As a wine lover, you will want to visit Cellar Masters, a feature of several ships in the Celebrity fleet. This nicely appointed wine bar features comfortable furnishings to sit and sip, a wine bar, and an Enomatic Wine Dispensing System that stores and pours with the use of a card.
We had experienced a Cellar Masters on the Celebrity Equinox a couple of years ago, and were eager to see what the experience on the Solstice would be. Our host is Csbas (Sha-vas) from Hungary, a very formal and knowledgeable young man who has had a passion for wine since he was 14. We stopped in to introduce ourselves and were very impressed with Csbas’ knowledge of wine and wine regions around the world. Celebrity has a very good training program for its international wine staff. The staff ranges from the wine stewards in the dining room, to the Cellar Master host, to the overall Ship’s Wine Master who reports to the Food and Beverage Chief Officer. As with most of the cruise line positions, there is a lot of competition to get promoted, and wine knowledge combined with the provision of excellent service, is the path to the top.
We visited Csbas often during the cruise.
On our first full day at sea, there was an Around the World Wine Tasting event at Cellar Masters. There were six wine stations, three representing the Old World – France, Germany, and Spain; and three featuring the New World – California, Australia/New Zealand, and Argentina. There were a total of 12 wines, six reds and six whites, all of which are available by the bottle on the Solstice. These wines were what I would call, price-accessible to just about everyone, meaning that they were not premium wines. A wine steward staffed each position. There was a table with fruits, cheeses, breads and crackers for palate maintenance. The tasting cost $20 per person, and was attended by about 60 people.
We had a very good time, between tasting wines from labels that, for the most part, we had never had. Speaking with the very knowledgeable wine stewards, and connecting with some of the others at the event.
In the next post, I will describe a higher-end tasting of a flight of four French wines that Dorianne and I enjoyed at Cellar Masters.