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Travel expert offers “Top Chef” cruise passengers advice on the best things to do in Key West

(KEY WEST) December 20, 2012 – On April 12, 2013, the Port of Key West will welcome around 4,000 passengers, half of whom will arrive on the much-publicized “Top Chef” cruise. Carnival Celebrity Constellation will arrive at the Port of Key West at 7:30 a.m. and depart at 1:30 p.m., giving passengers just a few hours to sample the island’s tourist attractions and culinary delights.

Top Chef: The Cruise is inspired by the popular Bravo Television reality cooking competition “Top Chef.” Presented by Bravo Media and Celebrity Cruises, the four-day cruise will feature “interactive ‘Quickfire’ cooking challenges, culinary demonstrations, question-and-answer sessions, and Top Chef menus,” according to TopChefTheCruise.com.

Carnival Victory also arrives at 7:30 in the morning on April 12, and departs just after the Top Chef cruise, meaning that thousands of visitors will all be vying for the island’s limited supply of electric cars, scooters and excursion tickets in a five-hour period. Without booking ahead, many of those passengers may be disappointed, notes local tourism expert Natalie Hudson, of ToursKeyWest.com.

“There are only a certain number of excursions available when the Celebrity Constellation and Victory are in port,” says Hudson. We expect parasailing, snorkeling trips, jet ski island tours and glass bottom boat tours to be the best bets for the Top Chef and Carnival Victory cruise passengers. We also expect a lot of demand for Electric car rentals and scooter rentals, which are available for as little as two or three hours at a time.”

You have to book early to get those attractions, says Hudson. “Remember, nearly 4,000 people will arrive in Key West at the same time,” she notes. “Whenever we have this many visitors arrive at once, someone is bound to be disappointed, and we hate to tell people that we can’t get them tickets to the excursions they were counting on. So we always encourage cruise ship passengers to book as early as possible to guarantee availability.” Another benefit of booking early–”you can save as much as half the cost of excursion tickets if you book them yourself instead of booking through your cruise ship,” notes Hudson.

ToursKeyWest.com offers booking services for nearly eighty Key West tours, activities, rentals and attractions, says Hudson. “So even if your first choice of excursions sells out, we may still be able to help you. There are hundreds of excursions on this island to choose from. Even if we don’t have an attraction listed on our website, we can still help you make your reservations,” Hudson says. “Our motto is ‘We make fun easy,’ and we really mean it. Our travel concierge service is totally free, and is perfect for passengers arriving in large groups; for families; and for visitors with special needs or disabilities.”

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For more information about Key West attractions, hotels, and transportation for cruise ship visitors, visit ToursKeyWest.com or call 866-667-4386.

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