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Why do they bother having sommelier?

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On Edge now, dining in one of the main dining roms. The sommelier is way too stressed. We specifically told him, when he poured us Prosecco to start the dinner, that we want one wine for the starter and another for the main course. He said he would be back. But he hadn’t turned up yet, as we finished the starters.

 

The second night was just as bad. Why have a sommelier if they can’t get to do their job? I think of a sommelier as someone with knowledge. Not someone to simply pour the wine. I want someone to suggest the best wine for the food I want. 
 

Last night, after we complained by the manager, the sommelier was prepared. He said he had now gone through the menu (don’t they always?) and had a suggestion for a wine that would ’go with everything’.

 

Why can’t the waiter just take food AND wine order? 
 

What are your experience with sommeliers in main dining room?

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Posted (edited)

Sounds like they need more sommeliers, not fewer.

 

speak to the Maitre D.  Tell him what you experienced and what you want.  They can usually take care of the situation and can make suggestions for pairings.

Edited by cruisestitch

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Posted (edited)

All the sommeliers seem to be stretched thin and I don't think many of them are truly sommeliers;  more likely wine servers with some basic training on wines.  We have had some we asked for suggestions to pair with a entrée and they were way off the mark.  When we encounter one of those we just choose our own wines.

 

We don't dine the in the MDR often but when we have if we know what wine we want we just tell the waiter and they get it.  If we order something from the sommelier we watch to see where they place the bottle and  when we need a refill the waiter or assistant waiter and they will get it for us. 

 

 

Edited by jelayne

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We were on Edge for Christmas. Wuyan, a sommelier in the Cyprus Dining Room, is outstanding. We first met her in Luminae on Equinox over the summer. I think they definitely have too many tables to service to offer the attention we would like. While she was just as efficient as last time, she simply didn't have the time to quiz us and make recommendations as last time. That said, we still were served two different wines appropriately timed to our meal.

 

I found the waiters did take wine orders, because once my husband asked for sommelier service as he wasn't sure which wine he wanted. And another time the waiter served a nice red, and later the sommelier had to track him down to figure out which one it was for our second glass.

 

With everyone having the beverage package now, it would be nice if there were more sommeliers in the dining rooms, but it was never bad enough that we felt we needed to complain.

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Posted (edited)

Is it a sommelier or a wine steward?  There is a big difference between the two.  A sommelier has gone through major training and is allowed to wear the elaborate chain with the wine tasting cup . A wine steward doesn't have that training.

Edited by hancock

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We have had pretty good luck in Blu and the specialties, not so much in the MDR.  Too many people, too few sommeliers in the MDR. As far as thier knowledge, that's been hit and miss. Some are great, most are ok to poor.  But then again they are probably trying to keep within package limits with most people and pick stuff that's readily availible to them so they don't have to spend too much time finding a particular wine.

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On Reflection at present. The Somms in Blu have been very good - as well as very patient with my requests to source wines not on the appalling (IMO) Blu wine list.

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The best sommelier we have ever had on land or sea is Maggie, and she was in Luminae on Equinox.   She was amazing.  I'm sorry your experience was less than excellent.   We don't eat in the MDR anymore but if we did we'd probably just pick a wine ourselves and order it.  

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My money is on wine stewards, not Sommeliers.  I also would agree, that they are stretched in their duties, especially in MDR.  

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1 hour ago, jelayne said:

All the sommeliers seem to be stretched thin and I don't think many of them are truly sommeliers;  more likely wine servers with some basic training on wines.  We have had some we asked for suggestions to pair with a entrée and they were way off the mark.  When we encounter one of those we just choose our own wines.

 

We don't dine the in the MDR often but when we have if we know what wine we want we just tell the waiter and they get it.  If we order something from the sommelier we watch to see where they place the bottle and  when we need a refill the waiter or assistant waiter and they will get it for us. 

 

 


So if you’re not picky and are ok with a glass off the menu, you can order it from your server? I like wine, but am not overly picky as long as it’s red and would rather not have to deal with a sommelier (I’ll just get a glass elsewhere and bring it with me if you have to wait, probably).

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ClaudiaB said:

The best sommelier we have ever had on land or sea is Maggie, and she was in Luminae on Equinox.   She was amazing.  I'm sorry your experience was less than excellent.   We don't eat in the MDR anymore but if we did we'd probably just pick a wine ourselves and order it.  

We had the pleasure of sailing with Maggie in Luminae on Reflection and agree she is amazing

Edited by cruisinsusin
spelling

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Posted (edited)

We sailed with Maggie, can't remember what ship, but agree she was excellent.  I often regret the introduction of the beverage packages, we had much better selections and service when we bought by the bottle, which we still do on occasion.

 

Edited by CHEZMARYLOU

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Since the introduction of bev pkg perc many more seem to order wine with dinner while number of sommeliers has if anything decreased.   The problem with ordering off the menu is many listed wines are out of stock.  

