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Embarkation Day lunch


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9 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

I will accept that not having the Concierge Class embarkation day lunch on embarkation day right now is due to new Covid-19 protocols and boarding procedures.  But it's really ludicrous to have it on any other day.  It's a very limited menu, nothing that would make me interrupt my day for it.   The entire concept behind the embarkation day lunch was to give Concierge Class guests a quiet place for a sit-down lunch before staterooms were ready; no need to drag your carryon luggage all around the ship, or fight the crowds in the buffet.  The lunch was fine for that purpose, but, to me at least, it would be totally pointless on any other day.

 

We just booked a Concierge Class Aft Facing Cabin this past weekend.  We went to do our online check in, and the earliest time we could board the ship was 2 PM.   I called the Captain's Club Desk to attempt to have this moved up to an early time, due to the fact that we would miss our lunch.  I was informed that due to COVID, the Lunch had been moved, and we would get a notice delivered to our room informing us of when it would be scheduled.   I agree with  you, one of the main perks of the Concierge Room is the Embarkation day lunch, as it's hassle free and always good.   Guess we are a victim of Covid.  The cruise lines are doing their best, and we all have to be flexible.  This is not a game changer for us. Just happy to be in a ship again.

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On 7/19/2021 at 9:02 AM, curtsfan said:

I asked if the lunch was still part of the amenities for Conciege class at the time I booked the cruise for next month.  I was told it was.   Now, that doesn’t mean it won’t change in the next several weeks.

Because of the new assigned times for boarding policy it was felt by Celebrity that the CC embarkation lunch would be missed by too many passengers with boarding times after 1pm. It has been moved to the first sea day for the balance of this year.

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Have at it @jg51. Get it off your chest. It slides right off my back. 
 

Turtles, I agree the make up lunch is no big deal unless they are serving filet and lobster. I haven’t heard what the meal is. We have had the E Day lunch a few times and sometimes it was very good - Lamb Chops, other times it was very pedestrian. We have occasionally skipped it for a relaxing meal at the Spa Cafe. 

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1 minute ago, RICCruisers said:

Have at it @jg51. Get it off your chest. It slides right off my back. 
 

Turtles, I agree the make up lunch is no big deal unless they are serving filet and lobster. I haven’t heard what the meal is. We have had the E Day lunch a few times and sometimes it was very good - Lamb Chops, other times it was very pedestrian. We have occasionally skipped it for a relaxing meal at the Spa Cafe. 

The menu appears to be the same one that we've seen on previous cruises.  Ho-hum:

 

You can feast on an array of choices at the Concierge Class Lunch, beating the midday rush for delicious eats in the main dining room. Start with creamy butternut soup or a Caesar salad as an appetizer.

 

For mains, you’ll have your pick of roast salmon with fingerling potatoes and spinach, Moroccan braised short ribs on a bed of couscous, or grilled chicken paillard with french fries and a tasty shallot vinaigrette.

 

For the vegetarians in your group, try the whole wheat penne pasta. We offer red or white wine with your lunch.

 

Dessert is extra sweet while on vacation. Choose between dulce de leche and chocolate fudge cake or a warm slice of apple pie a la mode with vanilla bean gelato and candied walnuts.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

Because of the new assigned times for boarding policy it was felt by Celebrity that the CC embarkation lunch would be missed by too many passengers with boarding times after 1pm. It has been moved to the first sea day for the balance of this year.

.

Hello, "terrydtx."

 

You must not have noticed that at least two people have explained that it makes no sense to have a Concierge/B2B lunch on the "first [or second] sea day," since the MDR is already open for lunch on that day!  The only day that it makes sense to have it is Emb-Day. 

 

Hmmm ... actually it might be good to have it on the first PORT day, when the MDR is normally closed for lunch ... but, of course, "X" probably would not do that, because they want Concierge/B2B guests to be off the ship during the lunch hour, away on excursions.

.

