Jump to content

Are long waits for a table in Blu the new normal?


Silkroad
 Share

Recommended Posts

Despite having heard rave reviews about Aqua class and Blu, our first experience was disappointing. On Summit this summer, we experienced ridiculous wait times for a table several of our ten nights. Sometimes we dined alone, sometimes with another couple, and we also offered to share a large table that often remained empty. Since we didn’t care about the shows, we tried arriving at times that would be unpopular with theatre patrons, only to still be offered a pager and told to wait in the nearest bar. We were not the only Aqua guests experiencing this problem. A lovely Australian couple told us they’d never encountered this on S-class ships, but I’ve since seen several recent reviews reporting the same issue on S-class. Would those of you who are regular Aqua class travelers please let me know if my experience is the new normal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite having heard rave reviews about Aqua class and Blu, our first experience was disappointing. On Summit this summer, we experienced ridiculous wait times for a table several of our ten nights. Sometimes we dined alone, sometimes with another couple, and we also offered to share a large table that often remained empty. Since we didn’t care about the shows, we tried arriving at times that would be unpopular with theatre patrons, only to still be offered a pager and told to wait in the nearest bar. We were not the only Aqua guests experiencing this problem. A lovely Australian couple told us they’d never encountered this on S-class ships, but I’ve since seen several recent reviews reporting the same issue on S-class. Would those of you who are regular Aqua class travelers please let me know if my experience is the new normal?
That is surprising. We have sailed on AQ many times (twice on Summit and once on Equinox). Never had to wait more then 5 minutes. Don't recall them ever giving me a pager. We often got the same exact table and wait staff each night.

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have done Aqua class several times on Eclipse ,Solstice and Equinox without ever having to wait for a table for two. We usually dine around 8.30. However we tried Infinity and always had to wait for a table . We put this down to the fact that the Blu dining room on M class ships is much smaller having been added as part of the Solsticising of the ships. After that we decided we would only consider Aqua class on Solstice class ships. Persian Gardens are also so much nicer on Solstice class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year on the Reflection TA we never had to wait for a table in Blu, however last year on the Reflection TA we had long waits on the first 5-6 nights. Seems a lot of Suite guests were dining in Blu. Blu staff started turning away Suite guests or asking that return after 9 and the waits after that were less than 5 minutes.

 

Rarely have we had to wait at Blu on the Equinox, Eclipse or Solstice. We were in a Suite on the Infinity earlier this year and asked about dining in Blu one night and were told No that they were full. They did, however, get us the entrée we wanted from Blu that night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This year on the Reflection TA we never had to wait for a table in Blu, however last year on the Reflection TA we had long waits on the first 5-6 nights. Seems a lot of Suite guests were dining in Blu. Blu staff started turning away Suite guests or asking that return after 9 and the waits after that were less than 5 minutes.

 

Rarely have we had to wait at Blu on the Equinox, Eclipse or Solstice. We were in a Suite on the Infinity earlier this year and asked about dining in Blu one night and were told No that they were full. They did, however, get us the entrée we wanted from Blu that night.

 

Your experiences give me hope that ours was an anomaly. I’ll give Aqua another chance, but not on M-class ships!

 

I suspect suite guests were the issue on Summit. If so, it’s more than a little irritating that staff should allow suite guests, who have their own restaurant, to prevent Aqua guests from dining in Blu! We met several couples (while waiting for a table) who regularly sailed in Aqua and had never encountered waits like we had on this cruise. I wouldn’t complain about 5 or 10 minutes, but repeated 20, 30, and 45 minute waits were annoying! One positive is that six of us (3 couples) formed a congenial group while waiting, and were thus able to be seated immediately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have done Aqua class several times on Eclipse ,Solstice and Equinox without ever having to wait for a table for two. We usually dine around 8.30. However we tried Infinity and always had to wait for a table . We put this down to the fact that the Blu dining room on M class ships is much smaller having been added as part of the Solsticising of the ships. After that we decided we would only consider Aqua class on Solstice class ships. Persian Gardens are also so much nicer on Solstice class.

