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cdnsteelman

Just off Pearl: wines by the glass under $15 update

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18 hours ago, cdnsteelman said:

Well wine drinkers, the news is not good in my opinion. The new beverage package fared quite well from my perspective EXCEPT in the space of wines by the glass under $15. My iPhone is crap so my menu photos aren't good enough to post but I've extracted a list of what's available by the glass under $15... I'm a red drinker so I'll not comment on the quality of whites but every red I tried was somewhere between having notes of propane and battery acid to a barely passable substandard at best. I know this is harsh and others may have different opinions but as I've taken the time to create the list, it comes with my opinion as well 😉

 

Reds by the glass under $15

 

Estancia Monterey County pinot noir $9.95

Hogue Merlot $8.95

Gerard Bertrand reserve speciale organic Cab Sauv $8.95

Bolla Chianti sangiovese $7.95

Torres Altos Ibéricos Crianza tempranillo $10.95

Norwegian North & South proprietary red blend $9.95

Bodega Monteviejo festivo malbec $8.95

Recanati kosher cab sauv $9.95

 

There is not one single full-intensity red available anywhere near $15. As an example Emblem cab sauv (a passable red at USD ~$40 for the bottle at bevmo on dry land) is a staggering $31.95 by the glass. Given that you get a 4oz pour on NCL, that's an unconscionable 5.75 X markup when you include the 20 per cent grat. The Bertrand organic cab sauv listed above for $8.95 is a light-to-medium intensity wine best suited to stripping paint so don't be fooled by the name - it is not a proper cab sauv if that's your red of choice.

 

Whites by the glass under $15

 

Romio extra dry prosecco $10.95

Voga Provincia di Pavia moscato $9.95

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi white zin $7.95

SA Prum Essence Riesling $9.95

Le Rime Banfi pinot grigio $9.95

North & South Norwegian Sauv Blanc $9.95

Gran Araucaria reserva DO Sauv Blanc $7.95

Santa Alba Valle de Curico rose $7.95

Recanati kosher chardonnay $9.95

Chateau Ste. Michelle chardonnay $8.95

Spellbound chardonnay $9.95

 

FYI that Romio prosecco above sells for about USD $8 / bottle in stores on dry land.

 

The numbers speak for themselves. Your opinions of quality, of course, are every bot as valid as mine.

Thanks for posting. This is about what we found on the Dawn last month. Thank goodness I am not a wine expert. In fact I don't really know I would could tell the difference between a middle of the road wine and a $100 a bottle wine. As long as they have Malbec and it isn't out of a cheap box I can survive. Without that I would certainly die in a week I am sure. I live for my wine.. 

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18 hours ago, phillyguy31 said:

Never compare what a bottle costs at your local store. Have you ever gone to a decent to higher end restaurant? A 20.00 bottle of wine could easily run 70.00 to 80.00. You also have to remember that wine sold by the glass has to be high because if the entire bottle isn't used within a certain time it does go bad.

I agree; have been told but no proof, wine is marked up about 3 times in most restaurants. also, rarely do we get a decent glass of wine in a restaurant for less than about $10 now days. Again thank goodness I am happy with almost any wine.

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I haven’t seen a single sparkling wine on any of the posted menus. Does NCL not have sparkling wine? We’re not picky, but we like a brut/extra brut. 

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

Thanks for posting. This is about what we found on the Dawn last month. Thank goodness I am not a wine expert. In fact I don't really know I would could tell the difference between a middle of the road wine and a $100 a bottle wine. As long as they have Malbec and it isn't out of a cheap box I can survive. Without that I would certainly die in a week I am sure. I live for my wine.. 

Edited by Greenpea2

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24 minutes ago, slugg said:

I haven’t seen a single sparkling wine on any of the posted menus. Does NCL not have sparkling wine? We’re not picky, but we like a brut/extra brut. 

Romio extra dry prosecco $10.95. Good enough for me!

 

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I'm starting to get a little bummed out.  I'm no wine expert by any means, but I love my reds.  After two trips to Napa/Sonoma last year I started to buy more expensive wines (because suddenly I feel like an expert, LOL), but I'm finding I'm still happiest with my middle of the roads.   We have the "free" UBP for our upcoming Alaska cruise on the Bliss in June and was hoping to be able to at least enjoy some "decent" wines with dinner and in the evening.  I don't know if I want to bother with bringing my own wine bottles on board, either.  

