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kent9xxx1

Winery-affiliated Crystal cruises

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There are several CA wineries that host their members on Crystal cruises.  I wonder if anyone has ever taken these cruises before?  The wines are certainly a lot better than what Crystal offers.  Does everyone have access to these wines on the same cruise?

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I would not think so - private groups are private groups with their own activities

 

Catering for the consumption of a small group is a significantly different matter than for all guests. There would also be the question of approving the wines for service to all guests - I know you say they are a “lot better” than Crystals standard wines but standards do need to be vetted and confirmed 

 

The other question is the commercial arrangements required for such service - I’m sure Crystal would want something in return for providing access to their clientele 

 

Maybe they might offer a tasting opportunity by invitation, with Crystals approval, and provide an opportunity to join their club? 

 

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There was a wine club onboard one of my Mozart sailings.  The head winemaker from Domaine Carneros gave a lecture and held a wine tasting onboard.  All guests were invited to attend.  The group also had a private dinner off the ship in Vienna, but it was limited to their own members.

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I have met several guests who come on board as part of Wine Clubs or part of Wineries.  Had wine  clubs last fall on Serenity and at least one on the seven day January voyage.  Any special wines that are part of this would be for these passengers only and not for those of us who are not part of the groups.  

 

Keith

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I guess my question is the wines from a particular winery wouldn't be available at the bar for everyone, but only for a particular group of people?  

 

I'm interested in some of the itineraries, but I cannot commit to additional wine clubs.  Maybe I'll do one and report back in the future.    

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5 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I guess my question is the wines from a particular winery wouldn't be available at the bar for everyone, but only for a particular group of people?  

 

I'm interested in some of the itineraries, but I cannot commit to additional wine clubs.  Maybe I'll do one and report back in the future.    

They would not be at the bar even for those in the club.

 

They might be served at dinner for just them as on some nights they place them in one section of waterside or they might be available at a private function they have.

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)

I recently went on one of the winery-sponsored cruise.  To answer my own questions and others´

 

1.  People with the wine cruise had 1 welcoming wine party & 1 private wine tasting event on board.  Both times, they poured the flag ship wine among others.

2.  Everyone was invited to another winery wine tasting on board, they poured the cheaper wines there.  

3.  They had one wine pairing dinner in one section of waterside.  The food was the same for everyone that night, but the wine was from the winery, including the flag ship wine.   

4.  Whatever extra they had will be available at the bar for anyone to try at the end of the tasting, dinner, event, etc...

5.  One night, they let all the guests in waterside have access to their mid tier wine.  It was certainly a lot better than the swill wine Crystal is serving that night. 

 

I think it´s a win for everyone to be on these winery cruises.  I always welcome additional option.   

Edited by kent9xxx1

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44 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

It was certainly a lot better than the swill wine Crystal is serving that night.

 

Now that’s a bit harsh isn’t it? Swill?

 

Are you seriously suggesting that none of the standard pour all inclusive wines are of an acceptable standard? 

 

I’ve never had an issue finding more than acceptable wines from the all inclusive menu on Crystal 

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Actually, we go locally to some wine dinners and the organizers offer wine cruises. There is a restaurant owner/chef I know that arranges a cruise with a winery involved and you pay the fare which includes his special events too.

 

They are generally like any group cruise with a theme. They are hosted by a winery. They are booked by a tour agency/travel agency. They have special events/dinners/tours all related to interests of the group (wine!).  I could not book that cruise with my own travel agency.

 

There are similar themed cruises for Bridge, Golf, Music....

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kent9xxx1, I am not sure which cruise you were on.

 

I just wanted to note that on the most recent Crystal Serenity cruise from Monte Carlo to Venice a wine group of 90+ people were on board.

 

One afternoon a wine tasting event was held on the ship for everyone regardless of whether you were a member of the group.

 

In my case I met one of the sons of the owners while playing Paddle Tennis and he told me to ask for any bottle of wine at Waterside from their vineyard.

 

Wine is subjective.  IMHO the wines that Crystal Cruises serve as part of inclusive are very good.  Some I prefer over others which is true of wine I purchase at home.

