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grandgeezer

Luminae on Equinox

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I never imagined we would ever do a suite on Celebrity based on the extreme premium charged for them. Most of the reviews we read seemed to point to the suite restaurant as a big factor. A few moths ago, I stumbled across a price that was where I thought we would find out for ourselves. We booked a Sky Suite on the Equinox for a B2B (August 24 to September 7).

Luminae was the highlight of the whole cruise but there was a couple of things that we couldn't ignore. 1) Luminae isn't open for lunch on port days. We had four both cruises, but there were one port that had afternoon arrivals so it was open. 2) It has a limited menu with no everyday menu like the MDR. The MDR is their everyday menu. I love a great steak at dinner, but there were three days there wasn't any listed. We aren't big fans of the overall food quality in the MDR and the steaks I got justified this assessment. It wasn't bad but it was light years behind what I had when it was on the menu. For over $300 p.p., per day, I don't think that's too much to ask.

Other than that, the dining experience was some of the best ever. Service and food quality was off the charts. We usually ate early and the staff wasn't rushed so we got to know them personally. In fact, we turned down a free dinner in the specialty restaurant of our choice to eat there. We had some plumbing issues in the shower that made the bathroom inaccessible for several hours. We didn't ask, it was offered several times over the next day and a half.

We had a great time but our assessment of the suites being overpriced hasn't changed. We realize we might be in the minority based the them selling out very quickly, but that's ok.

 

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GG - did you realize that you can order a filet basically anytime you want one in Luminae?

We had our first experience in a suite on Equinox a couple of weeks before your sailing. We made some new friends and shared dinners several evenings - they had been in suites several times before. One evening they ordered a filet, and I don't think it was on the MDR menu that night, they just asked for it.

Now that might not be the steak you wanted, and I didn't try their filet, but that was my experience.

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3 hours ago, cangelmd said:

GG - did you realize that you can order a filet basically anytime you want one in Luminae?

We had our first experience in a suite on Equinox a couple of weeks before your sailing. We made some new friends and shared dinners several evenings - they had been in suites several times before. One evening they ordered a filet, and I don't think it was on the MDR menu that night, they just asked for it.

Now that might not be the steak you wanted, and I didn't try their filet, but that was my experience.

I didn't know that. When I told the waiter I preferred a steak but there was none showing on the menu, he went and got a MDR menu and told me I could order whatever I wanted off that. The waiter was a veteran too, he said he had been a waiter  for nine years with the last three years being on the Luminae. The filet did show up on the menu once each week and it was to die for.

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My SO was born in the Midwest (Omaha) and is a meat and potatoes man. He might occasionally eat seafood, meaning shrimp! One night in Luminae, he looked at the menu and said there is nothing there he liked.  The waiter brought the MDR menu- nothing there. Our waiter asked what he would like. Response-steak, prime rib, beef. The waiter said, “Sir, I can bring you a filet any evening that you would like.”  This occurred on about night 3 of a 10-night cruise on Silhouette. I think the SO had  filet with a baked potatoe at least three more times. It also caused him to cancel our Murano reservation because now he could get a great steak in Luminae 🙁.

 

Here is the best part. I was cruising  solo about a year later on the same ship. I am seated in Luminae. It turns out that the same waiter is  still in Luminae. He recognizes me and asks if my SO was joining me (he remembered his name) and would he still like steak or beef in some form every night.

 

Yes, you can get a steak in Luminae every night.

 

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I do wish that Luminae was open for lunch every day. I have always been able to order off the MDR lunch or dinner menus on the M & S Class ships. The only exception is the Edge Class as Luminae is so far away from the MDR. On the Edge the Retreat Pool Bar had salads, shrimp cocktails and sandwiches at lunch time. One time I had Luminae change an appetizer into a main coarse for me. I have requested pasta with pesto for the next evening as a appetizer.

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I just wish Luminae would add an extra entree or two then guests wouldn’t need to supplement the menu with something from the MDR...

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Agree would be nice if luminae was open every day for lunch , after booking a few suites I would not do a celebrity cruise without a suite. On rccl there costal kitchen was open for all meals but food was not as good as luminae. I find celebrity suite perks way better than our normal line which is rccl and both are better than hal suite perks. Looking forward to msc yacht club.

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3 hours ago, George C said:

Agree would be nice if luminae was open every day for lunch , after booking a few suites I would not do a celebrity cruise without a suite. On rccl there costal kitchen was open for all meals but food was not as good as luminae. I find celebrity suite perks way better than our normal line which is rccl and both are better than hal suite perks. Looking forward to msc yacht club.

