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Algebralovr

Kind of Tea?

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I'm a tea snob. I admit it. I generally don't drink tea from bags, I use real tea leaves and either a french press or a one cup filter to make tea with my kettle. I even mix my own blends on occasion. In looking online, I cannot find any info about what kind of tea X serves, even at the cafe.

 

Can anyone who drinks tea tell me what they usually have? Someone mentioned getting a kettle in their room - is that likely to happen from a US sailing? If I bring my own, and bring specialized tea envelopes instead of using my usual tea filter (due to cleaning issues) will I be able to use it? If I can't get a kettle, will the MDR or the cafe be nice enough to get me really hot water? Those little metal pitchers are not hot enough usually to provide good tea. And once you add milk and sugar, the tea is lucky to be even tepid.

 

I am purchasing a beverage package (currently the classic, but considering the premium) so I have no issues getting tea at the coffee shop if they have something worth drinking.

 

Thanks! I can't wait til my sailing on Eclipse in Feb, my first time on X!

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The brand of tea varies, but you should have no trouble getting "upscale" brewed teas in the Cafe al Bacio/Cafe Cova area. Room service will bring you hot water, but sometimes it is in carafes which have been previously used for coffee, so perhaps that isn't a good option for you. Suggest you bring a thermos, go up to the buffet, draw off hot water, and bring it back to your stateroom. Kettles are only available on sailings which originate in Southampton, not on all the other sailings.

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I agree with cruisestich's reply but the main problem I had with tea on our recent Equinox cruise is that the water is just not hot enough. The tea I made in the buffet was OK but I could tell that the water wasn't near boiling, essential for a great cup of tea.

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On recent sailings the no-extra charge teas have been a house branded label. On some sailings they've also had an additional basic black tea - I think it was Tetley.

 

The extra charge teas at the coffee bar are Tea Forte teas which are high quality tea bags - the kind that claims they are some sort of high end infuser rather than a tea bag: http://www.teaforte.com/about/behind-the-designs/

I think the only place they serve tea made with actual loose tea is at the very expensive afternoon "Champagne Tea" held once each cruise in a specialty restaurant at a charge of something like $20 to $25.

 

At home I prefer loose tea brewed in an ingenuiTEA infuser. On cruises I buy some nice quality organic tea bags at home and bring a bunch with me to enjoy on the flights and on the ship. Nice quality tea bags are cheap and easy to carry around.

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I agree with cruisestich's reply but the main problem I had with tea on our recent Equinox cruise is that the water is just not hot enough. The tea I made in the buffet was OK but I could tell that the water wasn't near boiling, essential for a great cup of tea.

 

Surprising. I hope it is better on our upcoming Equinox cruise. On the Constellation last March the hot water from the beverage stations in the buffet seemed plenty hot.

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Surprising. I hope it is better on our upcoming Equinox cruise. On the Constellation last March the hot water from the beverage stations in the buffet seemed plenty hot.

 

Hope so too, it's a minor issue as far as I was concerned on a great cruise!

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Surprising. I hope it is better on our upcoming Equinox cruise. On the Constellation last March the hot water from the beverage stations in the buffet seemed plenty hot.

 

Yabbut... you're American. ;) Seriously, the water in the buffet is the right temperature to make a nice cup of coffee, but just not hot enough for a decent cup of tea, in my opinion. It's got to be just finished boiling. And the room service hot water is worse.

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As with other things, I have found that if I ask the server for very hot water, explaining what I want, they bend over backwards to get it for me. I hope you have as good luck as I have had.

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On the Equinox they had a pretty nice selection of herbal and flavored teas at the Aqua Spa Cafe. They were out all the time so you could still have access when the cafe was not serving food. They are tea bags, not loose leaf, but I thought they were good. Also, I the hot water there was better than at the buffet.

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I sympathize with the OP since I blend and brew loose tea myself every day, and have been very disappointed with all tea service onboard. I have been looking at Southhampton based sailings in order to have a kettle in my cabin.

Even the high end afternoon tea mentioned above uses Tea Forte, which is in bags, however fancy.

I love so much else about Celebrity, though, that I have just learned to have a cafe mocha instead.

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Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll take along my own supply of tea and I do have some paper tea filter envelopes that will work in a pinch. Hopefully the cafe has real hot water, otherwise maybe I can find a waiter who understands needing real hot water (just off boil!) to make proper tea in the MDR.

 

I'm currently drinking a chai I blended from a good basic Assam black combined with a nice second flush Darjeeling. I like the way the combination comes together with the cardamon, ginger and cinnamon. I realize that the ship water is not the highest quality, so that will probably effect the flavor on board. My other favorite is a black tea with lightly sweetened dried cranberries and cherries. Of course, who knows what I'll be drinking by the time mid-Feb gets here. I hate the idea of drinking Lipton during a cruise!

 

Too bad Celebrity only puts kettles on board ships sailing from Southhampton!

