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Chef's Table on Millenium Yes or No?


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We now have 2 cruises booked on Millie.  First one is Sept. I have wanted to do this dinner for awhile and

booked it.  Now I am reading about less than stellar reviews on the Edge.  My question is: Have you done this on Millie? 

And if you did, was it worth the price??

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We looked at that on a Millennium sailing later this year.  I don't know about the actual experience, but we passed on it simply based on the fact that the only option was at 5:30 PM on sailing day.  It just isn't the way we like to start off a cruise, but that's us.

 

The very steep price didn't help, either.  We completely understand that it includes a galley tour, a cookbook, and some other doo-dads, but those didn't do much to sway us.  We've seen galleys, and we have cookbooks, so those don't really add value to us.

 

I hate to come on like Debbie Downer.  We love fine dining and have few qualms with dropping a few hundred bucks on a wonderful meal, but this one didn't make sense to us.  I do hope someone comes on and raves about it.  If you decide to keep your booking, I hope you have a fantastic time and make us regret our choice!

 

Cheers!

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2 minutes ago, DCPIV said:

the only option was at 5:30 PM on sailing day. 

I've never personally experienced Chef's Table (yet?), but it is my understanding that the 5:30 PM on the first day is just a 'placeholder' for the event. The actual time (and location) are made known once onboard. For me, that is what keeps me from booking. Often I have enough OBC to cover the steep price, but I'd like to know the time up front so I can plan my other dinners. Chef's Table is something I would like to experience after a leisure day at sea and not at (for example) 6 PM when I just got back onboard from sightseeing.

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We went to the Chef's Table on the Infinity and considered going again on our upcoming Millennium sailing. The dealbreaker for me was the loss of the included wines. It's my understanding that they now charge an upcharge for including the drinks even if you have a drink package. 

If you have any interest in our expericen on the Infinity, here's the link:

 

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Always enjoyed  the chef tables, been to about 6ish I think looking back.  Lots of great food, yes the wine i usually an extra 50ish for the paired.  But it not something I do often, well often enough anyways.  

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Is the menu available to see ahead of time (like now?)  I would love the wine pairing and like most of us,

we have lots of obc but even if we have the premium package we still have to pay more?? That makes no sense....so unless I hear something amazing, we will probably opt out.  DH prefers to eat first night in Luminae to get to meet the staff, so that would probably be a deal breaker too, but I do think it is a place holder time for first day on board for time and location tba....Great feedback so far! 

 

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We have done it on both M- and S- Class ships.   All have been very enjoyable and a pleasant experience.     They use to have it in the "Wine Celler" on the M-Class ships but those days are gone and no - more wine cellar.  They did it in Tuscan Grill instead.   Not as intimate but a real pleasure.    On S-Class they did it in the little dining room off Murano's    Well worth the expense.  

 

We did the Special Wine Tasting Dinner with the Chef B menu and it was a real disappointment.   They held it in Tuscan and at the last minute only one other couple showed up.    We had nothing in common and it was a task to just keep the conversation going.

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I have  signed up for the Chef’s Table on my Equinox cruise in August.  The last time I attended a Chef’s Table on Celebrity, pre pandemic obviously, the wine was included. I went to the X website and read the details. Wine pairings are an additional cost. I am canceling.
 

It has nothing to do with cost. I have plenty of onboard credit to pay for it. It is the principle. I have attended many Chef’s Tables on land and at sea. The whole idea of a Chef’s Table is to pair food and wine. If that isn’t what they are doing, then it isn’t a true Chef’s Table. Until serious foodies make that point and don’t go to the Chef’s Table, nothing will change. Charge us more, but for god’s sake, include the wine!

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6 hours ago, BridgeBabe said:

We now have 2 cruises booked on Millie.  First one is Sept. I have wanted to do this dinner for awhile and

booked it.  Now I am reading about less than stellar reviews on the Edge.  My question is: Have you done this on Millie? 

And if you did, was it worth the price??

 

We have it booked for the August 27 sailing on Millennium, and I'd be happy to come back and share thoughts, menu, etc.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Antropos said:

I've never personally experienced Chef's Table (yet?), but it is my understanding that the 5:30 PM on the first day is just a 'placeholder' for the event. The actual time (and location) are made known once onboard. For me, that is what keeps me from booking. 

 

Thanks for clearing that up.  That makes a good deal more sense.  I agree with you, though, I would prefer to schedule a time via the planner rather than once on board for similar reasons, and that's reason enough to give it a pass.

 

15 hours ago, Straughn said:

Charge us more, but for god’s sake, include the wine!

 

I appreciate the fact that they don't include the wine.  A number of folks cannot or do not drink the wine for one reason or another (age, medication or other medical reasons, religion, etc.), so there's no good reason they should be paying for wine. Separating the cost of the wine pairing allows a non-drinker to enjoy the dinner without the extra expense.  Our favorite local restaurant does the same thing with their "wine dinners" that they hold once or (more often) twice every month.  While the advertised price does include the wine pairing, they allocate a portion of that price to the wine and deduct for anyone not drinking that night (while the pairings typically are excellent, the food is good enough reason on its own to be there!)

