Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sign in to follow this  
chelseabelsea

Question about spirits, wines

Recommended Posts

Hi all, just back from a Silversea cruise, and very disappointed with service and with poor selection of wines and spirits onboard. What puzzled my husband and I was that the liquor selection was quite limited, and the better quality bottles were hidden out of sight below the bar level. Cheap liquor was on display. I found this to be strange and tacky, as it forced passengers to continuously ask what other selections were  available. (Oh, and not all venues had the same choices). Another strange thing: allegedly, according to the advertising brochure for Silversea, we should have been able to have a bar setup in our cabin with spirits of our choice. The only thing we requested was 1 bottle of vodka, and after making three requests, a bottle of inferior vodka appeared in our cabin. (By inferior, I mean something I would have been able to afford while working my way through college 😊)

 

The selection of included wines was hit and miss, and the selection of wines for purchase was surprisingly limited. Restaurant and bar service were stunningly poor to mediocre, food ranged from blah to excellent, with no consistency in service of quality of food across the dining venues. Overall, it was not the elegant experience with terrific choices that we expected, which was quite disappointing. We actually found the whole thing bizarre, especially given the Silversea advertising.

 

We have sailed a multitude of times with Oceania, where I can have a wide range of choices for wines and spirits. I do not mind having to use a key card each time I want a drink, because I can choose from a good selection of high quality. I do not find having to use a key card to buy a drink “tacky”, it does not make the ambiance less enjoyable. The drink prices are consistent with what we pay at home, as we live in a big city - and they are always less than one pays at a Ritz Carlton resort. So having given you this context, I would like to ask seasoned Crystal cruisers if you could please describe the offerings on Crystal, and do you pay extra for premium spirits? Is the wine included with dinner limited to one or two choices each day? Have you found consistently good, well trained service in dining and bar venues? I have my eye on a Crystal cruise, but I’m hesitant now to go with an all-inclusive cruise given our recent experience on Silversea. Of course, Crystal is a different product, I’m just trying to figure out if, from the industry perspective as a whole, does all inclusive really mean more restricted choices?

 

I thank you in advance for sharing your experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Chelsea,

 

Being a Californian, I love good wine and am pretty much a wine snob.  Some of the daily wine pours are surprisingly drinkable.  You will have a choice of red or white in Waterside, but, there is a list of what they will pour and once you find one you like, you can have it daily if you want.  We are pretty happy with the Red4 Blend or Cabernet from Vina Robles on the daily wine list and the Santa Barbara Chardonnay from Umi Uma (which they will bring to Waterside if you beg).  The wine prices are reasonable if you want something higher end.

 

Belvedere, Hendricks, Grey Goose, Absolute are all on the list of included pours.  Actually, I don't recall paying for any liquor other than a bottle of Veuve for our Anniversary dinner

Edited by ChatKat in Ca.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed Silversea two times and Crystal many times and IMHO the inclusive wines on Crystal are far better than those on Silversea.  


While each night Waterside Restaurant will include two different wines you can ask the Sommelier about other wines and the other ones that are inclusive can be had on any night.  It just might take them a few minutes to get them for you.  The specialty restaurants have inclusive wines that are in keeping with their menu.  For example in Prego they have a set of Italian Wines.  Umi Uma that is based on Nobu restaurants has California wines that pair nicely with the food they offer and they are quite good.  For example there is a Nobu Chardonnay and if you had that at their restaurants on land in the USA it would be $18.00 a glass.  

 

My opinion again but I think you will find the food on Crystal to be a lot better than that on Silversea.  

 

Crystal has continued to expand their offerings of Liquor.

 

This will give you a nice idea what is included.  It all includes a few items where there is a charge but those are noted as Connoisseur.  The wines offered in the dining venues go way beyond this so don't pay attention to this part.

 

If you go to some of the live threads you will see menus posted such as mine and one that Stickman did.

 

These is also a live thread on the current Symphony voyage that includes restaurant menus.

 

 

 

 

 

8E725EB0-4799-49E8-A21E-D9C316436552.thumb.jpeg.27ccc0a8406404a15883c8bb7e4df346.thumb.jpeg.9ac1a3b4e2d5818257d95958bf689bd3.jpeg

 

 

47FE8100-5D44-4E4A-AFB9-540C751CDCC2.thumb.jpeg.ccbd331cc5d069f1f20077883c83daf6.thumb.jpeg.5da45223d0c4f108caad8559e1da5416.jpeg

 

Also here are some special drink menus for Manhattans and Gin

 

IMG_1701.thumb.jpg.266a6d76854967a649a982b36d07945e.jpg

 

DSC00190.thumb.jpg.5b5ff4167585a8c81571beddd9a68663.jpg

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

We have sailed Silversea two times and Crystal many times and IMHO the inclusive wines on Crystal are far better than those on Silversea.  


While each night Waterside Restaurant will include two different wines you can ask the Sommelier about other wines and the other ones that are inclusive can be had on any night.  It just might take them a few minutes to get them for you.  The specialty restaurants have inclusive wines that are in keeping with their menu.  For example in Prego they have a set of Italian Wines.  Umi Uma that is based on Nobu restaurants has California wines that pair nicely with the food they offer and they are quite good.  For example there is a Nobu Chardonnay and if you had that at their restaurants on land in the USA it would be $18.00 a glass.  

