Cruise lines have long offered signature drinks -- like Carnival's "Fun Ship Special" (think fruity cocktail) and Holland America's cucumber smash (imagine a very healthy martini) -- and more recently have moved into creating their own private wine labels (examples include Celebrity Vineyards and Crystal's C Wines). Now, something new is brewing ... and yes, we're talking about beer.
Royal Caribbean is now offering its own Belgian ale fleetwide: Royal Legendary Belgian Ale. They're keeping it low key for some inexplicable reason (I found out about the beer by reading an advertisement on a table card outside the Bull and Bear Pub on Freedom of the Seas). And the description alone offered an incentive to try it: "While exploring the depths of the Caribbean, adventurers discovered amongst sunken treasures a Legendary Belgian Ale recipe. Brought back to a Belgian brewery, this time-honored recipe is now being brewed exclusively for Royal Caribbean."
Okay, we know the recipe wasn't really discovered amongst sunken treasures (we asked), but it is still a fun story and a mighty fine libation. If you like traditional Belgian wheat ales -- like Hoegaarden, which is actually brewed in Belgium, and Blue Moon -- you'll enjoy Royal; it's not quite as pale in color but citrus-y, crisp and refreshing.
Royal Legendary Belgian Ale is a limited-time offering on all ships -- but a spokeswoman tells us that due to its popularity there's no end date in mind and that the line will continue production in the immediate future. Bottoms up!
--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor
New Poll! The Great Liquor Debate: What's your favorite beer at sea? Have you ever smuggled booze onboard a ship? Tell us.