Edited by Algebralovr

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I am a tea snob also. Hate pre-filled tea bags. We were on the Equinox for the transatlantic in May of this year and they ran out of certain types of tea at Cafe Bacio about 3 days into the sailings. I would not count on finding decent tea on board. The hottest water was at Cafe Bacio. I had the beverage package and was still happy I had packed my own tea and thermos with a built-in strainer

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I'm a tea snob. I admit it. I generally don't drink tea from bags, I use real tea leaves and either a french press or a one cup filter to make tea with my kettle. I even mix my own blends on occasion. In looking online, I cannot find any info about what kind of tea X serves, even at the cafe.

 

Hi Algebralovr,

 

Fellow tea drinker here (from Canada). Mr Sloop fondly calls me his "tea granny" as I drink many cups a day... blame it on my British Roots !! :)

 

So I truly understand your plight...

 

Can anyone who drinks tea tell me what they usually have? Someone mentioned getting a kettle in their room - is that likely to happen from a US sailing? If I bring my own, and bring specialized tea envelopes instead of using my usual tea filter (due to cleaning issues) will I be able to use it? If I can't get a kettle, will the MDR or the cafe be nice enough to get me really hot water? Those little metal pitchers are not hot enough usually to provide good tea. And once you add milk and sugar, the tea is lucky to be even tepid.

 

I will be going on my first Celebrity Cruise in January... and from what I've read here on CC... Kettles are ONLY available on Ships sailing out of Southampton... and not on those from the US (differences in insurance / fire regulations etc).

 

Other Hot Bevvy Lovers say the FREE Tea and Coffee that is served in the various dining venues on the ships is so-so (to downright horrid) :(

 

From my readings, both Coffee Lovers and Tea Lovers seem to agree that the better beverages are those that are an EXTRA charge (and covered by both the Classic & Premium Beverage Packages)... although for the true connoisseur nothing stands up to a cuppa like home (several people have noted in the past that they bring their own tea bags or ground coffee from home, and a french press* and just rely on the ship for hot water)

 

*French Press - Have investigated the one's that has been referenced in previous postings, it is a non-breakable model available on-line from Amazon and perfect for travellers

 

Room Service will only net you the standard Coffee & Tea... the latter coming as a carafe of hot (warm) water in thermos jug that is also used for coffee service... so many dedicated tea drinkers complain that the water is neither hot or tasteless (coffee oils permeating the container and affecting the water within) :(

 

For a true tea drinker... that just won't do !!

 

I am purchasing a beverage package (currently the classic, but considering the premium) so I have no issues getting tea at the coffee shop if they have something worth drinking.

 

Thanks! I can't wait til my sailing on Eclipse in Feb, my first time on X!

 

My plan is to bring along my own stainless steel water bottle (double walled for insulation). As it is stainless steel it is easy to clean / rinse out, and won't retain the flavour of anything I choose to put inside... so it will be multipurpose on my cruise and easily transportable (on or off the ship).

 

Mr Sloop and I are going to purchase a Beverage Package, and we are very aware that "specialty" drinks are not delivered via Room Service for FREE (even if one has a Package) ... so each morning it is his plan (the early riser) to get up and go out in search of some decent coffee and hot water to fill our two stainless bottles... figuring that Cafe al Bacio / Cafe Cova will be his best bet.

 

Neither of us are particularly fussy about the brands / blends... I will be fine as long as I can find some Orange Pekoe, English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea bags... and he as long as the coffee doesn't taste like dishwater !!

 

Hope this info is helpful,

 

Cheers!

Edited by Sloop-JohnB

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I thought I was the only one who packed her own tea but I see I am in good company. Nice to know!

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Just a thread bump in case people are curious what sorts of teas are being offered on Celebrity Eclipse S class a while back. Of course bringing your own tea is the best. This is from the Oceanview Cafe but most other venues had the same selection.

DSC_0045

 

Here's the coffee maker used in the Oceanview Cafe and in the Aqua Spa cafe that has a specific hot water spigot.

Coffee and hot water maker

 

Aqua class Blu dining room did a good untainted cup of hot water at a decent temperature for tea bags, though I'd probably avoid using it for expensive loose leaf unless you got a waiter who understood you wanted it freshly boiled. MDR had a shared coffee carafe for an appalling cup of tea.

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Here's the coffee maker used in the Oceanview Cafe and in the Aqua Spa cafe that has a specific hot water spigot.

Coffee and hot water maker

 

Thank you for this! I hope M class will have the same hot water dispenser.

 

Five years ago on Princess I was allowed to bring on board my small, auto-shut off kettle, but I'm loathe to pack it clear across the country and it sounds like it may not be allowed on board anyway.

 

Definitely bringing my own tea bags!

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I agree that it is the HOT water that is the biggest issue. On the dozen or so cruises I have been on only the Independence of the Seas out of Southhampton managed a decent cup.

