Let’s just cut to the chase. $5000 is a lot of money and it’s hard to justify spending that kind of cash on anything, let alone a cocktail…. or even four. But the purchase on the infamous Kaiburr Crystal onboard the Disney Wish is much more than just an adult beverage wrapped in a camtono (ie…a 70’s ice cream machine from another planet).
But is it worth it?
Before I dive headfirst into the answer to that question, let’s take a look at what happens when you order this little gem from the cocktail menu at Hyperspace Lounge onboard Disney Cruise Line’s brand new flagship, the Disney Wish.
The lounge is so popular they quickly implemented a reservation system to alleviate the need for a standby line outside the venue. Reservations can be made via the Disney Cruise Line app, by walking up to the podium outside the lounge, or if you are a concierge or suite guest, the concierge staff can help secure the reservation for you.
We arrived for our reservation and were led inside to a table with a perfect view of the bar and the portal window to space. If you have ever sailed with Disney you may be familiar with the Skyline Lounge where the view changes from city to city as you make your way from cocktail to cocktail. Same concept here, except you jump through hyperspace from galaxy to galaxy to view different planets and a familiar spaceship or two along the way. For Star Wars fans, the lounge is inspired by Dryden Vos’s First Light space yacht from Solo: A Star Wars Story and the Canto Bight casino.
We sat down, taking it all in, and were handed tablets that feature the menu of cocktails, mocktails, beer, and wine selections, all inspired by the Star Wars adventures.
I was excited when I found the Kaiburr Crystal listed on the menu as it wasn’t available on the christening cruise. There was some incorrect info out there on the internet on what this experience included and for how many people, so once I confirmed the details, I was all in.
The wonderful server came over and she asked what I’d like, and I pulled it up on the menu and showed it to her. I have no idea why…. But for some reason pointing to it was easier than actually saying it out loud.
When you order something as complex as the Kaiburr Crystal, you need to pack a little patience. It takes time to pull together all the ingredients and the people needed to present the final product.
But once it’s ready, the staff, along with two officers deliver the camtono to your table.
You are instructed to input a code by way of three switches on the top of the container. Once successful, the container opens up to reveal three small silver cups and a larger one in the middle.
The staff explains the amazing beverage journey you are about to embark upon.
The Cocktail in the middle is called the Barc Speeder.
Its primary ingredients are Camus 4.160, and extremely rare Cognac made by the Camus family and comes in a Disney Wish, limited edition engraved bottle.
It also includes Grand Marnier Quintessence, and if you know me, you know I love my Grand Marnier! Straight up, neat, in slushie form from France, over ice… I’m not picky. This spirit is described as a very limited edition of Grand Marnier, their first new product since 1977. Based on Grand Champagne Cognac aged between 25 and 135 years, including some 1875, 1906 and 1955 vintages, and using their ‘double parfum’ method of extracting the flavor from orange peels to produce an incredible liqueur.
The smaller silver cups feature three pours from very limited and extremely rare finds including:
Pappy Van Winkles’s Family Reserve – 23 year 95.6 proof Bourbon
Per my website research, bottles sell for thousands of dollars and boasts notes of dry, tannic oak, worn leather, and dark cocoa. Personally, I am not much of a bourbon fan so it was shared with others at my table.
A very rare Japanese Gin that has a unique process described on their site as a refined technique that utilizes atmospheric pressure less than half that found at the summit of Mount Everest, and temperatures on a par with the coldest day ever recorded at the South Pole. The result is a yield of just 15ml every still run – that’s almost fifty distillations for a single bottle.
And my personal favorite….
Taylor Fladgate Very Old Tawny Port, Kingsman Edition
Another very rare addition to this experience, this Tawny Port is described as of Great Age and matured for over nine decades in hand-made seasoned oak casks. And yes… Kingsman, as in the movie. (google it!) This was the cup I didn’t want to part with. If I had known, I may have asked for three of them replacing the other two selections above. But alas.
