Friday, August 28, 2009

Celebrity Equinox - Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar

The great thing about a great cruise is that so many great things are happening you don’t have enough time to write about them as quickly as you like…because there are other great things to be done.


Our next day, August 24th, was a sea day. It nicely allowed us to rest up before four hectic days visiting Israel and Egypt. However, I was so busy and having so much fun that “rest” never really happened. (I am actually writing this after having been to Israel and Egypt – which were truly fascinating and enlightening experiences – and which I will write extensively about.)

After spending some time with the kids, being a bit frustrated by the crowds around the pool and spas, and attending the Corning Hot Glass Show, which is quite popular, both in its education and the fun of hoping you will win one of the beautiful glass pieces they create in front of you, it was time to start checking out some of the Celebrity Life wine seminar offerings. Note, however, that the Celebrity Life program announced seems to be more of a repackaging of already existing Celebrity offerings; just with a bit more cache.

I attended the Reidel sponsored seminar on how the shape of the wine glass affects the taste of the wine. While I was familiar with the concept, what I had never done in quite so much detail was drink wine out of the various “wrong” glasses to confirm the glass makes a serious difference – good and bad. It was, to be sure, enjoyable and even a bit enlightening…and I have drunk and talked about my fair share of wine in my time. At the end of the seminar (which costs $87) you are given a voucher for a single set of four Reidel crystal glasses which you can carry off or have shipped for a reasonable price. You are also given the option of purchasing additional sets at a discounted price.

While I usually am very skeptical of the cruise lines pushing anything onboard which costs money, I honestly believe this seminar/purchase is an excellent value for anyone interested in wines except for the true expert. And Celebrity limits the number of people per cruise that can take the seminar to 40 (a number which was not reached on our cruise.) Also, this seminar is not available on every Celebrity cruise, so if you are interested, you may want to check in advance…though you cannot sign up for the seminars before boarding.

On the next sea day Celebrity will be holding a Wines From Around the World tasting in Cellar Masters. It is presented not so much as a seminar, but an opportunity to taste 20 different wines from 12 different countries along with appropriate canapés and such. Frankly, at a cost of $20 per person I think it is another tremendous value, even if you don’t care about another other than having a few glasses of wine. I will, of course, let you know how it goes.

I also had the honor of dining at the Captain’s Table with Captain Apostolos Bouzakis. Aside from the fact that my DW sat next to him and had nothing to do with me because she was so charmed by him and his good looks, Captain Bouzakis was the most open, friendly and animated captain I have dined with. Of course he answered questions, but he made us laugh. The Captain has invited us to the bridge and I am truly looking forward to seeing what one of the most state of the art large cruise ships has onboard.