By Jean Strauber, Travel Editor
Caesars Palace: Celine Dion at The Colosseum
Celine Dion’s show at The Colosseum, directed by long time GRAMMY’s producer Ken Ehrlich, features 31 musicians in a full orchestra and band and includes Celine’s biggest hits mixed with timeless classics. The new show, a visually stunning presentation, pays tribute to some of the most celebrated songs and artists of all time. December 28 to December 31 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $55 to $250. To purchase tickets, call (702) 866-1410 or go to www.caesarspalace.com.
The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino: David Copperfield at the Hollywood Theatre
Considered one of the greatest illusionists of all time, David Copperfield (pictured, left) has been seen by audiences worldwide on television and in his critically acclaimed Broadway show, “Dreams and Nightmares.” He will present two shows at 7:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m., and on Saturday, December 31 there will be an additional show at 4:30 pm. Tickets range from $83.40 to $226.40. To purchase tickets call (702) 891-1111 or go to www.mgmgrandhotel.com.
Cruisin’ Down the River
The Great American Steamboating Company has offered the chance to relive the era of steam boating by taking one of their Delta Queen Steamboat cruises on the Mississippi River or Ohio rivers since the 1990s. Today, the company has expanded upon these adventures to include shore excursions, with the chance to explore ports of call like New Orleans, Natchez, Hannibal, Chattanooga and Pittsburgh, to name just a few. Once on board you’ll step back in time to an era of grace and civility, luxury and elegance, with the warm inviting atmosphere of antebellum charm. Accommodations vary from a suite with beautiful windowed French doors that open onto the deck or veranda for a commanding view of the river; a Superior Outside Stateroom with windowed French doors opening onto the deck or veranda; Outside Deluxde Outside Staterooms with a view of the river from a bay window or from French doors that open onto the deck; Outside Deluxe Windows with a floor to ceiling bay window; or an Inside Stateroom.
You’ll find ample storage space, in-room Starbucks coffee along with complimentary bottled water and fresh fruit, and a private bathroom with shower. Other highlights on the three- to 10-night voyages include shore excursions, complimentary soft drinks, wines and beers with dinners, a champagne welcome reception and gala dinner, and even hot and cold canapes at cocktail hour every evening. The American Steamboating Company is offering special theme voyages. Among them are: A Kentucky Derby voyage, which offers the experience of watching the Derby parades and festivities in Louisville. The American Queen departs Cincinnati on May 4 and calls at Louisville and Madison before returning Cincinnati on May 8th. Included in the price of the voyage are tickets to the Kentucky Derby or the special Derby Day party. To help you get into the spirit, you’ll find plenty of mint juleps to help you get into the spirit for the “Run of the Roses,” the first leg of a horse’s climb for the Triple Crown.
An Old-Fashioned Fourth of July can be yours on the Independence Day-themed cruise. Departing from Memphis, Tennessee on June 28th, this voyage includes visits to New Madrid (MO), Paducah (KY) and Cape Girardeau (MO), and arrives in St. Louis in time to view the fireworks display over the famed St. Louis Arch. Civil War Vacations during which renowned historians will share their expertise. Shore excursions include guided tours of the battlefields where so many in blue or gray gave their lives. On these 10-night adventures you’ll find reenactments, balladeers and field trips while you travel between two major Civil War sites Vicksburg and Chattanooga. Big Band Vacations with special orchestras getting you “in the mood” by playing all the tunes so many of older folk know so well, and in the original arrangements that are today’s classics.
The music of Ellington, Miller, Shaw, Basie and Goodman will be featured throughout the two voyages, July 27 to August 3 and August 3 to 10. The July 27 voyage departs from Pittsburgh with ports of call in Wheeling (WV), Marietta (OH), Point Pleasant (WV), Maysville (OH), Cincinnati (OH) and Madison (IND) before you disembark in Louisville (KY). If selecting the August 3 voyage on the Mississippi River, you embark in Louisville (KY) and will disembark in Vicksburg (MI) after visiting Henderson (KY), Paducah (KY), New Madrid (MO) and Memphi (TN). – Fall Colors Vacations allow you to enjoy nature’s reds, oranges and golds as the steamboat traverses the Upper Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers in the autumn. Guest naturalists on shore excursions will add to your enjoyment of the colors. The Fall Color Vacations even include traditional fall foods such as pumpkin pie and hot spiced cider.
Some of these voyages originate from St. Paul (MN) with ports of call including Hannibal (MO), the home of Mark Twain, on the way to your disembarking port, St. Louis (MO). Be sure to visit the Mark Twain boyhood home and museum while in Hannibal. Other cities may include (depending on the length of the voyage) Red Wing (MN), Dubuque (IA), Davenport (IA), Burlington (IA) , Lake Pepin (MN), and La Crosse (MN). – Southern Culture cruises include visits to the towns that inspired the literary giants William Faulkner, Flannery O’Conner, Tennessee Williams, and Harper Lee. The cruises range from 5 to 8 days and, depending on the length of the cruise, will visit the cities of Oak Valley (LA), St. Francisville (LA), Natchez (MI), Vicksburg (MI), Houmas House (LA), and Baton Rouge (LA.) – While on the Holiday Vacations, passengers view southern plantation homes in their traditional holiday dress. In the time-honored Cajun tradition, there will be spectacular bonfires along the levees to light the way for Papa Noel. While singing Christmas carols you’ll raise your glasses of eggnog in celebration of Christmas on the river. Fares run from $995 (3-day; Inside Stateroom) to $8,495 (10-Day Luxurious Suite) per person, double occupancy. For more information you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org/trvlwritr2@ aol.com or consult your travel professional.