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I am also guessing more "wine steward/server" than sommelier. That said, most have done a good job pairing our wine with what we are having for dinner (no real complaints on our end).  We do seem them having to cover too many tables, though, and feel there could be more of them.

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1 hour ago, hancock said:

Is it a sommelier or a wine steward?  There is a big difference between the two.  A sommelier has gone through major training and is allowed to wear the elaborate chain with the wine tasting cup . A wine steward doesn't have that training.

Okay, okay, okay... most of us know that many are 'Wine Stewards' with a few Sommeliers in certain restaurants from time to time to assist on the ships...

 

Many of us refer to them all as Sommelier's and call it a day... even though we know they are not the big S. Many of them have the depth and background of a Sommelier and as such provide excellent input on desire and taste and pairings.

 

When we find a great one, we stick with them as much as possible.

 

Many of the Steward's, IME, have the training but not the exams behind them to gain The Chain, as it were.

 

Salute and bon voyage

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Also, this needs to be a comment on the survey which goes to Corp., I always comment on the shortage of Stewards/Sommeliers aboard most sailings we have taken.

 

Salute and bon voyage

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1 hour ago, ClaudiaB said:

The best sommelier we have ever had on land or sea is Maggie, and she was in Luminae on Equinox.   She was amazing.  I'm sorry your experience was less than excellent.   We don't eat in the MDR anymore but if we did we'd probably just pick a wine ourselves and order it.  

 

1 hour ago, cruisinsusin said:

We had the pleasure of sailing with Maggie in Luminae on Reflection and agree she is amazing

 

43 minutes ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

We sailed with Maggie, can't remember what ship, but agree she was excellent.  I often regret the introduction of the beverage packages, we had much better selections and service when we bought by the bottle, which we still do on occasion.

 

Another vote for Maggie.  She is excellent, knowledgeable and will go above and beyond to find you something.  We had her in Luminae once on Eclipse.

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1 hour ago, wpgcycler said:

On Reflection at present. The Somms in Blu have been very good - as well as very patient with my requests to source wines not on the appalling (IMO) Blu wine list.

We will be on the Reflection in March and dine in Blu.   Good to know they will source other wines!  thanks for that tip.   

 

In the past we have had wonderful service where the sommelier could discuss the wine on one cruise and then service where the sommeliers could barely get through through the dinner hours in another cruise.  not sure why one had time where the other did not. These  were experiences all in Blu.   The last cruise, we had no interaction with the sommelier at all.  Not a problem as I knew what I wanted and didn't need pairing suggestions. 

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I've had very hit or miss experience with the sommeliers in the MDR. Some have been absolutely fabulous with both the recommendations and service, some have been pretty good with the service but fairly clueless with recommendations (one just recommended Cab or Chardonnay, regardless of what I ordered), and some that were nonexistent. They have definitely cut back on the staff, which puts them all in a challenging position. 

 

And I agree - make that part of your comments after the fact - not sure if it actually makes a difference, but it can't hurt! 

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We had a great Sommelier in the Bistro Cafe on EDGE...

She was knowledgeable and attentive to everyone in the room ..kept us all very  happy! Live the lunch menu there!

 

No issues or complaints in the 4 mdrs either,

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1 hour ago, wallysdtr said:

Not a problem as I knew what I wanted and didn't need pairing suggestions. 

I'll have the PBP on my upcoming Mediterranean cruise on Apex and plan on upgrading by the glass. If the wine list is similar to that on the edge there will be some excellent wines to try. I love big bold cabs but also enjoy pinots chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. 

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3 hours ago, ClaudiaB said:

The best sommelier we have ever had on land or sea is Maggie, and she was in Luminae on Equinox.   She was amazing.  I'

 

Maggie was excellent.  Too bad she is not on Celebrity any longer. 

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I have read on here where passengers have praised the sommelier for pairing every course to perfection with the wine.

 

On every cruise when they ask if we would like wine I would tell them that we haven’t seen the menu and don’t know what we will be having and would like them to pair the wine with the food.  Always get the same   response that it doesn’t matter what I am having and just order what I like to drink

 

Other than that we never had a problem with getting more wine during our meals.

 

The problem we always seem to have is the few times we have desert is that the coffee is never served before or even when the desert is served.    If  ice cream comes with the desert it is melted by the time we get coffee.

 

Happy cruising.  🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

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We too have experienced waits for sommelier service in MDR. On at least two separate occasions I have had a conversation with the maitre d and had good outcomes.

On our last cruise on Reflection this past November, we had very good service. I also noticed there were additional drinks waiters in the MDR.  

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We find you need to be proactive if you want wine by the glass paired with each course or more than one glass of wine.

 

We let the waiter know that we want our wine before the food is served and tell the sommelier the same thing.  They usually make it happen.  It only takes once for the food to be served and be allowed to sit until the wine arrives for them to get the message that you really do want you wine "paired" with your food.  Because we are picky about the wine service we either do traditional dining or select dining at a table for two.  Select dining and joining a larger table can be ackward it no one else is having wine by glass IMHO.

 

Wine by the bottle seems to get more sommelier attention.

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