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What to drink on Premium package?


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I always see threads asking about what you can fir in under the limit on the "Classic" drink package.  This one goes in the other direction.

 

I am not a big drinker.  I drink fairly rarely at home. Maybe a drink here or there when out to dinner with others and everyone's drinking or when I'm at a wedding or such.  I typically am driving, so I self-limit what I drink.  And I've never been a "brand snob"...I'm generally content with whatever well liquor they serve.  I'll drink on occasion at home--typically Jack Daniels or a decent Anejo Tequila, sometimes a good Reposado.

 

But, on a cruise, I figure I'm not driving...and the atmosphere is such that I'll drink a little more than usual.  But, typically, I'd drink during the Elite Lounge hours--and be happy with Jim Beam and Diet Coke--though even  can recognize Jim Beam is far from top shelf--but if mixing it with soda, it matters little...maybe buying a drink later at the show.  If a mixed cocktail, it would typically be a generic Long Island or Margarita.   When I have a classic drink package, I still end up ordering a lot of generic well drinks...I am generally fine with that.  It used to be that you could get a Bailey's Irish Cream as a nightcap...but even that is now above the classic package...

 

BUT, for my upcoming Apex cruises, I have the Premium package...and it occurred to me that U should really take advantage of it and "up" my drinking game.  But, not really being a drinker, it occurred to me that I don't really have any great ideas on what to order...

 

So, I need a little advice from the serious drinkers out there.  What should I drink?  If I want a bourbon or scotch, which bourbons or scotches are on the list for the Premium package that you would recommend...1) assuming drinking it straight or 2) what would you call for if mixing it...that wouldn't be an insult to the brand? 

How about liqueurs?  Any you would recommend my sampling considering the choice?

And special cocktails or blended drinks I should try in the Retreat or at any of the bars around the ship?

And, Tequila...They only had cheap Blanco on the Classic package...but, IIRC, though they add some modest Reposados on Premium, no Anejo, right?

 

Now that they've taken away the Israeli ports and we're just repeating every port twice, I figure I'll be spending more time on the ship...and, with the mask rules saying you have to wear a mask unless you're drinking, it sounds like I have added incentive to be drinking...Now I just have to figure out what to drink.

Thanks for any and all recommendations...

 

😁   🚢   🍹   🧉

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We have always enjoyed the premium package. I enjoy the great Californian reds which we rarely come across in the UK. My wife does tend to stick to New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. 

 

We are avid gin drinkers and were introduced to Botanist Islay gin on Celebrity. Fabulous gin and we had the opportunity to visit the distillery in the Hebrides a fortnight ago. Recently Hendricks has been the onboard gin but is great and we have been to it's distillery too! Always demand a tin of tonic or newly opened bottle.

 

Visited some whiskey distilleries on Islay and really enjoyed Ardbeg whiskey. Discussed the mixes and although a touch of water is thought to be the way to appreciate whiskey properly 'you pays your money'. Stayed in a cottage on the famous Laphroig estate and visited the shop but tastings were off due to Covid. Plan to do a whiskey tasting when back onboard as really a learner.

 

I go skiing with a group of about ten guys every year (normally) and we each bring a bottle of whiskey to taste after dinner. A few Scots who are knowledgeable and very nice it is too (hic!)

 

Rarely drink cocktails. I think Brits rarely do outside all inclusive environments.I think I would try some more if I had more sea days!!😃😃

 

 

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Premium package brings the Martini Bar into play lots of choice so try until you find your favourite mine is a Sapphire London Club my wife likes the Decadence Martini.

 

As mentioned above if you like gin then Hendricks or Tanquery are good though my favourite is the Bombay Sapphire (you may notice a theme).

 

Cocktail wise I tend to drink Mojito's and it's always interesting to get one of the inside bars to make one with better quality ingredients than poolside etc. 

 

Your Bailey's is on the list and Cafe Baccio do a nice Irish coffee. Disarronno is also in that section which my wife loves.

 

The tequila's were Cazadores Reposado, Don Julio Reposado, Herradura Reposado, Patrón Citrónge, Patrón Reposad, Patrón Silver, Patrón XO Café it may have changed

 

Don't drink whiskey so can't help but there's a big choice

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Go up to the Observation lounge during happy hour and order a pineapple Croic vodka and cranberry juice. They go down very easy and taste great. Watch the amount or you wont make it to dinner.

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3 hours ago, Bruin Steve said:

I always see threads asking about what you can fir in under the limit on the "Classic" drink package.  This one goes in the other direction.

 

I am not a big drinker.  I drink fairly rarely at home. Maybe a drink here or there when out to dinner with others and everyone's drinking or when I'm at a wedding or such.  I typically am driving, so I self-limit what I drink.  And I've never been a "brand snob"...I'm generally content with whatever well liquor they serve.  I'll drink on occasion at home--typically Jack Daniels or a decent Anejo Tequila, sometimes a good Reposado.