Travelling in the US often and and as a 10 cup a day person I steel myself for deprivation or a long discussion with waiters about the boiling not hot issue. Jennie

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I hate to bring this up here, probably sacrilege, but is there any decent brewed Ice Tea available at the specialty bar? There certainly isn't anywhere else on the ship, just that swill out of the machine.

 

We don't drink coffee and usually have unsweetened Ice Tea at breakfast. I've yet to cruise on any line that does Ice Tea right. It seems if Mcdonald's or Burger King can make a decent glass of Ice Tea then a upscale cruise line should be able to.

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Some may call us tea snobs, but it's just that we know what it takes to make the perfect cup of tea...<sigh> we get no respect(RIP Rodney Dangerfield).;) I pack my own tea too, as Irish Breakfast is not a common blend served in many places. If I don't bring the tea, I usually drink a lot of espresso and coffee.

 

I empathize with you about wanting a good cuppa, and the ideas posted(travelers' tea press, double walled aluminum flask, etc), and you may have to make your own tea bags or invest in one of those "tea for one" sets that consist of a porcelain tea pot(big enough for one or two cups of tea)and a mug(Stash Tea Company used to sell them online). The hot water will most likely be your biggest hurdle. I suggest making friends with the folks in Cafe al Bacio and see if they will give you hot water for tea(probably the only spot you'll get proper hot water.

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Some may call us tea snobs, but it's just that we know what it takes to make the perfect cup of tea...<sigh> we get no respect(RIP Rodney Dangerfield).;) I pack my own tea too, as Irish Breakfast is not a common blend served in many places. If I don't bring the tea, I usually drink a lot of espresso and coffee.

 

I empathize with you about wanting a good cuppa, and the ideas posted(travelers' tea press, double walled aluminum flask, etc), and you may have to make your own tea bags or invest in one of those "tea for one" sets that consist of a porcelain tea pot(big enough for one or two cups of tea)and a mug(Stash Tea Company used to sell them online). The hot water will most likely be your biggest hurdle. I suggest making friends with the folks in Cafe al Bacio and see if they will give you hot water for tea(probably the only spot you'll get proper hot water.

 

You and I are going to have to trade teas when we're on the Summit together!

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We sailed a transatlantic on the Equinox and 4 days into the trip Cafe Bacio was out of regular black tea, by day 8 no black tea at all. I now pack my own tea and a tea thermos that contains it own infuser. I bought it a Teavana for about $30.00 If the water is hot enough to begin with the tea stays very hot. I asked a buffet server for a teapot and hot water. Best cup of tea the whole trip. Wish we could have a tea kettle.

 

Chris

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I hate to bring this up here, probably sacrilege, but is there any decent brewed Ice Tea available at the specialty bar? There certainly isn't anywhere else on the ship, just that swill out of the machine.

 

We don't drink coffee and usually have unsweetened Ice Tea at breakfast. I've yet to cruise on any line that does Ice Tea right. It seems if Mcdonald's or Burger King can make a decent glass of Ice Tea then a upscale cruise line should be able to.

 

Not sure about the cafe as I've never considered buying the extra cost tea. I bring my own tea bags and/or use what's available in the buffet. I've been know to brew a a cup and pour over ice in the buffet for better quality ice tea at times.

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On our Eclipse cruise in February (from Miami, FL) we experienced everything from downright awful to quite good water for our tea. I did take my own loose tea, along with the little bag filters to make my own tea bags. While Cafe al Bacio did a decent cup of tea, it still wasn't great. Most of the people working there were from Eastern Europe and probably weren't tea drinkers.

 

DH and I trained our assistant waiter to go to the kitchen and get nearly boiling water that hadn't been in a coffee urn. The normal seems to be to get the water from the nearby urn in the waiters area and it usually isn't devoted to plain water, but always seems to have had coffee in it. Additionally, it isn't hot enough. But after a couple of times of me sending water back as smelling like coffee, he got the right idea. When we had breakfast delivered by room service, we usually tried to order water for tea and it was never quite hot enough, but we made do. The worst time was when they sent it in a coffee pot as it had the taste/smell of... you guessed it.... coffee! I complained and our wonderful cabin steward got us fresh water. He was from India and understood.

 

The best service we had when ordering tea was when we took the expensive See How It's Done tour of the ship and we had waiters for lunch who were from India. When I ordered Darjeeling and suggested that it needed fresh water just off boil the response of the waiter (from India) was, "Of Course, Ma'am!" and I actually got it right.

 

The Darjeeling they had in the bags is decent. You can tell the vendor did try to get decent tea, it is just that it is still tea bags made of the dust. But that was some of the best on board.

 

I'll be packing my own again in February and looking for those waiters from India for my water!

 

As for the iced tea issue, my suggestion is that you take your favorite tea along and make it yourself in the buffet, or at the Cafe.

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Jujst off the Summit and spent a great deal of time at Cafe Al Boccia drinking their tea. The water was definitely the right temp and there was good quality served. Many flavours as well. THe tea pots are lovely and you can get your tea made hot and/or cold.

 

Enjoy -- the staff are excellent there and you will love the tea!:D

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