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WonderMan3

LIVE from EDGE - 12/9/18 - 7 night Western Caribbean Maiden Voyage

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While Eli was in the room we asked him to make a reservation for us at Luminae for 6:30pm as we didn’t want to risk having to wait in a long line. We made a stop at the Martini Bar for a pre-dinner drink and were shocked that we were both actually able to get a seat at the bar after a few minutes. I ordered one of my favorites, Raspberry Lemonade, while Mike got a Sunset Martini. Pardon the lines in some of the photos. The lighting does weird things to my camera.

 

This whole area around the Martini Bar is very popular and very busy pretty much all through prime evening hours. They really need to add a few more servers to service the tables surrounding the bar. It has great energy though. Great place to hang out before dinner.

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Is it my imagination or have some of the drink prices gone up?  I noticed on the Luminae menu you posted that the Celebrity select wine was $25 per glass.  I'm assuming they have other options that fall within the Premium package?  Are you finding that your usual drinks are still covered by the Premium package?  I love the sunset martini and as I recall, unless there's been a price increase, it was covered by our package on our April sailing on Equinox.  

Edited by Georgia_Peaches
typo

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As mentioned before, we had dinner reservations for Luminae at 6:30pm. We arrived a few minutes prior and discovered a line. It took about 5 minutes or so to get through the line to the hostess but then she planned to seat us immediately. She was going to give us the same table as the night before. While we liked the server Ivan the location was poor right next to the kitchen. She had no other tables with Ivan so she gave us a table in another section with a server named Anzhela who was very sweet. For dinner we both had the Short Ribs appetizer and the Moroccan Chicken entree. Both were excellent! For dessert we both had the Hazelnut Cake which was tasty! Photos here also show the two chef’s treats, a beet gazpacho which we did not care for and a lime sorbet which was nice. Luminae in this second evening was maybe half full while we dined. Servers seemed much more relaxed and food came out quickly. I would honestly recommend avoiding eating at Luminae on this ship on the first night and try a specialty instead then go to Luminae from night 2 onward. Then you shouldn’t have to deal with crazy waits.

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Thank you for posting another look at the drink prices.  Guess I feel a little better.  One of my favorites drinks in Luminae is the Bourbon and Peaches.  Nice to see it's still covered by the package.

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Thanks for your continued posting.   Lot's of good information.

 

I have to say that my experience in Luminea on both M and S Class ships is the first night is always a mess.   Everyone showing up at the same time and the servers and guest trying to get everything in order.   Do you know how later times were for Luminea.   We are late diners and usually don't arrive until close to 9:00 PM

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17 hours ago, billydog said:

In my opinion you should not post photos of other  people (as at the muster drill) without their permission.  I would be very angry with you if I was in one of you photos.

 

Having spent a bit of time out-and-about here's the deal. I'll just cut and paste a bit 

 

It is legal to photograph or videotape anything and anyone on any public property, within reasonable community standards. Photographing or videotaping a tourist attraction, whether publicly or privately owned, is generally considered legal, unless explicitly prohibited by a specific law or statute.

 

For instance, if you're just walking down the street and someone takes a picture, they're well within their rights no matter how violated you might feel.

 

WonderMan3, keep those photos coming. I love them.

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5 hours ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

Is it my imagination or have some of the drink prices gone up?  I noticed on the Luminae menu you posted that the Celebrity select wine was $25 per glass.  I'm assuming they have other options that fall within the Premium package?  Are you finding that your usual drinks are still covered by the Premium package?  I love the sunset martini and as I recall, unless there's been a price increase, it was covered by our package on our April sailing on Equinox.  

 

We’ve run into no issues yet with any drinks we ordered not being covered by the package.

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5 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

Thanks for your continued posting.   Lot's of good information.

 

I have to say that my experience in Luminea on both M and S Class ships is the first night is always a mess.   Everyone showing up at the same time and the servers and guest trying to get everything in order.   Do you know how later times were for Luminea.   We are late diners and usually don't arrive until close to 9:00 PM

 

We’ve had the opposite. Never had any issues with waiting or craziness on first night at Luminae with one exception, Reflection. But on that ship they seemed crazed every night. I think the main issue with this ship is that the waiting area is very tiny with only two large wicker chairs that can each seat two average to small sized people or one large person. So the crowd of people waiting has to extend out into the hallway and they have no clear process for people who have reservations to check in without having to wait in line behind people who are just walking in. Luminae on the other ships is much more spacious in the waiting area with plenty of seating. The crowding makes the waiting feel worse than it actually is.

