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Friday, April 19, 2024

Tour and Review of One-Bedroom Suite at the Best Hotel in Blowing Rock, North Carolina: The Embers Hotel

Welcome to our latest adventure! Today, we're thrilled to take you on a virtual tour of one of the most charming destinations we've had the pleasure to visit – Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Nestled in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, this picturesque town is home to the Embers Hotel, a gem of hospitality and luxury and maybe the best hotel in Blowing Rock. Join us as we explore the exquisite details of one of the hotel's finest offerings – Suite number 212.

1. Suite Overview:

Step into Suite 212, and you're greeted with an aura of sophistication and comfort. As the largest room in the Embers Hotel, this suite boasts spacious living quarters that can accommodate up to four guests. Inside you will find a spacious living area and a serene bedroom, seamlessly connected to provide the ultimate in relaxation and convenience. The highlight of this expansive suite is undoubtedly its large bathroom, accessible from both rooms through two entrances, offering a sense of indulgence and privacy unrivaled by traditional accommodations. With adjoining doors and balconies, it offers flexibility for larger groups or families seeking a retreat in the mountains. The convertible sofa in Suite 212 offers additional sleeping arrangements, providing versatility for accommodating extra guests or families traveling together. The attentive staff at Embers Hotel are readily available to assist guests with setting up the convertible sofa, ensuring a seamless transition to a comfortable sleeping area. The mini refrigerator in Suite 212 is spacious enough to accommodate a selection of snacks, beverages, and even a bottle of wine, providing guests with convenient access to refreshments during their stay.

2. Luxurious Amenities:

From the moment you enter, the suite delights with its array of amenities. In the bedroom area, stone-crafted hooks and ample storage reflect the hotel's attention to detail. And let's not forget the cozy sitting area, where a flickering fireplace sets the scene for intimate moments. The bathroom in Suite 212 is nothing short of a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. Adorned with sleek fixtures and bathed in soft, natural light, it beckons guests to unwind after a day of exploration. The centerpiece of this space is undoubtedly the lavish rain shower, which cascades with a gentle, soothing rhythm, transporting guests to a state of tranquility. Premium toiletries from Grown Alchemist, renowned for their quality and sophistication, await guests, providing a sensory journey of pampering and indulgence. As guests retire to the bedroom area, they are greeted by a haven of comfort and elegance. The bed, adorned with plush bedding and crisp linens, promises a restful night's sleep. Sink into the embrace of luxury as you envelop yourself in the soft embrace of the Embers' signature robes and slippers, providing the perfect conclusion to a day of exploration and adventure.

3. Technological Marvels:

Embracing modern comforts, Suite 212 seamlessly integrates technology into its design. Remote-controlled blinds, flat-screen televisions, and adjustable fireplace settings cater to guests' preferences with the touch of a button. These innovations enhance the overall experience, blending convenience with elegance. Throughout Suite 212, convenience meets sophistication with multiple outlets strategically placed to accommodate guests' modern needs. From USB ports beside the bedside stands to HDMI and USBC outlets near the flat-screen televisions, every detail is thoughtfully designed to ensure seamless connectivity and functionality.

4. Dual Balcony Delights:

Step outside onto the suite's balconies, and you're greeted with sweeping views of downtown Blowing Rock. Whether you prefer a private retreat or a gathering space with friends, these outdoor sanctuaries offer the perfect setting. Rocking chairs and occasional tables beckon you to unwind amidst the beauty of the High Country.

5. Expansive Accommodations: Combining Suites for Additional Space

For guests seeking an even more spacious retreat, Suite 212 offers the unique option of combining with the adjacent room, effectively doubling its capacity. By unlocking the adjoining door and balcony, guests can seamlessly merge the two suites into a sprawling haven for up to six individuals. This flexibility caters to larger groups or families traveling together, providing ample space to spread out and unwind in the comfort of Embers Hotel's luxurious accommodations. Whether it's a family reunion or a group getaway, the ability to combine suites ensures that every guest's needs are met with grace and style.

6. Restaurant: The Hearth

Let's not forget the culinary treasure awaiting guests at Embers Hotel: its onsite restaurant. Amidst Blowing Rock's hospitality landscape, where such amenities are rare, this addition elevates the experience to a new level of convenience and luxury. With locally sourced ingredients and a menu designed to delight, dining here becomes an unforgettable journey of flavors and indulgence, ensuring every moment of your stay is truly exceptional.


Our journey through Suite 212 at the Embers Hotel has been nothing short of enchanting. From its opulent amenities to its technological marvels, every aspect of this space exudes luxury and comfort. Whether you're seeking a romantic getaway, a family retreat, or simply a moment of tranquility in nature, this suite offers an unparalleled experience. As we bid farewell to Blowing Rock, we carry with us memories of warmth, hospitality, and the promise of future adventures. Join us again soon as we continue to explore the world's hidden treasures. Until next time, happy travels!

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Breaking News: Star Princess Delivery Delayed, Nine Cruises Canceled!

