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bennybear

Wine packages recommendations?

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Just wondering with all the changes In The available wines if the packages have changed?  What do people enjoy that is in the packages? 

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They offer 3 “cellars” (cellar # based on quality/price, low to high) with 4-, 6-, and 8-bottle options.  I wait until boarding, then attend the first wine tasting to see which option(s) I want to purchase.  For example, on my current trip (I’m currently on the Eurodam on the way to Hawaii), I tasted 4 wines yesterday, 2 of which I really liked, both available in Cellar #2. So I’ll likely purchase one of the Cellar 2 packages, either 4 or 6 bottles (I’m single, so ...).

 

Lana

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I wait until I am on board and check the packages and which wines are available and then order the first night at dinner accordingly.

 

Usually we will select #3 and sometimes #2 as well depending on what is available.

 

HAL is supposed to be changing their wine packages at some stage so waiting until on board to order avoids any surprises - whether they have changed or a certain wine is not available 😉 

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We’ve gotten away from the wine packages despite being eligible for a good discount as 3* Mariners. So often we’ve been told “we’re out of that but here’s a good substitute.”  

 

Last time, when we liked and ordered the substitute wine again, the wine steward returned with yet another wine because “that was the last bottle of (the good substitute)”. The mystery substitute-substitute tasted like cheap box wine, and when I looked it up, turned out to sell for less than $10 online. (Obviously there is markup in a restaurant setting, but it was an interesting yardstick.) Drugstore-level wine is not what I expect from the highest priced of the packages.

 

We do tip the stewards extra, by the way, even though that shouldn’t figure into it.

 

HAL has offered these packages as a supposedly good value at a consistent quality pre-screened by their corporate sommeliers. That’s all I ask.  Maybe the latest version of packages will be an improvement.

 

 

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That's exactly why I suggest bringing your own wine aboard.  I checked four prices in the Sommelier Suite #2 and #3.

 

The #3 suite ran between $13 and $22.  Two reds/two whites.

The #2 suite ran between $9 and $20.  Also two reds/two whites.

 

HAL is no different than most restaurants ashore.  They must stock what their clientele will buy.  That restricts the price/quality of the wines.  All too often, the typical person will simply order the cheapest white/red.  Also, the cruise ship is not a good environment for storing good wines for long periods of time.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

That's exactly why I suggest bringing your own wine aboard. 

 

 

We can drive to the port in Florida and always bring our two allowed bottles, but for the next trip, we'll bring more. Our favorite moderately priced red wine - even with corkage added - is less than half of the selling price on board the ship. Even if it were the same price, at least we can count on having something we know we'll enjoy instead of playing guessing games.

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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We usually like to bring wine on board, but next cruise is Asia so not so easy.   Was wonderful in Europe!  

My DH likes  Meiomi Pinot Noir a lot and it is hopefully available on board,  but I guess we will wait and hope to be pleasantly surprised!  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, bennybear said:

We usually like to bring wine on board, but next cruise is Asia so not so easy.   Was wonderful in Europe!  

My DH likes  Meiomi Pinot Noir a lot and it is hopefully available on board,  but I guess we will wait and hope to be pleasantly surprised!  

Our favorite, too. Last year I THINK I saw it on the HAL wine list, but it might have been on Celebrity.

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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Meiomi Pinot Noir was available on the Cellar #2 on the Koningsdam last month.

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Does a wine package include all of the wines or special selections per different package?  A simpler question; if I purchase a wine package of 8 bottles, do choose 8 from the entire wine list?

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50 minutes ago, HMSDingy said:

Does a wine package include all of the wines or special selections per different package?  A simpler question; if I purchase a wine package of 8 bottles, do choose 8 from the entire wine list?

Here is the latest on the wine packages:

There are three levels, each with four, six, or eight bottles.  

You can choose any bottle in the level you purchased.

You can choose a bottle from a lower level.

Expect some variation as different wines may sell out.

