If you enjoy wine, purchasing a wine package on your cruise can be a good option.After attending the wine tasting on the Koningsdam spring transatlantic cruise, we decided to purchase several different wine packages to enjoy during our 14-day cruise between Ft. Lauderdale and Rome.
A Look at Holland America’s Wine Packages
Holland America Line offers three different wine packages called The Sommelier Suite. Each package — straight-forwardly named Cellar No 1, Cellar No 2, and Cellar No 3 — contains 14 different bottles of wine, half white or rose, and half reds.
Purchasing a package of four, six or eight bottles saves cruise guests up to 25 percent off of the single bottle price.
Loyal Holland America Mariners get an even better deal:
- 3-star Mariners receive a 25 percent discount on the package price
- 4- and 5-star Mariners receive a 50 percent discount off the package price
A 15 percent service charge (before any discount) is added to all packages.
As 5-star Mariners who used to bring their own wine on board — paying a corkage fee after the first bottle — we find these wine packages an ideal way to enjoy a variety of wine on Holland America cruises.
We enjoyed also enjoyed the Greystone Sauvignon Blanc, the Los Riscos Merlot and the Estancia Pinot Noir that are a part of the Cellar No 1 package.
Cellar No 2 is Holland America’s middle-priced wine package, with a number of familiar California and Washington wines. Simi Chardonnay, Estancia Pinot Grigio and Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc are all comfortable wines to enjoy during cocktail hour or sitting by the pool.
A fellow cruiser at wine tasting advised that the Le Grand Courtage Brut was a good sparkling wine choice. Another friend recommended the Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti when dining at the Canaletto Italian restaurant. We agreed with these recommendations.
As Pinot Noir lovers, we expected to order several bottles of the well-known Meiomi Pinot Noir; however, many other cruisers must have had the same idea as the ship was out of this wine. Our wine steward graciously offered to serve is the Hangtime Pinot Noir (from the Cellar No 3 package) in place of the Meiomi.
Cellar No 3 is Holland America’s most expensive wine package, but if you purchase 8 bottles the price is $41.13 per bottle before the service charge. For 4- and 5-star Mariners, these are terrific wines for a little over $20 per bottle.
As we were traveling with a group of friends, we bought the wine packages and shared, resulting in getting to try a number of different bottles on the list.
We knew we liked the Drylands Sauvignon Blanc from the wine tasting. We enjoyed the Big Easy Chenin Blanc from South Africa. The Laurenz V “Singing Gruner Veltliner was perfect with a slightly spicy dinner at the Tamarind Restaurant.
Our favorite surprise of this list is the Meiomi Rose, a crisp wine that paired well with all kinds of food.
Have you tried Holland America’s Sommelier Suite of wine packages? What are your favorite bottles?
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