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misterkevin

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About misterkevin

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago
  • Interests
    Pembroke Welsh Corgis, fitness & teaching spin classes, traveling, live music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Curacao

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  1. There is a great misconception here that Luminae food is sauce-heavy not as clean as compared to Blu. In fact, if you compare the two sets of 14 day menus from Luminae and Blu, you won't find any remarkable differences between the two in terms of which is "cleaner." They're both pretty fancy. The real difference in the two dining rooms is volume of diners, space between tables, server to diner ratios, willingness to cook off menu, and extra courses in Luminae, which always has an amuse bouche and will have an extra dessert course on elegant nights with a cart of mignardises. The food in Luminae is a bit higher quality and is more easily cooked to order than in other galleys around the ship because they're used to it. If you don't want a sauce, simply ask for none. My one nit with the Luminae menus and Celebrity ship menus in general is that they're not very veg-forward.
  2. I think we forget on these boards is that unless we're being trolled, everything that's posted is anecdotal, from one person's perspective, on up to a few recent cruises, on a few ships, at certain times of year, with some specific set of crew. Food preference is also subjective. Everyone wants to believe that their experience is the most common, or most representative, or even most liked to feel validated. I'm highly dubious about 1/3 of suite guests dining in Blu on anything other than random chance. Maybe that was an off comment by an overworked Blu maître 'd. Perhaps they are dining in Blu because others in their larger party are in Aqua class and want to dine together. Plus, Royal Suites and above get unlimited specialty dining which means that for a fraction of the suite guests, their dining room choices are even more expanded. All suite guests can have meals served in their room from the MDR by their butler. There's really no reason to eat in Blu over Luminae unless you want a specific entrée. So some of this just doesn't add up. I believe this for multiple reasons. Luminae has a higher server to diner ratio so service is more personalized. Luminae tables are farther apart so it's quieter. The Luminae kitchen will cook most foods to order off the menu so you aren't limited by what you see on the menu. Even the quality of the food in Luminae is a touch higher than Blu. This is my opinion based on my experience. Blu tends to have more exotic fish, fowl, and even game meat on the menu as well, which doesn't necessarily translate to greater mass appeal. I find it the menu appealing, but not enough if I'm in a suite for the trade offs based on my explanation above. However, I've always loved dining in Blu. It's smaller and more exclusive than the MDR, and the menu is more sophisticated. The few times I've waited, it's never been longer than the time it takes to order a drink and take a few sips. Sometimes I just remind myself I'm on a cruise and remember there's no hurry. It's still pretty damn good, even if there is a wait. It seems this topic was based on some cruisers' dissatisfaction with crowding and waits in Blu and has been derailed to become a forum to complain about suite perks.
  3. You can pretty much request anything in Luminae if you are nice about it and give the kitchen at least one day advance notice. If you want chicken prepared different ways every night, tell them. They will do their best to accommodate you. Some people just want a filet and a baked potato every night, and that's what they can order. Others have reported having the Luminae chefs prepare a complete Indian feast of the chef's whim which certainly wasn't on the menu. The motto in suites from a service standpoint is always say yes. As long as the requests aren't demands nor outlandish, you should be fine.
  4. While there's no question that suite prices have risen at a pace far higher than other cabin classes, and you have certainly been cruising on Celebrity long enough to see how perks and offerings have degraded over time, Celebrity suite perks are still among best in class for any mass market cruise line. I suspect rather than laughing all the way to the bank, the line is shaving costs in ways it can to provoke customers the least while sinking every single extra cent of profit into the Revolution of the existing fleet at $400M and the 2 new Edge Class vessels which cost another $1B each. In no way do I mean to suggest Celebrity isn't profitable. LLP is simply under even more pressure to keep it progressively more profitable for the future.
