The Best Value at Sea: NCL’s Martini Tasting

If you are anything like me, one of the most expensive parts of any cruise vacation is often the bar tab.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those slurring, staggering drunks you’ve seen at the pool bar or sliding down the hallways, one shoulder pressed to the wall even during calm seas.  But hey–it’s vacation, right?  You probably want to have a few drinks.  Or maybe more than a few.  But those drinks can add up.  Fortunately, on my most recent cruise–New York City to Bermuda on the NCL Star–I discovered the best value at sea: the martini ‘tasting’.

One of the fancy, fruity martinis.

I’ve put the word ‘tasting’ in quotes because the word tasting implies that you are only getting a taste.  This is not the case with NCL’s tasting.  They should really call this a martini ‘drinking’.  For the low, low discount price of $15 per person you get to enjoy four different martinis over the course of an hour or so.  And they are pretty darn good, too.

On my seven-day sailing to Bermuda, there were three tastings offered–one on each sea day.   And, uh, I may have gone to every single one.  Purely for research purposes, of course.  You’re welcome.

Each day’s tasting included four different martinis, so over the course of the cruise I was able to sample twelve different variations, from the classic martini (with two olives) to a chocolate raspberry martini.  The final drink in each tasting included a creamy, sweet version of the classic cocktail, and the two middle ones were typically some sort of fancy, fruity flavor, from peach to passion fruit.  My personal favorite was a martini ominously called ‘hypnotize me’, which was a red, white, and blue layered concoction that reminded me of those ice cream truck bomber pops.  I also really, really liked the espresso martini.  Which is odd, considering I don’t like espresso.  Or creamy drinks.  But the espresso martini was fabulous.  That, or I was just really happy after the first three drinks.  Which is entirely possible.

While we drank, our cheerful bartender told cheesy jokes, and with each passing ‘taste’, the crowd got more chatty with each additional drink.  I can’t think of a better thing to do with fifteen dollars and the four o’ clock hour one a sea day–can you?

Disclosure: While NCL did provide me with a media rate for this sailing, all opinions are my own.  Additionally, I paid for all of my own drinks.  All twelve of them!

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