Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Has anyone attended a wine tasting on RCL? We're on Navigator next month and we have enjoyed tastings in settings other than cruise lines and thought we might give this a try. Anything you can tell us on price, number of wines samples, quality of wine and commentary would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we did the wine tasting when we were on the Granduer last December. It was the first time i had ever done one, so I have nothing to compare it to ...yet..lol

 

I believe the price was 9.95 pp, but we had C & A coupons for it, so it was complimentary.

I belive we did 6 wines (3 red, 3 whites) nothing really spectacular I would think but a decent offereing of different wines available on the ship. I was able to find out which ones I definitly did not like...lol

 

they went over the different types of wine tastings that are usually offered, what the wines we were doing were, the differences between them, how to properly do the whole cork thing (and what you are checking for) etc.

for us it was a nice way to spend the afternoon and learn about wine (which we were just starting to appreciate)

 

;) Kyra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a nice way to try several wines to see if you might wish to order any of them for dinner. I would not pay to attend, but have always gone with the C&A coupon for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We tried it on the Explorer a few weeks back. The wines were not very good and the talks not all that informative.

If you have know about wines already, and have other things to do, I would say skip it.

 

I really enjoyed the cruise. But in general, the wine was really overpriced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

schplinky: what's your "wine quotient"? In other words, are you wine-knowledgeable? If you are, the primary reason to attend is for the amusement value. Sit quietly, don't taste the swill they serve, but listen to the inexperienced and uneducated palates around you. It's hilarious!

 

jctf, the above poster, is 100% correct.

 

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the Navigator, there are wine tastings at Vintages on Deck 5. We went once. Sorry, I don't remember what we paid for it. We tasted 6 wines - 3 reds and 3 whites.

 

We're not talking wine country here. It was a nice way to spend some time with my husband doing an adult activity. It was very low key and we enjoyed it.

 

Hopefully Voyager has them, too, so we can try it again next month!

 

Robin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On the Navigator, there are wine tastings at Vintages on Deck 5. We went once. Sorry, I don't remember what we paid for it. We tasted 6 wines - 3 reds and 3 whites.

 

We're not talking wine country here. It was a nice way to spend some time with my husband doing an adult activity. It was very low key and we enjoyed it.

 

Hopefully Voyager has them, too, so we can try it again next month!

 

Robin

 

That sounds like you perhaps purchased what is called a "Red and white flight"? Was that actually in a group tasting? A lot of restaurants offer the flights, which are a nice way to taste a variety of wines. Most times those are in 2 oz. pours. Good way to take your taste buds on a little tour! You may get lucky and find real gem!

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the bigger ships there are two wine tastings, and I don't think they are particularly different. One is the C&A tasting, and it is free with your coupon. The other is open to everyone and I haven't been since 2001 on the Radiance and it was $5. I have attended two C&A since then since anytime they are offering me free wine I am drinking. Clearly the somoliers are not exactly speaking at a high level on the wine IQ scale. Still free wine, I am there! The wines are pretty average, reflecting the basic wines on the menu. A few whites, a couple of reds and a sparkling.

 

jc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vintages (in the Promenade on Mariner and Navigator) offers a few "instructed" wine tastings during the week (not sure of charge). There is also the traditional RCCL wine tasting held in the dining room (this is the only place your C&A coupon will be honored).

 

Vintages also offers the opportunity to try a wide variety of wines on your own thru flights (3 or 4 two oz. pours with something in common - e.g., all Australian, all Merlot, all Mondavi, etc.). Bartenders in Vintages will also do a 2 oz pour of anything on the wine menu, allowing you to taste something without doing an entire flight or risking getting an full glass of something you don't enjoy.

 

One flight to watch out for is the one that claims to have 4 wines priced over $100/bottle -- by reviewing the Vintages menu you will find this is not accurate. Of the 4 pours, 2 are from bottles priced at less than $50. After ordering this (6 of us in a group of 10) we started flipping thru the menu and realized this. We pointed this out to our bartender who took the matter to the head "winetender", who turned us over to the ship's assistant bar manger -- he apologized, said few people order that flight and that it had never been pointed out, and offered us a free glass of wine and promised to point out the false advertising to the RCCL offices shoreside...so perhaps it's ben fixed?? But beware -- check the by-the-glass prices of the wines you are ordering to make sure a flight is your best deal.

 

On Navigator in November '04 we also learned that any of the wines on the Vintages menu can be ordered by the bottle for delivery to your dinner table -- Just stop by Vintages in the afternnon and pre-order (there are many selections on the Vintages menu not on the dining room wine list).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My last cruise wine tasting was my last.

 

I love a good glass of wine. (not always expensive, but good) and I was with one of my friends that lives in the Russian River Valley, so we both have some "experience"....