  5. I think our experience with crowding and waits for dining will vary by ship, time of year which impacts the percent of cabins with triple/quadruple occupancy, and Maitre 'D at Blu. I've only cruised Aqua and Suite class on Celebrity and only had to wait once or twice for dining in Blu with a pager. I've never waited to dine in Luminae. There are basically 4 classes of ships for Celebrity: M-Class, S-Class, Reflection (Modified S), and Edge. The percent of Aqua and Suite cabins available vary by these types: INFINITY/M EQUINOX/S REFLECTION/S EDGE STATEROOMS 1079 1426 1523 1467 SUITES 50 66 111 176 AQUA CLASS 107 130 150 106 OCCUPANCY 2170 2852 3046 2926 STAFF 999 1290 1293 1320 Pas/Crew Rat. 2.17 2.21 2.36 2.22 % Suites 5% 5% 7% 12% % Aqua 10% 9% 10% 7% % Aqua & Suite 15% 14% 17% 19% Based off these numbers, one would expect the Reflection and Edge class vessels to have the most issues with crowding in the dining rooms. Note that the ratios will change slightly on non-Edge class vessels post Edge-enhancements.
  6. I haven't cruised on the Edge, but I found a post discussing your question. Unlike the M & S class ships, the Edge martini bar is in the center of the ship. It seems that the menu is the same. On other ships, most martinis will be covered up to $15 with the premium beverage package. The Edge has 3 sizes of martinis: regular, large, and extra large. The regular and large martinis should be covered with your package. Here's the link.
  7. I'm a big fan of the martini bar. I loved the Fresca martini with watermelon, mint, lime, & vodka. The dessert martinis are delicious for after-dinner drinks as well. I have two favorites there: the Espresso martini and the Black Forest martini-- they're decadent!
  8. It depends on what you expect from a cruise. I had only booked aqua class cabins on Celebrity since 2018 when we started cruising with them and immediately became a fan. On my last cruise in July on the Equinox, which was our third Celebrity cruise, we upgraded to a Sky Suite because I was concerned that there would be more children on board and more crowding around the pool. I put in a modest MoveUp bid after final payment and was upgraded once again to a Celebrity Suite. From my experience, the suite life changed the entire cruising experience in a very good way for us. I have another cruise booked this summer and It's going to be a suite again. Here are a few reasons I fell in love with the experience: 1. Suite treatment started a couple of weeks before the cruise when I got an email from the suite concierge asking us about the bed (I prefer a pillow topper), pillows preferences, and whether we wanted our in cabin fridge cleared. 2. Embarkation from Pier 25 in Port Everglades was a new experience. We had a completely separate experience at the terminal. We stopped closer to the doors and had separate porters and curbside agents. We were whisked through a private corridor to a special elevator to a lounge where we had light breakfast available. We were checked in from agents who met us at our chairs and checked us in on iPads. We were first on the ship. 3. There's more room in your cabin. The balcony is larger. You get a bath tub. There are upgraded toiletries (although not sure whether these are different from aqua and concierge classes). 4. You get a cabin attendant and and a butler. Our butler gave us his cell phone number and we could call at any time with any request. He served all of our room service meals to us. Also, the room service menu is upgraded and there is no extra charge for steak and eggs or truffled omelets with caviar. 5. Luminae is open for embarkation lunch. It is also available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tables are more spaced out in Luminae. Service is steller. Food (I understand this is subjective) is a step above even Blu. Bread choices are more varied. The sommelier will remember your wine preferences. It always includes an amuse bouche for dinner. On elegant nights, the dessert cart includes mignardises. In other words, it's much fancier. I liked that. 6. Michael's Club / Retreat is a private bar where they offer a light breakfast, hors d'oeuvres before dinner, and tea sandwiches in the afternoon. They will learn your preferences and get any special liquor your request to make your drinks as long as it's on board. There's no extra charge for this. It's quieter. We met very nice people there, although we've always met nice people on Celebrity. They hosted an officers meet and greet in the club where we met all of the senior officers including the captain one evening before dinner and they had servers with trays of appetizers walking around also with champagne. The concierges there will address any issues for which you would normally have to go to guest services. It's more personalized. They even have a future cruise consultant available to meet you there at your convenience to book another cruise. You don't have to wait in line at the general desk for this. There is an open cooler in Michael's where you can bring Evian, Perrier, or canned sodas back into your cabin refrigerator for personal use. 7. The retreat sundeck was a deluxe perk, although hot on the Equinox because they didn't finish the upgrade and had to exclude the hot tubs and showers. This will vary by ship depending on whether it's been revolutionized. In any case, there are padded loungers always available for suite guests to sun with roving servers from Luminae who will get you any drink you want (not free, but if you have a drink package, it's included). They serve a light lunch there as well. You order something and they bring it to you. 8. We were invited to more special events. There was a kitchen tour organized through the Luminae hostess. There was a free ship tour we could have participated in. We got to go to the officer's cocktail party for elite guests and above as well, despite the fact we weren't elite. 9. I decided to have a small party for 12 people in my cabin which I arranged through my butler and the Michael's / Retreat host. They threw in 4 bottles of champagne and a cheese and cracker tray for us at no extra cost. 10. There are special seats for suite guests for most shows saved at the center of the balcony in front. The whole suite experience is very nice. It's very elegant. It's like you're on a different ship. It changed everything for me. I'm spoiled now.