1 hour ago, RICCruisers said:

Have at it @jg51. Get it off your chest. It slides right off my back. 
 

Turtles, I agree the make up lunch is no big deal unless they are serving filet and lobster. I haven’t heard what the meal is. We have had the E Day lunch a few times and sometimes it was very good - Lamb Chops, other times it was very pedestrian. We have occasionally skipped it for a relaxing meal at the Spa Cafe. 

.

Hello again, "RICCruisers."

We have no idea what you meant by "Get it off your chest" (and we don't know why you put "@" before our handle) -- but, no problem, it slid right off our backs 😁.

 

From 2017 through 2019 (and possibly for some years before that), the Concierge/B2B lunch on Emb-Day had this menu:

.

[CHOOSE ONE OR BOTH:]
~~~ Butternut Squash Soup
~~~ Caesar Salad (with optional chicken tenders)

.

[CHOOSE ONE OR MORE:]
~~~ Whole-Wheat Penne Pasta [entree- or appetizer-size]
~~~ Moroccan Braised Short Ribs
~~~ Roast Salmon
~~~ Grilled Chicken Paillard
~~~ Hamburger, Cheeseburger, or Hot Dog
.
[CHOOSE ONE OR BOTH:]
~~~ Warm Apple Pie (with Vanilla-Bean gelato)
~~~ Chocolate Cake

[CHOOSE ONE OR MORE:]
~~~ Ice Cream [Vanilla, Chocolate, and one other flavor]
~~~ Sorbet [one flavor]/Choc/+], Sorbet
~~~ Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt [one flavor]
[any of the above may be ordered with Chocolate Fudge, Butterscotch, or Raspberry topping]

.

Edited by jg51
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It seems that Concierge class guests are not getting their priority boarding or their embarkation day lunch (as a result of no priority boarding). Okay I understand that with the new boarding windows being used. But those were really the only benefits worth anything. With AI, the welcome bottle of wine in the room is useless. And the idea that a sea day lunch in the MDR with the same menu that everyone else has is an adequate replacement for those 2 lost CC benefits is absurd. How about just giving CC guests a complementary specialty dining meal to replace the 2 lost benefits? That would be a meaningful perk. Otherwise, without those benefits CC is just an overpriced veranda cabin. 

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11 hours ago, jg51 said:

You must not have noticed that at least two people have explained that it makes no sense to have a Concierge/B2B lunch on the "first [or second] sea day," since the MDR is already open for lunch on that day!  The only day that it makes sense to have it is Emb-Day. 

Doesn't have to make sense, the reality is for now there is no CC embarkation day lunch. The CC lunch will be on some other day of the cruise and CC passengers will receive an invitation on Embarkation day in their cabin.. On the Edge with 4 MDR it would be very easy to close one on a sea day and have it for the exclusive CC lunch. On Sea days in Edge class ships only one MDR is open for lunch anyway.

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When I booked a concierge cabin once, I was underwhelmed with the embarkation lunch. The only benefit was the quiet vs. the buffet.  With the other normal restaurants on the sea day, I don't see the advantage.

 

I never saw the benefit of concierge and went back to Aqua for my one free bottle of water on embarkation.  Do they still have that?

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8 hours ago, bloomcruisers said:

It seems that Concierge class guests are not getting their priority boarding or their embarkation day lunch (as a result of no priority boarding). Okay I understand that with the new boarding windows being used. But those were really the only benefits worth anything. With AI, the welcome bottle of wine in the room is useless. And the idea that a sea day lunch in the MDR with the same menu that everyone else has is an adequate replacement for those 2 lost CC benefits is absurd. How about just giving CC guests a complementary specialty dining meal to replace the 2 lost benefits? That would be a meaningful perk. Otherwise, without those benefits CC is just an overpriced veranda cabin. 

.