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

Now that’s a bit harsh isn’t it? Swill?

 

Are you seriously suggesting that none of the standard pour all inclusive wines are of an acceptable standard? 

 

I’ve never had an issue finding more than acceptable wines from the all inclusive menu on Crystal 

 

Of all the wines I tried, maybe chateau cartier 2015 was acceptable.  The rest I can skip.  I am particular about wine.  

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2 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Wine is subjective.  IMHO the wines that Crystal Cruises serve as part of inclusive are very good.  Some I prefer over others which is true of wine I purchase at home.

 

 

It is subjective.  I develop a taste for a typical Napa cab, and certain Bordeaux wines.  If the wine is too far from those profiles, I find it undrinkable.  

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28 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

It is subjective.  I develop a taste for a typical Napa cab, and certain Bordeaux wines.  If the wine is too far from those profiles, I find it undrinkable.  

I am fortunate that I don't limit myself to just a few choices in wine.


One of the aspects I enjoy of travel (both on land and at sea) is trying out a wide range of wines which we have done on-board Serenity.  That includes French, Italian, Spanish, California, Australian, New Zealand, South Africa, wines just to name a few.  While I like Cabs I have enjoyed several other varieties on board Serenity of red grapes and have enjoyed some nice white wines.

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

It is subjective.  I develop a taste for a typical Napa cab, and certain Bordeaux wines.  If the wine is too far from those profiles, I find it undrinkable.  

 

When someone has such a limited palate with wines, I'd think again about calling everything else "swill". You have every right to limit your choices, but when you have chosen to do that, it's very unfair to paint Crystal's included wine offerings with such a negative connotation.

 

Patty

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6 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

 

When someone has such a limited palate with wines, I'd think again about calling everything else "swill". You have every right to limit your choices, but when you have chosen to do that, it's very unfair to paint Crystal's included wine offerings with such a negative connotation.

 

Patty

 

Well, name one wine critic who would put these swills anything near 90 points.  It is what it is.  

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I have to say that I have had some amazing wines onboard and I know that Napa 90+ wine profile well.  I just went to a Silver Oak dinner locally and an amazing wine.  I do think you can order some Screaming Eagle onboard but it's not part of the included wine list.

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7 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I am fortunate that I don't limit myself to just a few choices in wine.


One of the aspects I enjoy of travel (both on land and at sea) is trying out a wide range of wines which we have done on-board Serenity.  That includes French, Italian, Spanish, California, Australian, New Zealand, South Africa, wines just to name a few.  While I like Cabs I have enjoyed several other varieties on board Serenity of red grapes and have enjoyed some nice white wines.

 

Keith

 

It´s not about limiting, it´s about finding what you love and what you like and what you can tolerate.  

I tried a wide range of wines everywhere I go.  I actually spent too many days wine tasting all of these places you mentioned.  I can tell you exactly what I didn´t like about each region.  

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8 minutes ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

I have to say that I have had some amazing wines onboard and I know that Napa 90+ wine profile well.  I just went to a Silver Oak dinner locally and an amazing wine.  I do think you can order some Screaming Eagle onboard but it's not part of the included wine list.

 

Well, so if you drink silver oak at home, would you like the C collection cab Crystal is serving you?  It tasted ok, very low tanin structure, a bit too sweet in a sense that they manipulated the wine to make it like a trendy cab.  Almost zero finish.  I mean, how can you even compare the two?  That to me is swill.  

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Hint:  You can order from the wine menu - there is a list of complimentary wines - not just the C Collection.   I don't drink Silver Oak for a daily pour.  Try the Vina Robles Red Blend or Cab on board. We find it drinkable enough to have ordered some for home.

 

Far Niente, Duckhorn, Justin, Cakebread and Rombauer are some of what we have at home.

