Friday, August 21, 2009

Celebrity Equinox - Wine Matters and So Does Your Veranda

The wine issue of which I had referred was a comment printed in the first Celebrity Today. It mentioned chilling red wine for twenty minutes. While I knew this was crazy, my DW “had” to mention it to the sommelier at Murano. Oh, what drama! How could this be said? Everyone was in disbelief, so I retrieved my copy for them.


We dined at Murano last night again. As a joke I asked for my Chateauneuf du Pape to be chilled before being presented and we were told, with honest concern for the ship’s wine integrity, of the efforts to point out the error to the home office and have it corrected. It is not an issue for me, but I genuinely appreciate that the sommeliers truly care.

After another truly wonderful meal at Murano, mine being a repeat of the diver scallops, followed by foie gras (with a wonderful pastry filled with duck) and venison with a slightly spicy rub. My DW ordered a much lighter steamed lobster tail (as the rich dining is definitely taking its toll…in a good way!). Unwilling to allow such a simple dish to be presented, the head waiter slipped a Lobster Thermador onto our table…just to try. And it was very, very good; prepared properly with a richness, but without a heavy sauce…as it should be.

We did have another minor wine issue. I had ordered a 1980 Graham’s port to accompany my dessert. It had a nice sized piece of cork in it. Our sommelier was shocked, but recovered quickly presenting me with a 1985 Dow’s port (another outstanding port, though a different style), an apology and no charge on my bill. How could you ask for better service?

Another point about wine: The concept of “smuggling” is really overblown. Not only do I have my carried on wine out on my dresser, our room steward makes sure we have two fresh red wine glasses every day. And when our room is turned down in the evening extra ice is provided for my late night Glenfiddich on the veranda.

Another thing I want to mention, as I think about it, is the size of the veranda and its furnishings. Each veranda has two reclining chairs with separate foot stools as well as a lightweight teak and metal table which is at dining height. This allows for two people to lounge, eat, read or have a late night drink in (It provides real comfort without feeling confined at all.

When you open up the divider between the two rooms we have, it is truly like having a two room suite with tons of room. In fact, I would have to think twice about paying for a suite as this configuration may reduce our living space a bit (but not uncomfortably), but it actually increases our (and our children’s) privacy. I will talk a bit more about this in a later post.