The companies are Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.
This year the programme is to see more than 5,500 cruise line bartenders (almost 15 times the number of 2013 participants) trained in mixology and then whittled down to four via a series of heats. These four will go head-to-head at a semi-final event in Miami, Florida on 5 June. The winner will compete at the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year global final, pitted against bartenders from all over the world.
Managing the training programme this year will be World Class Global winner for Latin America & Caribbean 2013, Mario Seijo, supported by mixologists Julio Cabrera, Joseph Brooke and Michael Parish. Training sessions include showmanship skills and the latest cocktail-making trends such as ‘Mediterranean Mastery’ and ‘Gin and the Secrets of Distillation’.
The news follows last year’s partnership with Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. First launched in 2009, Diageo Reserve World Class has trained more than 15,000 bartenders in 50 markets.
Jonathan Wilson, vice president, food and beverage services and product development, Princess Cruises said: “As the pioneer cruise line that broke new ground with our participation in the programme in 2012 and cemented our place as the Cruise Channel winners for Diageo Reserve World Class 2013, we are absolutely thrilled to be returning for another year of participation and excellence. The influence of on-trend mixology training from accomplished celebrities of the cocktail industry has ignited a new level of passion and enthusiasm for our crew.”