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Dining...Chef’s Table...Luminae...Specialty


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Hi we are on board the Constellation in just 2 weeks and I’m thinking of the plethora of dining options (for dinner)

 

We are in a sky suite so have Luminae available to us (and I think Blu if available)

 

We are certain we would like to book the Chef’s Table one night. Aside from that, is Luminae that good that we don’t need to book the specialty restaurants? Do most suite sailors stay in Luminae every night or bounce around?

 

Thanks for any info you can share!

 

Trish

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It depends on the ship for us. The M Class ships have less specialty restaurants, so we dine in Luminae most nights.  Luminae is wonderful (quiet elegance), but the Chef's Table would be a great way to take it up a notch (and meet/dine with others). Tuscan Grill is not a favorite for us, though have had some good experiences there - we personally would stay in Luminae, but the menu may appeal to you. Qsine is fun and a totally different experience than Luminae (tapas-type menu, with a whimsical touch) - if you haven't been, I would try it. We eat lunch in Sushi on 5 many days and really enjoy the low key, friendly atmosphere and have a few favorites that we always get. It's usually open for dinner as well.  If there is a Chef's Market Tour, there is a tour during the day and a special dinner at night prepared for you and the small tour group (about 16-20) by one of the chefs onboard. We've done it in two different ports and love it.

 

You will eat well on the Connie! Bon appetit!

Edited by vtcruising
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We are on the Equinox on Oct. 14 for 11 days and are really looking forward to spending time in Luminae. The service is unsurpassed! It is small, intimate and quiet, a much more relaxing and elegant experience than most other venues. We opted for the Chef’s Table and several other options on our 15 day Panama Canal and South American cruise 3 years ago on Infinity and we were very disappointed. This trip we are sticking to Luminae because it is one of the main reasons that we booked a suite. My husband was a chef for over 40 years and we believe that, although the food is quite well prepared across the board on Celebrity, Luminae is a cut above in food and service. Just our opinions though. Enjoy your cruise no matter your decisions.

Edited by sandyle4
Missed a word
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We also love Luminae.  We also book Royal Suites and above so the Specialty Dining is included, so we generally try to include a lot of those as well, but with the S Class there are so many options.....

 

We are booked on the Edge on Dec 1 and know that we are not going to make it to all the restaurants unless we eat 5 times a day!!! Nah, I think we will just book another cruise to hit the spots we miss! 

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Food, sadly my favorite topic, We’ve done all those options, except Sushi on Five, so here’s what I think for what it’s worth - 

Luminae on Solstice Class - all around best for everyday dining - higher quality ingredients, second best ambiance on the ship and access to the MDR menu to widen choices make it the winner. Adding the MDR menu to Blu on M- class brings it closer to Luminae by my criteria, but Blu does not have the ambiance of Luminae, and the ingredients while better than MDR, aren’t as big a jump as Luminae.

 

Specialty - to me the thing about specialties is just that, they fill special niches. I could do the cheapest cabin route, and get a 7 night dinner no pkg and go around to all the specialty, but as VT stated, there aren’t that many on M-class, and that plan wouldn’t work as well. Murano has the best food and atmosphere on the ship, but I did a cruise and ate in Murano twic- I couldn’t eat there 3 or 4 times, just too rich. Also as VT pointed out, LPC and to some extent the Lawn Club are events with entertainment - great fun, but not everyday eating. I would miss the part of cruising where you get to know the waitstaff and your fellow diners, which is part of what makes cruising different than a land vacation. The flip side of all that is that on a longer cruise, certainly over 10 days, even in Luminae, it would be fun to do something different - to “go out to dinner” as it were.

 

Chef’s Table and Chef’s Market Dinner - first of all these are very similar, but different experiences. The Chefs Table is a dinner with a capped number ?8? That includes pre-dinner champagne and a guided tour of the galley, usually by the executive chef. The dinner is multi-course, with wine pairings and the food is a bit more experimental than Murano or Luminae, although you still have basically lobster and steak, with the appetizers and desserts being a bit different. The wine pairings are well thought out and not readily available.

