-course lunch with wine in one of their beautiful dinning rooms. It’s then off to another portion of the building extension that has a cigar rolling factory.
These are experiences most cruiser don’t know about. For passengers looking for a more value-added experience, it’s a winning combination. Instead of racing around the island, you have this tour that’s wonderful, relaxing and affordable.
In Costa Maya, every cruise company has a trip to the ruins. But because ShoreTrips doesn’t require its tour operators to accommodate cruise ship-sized groups, it’s able to give clients a more intimate experience of the attraction. They use two locals who live in the village. They go to the village, meet with the villagers and the kids, and learn to make tortillas. They then sit down to lunch with everybody…
Now…that’s the way to experience a destination.
You can book directly online with ShoreTrips. They are but a click away. Tell them I sent you!
Better yet, you can let me book your cruise and take care of your shore excursions all at the same time. Call me, Elaine Johnston, Culinary Cruises & Tours, at 931-484-8228 or Email Me . I make booking your next vacation easy as pie – even if baking a pie is not one of your favorite things…
Thanks for your time. Have a great day!