AAA Travel Counselor Patty Hoey designed a custom cruise based on these Members’ two passions—wine and travel.
Originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of AAA Traveler.
AAA Travel Counselor Patty Hoey
Photo Credit: Kathy Ray Photography
The members of the Casa Ceja Wine Club aren’t just passionate about wine. They have similar interests when it comes to traveling and sampling new cuisines, too. Many love to dance and listen to live music and would jump at the chance to travel with the owners of their favorite winery. So a few years ago, I began working with Amelia and her husband, Pedro, the owners of Ceja Vineyards, to customize a biennial cruise for the Casa Ceja Wine Club members. I chose to partner with Celebrity Cruises® because of the variety of activities available on board.
The Heavy Lifting
To make the cruise special, we plan exclusive onboard events for the Casa Ceja Wine Club. On the first night, the club members gather with Amelia and Pedro for a welcome reception. We also serve a wine-pairing lunch where everyone tries four to six new wines, one with each course. The wine is different every year, so it’s fun for the members to get to sample the new varieties. Another exclusive event is Amelia’s wine and food demonstration, where she prepares a dish and pairs it with one of her favorite wine varieties.
I accompany the group each year, and by the first night of the cruise, someone usually asks me, “Where are we going next year?” The Cejas are so personable and outgoing and warm. Everybody wants to sail with them.
“We consider our wine club members family, and these cruises are a way to involve them on a more personal level in our lives,” Amelia says. “It’s a time when there’s no stress; we can just share the magic of food, wine and conversation. Our members talk about this cruise with such joy and happiness, and that’s why we keep doing it each year.”
The Ceja family
Photo Credit: Ceja Vineyards