My wife and I did the wine tasting on the Spirit in Alaska this year and we both thought it was just ok. Some quick background on us so you can have a better sense of our opinions: We are both early 30's and usually buy wines in the 10-15 dollar range and we love to try new types and all kinds of varietals. We used to live in Virginia and would often drive to a different winery every couple of weeks to try them. Their whites were usually pretty good and the reds were usually awful. Apparently cabernet franc must grow like weeds in that part of the country cause every winery has one and they were uniformly terrible. But I digress ...
Anyway, the cost per person was 15 dollars and they held it in the supper club during the afternoon of one of the sea days. They poured about 2 ozs each of 5 different wines, 3 white and 2 red. There was a chardonnay, a sauvignon blanc, another white I can't recall, a cabernet, and a merlot. The wines were also paired with a small amount of food. A slice of cheese, a slice of apple, a bite of chicken , a bite of salmon and another cheese I think. The wines were nothing to scream about but they were fine (You won't be tasting anything particularly expensive, and it will most likely be stuff from the wine menu they are pushing that week, not that that makes them bad by any means). The food pairing was ok, except that both the chicken and salmon were undercooked (we like med. rare steaks, but pink chicken makes us a touch nervous).
The sommelier spent most of the time talking about the wines and how to taste wine the correct way, which you probably already know, but we did pick up one or two new things as we usually do with these sorts of events. Overall it wasn't boring, nor was it terribly exciting. As we left we both felt that we were glad to have done it to experience it, but that we probably would not do another one. We sort of thought that we would have had just as good a time if we went to the bar and gotten a few glasses of wine on our own. We don't usually love the sea day stuff they do on board for entertainment (with the exception of the art auctions which always leave me in awe, talk about amazing people watching) so we thought this would be a good diversion and for that I would say it was worth it. Sorry for the long response, I hope it helps a bit and feel free to ask if you have any additional questions.
thanks for your reply - I didn't attend a wine tasting on my 1st cruise (Sensation) but now that I know there is a fee for it, I know I will NOT be wasting my time on my next cruise. I figure you're right, just like the spa treatments, it's just another way to "sell" you on buying bottles during your meals or to have in your room.
Sweded's wine tasting experience was much better than ours. Maybe part of it was part of the nature of the cruise - no "days at sea". The wine testing was held in the wine bar, it was very noisy. No description of the wines was offered. We were given a short wine list and allowed to taste 5 wines off of the list.
A Bad Day At Sea [with power] Always Beats A Good Day At Work
Alaska 2014 - haven't picked a cruise yet
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, Caribbean 2013
We did the wine tasting and enjoyed it very much! It was fun and we enjoyed chatting w/some other cruisers and relaxing. They offered us several wines to taste as well as cheese and crackers. I believe we paid about 10.00 p/p and to us it was well worth it. NO "big sell" on the wines either! Kelli and I like wine and we did learn some valuable information.
It's best to get a bottle of wine for dinner every night, then you can really taste it.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
On my last cruise on Valor, there was a wine bar and they had tastings there. I enjoyed myself.
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011