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My experience on the Reflection with Luminae was that when we went around 8 or so there wasn't a wait.  The one exception was the night we were in Sicily, with a 7pm departure and then it was full.  Katya (hostess) sent us to Michael's club and called when a table was ready.   She said it was because everyone came around 7:15 because of the late port departure.

My sister and I also one wait night on the Equinox but I don't remember why.

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Finishing off Monday, after dinner we took a stroll around the ship so Mike could smoke and so we could see some of the illuminations. Photos below of the pool deck and Solarium and our requisite posing with the butterfly wings. Plus a video of the cool light show at the Martini Bar.

 

We then ended the night at the casino where we were finally able to claim our Blue Chip Club free play. We played for a couple hours. I was up and down with wins and losses but ended the night around $60 up. Mike was down a bit.

 

 

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 Great review so far!! I do have one question I did not know that you could book a reservation in Luminae? I thought it was first come first serve ?

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1 hour ago, sdnich said:

 Great review so far!! I do have one question I did not know that you could book a reservation in Luminae? I thought it was first come first serve ?

 

On this ship they are letting us reserve but only at 6:30pm or earlier, or after 8pm. In between that it is walk-in only.

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Thank you for doing such a thorough and detailed coverage.

 

Incidentally, since someone was asking about the prices of drinks around the ship (bars) - I checked the I-net for drink prices on other X ships... Even a year back (if I am not wrong) Martini bar cocktails were 10$ (plus 18% of course), beers around the S class ships were 5-7 bucks and a shot of vodka somewhere at 7-8 bucks.

 

Somebody please tell me how in the whole bright world the prices FOR THE SAME DRINKS, FOR THE SAME VOLUMES, made FROM THE SAME INGREDIENTS are 20-25% higher on Edge??? Christ, even BOTTLED beer is more expensive, and by hefty 3-5 dollars... What, they deliver those bottles by Amazon drones???

 

One thing I fear - once the "Edgefecation" (sorry for a mean word!) of S ships happens, the alcohol price increase there will be imminent. 

It is really saddening to see how X tries to catch up with the losses during recession times. I looked at the prices for cruises for 2019-2020, and for the same itineraries as 4-5 years back, for the same cruise lengths, the prices are higher - yet the ships gone older. This actually is a trend of the whole industry, so we should brace ourselves for a few years of cruise industry revenge. Inflation has little to do with this.

I know some people will probably object this fact. Let's wait for 2-3 more years, come back to me then. We will laugh together. Hard and bitter.

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So for Tuesday our plan was to spend the day at The Retreat. I woke up very early at 6am so I could get up to the sundeck when it opened at 7 as I had no idea what to expect as far as chair hogs were concerned and I wanted to get one of the large partially covered dual loungers. I let Mike sleep a bit later while I headed up. When I got to the Retreat Lounge shortly before 7 there was one woman there having something to eat. The continental breakfast spread was already set up. They had a good choice of pastries similar to the ones at Luminae plus fruit, cheese, cold cuts and yogurt. There were a few espresso type machines but no American coffee available and no juice. The attendant told me that they don’t have juice until 8am when Luminae opens. When Mike came through a little while later they said he’d have to go elsewhere on the ship to get American coffee. Those are two big negatives in my mind. If you are going to offer a breakfast spread in your grand new suites area then having simple things like juices and American coffee should be readily available for full hours of breakfast. I made a plate for myself and grabbed some water and headed up to the sundeck.

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The Daily Planner activities are pitiful. Lots of spending opportunities but not much else.

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I arrived up on the sundeck right at 7. It was very breezy with lots of clouds and was not looking promising weather-wise. The attendants were still setting up chairs and loungers and washing down the decks. I didn’t want to disturb them and asked if it was okay to sit. The attendant said it was no problem and set up my loungers for me with towels. The sun rose shortly after I arrived and added a beautiful glow to the deck. I was literally the only passenger up there until 7:35 when a chair hog appeared. He set up

towels and belongings on the double covered lounger like mine but on the opposite side of the deck. He left and did not return until 9:30. About 3 other people drifted in before 8 so I pretty much had the place to myself for a good hour. After 8 more people started to arrive but I’d say it didn’t get any sorts of busy until after 10. It may have been the weather as it was cloudy until after 10 and then the sun broke through, clouds began to clear and it turned into a great day.

