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Blu for some but not all people traveling in group

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I will be traveling with my family of 12 on the Millennium next year. We are first timers to Celebrity but not cruising. We have 4 Aqua class cabins and 2 inside. It is my understanding that the 4 people in the inside cabins will not be able to dine with us in Blu. Dinner is a big deal for us and we enjoy talking to each other about our day. When we booked Aqua we were unfamiliar with the difference between this and a regular balcony. After I found out that the balcony dividers do not open I was seriously considering finding another cruise but not being able to dine together may be the deciding factor. Is there an easy way to ensure that all 12 of us will be able to dine together? We really do not care if it is in Blu or MDR. Thanks!

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12 minutes ago, FLOTR said:

I will be traveling with my family of 12 on the Millennium next year. We are first timers to Celebrity but not cruising. We have 4 Aqua class cabins and 2 inside. It is my understanding that the 4 people in the inside cabins will not be able to dine with us in Blu. Dinner is a big deal for us and we enjoy talking to each other about our day. When we booked Aqua we were unfamiliar with the difference between this and a regular balcony. After I found out that the balcony dividers do not open I was seriously considering finding another cruise but not being able to dine together may be the deciding factor. Is there an easy way to ensure that all 12 of us will be able to dine together? We really do not care if it is in Blu or MDR. Thanks!

 

You won't be able to dine as a group in Blu.  You may want to consider moving to  Concierge or Veranda cabin(s) which should save you some money.  You are probably paying a premium for Aqua but will not use all the benefits. You do have the option to check out Select Dining even though Blu is your assigned dining venue.

 

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16 minutes ago, FLOTR said:

I will be traveling with my family of 12 on the Millennium next year. We are first timers to Celebrity but not cruising. We have 4 Aqua class cabins and 2 inside. It is my understanding that the 4 people in the inside cabins will not be able to dine with us in Blu. Dinner is a big deal for us and we enjoy talking to each other about our day. When we booked Aqua we were unfamiliar with the difference between this and a regular balcony. After I found out that the balcony dividers do not open I was seriously considering finding another cruise but not being able to dine together may be the deciding factor. Is there an easy way to ensure that all 12 of us will be able to dine together? We really do not care if it is in Blu or MDR. Thanks!

Actually, you will want to dine in the MDR, Specialty Dining or OVC together.

 

Blu is, specifically, off limits to any passenger not in an Aqua cabin.

 

You may want to set-up a situation whereby you eat with them several nights in the MDR and other times meet before or after over cocktails or other beverages to continue the conversation and exchange of WOW's for the day and plan for the next.

 

Even then in the MDR, it will be very difficult to get a 12 top, the largest I have ever seen is eight (8), yet I Am sure there have been larger it is just that I have never seen it happen.

 

A co-ordination with the Maitre d' would be in order in any case, as a walk up and expect an accommodation for that size party will be pushing it...

 

If I remember correctly, in last few months someone else posted a similar challenge about large party some in Blu and some not and how to eat together.

 

bon appetite and bon voyage

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Posted (edited)

They definitely have tables that will seat as many as 12.  Usually it's just a matter of putting several together to create it.  Last time we were on the Equinox there was a very large group of 25+ from one family.  They had three tables but I distinctly remember there being more than 8 at one table.  They took a table for 8 and combined it with another to create a long table for all the minors to sit at together.  Surprisingly well behaved for the age spread at that one table.  Elementary age all the way to high schoolers.  Fun group to watch and converse with.

**this is the main dining room I'm referring to.

Edited by tarps14

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But a shame to pay for Blu and not go there.  Since your cruise is not until next year, I'd definitely look to put everyone either into Blu or not Blu.  And since Blu only has balconies, if the two insides are doing it for cost purposes I'd just put everyone into balconies with nearby insides.

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I also recommend switching the 4 AQ cabins to a regular balcony since you will not only be able not to have dinner together but, breakfast as well.  I also agree, if you make the change and have a fixed dining time (not Open) the DR staff will most likel be able to accommodate a request for a table for 12.

 

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Really, the only reason to book Aqua Class is to be able to dine in Blu.  The other "perks" are meaningless.  Save yourselves some big cash and change to standard balconies and you can all dine together in the MDR.

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Unless there’s been a big change in the Millennium (cruised on Her 18mo ago), if you move to standard Veranda SR’s, you’ll not only be able to dine all together, you’ll be able to open the veranda dividers. Someone recently on Millennium can correct me if the standard verandas Aren’t shareable. No idea about Aqua Class.

 

If you move all to standard Verandas, it looks like you’ll get both things you want. Enjoy!

 

Den

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2 hours ago, Denny01 said:

Unless there’s been a big change in the Millennium (cruised on Her 18mo ago), if you move to standard Veranda SR’s, you’ll not only be able to dine all together, you’ll be able to open the veranda dividers. Someone recently on Millennium can correct me if the standard verandas Aren’t shareable. No idea about Aqua Class.

 

If you move all to standard Verandas, it looks like you’ll get both things you want. Enjoy!

 

Den

Unless they made the change on a recent refurb, the verandah dividers cannot be opened.  EM

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Thank you everyone for the replies. I am going to talk it over with my family but it looks like it may be wise to move to verandas. 

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On "M" class ship Concierge and Aqua cabins are about 20 sq ft larger than other balcony cabins.  Balcony dividers don't open on "M" class ships possibly with the exception of the A1 cabins on deck 11 which were new cabins added in a refit a few years ago.

