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About misterkevin

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Pembroke Welsh Corgis, fitness & teaching spin classes, traveling, live music
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  1. Thank you so much for these pictures of the amazing art around the Edge! Truth be told, it's the art and the music around the fleet that sealed the deal to set Celebrity as my line of choice. It has a truly contemporary and provocative edge which fits the modern luxury branding, and me! 😍
  2. The menus in Luminae do not do the dishes justice. You can't judge the quality of the food in the restaurant by their minimal descriptions. After our Luminae experience this month on the Equinox, I can attest to this. Breakfast entrees come with fingerling potato sides, both green and white asparagus, and sauteed wild mushrooms. The smoked salmon plate comes with caviar. The pastry dish at breakfast had the most amazing cherry cheese danish with candied cherries and puff pastry as well as chocolate and plain croissants, and muffins. For dinner, the bread plate had a rotating selection of lavash (flatbread) with interesting spices. The seafood veloute has poached oysters in it. The Daniel Boulud Moroccan chicken dish sounds boring and tastes heavenly; same with his cold carrot ginger soup. Every meal in Luminae begins with an amuse bouche, there is a fresh sorbet palate cleanser before dessert, and in addition to dessert, there's a mignardise cart (see below) with the most delectable sweet bites I've ever seen. We had the option to order what turned out to be more mundane offerings from the MDR menu, and they were just that, rather plain and not nearly as interesting. Luminae is unquestionably better than MDR and Blu, in my opinion.
  3. Class perks are not new to Celebrity, or to travel in general from airlines, to trains, to hotels. While it feels like something is being taken away from you based on how much money you spend for your vacation, the truth is that there are plenty of other places on the ships which are equally as private and quiet as this sundeck. I will direct you to them if you're not aware of them. All leisure companies are trying to attract the highest spending customers who are more valuable to them because they tend to spend at least twice as much for a cabin. Luminae, the private dining room, has been available for years, as well as Michael's club, now the Retreat Lounge. Most cruise lines offer separate embarkation lounges for suite guests as well. Issues around premium branding have been going on for decades as well. Years ago, nobody thought about asking for a specific brand for their highball or screwdriver, and now with the proliferation of brands, there are 15 kinds of vodka and 50 kinds of whiskey, not to mention the water tiers. All Celebrity is doing is giving their customers choice. For many people, vacations are an indulgence, a splurge. They use the cruise to sample and live like they can't while they're working and saving for their next cruise. The only person aware of the class distinction is you. Nobody knows where your cabin is or how much you spent when you grab a seat at one of the many bars or lounges or when you're grabbing a snack at the Ocean View Cafe. Plenty of suite passengers mingle with the rest of the ship as evidenced by how few of them find themselves in the special areas reserved for them. However, these differentiators help keep Celebrity competitive in the travel market and profitable as a company. Celebrity is neither a charity or a social experiment. It's a business and has to account to its shareholders while keeping all of the customers happy. There's no reason you can't enjoy yourself if you're not in a suite!
  4. You can't know what rooms are available per Glendakayself's post above because the MoveUp process is like a Chinese tile puzzle of revenue generation for Celebrity. If someone already booked in a cabin cancels or wins a MoveUp bid, that frees up a line of cabins below them with pending bids which already show as booked. Plus, Celebrity blocks some cabins as booked to keep in inventory for last minute VIP bookings which never show as available. Secondly, how much you bid is up to you, but whether you get it is most likely based on how much you've already paid for your existing cabin plus your bid and how closely that fits within what Celebrity has charged for your desired cabin class on your sailing. You can get a rough idea about that at *****. Lastly, if you've never been in a suite, I highly recommend it. We won a MoveUp bid on our last cruise to get a suite for the first time. The perks from embarkation lounge, Retreat Lounge, Retreat Sundeck, Luminae, exclusive invitations, officers meet and greets in the lounge, plus the butler are much nicer than Aqua class, and this is coming from someone who only cruised on Celebrity in Aqua class before. The entire suite experience is elevated.