 

But, on a cruise, I figure I'm not driving...and the atmosphere is such that I'll drink a little more than usual.  But, typically, I'd drink during the Elite Lounge hours--and be happy with Jim Beam and Diet Coke--though even  can recognize Jim Beam is far from top shelf--but if mixing it with soda, it matters little...maybe buying a drink later at the show.  If a mixed cocktail, it would typically be a generic Long Island or Margarita.   When I have a classic drink package, I still end up ordering a lot of generic well drinks...I am generally fine with that.  It used to be that you could get a Bailey's Irish Cream as a nightcap...but even that is now above the classic package...

 

BUT, for my upcoming Apex cruises, I have the Premium package...and it occurred to me that U should really take advantage of it and "up" my drinking game.  But, not really being a drinker, it occurred to me that I don't really have any great ideas on what to order...

 

So, I need a little advice from the serious drinkers out there.  What should I drink?  If I want a bourbon or scotch, which bourbons or scotches are on the list for the Premium package that you would recommend...1) assuming drinking it straight or 2) what would you call for if mixing it...that wouldn't be an insult to the brand? 

How about liqueurs?  Any you would recommend my sampling considering the choice?

And special cocktails or blended drinks I should try in the Retreat or at any of the bars around the ship?

And, Tequila...They only had cheap Blanco on the Classic package...but, IIRC, though they add some modest Reposados on Premium, no Anejo, right?

 

Now that they've taken away the Israeli ports and we're just repeating every port twice, I figure I'll be spending more time on the ship...and, with the mask rules saying you have to wear a mask unless you're drinking, it sounds like I have added incentive to be drinking...Now I just have to figure out what to drink.

Thanks for any and all recommendations...

 

😁   🚢   🍹   🧉

Great question. I shall be studying and taking note of your answers very carefully. Cheers.

 

 

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My taste are simple, and I do not drink scotch so will not make any recommendations:

 

Neat:

Woodford Reserve Double Oak 

Zacapa 23

 

Mixed:

Margarita  -  Herradura Resposado 

Gin & Tonic  -  Tanqueray Ten

Vodka & Tonic -  Ketel One 

 

 

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Try an Aspen Coffee from Al Baccio as a nightcap.  Bailey's, Kaluha and Frangelico.  Yum.  My choice at the Martini bar is either Pomegranate Martini or Belvedere chilled with an onion.

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23 minutes ago, marieps said:

Try an Aspen Coffee from Al Baccio as a nightcap.  Bailey's, Kaluha and Frangelico.  Yum.  My choice at the Martini bar is either Pomegranate Martini or Belvedere chilled with an onion.

I like the Aspen Coffee as well but normally just order a coffee with Bailey's. 

I could go on and on about the Martini Bar -- My favorites being the Lemon Drop or Cosmopolitan ..  

 

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Usually there are whiskey tasting on board. I would mark that down as it was an excursion. You will learn a lot about scotch and have teste testing. So check on opening day, what dat they will have it. Next go to the "Duty Free" and talk to one of the salesmen. They will also give you in site. With that try to have a blind taste testing, at the bar. Jim Bean is good, but you are adding a coke to it. The whiskey you want is one where there is NO mixer. That is when you know you have a good whiskey. 

For Foo-Foo drinks I like just about anything and rum. I love Blue-Hawaiians! I love White Rum Martini's (this throws the Bar tenders) 

 

I still come back to my Whiskey Neat!  (Chivas Regal is my Favorite) 

 

 

IMG_0277.JPG

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8 minutes ago, Kevinwinston2019 said:

 

I still come back to my Whiskey Neat!  (Chivas Regal is my Favorite) 

 

 

Totally agree, Neat is my preference too.

 The Macallan Gold Double Cask is my favorite at home.

The Macallan Quest that X serves on board is awful, Imo.

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We use our Premium Package to have the sommelier choose appropriate wines for our dinner. The first time, they did an excellent job and were tipped appropriately at the end of the cruise.  The second time (on a culinary cruise) they picked the lowest priced wine that was white for fish or red for beef. We're not wine experts but we could tell the difference. We did not tip them.

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1 minute ago, patty1955 said:

We use our Premium Package to have the sommelier choose appropriate wines for our dinner. The first time, they did an excellent job and were tipped appropriately at the end of the cruise.  The second time (on a culinary cruise) they picked the lowest priced wine that was white for fish or red for beef. We're not wine experts but we could tell the difference. We did not tip them.

If we do not like the wine...we send it back and ask for another. 

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5 minutes ago, Kevinwinston2019 said:

If we do not like the wine...we send it back and ask for another. 

That's the plan for this trip. 

Since we're not wine experts, I thought maybe the problem was us and our untrained palates but I started keeping track of what wine he brought and checked the price list after dinner. The wine was consistently the lowest priced available. 