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I don't think Kent9xxx1 that you will find any cruise line or hotel that has inclusive wines that are marked near 90 points. The only place I can think of that does offer this calibre of wine are some airlines in their first class cabins, but then you're talking about a 12 hour flight as opposed to a 12 day cruise - Crystal would soon be bankrupt! 🙂 

 

If you wish to drink that calibre of wine then you can certainly do so by ordering from the connoisseur list and paying for it. If Crystal were to offer bottles in the 50 USD+ range as their inclusive wines we would be paying triple the amount for the cruise. It's great that you have such an appreciation for fine wines and that you've refined your palette to the point of only finding one or two varieties appealing but to call the inclusive wines swill and presume that they should offer wines in the price range you describe is at best ludicrous.

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7 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

I don't think Kent9xxx1 that you will find any cruise line or hotel that has inclusive wines that are marked near 90 points. The only place I can think of that does offer this calibre of wine are some airlines in their first class cabins, but then you're talking about a 12 hour flight as opposed to a 12 day cruise - Crystal would soon be bankrupt! 🙂 

 

If you wish to drink that calibre of wine then you can certainly do so by ordering from the connoisseur list and paying for it. If Crystal were to offer bottles in the 50 USD+ range as their inclusive wines we would be paying triple the amount for the cruise. It's great that you have such an appreciation for fine wines and that you've refined your palette to the point of only finding one or two varieties appealing but to call the inclusive wines swill and presume that they should offer wines in the price range you describe is at best ludicrous.

 

Actually, I just spent a few days at the Ritz Carlton in Langkawi and they are pouring Taittinger for breakfast.  Speaking of champagne, you know what Crystal does when you ask for champagne?  They give you prosecco.  It didn´t happen 1 time or 2 times for me, it was consistent throughout the entire trip.   It was deliberate & systematic.  

 

I think Crystal is very good overall, but they have short comings as well.  

 

When did I say they should offer wines at the price range I describe?  I only said their current wine is swill.  I think they can do better by cross marketing with wineries.  Wineries have exposure to Crystal clienteles and Crystal has access to better wines.  Some airlines have been doing this for a while.  Like cathay & lynch bages, for example.  

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6 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

Actually, I just spent a few days at the Ritz Carlton in Langkawi and they are pouring Taittinger for breakfast.  Speaking of champagne, you know what Crystal does when you ask for champagne?  They give you prosecco

 

What would be impressive is if they poured it all day or even at lunch, the reason they pour it for breakfast is that not many would actually have any, as opposed to offering it at a different time of day, complimentary.

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5 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

Speaking of champagne, you know what Crystal does when you ask for champagne?  They give you prosecco. 

I agree with you, this is not good at all. We've never had this happen but I know others have said they've been poured sparkling wine when they've asked for Champagne, which is not acceptable. 

 

I also think it would be a great idea for Crystal to cross market with wineries to refine their inclusive list even more. There are a couple of inclusive wines that I personally would love to see them do away with as I think it lowers the overall standard but to call what they do currently offer as swill is not accurate or fair. I'm not sure if you've sailed on other luxury lines or seen the inclusive wines they offer but Crystal's inclusive wine list in my opinion, is far far better not only in quality but in range and diversity too.

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45 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

Actually, I just spent a few days at the Ritz Carlton in Langkawi and they are pouring Taittinger for breakfast.  Speaking of champagne, you know what Crystal does when you ask for champagne?  They give you prosecco.  It didn´t happen 1 time or 2 times for me, it was consistent throughout the entire trip.   It was deliberate & systematic.  

 

I think Crystal is very good overall, but they have short comings as well.  

 

When did I say they should offer wines at the price range I describe?  I only said their current wine is swill.  I think they can do better by cross marketing with wineries.  Wineries have exposure to Crystal clienteles and Crystal has access to better wines.  Some airlines have been doing this for a while.  Like cathay & lynch bages, for example.  

 

Interesting that "they" kept giving you the prosecco. I'd have thought that you would have "corrected" them the first time it happened and have insisted on the champagne.  I know that I always get the champagne when I ask for champagne.

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If you think that Crystal's complimentary pour is swill, you should try the wine on another ship. Some of which you pay for. 

 

We had Veuve onboard which was not complimentary and the price was reasonable.  Less than 2x markup.  Some cruise lines mark up 3-4x.  When we cruised on Oceania, we would buy wine and it was at least that.

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