  5. I was on the Equinox 7/27-8/3 with the premium package, and pressed juices from the Aqua Spa Cafe were included. Either this is a very recent change, or it's inconsistent across ships.
  6. No, I can't find the exact date, nor could I google it. Maybe somebody else here knows? I wouldn't cancel due to this, unless you're used to a smaller ship where it's easier to find a lounger. The caribbean isn't quite as hot in March as it is in July/August, and the other benefits are so worthwhile in my opinion, it wasn't a dealbreaker, just unfortunate.
  7. We were in a CS last week, and we saw the RS, and PH. They had a new mattress, linens, Frette robes, slippers, and towels, C.O. Bigelow bath products, succulents plants in suite and on balcony, and new balcony furniture. The RS and PH had new green pillows on the furniture.
  8. We just got off the Equinox last Saturday from CS 1620. The Retreat Sundeck has good points and bad points. Judging by the lack of people there, I would guess most people find it too hot. They provide iced towels there, and the service is fantastic. Here's a post I made about it: Concierges in the Retreat Lounges alternate weekly between the excellent Alexandra who we had and another guy who's name I can't remember. The restaurant manager in Luminae is the excellent Tanya with another excellent assistant hostess Victoriia. The sommelier was the amazing Yan. These staff on our cruise 7/27-8/3 were superior. Of course, staff can change from week to week.
  9. This isn't a downgrade. It's an upgrade. While this area is now off limits for non-suite passengers, many other areas of the ship are upgraded with the Revolution. Many cabins are refreshed, there are new towels. beds, and linens, lounges have been redecorated, new carpeting is installed, and more. Further, if you're looking for a place on the Equinox like this where it's quiet and away from the crowds at the pool, you can find the Spa deck in front of the gym on 12 now is filled with loungers and they were almost always empty. Also the deck in front of the basketball court is filled with loungers, and it was very quiet. Things change, but it's not all bad. It just depends on your outlook.
  10. Yes, there are plenty of servers in this area dedicated to the suite passengers here. Some of them are wait staff from Luminae. Service was excellent. No, not on the Retreat Sundeck like they are in the lounge. The staff asked me for my Sea Pass card when I ordered drinks or water. I would imagine, however, many suite passengers have a drink package as part of their perks?
  11. The Retreat Sundeck on the Equinox very nice. It is generally deserted from passengers, except on sea days when there might only be 15-20 people gathered on the side of deck where there is shade. The padded loungers, tables, and sunbeds are much nicer than those available elsewhere on the ship with the exception of maybe the solarium. Servers rove asking for your drink orders and will get you anything available on board. For lunches between about 11 and 2:30, they offer 5 simple options like Luminae hamburger, fruit plate, Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, and chicken sandwich. They also offer iced towels to cool you off. This brings me to the biggest negative about the space: it's too hot. There is not hot tub, pool, shower, or misters to cool you in the intense Caribbean sun. The deck and even the side tables are so hot, they'll burn your bare skin. They plan to add some water features in the space at the basketball court during the final dry dock in 2021. It's really too bad about the deck. I imagine in cooler or more cloudy weather, it will be wonderful. I used it for a while last week, and had to walk down to the solarium pool a couple of times to cool off.
  12. We met another family in a Royal Suite, and they hosted a party in their room with wine, champagne, cheese, and crackers. The dining table and extra room made it easy. In the Celebrity Suite, the butler used the large coffee table to set up the party.
  13. We requested foam and down pillows and a mattress topper which made the bed very comfortable. We also had the refrigerator cleared and filled with Pelligrino and Evian. Our butler Rikki kept it stocked throughout the cruise with these. On a separate note, we met a few people (6) on the cruise by day two for whom we wanted to have a small preprandial party in the room on day six arranged through our butler. He said he could probably swing a couple of bottles of champagne and a cheese plate with crackers at no extra charge. By day six, the group grew to 16. I talked to the excellent Retreat Concierge Alexandra that morning and she made a few calls and had two additional bottles of Celebrity Vintages champagne comped with an additional charcuterie plate. While I was prepared to pay for these, they weren't charged. I was shocked and delighted.
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