 

They gave us ONE glass. That was for all the wines. So if you tried one and didn't like it, you had nowhere to get rid of it before they came around with another one. We kept getting up and getting water glasses (empty and set up for dinner at the tables away from the wine tasting area) so we weren't drinking red and white mixed. I don't care for "blush" wines at all. They did offer one and I said no to the server and he poured it in my glass anyway.

 

I agree with Merion Mom, it's fun for the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That doesn't sound like a good experience at all. I have been to wine tasting where they only had one glass but at least they provided a waste container to dump out any wine you didn't like. Mixing the reds and whites to end up with a blush just doesn't sound like a good idea.

 

Have a great next cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My last cruise wine tasting was my last.

 

I love a good glass of wine. (not always expensive, but good) and I was with one of my friends that lives in the Russian River Valley, so we both have some "experience"....

 

They gave us ONE glass. That was for all the wines. So if you tried one and didn't like it, you had nowhere to get rid of it before they came around with another one. We kept getting up and getting water glasses (empty and set up for dinner at the tables away from the wine tasting area) so we weren't drinking red and white mixed. I don't care for "blush" wines at all. They did offer one and I said no to the server and he poured it in my glass anyway.

 

I agree with Merion Mom, it's fun for the experience.

 

Hmmm...sounds like a good idea to stop by the Windjammer for an empty cup and a bottle of water before heading into the tasting.

Then at least you can swish out the "not exactly top notch" type wine with the water and have your own little spit bucket handy!

Thanks for the heads up!!! :)

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vintages (in the Promenade on Mariner and Navigator) offers a few "instructed" wine tastings during the week (not sure of charge). There is also the traditional RCCL wine tasting held in the dining room (this is the only place your C&A coupon will be honored).

 

Vintages also offers the opportunity to try a wide variety of wines on your own thru flights (3 or 4 two oz. pours with something in common - e.g., all Australian, all Merlot, all Mondavi, etc.). Bartenders in Vintages will also do a 2 oz pour of anything on the wine menu, allowing you to taste something without doing an entire flight or risking getting an full glass of something you don't enjoy.

 

One flight to watch out for is the one that claims to have 4 wines priced over $100/bottle -- by reviewing the Vintages menu you will find this is not accurate. Of the 4 pours, 2 are from bottles priced at less than $50. After ordering this (6 of us in a group of 10) we started flipping thru the menu and realized this. We pointed this out to our bartender who took the matter to the head "winetender", who turned us over to the ship's assistant bar manger -- he apologized, said few people order that flight and that it had never been pointed out, and offered us a free glass of wine and promised to point out the false advertising to the RCCL offices shoreside...so perhaps it's ben fixed?? But beware -- check the by-the-glass prices of the wines you are ordering to make sure a flight is your best deal.

 

On Navigator in November '04 we also learned that any of the wines on the Vintages menu can be ordered by the bottle for delivery to your dinner table -- Just stop by Vintages in the afternnon and pre-order (there are many selections on the Vintages menu not on the dining room wine list).

 

Has anyone purchased wine at Vintages for dinner?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a "premium wine tasting" at Vintages on the NOS in January and LOVED it (forget the actual title though)...It was also at a perfect time (4-5 pm) so it sort of served as our "pre-dinner drink".

 

It was $7.95 pp and we thought it was worth every penny.

 

The wines served were:

 

White:

 

La Famiglia- Pino Grigio

Matua Valley- Sauvignon Blanc

Coppola Gold Label- Chardonay

 

Red:

 

Castellodi Gabbiano- Chianti Classico

Wolf Blass- Merlot

Errazyri- Carbernet Sauvignon

 

We don't know a lot about wine but we have gone to several tastings (we are close to the Niagara winery region so go a few times a year). What made this stand out was both the intimate size of the tasting (7 people) and the excellent service of the wine steward Claudia. She is from Brazil and trained as a chef and bartender before coming aboard the NOS. She was professional and knowledgable and yet easy-going and fun. Towards the end she brought out plates of fruit & cheese (available in the late afternoon at Vintages) so that we could finish our wines.

 

She also told us a little bit about Vintages and other events going on that week- I always wanted to back for an evening session of wine and chocolate but never made it:(

 

I highly recommend doing this if you are interested in wine and are on the Mariner or Navigator.

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be going to the free one from RCCL for cruising before...tell me, do they have cheeses and crackers to go w/ it or is that just at vintages? If only at vintages...is that everyone day or what times exactly so I can plan to do it at least once.

 

Thanks,

Meg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did one on the Mariner last week. If you know anything about wine it's something of a waste of time and money. We paid with our Platinum coupon so we didn't spend any money. And, it was a lazy sea day, so we didn't mind the time.