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If you have the Premium package you may ask to see a wine list, or ask for a favorite label. I believe that Celebrity  carry many California wines, as I enjoy a Washington wine better. The wine steward is there to help you pick the wine of your choice. ask for a sampler of feature wines of the night, that is what lady Rebecca does. 

 

 

IMG_1084.JPG

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It's difficult to suggest items because tastes can vary so much, as can availability from ship to ship and day to day, but there are some very nice selections on the published list.  Here's your chance to try!  The beauty of having the package is that you can try all sorts of stuff.  If you don't like it, push it aside and order something else.  

 

My best recommendation is to talk to a bartender at a time things are furiously busy and see what recommendations they may have.  Just about every cruise ship bartender I've ever met enjoys introducing folks to new things (and maybe showing off a little, too).

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Posted (edited)

For us, the Premium Package is more of a convenience because it covers all things drinkable. Whatever I order to drink at whatever venue, it is mostly covered in the premium cost. That being said, I may never get my money’s worth in the additional cost, but I am happy with my freedom of choice.

 

Nothing wrong with the classic package and if one is satisfied with what it has to offer, that will certainly work. I do agree that with mixed cocktails high end liquors are a waste of money. However, if you want to try some whiskeys neat or on the rocks, premium package gives you that opportunity. If you enjoy an occasional gin or vodka martini, high end brands certainly make a quality difference. Same with tequilas, sipping straight, premium brands taste better. Mixed, it doesn’t matter.

Take advantage of the Premium Package. But of course, don’t overdo it. Order some whiskeys neat or on the rocks. You’ll get a couple of ounces and if you don’t like it, no problem they are already paid for. But if you do like them, you have a new favorite.

 

 My recommendations for Whiskeys. Scotch: Single Malt – Glenlivet, Macallan; Blended – Chivas Regal, Dewars 12. For Bourbon: Woodford Reserve neat and Double Oaked on the rocks. Makers Mark is a good first time try and if they have Basil Hayden and/or Knob Creek Smoked Maple, both worth a sip or two.

 

For Vodka: Ciroc and Belvedere. For Gin: Aviator if they have it, Hendricks, Tangueray.

 

For Tequila: To sip straight, none better than Don Julio Reposada; for mixing, anything else.

 

Of course, any number of good beers, wines. Also, specialty coffees at Café al Bacio.

 

Stay thirsty my friend and drink responsibly.

   

  

Edited by Spif Barwunkel
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4 hours ago, Alushar said:

 my wife likes the Decadence Martini.

Is that a chocolate martini? If so, that’s the ONLY drink I pay extra for on another cruise line, but it’s worth every penny! 

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OP - you mentioned liking Jack Daniels.  JD Single Barrel is included in the premium package! (YAY! - my fav!)

 

A premium package is also a good opportunity to try things you normally wouldnt.  You might discover new things you like (and if you don't like, no problem - ask for something else!)

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Some suggestions…

 

Sounds like you’re into basics. Which is great. So let’s start with whisk(e)y and go from there. 
 

Celebrity has a very limited number of bourbons, but Makers and Woodford are both nice. Suggestion: Get a neat pour and a side of ice. And a glass of water. Try them neat, but there’s no crime In adding a small ice cube. If you order on the rocks, odds are it will be all ice. After the second pour, you want taste a difference for awhile…
 

Scotch. Better selection. Glenlivet and Glenfiddich are the entry drugs into Single Malt. Same recommendation as for bourbon. Most single malt drinkers will drink them neat. A full rocks pour will dilute fast, but if they seem too “hot” to you, add a bit of ice at your own pace. Macallan is sort of a step up from Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, so try it sometime on the cruise. Macallan is usually priced higher than the others, so it’s a good deal on the package. 
 

Tequila selection. Meh.
 

Rum: Flor Cana and Zacapa 23 are both excellent. Neat or a little ice. 
 

Cocktails:  Does Apex have a World Class Bar?  One of my favorite drinks onboard is the Zacapa Old Fashion, made with rum instead of bourbon or rye. 
 

The premium package gives you some excellent gins. Try a good dry martini with Hendricks or Tanqueray 10. Have a Negroni from a good gin. 
 

I’ve usually found at least one bar on the ship with an old school bartender. .if you find them when they’re not swamped, they’ll take care of you. 

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Our UK seacation included the Classic package but I am fussy about wine especially sparkling wine (not wild about Prosecco) so I upgraded to Premium. I am looking forward to trying different wines with dinner especially as I’ve booked Tuscan Grill for our first night.  Any recommendations?

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If you like whisky, but want something different, try some Drambuie. It’s whiskey that is blended with heathered honey and herbs. It’s a sweet liquour and can also be drank mixed with regular whiskey to make a Rusty Nail (what the Rat Pack was known for drinking). 

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