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Wine quality with the Classic Beverage Pkg

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We've been in BLU consistently since we started cruising again in 2017.  Never knew about the BLU Wine List 😞  Anyhow….we enjoyed Decoy Cab every night on recent cruise, plus Port. And, DH loved the Villa Maria SB. 

And always opted for the Premium Package.  Here's the latest from CC site as to what you get with Premiun.  Classic +.....

 

All classic package items, PLUS: Specialty coffees & teas, craft & artisan beers, spirits, cocktails, frozen drinks, Coca Cola products, premium bottled water and wines by the glass up to $15 per serving. Also take a 20% discount off all bottles of wine!

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As others posted the wine on the Classic should work for you.   If you don’t like it just pay the difference in price to try those that are included in the premium before paying for the package upgrade.  

 

Or ask for your wine to be served in a Riedel Glass.   According to them it makes cheap wine taste better.   I think they serve the wine in the bar grade Riedel glass in the dining rooms.  

 

You could also purchase a Wine Wand made by Philip Stein

 

https://www.shoptrywine.com/phillip-stein-wine-wand.html

 

You can also take a few bottles of your own on board.   You can drink it in your cabin but will cost a corkage fee if in the dining room.  

 

If none of those work drink it out of the bottle in a brown paper bag. 🤗   Reuse the bottle and bag you took on board and pour the ships wine in it.   🤔😱 

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, davekathy said:

You were lucky.   Typically it's only at the embarkation port and only two 750 ml bottles per storeroom.  I guess theirs an exception to every rule. I've leaned over the years on CC not everyone's experiences are the same. 

I have been lucky many many times then.

 

There were quite a few bringing back bottles of wine from their winery excursions.  I have yet to see one stopped.

Edited by NMTraveller

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20 minutes ago, NMTraveller said:

I have been lucky many many times then.

 

There were quite a few bringing back bottles of wine from their winery excursions.  I have yet to see one stopped.


what if you have one or two in your carry on,  the other person the same and then 2 in each piece of checked luggage?   How would they know how many you have?  
 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, miched said:


what if you have one or two in your carry on,  the other person the same and then 2 in each piece of checked luggage?   How would they know how many you have?  
 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

NMTraveller isn't just talking about the embarkation port. All ports of call.  What you're suggesting at the embarkation port would be harder to control. 

Edited by davekathy

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:31 AM, julia said:

Without hesitation, if nicer wines are important to your group, then the premium package is a must.  We always upgrade, especially with OBC.  You'll find a wider selection in Cellar Masters... along with a knowledgeable somm.

My recollection of the wine list in CM is that the prices are mostly in the premium package range. We have always upgraded to the premium package for that and because we like to keep hydrated with sparkling water, which isn't included in the classic package.

 

On 12/31/2019 at 5:57 PM, NantahalaCruiser said:

If you are happy with grocery store wines in the $12 to $15 per bottle, then you will probably be fine with the classic; if not, then consider upgrading on board.

I'm happy with those wines. Some of them are in the premium package.  I'd say the class package has the $8-10 bottles.

5 hours ago, drakes2 said:

  I've skipped the wine tastings on the last 2 cruises as the prices have gone up and I didn't care for the offerings.  They were all wines from the classic package and low end. I wonder if there is a way to find out what is being tasted before signing up.  They ran out of a red cab from Argentina which I had not tried but found a substitution. It was actually pretty good but that's 1 out of 12

 

 

If they are having the tasting in Cellar Masters, you can find out from the winetenders. If not, they can probably find out for you.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NMTraveller said:

I have been lucky many many times then.

 

There were quite a few bringing back bottles of wine from their winery excursions.  I have yet to see one stopped.

Yes you have been then.  Still a gamble. 

 

Only the limited number of people you have observed on your cruise. 

Edited by davekathy

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This is such a subjective thing.

 

I certainly am not a wine snob, but do enjoy my wine.  I do not enjoy cocktails, and an occasional COLD beer is great, but wine......oh my!!!  We live in the Chicago area, and have terrific bottles of wine available to us.  For those familiar with the Chicago area, "if you can't find it at Binny's, it just isn't worth drinking".