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18 hours ago, tarps14 said:

They definitely have tables that will seat as many as 12.  Usually it's just a matter of putting several together to create it. 

 

But still.....at a table for 12 it's really not feasible to have a conversation with everyone anyway, so why not just sit at 2 tables and switch up who you sit with each night?!

We do a family cruise most years and have up to 15 or 16 people sometimes. Some family members insist on moving heaven and earth to get a single table for all of us and I just don't get it.  So much easier, and often quicker service, to just get 2 or 3 tables that seat 6 or 8 instead, but I typically get overruled....and then we all sit and talk almost exclusively to the 4 or 5 people we are seated closest to, as expected.

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good move to not be in Aqua. Not many perks and for me, BLU was dubious. With  and luck you will be able to all eat a lot of meals in speciality bdining with the money saved. No brainer, having been in Aqua, to do that.

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I agree with Pentlands- move to regular balcony cabins, save your money and dine a few times in specialty restaurants or in the MDR.  IMO the food and perks are over rated in AQ.

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We had a table for our family group of ten in MDR Select dining on one cruise.  The only disadvantage was that the Maitre d' said that the table had to turn twice in the evening, so we could come early  (before 6:30) or late (after 8:00) and needed to tell him the night before or early in the day.  It worked quite well, because on port days we took late and sea days early, our grandchildren were teens so were flexible with eating times.

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8 hours ago, waterbug123 said:

 

But still.....at a table for 12 it's really not feasible to have a conversation with everyone anyway, so why not just sit at 2 tables and switch up who you sit with each night?!

We do a family cruise most years and have up to 15 or 16 people sometimes. Some family members insist on moving heaven and earth to get a single table for all of us and I just don't get it.  So much easier, and often quicker service, to just get 2 or 3 tables that seat 6 or 8 instead, but I typically get overruled....and then we all sit and talk almost exclusively to the 4 or 5 people we are seated closest to, as expected.

I think the success of multiple tables depends on the ages of the people in the group. In our case with our married children and us, we are 8. We have 8 grandchildren who now range form 10-20. For our 50th Anniversary cruise 2 years ago, we had two tables for 8....adults on one, grandkids on the other. For the entire meal, I could see how unhappy our oldest granddaughter, who was leaving for college the next month was. I spoke to the Maitre'd and the next 6 nights we had a table for 16 and everyone was happy, especially this Grandma who saw nothing but smiling faces.. 

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I would move from Aqua to a Concierge class cabin, due to the larger size compared to standard balconies on M class.  No reason to pay for AQ if you plan to eat in the main dining room to be with your family.

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13 hours ago, Loracpin2 said:

I think the success of multiple tables depends on the ages of the people in the group. In our case with our married children and us, we are 8. We have 8 grandchildren who now range form 10-20. For our 50th Anniversary cruise 2 years ago, we had two tables for 8....adults on one, grandkids on the other. For the entire meal, I could see how unhappy our oldest granddaughter, who was leaving for college the next month was. I spoke to the Maitre'd and the next 6 nights we had a table for 16 and everyone was happy, especially this Grandma who saw nothing but smiling faces.. 

 

If you were happy, great.  But my point remains...at a table of 16, it really isn't feasible to talk to everyone, unless perhaps you are the lucky one seated in the very center, so my personal preference would be to just book 2 smaller tables.  In your case, it sounds like the problem was brought on by adults not wanting any kids at their table and thus separating kids from adults.  Ironic, since when you ended up at one big table there were obviously kids at the same table, LOL.

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When we were in a group of 14 with select dining, we made reservations for adjacent tables- a six-topper and two 4s, switching up tables nightly so that we all got to mingle. It worked far better than when we have been at tables for 10 or 12 which led to several simultaneous conversations instead of one discussion. Plus at our age, it's a strain on our ears to be in a large group. 

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Just an update - The 2 cabins that were inside were changed to Aqua. The consensus of the group was that we will enjoy use of the PG and Blu and the overhang on the cabins is good because my dad cannot tolerate sun. We will have to live with the dividers not opening and will just speak to each other through them. Also, the ship is pretty full and we could not find a better option. That being said, after researching, it looks like we will not be able to get a big table for all 12 but we understand that. We are hoping to be in the same area when seated and will probably change around tablemates from day to day.

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Sounds like a great decision. Hope all of you will enjoy Blu. Breaking up to two tables will make for a nicer dinner for everyone. . Have a great cruise.

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Actually, in Blu on the M-class there is an area against the side which is a banquette on one side and chairs in front, divided into 2s and 4s, but I'm sure they could push them together to make a long table (there just won't be any really big round table in the narrow room).

 

If you let them know you'll be dining at the same time every night that might be accomplished.  But you'll all have to be consistent about showing up together so they don't take that whole side of the room out of service for no reason if you don't.

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3 hours ago, FLOTR said:

Just an update - The 2 cabins that were inside were changed to Aqua. The consensus of the group was that we will enjoy use of the PG and Blu and the overhang on the cabins is good because my dad cannot tolerate sun. We will have to live with the dividers not opening and will just speak to each other through them. Also, the ship is pretty full and we could not find a better option. That being said, after researching, it looks like we will not be able to get a big table for all 12 but we understand that. We are hoping to be in the same area when seated and will probably change around tablemates from day to day.

 

I have seen large parties on M Class in Blu.  After you embark, go right to Blu and speak with the Head Waiter and tell him your story.  I love Blu for the personalized service.  I usually go for Aqua but on my next cruise the price difference is way too much.  

 

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From what I saw the two tables were close enough  to be regarded as one long table anyway.

 

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