 

I must agree that Persian Gardens on S-class looks much more appealing! Thanks for giving me hope for a positive Aqua experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were on the Equinox in October and had to wait for a table in Blu at least half the nights. A couple of times we were given pagers and at least one time they ran out of pagers. One night there was a couple who had a suite on front of us so I was tempted to ask whether we could take their spot in Luminae since they were eating in Blu.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope this is not the new norm, OP. We were on Equinox Oct 27th sailing and the first night we went down to Blu (we prefer to eat early), the doors had not yet opened and the line was around the corner and way up the hallway! We usually get a table near the window, but this time we were given the table closest to the hostess podium! That was all that was left after those in the line got seated. Every single night we went down there about 5:30 (doors open at 5:45) there were already some people waiting. Never have seen this in many times eating in Blu both on S class and M class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were on the Equinox in October and had to wait for a table in Blu at least half the nights. A couple of times we were given pagers and at least one time they ran out of pagers. One night there was a couple who had a suite on front of us so I was tempted to ask whether we could take their spot in Luminae since they were eating in Blu.

 

Indeed. If there was a line of Aqua guests, shouldn’t the suite guests have been turned away? The only time I was in a suite, shortly before Luminae was created for suite guests, I didn’t even think of asking to dine in Blu. I knew it was possible, but I also knew Aqua guests who were saying Blu was already too packed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were in AQ on our first two Celebrity cruises a few years back and generally enjoyed Blu, but were not totally sold so went to the MDR once on each cruise and to the specialty restaurants on the nights when the menu wasn't appealing.

 

After experiencing Luminae a few times, we were back in AQ again in September on the Reflection and had an excellent experience in Blu, except that it was often crowded - we did have to wait a few times (10-15 minutes). We were attending the first show and getting there around 8:00. We finally asked what times were quieter - they said it was less busy from 7:00-7:30 so we started going at that time. There was no wait, but it did get very busy at 8:00-8:30. We did love the new menu (enjoyed some old favorites with some new favorites).

 

We will be on the Summit in AQ in February. If the Normandie had still been there I'm sure we would have gone there a couple of times. With the better Blu menu and our lack of enthusiasm for Tuscan and Qsine, we may stick with Blu every night. Maybe others have similar feelings and that contributes a bit to longer wait times?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope this is not the new norm, OP. We were on Equinox Oct 27th sailing and the first night we went down to Blu (we prefer to eat early), the doors had not yet opened and the line was around the corner and way up the hallway! We usually get a table near the window, but this time we were given the table closest to the hostess podium! That was all that was left after those in the line got seated. Every single night we went down there about 5:30 (doors open at 5:45) there were already some people waiting. Never have seen this in many times eating in Blu both on S class and M class.

 

We saw the same phenomenon on our cruise! Though we prefer to dine sometime between 7:00 and the 8:30, we often strolled by the “opening line” on our way downstairs to our favorite lounge. I imagine each cruise is different, so here’s hoping we both have a better experience next time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We recently did an 8 day on Infinity and were seated right away every night. We would typically arrive 7:30 to 8:00. I was expecting some waits but on that particular cruise I guess there were more early eaters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is most disappointing to hear that having installed Luminae for Suite guests that Aqua guests are having their Blu experience spoiled by long waits for seating.

Celebrity, please note, if you are giving Suite guests the option of Blu and Luminae , consequently Blu will be overburdened. If this is the situation surely Luminae menu' s need reviewing. Alternatively, offer Aqua guests access Luminae. Remember guests have long memories when it comes to booking their next cruise.

Edited by koalapanda
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blu has always been and still is on a space available basis for suite guests. And we have seen them turned back multiple times.

 

That being said... we did 8 (long) cruises in AQ and had to wait maybe 5 times on all of them combined. And we tend to dine during a popular time. So no, we can not say it it normal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It just doesn't make any sense that Blu would be so crowded......Suites were always allowed in before Luminae debuted, granted at first there was a $5.00 cover for suite guests but that was eventually eliminated and they were allowed to use it just like an Aqua guest and yet there were no waits for tables on any of the cruises we were in Aqua.......and now that there is an all suite restaurant that takes care of most suite guests Blu is over crowded???? Something isn't right here.....have they cut down on staff in Blu???