 

What happens if you fly in and DO have them in your checked luggage?  Do they scan and find them, and remove them from your suitcase?  Asking for a friend.........

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12 minutes ago, ZsaZsa2019 said:

I'm starting to get a little bummed out.  I'm no wine expert by any means, but I love my reds.  After two trips to Napa/Sonoma last year I started to buy more expensive wines (because suddenly I feel like an expert, LOL), but I'm finding I'm still happiest with my middle of the roads.   We have the "free" UBP for our upcoming Alaska cruise on the Bliss in June and was hoping to be able to at least enjoy some "decent" wines with dinner and in the evening.  I don't know if I want to bother with bringing my own wine bottles on board, either.  

 

What happens if you fly in and DO have them in your checked luggage?  Do they scan and find them, and remove them from your suitcase?  Asking for a friend.........

yes,they find them and they will take them until the end of the cruise. As much as many would love to have middle priced or higher wine choices on the UBP I think we will all survive. I agree about bringing our bottles on board. It is just too much of a hassle.  

As I have mentioned, I don't really know much about wines even though I drink plenty of it, I have been to Napa valley many times, lived in Marin Co for years, and I still can not really tell the difference in good or great wine. Of course I know the difference it really crappy wine and mid priced wines, but that is as far as it goes. We were happy enough with the selection on the Dawn last month. No, not our choice but we managed just fine. 

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Thank you for posting this.  We are boarding the Jade next week, I am also bringing a couple bottles on board because Caymus Cabernet on land ($75) vs. on the ship ($150+) is just silly, although that holds true in any decent restaurant as well.  That said, I love my wine and I don't like crappy wine so the limitation of what is included under $15 now is somewhat disappointing. I still don't think I want to pony up for the premium plus package....although getting a bottle of yellow label at dinner each night is tempting (which IS covered under the premium plus package, according to the NCL website).  I love me some bubbly....

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So sad.

 

If I can't get decent wine under 15$ on my next cruise in May, i will not buy a cruisenext certificate and this might be my last NCL cruise.

Since my first cruise in 2015, NCL has raised everything many many times. And the quality has dropped.

Even speciality restaurant are not what they were in 2015.

It is not anymore "nickel and Dime" but more "Dollar and Grand".

 

SO SAD. :classic_sad:

 

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Is there an upgrade option from the "free" UBP to the Premium?  On a Celebrity cruise we were able to do this at a small cost ($100pp for the week, I think)  and then all the wine offerings were included (and some other drinks as well).  It was completely worth it, but not sure about NCL.

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18 minutes ago, ZsaZsa2019 said:

Is there an upgrade option from the "free" UBP to the Premium?  On a Celebrity cruise we were able to do this at a small cost ($100pp for the week, I think)  and then all the wine offerings were included (and some other drinks as well).  It was completely worth it, but not sure about NCL.

There is, but I believe it is $29.95 per person per day (plus the 20%).  Includes all cocktails (no $15 limitation), all wines by the glass, a good number of bottles, and 40% off all other bottles, as well as specialty coffees, fresh juices, and bottled water I think.

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10 minutes ago, kfnesq said:

There is, but I believe it is $29.95 per person per day (plus the 20%).  Includes all cocktails (no $15 limitation), all wines by the glass, a good number of bottles, and 40% off all other bottles, as well as specialty coffees, fresh juices, and bottled water I think.

 

You'd be better off cruising another line that sells their beverage package at $40-$60 instead of paying the inflated "free perk" fare on NCL, plus 20% of $99, plus $29, PLUS 20% of that. 

 

Just typing that makes my head hurt.

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24 minutes ago, ZsaZsa2019 said:

Is there an upgrade option from the "free" UBP to the Premium?  On a Celebrity cruise we were able to do this at a small cost ($100pp for the week, I think)  and then all the wine offerings were included (and some other drinks as well).  It was completely worth it, but not sure about NCL.



Yes : 29$ PP (2) for 15 nights plus 20% gratuity * 1.34 ($canadian dollar exchange rate) on top of the already paid gratuities for 2.

