Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wine on a Disney Cruise - Faith, trust, pixie dust (and a little wine)

As I have just gotten back from a 7 night Disney cruise only to head right into Thanksgiving preparations, it is a bit difficult to get my act together. My kids, kids-in-law, and twin 5 year old grandsons were there with us for a total of six adults and two children – well, semi-adults, as we are all Disney fanatics. We had a wonderful time and we even still all like each other after 7 nights of adjoining staterooms and having most meals together as well as the activities. A good thing, too, since we are having Thanksgiving dinner together.

We were very happy to find that Disney offers an extensive wine list to complement the fabulous dinners, and most wines were priced moderately for a restaurant. In addition, they have two wine programs for which you can sign up. There is the Classic Package for $189.00 and a Premium Package for $292.00. Of course, they automatically add a 15% gratuity to this.

For your money, you get 7 bottles of wine, which can be ordered in many fashions. You may order a bottle per night, several bottles per night, have one sent to your stateroom and, if you don’t drink them all, you may take up to two bottles home with you. In addition, if you don’t finish a wine at dinner, you may also take that back to your stateroom for later consumption. That didn’t happen.

You may also carry wine onto the ship to bring to dinner although there is a $15 corkage fee. Since we drove to Port Canaveral to board the ship, we did not have to be concerned with airline rules. Therefore, between us, we carried on 6 bottles of RagApple Lassie wine and 3 bottles of dessert wine.

The Classic Package gave a selection of 12 white wines from Beringer White Zinfandel to Simi Sauvignon Blanc, and 9 red wines from Smoking Loon Merlot to Wolf Blass Shiraz. The Premium Package included 11 white wines from Domaine Chandon Sparkling to Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, and 8 red wines from King Estate Pinot Noir to Chateau de Peymouton from Saint Emilion, France.

The "package" menu does not show the prices on it, so I looked them up on the standard wine list. For the most part, the Standard Package wines ranged in the mid-$20 to low $30 spread and the Premium Package from the high $30 to $55. We opted for the Premium Package, figuring "what the heck, this is a very special vacation". I normally would not spend $45 to $50 for a bottle of wine in a restaurant as an everyday event. So we tasted some wines we had never had before and that made it even more special.

What did we taste and did it end up being worth the price? Tune in next week for the answers.

Next: When you drink upon a ship, makes a difference what you sip


  1. Linda,
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Just stay off the scale for a week or so. The food is very abundant and readily available on cruises and it all sticks in the areas you least need it.
    Steve Shepard

  2. Steve,
    It sounds like you are speaking from experience!
    Carol K - Lower Burrell, PA

  3. Well, Steve, as it turns out, I fared quite well, surprisingly for me. I really didn't gain any weight. But we forced ourselves to walk up and down the flights of stairs all the time unless we were going to the top of the ship. We also walked around a lot on the ship and especially on the islands, enough that I was tired. I think that really helped.

  4. Yes, too many experiences. How was the conference in Sacramento?
    Steve S -Lewisville, NC