Royal Caribbean bartender crowned Best Bartender at Diageo Reserve World Class Global Travel Final


Royal Caribbean bartender Shekhar Grover was awarded best cruise line bartender by Diageo Reserve World Class Final event in Miami.  Shekhar impressed with his "incredible showmanship, inventive cocktail-making and unrivalled flair".

Shekhar, 27, competed against 5,500 bartenders from other cruise lines  He and fellow competitors were tested on different aspects of their craft, creativity and bartending knowledge.

The winning drink for Shekhar was the 'French Royale' featuring CÎROC Vodka.

Shekhar will now advance to the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year Global Final taking place July 28th in London, where he will compete against 50 of the world's best bartenders to be named bartender of the year.

Shekhar works on Oasis of the Seas and was quite happy to win the award, "I'm thrilled to win the WORLD CLASS Global Travel Final and I'm very excited to be going forward to represent cruise-line bartenders at one of the industry's most prestigious and respected mixology competitions. I've been inspired and challenged by many talented bartenders over the last few weeks and I'm really looking forward to using the skills and knowledge that I've developed through the program to wow the judges."

Recipe for Shekhar's signature serve: the 'French Royale'  


  • CÎROC Vodka
  • Sauternes Dessert Wine
  • Fresh Grapes
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Crème De Cassis


  1. Muddle fresh grapes in a Shaker Glass, add fresh lime juice and sugar syrup
  2. Then add CÎROC Vodka and dessert wine. Add a splash of Crème de Cassis and cubed ice. Shake all the ingredients well and double strain in a chilled martini glass

Glassware: Martini glass

Garnish: Cassis infused skinned black grape (soak overnight)

Royal Caribbean wins best martini cocktail award


As part of the 2013 Bacardi Cruise Competition, Royal Caribbean won first prize for the best martini cocktail.  The winning drink, called the Med-Mary, was crafted by bartender Enrico Basile.

Royal Caribbean will be including the winning drink as part of their fleet-wide menu.  The drink was created by Basile aboard Navigator of the Seas.

Want to make it at home?  Here's the recipe:


  • Salt and pepper rim crust 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 drops balsamic vinegar 2 basil leaves
  • 1/2 oz BACARDI® Superior Rum 5 ml simple syrup
  • Top up MARTINI® Prosecco Sparkling Wine


  1. Mix the salt with a hint of pepper and make the crust on the rim of the Martini glass or a flute Champagne glass
  2. Muddle the 3 cherry tomatoes in a Boston mixing glass
  3. Add the drops of balsamic vinegar, the leaves of basil, the BACARDI® Superior Rum and the simple syrup
  4. Shake well and double strain in the glass
  5. Top up with MARTINI® Prosecco Sparkling Wine

Royal Caribbean Classic: Labadoozie


More than likely if you've been on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Caribbean you have run across an alcoholic drink that is famous among Royal Caribbean fans called the Labadoozie. Labadoozie's have reached cult-like status for being a large, fruity alcohol drink that is just perfect to have while on a beach. 

So what is a labadoozie?  Basically, it's a frozen drink that mixes a lot of citrus juice, such as orange and pineapple, with a lot of rum.  Ice plus juice plus rum equals the perfect cold drink for a beach day at Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private island.  Not only is the drink tasty, it's also large.  Royal Caribbean staff will walk around Labadee for most of the day selling this iconic drink in plastic souvenir sports bottles.  

By the middle of the afternoon, you will see tons of labadoozie cups everywhere with many passengers opting to indulge with this drink for a way to forget their problems at home.  It's one of those drinks that seems to satisfy all kinds of drinkers.

While the labadooze is famous for its generous serving of rum, you can order the drinks virgin (with no alcohol) so that younger people in your party can have them or if someone just would prefer not to have any booze.

Because Labadoozies are so well known across the fleet and because of their popularity, the good news is you can usually order a labadoozie on your cruise ship even if you aren't in labadee.  It wont be in the sports drink cup, but it can hit the spot for the days at sea you wish you were still at Labadee for.

Labadoozie recipe

The two most common questions about labadoozies are what's in it and how do I make it at home?  Fret no more, we have answers to both.

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Papaya Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • 3/4 oz Dark Rum
  • 3/4 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine
  • Crushed ice
    (Makes one cocktail)

Video: A look at the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines


Royal Caribbean passengers love new cruise ship soda machines


Royal Caribbean has rolled out Coca-Cola's Freestyle machines to some of its cruise ships and already its passengers are loving it.  

Royal Caribbean directory of fleet beverage operations, Bob Midytette, says the new soda machines are more popular than they envisioned, "We ran out of product on the first voyage. It was more popular than even what we thought it would be."

The Freestyle Machines offer passengers 125 flavors of Coke using medical micro-dosing technology and flavor cartridges.  The machines are currently available on Majesty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas and will continue to roll out to more ships at the rate of about one or two a month.

"It is in my mind the next evolution of non-alcoholic beverage service, a leap forward to what you could offer through the traditional system," Midyette says.

Currently the machines cost $6.50 per day for adults and $4.50 for kids for the soda package that includes access to the Freestyle machines.  Passengers receive a special cup with a RFID chip that gives access to the machine.

Coca-Cola to add Freestyle Machines to Royal Caribbean ships


Royal Caribbean has announced that it will add Coca-Cola's Freestyle Machines aboard its ships.  These self-serve beverage dispensers will offer passengers 125 flavors of various Coke products in one machine.

The machines were customized for Royal Caribbean to allow for health code modifications in a marine environment as well as the addition of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) for use with the Royal Caribbean soda packages.

The new Freestyle Machines were installed aboard Majesty of the Seas in June and several other ships (all based in the United States) will receive their machines later this year.  Following that, the machines will be rolled out well into 2013 aboard other ships.

Royal Caribbean Director of Fleet Beverage Operations, Bob Midyette, described the new machine, "It was beyond sexy, it was über cool. Using medical micro dosing technology, flavor cartridges just slightly larger than those of the standard ink jet printer opened a world of flavors never available before (Orange Coke, anyone? or Peach Fanta Zero?). It was like going from an IBM series 700 mainframe to an iPhone 4, skipping everything in-between."

The agreement between Royal Caribbean and Coke is part of a multi-year effort by Royal Caribbean to bring some of Coke's newest advancements to Royal Caribbean's ships and therefore, Royal Caribbean will become the first cruise line to deploy the Freestyle machines.

Video: Retro cocktails on Royal Caribbean's R Bar