For some of us that aren't interested in the perks, RCL is a much better deal. January 25, 2020 For a Sky Suite, on the Equinox it is $2899 p.p. plus taxes and fees with no perks. January 26, 2020 Junior Suite on RCL Oasis of the Seas is $1505 (with diamond discount) plus taxes and fees, and no perks. If you add $168 p.p. you can eat in a specialty restaurant every night. The Coastal Kitchen is open everyday for all meals and has a steak entree on every dinner menu. $2899 for Equinox or $1673 (all specialty dining), for RCL. Tough choice.

For an extra $1226 p.p., Celebrity should be way better.

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10 hours ago, chemmo said:

I just wish Luminae would add an extra entree or two then guests wouldn’t need to supplement the menu with something from the MDR...

They do this on Edge.  A set of every night choices in addition to that night's menu.  But you cannot order from the MDR menu on Edge.  We have found that if you want anything not on the menu in Luminae on most ships, they will gladly accommodate you if you give them some advance notice.  

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6 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

For some of us that aren't interested in the perks, RCL is a much better deal. January 25, 2020 For a Sky Suite, on the Equinox it is $2899 p.p. plus taxes and fees with no perks. January 26, 2020 Junior Suite on RCL Oasis of the Seas is $1505 (with diamond discount) plus taxes and fees, and no perks. If you add $168 p.p. you can eat in a specialty restaurant every night. The Coastal Kitchen is open everyday for all meals and has a steak entree on every dinner menu. $2899 for Equinox or $1673 (all specialty dining), for RCL. Tough choice.

For an extra $1226 p.p., Celebrity should be way better.

Agree on rccl suites cost, cannot eat breakfast and lunch in costal kitchen if in junior suite , we did a owners suite last year on oasis that was cheaper than sky suite on celebrity and it was twice the size. But food and service is better in luminae. Also 

love celebrity suite lounge.

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11 hours ago, chemmo said:

I just wish Luminae would add an extra entree or two then guests wouldn’t need to supplement the menu with something from the MDR...

Funny you should say that, what I think they need to add is salad and veggies. The only things i ordered off the MDR was the onion soup once and a Bibb lettuce salad. I think both BLU and Luminae could use more choices of "side" salads - salads without meats and not named Caesar - and side veggies - 2-3 veggies available every night like green beans, squash and onions, steamed broccoli, even a simple veggie soup. My guess is if you asked for a simple salad or broccoli in Luminae they would try to find it for you, but not BLU.

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8 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

For some of us that aren't interested in the perks, RCL is a much better deal. January 25, 2020 For a Sky Suite, on the Equinox it is $2899 p.p. plus taxes and fees with no perks. January 26, 2020 Junior Suite on RCL Oasis of the Seas is $1505 (with diamond discount) plus taxes and fees, and no perks. If you add $168 p.p. you can eat in a specialty restaurant every night. The Coastal Kitchen is open everyday for all meals and has a steak entree on every dinner menu. $2899 for Equinox or $1673 (all specialty dining), for RCL. Tough choice.

For an extra $1226 p.p., Celebrity should be way better.

Don't want to get into an argument/flame war, because there are no winners, BUT have to point out - what is your diamond discount? Also, a Sky Suite on Equinox is noticeably bigger than a Junior Suite on some RCCL ships (I've been in both, but not on RCCL Oasis class, that could be different), and finally, (tongue firmly in cheek) you have to sail on RCCL!

Kidding aside, I think RCCL has a very different product, and if I was taking my extended family along, it would be my first choice, not just because of activities, but also the wider range accomodations and the overall lower cost.

 

I think Celeb charges a certain amount of premium as a "snooty" factor, just pushing to see what people will pay.

 

I also wonder, back in the 90s when we first cruised and were choosing a cruise line, we went on Celebrity back when it was brand new and belonged to Chandris and we were in our 30s. We chose Celeb then because it had the best crew to passenger ratio in our price range, and even back then paid a little premium to get that ratio because that was important to us. No one talks about those ratios anymore when comparing line to line, but I'd bet Celeb still has a better ratio than some other mass market lines. I would refine that thought further, RCCL has to have a lot of employees to run all those attractions and activities who are not providing bar service or waitstaff in restaurants or cooking or cabin attendants - I'm not going to use all of those activities, so I would rather have more people devoted to the part of the cruise that is important to me.

 

That's why more than one line exists and stays in business even within the same family - RCCL, Celeb and Azamara; Carnival, Princess and HAL

Edited by cangelmd

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5 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

I'm not going to use all of those activities, so I would rather have more people devoted to the part of the cruise that is important to me.

That is the key for all of us in picking a cruise, sky suites are was smaller than rccl junior suites when compared to summit or infinity, entertainment can never be a comparison rccl is so much better , ice show , plays , piano bars on some ships jazz clubs . I have been doing celebrity only because of the music charters that are really great. 

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That seems funny my 25 Jan cruise on the Equinox in a Sky suite is 2450 PP total with all 4 perks.

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15 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

...January 25, 2020 For a Sky Suite, on the Equinox it is $2899 p.p. plus taxes and fees with no perks.

