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sabrefan

Silver Spirits Beverage Package Option

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Dee we may just have to look into doing that! We used to have a suitcase that was designed to safely hold a case of wine keeping it insulated from heat and cold. That was back in the day!

San Juan will absolutely be the best bet for decent wines. I was referred to a wine store there and haven’t really looked into it. But after San Juan - on this itinerary - no hope for good wine ports!

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We did the Cuba cruise in December on the Viking Sky, did not purchase the Silver Spirits package as we determined that the Wine Stewards were very under staffed and very inexperienced, so even getting them to your dinner table in a timely fashion would be a challenge. Don't think we ever saw or were presented with a wine list at dinner. The main dining room was very chaotic and noisy, and the Wine Steward was running around just pouring the white and red inclusive wines that are of marginal quality. So the moral of the story if you really enjoy wine, Viking is not the best choice. That said, we are sailing on the Orion next April - does anyone know a really good wine shop in Hong Kong?

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We really enjoy nice wine. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily expensive wine. We also really enjoy Viking.

I think that is all part of the conversation. There are some who feel that there is not a miss with Viking wines, but there are also a lot who feel that there is. With Viking’s liberal policy of bringing your own alcohol on board, on some geographic itineraries this continued conflict can easily be resolved -on others there are no real options.

 

I remember reading about some service issues late last year on a couple itineraries as you describe chaunceyb.

I don’t remember reading these issues recently. I may have just missed postings, but I am sure it was frustrating. Viking prides themselves with high levels of service. Viking frequents these boards which makes me want to believe that this was addressed.

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We did the Cuba cruise in December on the Viking Sky, did not purchase the Silver Spirits package as we determined that the Wine Stewards were very under staffed and very inexperienced, so even getting them to your dinner table in a timely fashion would be a challenge. Don't think we ever saw or were presented with a wine list at dinner. The main dining room was very chaotic and noisy, and the Wine Steward was running around just pouring the white and red inclusive wines that are of marginal quality. So the moral of the story if you really enjoy wine, Viking is not the best choice. That said, we are sailing on the Orion next April - does anyone know a really good wine shop in Hong Kong?

 

If you didn’t purchase the SSP how can you complain about the wine?

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Has nothing to do with the Beverage Package. Our issue is that many nights the included wine was of mediocre quality, but the service was so slow and disorganized that we were unable to order a bottle of wine from the list. When we did order a bottle of very good Washington chardonnay, it was lost the next night by the wine steward (believe was served to some other passengers), they ended up buying us a new bottle - but that kind of stuff just ruins a nice dinner.

I must say on our final night we had excellent service from a waiter that had moved from Crystal Cruises and was training the servers.

There is no corkage fee so on our next cruise I am going bring some nice wines on the ship to enjoy.

Cheers and pleasant cruising!

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We have purchased the SSP on most of our Viking cruises and have found it to be a good value for us. The only time it wasn’t as beneficial was a number of years ago in Portugal. The Portuguese government had a requirement that only Portuguese wines could be served. The policy may have changed sine then. I agree with others, wait until you get onboard to make the decision on the package. That being said, we will probably purchase in advance for our next 4 cruises!

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As I read it, champagne is not included in the SSP. I assume this is because a glass of champagne costs more than $15. Are there any sparkling wine or Prosecco options that are included?

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I thought I saw 1 or 2 champagnes that were included, but I generally ordered the prosecco which I found quite good.

 

 

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Thanks Cyber Kat. I assume you mean the Prosecco was included in the SPP. I do enjoy Presecco.

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Thanks Cyber Kat. I assume you mean the Prosecco was included in the SPP. I do enjoy Presecco.

 

 

 

Yes! I like it as well! I don’t recall the brand, but I like Zardetto and it was comparable.

 

 

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I have a $300 on board credit per person. Debating whether to sign up for Silver Spirits. Probably will have two drinks a day in the evening. Also go to Chef's Table 2 or 3 times, with wine pairing.

 

Who do you talk to on board to sign up for Silver Spirits?

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We were very happy with our purchase of the Silver Spirits package. We spent a lot of time in the Explorer Lounge - met others and enjoyed our cocktails. I am primarily a wine drinker and I enjoyed the selection both red and white. There were a few things missing from the list like a good Chardonnay but there were some other interesting wines. There is a shortage of Wine Stewards in my opinion so you need to make sure to make contact and make sure your waiter knows that you want to have wines other than the included with your meal. We did the Chef's Table twice - the wine pairing was nothing special - all wines from the list in the SS package. Enjoy your cruise - we certainly did.

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I have a $300 on board credit per person. Debating whether to sign up for Silver Spirits. Probably will have two drinks a day in the evening. Also go to Chef's Table 2 or 3 times, with wine pairing.

 

Who do you talk to on board to sign up for Silver Spirits?