A huge "Amen" to everything you said, "bloomcruisers"!   Just one thing, though: We B2B-ers, who have shared the E-Day lunch with you in the past, would also like to share that "complimentary specialty dining meal" with you as well.  We suspect that you would agree with us in feeling very satisfied to have that specialty-restaurant meal as a lunch -- rather than be greedy and expect it to be some kind of Murano dinner!

.

5 hours ago, terrydtx said:

Doesn't have to make sense, the reality is for now there is no CC embarkation day lunch. ...

.

Sorry, "terrydtx," but to us, it most certainly does "have to make sense"!  People have to stand up for their rights and not let bullies get away with doing things that do not "make sense." 

 

For over ten years here at CruiseCruitic, we have been seeing (hundreds of) people first complaining bitterly about something that a cruise line has done -- or has announced plans to do -- only for those same complainers to "wimp out," in the very next sentence, making some kind of weak excuse for the cruise line to be allowed to get away (unscathed) with their impropriety.  Guests instead need to stand strong together, so that wisdom and justice may prevail!

 

CruiseCritic members ought not to make excuses for the cruise lines' misbehaviors.  The cruise lines' representatives read the threads here, and the lines will "straighten out their act" if members "hold their feet to the fire" ... but if members remain silent or -- even worse -- make excuses for the lines' misdeeds, then the unfairness will continue (and will probably even grow worse).

.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, jg51 said:

(and we don't know why you put "@" before our handle)

FYI...if you use the @symbol and start typing (usually first couple of letters) of the screen name of the CC member you want to callout a dropdown list will appear and you can select from that list instead of typing the CC members full screen name. Works great for those (🖐️) that have long CC screen names. 

Edited by davekathy
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17 minutes ago, davekathy said:

FYI...if you use the @symbol and start typing (usually first couple of letters) of the screen name of the CC member you want to callout a dropdown list will appear and you can select from that list instead of typing the CC members full screen name. Works great for those (🖐️) that have long CC screen names. 

.

Thanks, @davekathy.

We really had no idea!

 

Ironically, we had to enter, "davek" (after the @) before we could see your full screen-name on the dropdown list!  (There are so many other "dave" names out there.)

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On 7/19/2021 at 1:53 PM, Saturngrl said:

The Embarkation luncheon in the MDR is one of the primary reasons I sail Concierge.   So disappointed if we get this perk removed until the 2nd day, thus defeating the purpose for it in the first place.   

 

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Just now, curtsfan said:

 

We also book concierge because the luncheon is one of the benefits.   If they aren’t doing it, I will miss it as well.   I like being waited & not looking for a place to sit.  It’s a nice way to start our vacation!   I just meant that I’m thrilled to be getting back to cruising, that I’m not going to let anything get me upset.  

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23 hours ago, jg51 said:

.

Thank you, "RICCruisers," but we, "Saturngrl," and probably most other people already knew the "reason" that Celebrity has alleged (and that you have mentioned) for the elimination of the Concierge/B2B luncheon.  Any CruiseCritic member would also know our "options," which you listed at the end of your message.

 

We disagree very strongly with you and Celebrity, however, for this reason:

Even under the current procedures, the Concierge luncheon could be offered on Embarkation Day (let us say, from 1 to 2:30 PM), so that the following could partake of it:

~~~ Those Concierge-class guests who are able to board early enough [which would potentially be many people] ... and ...

~~~ Potentially all the back-to-back guests [sometimes quite a large number], because they would indeed be able to re-board very early in the afternoon, after having disembarked briefly to be tested.

.

Thus, Celebrity has not really made public a valid reason to avoid offering this special luncheon, under the current circumstances.  Moreover, it makes no sense whatsoever to offer a Concierge/B2B luncheon on some subsequent "day at sea," when the MDR is already open for lunch anyway!

 

So why is the E-Day Concierge luncheon not being offered right now?  Whenever there is a bit of a mystery in the behavior of a person (or a corporation), one must consider the "great motivator" -- MONEY!  Sorry if you think that this is cynical, but Celebrity can save some $$$ by not having this luncheon, so the corporation is doing that.

