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This New Cruise Ship Bar Beat Out Restaurants, Hotels and More to Win “Best Beverage Menu” Award
Why just have a drink – when you can have a story, too? That’s the premise behind the cruise ship bar menu that’s won out over competitors throughout the world of hospitality.

“Best Beverage Menu” was awarded to Holland America Line for its newest bar concept onboard its newest ship at the 2022 VIBE (that’s the Very Important Beverage Executives) conference.

That means this bar menu isn’t just the best at sea. The award is open to any venue in the entire beverage space, and Holland America Line went up against other bars in hospitality, including restaurant groups, hotel chains, casinos, and more for the honor.

The “Half Moon Bar” debuted on board Holland America Line’s new flagship, the Rotterdam, which launched in fall, 2021. 


I traveled on the Rotterdam in the Caribbean in the fall, and can attest that the new bar concept is one of the great new innovations on Holland America Line’s latest ship. I’m not surprised that Half Moon Bar has – in just months – become “the most popular bar on board,” I’m told.

Half Moon Bar pays homage to Holland America Line in a couple of ways. It’s named after the cruise line’s private island in the Caribbean. And its bar menu tells the history of the line and cruising through the lens of its cocktails.
Each carefully crafted cocktail comes with its own fascinating tale, and simply reading the now award-winning bar menu transports you back in time on a journey though Holland America Line’s history.


Time-traveling tipples on the menu include:

·      “The Original,” (pictured above) which celebrates Holland America Line’s first ship, Rotterdam I. It’s crafted from Dutch gin and a hint of single malt Scotch, ingredients inspired by the building of the ship and Holland America Line’s Dutch beginnings.
 
·      “De Halve Moon” ties into the line’s origins as ocean liner travel between Rotterdam and New York (which, you may recall, used to be Dutch and was called “Nieuw Amsterdam” before it was renamed New York City.) De Halve Moon is an ode to the Dutch sense of exploration and the botanical wonderland Henry Hudson found in present-day New York. It’s composed of Old Duff genever (the Dutch precursor to gin), lemon rosewater shrub and DDG Bitters.
 
·      “Three Mile Run” is a prohibition cocktail that tells the story of Holland America Line Prohibition-era ‘cruises to nowhere’ New Yorkers could take to get around no-alcohol rules. Once in open waters (three miles out), cocktail bars on the ship could be legally open, and quenching the thirst of New Yorkers for a strong one. It is made from a combination of lemon, honey and gin for a Bee’s Knees, whiskey for a Gold Rush or rum for a Honey Bee.
 
·      “May She Be Blessed” is an ode to the godmothers who bless the Holland America Line ships. The elegant and feminine cocktail is made with champagne and the guest’s choice of essence.
 
·      “Rotterdam VII” is dedicated to its namesake ship. The current Rotterdam is the seventh vessel to have that name in the nearly 150-year history of the line. Like the ship herself, the cocktail salutes both tradition and innovation, with its combination of smoked gin and maraschino.
 
If you’re imagining yourself on holiday, sipping an inventive cocktail with new and old friends and sharing a laugh and a good story, Half Moon Bar on Holland America Line’s new Rotterdam might be your best place to be.


Book a Holland American Line cruise on the Rotterdam or any other ship in the Caribbean to visit the Half Moon Bar's namesake, Half Moon Cay (pictured above.) A day at Half Moon Cay - no matter what you're drinking - is the ultimate island beach day.
 

Start your Cruise Trip!


By: Lynn Elmhirst, TV show producer/ host and cruise expert

Images courtesy of Holland America Line

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Warm Up Indoors with 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails in Canada

InterContinental Hotels in Canada are warming up a cold Canadian winter with 12 festive cocktails through the month of December.

You can celebrate or commiserate over the winter weather while enjoying flavors of the holidays in style at all three InterContinental hotels in Canada: Toronto Centre, Toronto Yorkville and Montreal.

Barchefs at the hotels have created a dozen cocktails marrying seasonal herbs and spices such as cinnamon, rosemary and thyme with the delightful yuletide tastes of cranberries, lemons and apples, pairing them with specially selected rums, gins, liqueurs, vodkas and other spirits. So whether you travel to Toronto or Montreal for business, family, or a winter holiday escape this month, there's a seasonal cocktail in town calling your name.

In the spirit of the season, the barchefs have even given us the recipes, so you can warm up your guests at home in style! Here are three of our favorites.

Cheers!


 

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A Wee Dram or Two at Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain The beauty of distillery’s whiskies and their distinctive taste and style. read more

The Historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco

 

The exquisite Castro Theatre is recognized for its classic movie screenings and the pre-show playing of its Wurlitzer organ. Doesn’t matter which night of the week you wish to drop by as it features various movies every night, sometimes showing a maximum of two films. If you’re into bargain dramas and musical performances, then you’ll want to drop by during the holidays and on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Get more info on this San Francisco venue, and opt to have a relaxing night by watching the classics at the Castro Theatre. Here’s a review excerpt about it as published on the renowned travel site, Fodor’s:
 

Here's a classic way to join in the Castro community: grab some popcorn and catch a flick at this gorgeous, 1,500-seat art-deco theater; opened in 1922, it's the grandest of San Francisco's few remaining movie palaces… Before many shows the theater's pipe organ rises from the orchestra pit and an organist plays pop and movie tunes, usually ending with the Jeanette McDonald standard "San Francisco" (go ahead, sing along). The crowd can be enthusiastic and vocal, talking back to the screen as loudly as it talks to them. Classics such as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? take on a whole new life, with the assembled beating the actors to the punch and fashioning even snappier comebacks for Elizabeth Taylor.
 

So contact us now for more tips on your next travel to San Francisco!

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