After a nearly ten-year absence, international beach volleyball returned to American shores for the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, CA, from July 22-28. Featuring both an International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) grand slam event and a new “World Series Cup,” which pitted top international competitors against the best of the U.S. , the event drew out volleyball fans in droves to the picturesque Long Beach waterfront, which also hosted live music, street food and interactive booths throughout the week.
While the sand was hot and the volleyball action even hotter, Celebrity Cruises was kind enough to invite us up to cool off in the VIP section with some refreshments and a sampling of their new AquaSpa Café menu. A non-alcoholic “Cranberry Mule” made with ginger beer and muddled mint leaves provided a perfect respite from the summer heat, while chilled dishes like fluke ceviche and whole wheat orecchiette with arugula-walnut pesto were light enough that we didn’t feel bad about coming back for seconds.
Down on the sand, Celebrity Cruises offered more substantial meals at its gourmet food truck, which featured selections from the menus of its onboard restaurants. Tasty entrées like BBQ baby back pork spring rolls and a hot-and-spicy beef crêpe proved that cruise food can be creative. VIP guests feeling worn out after a long day in the sun were happy to indulge in complimentary rub-downs from qualified massage therapists at a massage station right next to the truck.
However, although distractions abounded both in the VIP booth and on the beach, the real attraction remained on the court. Packed stands decked out in red, white and blue cheered on as both the American men’s and women’s teams emerged victorious from Sunday’s World Series Cup — and we can assure you we were cheering just as loudly from the VIP section, ceviche and Cranberry Mules in hand. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to wait another ten years for professional volleyball to return stateside!
For more information, visit www.wsobv.com
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