One of the times we did the Chef's Table on RC, we took our teenaged sons to the dinner because they enjoy good food and trying new things.  In fact, they did enjoy the food and the experience very much.  However, we still had to pay for the wine, even though they couldn't have it because of their age.  There was no mechanism for reducing the price for those who weren't drinking.  This way of doing things is an improvement.

The pairings still are there and ready to go.  The additional cost for the wine is disclosed up front, and there's no good reason to believe the "included" price would be significantly less than the combined price, so I don't see what principle there is to fight for.

Edited by DCPIV
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Posted (edited)

@DCPIV, you make some very good points. I hadn’t thought about teenagers wanting to attend. Most of the ones I know  want to eat and run, not sit thru a long dinner experience. 
 

I see and now agree with all your points. I was only looking at it from my perspective and should have, but did not, think about people attending that might not drink for any number of reasons, not just age. The wine dinners/ Chef’s Tables I attend, to my knowledge do not reduce the price for non drinkers. If they do, it is done very unobtrusively. Obviously, Celebrity has received feed back from passengers who don’t drink and have separated the two costs.

 

So, I take back my statement about “for god’s sake, include the wine.” I will not cancel and will pay for the wine that evening. It would be nice if there were two prices offered in the cruise planner- one with wine and one without. I wonder how many people sign up for it, and don’t realize that the wine is an additional charge, especially if they have been to previous Chef’s Tables on Celebrity, where the wine was included. It is down in the fine print, which many folks, me included, don’t read. I would not have know it, except for this post and another one where it was mentioned briefly.

Edited by Straughn
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I am looking forward to your review of the Chef's Table...I will probably also add wine if we attend. 

If the food is not up to par, then we will cancel!  If you can, try to review right after the dinner so I will have time to cancel if necessary! We leave on 9/10.

I am so glad I asked this question. I have enjoyed all the discussion.

I agree on the wine should be included, but the reasoning behind not doing it, is probably more about the bottom line if they don't lower the price without wine.😐

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@Straughn Thank you for your very considerate reply. You also make some excellent points.

 

They certainly could make more conspicuous the note about the additional pairings, especially since the wine has been included in the recent past. It's way down there at the bottom. I'm the sort that reads everything, but I know many do not. A little more effort on X's part could save a lot of consternation at the event. Even something like an asterisk on the price would be better. 

 

As for the cost, I wonder if they hesitate to commit to a price because pairings may change based on availability and pricing. Both have been issues during the pandemic and likely will continue to be for some time. I'm not defending X's practice-- just speculating. 

 

No matter what, may you enjoy a lovely dinner and experience! 

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I will never do a Chefs table on Celebrity again. It was basically the same food as the dinning room and it was more about a “privilege” to eat with the chef. The Chefs table on Princess was much better. Maybe I just got spoiled. I do hope you enjoy it. 

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3 hours ago, Sox Fan Cruiser said:

I will never do a Chefs table on Celebrity again. It was basically the same food as the dinning room and it was more about a “privilege” to eat with the chef. The Chefs table on Princess was much better. Maybe I just got spoiled. I do hope you enjoy it. 

I agree that the Princess food was better, but that was more because the regular food was generally worse, the difference was more stark.

 The Celeb Chefs Table was as good as Murano, a bit more creative and beautifully presented. It was not as good as Eden. The wine was excellent (this was back when it was all included). We said we would not go again, but are curious about the Daniel Boulud influence or lack thereof, and we have lots of OBC.

Our galley tour was really cool - led by the Exec Chef, concentrated on his side of things, not just how dinner service is run. If you dining in Blu on an S-class as we were, you see very obviously why you can’t order from MDR menu. The multiple galleys make the tour more interesting, better than Princess.

 The other advantage to Princess is that it was a larger group and a less obvious commercial. Used to an officer dined with you and their job was delivering a commercial. Our guy was the poor IT project manager from Miami main office who was onboard for a few weeks testing and fine tuning the app that was just being rolled out. Bless his heart, he asked the group about the website! We all had a good laugh, he wanted genuine feedback, but what he got was what functional website?

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My wife and I have done the Chefs Table on both the S class and M class ships multiple times.  The Chefs Table on the S class ships is held in the wine cellar room of the Murano while the M Class ships hold the Chefs Table in the Tuscan Restaurant.  We were very disappointed with the Chefs Table on the Constellation just before the Covid shutdown.  The cost of the dinner was $139 and the wine pairing was $60 making the total for a couple $398.  The food was definitely a down grade due to the executive chef having to follow the Daniel Boulud menu rather than have the executive chef chose the menu. There is another dinner called the Veuve Clicquot dinner for $150 which was considerably better than the Chefs Table.  Your enjoyment of either the Chefs Table or the Veuve Clicquot dinner depends on your dinner partners.  In all our experiences with the dinners we have only had three other couples which were obnoxious and a handful that did not fit the group dynamics

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