.

 

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I agree with SaturnGirl.   The lunch benefit for concierge shouldn’t be a problem.  After many cruises I have been able to board and partake in the luncheon & other times of boarded to late to enjoy it.  That being said, they could as you say, curtail the hours for the lunch.   My fear is, that once they take this benefit away, it will not be reinstated.   Plus I feel as though it’s smart to spread the people out during the lunch hours instead of herding everyone into the buffet.  

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In late June, I sent an email to Celebrity's Engagement Center, stating that for DW and I, one of the major benefits of booking a Concierge cabin is the wonderfully relaxing embarkation luncheon. I also made a number of suggestions on how the issue could be resolved.

 

Today I received a phone call from a staff member, apologizing profusely for both the delay in responding and for the decision to cancel the embarkation lunch in favour of a lunch later in the cruise. The only positive note she was able to provide was that Celebrity is continuing to look at all aspects of the embarkation process and further changes can be anticipated.

 

As a result of the phone call, I really don't see any changes taking place in the near future, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that the embarkation lunch will be offered again by mid-March 2022 for our next cruise. Hopefully 8 months is sufficient time.

 

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11 minutes ago, curtsfan said:

My fear is, that once they take this benefit away, it will not be reinstated.

If that's the case, no more Concierge bookings for us. There are few enough perks as it is, and removing the one thing we feel we benefit from means reverting to a veranda cabin or booking Aqua class.

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7 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

In late June, I sent an email to Celebrity's Engagement Center, stating that for DW and I, one of the major benefits of booking a Concierge cabin is the wonderfully relaxing embarkation luncheon. I also made a number of suggestions on how the issue could be resolved.

 

Today I received a phone call from a staff member, apologizing profusely for both the delay in responding and for the decision to cancel the embarkation lunch in favour of a lunch later in the cruise. The only positive note she was able to provide was that Celebrity is continuing to look at all aspects of the embarkation process and further changes can be anticipated.

 

As a result of the phone call, I really don't see any changes taking place in the near future, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that the embarkation lunch will be offered again by mid-March 2022 for our next cruise. Hopefully 8 months is sufficient time.

 

 

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I’m happy that you heard back from them.  My hope is that I’m the future they will reconsider the embankment day lunch for Concierge passengers.   As you said d, it is a major benefit!   

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7 minutes ago, curtsfan said:

I’m happy that you heard back from them.  My hope is that I’m the future they will reconsider the embankment day lunch for Concierge passengers.   As you said d, it is a major benefit!   

Agreed.

 

BTW, it would be easier for all if you were to generate a single post when responding to someone. Hit the "Quote" button (bottom left) and start writing your response. When you then hit the "Submit Reply" button, the original post plus your response will come out as a single post. 👍

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22 hours ago, Fouremco said:

... Today I received a phone call from a staff member, apologizing profusely for ... the decision to cancel the embarkation lunch in favour of a lunch later in the cruise. The only positive note she was able to provide was that Celebrity is continuing to look at all aspects of the embarkation process and further changes can be anticipated. ...

.

For at least a couple of weeks now, we have been discussing (privately, except for one quick post, which everyone ignored) our hope and opinion that Celebrity will soon do away with their current method of "staggered check-in," dockside, on Embarkation Days -- AND -- that the terminal will be opened no later than 11 AM (even possibly 10 AM).

 

A "compromise," however, may be implemented instead -- in which a great many people will be allowed (again, quite early) into the terminal before processing begins -- to get them out of the sun, to give them access to water, chairs, restrooms, etc..

 

It would take a good deal of writing to explain why we believe one of the above two changes is coming (and should come) very soon.  We would give "three cheers" (hip, hip, hooray) to the first option [no more assigned check-in times at all] -- but we would give only a feeble, "OK," to the compromise.  We believe in "first-come-first-served" embarkation -- but, at the moment, we do not have enough free time to elaborate our thoughts about that subject.

,

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