The Chefs Market is a land based food tour, visiting a local market, perhaps with stops for local specialties (in Cozumel where we did this, it included a tequila tasting room and a chocolate factory, both selling their wares, but also a stop at a popsicle maker with 30 exotic fruit flavors) and a light lunch at a restaurant. Sometimes a guest chef makes the trip, and always a chef from the ship comes along and makes purchases in the market, also has lunch with the group. Then you meet again at dinner, the chef takes you on a galley tour and then you have a multi course themed dinner served partially family style, using the items bought in the market - we had a tortilla soup with a bit of Jamaican flavor - chef was Jamaican and to die for pork belly tacos, probably the best thing I’ve ever had on a cruise ship.

 

The downside of both these adventures is your fellow dinner companions - when it’s bad it’s really bad, and you paid a lot for it to be bad, when it is a good experience, like Cozumel, it can be memorable.

 

sorry to go so long, told you food was my favorite topic

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On M-class ships, which Connie is, they've removed the Ocean Liners/Murano type restaurants, so now there's just Tuscan (meh) and Qsine (now Le Petite Chef), and Sushi on 5. DH doesn't care for sushi, and we prefer an elegant dinner service and don't care for the cartoon projections on our plate if we're not dining with the grandkids. Tuscan we feel is like a slightly upscale chain restaurant and isn't a true Italian or a true steak house restaurant. It's also not worth nearly the upcharge. I'd stick with Luminae with an occasional visit to Blu if it's available. At least that's what we do on the M-class ships.

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The service level and ambience of Luminae is very good. We do find the menu choices quite limited at times, however. We ask to see the menus for the full week when we board then on nights when one or the other of us doesn’t fancy the Luminae menu we book a speciality. 

 

Le Petit Chef is fun rather than fine dining, worth experiencing. Tuscan is worth a visit, nice relaxed atmosphere. Sushi we see more as a lunch rather than an evening venue.

 

Chef’s table is worth experiencing...just how good it is does to some degree depend on your fellow diners.

 

Unfortunately, as Luvcrsn says, there is no longer a Murano’s equivalent on M class. A good reason when on board to book another cruise!

 

Remember Luminae is open for boarding day and sea day lunchtimes and for breakfast too.

 

The lunchtime buffets are worth a visit too and if you are tired after a long port day remember you can dine in suite using the MDR menu. Your butler will serve you course by course.

 

Hope you have a fantastic cruise.

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Thank you so much everyone for all of the information. This is exactly the kind of honest reviews I was looking for. As always CC does not disappoint!

 

Thats a very good point about Chef’s Table and our table mates. We are used to doing experiences like that with it just being our party. It sounds like it could be really good or really odd lol.

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We were on the Eclipse in Alaska in June. This was our first time where Luminae was an option, although definitely not our first suite. The Luminae experience over-all was excellent, food quite good. We do not feel that spending $50 or so per person to dine in any of the specialty restaurants was worth it. When we go out for dinner at home, at our typical high end restaurant in the NY Metro area, other than at the tip steak houses, dinner entrees are in the $30-$35 range, Appetizers $15-$20, and although you get 3 courses in a specialty restaurant, we rarely have 3 courses per person at home, so I don't see justifying that cost at all, as the restaurants that we have at home are far superior. 

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On 9/6/2019 at 6:46 PM, Luvcrusn said:

On M-class ships, which Connie is, they've removed the Ocean Liners/Murano type restaurants, so now there's just Tuscan (meh) and Qsine (now Le Petite Chef), and Sushi on 5. DH doesn't care for sushi, and we prefer an elegant dinner service and don't care for the cartoon projections on our plate if we're not dining with the grandkids. Tuscan we feel is like a slightly upscale chain restaurant and isn't a true Italian or a true steak house restaurant. It's also not worth nearly the upcharge. I'd stick with Luminae with an occasional visit to Blu if it's available. At least that's what we do on the M-class ships.

Agree with this entirely.  I was hoping they would put at least one more Specialty Restaurant on M-Class ships during their Revolution.  Not the case.  If you are in a suite Luminae more than makes up for it.  

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Just off Millenium in Alaska and completely enjoyed our Luminae experience. Yes, we got a few favorites off the MDR, like escargot twice for my hubby and a Wellington to share on Chic Night, but in general, all was great!  However, there were no MDR or Blue menus available in the Retreat to check as we wished. Our Concierge had to access her computer if we wished to see a day at a time before dinner. Seemed like a lot of trouble for her and she is not always there..no idea why they removed the real menus...so easy before. 

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