 

Front desk/guest services is one way. You might also be able to do it using the TV menu or the app that you can download to your phone--and hopefully someone who has can confirm this.

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The app is a little quirky but we just signed up with the first bartender that we ordered a drink from. Anyone can do it. Very easy and no waiting in the Front Desk line if there is one.

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We were very happy with our purchase of the Silver Spirits package. We spent a lot of time in the Explorer Lounge - met others and enjoyed our cocktails. I am primarily a wine drinker and I enjoyed the selection both red and white. There were a few things missing from the list like a good Chardonnay but there were some other interesting wines. There is a shortage of Wine Stewards in my opinion so you need to make sure to make contact and make sure your waiter knows that you want to have wines other than the included with your meal. We did the Chef's Table twice - the wine pairing was nothing special - all wines from the list in the SS package. Enjoy your cruise - we certainly did.

 

This isn’t the first time I have read comments about lack of wine stewards which to me would only be an ongoing issue if they are the only ones who can pour SSBP wines during meals......is this the case and if so, in all the dining venues?

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The wine steward can put the bottles of the wines that you select nearby and either he/she or you can show the waitstaff where they are. It took a few meals but we received very good service once we got into a routine. We did eat in the main dining room most nights - always had the same wine steward(the only one) but he helped the wait staff and then flew off to help others. We always let him know if we were switching wines for the main course and he would come back to bring the wines.

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Thank you for these tips Jean. So this was a nightly routine and you sat in various areas, or did it work better to try and eat in the same areas of the Restaurant?

The specialty restaurants have a different wine steward, or are you saying there is only one now for the entire ship? Always good to know these things ahead of time - so I appreciate it.

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One can order premium wines without having the package, yes? Is it a hassle to get the waiter to bring the list to your table. They have so many people to wait on.

 

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There is one wine steward in each dining room but the one in Manfredi's injured himself so was not present some nights there. We had sort of chaotic service there. There is also a sommelier but we never met him. We saw him in the main dining room occasionally.

 

We started out eating at different tables in the main dining area and then found a waiter that we requested. Either way, it was always the same wine steward in the main dining area and he helped the waiters keep track of our wine preferences. Wine stewards are not sommeliers but they work hard and really try to please.

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Thank you. Sure sounds like the one wine steward in The Restaurant sure has a whole lot to keep track of. Big job. I realize and respect that all the Viking employees work very hard (they are beyond impressive) but I am thinking about the geographical coverage and number of passengers.

This is all very helpful so again, I appreciate this information

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One can order premium wines without having the package, yes? Is it a hassle to get the waiter to bring the list to your table. They have so many people to wait on.

 

Yes, you can ask for a wine list and order premium wines ($6.00 a glass on our trip) just as you would in any restaurant. There were about 10 reds and 10 whites available by the glass. You can also order these wines, and more expensive wines too, by the bottle.

 

In my experience it was not significantly more of a hassle to get the list and be served the wine of my choice than in most standard on-shore restaurants either.

 

However, though excellent in most respects, Viking did fall foul of a pet peeve of my mine in that you can't rely on the vintages shown on the list. Twice I ordered a wine to find that the bottle offered was two years younger than the vintage given on the list!

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Thank you for these tips Jean.

 

We usually like have a white with our first course and often a red with the main.

 

I would get our "premium" whites from one of the main bars (where they are readily available) and take them into the restaurant, world cafe or wherever with us. Once seated I asked for the list and ordered the next glass of wine according to what we selected for our main. It would then always arrive in good time to have with the main course.

 

While not a perfect solution to the wine waiting issues this work round suited us well and I hope it might be helpful for others too.

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We did the Chef's Table twice - the wine pairing was nothing special - all wines from the list in the SS package.

 

This caught my attention Aquidneck as it did not seem to chime with my recollection of our last trip back in March. So I went back to the photos I took of the chef's table menus and SS package wine list for that trip to check it out.

 

On the two Chef's Table menus I have just one of the four "Premium" paired wines each evening was also on the SS package list. I agree that you could say that is one too many!!

 

What I also found interesting was that none of the "standard" wine pairings were from the SS package list. This might suggest that the Chef's Table does mostly have a "cellar" of its own.

 

I don't doubt your experience (these things vary ship by ship and day by day) but, to be fair to Viking, my experience was that the wine pairing was mostly different to the wines on the SS package list.

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I was definitely surprised by our experience at the Chef's Table and hope that others will find it to be different. I will say that I did not check the availability of the dessert wines as don't tend to order those. I would think that the Sommelier or the wine steward from the Chef's Table area picks the wines for pairing - this was mentioned by our wine steward in the GDR. The first night in the Chef's table, the wine pairing was described as the wine was poured. On the second night, it was just poured. I really think that there were some problems with wine service on our trip - that said, we are not complaining as we had an incredible time and drank plenty of wine.

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