THE FUNNY THING... about cruise ship parties is, well, they tend to be on cruise ships. If you think of a giant blowout under a cruise company banner, you're apt to think of decks, ballrooms, and miles upon miles of ocean blue. So the question, then, is this: Can a cruise company party on terra firma? And not just docked, but, rather, can a cruise head inland and throw down, all in the name of an important organization? Not only can they, but they shall. Celebrity Cruises is organizing "the industry's first land-based wine and food festival," and it is indeed happening off the waves, at the Great Park in Irvine.
DATES AND DETAILS: It's happening the final Saturday in May -- that's the 31st -- from 2 to 5 p.m. The beneficiary? That's LegalAid of Orange County, a nonprofit which "provides free and low-cost legal services to individuals of Southern California who might otherwise be denied access to justice." A ticket? That's $75, if you buy it before the end of April (helloooo, early bird special, we like you so). After that, it's a hundred dollars. As for the vino and eat-o specialists joining in on the first Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival? The list is as long as cruise-style buffet: Malibu Rocky Oaks, Alaskan Brewing Company, Freemark Abbey, and Round Pond are some of the outfits bringing up the beverage end of things; Slapfish and Clay Oven are two of the food-nice participants.
AS FAR AS... dressing cruise-style, even though you'll be on firm earth? That's up to you. Linen pants and sunhats work well in Irvine and on the Pacific. Though rocking a cheeky captain's-style hat or marine-fancy dress could bring an ocean breeze to the land-based live-it-up.