 

In my opinion, if you enjoy a good glass or two or three, you will be disappointed with the classic selection.  To put it into perspective, the wines in the classic package are mostly available at Binny's, and can be purchased for five to nine dollars PER BOTTLE.  Certainly, not your "premium" wines.  

 

The premium wines in the premium package are a little better.  Even some of the premium wines are of low quality, but there are some very nice glasses with the premium package.  

 

I recommend the premium package.

 

During your first day or two on the ship, peruse all the bars and restaurants, including the specialty restaurants, and look over the wine lists.  Find  the ones you would like, and even if they are not available in your dining room of choice, for example, the Main Dining Room, just tell your sommelier and have him get that specific wine for you on subsequent evenings.  The sommelier can get any wine as long as it exists somewhere on the ship.  Do not let Him/her tell you otherwise.    

 

I don't remember the maximum price you are allowed with the Premium Package, but it is like $15 or $16 per glass.  For that reason, there are some very nice wines available for $17 to $20 per glass, and please try these, and you will be charged for just the difference.  I imagine these are not included with the premium package, as they want to limit their usage.  People just don't seem to realize that there are some very nice glasses of wine available, above the premium rate.  Find out what they are, and order them.     

 

 

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8 hours ago, lifeisrealygood said:

This is such a subjective thing.

 

I certainly am not a wine snob, but do enjoy my wine.  I do not enjoy cocktails, and an occasional COLD beer is great, but wine......oh my!!!  We live in the Chicago area, and have terrific bottles of wine available to us.  For those familiar with the Chicago area, "if you can't find it at Binny's, it just isn't worth drinking".

 

In my opinion, if you enjoy a good glass or two or three, you will be disappointed with the classic selection.  To put it into perspective, the wines in the classic package are mostly available at Binny's, and can be purchased for five to nine dollars PER BOTTLE.  Certainly, not your "premium" wines.  

 

The premium wines in the premium package are a little better.  Even some of the premium wines are of low quality, but there are some very nice glasses with the premium package.  

 

I recommend the premium package.

 

During your first day or two on the ship, peruse all the bars and restaurants, including the specialty restaurants, and look over the wine lists.  Find  the ones you would like, and even if they are not available in your dining room of choice, for example, the Main Dining Room, just tell your sommelier and have him get that specific wine for you on subsequent evenings.  The sommelier can get any wine as long as it exists somewhere on the ship.  Do not let Him/her tell you otherwise.    

 

I don't remember the maximum price you are allowed with the Premium Package, but it is like $15 or $16 per glass.  For that reason, there are some very nice wines available for $17 to $20 per glass, and please try these, and you will be charged for just the difference.  I imagine these are not included with the premium package, as they want to limit their usage.  People just don't seem to realize that there are some very nice glasses of wine available, above the premium rate.  Find out what they are, and order them.     

 

 

I'll have the premium package and one of the wines I'd like to try is Grgich Hills I think its $17 per glass but not sure if its red or white or both. I plan on trying a few at a  upcharge.

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16 hours ago, miched said:


what if you have one or two in your carry on,  the other person the same and then 2 in each piece of checked luggage?   How would they know how many you have?  
 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

Simple, they don't. There is no process in place to determine how many bottles of wine a couple could be bringing in if bottles were split across four or more bags. 

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21 hours ago, fragilek said:

I am willing to buy a bottle as long as price not outrageous (comparable with restaurant prices I would be fine with).  I might do the wine taste experience early on the sailing and see if I find one I like that's available by the glass.  It's a shame they don't do Cloudy bay's little sister Oyster Bay as its always good value for money although not in the league as Cloudy but for me still a safe bet.

 

The wine tasting events are ok. I found it enjoyable enough when we attended with friends. Just bear in mind that you won't have a professional sommelier discussing the wines offered and they are a little rushed. 

I think that Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough is probably the safest bet a wine buyer can make. There aren't really any bad ones. Have you ever tried the Cloudy Bay Te Koko expression? They don't have it onboard sadly, but the right vintages are sublime. :) 

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3 hours ago, Moby Jones said:

I think that Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough is probably the safest bet a wine buyer can make. There aren't really any bad ones. Have you ever tried the Cloudy Bay Te Koko expression? They don't have it onboard sadly, but the right vintages are sublime. 🙂

 

I used to enjoy those wines but tired of the grapefruit and stopped drinking them a couple of years ago. Have they mellowed since?