 

They have lots of servers and attendants everywhere so you never have to wait long for a drink, food or having chairs set up for you. They come around to your chair with fresh fruit at different times. The concierge Denisa was there starting around 8 for the rest of the day. The two Suites Managers Bogdan and Priscilla were also around for a few hours. They were observing, helping out the attendants and Denisa was keeping close watch at who was coming and going. She went up to guests sitting and asked for their cabin numbers and noted it on her tablet. She didn’t ask us likely because we had already ordered drinks early and had our room noted. Drink service by the way was starting at the bar around 8, yes even for alcohol! There is a very small lunch menu which you can have served to your chair. They have two additional items, burger and chicken sandwich but only if you sit at the tables next to the bar; I guess they don’t want burger mess getting all over the loungers? Food portions were smallish and average tasting. They described the burger as a Luminae burger and the bun may have been but the patty was small and seemed like a Mast Grill burger. Drinks were good. We have found our favorite new frozen drink, French Caribbean made with mango slush and a raspberry or blackberry liqueur. The staff was all very friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful day up there just relaxing. The pool was great although a bit of a wave pool that day due to the ocean bounciness. There was a breeze up there but the design of the front partitions kept the bad wind away. Didn’t try the jacuzzi as it was continually occupied. Walking in and out through the day, while it did get busy there I always saw some chairs available somewhere on the deck. This was a Sea day on a brand new ship where all suites are sold out so that was a good sign for those with capacity concerns.

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12 hours ago, WonderMan3 said:

Finishing off Monday, after dinner we took a stroll around the ship so Mike could smoke and so we could see some of the illuminations. Photos below of the pool deck and Solarium and our requisite posing with the butterfly wings. Plus a video of the cool light show at the Martini Bar.

 

We then ended the night at the casino where we were finally able to claim our Blue Chip Club free play. We played for a couple hours. I was up and down with wins and losses but ended the night around $60 up. Mike was down a bit.

 

 

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Light show and deck illumination  are nice...but there was alot of noise in the video  at the M Bar..so I think we will skip that or watch from a distance..

 

The butterfly shots are cool!

 

Suite area looks like fun...very nice covered lounger set up. We will not have a suite but nice to see the area being enjoyed!

Edited by hcat

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Love your review!  We were just on the Dec 6th 3 day and am interested to see the changes now that its in the full week itinerary.  Sounds like you are enjoying it as much as we did.  I was also bummed about the thermal suite being taken off the Elite perk list.  We were quoted $59 for a day pass no matter whether it was a sea or port day and no discount if its an add on to another service either.  I hope your DOTE is a success tonight.  We did it Friday and the weather couldn't have been better - no wind issues at all.  As far as the menu I believe the seafood part (shrimp, lobster tail, king crab legs) is always included and then there is a "chef's choice" for the hot items.  Ours was Spanish - they had a whole suckling pig, lobster empanadas, beef and plantain lasagna, tostones, and more.  And plenty of meats and cheeses.  Looking forward to hearing the rest of your review.  Good luck in the casino - it was good to us this trip 🙂

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Continuing with our Tuesday afternoon. After our time in the Retreat I took a walk around the top deck to get some photos. The Magic Carpet was parked on 16 so I walked in and checked it out. The pool area was not as busy as I expected for a sea day with beautiful sunny weather. This should be a good sign for people who were worried about a crowded pool deck, although it should be noted that there were over 100 cabins unsold on this sailing so that could be reducing the crowded feel.

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Oh, I forgot to mention that while at The Retreat in the morning I wanted to get something hot for breakfast so I walked back to the Eden Cafe and ordered one of their breakfast sandwiches with bacon, egg and cheese on ciabatta bread. It was fantastic! You must try it! I want to go back and try more including their lunch options. The only negative was they had nothing to wrap it up with so I had to take it on the plate it was served on all the way back to The Retreat.

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We headed down to the Martini Bar a little after 6pm. I like to visit there right after the 6pm dinner seating crowd have left. Tonight was evening chic night though so it was standing room only around the bar but luckily we found a table nearby. I ordered the Snowflake Martini which was tasty and Mike had the Black Magic Martini which he loved. I followed that up with an old favorite from S class, a Black Forest Martini. The server warned me that they might not be able to make it if they didn’t have all the ingredients but it turned out they had them.

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4 minutes ago, WonderMan3 said:

Eli stopped by with some afternoon snacks while we were out there.

 

I believe with the "smart" room controls, at least the thermostat senses when you are in the room.  I wonder if the butlers have access to that information as well or if they just keep a good eye out to know when you're in.

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