I just finished reading Pamda's article and kind of smiled to myself while reading it.
Pamda...you got it EXACTLY right and it has always amused me that there is such a strict protocol to the whole event that we have experienced it precisely as you describe it.
On Celebrity (every time we sailed with them); Princess (only on one ocassion) and numerous most enjoyable evenings on HAL, the evening proceeded in precisely the same pattern.....and the wines are always terrific!!
We've had some fabulous evenings compliments of these always gracious Captains.
A question for you, if I may: "When the wine steward pours each wine, I have never heard him announce to the table what we are drinking. He just pours it and leaves (but, of course, returns for frequent refills). Is it proper to ask him what we are drinking? Would this in some way be offensive to our Captain Host?
If a wine is particuarly to my taste, I really want to know what it is. I have tried to see the label but often my vanity at these elegant evenings, precludes wearing the "specs" or the steward has a napkin wrapped around the bottle!
In no way is it an offense to the Captain Host to inquire about the wines. In most cases, they are quite proud of their selections and those wines may not appear on the regular wine list.
A compliment to the Captain Host on the wine is in order and a request (very quietly, to the sommelier or waiter) to have the label soaked off and given to you is very much OK. Just do it very discreetly.
That is a REAL compliment and it will get back to the Captain. Of course, mentioning the wine in your thank-you note is a good thing to do. It just might result in a bottle being sent to your cabin for further enjoyment.
Queeg and I still remember (painfully) a soaked-off label that Queeg took to our local purveryor of wines with instructions to buy a case. Case price? $78/bottle.
Pam i really enjoyed the article...You hit the high points it brought back memories of the Majesty of the Seas in 92..Our whole table was invited to dine with the captain..He was very interesting, and we talked about all the new BIG ships coming out..[Rhapsody,Grandeur, Enchantment etc]..while he would not reveal the names,we felt privy to all the gossip..My photo sits at my computer as I type: Trip/Friday Chat Host
Nice article, Pamda. When we dined with Captain Bang on Vision, our experience was similar to what you describe with a few variations. One interesting point, the Captains wife and college aged daughter were cruising with him, and, while we all chose from the regular menu, his daughter had a cheeseburger. What is it they say, sick train sit Gloria on Monday?
Not quite, Paul. It's what my friend Gloria Rosenthal, the Actors Equity Official Historian of the Broadway Gypsy Robe has to deal with when she takes the Long Island Railroad into the city. If she checks on schedules, she does NOT want to hear
Finally got my "Cruise Travel" yesterday. I immediately turned to your article, Pam. Loved reading it - especially since I have never been invited to dine at the Captain's table on any of our cruises. However, our table was right next to the captain's on our Millennium cruise. It was interesting to see who the lucky passengers were. Anyway, thanks for the insight!
Although I haven't seen the article yet, I totally agree with Pamda regarding her answer to your question, Judy.
Sometimes, it's an ice-breaker to have something like a wine selection to talk about. It gives the Captain a chance to show his expertise about the wine and then, a conversation may start up about different wines, or countries that grow wine, that he (or others) have been to previously. I think if the question is asked in a curious sort of way, there can be no harm in asking at all.