 

The only ship that might be more crowded would be Reflection with it's extra deck and many more suites that possibly Luminae can not accommodate properly.

 

I just think some kind of staffing issue is more responsible than whatever suite guests might be trying to use Blu.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blu has always been and still is on a space available basis for suite guests. And we have seen them turned back multiple times.

 

That being said... we did 8 (long) cruises in AQ and had to wait maybe 5 times on all of them combined. And we tend to dine during a popular time. So no, we can not say it it normal.

 

Yes, Blu has always been available to suite guests on a “space available” basis, but that rule may not have been adequately enforced during my introduction to Blu. The fact that we were quite flexible about dining times, yet unable to avoid long waits, is an illustration of problems on this cruise. As I said, I met several regular Aqua guests who were having the same issue on this sailing.

 

I began this thread so I could assess whether I should give Aqua class another chance. Blu has many passionate defenders - including you, Miaminice - so Celebrity must be doing something right. I’ll try Aqua on a Solstice ship next time. By the way, your glorious travelogues were amongst the reviews that led me to finally try Blu. Please keep writing them!

Edited by Silkroad
correction
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is most disappointing to hear that having installed Luminae for Suite guests that Aqua guests are having their Blu experience spoiled by long waits for seating.

Celebrity, please note, if you are giving Suite guests the option of Blu and Luminae , consequently Blu will be overburdened. If this is the situation surely Luminae menu' s need reviewing. Alternatively, offer Aqua guests access Luminae. Remember guests have long memories when it comes to booking their next cruise.

 

Totally agree that Luminae menu’s need a change. When we stay in a Suite, many times while in Luminae we have asked for the MDR menu. Both Luminae and Blu have Select dining not fixed which means wait times for the popular dining times. We just got off the Silhouette and long lines were forming before Blu opened for those who wanted to dine early. Celebrity could possibly go to fixed dining for these two restaurants to avoid any long wait times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Totally agree that Luminae menu’s need a change. When we stay in a Suite, many times while in Luminae we have asked for the MDR menu. Both Luminae and Blu have Select dining not fixed which means wait times for the popular dining times. We just got off the Silhouette and long lines were forming before Blu opened for those who wanted to dine early. Celebrity could possibly go to fixed dining for these two restaurants to avoid any long wait times.

 

I think you’ve missed my initial point, which was that I had long wait times despite being extremely flexible about my dining time in Blu. Having paid Aqua prices for the lovely, relaxing Blu experience so many have described, I would have liked to gotten it more than 25% of my nights there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It just doesn't make any sense that Blu would be so crowded......Suites were always allowed in before Luminae debuted, granted at first there was a $5.00 cover for suite guests but that was eventually eliminated and they were allowed to use it just like an Aqua guest and yet there were no waits for tables on any of the cruises we were in Aqua.......and now that there is an all suite restaurant that takes care of most suite guests Blu is over crowded???? Something isn't right here.....have they cut down on staff in Blu???

 

The only ship that might be more crowded would be Reflection with it's extra deck and many more suites that possibly Luminae can not accommodate properly.

 

I just think some kind of staffing issue is more responsible than whatever suite guests might be trying to use Blu.........

 

Staffing appeared adequate, though I do think Blu staff have special logistics challenges on retrofitted m-class ships. In fact, Blu wait staff were largely excellent, and tried extremely hard to make everything work. Some suite passengers prefer Blu to Luminae, but Aqua guests should have priority. Given my experience, I think it’s likely that guideline was not enforced on this sailing. I started this thread to ascertain whether my experience had become the norm, because if so, I wouldn’t waste my money trying Aqua again.

Edited by Silkroad
Clarification
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, your glorious travelogues were amongst the reviews that led me to finally try Blu. Please keep writing them!

 

Thank you!!! Will do...

Unfortunately I have not made it to start the ones of our past two cruises yet :( Too much work in between cruises ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2021
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Enjoy the Gift of Travel with Regent Seven Seas Cruises
      • ICYMI Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with Silversea Cruises
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...