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Jan 5, 2009 05:22 PM

Kosher Wine on Ship

We're sailing January 23 from Bayonne, I just learned that the ship (Royal Caribbean Line) doesn't carry Kosher wine on board, unlike Celebrity, Holland America & Costa. They also told me that I was prohibited to bring my own wine on board.

So those thinking about sailing - beware !

Food, they serve Webermans frozen, B"H.

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  1. While I have no doubt that was the answer you received, I'd try to go up the chain of command. Maybe somebody with more common sense and higher hierarchy can do something about it. They would charge a fee for the (I think it is called) "corking", but it'll make your meals more enjoyable.
    With the current state of the economy, customers have more power than ever!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrotmd

      I find this surprising, especially considering that Celebrity is owned by RCCL.

    2. Kosher Wines
      239 Chardonnay, Baron Herzog Kosher
      California, USA
      240 Merlot, Baron Herzog Kosher
      California, USA
      see their site
      do not spread loshon horah without checking

      5 Replies
      1. re: uropsych

        I don't understand this post; what loshon hara is being spread and against whom? I'm pretty sure Royal Caribbean Line is not a Jewish company. Was someone implying that Baron Herzog wine is not kosher?

        1. re: queenscook

          Someone was saying that RCCL ships do not carry kosher wine but uro seems to be saying he found evidence that they do.
          FWIW, the majority shareholder of RCCL is indeed Jewish, as is the current president.

          1. re: DeisCane

            Thanks for those who replied, with possibly the exception of uropsych. It is indeed true that Kosher wine is available on Celebrity (their sister company) Royal Caribbean does not offer that opportunity - not even with a corkage fee. I've spoke to company execs and they said possibly in the future, but certainly not at this time.

            1. re: RichardGee

              I've spent a lifetime chasing down myths and slaying "jobsworths" (as in "It's more than my job's worth to ..."). I did a quick Google check on <"kosher wine" "royal caribbean"> (be sure to include the quotation marks) and sure enough there have been exceptions, notably a wedding reception. ("We brought our own kosher wine and Royal Romance had a table ready for all of these items (plus the kiddish cup, candles, etc.) so that worked out well.") I realize there's not much time left, but this is an eminently winnable matter. You could, of course, confront them by just bringing the wine along with a copy of a fax you send to the Chairman of the company expressing outrage and explaining what you're going to do. (What you will see when you run through the Google hits on that search includes a number of cruise reviews that assume, or imply, that RC like other lines, offer kosher wines. You might parlay that error into a concession from the cruise line since they would be troubled by a whole slew of corrective notes in the online versions of the various cruise reviews.)

              1. re: punktlich

                I was told by my gabbai that cruise lines do carry kosher wine, and that you simply have to be persistent. He said that you typically have to ask the purser at least three times if they do in fact have any. He said that he has never taken a cruise on which kosher wine was not available.

                I suppose for non-Jews there may simply be a lack of understanding of what is so special about kosher wine. They think it is just wine that has been blessed by a rabbi.

      2. I brought four bottles of kosher Champagne (real champagne) to Alaska last Summer on Celebrity. My cabin steward brought us flutes and an ice bucket. We even drank it in the spa. No one batted an eye.

        All the best,

        Rafi Schutzer

        1. I know it's not RCL, but my husband and I brought the allowed bottle of wine per person onboard onto Carnival this February. We slipped a bit each night with dinner into Nalgene bottles and kept the bottles in our mini-fridge in the room. We also avoided the Weberman's meals by having food from a Miami restaurant brought onboard the ship. It was amazing.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Pluckyduk8

            Could you please explain a little further about the food from Miami.
            I assume that you paid for it and not the cruise line?
            How did you store it and warm it up and on what and where did you eat it?
            Did you get a discount for not eating the ship's food?
            Any explanation would help. Thank you

            1. re: sja

              We ordered food from Sam's Deli. We paid for the food from Sams, and no, we didn't get money off the cruise. What you do is speak to the special needs/access office. They took all sorts of info from the owner of Sam's that was going to deliver the food, such as their name, phone number, and license plate number. Sam's delivered the food (which was labeled by day, and double wrapped for warming) the morning of. We had a little bit of a snafu there, because the special needs office didn't speak to the Maitre D so when the owner of Sam's got to the port they at first wouldn't take the food. When we got there the owner was at the main street of the port waiting. Then we found the person in charge of the dock, who spoke to special needs office (the central office) who confirmed what was going on, and sent Maitre D came and met the food halfway on the dock. Hopefully, if the special needs department speaks properly to the Maitre D of the actual ship and the person in charge of loading the dock this shouldn't happen again. The boat has your food in a refrigerator and you have the same table and waiter each day that knows how to deal with you. There is also a special access person on the boat. They are in charge of people's allergies, the kosher food, and the like. She bent backward for us. We had a mini-fridge in our room (you take out the drinks that are in there, just remember to put everything back or you'll get charged) and could put stuff in there too. We brought a soft cooler to take offshore with us with things like deli sandwiches from Sam's for off port (yes this is somewhat not allowed but we had no choice and we never got caught) and filled it with ice from the boat in bags to put in the cooler. Also, since we are not too picky, we had some fresh fish that they double wrapped in foil and cooked for us a few nights which was delicious. I never at sea bass before this and it was delicious! They can also cook fresh veggies in foil if you aren't concerned about the cutting of it. Overall we had an amazing time and we would do it again, but hopefully without the problems we had at port getting the food on the boat.

              Oh, breakfasts...Fresh fruit is cut up. The milk and yogurts are kosher. There's many types of cereals. Talk to the Maitre 'D or the special needs person on board about other foods and if you want to look at packaging. For example, the soft serve ice cream and the bagels were kosher.

              The frozen Weberman's meals are nasty and unedible. Gross.

              Let me know if there are any questions.

              1. re: Pluckyduk8

                Thank you for your very detailed reply.
                Even with paying for the food it seems that it comes out a lot cheaper then joining the Kosherica or Suite Life cruises which are terribly expensive. The price may be justified because of the costs involved but still it's a fortune.
                The verdict seems to be out about Webermans as you seem to be against it and the next poster "RICHARDGEE" seems to say it is okay.

                I would assume that they would have the Webermans on hand in any case if you ordered Kosher, something which would give you extra choices and quantity.

                How much in advance do you have to let the Special needs people of your private food delivery? It seems that your method is a great way to take advantage of the many last minute deals poping up all over especially since the "regular " Kosher needs at least a month in advance, thus no last minute deals

                Lastly how do you get in touch with Sam's Deli?

                Thanks for your help

                1. re: sja

                  I forgot the length of time we did it in advance. It definitely was cheaper than taking a kosher cruise which was at least 2-3 times the amount of a regular ticket. Contact Sam's Deli's regular number and ask to speak to the owners if possible because that is I think who we dealt with.

          2. So in the end it all worked out, RCL did indeed carry two Baron Herzog wine ( Jay Buchsbaum will be glad to hear that), and each night we had a glass of wine with dinner. They couldn't have been more cooperative ( after they tormented me with misinformation). So go on a cruise - order Kosher food - Webermans from Miami, enjoy yourselves. We certainly did.