Maybe I’m just a wino, but one of the things we do during the First 24 Hours on a Cruise Ship is look for wine tastings. This is a great way to taste the available wines on the ship without committing to a full bottle (or glass). When we cruised Ruby Princess from Seattle to Alaska last summer, we found SIX wine tastings available during our sailing. And yes, we made reservations for (most of the time required) and attended every single one of them.
The first of six tastings was the popular Maitre d’Hotel wine tasting in the Michaelangelo Dining Room. This tasting featured six wines available in the dining rooms and around the ship, and we’re paired with light canapés.
The second wine tasting, Old World Wines, was in a more intimate setting at the wine bar Vines and featured three red wines from the Old World (France and Italy). The bold red wines were paired with bold cheeses that complimented the full body of each of the wines.
When I said earlier that we look for wine tastings, we physically walk the entire ship during the first cruise day, which is how we found out about this tasting being quietly advertised from the wine bar only.
This wine tasting hunting expedition is also how we discovered the Wine Tasting & Food Pairing at Share, Curtis Stone’s specialty restaurant onboard Ruby Princess. This wine tasting included small bites from the Share’s menu artfully paired with each of the six wines (sparkling, white wines, and red wines).
The fourth wine tasting, Grapevine Wine Club, was back in the Michaelangelo Dining Room. This tasting drew a large crowd, which the dining room was easily able to accommodate, and featured a continuance of popular wines served in the dining room. I had enjoyed Princess’ 50th Anniversary Prosecco on a British Isles Cruise on Royal Princess and was happy to find that we were still celebrating with that particular wine.
The fifth wine tasting was back in the wine bar Vines but this time featured three New World Wines (Argentina, Chile, United States). These bold red wines were paired with spicy tapas that complimented the full body of the New World Wines well.
The sixth and final wine tasting, Norman Love Chocolate & Wine Tasting, was in Vines again, but limited to their Stammtisch table. The concept of a Stammtisch table in the wine bar hails from German tradition of a “regular’s table” where friends gather for an informal get together. So this wine tasting was very limited (less than eight people) and featured three red wines delicately paired with Norman Love chocolates. Perfect way to end a cruise!
I’ll let you in on a little secret: three of these wine tastings were in one day! And we had to take a nap in between the second and third that day. On vacation, we don’t judge. Have you attended any wine tastings on cruise ships? These events are not to be missed!