Prepare to navigate through breaking news in the world of luxury cruising. Today, we unveil a headline that's causing ripples across the seas: the Star Princess delivery has hit a snag, leading to the cancellation of nine eagerly awaited voyages. As passengers grapple with this surprising turn of events, let's dive into the details from the official press release. Moreover, recent feedback regarding the Sun Princess sheds light on passenger frustrations, suggesting Princess Cruises is keen to avoid a repeat scenario.

In a startling revelation, Princess Cruises and esteemed shipbuilder Fincantieri have jointly declared a delay in the delivery of the Star Princess. This decision, made after a thorough evaluation of construction milestones, has caught the cruising community off guard, resulting in the abrupt cancellation of nine inaugural voyages.

Quoting from the press release, "Despite our collective dedication and relentless pursuit to deliver the ship in late July, it has become evident that additional time is required to ensure the Star Princess is delivered to the highest standards expected by our guests," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises.

Recent feedback regarding the Sun Princess adds fuel to the fire, indicating passenger dissatisfaction with the vessel's readiness. Complaints highlight the absence of promised shows in the Dome and Arena, leaving travelers disheartened upon arrival. Some have expressed disappointment over Princess Cruises' response, with compensation offered failing to appease disgruntled guests.

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Reflecting on our own experiences, we recall the disappointment of the canceled February 8, 2024, Sun Princess cruise. However, just as we were able to salvage our plans with a later March voyage, there's hope on the horizon for those affected by this latest development.


As the maritime community navigates this unexpected twist, it's evident that Princess Cruises is keen to prevent history from repeating itself. With passenger satisfaction at the forefront, the cruise line is undoubtedly working tirelessly to ensure the Star Princess sets sail smoothly when the time comes. Stay tuned for further updates as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Unveiling the Luxury Spa Experience Aboard the Sun Princess: Lotus Spa, Enclave, Thermal Suite, and Salon

Welcome aboard the Sun Princess, where luxury meets relaxation in the Lotus Spa. Embark on a journey with us as we explore the tranquil oasis nestled within the heart of this magnificent vessel. From rejuvenating treatments to exclusive amenities, the Lotus Spa promises an unforgettable experience for all who seek solace at sea.

Subheadings for this post:

  1. Lotus Spa: A Haven of Serenity
  2. The Enclave: Where Luxury Knows No Bounds
  3. The Salon: Elevating Beauty and Wellness
  4. Questions and Answers: Your Guide to the Lotus Spa Experience
  5. Conclusion: Sail into Serenity

See our full video tour here!

    Staircase between levels
  1. Relaxation Room in Spa

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Lotus Spa: A Haven of Serenity: Located mid-ship on Deck 5, the Lotus Spa invites guests to unwind and indulge in a plethora of rejuvenating treatments. From massages to facials, acupuncture to fillers, the Lotus Spa caters to both couples and solo travelers seeking a moment of tranquility amidst the ocean's embrace. And this is a first for us: IV therapy is offered in the Lotus Spa!

The Enclave: Where Luxury Knows No Bounds: Venture upstairs to Deck 6, and you'll discover the Enclave (also referred to as the Thermal Suite – an exclusive sanctuary dedicated to relaxation and rejuvenation. Immerse yourself in the soothing warmth of heated stone loungers or indulge in the therapeutic waters of the hydrotherapy pool. With amenities like a dry sauna, Himalayan salt room (exclusive to the Sun Princess) and sensory showers, the Enclave promises an unparalleled spa experience. This is the level where you will check in for any treatment or the Enclave.

Sensory Showers

Heated Stone Loungers

The Salon: Elevating Beauty and Wellness: Located on Deck 18, the salon offers a range of beauty and wellness services designed to pamper and indulge. From hairstyling to teeth whitening, lashes to makeup, the salon is a sanctuary of self-care amidst the ocean's vast expanse. Featuring premium products like Kerastase, the salon ensures that every guest leaves feeling rejuvenated and radiant.

Questions and Answers: Your Guide to the Lotus Spa Experience:

  1. What is the price for the thermal suite?

    • The price for accessing the thermal suite varies but typically falls between $20 to $30 per passenger per day. It's recommended to pre-book access for the entire cruise through the cruise personalizer for guaranteed availability.
  2. Is the thermal suite included with Signature Collection Suites?

    • Unlike the Signature Sun Deck in the Sanctuary, the thermal suite is not included with Signature Collection Suites. However, Platinum and Elite members can enjoy a 10% discount on Lotus Spa treatments.
  3. Can you buy a day pass for the thermal suite?

    • Yes, day passes for the thermal suite are available, but primarily for port days, and they come at an additional cost. Pricing and availability may vary and on our cruise it was $49 per day, so it's advisable to inquire with the spa staff for the most up-to-date information.
  4. Is the thermal suite included with a spa treatment?