  9. I'm surprised that you did have so many things to appreciate about your experience on Celebrity: excellent cabin attendants who fix virtually anything from your shirt button to your daily Riedel stemware to the beds, head, and telephone. accommodating managers who meet with you to address your concerns as you discover them a nearly universal desire to please across the spectrum of service What also surprised me was how specific your requests around dining were given that you were just in a standard veranda 2C. While I don't have 20 years of experience with Celebrity to see how these requests may have been more completely met in the past, my experience cruising in Aqua class and suites tells me that your needs would be much better addressed by paying more in the current Celebrity environment. You sound reasonable, but also demanding. Unfortunately, the platform in a standard veranda cabin isn't designed to meet your needs .
  10. His carrot soup with prawns is also delicious. I liked it so much, I ordered for two meals.
  11. We had a similar disembarkation experience in August from a Celebrity Suite on the Equinox at T25. We met at the lounge and were told to wait until the end for the best experience. The concierge suddenly got a call and told us we all had to leave. They let us out the back of the lounge directly off the ship to long lines of people waiting on the ramps. It was a bad experience, and total disconnect from the amazing attention we had otherwise on the cruise. It doesn't make a very good last impression.
  12. Three points: 1. I wouldn't agree that the average value per passenger is a worthless statistic. However, I do agree that how the number is calculated is based on multiple factors with length of cruise driving heavily into the equation. It's true that the ultra-premium lines tend to only offer longer cruises or they tend to have cruisers who book b2b fares which drives up revenue per passenger. However, the average acts as a proxy for cost of entry. 2. Value is completely subjective. What's included for the higher cost lines like premium beverages, specialty restaurant reservations, butlers, shore excursions, and transportation drives up those costs. But what's valuable to one isn't to another. One of the reasons I'm disinclined to book the higher end lines is because the entertainment which for me includes music, trivia, and shows is either lacking or classical music focused. Other people want ice rinks, roller coasters, and water parks which are lost on me. 3. I want to know how you got on Seabourn for less than Celebrity. Did you only ever cruise Celebrity in suites?
  13. I found it at Wikipedia , downloaded it into Excel, and did a few calculations. Other than the obvious correlation of the top revenue lines being most associated with the ultra-premium category, while the lowest are certainly more discount and family oriented, I have no hypothesis about quality. I've only ever cruised Carnival, Princess , and Celebrity. Celebrity has been my favorite, but even in the past three years I've been with them, I've seen a stark erosion of value for the dollar spent for the same services. I still like Celebrity, but I'm looking more and more to other lines like Oceania, Silversea, or Azamara to see how they compare for future cruises. Here's the data source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_cruise_lines
  14. I couldn't agree more! Celebrity and NCL are not in the same tier of cruising. It's not an apples to apples comparison. I compared average revenue per cruiser based on 2018 data to understand the cruising tiers. Average revenue for Norwegian Cruise line is $1700 per passenger; for Celebrity, it's $2700. Revenue-wise, Celebrity competes most closely with Holland America ($3100) and Princess ($2550). On the top, its Crystal ($14000), Regent ($12750), Seabourn ($11050), Silversea ($8450), Oceania ($8000), Azamara ($6200), and Cunard ($4850). On the bottom are Carnival ($750), P&O ($1100), Pullmantur ($1250), Royal Caribbean ($1300), and Costa ($1450).
  15. Be aware that the suite entrance at T25 in Port Everglades is to the left of the main entrance with the large windows and two story escalators. It is a separate entrance just next to the main one. There will be bell captains to confirm you are a suite guest on the sailing, and you go down a long hall to a private elevator to take you to the lounge.
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