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Wine-Packages.pdf

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Just now, HMSDingy said:

Does a wine package include all of the wines or special selections per different package?  A simpler question; if I purchase a wine package of 8 bottles, do choose 8 from the entire wine list?

 

If you purchase the Cellar #3 8-bottle package, then yes, you can select from the entire list (Cellars #1, 2, and 3) of special package wines, a subset of the overall list of wines available on the ship, as not all wines are available for sale via the packages.  If your 8-bottle package is Cellar #2, then your allowable selections would be from the Cellar #2 and Cellar #1 lists.  Cellar #1 is the cheapest package and you’re limited to those wines that appear on the Cellar #1 list.

 

Lana (currently on the Eurodam, anchored in Bora Bora)

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17 minutes ago, daisy-mae said:

Quick question:

 

Does that price include the gratuity?

 

 

Yes.

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26 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

 

If you purchase the Cellar #3 8-bottle package, then yes, you can select from the entire list (Cellars #1, 2, and 3) of special package wines, a subset of the overall list of wines available on the ship, as not all wines are available for sale via the packages.  If your 8-bottle package is Cellar #2, then your allowable selections would be from the Cellar #2 and Cellar #1 lists.  Cellar #1 is the cheapest package and you’re limited to those wines that appear on the Cellar #1 list.

 

Lana (currently on the Eurodam, anchored in Bora Bora)

Thanks, that clears things up.  Do you know where I can see a list of the wines offered per cellar?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

Wow! Thanks. One last question and you can go back to your cruise.  I was looking at the wine package we want on the HAL website, when it comes to ordering , they ask what date we want the wine delivered and whether we want it in the cabin or dining room.  I thought this would default to dining room and for all of the dates. One more thing, the prices on the HAL website are more expensive than the file you just sent me.

Edited by HMSDingy

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Just now, HMSDingy said:

Wow! Thanks. One last question and you can go back to your cruise.  I was looking at the wine package we want on the HAL website, when it comes to ordering , they ask what date we want the wine delivered and whether we want it in the cabin or dining room.  I thought this would default to dining room and for all of the dates.

I’ve always found that confusing, so when I order the package online, I just set the delivery date at embarkation and delivery to my cabin.  You can’t order the individual wines until after you board anyway, and this way I get the wine list and a card in my state room when I board.  Then when I’m ready to order my first bottle in the dining room, I just tell the wine steward which package I’ve purchased, give him/her my cabin # and my selection.  They’ll check to see if the wine I’ve selected is part of my package and bring the bottle to the table.  Easy!  

 

Lana (chilling in my air conditioned cabin after trying to deal with 87 F temp and 100% humidity and deciding life’s too short to be that uncomfortable...)  😳

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1 minute ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

I’ve always found that confusing, so when I order the package online, I just set the delivery date at embarkation and delivery to my cabin.  You can’t order the individual wines until after you board anyway, and this way I get the wine list and a card in my state room when I board.  Then when I’m ready to order my first bottle in the dining room, I just tell the wine steward which package I’ve purchased, give him/her my cabin # and my selection.  They’ll check to see if the wine I’ve selected is part of my package and bring the bottle to the table.  Easy!  

 

Lana (chilling in my air conditioned cabin after trying to deal with 87 F temp and 100% humidity and deciding life’s too short to be that uncomfortable...)  😳

Thanks.  

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19 minutes ago, HMSDingy said:

One more thing, the prices on the HAL website are more expensive than the file you just sent me.

By 15%? I believe the prices on the website include the service charge, and the prices on the list do not.

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1 minute ago, RuthC said:

By 15%? I believe the prices on the website include the service charge, and the prices on the list do not.

Yes I noticed that.  

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On 3/12/2019 at 2:40 AM, kazu said:

I wait until I am on board and check the packages and which wines are available and then order the first night at dinner accordingly.

I agree with kazu's approach which is also what we do. 🙂

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