Once you are introduced to these four masterpieces, the officers take their place at either side of you and take a picture to commemorate the occasion.
Reservations are usually limited to 45 minutes, but when you purchase the Kaiburr Crystal, you are not hurried but instead are left to enjoy the treasures with your friends around the table. When you are done, the staff comes back over to the table and you assist in the ritual of closing up the camtano, and they take it away.
Ya… sorry… you don’t get to keep that one.
However…. they do let you know you will get to keep the four cups, which aren’t just any cups. They are Christofle BeeBee silver plated cups that carry a hefty price tag too. They will ship them to the address on your reservation, so you do not need to worry about finding a spot in your luggage to accommodate the box.
Of course, you end the experience with the bill. (shuddderrr….) especially because it tags on the usual 18% auto gratuity making the bill $900 higher. But knowing this goes to the hardworking server and bar staff, made that 100% worth it.
But Wait!!! There’s More!!
Sometime during the cruise, the Star Wars fairies sneak into your room and leave a few gifts to remember the experience, including a themed backpack, bottle and tumbler set, and a pillow and blanket.
And a bottle of Skywalker Sommita Sparkling Wine
But the real reason you shell out the cash for a Kaiburr Crystal ….
is not just for the goodies and the extremely rare spirits…. It’s for the certificate that entitles you to a private tour of Skywalker Ranch and Vineyards in Marin County, CA. (travel not included) It’s the home to Lucasfilm’s celebrated sound design, mixing, and audio post-production facility, and I kid you not… the main building is on Lake Ewok.
Early internet reports said the tour was only for one person, which didn’t make much sense and wouldn’t be worth it if you had to buy two for you and your spouse or Star Wars crazed friend to enjoy this experience together. Before I said yes to this journey, I confirmed it was four guests, which made it even more valuable to share with people I adore. The certificate is delivered with the room décor, and I immediately took a picture of it, in case the airlines lose my luggage.
And yes… there is one more benefit to your cruise experience….
On disembarkation day, the staff of Hyperspace Lounge personally escorts you to the gangway off the ship. This is particularly beneficial if there is a long line waiting to disembark. If you have ever had an escort off the ship by the concierge staff, it’s essentially the same thing. They do leave you with a parting gift of a photo in a frame of you and the open camtono.
Early internet reports predicted the escort would be Star Wars-themed characters like Stormtroopers, but alas, it wasn’t the case. I do think that would certainly enhance the experience and something they should consider if in fact, they continue to sell this gem.
So… back to the initial question. Is the Kaiburr Crystal experience it worth it?
The truth is, no one can answer that for you, but you. The value we put on things is extremely subjective. I know people who spend hundreds to thousands on ‘things’. Shoes, jewelry, handbags, wine, and yes… collectibles. Whatever their passion, they decide for themselves when and how to spend their disposable income. Some save up years to obtain the things they are passionate about, and while ‘things’ aren’t personally ‘my thing’, I do not judge others or assume to be able to predict the worth of their personal passions or how they decide to spend or not to spend their money.
My passion is experiences. Creating memories and sharing them with the people I adore. Especially after the last 2+ years where I faced a master class in business survival (thanks covid), took on a battle with breast cancer, and lost two beloved family members. The combination of all that struggle and loss highlight the fact that we are not here forever, and when it is my time to go, I will take those precious memories with me. It was this drive that allowed me to give myself permission to spend a little of my inheritance on this once in a lifetime experience. To do something fun and try and make up for the loss, pain, and challenges that hopefully are now in my rearview mirror.
Will it be worth it to someone who isn’t necessarily a Star Wars fan? Probably not. But to the person who knows you can’t just buy a tour of Skywalker Ranch (unless you were one of the people who spent $109k per person to visit as part of an Adventures By Disney world tour), and that will check off a to-do on their bucket list… it sure might be.
For me… it was worth every penny and I look forward to the tour and sharing it with special people in my life. And, of course, the extra airline miles I get from the credit card will help me plan a whole new adventure!