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3 hours ago, Moby Jones said:

 

The wine tasting events are ok. I found it enjoyable enough when we attended with friends. Just bear in mind that you won't have a professional sommelier discussing the wines offered and they are a little rushed. 

I think that Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough is probably the safest bet a wine buyer can make. There aren't really any bad ones. Have you ever tried the Cloudy Bay Te Koko expression? They don't have it onboard sadly, but the right vintages are sublime. 🙂

you said Malbourough (beetle juice) too many times - now having a glass of Oyster Bay lol.  Never seen the Koko Cloudy bay -  Cloudy bay is kept as a treat  for us so I will keep my eyes peeled so a change for my next treat night.

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15 hours ago, lifeisrealygood said:

 

I don't remember the maximum price you are allowed with the Premium Package, but it is like $15 or $16 per glass.  For that reason, there are some very nice wines available for $17 to $20 per glass, and please try these, and you will be charged for just the difference.  I imagine these are not included with the premium package, as they want to limit their usage.  People just don't seem to realize that there are some very nice glasses of wine available, above the premium rate.  Find out what they are, and order them.     

 

The only problem with that is if the wine had been opened a day or two before, it will have oxidized.   If you've ever had a glass from a freshly opened bottle (within a couple of hours) and one that had been opened for a day or two, you can certainly tell the difference.  If you do this, be sure to tell your sommelier that you don't want a glass from a bottle that had been previously opened the day before.  Make sure you tell him you can tell the difference.  🍷

 

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24 minutes ago, Wine-O said:

 

The only problem with that is if the wine had been opened a day or two before, it will have oxidized.   If you've ever had a glass from a freshly opened bottle (within a couple of hours) and one that had been opened for a day or two, you can certainly tell the difference.  If you do this, be sure to tell your sommelier that you don't want a glass from a bottle that had been previously opened the day before.  Make sure you tell him you can tell the difference.  🍷

 

Excellent point Mike!

Last cruise in Blu, our Sommelier offered me some Caymus Cab by the glass. it had definitely been hanging around a few days, it wasn't terrible, but not worth the extra coin. He actually left the bottle and said no worries no charge.

 

you still cruising with Sean?

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On 1/6/2020 at 1:07 PM, Wine-O said:

 

The only problem with that is if the wine had been opened a day or two before, it will have oxidized.   If you've ever had a glass from a freshly opened bottle (within a couple of hours) and one that had been opened for a day or two, you can certainly tell the difference.  If you do this, be sure to tell your sommelier that you don't want a glass from a bottle that had been previously opened the day before.  Make sure you tell him you can tell the difference.  🍷

 

We do that frequently, and the sommeliers/winetenders are only too happy to oblige. On Celebrity, anyway.

 

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On 1/6/2020 at 4:36 PM, highway180 said:

Excellent point Mike!

Last cruise in Blu, our Sommelier offered me some Caymus Cab by the glass. it had definitely been hanging around a few days, it wasn't terrible, but not worth the extra coin. He actually left the bottle and said no worries no charge.

 

you still cruising with Sean?

No.  We're doing more Royal Caribbean.  As we cruise 5-6 times a year, Celebrity has becoming too pricey, especially for a stateroom in Blu, which we love.  🍷

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Fascinating thread. Wine is indeed subjective and the difference in one’s preference is sometimes more about style rather than “quality” or price. Case in point - being the selection in Blu. I haven’t the least interest in “big” (far to often meaning fruit and oak driven) cabs or oaky (As in Cal or Aus) chards. My preference leans toward old world wines where the fruit is less pronounced and the use of oak is far more judicious. Such wines are not to be found on Blu’s list but limited selections of such style we’re available at one or two other locations on the ship. (We’re presently on Reflection and the Blu sommelier was kind enough to acquire some simple red Bordeaux and a pleasant Petit Chablis - neither of which are expensive wines - from other nearby bars). 

