On embarkation day, if you head over into Europa to the La Piazza bar area, you can see and sign up for the various beverage seminars offered during your particular sailing. On our recent 7-Night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy, we noticed a few new tastings available.
Each of the beverage tasting seminars are about 45 minute in length. The dates and times listed below were from our 7-Night Eastern Caribbean sailing on the Disney Fantasy March 9-16, 2013. They are done mostly on sea days, however, on our cruise, there was one offered on Castaway Cay day. Please keep in mind that the offerings and times are subject to change from cruise to cruise.
- Amari Tasting (NEW)
La Piazza: Sunday 4:45pm
- Wine & Chocolate Tasting (NEW)
Ooh La La: Monday & Thursday 12:15
Skyline: Thursday 3:00
- Rum Tasting (NEW)
Meridian: Monday 1:00
- Champagne Tasting
Oh La La: Sunday 12:15
- Martini Tasting
Meridian: Sunday 1:00 & Thursday 1:00
- Wine Tasting – New World
O0h La La: Sunday 1:45
- Cognac Tasting
Cove Cafe: Sunday 10:00pm & Meridian: Monday 10:30pm
- Whiskey Tasting
Meridian: Sunday 10:30pm & Cove Cafe: Monday 10:00pm
- Tequila/Margarita Tasting
Tube: Monday 4:45 & Thursday 4:45
- Beer Tasting
O’Gills: Friday (Castaway Cay) 4:30
We did Mixology on the Fantasy on our December 8-15 cruise, and we’ll have a post on that soon. That one was a lot of fun and we highly recommend it! Unfortunately, on this cruise, we did not get a chance to do any of the other tastings. We are interested in the Champagne and the newly offered Wine & Chocolate tastings, and hope to do those on one of our upcoming voyages. We did, however, stop in Ooh La La on Thursday evening while our daughter spent some time in the kids club, and enjoyed a lovely champagne cocktail called the Tropicale (good, but a little sweet).
While we were sitting there enjoying the cocktail, we chatted with the bartender, Giovanni from Italy. He was truly an awesome guy. We started talking about various champagnes after talking about the ones we had for the Champagne Pairing at Remy Brunch. Giovanni was full of knowledge.
Then, we mentioned the tastings and Giovanni told us that he did ALL of the tastings on the Wonder (he had recently been on the Magic and Wonder and was now on the Fantasy, all in one contract!). He told us that he was the bartender that proposed the Amari tasting and that he held the tasting for several of the officers before they decided to add it as an offering. Our big question was, “What exactly is Amari anyways?” Well, amari is an Italian herbal liquor, usually referred to as an after-dinner digestif. He told us that most are bitter, but that their flavors can be changed simply by what you eat right before you drink it; something as simple as an Italian almond cookie can bring out several different notes in the liquor. One of the types of amari, Fernet Branca, is one of the bitter ones and is made from a secret family recipe using 27 different herbs still to this day (there in, in fact, a cocktail make in La Piazza which uses Fernet Branca called the Bauta). Giovanni was the perfect person to talk to about this to and not only did he describe it to us, but he went out to La Piazza and brought back 3 of the Amari bottles for us to smell. You could definitely tell that they were 3 distinctively different composures.
The conversation about amari lead to wine, cognac, and then to vodka. Giovanni spent one hour with us just chatting about all of these different things. He was a very nice, informative, and amazing guy!
Overall, the various tastings are a great way to spend some time on a sea day. You will learn a lot from these bartenders; they have a lot to offer! What tasting are you planning on doing on your upcoming cruise?
GIovanni was amazing at the Amari tasting on the Fantasy last week! We enjoyed it greatly! We also attended the Rum tasting and had a wonderful treat of an Appleton estate 21 year old rum, worth the tasting!
We were fortunate enough to attend the inaugural Wine and Chocolate Tasting on the Dream a couple of weeks back. It was a very interesting experience. You had the opportunity to see how wine, port, and whiskey tasted with various dark, milk, and white chocolates. I think they are still working out the kinks, but it was a very interesting seminar. Having said that, we still like Mixology the best!!!
We did Wine Tasting – New World on the Fantasy in November 2012. It was a SNOOZE compared to Mixology. We are avid wine drinkers, but there was simply too much information and too many glasses of wine for us to glean any actual knowledge. Also, the wine wasn’t varied to a large enough degree that we could observe any small, subtle differences in each. The crowd was also decidedly more tame than the Mixology group. In short, it wasn’t as much fun. A good deal, YES. Fun, not so much. If you’re into pins, they handed those out at the end. A round one with a bunch of grapes and the saying “Wine Tasting from Stem to Stern”.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Do you tip at a rum tasting or mixology?
We attended a Martini tasting in the Meridian the week of the cast member “shakedown” Fantasy cruise. One of the martinis was called a “snowflake” or “snowdrift”…snow something. Does anybody have the recipe?