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Cruise line beverage programs

Beverages are a huge part of the cruise experience

By Cristian Pirvutoiu

Cruise line guests are a diverse and always changing group. The dynamism of onboard operations is unlike any land-based establishment. Celebrity Cruises carry guests from 139 countries and constantly reposition around the world. What people want to drink depends on their tastes, time of day, and the experience they're looking for. Our program must appeal to everyone and bring them closer to the destinations we are visiting. For example, we will have more wines from Australia/New Zealand when the ships are based there and more gins when the ships are based in the UK. We should not only support guests in enjoying what they love, but also offer the opportunity to expand their horizons with the guidance of our team.

We continue to offer the cocktails our guests know and love, including our martinis and the exclusive World Class Bar menu, and are excited to introduce creative drinking experiences such as the Grey Goose Vodka Soda and the Bombay Sapphire Stir Creatively paint set. In addition, we've expanded our selection of Low-Alcohol by Volume and Zero Proof drinks so that everyone can enjoy a thoughtfully-crafted beverage. We are also excited to share new, environmentally conscious products with our guests including sustainably produced wines and carbon neutral beer. There's nothing quite like sitting at the Martini Bar onboard one of our ships, choosing a classic Vesper or the Dill Pickle Martini. The Veldt at the Eden Bar on our Edge class of ships features Del Maguey Mezcal and our verdita made in house with pineapple and lemon juice, cilantro, mint, and jalapeño. It is smoked inside a mossed wooden box and served as spectacle good enough to drink.

Over the past months, we've worked on refreshing our Beverage Enrichment Program, focusing on experiences that will bring the destination onboard. We've updated our Food & Wine Pairing and Walk Around the World Wine Tasting, developed new Martini and Mixology Masterclasses, and introduced Oregon and European Wine Tastings for respective itineraries. We've also identified and communicated new protocols and policies that will keep our guests and crew safe and healthy.

Our team members continually upgrade their knowledge and skills. We have a relationship with WSET in London, the world's leading provider of qualifications in wine, spirits, and sake, and are certifying our 250 Sommeliers on a continual basis. Each restaurant onboard has a dedicated Sommelier. All bartenders and bar servers will be beer certified servers by Cicerone.

There is a lot for team members to know. Over the past eight years, we have won 77 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence based on our diverse and exclusive wine program. We have more than 600 wines from 19 different countries with bottle prices ranging from $25 to $100,000. Our Blu List wines are produced using one of the following production methods: organic farming, biodynamic farming, solar power, enhanced water conservation methods. Our Tuscan Grille (photo) wine list features Roxanne Wines by Sting. We have private label wines created exclusively for us by Jackson Family Wines and Grgich Hills Winery. George Riedel himself created two glasses to optimize the drinking experience of our Opulence blends (and all wines are served in Riedel wine glasses). We offer over 90 beers and ciders featuring a rare selection of hard-to-find beers. Over 200 spirits are offered featuring an extensive whiskey selection.

Guests can find different experiences as each of our ships is slightly different in design. Some have our Craft Social concept (which includes wines on tap), while others have the World Class Bar. Warm beverage service is consistent across the fleet along with our signature venues Café al Bacio, a European style café, and Martini Bar.

With Celebrity's "Always Included," every guest can receive a classic beverage package that includes an unlimited array of water, beers, cocktails, frozen drinks, and wines by the glass up to $9 per serving. The package also includes a 15% discount on all bottles of wine. Guests can choose from 41 wines by the glass, 50 beers, 85 spirits, 18 espresso drinks made with Lavazza Coffee from Italy, and 12 Forte Teas.

Along with two new ships and a third coming soon, new luxury experiences are arriving. There will be a Champagne tasting featuring Veuve Cliquot, Ruinart, and Dom Perignon served in Riedel Champagne glasses. The Sinatra Supper Club will feature the music Frank Sinatra made, the food he ate, and the whiskey he drank. We've also partnered with Laiba Beverages, a 100% carbon neutral company, to welcome suite class guests with a specialty bottled cocktail to start their voyage. Rare Vines List is a curated selection of wines offered exclusively on Celebrity Apex.

No matter the ship or itinerary, every guest deserves an unforgettable experience. Beverages are an integral part of making that happen every day.

February 2021

Cristian Pirvutoiu worked onboard Celebrity ships for eight years, then moved to the corporate office as a manager. For the past two years he has been the Director of Beverage Operations and Development.


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