    • While guests are encouraged to arrive early and relax in the thermal suite before their treatment, access to the thermal suite is an additional charge and is not typically included with spa treatments. Since pricing is dynamic, the pricing and availability of combined packages may vary, so it's recommended to check with the spa staff for specific details. We asked on board, how much additional it would cost with a treatment and could not be given an answer.
  5. Is there a gratuity?

    • Gratuity is added to all treatment bills at a rate of 18%. However, there's no gratuity associated with the use of the thermal suite. Guests have the option to tip extra if they wish.
  6. Do the spa employees try to upsell you?

    • Yes, spa employees may suggest additional products or services, but there's no obligation to purchase. Guests can also find spa products, by Elemis and Kerastase online, potentially at discounted rates. We usually buy at eBay or Amazon.

These questions provide valuable insights into planning your spa experience aboard the Sun Princess, ensuring you make the most of your time at sea.

Conclusion: Sail into Serenity: As we bid adieu to the Lotus Spa aboard the Sun Princess, we invite you to embark on your own journey of relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you seek solace in the Enclave's tranquil waters or indulge in a pampering session at the salon, the Lotus Spa promises an unparalleled experience at sea. So, set sail and discover the epitome of luxury aboard the Sun Princess. Our recommendation is that if you think you may want to use the Sanctuary, book it ahead of time on the app, secure your spot and potentially save money. On our cruise a day pass for a port day, when many of us go ashore, was twice as much as the per day cost of rebooking for the entire cruise. Check out booking options for the sun princess at Princess Cruises.

With that, we conclude our exploration of the Lotus Spa and eagerly await our next voyage into serenity. Until then, may your travels be filled with meaningful moments and rejuvenating experiences.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Sailing into Luxury: Unveiling the Sun Princess with Hannah Waddingham as Godmother

In the world of cruising, Princess Cruises stands as a beacon of sophistication and opulence, offering travelers unforgettable voyages across the seas. Now, as they prepare to welcome their latest addition to the fleet, the Sun Princess, the stage is set for a new era of maritime luxury. From the enchanting naming ceremony to the innovative features onboard, let's embark on a journey to discover the unparalleled elegance of the Sun Princess.

From Princess Cruises

Hannah Waddingham: A Star-Studded Godmother Award-winning actress and performer Hannah Waddingham graces the Sun Princess as its official Godmother, adding a touch of glamour to the time-honored maritime tradition. Joining an esteemed group of Princess ship Godparents, Waddingham's selection underscores her status as a beloved figure in the entertainment world, promising an unforgettable christening ceremony at the Port of Barcelona on April 23, 2024. Renowned as an award-winning actress and singer, Waddingham has captivated audiences with her portrayal of Rebecca Welton in Apple TV+'s hit series "Ted Lasso." Her performance has earned her critical acclaim, including a Primetime Emmy and multiple nominations for prestigious awards like the Golden Globe and BAFTA. With an impressive resume spanning across television, film, and stage, Waddingham's presence adds a touch of sophistication and allure to the Sun Princess.

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A Symphony of Staterooms: Luxury Redefined Entertainment isn't just confined to the stage on the Sun Princess; it extends to the comfort and luxury of its staterooms. From cozy cabins to lavish suites, every accommodation is meticulously designed to provide an unforgettable experience at sea. For those seeking the pinnacle of indulgence, the Signature Collection Mini Suites offer an exclusive retreat. We have a full tour of a Reserve Collection Mini Suite on our channel where we stayed, but guests staying in Signature Collection Suites are treated to the serene Sanctuary onboard, included in their package—a perfect escape for relaxation and rejuvenation during the voyage.

Culinary Delights: A Feast for the Senses Sun Princess serves up a culinary extravaganza with 30 inviting restaurant and bar venues, boasting an unprecedented collection of celebrity collaborations and high-end ingredients. From Spellbound by Magic Castle to Love by Britto, each dining experience is a culinary journey like no other. Guests can indulge in exquisite dishes crafted by renowned chefs, including Dario Cecchini and Rudi Sodamin, ensuring a gastronomic adventure with every bite.


Entertainment Extravaganza: The Ultimate Spectacle The Princess Arena takes center stage as the most technologically advanced theater at sea, offering showstopping and original productions that dazzle audiences. Meanwhile, The Dome astonishes with acrobatic Cirque Éloize performances, and the Piazza mesmerizes with its retractable stage and immersive Cascading Waterfall. Whether it's a captivating show or a breathtaking performance, entertainment onboard the Sun Princess is nothing short of extraordinary.

Conclusion: As Hannah Waddingham prepares to christen the Sun Princess, she not only adds her name to the illustrious list of Princess Godparents but also symbolizes the timeless allure and sophistication of Princess Cruises' newest "Love Boat." From the luxurious staterooms to the culinary delights and entertainment extravaganza, the Sun Princess promises an unforgettable journey across the seas. With its blend of elegance, innovation, and sustainability, it redefines the cruising experience for generations to come, ensuring that every moment onboard is infused with luxury, comfort, and unparalleled hospitality.