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Celebrity Cruises Sweeps Wine Spectator Awards, Raises a Glass to Excellence

The exploration of wine, guided by knowledgeable sommeliers, is a hallmark of Celebrity Cruises' modern luxury vacation experience, and today, Celebrity is raising a glass to the spirit of excellence, having swept the Wine Spectator 2013 Restaurant Wine List Awards. In the first year that the magazine has included cruise lines in its awards, 10 Celebrity Cruises restaurants earned the prestigious publication's "Award of Excellence," which is for "lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style." Each of the carefully curated lists in the main restaurants on ten of Celebrity's ships won the award.

"We're thrilled to be one of the first cruise lines to ever be considered in this way by Wine Spectator," said Chanelle Duarte, CSW, Celebrity's manager of beverage development. "The same commitment to innovation and authentic guest experiences that drives all of our onboard offerings was at the heart of our approach to creating the winning lists, and it's rewarding to be recognized by such a legendary, highly respected mainstay in the industry as Wine Spectator."

"We opened our wine list awards to cruise ships because we recognize the industry's efforts to offer quality wine programs onboard," said Nathan Wesley, Senior Editor, Wine Spectator. "While the award is conferred for a ship's main dining room, we're also excited to see wine play an important role throughout the ship, and in some cases, be featured in special events and tastings at sea. So, whether by land or by sea, we're thrilled to point our readers towards great wine destinations."

On average, Celebrity's main restaurants have over 400 wines available, presented as an extensive global collection of fine wines carefully selected to match both the modern luxury brand's globally influenced blend of classic and contemporary cuisine and its diverse portfolio of unique destinations around the world. Celebrity's onboard specialty restaurants also each have their own unique wine lists, created with the style of the cuisine in mind.

Designed to please everyone from the novice wine drinker to the most ardent enthusiast, Celebrity's main restaurant wine lists are presented in a progressive format, where the wines are grouped by unique flavor profiles. In building the list, each wine was carefully reviewed by Celebrity's team of wine professionals and rated based on its unique characteristics. Categories contain wines with similar flavor profiles to help better define a wine in terms of what matters most, its taste. Wines are listed in sequence, starting with wines that are mild to wines that are more powerful, ending with wines on the sweeter side. Wine-savvy guests enjoy more technical language and descriptors included in the list, and guests who are still learning about wine have an opportunity to become more educated and comfortable with the topic.

Celebrity Cruises' team of expertly trained sommeliers prides itself on enhancing guests' wine experience. Each sommelier goes through extensive trainings on wine fundamentals, including viticulture, wine making and food and wine pairing; regional knowledge, wine laws and regional terrior; tasting skills; storytelling, which helps sommeliers bring wines to life by painting a picture of its producer, grape varietal, region or even the origin of its label; and future trends.

Celebrity offers a variety of onboard activities and experiences aimed at immersing guests in wine education and enjoyment. These include Riedel comparative wine glass workshops, wine and food pairing events, wine tastings and more.

Wine Spectator has honored the world's best wine lists since 1981. The Award of Excellence recognizes a wine list offering an interesting and diverse selection of 100 or more wines that are well-presented and thematically match the restaurant's cuisine in both price and style.

Celebrity Cruises won 10 of the 11 Wine Spectator awards given to a cruise line in 2013.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers' precious time. Celebrity Cruises' 11 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL). For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111 or call your travel agent.

About Wine Spectator:
Wine Spectator is the world's leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches more than 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web's most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms, and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine's role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 15,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Food Arts, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Impact.

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