I know less about wine than nuclear physics; I care less about wine than NFL football (even though I live within walking distance of the Seahawks stadium, I can’t name a single player); and I’d rather drink the juices of a wrung out mop after a weekend shift at Waffle House.
Please forgive me for everything I just said (having managed to offend 100% of my readers) and trust that if I liked the Wines Around the World wine tasting, you probably will too!
Wines Around the World: A New Latitudes Loyalty Benefit for those Platinum and Above
While this new Latitudes benefit offered to those Platinum and above on NCL has technically been around for months (it was added as part of the revamped loyalty program), it wasn’t being offered due to Covid restrictions. But I’m happy to report that as of September 2022 it’s now available on most ships and I was lucky enough to be on one of the very first sailings to offer it!
How to Book the Wines Around the World Loyalty Benefit
While Wines Around the World is complimentary for those Platinum and above, it’s required that you register in advance. Stop by the CruiseNext desk on embarkation day to find out when and where it will take place and to sign up.
You’ll receive a paper confirmation with the date, time, and location…
…but your name will also be added to a list and checked off when you arrive at the tasting. On my sailing the event took place on our first sea day at 11am in La Cucina (the Italian specialty restaurant).
The Deets on Wines Around the World
After checking in and a brief introduction to what we (there were 8 participants at my tasting) could expect…
…we were each given a wine glass, a booklet, and a pen. The purpose of the booklet was so we could take notes on each of the tasted wines. There was a page for each of the eight wines and each page included a space for the name of the wine, the type of wine (white, red, rose, or sparkling), the region where the wine was produced, notes on the characteristics of the wine, and an overall rating (with up to five stars).
While several participants filled their booklets, mine remained totally blank (shameful for a former college professor – don’t tell any of my students!) and I returned it to the table afterward to be used by someone who didn’t wonder why the bottles of wine weren’t using their “legs” to run toward someone who would properly appreciate their musical ability (I dunno, maybe only dogs can hear floral notes?).
There were four different stations set up, representing four different countries: Italy, France, Argentina, and the United States. We learned about and tasted two wines, a red and white, from each country, for a total of eight wines. Pours were generous – I joked with a new friend I made at the event saying, “I’m normally a cheap drunk, but today I’m a free drunk!”. We were able to rinse our wine glasses out after each pour and crunchy breadsticks were provided as a palate cleanser.
For each wine we learned about where the grapes were grown and how the location affected the characteristics of the wine. Information about acidity, tannins, sweetness and alcohol content was also provided. And we were told the price per bottle and by the glass (if it was available onboard by the glass). The tasting lasted about 30 minutes. There was a sales pitch at the end about pre-ordering bottles of wine for the remainder of the cruise, but it was brief and low-pressure.
Conclusion: What I Thought of the New Wines Around the World Loyalty Benefit
I loved it! I learned a lot about wine (which I had no intention of applying and promptly forgot). I enjoyed a nice buzz and an excuse to overeat at the buffet (I’m just trying to soak up all this alcohol!). And I left with several new friends (who regularly “blessed my heart” when I did inappropriate things like dipping a breadstick in my wine in an attempt to enhance the buttery undertones). Overall, I found this to be an excellent addition to NCL’s loyalty program which is, in my opinion, the best at sea. If you’re Platinum or above, I strongly recommend you try it on your next cruise. And if you’re not Platinum or above, I strongly suggest you use this as an excuse to cruise more! And with that…
Homework (10 points): If you’ve tried Wines Around the World, share your thoughts to the comments. If you haven’t tried it yet, are you looking forward to trying it? And if you hate wine and are wondering what non-awful drinks are available on NCL, you can check out all the bar menus HERE.
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