Again, the Pricess markup on Champagnes can be related to the price. The markup on Korbel Brut (Let's not get into the discussion of whether or not Korbel is Champagne. It says "Champagne" on the label.) is egregious. However, the markup on Dom is acrually a reasoanble 50%.
Great idea on the champagne or sparkling wine. The Princess champagne offerings also have some of the highest markups, naturally. But a lot of restaurants do the same as they anticipate customers are ordering to celebrate something or other and price becomes less of a concern. I will probably bring some sparkling on as well, but it's just fun to have sometimes and doesn't need a celebration.
I am the poster boy for having sparklers for a celebration. The XBGuys sailaway practice is to have a sparkling wine on our balcony. On our last cruise we had to fly to the port, and, so, I only brought two bottles on board. Since the bottles for sparkling wines are particularly heavy, the ones I brought were still wines. So, to maintain our sailaway tradition, I pre-ordered a bottle of Dom to be delivered to our cabin. Mrs. XBGuy was very impressed and very pleased. On our next cruise, in two weeks, we are leaving out of the local port. I have an idea of what wines I will be bringing on board, and the California sparkler is, definitely already identified.
I would like to offer an alternative opinion, just for the sake of discussion.
IMO, the food [on Princess] generally doesn't rise to a level of having or needing fine wine.
I have been chastised on internet wine boards for offering the opinion that one should drink the wine you like to drink with the food you like to eat. While there is some merit to wine/food pairing, that concept is quite overrated.
Wine can elevate the dining experience. My cooking at home is, certainly, not Michelin star level, but that is not going to stop me from going "deep into the cellar," if the spirit moves me.
Any "wine geek" who has cruised on Princess more than twice finds the Princess wine list to be pretty pedestrian. Don't get me wrong, there are little gems there, but I don't particularly want to drink the same wine every night. Also, I am not criticizing Princess' strategy in building their wine lists. I am perfectly willing to believe that they know their customer demographic better than I do.
Also, believe me when I tell you, I am not a man of extraordinary economic means. So, I am not bringing Petrus, or Screagle or DRC on board. I am bringing (mostly) domestic wines--some of which are found relatively easily on retail store shelves and some of which can only be procured directly from the winery.
So, to summarize my philosophy, let's say that "better wines" (avoiding the definition of "fine wines") are an enhancement to my dining experience.
I am also going to come at this from a slightly different angle.
On our last cruise we made our first ever visit to the Crab Shack. Beleive me, we are one and done with the Crab Shack. The meal was our least favorite on that cruise. The appalling thing, however, is that the wine list for the Crab Shack is quite abbreviated. I truly wish I had anything better than the best I could find on that list.
The views above are just opinions. There is no science or logic behind them. With all the above and a couple bucks, I can buy a cup of coffee.