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Kali Mireva

Building Cruise Ship Wine Lists: How to Go About It

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Wine is a huge part of any cruise drinks menu. Because of its popularity and the different varieties of wine, you can have with your food, it’s important to have a large wine list. Offering quality cruise ship wine will help improve customer satisfaction. You can even experiment with freezing wine.

Cruise cocktails are also a crucial part of the menu in bars, restaurants, and lounges on the ship. The more drinks you offer, the more and the better the drink and food pairings will be. This can only boost the overall customer experience on your cruise ship!

If you are currently in the process of building a beverage program or organizing inventory for a cruise line, you can easily fall into the trap of thinking mostly about different types of alcohol and cocktail drinks. Although they are crucial too, cruise ship wine can do so much for both passengers and your business. Let’s see what you can do!

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Building Cruise Ship Wine Lists

Building cruise ship wine lists takes careful planning, coordination, as well as attention to detail. Below, we have listed the steps to help you make them effective:

Key Takeaway: It’s important to stock up on cruise ship wine from different countries and in different styles. Wine can be served at bars, lounges, and restaurants, and can also be available at minibars.

Offer Wine for Everyone

Having a diverse wine list is key when you have a lot of customers, which is the case with any cruise ship. Stock up on wine from different regions and ones that go with a variety of dishes. When you focus on diversity, you will also provide wines of different price points. 

When building the list, it’s a good idea to add some exotic wines, as well as vegan wine and non-alcoholic wines. Together with this great variety, you also need to have well-trained waiters that can explain to passengers the notes of the wines and suggest great food and wine pairing options.

Make the List Easy to Read

Presentation always matters. Especially when it comes to long wine lists that may seem confusing and overwhelming at first glance. If you choose to use a paper menu, make sure to not overcomplicate the design. The font should not be too small or very pretty but hard to read. Keep the design of the whole thing simple, yet sophisticated. 

Another great way you can go about it is using SproutQR and making a beautiful, simple-to-use, digital wine list. We do all of the hard for you - from setting up the QR codes to setting up the menu itself and we even provide templates. Going the digital route with this will save you money and time from printing and re-printing wine lists and will make it easier to remove bottles that are no longer available. 

Increase Wine By The Glass Offers

By the glass wines are great to have at any cruise bar or restaurant. They can not only boost the profit margins (see: restaurant profit margin and bar profit margin) but also make the cruise ship wine program you have, really stand out.

The passengers will appreciate the opportunity to enjoy unique wines without having to drink a whole bottle of wine. It’s more affordable for them to get a glass of wine, instead of a bottle, which will result in more people drinking wine. 

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Sourcing Cruise Ship Wine

Sourcing wine is always a process that involves a lot of research and planning. From finding different wineries and distributors to comparing prices and deciding on quantities - it’s a lot of work.

Choosing a Winery or Distributor

The best US wineries are not necessarily where you should get all the cruise ship wine from. You can contact them to ask for prices, quantities, types of wine, logistics, etc. However, you can find many other great places around the globe where you can source wine. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with distributors as well. They could be able to deliver a wider range of wines compared to a winery. You can ask them to help with the selection or for specific wine types. Either way, you need to have good communication to ensure you will get all the bottles you need. 

Gathering Feedback Is a Must

If your cruise ship is not brand new, there’s a good chance you may have some data on what wines people loved the most on previous voyages. The first step to finding out more about which cruise ship wine bottles sold most is by looking at any bottle tracking you use.

The best way to see what people bought most is by looking at the analytics of your beverage inventory software. Using such tools will make it easier for you to see what type of wine you sell the most of and make sure to plan accordingly for the next restock. 

If you don’t yet use such software and all bottles are counted manually, consider booking a demo with BinWise to find out more about the great features our software has. Using it will save you up to 85% of the time you spend counting!

Trying Out New Things

Even if you have a pretty good cruise ship wine selection already, experimenting with more exotic wines or ones from new locations is always nice. This way you can add more value for the return passengers you have and help them discover new wines.

As your food offers change and even trends in the alcoholic beverages world, you can remove some options and add others. Again, make sure you gather feedback from customers via your cruise beverage inventory tracking software but also with the help of the staff. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Cruise Ship Wine

Adventures at sea are always more fun with high-quality cruise ship wine bottles from different parts of the world. But if the information we gave so far wasn’t quite enough, let’s look into these frequently asked questions!

Is There Wine in Cruise Ship Minibars?

Cruise ships cabins and suites have their own minibars, which typically include small bottles of wine. It depends on the cruise line how much and what type of alcohol will be included in the minibars.

However, since wine is one of the most popular types of alcohol people enjoy, it’s great to have even a few options for them in the minibars. 

Are There Wine Tasting Events on Cruise Ships?

Wine tasting is a common activity on cruise ships. These events are a great way to intrigue more people to try different cruise ship wines. It also gives them something interesting to do while learning more about wine from knowledgeable wine specialists

To participate in a wine-tasting event you will most likely need to pay extra money, just like with other special events on board. 

Can Two People Share a Drinks Package on a Cruise?

Paying for a drinks package will allow you to enjoy more cruise beverages, even different types of wine but without the option to share. An all-inclusive drinks package or any other beverage package can be used just for the person who bought it. 

This means that when cruising with a significant other or a friend, it’s best to look into the options and decide whether or not drinks packages are the way to go for you. 

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