Imagine Cruising Special Event
An evening with Katherine Jenkins Review
Do you love cruising but sometimes wish it had that extra element, that certain something that takes it from a great holiday to something that you will never forget. Well let us introduce you to Imagine Cruising!
Imagine cruising work in conjunction with various well known cruise lines and depending on where in the world your cruise is heading they can tailor make a package that will take your holiday to another level. In the last 3 years Imagine Cruising customers have enjoyed insider luncheons with Martin Brundle and trackside access to the biggest Formula 1 events around the world, enjoyed packages to the Australian Tennis Open, and have danced under the stars with an event in Bali with 80’s icons Toyah, Marc Almond, Midge Ure, Belinda Carlisle and T’Pau. It seems if you can dream it there’s a fair chance that Imagine Cruising can do it!
We were delighted to be invited to an Imagine Cruising experience and our event was an Evening with Katherine Jenkins for a concert and gala dinner in a castle in Rome. For disclosure purposes, we would like to say a massive thank you to Imagine Cruising for inviting us on this trip. All opinions in this post are our own and Imagine Cruising did not have any control over our content.
We arrived in Rome and were whisked off by private transfer to the five star Ambasciatori palace Hotel, this Neo-renaissance style hotel dates back to the early 1900s and was original used to accommodate ambassadors from around the globe. Found on the Via Veneto it became world famous after the street was featured in the classic Fedirico Fellini film La Dolce Vita with high profile guests including old blue eyes himself Frank Sinatra, Peter O’toole and Audrey Hepburn just to name a few.
The Imagine team were there to welcome us and within minutes we were all checked in. We jumped in the lift and excitedly headed up to our room. It was everything we’d hoped it would be and much more. Click the link in the related reading and videos section below to have a look around this beautiful hotel and our room.
The Ambasciatori Palace hotel is stunning and to say we were impressed would be a massive understatement. Beautiful furniture and artwork are everywhere you look and a spectacular staircase with a red carpet leads you up all the floors. Location is superb too and as we were only in Rome for 2 days it was the perfect spot to explore Rome by foot with our travel companions Emma Cruises and her lovely Mum Gaynor.
After exploring this fascinating city, the time had come for us to attend the special event and we were taken by private transfer to Bracciano about an hour outside of Rome.
We arrived at Castello Odescalchi and were welcomed into the castle by the Imagine Crusing team. We turned a corner and were presented with a fanfare and a red carpet leading to the entrance of the castle.
As we ascended the carpet we really did feel like VIP’s with the guard of honour playing and the fantastic views over to Lake Bracciano. By the time we reached the entrance tears of joy had already appeared.
We were escorted to the stunning castle gardens where there was a lovely garden party style reception laid out before us. We enjoyed a glass of bubbly and a beer while speaking to the other Imagine Cruising guests who were just as thrilled at being here as we were.
We were introduced to Robin Deller, the CEO of Imagine Cruising, he really was delightful and immediately made us feel at ease. He showed us the amazing views over Lake Bracciano and told us about his vision for Imagine Cruising. He was so enthusiastic about the Imagine Cruising events and told us that no matter how popular any particular event would become he will never over subscribe to ensure that it will always feel extra special.
We then enjoyed a performance from the flag bearing guards who had earlier welcomed us into the castle and really were a very talented bunch. With the finale showcasing one of the flag bearers juggling a ridiculous amount of flags using not just his arms but his legs as well! It really was a great show.
After a few more glasses of bubbles in the stunning gardens, we were taken into the castle and had the privilege of meeting Mark Vincent who would be performing with Katherine Jenkins. Mark is a very talented opera singer who 10 years ago at the tender age of 15 won Australia’s Got Talent. He gave us a lovely warm welcome and we could see he was genuinely excited to be performing at this amazing location. He was such a lovely guy and it was such a pleasure to meet him.
It was time for dinner and we we were asked to go through to the grand dining room. It was beautifully laid out and Jonathan Wilkes the brilliant all round entertainer and Master of Ceremonies for this event introduced us to a quartet of local musicians who played some beautiful classical music, perfectly setting the scene for the Gala dinner that we were about to enjoy.
Our gala dinner was served, the food was excellent and we really enjoyed the company on our table. It was interesting to learn that for some of the guests it was the end of their holiday but for others they still had more destinations to enjoy and the beauty of Imagine Cruising is you can build your holiday to suit your individual needs.
It was now time for the main event and walking into the courtyard just took our breath away. The lighting and atmosphere was just perfect. We were given lovely fluffy blankets should we need them and we found our seats in row D just 4 rows from the front.
Jonathan Wilkes was the ultimate host and introduced us to the first part of the concert with Mark Vincent. Mark gave a powerful performance and soon had us all reaching for our tissues with his phenomenal voice and stage presence. He seemed very humbled by the whole experience which really came across in his performance.
Mark’s show was over far to quickly and before we knew it Jonathan Wilkes appeared again to introduce the star of the night Katherine Jenkins. The music started and Katherine appeared at the top of the staircase. She then descended the stairs singing beautifully, it really was like something out of a fairy tale.
She reached the stage and looked an absolute vision in her stunning yellow gown and before very long the tissues were back out. In between the incredible songs she really engaged with the audience and told us some wonderful stories including one about her father. Her performance was absolutely mesmerising, with songs from opera, musicals and the world of pop, which also included a fantastic duet with Mark.
The grand finale being a wonderful rendition of the Vera Lynn Classic We’ll Meet Again, where she left the stage and walked amongst the audience and encouraged us all to sing. It really was a magical moment!
Unfortunately Katherine’s performance had come to an end but we still had one special treat left. A VIP Question and Answer session with both Mark and Katherine, hosted by the lovely Jonathan Wilkes. It was such a privilege to be sat in the front row and get up so close but being honest we were a little bit star struck and couldn’t think of anything to ask. Luckily there were lots of other people who had some great questions including one marriage proposal! Unfortunately Katherine turned him down!
Our evening had come to an end or so we thought! We were told to take a seat while we waiting for our transfer to the hotel when the door opened and Jonathan Wilkes appeared. He came over and we had a lovely chat. What a top man he is, and such a lovely guy!
It was time for us to leave and as we descended the red carpet out of the castle the Imagine Cruising staff were there to bid us farewell. Lining the walkway with their Imagine Cruising flags we particularly enjoyed some fun banter with Ben Brown who like all the Imagine Cruising staff we encountered during this evening were a credit to the company.
Imagine cruising vision to introduce something genuinely different to the world of cruising has certainly been achieved. We had imagined this evening was going to be special but in all of our 50 plus years we have never experienced anything like this before, and it will live forever in our memories!
Make sure you visit the Imagine Cruising website here and book your Imagine Cruising Experience, we know you will not be disappointed!
Imagine Cruising Facts –
Imagine Cruising was founded in 2011 by Robin Deller, Chief Executive of the Imagine Cruising Group. Prior to launching this Robin created cruise and ski specialist , FastTrack Holidays, which was sold to Virgin Holidays in 2008.
Imagine Cruising is a global business operating in the UK, Germany, South Africa, Dubai, Australia and New Zealand and has backing with the Emirates group. They have strong industry partnerships with leading ocean and river cruise lines and offer competitive and value for money by intelligently combining a range of holiday elements and experiences into one price.
Related Reading and Videos
Imagine Cruising Special Event Video Review
Our Review and Room Tour at the Ambasciatori Palace Hotel
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