Monday, July 31, 2017

Searching for Best Chocolate Martini at Sea

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Started on Celebrity Constellation

In 2003 we sailed on Celebrity Constellation to the Baltic - at least we began the cruise.  We'd spent two nights in London pre-cruise and boarded the ship.   We had planned a private excursion in St. Petersburg, Russia with folks we met online. Shortly after sailing, the phone rang in our cabin - it was my niece with bad news.   My mom had passed away.  Our cruise was about to end abruptly.

Since we had the tickets for the Russia excursion, we contacted the others that were going with us.   We broke the news to them that we'd be disembarking at the first port of call, Oslo.  Immediately, they said, come meet us for a drink in the Martini Bar.   I'd never had martinis before, but agreed.

This is where I had my first chocolate martini.   I don't have any pictures - we weren't really in the mood as you might imagine.   From that point on, I've tried chocolate martinis on most cruises. I think to myself "Mom this one's for you."   I'm pictured above 3 years later when we concluded our trip on Constellation.

Most Memorable Martinis

We sailed on Celebrity Century in 2007, right after it was refurbished. An ice bar was added which served martinis. Once again we met a group of passengers online and we'd meet with them each night before dinner.

We'll never forget the bartender, Leo, and his assistant, Enrico. The first night I ordered a chocolate martini and I told Enrico that I liked them to be creamy. Leo made the perfect chocolate martini. They wrote our names in the ice bar and from then on, they knew us by name each evening. We didn't even have to give them our room key - they already would have the receipt filled out with our information. The tables and chairs would be arranged for our little group, awaiting our arrival.

One night, we didn't show up for our pre-dinner cocktail. When they saw us later that evening, they told us they were all concerned. It turned out that we'd made dinner reservations at one of the specialty dining venues at our usual meeting time.

Sometimes we'd arrive early and Leo wasn't there. Enrico would try to make the chocolate martini but he just couldn't get the proportions correct, and he'd say we'd have to wait until Leo arrived. Memories like this are priceless. Their friendly service has stuck with us all these years. Enrico had previously been a butler, but when there were no openings when his contract was renewed, he took this new role. We are so happy that he did.

Some Top Contenders

Here are some of our favorite chocolate martinis. Three of them are from the Royal Caribbean family of cruise lines - Royal (Allure of the Seas), Celebrity (Century), Azamara (Journey). The final entry here: Carnival Triumph.

We've started a Pinterest board, "Margaritas, Martinis, & More" where we will post some of our favorite martinis and other drink creations from our cruise vacations.

What's Your Favorite 

Do you like chocolate martinis as well?  Perhaps you'd like to join us in our quest to find the perfect one onboard a cruise ship.

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