PRICE =

29*2*15*1,2*1,34= 1399$CA

plus gratuities ALREADY PAID for the free UBP for 2 = 795$CA

 

TOTAL = 2194$CA WAY too much for a FREE DRINK PACKAGE :classic_angry:

 

Will seriously consider Celebrity Cruise or MSC for next cruise !

And i just read in another topic that they now charge extra at cagneys for shrimp even with SDP :classic_angry:

 

PATIENCE IS LIKE A RUBBER BAND. IT CAN ONLY STRETCH AS FAR AS IT COULD. WHEN IT REACHED TO THE LAST STRETCH, THAT IS THE END OF IT AND NO MORE.

 

This being said, i will try to forget about it while i enjoy my cruise, but I will certainly remember it again before I hit the BOOK button next time.

 

NCL if you read this, take note Platinum member doesn't mean unconditional loyalty!

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15 hours ago, Ella2 said:

 

You pay the corkage fee at embarkation.  Just past the x-ray machines there is a table where you take the wine (be SURE you bring it as a carry-on) and they will charge you the $15 per bottle (assuming it is still that cost) and will tag the bottles with stickers that will allow you to take it anywhere on the ship, including dining rooms.  You can get glasses from any bar.  You may want to pack a travel corkscrew in your CHECKED bag (for airline purposes) for convenience, although you could probably get one one the ship. EDITED: I see you are DRIVING to the port so no worries about bringing a corkscrew with you in a carry on bag.

Thank you, Ella2. Very helpful information. 2 more questions:

1. Is there a limit to the number of bottles you can bring on board?

2. After they are tagged at embarkation, is there a way to have them delivered to our cabin or store them for a few hours, or will we have to schlepp them around the ship while we wait for cabins to be ready?

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Hi Ella2! There is no limit to the number of bottles, just need to pay $15 per bottle. I actually have a small cooler on wheels that I bring. Once get them tagged I wheel them with me to the dining room for lunch where I open a bottle, stare at the Hudson River as I relax with lunch. Room is usually available after lunch. Helpful hint: stores bottles is the fridge: have the steward clear out the ships stuff (also slip them a tip). I like my reds at 58 degrees so chilling works for me. Also bring a wine bag for transport to dinner, no different than any byob. At the bars, I slip the bartender a buck or two when they open , they great me warmly every night. Hope you come on the 12/21 Gem cruise, we can do a wine tasting

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1 hour ago, reveur15 said:

Yes : 29$ PP (2) for 15 nights plus 20% gratuity * 1.34 ($canadian dollar exchange rate) on top of the already paid gratuities for 2.

PRICE =

29*2*15*1,2*1,34= 1399$CA

plus gratuities ALREADY PAID for the free UBP for 2 = 795$CA

 

TOTAL = 2194$CA WAY too much for a FREE DRINK PACKAGE :classic_angry:

 

Will seriously consider Celebrity Cruise or MSC for next cruise !

And i just read in another topic that they now charge extra at cagneys for shrimp even with SDP :classic_angry:

 

PATIENCE IS LIKE A RUBBER BAND. IT CAN ONLY STRETCH AS FAR AS IT COULD. WHEN IT REACHED TO THE LAST STRETCH, THAT IS THE END OF IT AND NO MORE.

 

This being said, i will try to forget about it while i enjoy my cruise, but I will certainly remember it again before I hit the BOOK button next time.

 

NCL if you read this, take note Platinum member doesn't mean unconditional loyalty!

I have loved NCL for years and am Platinum-Plus. I never agreed with that annoying complaint about "nickel and diming us" but I have to say I have finally reached my breaking point and it sure feels that way to me, after all this time. It's sad. But it's also El Toro KaKa. I am looking at MSC for my next cruise. Enough already, NCL. This relationship no longer makes me happy so it's time to explore possible greener pastures!

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I'm not ready to "jump ship" yet, but it seems all of my little pleasures of cruising (decent champagne, jumbo shrimp, not thinking about prices so I can just relax and enjoy the experience) are being rapidly eroded. Not sure what else I'm willing to give up or pay for before it stops being fun.

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This is why we always bring our own wines and pay the $15 corkage fee.

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3 minutes ago, jdvmd said:

This is why we always bring our own wines and pay the $15 corkage fee.

