Vacation With DC’s Most Exclusive Celebrity Chefs

Vacation With DC’s Most Exclusive Celebrity Chefs

Escape the winter weather and post-inauguration madness this January for a premier Caribbean getaway with Mike Isabella, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, David Guas, and Derek Brown.

For the first time in six years, Celebrity Cruises is back in the Caribbean year-round, celebrating their return with the first-ever DC Chefs’ Cruise. A unique excursion designed for cruising and food enthusiasts alike, 100 guests will spend a week this January sailing the high seas with four of Washington’s most notable chefs. Nycci Nellis, Celebrity Cruises’ local brand ambassador, is behind the inimitable vacation, a perfectly-timed post-inauguration escape.

Created with the cruise line’s dedication to providing guests with luxurious and modern experiences in mind, the once-in-a-lifetime vacation will take place aboard Celebrity’s newest and nicest ship, the Celebrity Reflection. “My concept… was to bring together fans of our chefs who also enjoy uber-pampered, getaway travel,” says Nellis. “These cruise guests will enjoy a relaxing week getting to know and hang out with our celebrities in exotic settings.”

The trip also aligns with Celebrity’s mission to bring local fare and local talent aboard their ships, and comes at an important time for DC’s thriving culinary scene. Just next month, Washington will become one of only four U.S. cities to be the subject of a current Michelin Guide. “It’s been a big year for DC as a food city,” says Philip Jacobs of Celebrity Cruises. “With all that’s been happening, we really wanted to highlight some of the area’s best chefs.”

The cruise’s star-studded lineup will feature Mike Isabella, recipient of the RAMMY’s 2016 Restaurateur of the Year award and owner of nine Washington-area restaurants; Marjorie-Meek Bradley, Top Chef finalist and head of notable eateries Ripple, Roofer’s Union, and Smoked and Stacked; David Guas, host and co-judge of the Travel Channel’s “American Grilled” and expert of Southern comfort food; and mixologist Derek Brown, co-owner of award winning bars Mockingbird Hill, Southern Efficiency, Eat the Rich, and the Passenger, and owner of the popular Columbia Room.


The once-in-a-lifetime vacation kicks off with a welcome reception on Saturday, January 28, as the ship disembarks from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico. The reception will be the first opportunity for guests and chefs to mix and mingle as they sip on cocktails prepared by Brown and enjoy appetizers courtesy of Isabella, Meek-Bradley, and Guas. Throughout the week, the four will draw on the Caribbean setting for inspiration, incorporating a mix of Haitian, Jamaican, and Mexican cultures into their recipes.

When the ship reaches Cozumel on January 30, members of the Chefs’ Cruise will takeover a private beach for an all-day, exclusive VIP barbecue. The three chefs will cook together while Derek serves cocktails from an open bar. Other activities throughout the week include two one-hour cooking demonstrations – the chefs will be paired off to cook together for onlooking guests – and a four-course, gourmet luncheon complete with a drink of Brown’s choice to pair with every course.

While guests will partake in sumptuous private dining, exclusive cooking classes, private beach BBQ parties and more, the cruise is also a chance for Isabella, Meek-Bradley, Guas, and Brown to get to know their most avid fans. Nellis handpicked these celebrities not only for their national recognition but also for their innate gregarious nature.

“By keeping scheduled activities to a minimum, it will allow the chefs to have more fun with the guests at the bars, by the pool, or during dinner at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants,” says Jacobs.

The Chefs’ Cruise package includes four prepaid dinners at any of the specialty restaurants on board, including Morano, classic French dining with a modern twist; Qsine, a “uniquely unordinary” experience perfect for the adventurous eater; and the Lawn Club Grill, where guests can learn how to grill steaks and make their own pizzas.

Other amenities consist of a spacious stateroom with its own private balcony, a premium beverage package, and a two-story wine tower tour complete with a glass of champagne, all in addition to the exclusive time you’ll spend with four of DC’s most exclusive celebrity chefs.

The DC Chefs’ Cruise sets sail on Saturday, January 28, from Miami, Florida, and travels to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Labadee, Hispaniola before returning to Miami on Saturday, February 4th.

To learn more about the first-ever DC Chef’s Caribbean Culinary Cruise, and to book your winter getaway before space runs out, visit