Celebrity, Seabourn, and NCL Bartenders Enter Diageo World Class Finals 2018

Jul 17, 2018

This year three cruise ship bartenders will progress in one of the biggest bartending competitions in the world, the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2018.

Celebrity Cruises’ Igor Ilioski from Macedonia, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Razvan Dorel Cordea from Romania, and Seabourn Cruise Lines’ River Wood from South Africa topped the competition from hundreds of bartenders representing all major cruise lines. The Semi-finals took place on June 28, at Diageo 396 bar in Miami, tucked away in the company’s Coral Gables location. Their next challenge will be The Diageo World Class global finals which will take place in Berlin between 5 and 8 October, where some of the worlds top 50 bartenders will compete.

Among the expert judging panel was Diageo World Class US Bartender of the Year 2016 Andrew Meltzer, Ben Potts ranked as one of Top 10 bartenders in Miami, and Eric Ribeiro, beverage consultant at Parisian Shaker.

“It was an absolute pleasure to watch the bartenders in action and see them create some truly special drinks in the challenges that faced them,” said Meltzer. “The level of skill and expertise delivered under real pressure from all finalists was outstanding. It’s a testimony to the quality of today’s cruise lines that they have such commitment to excellence from all facets of their business.”

 “We are delighted to support a programme which educates and inspires bartenders to deliver outstanding drinks experiences. We believe this is particularly important for cruise line bartenders on board our partners’ ships who consistently deliver exceptional drinks experiences for their guests,” said Marcos Bibas, Diageo Global Travel Commercial Director:

Diageo, the global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands has strong ties with the cruise industry. In 2015 Diageo Global Travel Americas have partnered with Celebrity Cruises launching the world's first permanent "World Class™ Bar" onboard Celebrity Eclipse.