 

That said, from the description you provided of your preferences, my guess is you’ll find wines in the Premium package price range which will suit your tastes but those wines may not be available in all bars or restaurants. It may take some sleuthing as well as some respectful negotiation to acquire wines to suit your tastes.

 

 

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On 1/6/2020 at 4:07 PM, Wine-O said:

 

The only problem with that is if the wine had been opened a day or two before, it will have oxidized.   If you've ever had a glass from a freshly opened bottle (within a couple of hours) and one that had been opened for a day or two, you can certainly tell the difference.  If you do this, be sure to tell your sommelier that you don't want a glass from a bottle that had been previously opened the day before.  Make sure you tell him you can tell the difference.  🍷

 


Disney found a fun way to solve the “leftover” issue before it gets bad. Of course you cannot be overly picky about specific labels or vintages, but...

 

They have the Sommelier Bin where for one price, you get a random glass of red, white, or sparkling (your choice in that) wine that has been opened and needs to be sold before turning. In most cases - especially sparkling - you will end up paying less than had you ordered that one on its own. If for some reason the glass would have been less, you pay the lower amount.

 

It’s a fun way to play around - and they do tell

you what you have (you can guess if you have that kind of knowledge), so you might find something new that you love. So it’s pretty much win-win for them - they don’t have to throw a lot of undrunk wine away, they recoup a little bit of the bottle cost, and they potentially make more on sales later if you like the one you got and order it again by name.

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On 1/6/2020 at 7:31 PM, critterchick said:

 

I used to enjoy those wines but tired of the grapefruit and stopped drinking them a couple of years ago. Have they mellowed since?

 

There's plenty with no hints of grapefruit. Just read the tasting notes before purchase and you'll likely find one you enjoy. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 7:39 PM, fragilek said:

you said Malbourough (beetle juice) too many times - now having a glass of Oyster Bay lol.  Never seen the Koko Cloudy bay -  Cloudy bay is kept as a treat  for us so I will keep my eyes peeled so a change for my next treat night.

 

It is for us too. I'd definitely try the Te Koko as a treat too. Let me know what you think if you do. :) 

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On 1/5/2020 at 7:51 PM, critterchick said:

I'd say the class package has the $8-10 bottles.

Perhaps it depends on the state you live in. We had a CA Chardonnay from The Seeker on the Classic Beverage Package on our cruise last September. It sells at a wine store chain in NC for $13.99.  Have also seen it advertised online at $9.99 at a NYC discount store!

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This is not specific to celebrity as I have the same issue on Rccl and recently on NCL - keep one specific Pinot Grigio stocked and please stock prosecco.  Prosecco doesn’t mean duc Val mer.   My choices are not expensive but I want what is on the menu please.  😊

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On 12/31/2019 at 1:51 PM, drakes2 said:

I agree the Meiomi pinot is very good. Did not care for the Cherry Pie too much.  Not a fan of Castle Rock or Kendall Jackson wines whether its Cabs or Pinot. I was recently gifted a bottle of Beringer reserve in my cabin and it was excellent.  

 

I agree, I am not even a big fan of pinot (but my husband is) and the Cherry Tart was not to my liking at all.

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On 12/31/2019 at 5:55 PM, kathynorth said:


This happened to me on a recent cruise. When the sommelier said he couldn’t get the wine I had at Cellar Masters (in package) I said I would go get a glass of the wine from CM myself. He said wait a second, went to the phone, then said they were able to find a bottle after all. 

 

This was a big problem for us too on Reflection in November 18.

We get the premium package for the wines.  We do drink cocktails occasionally but aren't too picky as long as the alcohol isn't something awful.

 

We felt that although there were some OK wines on the list, you couldn't get them anywhere!  Even the Oceanview Cafe (where we ate several nights because we were traveling with our kids) had a very limited selection.  I understand every bar can't have every wine, but there were few "premium selections" available anywhere.  Now that Cellar Masters is gone from Equinox (which is where we ended up going to get wine and take it with us to dinner) I don't know where we will get it.  A lot of the dessert wines also seem to be available only in dining room.  We are going to be at Luminae for dinner this round so hopefully they will have the dessert wines available to us.

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