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  1. We aren't big dessert eaters so we typically order three savory courses (two appetizers and a main), plus the cheese course. They will bring a cart and allow you to select whatever cheeses look good to you. On our last Silhouette sailing they had a wonderful selection; on previous sailings the assortment was less interesting, but still a nice substitute for dessert if you don't have a sweet tooth. The mignardises (bite sized chocolates and other sweets) are usually enjoyable and plenty of dessert for us.
  2. Finally got DH's number sorted after three emails over two weeks to the Voyagers Club. I tried calling but customer service told me they couldn't help and that the only way to in touch with the Voyagers Club people was via email. Not the most efficient process but it all worked out. We booked a 2021 sailing and TA was able to get us the status discount.
  3. Thank you for posting these - I was curious about these cabins. We have a sunset veranda booked on Edge for 2022 but may consider switching to one of these rooms depending on pricing. Given the way we use our balcony, we know the IV is not for us.
  4. I wouldn't say Virgin looks like direct competition for X but I am sure that some X cruisers, especially those of us on the younger side, will be interested. DH and I are early-mid 40s and absolutely plan to try out Virgin once their pricing and itineraries meet our needs. We have friends who will be on Scarlet Lady's inaugural sailing in a couple of months and we cannot wait to hear their impressions. IMO, Virgin seems to be targeting the DINK (double income no kids) market rather than a specific age demographic, although I do think their customers will skew much younger than your average cruise line. It looks like a great atmosphere for us if we are cruising with friends and want to party a bit, whereas we would probably keep choosing X when sailing just the two of us and looking for a relaxing experience. Nice to have both options available!
  5. When they first started offering the non-refundable deposit fares, the screen pictured above CLEARLY stated refundable deposit in the check-marked list on the right under Best Value. See screenshot from one of my old posts below: You still had to extrapolate that the Lowest Price fare DIDN'T include a refundable deposit, but it was much more clear and IMO they are absolutely misleading customers now that they have removed it, especially since they are now bundling one perk with Lowest Price and three with Best Value (making it appear as though the perks are the only difference). Luckily, the TA website I use very clearly delineates between refundable and non-refundable deposits - they even have a popup that appears when you choose a non-refundable deposit fare to warn you and ensure that you know what you're booking.
  6. Oops - that should say FIVE main dish options each night. No longer editable. The 7-night menus with many photos of various dishes are included in my recent review: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2667167-the-ultimate-luminae-review-51919-summit-to-bermuda/
  7. We generally adhere to a low-carb lifestyle and although we relax our restrictions while on vacation, I always look at menus with an eye to minimizing excess starch. Luminae's menu includes four main dishes each night, at least one of which will be chicken/beef/pork/lamb. There is also a vegetarian entree (almost never low carb and extremely uninspired, IMO) and at least one seafood option, sometimes two. My husband doesn't eat much fish or shellfish and because of this he occasionally struggled to find something interesting on Luminae's menu - there was always a non-fish option but not necessarily an interesting one! That said, the preparations of any protein vary and may not always be low-carb friendly, but many of Luminae's meat dishes consist of a relatively plain protein (herb coated rack of lamb, grilled beef, etc) served atop a vegetable puree (sometimes carby, like potatoes; other times a lower carb option like cauliflower). It is easy enough to just eat the protein and skip the carbs puree if necessary, or you can speak with your waiter about your dietary needs and they will make sure to prepare something that will work for you. The preparations of the "always available" menu don't change on paper, but I have no doubt the chefs in Luminae would be happy to serve you a different sauce/side dish/vegetable upon request to keep you from getting bored.
  8. I am aware of this, but not every passenger is, nor do most of them read Cruise Critic to find out.
  9. I don't think there's anything WRONG with Luminae per se, but having just completed a cruise where we dined all seven nights in Luminae, I do understand why some guests would choose to eat in Blu (or another venue) some nights. Luminae's menu is relatively limited, with only four entrée choices each evening, and very seafood heavy. If you are not a seafood person and don't realize that you can ask for off-menu items, Luminae could get boring in a hurry (especially on a B2B where menus are repeated). Furthermore, the Luminae menu is frequently described as overly fussy or "too frou frou" for picky eaters, non-foodies and/or "meat-and-potatoes" types. A friend of mine just sailed Equinox in a suite - she LOVED Luminae, while her picky husband hated it and ate most of his meals in the buffet. They didn't try Blu, but I am guessing they would have found it a better compromise to satisfy both of them. I agree with you fully that the service is better in Luminae and the overall food quality is higher, but there were a couple of menus that didn't impress us at all. Normally on those nights, we would go to Murano, but we were on Summit so we didn't have that option. We didn't think to go to Blu, but next time we would consider it on those lackluster nights in Luminae. One-third of suite guests does seem like quite a high number, but then again, suite guests are probably more likely to be doing long cruises and or B2B cruises where extra variety might be welcome. There could also have been a poor chef in Luminae on that particular sailing.
  10. If Suite passengers are taking up space in the restaurant that AQ passengers have already paid for, it seems only fair to compensate AQ passengers in some fashion. Besides, it wouldn't have to be free; Celebrity could easily offer it to AQ passengers for a small fee.
  11. That seems like a great idea. We were in AQ on Reflection a few years ago and didn't have any trouble with long waits in Blu, but we tend to eat late and it seemed as though the bulk of our fellow passengers preferred to eat early on that particular sailing. I believe suite guests were allowed to use Blu for a small fee at that time, but we were never aware of them receiving special treatment - that would have upset us as well. Things have changed a lot since then though. We are in AQ on our upcoming Solstice sailing and I hope we don't run into any issues like the OP has described.
  12. We didn't try this, but the dealer at our table was asking for everyone's room number when they sat to play, so I'm guessing they would realize you are together and not allow it. Do report back though - I'd love to know if it works out!
  13. Unfortunately they are onto this game, and will no longer allow one gambler to place promotional chips on both red and black on a single spin. We had quite a bit of non-refundable OBC on our last cruise and were able to turn most of it into cash by playing roulette, but it was sheer luck because of this rule.
  14. The number of tipping questions on Cruise Cruise alone make it pretty clear that first time cruisers have questions about what the auto-grats cover and whether/how much they should tip additionally. Cruise lines further confuse this issue by making the auto-grats removable - making them compulsory and calling them "service charges" or "hotel/resort fees" would put a lot of questions to rest and allow people to feel more comfortable choosing their tips according to their own custom/inclination. Discussions regarding how much and who to tip are common on Cruise Critic and as evidenced by the responses on this thread, are helpful to many cruisers, both first timers and veterans.
  15. While this is true, many adults who travel try to familiarize themselves with the cultural norms of the places they are visiting so that they can tip according to the local custom. Cruises are something of a location unto themselves, with people from all over the world visiting the same ship. The cruise lines have established a basic minimum through the institution of auto-grats, but first timers will still have questions about the local custom. There is nothing wrong with having an open and honest discussion about it!
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