 

We tasted six wines (in six different glasses, happily, but with no water to clean the palate between tastings). They were all from the Wine and Dine program so not very interesting or expensive. Most were California, one was Chilean, I think. The very nice waiter who conducted the session knew nothing about wine and was very nervous. I don't blame him. RCCL got rid of their wine stewards 2 or 3 years ago. Once they did that, wine knowledge dropped to zero. That was amply reflected in the fact that the last wine we tasted was, of all things, a white zinfandel. Good heavens, as my wine guide says about white zinfandel -- "why bother?"

 

They did have a little cheese and some dried fruit on the table -- nothing very interesting tho.

 

So, if you want something on the level of napkin folding or vegetable carving to simply fill in some sea-day time, attending one is fine. If you want a wine tasting in any true sense of the word, and if you know anything about wine, I wouldn't bother paying for one but would do it if I had a free coupon for it and nothing else on the agenda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lyncruiser- I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Our server was quite knowledgable and mentioned that all staff who worked at the NOS Vintages had been specifically trained in wine- she certainly proved she had.

 

Also our fruit/cheese plate was wonderful- brie, cheddar, and a couple of other cheeses, nuts, grapes, and some of the best strawberries I have ever had!

 

Our wine was poured in correct glasses, each wine with its own glass and we were given a glass of water as a palate cleanser.

 

Here is the list of wine activities on our cruise:

 

Everyday: Wine and Complimentary Hors d' Ouvres in Vintages (5-8:30 pm)

 

Day 1: Intro to Wine Tasting- Vintages (9:30-10:30 pm)

 

Day 2:

 

Making Sense of Wine (small fee) in Vintages (1-2 pm)

Wine Appreciation Hour- Dining Room (3-4 pm)

Premium Wine Tasting- Vintages (small fee) (4-5 pm)

Wine and Chocolate- Vintages (10:30 pm-late)

 

Day 3:

 

Spanish Wine Tasting (small fee)- Vintages (4-5pm)

 

*Sorry Can't Find Day 4's Compass

 

Day 5:

 

How Merlot Can You Go (small fee)- Vintages (4-5pm)

Wine and Chocolate- Vintages (10:30)

 

Day 6:

 

Making Sense of Wine (small fee)- Vintages (1-2 pm)

 

Day 7:

 

Port and Dessert Tasting- Vintages (9-10 pm)

 

I have typed things exactly as they appear in the Compass and the only 1 I can comment on is the Premium Wine Tasting on Day 2 (see above) but I hope this helps for those who might think of trying a tasting.

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I noticed two 'chocolate and wine' and no fee... what is that? They serve chocolate and buy a glass of wine?

 

I believe you are correct- like the hors d'ouvres- the food is free and you buy wine by the glass (but then again I didn't attend so I might be wrong)

 

Vintages is only on Mariner and Navigator.

 

I don't know what wine events are held on other ships as we only sailed on NOS but I know there is a wine tasting on most ships because there is a C&A coupon for one:)

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe you are correct- like the hors d'ouvres- the food is free and you buy wine by the glass (but then again I didn't attend so I might be wrong)

 

Vintages is only on Mariner and Navigator.

 

I don't know what wine events are held on other ships as we only sailed on NOS but I know there is a wine tasting on most ships because there is a C&A coupon for one:)

 

Cheers,

 

Thanks...and hopefully there will be a Vintages on Freedom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe you are correct- like the hors d'ouvres- the food is free and you buy wine by the glass (but then again I didn't attend so I might be wrong)

 

Vintages is only on Mariner and Navigator.

 

I don't know what wine events are held on other ships as we only sailed on NOS but I know there is a wine tasting on most ships because there is a C&A coupon for one:)

 

Cheers,

 

Hopefully Vintages will be on Freedom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a wine tasting on Radiance using our free coupon. I wouldn't pay the $10 fee, either. It was fun because the waiter running it actually had some knowledge of wine and entertainment, but as others have said, the wines were pretty basic. We found a couple of wines to add to our personal "house" list (as in less than $10/btl retail for parties and general swilling purposes), but there was nothing on the list that would knock your socks off.

 

Only one glass was provided, but there was water & water glasses on the table, so we rinsed out our glasses in between tastings. There was also fruit, wine & cheese for nibbling.

 

We would do it again with a coupon. It was an ok way to spend an hour on a sea day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enchantment does have a wine tasting - I think it was $10 but free with your C&A coupon - we paid for this on the Adventure last year, skippped it this year on Enchantment as we did think it was very elementary ( this is red, this is white)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's entertainment on a day at sea. Also, some ships have educational classes which sometimes include drink mixing, which can be fun as well. One of the bar tenders teaches it. I think there is a free course and one you pay for, with the one you pay for having more free drinks. We normally go using the C&A wine tasting coupon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DW did several on the Mariner, cost was about $10 I believe. She loved them, enjoyed the wine, lots of fun and even won a few nice glasses of wine to drink (one was ~$40 a glass)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×