Rum Tasting Tour in Bermuda
October 16, 2021

Ritz Cruise Shore Excursion to Mount Gay

Let's just say the Ritz Cruise line shore excursions are still being refined.

Like the Ritz cabin and shower, the bus we entered to on to go to the Mount Gay rum tour was small. It sat 16 passengers with four of us wedged into the back bench. While I like meeting my fellow tour mates even this was a little tight for my comfort. Others were seated either in a two seat or one seat across the isle configuration. Hello cruise mates and here we go! The ride itself seemed a little long at 45 minutes to get to the Mount Gay rum distillery and from the outside it looked a little bit spare. There were gray one story buildings with no windows and no sugar cane fields to be seen. We finally stopped at a Guest House and were met by our tour guide outside.

"Welcome!" the rum sommelier greats us.

"Thanks," we collectively respond.

We take a hard hat tour of a one story building nearby the guest house and learn how the rum is made. My husband and I are rocking the pink hard hats with hair nets underneath and I can't resist and take a picture of him in the ridiculous thing. The tour itself is interesting and we did learn some new things about the rum distillery history of Bermuda.

When finished we go back to the lovely stone and wood guest house and enter a delightful tasting room with a large, square table set with 16 place settings of glass for the rum tasting. There is a bar with shelves of rum displayed behind it, presumably that's what we're tasting. There's also a lovely sitting room area off to the side with leather couches and chairs perhaps for savoring your favorite glass of rum.

He sommelier gestures to the table and tells us, "So you have booked the Rum Tour level three, like the levels of aged rum here," he gestures to the bar behind him. Sure enough there are five shelves of rum behind him.

'Level three is here," he points to the middle shelf of rums displayed. "They are middle aged and priced like your tour."

We are now beginning to look at one another thinking, "Okay, so we get those rums to taste, right?"

He directs us to join him at the bar.

At the bar, he sets out glass ware for tasting the rum and clarifies, "You sit at the table for level five tasting. Here you taste rum at level three, at the bar."

I give my husband a big eye roll, knowing we paid a lot of money for this rum tour which could easily have bought us both a bottle of the top shelf rum each. As there's no Ritz Cruise shore excursion escort, I can only wonder did they even try the Barbie size mini-van bus and take this level three tour? Probably not, I guess as this can't possibly meet any standard the Ritz tries to portray wiith it's brand.

Other members of the group grumble a little but we go with it, first trying a bottom shelf rum all the way up to the top shelf rum. All the while we are standing crowded at the bar.

Our sommelier asks if we have a favorite we'd like to savor in the living room area and everyone says "Yes," in unison.

Drinks poured we wonder of to the living room and settle in for a last bit of rum.

There's small talk amongst the small group, comparing notes like where are you from, what else are you booked to do, etc.

When our sommelier comes back someone asks if they can purchase some rum here on the tour.

Surprise! You can't. You can purchase it back at the port where the ship is docked.

Okie dokie, then. Back to the mini-bus van and crammed back in we head back but not before the driver detours to some out of the way trinket/craft market where he tries to make us get off the hot bus. To a person we revolt- after all this is a three level rum tasting tour, not a one level and on we go.

When G and I get back to the ship we carefully note our comments on the comment card for the tour.

As a wine lover, I give it two wine glasses.

I would have preferred just buying the rum in the market next to the ship and reading about it's history in some kind of cruise literature magazine.

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