 

My opinion again but I think you will find the food on Crystal to be a lot better than that on Silversea.  

 

Crystal has continued to expand their offerings of Liquor.

 

This will give you a nice idea what is included.  It all includes a few items where there is a charge but those are noted as Connoisseur.  The wines offered in the dining venues go way beyond this so don't pay attention to this part.

 

If you go to some of the live threads you will see menus posted such as mine and one that Stickman did.

 

These is also a live thread on the current Symphony voyage that includes restaurant menus.

 

 

 

 

 

8E725EB0-4799-49E8-A21E-D9C316436552.thumb.jpeg.27ccc0a8406404a15883c8bb7e4df346.thumb.jpeg.9ac1a3b4e2d5818257d95958bf689bd3.jpeg

 

 

47FE8100-5D44-4E4A-AFB9-540C751CDCC2.thumb.jpeg.ccbd331cc5d069f1f20077883c83daf6.thumb.jpeg.5da45223d0c4f108caad8559e1da5416.jpeg

 

Also here are some special drink menus for Manhattans and Gin

 

IMG_1701.thumb.jpg.266a6d76854967a649a982b36d07945e.jpg

 

DSC00190.thumb.jpg.5b5ff4167585a8c81571beddd9a68663.jpg

 

Keith

Thanks, Keith. Can't wait to work my way through the G&T menu. I notice a normal pour is 2 oz. Will the bartender or server look askance if you ask for a double, or a more generous pour?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Mahogany said:

Thanks, Keith. Can't wait to work my way through the G&T menu. I notice a normal pour is 2 oz. Will the bartender or server look askance if you ask for a double, or a more generous pour?

You are very welcome and if you want a double they would do that for you . 

 

keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the inclusive wine list there are at least 6-10 red wines and the same of white - maybe even more, as well as Prosecco, Champagne and Rose wine. We ask to see the full inclusive list at one of the bars - normally the Crystal Cove and take a picture of it so as we have it handy when we are in the restaurants and want a wine that isn't the recommended wine for the evening and there is never any issue or delay in getting one of the other wines. After having sailed with Crystal a few times now we know the wines we like but they also sometimes add wines from the region they are sailing so we always try them out too.

 

The bartenders on Crystal make excellent cocktails - some the best I've had even on land. Never any issue at all if you want a double. The sommeliers are normally on duty in the Bistro (the onboard cafe)  during the day and they are normally happy to answer any questions you may have about the wines if they aren't too busy. The excellent sommeliers are also on hand in the dining room and other dining venues in the evenings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a connoisseur or sommelier, but I like to drink decent quality beverages (mostly wine with some mixed drinks and the rare beer thrown in.)

 

I sailed on Silver Wind in January and found them to be very accommodating in sourcing any of the 'inclusive' wines at any meal.  I found a particular Austrian white I loved, and asked for it at each meal when I had white wine.  No problem. I found the food to be on the whole, very good.  Maybe not quite as good as Crystal Serenity (June 2017) but overall tasty.  Is it the same quality at each meal as the best land restaurants I've been to?  No.  But given those restaurants are easily $150 pp per meal or more, I don't think it's a fair comparison.  And if something wasn't pleasing, it was easy to ask for a different item.  (I think we only did this once or twice.)

 

I don't specialize in high end cocktails (I was happy to have Hendrick's gin at the pool bar on Silver Wind) but I found a reasonable selection of everything but bourbon on Silversea.  However, as a native of Kentucky, I am a little picky about bourbon...

 

Overall I felt the drinks available on both cruise lines to be reasonable, staff will do their best to accommodate any preferences, and I had a very good time on both.  I hope you find what you are seeking!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no problems to admit I am a wine ( and food ) snob … I did 6 SS cruises so far most of them in Caribbean and during the last one food was very soso. The complimentary wines were always superior on Crystal, however I rarely drink them.  Usually I order a special wine from the wine list and despite Silversea never had all those precious wines there was always  a good wine list available, with some  Italian wines and Champagnes not found on other companies( Pol Roger. Perrier Joët , Paillard ) at attractive prices .  ( and a discount of 10 % when buying 3 wines )

I never had a problem on SS to have a bottle of complimentary champagne sent to my cabin -  I once had neighbours with five bottles of liquor  in their cabin … It is true on SS only top suites are getting welcome Champagne - in other levels you have to ask for it.

Unless you wish a special brand , I noticed on nearly all luxury AI companies a basic liquor is used for some cocktails  -  even using Triple Sec instead of the real Cointreau. Asking for G Goose or Ketel One is a Bloody Mary is not necessary  IMHO

Probably Crystal is having the best selection of liquors  in the bars and for sure the best bartenders .  I think  on the US market the only one with a vast selection of special gins as well.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d like to thank all of you who took the time to share your experiences and information, I have truly found it so helpful. I definitely want to try Crystal thanks to all of you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, we adore Crystal and as far as a hand crafted cocktail goes, they win, hands down.

However, we did a TA on the Silver Sea Spirit this past fall and we thought their wine

selections were second to none. Always something different each night and if you asked 

for the rose you had three days ago in another venue, it magically appeared with no fuss. 

As far as cocktails go, "our" bartender always knew what we liked and was at the ready when

we sat down. I'd be interested to know what SS ship the OP was on and when.

We look forward to sailing about Crystal in the near future.

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
Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...