As stated above, totally agree. NCL is one of the only cruise lines that do not limit how many bottles you bring aboard, and for this reason alone, NCL is my cruise line of choice (even though I have been offered comp trips on RC).  For someone like me who does not drink hard liquor and is allergic to beer, this is a fantastic value proposition.  I hate to tell you how much I bring, but with the lively responses to this topic, I  realize that I am not the only one.  My challenge for the 12/21 Gem cruise is that it is 14 days with Christmas and New Year's to boot!  Starting to research a way to transport aboard:  Have you ever brought wine to be "checked" at the curb?  How is that handled, and is it difficult to retrieve or will they help you get it to your room? I have always just "wheeled" it aboard....

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Question about bringing on wine and paying the corkage - I know you can do this at the initial embarkation point, but can you also bring on wine at ports of call?  We will be sailing on the Jade in Italy and Greece this Fall and would love to pick up some nice wines in the cities we visit to enjoy on board.

 

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2 minutes ago, Pens fan said:

Question about bringing on wine and paying the corkage - I know you can do this at the initial embarkation point, but can you also bring on wine at ports of call?  We will be sailing on the Jade in Italy and Greece this Fall and would love to pick up some nice wines in the cities we visit to enjoy on board.

 

Pretty sure you have the option of sending to storage without a corkage fee for last day pick up, or can pay the corkage fee for on board enjoyment (or both) at ports of call.  So jealous!!!

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Just now, Surfsup2017 said:

Pretty sure you have the option of sending to storage without a corkage fee for last day pick up, or can pay the corkage fee for on board enjoyment (or both) at ports of call.  So jealous!!!

 

Thanks!  That was what I was hoping.  

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3 hours ago, CarolinaMamma said:

Thank you, Ella2. Very helpful information. 2 more questions:

1. Is there a limit to the number of bottles you can bring on board?

2. After they are tagged at embarkation, is there a way to have them delivered to our cabin or store them for a few hours, or will we have to schlepp them around the ship while we wait for cabins to be ready?

 

To my knowledge, there is no maximum, but you DO have to be able to carry whatever you bring onboard.  Sometimes they have an area set aside where they allow you to drop off your carry-on bags (under supervision) so you can explore the ship without them, until rooms are ready.  Not sure if that is still common or not, but I have seen it on Norwegian ships.  

 

As a fellow wine lover, I understand the need to plan!  🙂

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1 hour ago, Pens fan said:

Question about bringing on wine and paying the corkage - I know you can do this at the initial embarkation point, but can you also bring on wine at ports of call?  We will be sailing on the Jade in Italy and Greece this Fall and would love to pick up some nice wines in the cities we visit to enjoy on board.

 

 

I think the policy states that you can bring wine on (with corkage fee) at embarkation ONLY for consumption on the ship. Any wine or hard liquor bought in ports of call have to be surrendered and they would be returned on the evening prior to disembarkation.

 

Note: If you ever have left over un-opened bottles at the end of a cruise and you plan on taking them back home, you can get the corkage refunded at the Front Desk.

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Let me first say that I drink wine with dinner virtually every night of my life. I agree with the O.P. that the under-$15 wines he lists aren't particularly inspiring, although there are a few halfway-decent reds and whites among them. I've been on a number of other cruise lines that have beverage packages (Oceania, Holland America, Princess), and all of them have a better selection of under-$15 wines by the glass (although on HAL you have to get the higher-cost "elite" beverage package to get wines up to $15; the basic "signature" package only gets you a worse-than-Norwegian selection of $9 and under wines).

 

However, to be fair to Norwegian, if you have the under $15 package and want, say, a $20 glass of wine, from what people have said here you can get it for only an extra $5 (plus the tip). On all the other lines I mentioned, you have to pay the full by-the-glass price (and full tip) for such wines, even if you've already purchased the package. 

 

One other option to consider: When I'm traveling and find myself at a restaurant that has a decent food menu but a pathetic wine list, I'll just have a martini or two with my dinner. You might be surprised to find how well a good martini---either gin or vodka---pairs with food, particularly red meats. Even on Norwegian, the beverage package covers most of the quality brands of gin or vodka. It's worth a try sometime.

 

 

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