That price includes all 4 perks.

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15 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

For some of us that aren't interested in the perks, RCL is a much better deal. January 25, 2020 For a Sky Suite, on the Equinox it is $2899 p.p. plus taxes and fees with no perks. January 26, 2020 Junior Suite on RCL Oasis of the Seas is $1505 (with diamond discount) plus taxes and fees, and no perks. If you add $168 p.p. you can eat in a specialty restaurant every night. The Coastal Kitchen is open everyday for all meals and has a steak entree on every dinner menu. $2899 for Equinox or $1673 (all specialty dining), for RCL. Tough choice.

For an extra $1226 p.p., Celebrity should be way better.

So, after doing further math, the 4 perks, which are included in the Celebrity rate you quoted above, are valued just under $1100 for a 7 day cruise. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you can book that way if you call, no?

 

That would bring the Equinox sailing with no perks down to about $1800 vs the $1673 for that RCL sailing. So the difference is about $130pp, not $1226pp. And Jr. Suites on RCL don't come with any suite amenities like suite lounge, dedicated outdoor space, etc which may or may not be of value to you. It's a much closer call than you made it out to be.

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5 minutes ago, RichYak said:

So, after doing further math, the 4 perks, which are included in the Celebrity rate you quoted above, are valued just under $1100 for a 7 day cruise. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you can book that way if you call, no?

 

That would bring the Equinox sailing with no perks down to about $1800 vs the $1673 for that RCL sailing. So the difference is about $130pp, not $1226pp. And Jr. Suites on RCL don't come with any suite amenities like suite lounge, dedicated outdoor space, etc which may or may not be of value to you. It's a much closer call than you made it out to be.

I don’t know where you are getting your information but I got mine from celebrity *****. The pricing, as of five minutes ago shows $2899 with no perks and $3254 with all four perks. You have to do a dummy booking to get the final price. Unless you are getting your pricing from someone who is offering a group rate, I stand by the $1266 premium for the Equinox.

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57 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

I don’t know where you are getting your information but I got mine from celebrity *****. The pricing, as of five minutes ago shows $2899 with no perks and $3254 with all four perks. You have to do a dummy booking to get the final price. Unless you are getting your pricing from someone who is offering a group rate, I stand by the $1266 premium for the Equinox.

Celebrity's own website

 

 

proof.JPG

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9 minutes ago, RichYak said:

Celebrity's own website

 

 

proof.JPG

 

The question is the cost of the suite with no perks.

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4 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

 

The question is the cost of the suite with no perks.

Well, lets do the math on the perks. I did a quick check on this earlier. For a 7 day cruise the premium drink package is about $580pp including gratuity, The unlimited wifi is about $240pp, the gratuity is $126pp and the obc is $150pp. That's just under $1100. So lets say Celebrity knocks only $1000 off the $2899, that's $1899pp for a sky suite with no perks. It should be pretty close to that.

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No way to book that Equinox S2 without perks.  Here are the rates available.  Only way to not get perks on a suite is to hope they eventually offer a Senior/Resident "discount" or Xciting deal.

 

The only option really is Refundable or nonRefundable Deposit.

 

Also interesting is that it is costing $355 to protect a $450 deposit.  Seem like if you have any intention of sailing it would pay to take the NRD.

 

 

image.thumb.png.2ae2d6b94a1a0c894259ccaf11b8f0a8.png

Edited by wrk2cruise

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6 hours ago, RichYak said:

Well, lets do the math on the perks. I did a quick check on this earlier. For a 7 day cruise the premium drink package is about $580pp including gratuity, The unlimited wifi is about $240pp, the gratuity is $126pp and the obc is $150pp. That's just under $1100. So lets say Celebrity knocks only $1000 off the $2899, that's $1899pp for a sky suite with no perks. It should be pretty close to that.

There's no way Celebrity knocks off $1000 for no perks. We just got off the Equinox Saturday and the extra charge for the four perks was $360p.p. That makes the cost $2539 p.p. If they only knocked $100 off, hardly anybody would do it, since there are still there are people out there that still think they are free.

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I guess we should return this thread to the topic of Luminae on Equinox.   FYI anyone sailing between now and Nov and want a great waiter in Luminae then request Nino.  20+ years on Celebrity/Chandris.  Best waiter we have had on Celebrity.  Have had the pleasure of his service on 3 trips.

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6 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

There's no way Celebrity knocks off $1000 for no perks. We just got off the Equinox Saturday and the extra charge for the four perks was $360p.p. 

Yesterday, in order to make a point about X vs RCL pricing, you misrepresented that a $2899 fare came with 0 perks. Not true as it included all 4 perks. Now you'd like us to believe that $360 (less than the cost of the Premium Drink Package alone) was the upcharge to go from 0 to 4 perks. It's just not possible.

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