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Luminae vs Specialty Dining

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I am sailing on Celebrity for the 1st time in July 2021 (previous NCL & Disney only) on the Summit to Bermuda. We have booked a Sky Suite which gives us access to the Luminae dining room in the Retreat. What is the feeling on only eating in Luminae or does anyone suggest mixing in some specialty restaurants. Have not been a big fan of the main dining rooms on NCL

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Luminae is wonderful.  We have sailed many times on Celebrity and we usually stay in a suite.  We do not pay extra for the specialty dining unless it falls on a special occasion....birthday, anniversary, etc.  

 

I have always been very, very pleased with the service and food in Luminae.  One or two nights in specialty dining is enough I think, if you want a different experience but it does get pricey.  

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My wife and I recently did a 10 day Auckland to Sydney cruise in a Sky Suite. We very much enjoyed Luminae and ate there every night with two exceptions. Celebrity offers Daniel Bolud curated Chefs Table dinners with wine parings which are really wonderful. They also offer a Verve Cliquot champagne dinner. We have done these on prior cruises and enjoyed the food, wine and company immensely. There is of course an additional fee which we felt was well worth it.  We will do them on upcoming cruises. Historically we have stayed in a Veranda suite and ate in specialty restaurants every night which was less expensive than upgrading to the Sky Suite.   

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We always enjoy the speciality restaurants, especially Murano’s.

 

Why not book a dining package, enjoy Luminae most nights but also experience the other restaurants available?

 

 

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If we book a RS that comes with unlimited specialty dining we hardly eat  in Luminae.  Lunches in Sushi on 5 and dinners spread between Tuscan, Murano and Lawn Club Grill (on SI and RF).  We do not eat breakfast outside the suite.

 

if we book a Sky Suite then its Luminae for the meals they are open for.

 

Of course we prefer the Specialty Restaurants if all is equal.

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We enjoy Luminae very much.  Unlike, NCL Haven, the Luminae menu changes daily so there is nice variety.  We enjoy Murano as well and definitely recommend your try it at some point but I don't think there is a Murano on that ship.  Tuscan is usually pretty good but can be hit and miss.

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1 hour ago, bgsports said:

I am sailing on Celebrity for the 1st time in July 2021 (previous NCL & Disney only) on the Summit to Bermuda. We have booked a Sky Suite which gives us access to the Luminae dining room in the Retreat. What is the feeling on only eating in Luminae or does anyone suggest mixing in some specialty restaurants. Have not been a big fan of the main dining rooms on NCL

We've only done one Celebrity cruise, but #2 is booked for January.  We were in a Sky Suite on our Equinox sailing about a year ago and really enjoyed Luminae.  We tried two specialty restaurants as well.  Actually, 3 as we did lunch in fish of five one day.  Our experiences in the specialty restaurants were good, but not great.  We will probably try them again on our next cruise but honestly our experience in Lumanae was so good that it kind of spoiled us.  Excellent food, even better service.  

 

In the Italian restaurant (can't recall the name) our waiter insisted on reading the menu to us.  We told him several times not to do that, but he persisted.  Finally we said it loud/forceful enough that the message got through.  Magically, we got a new waiter and the experience improved from there.  

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1 minute ago, jalves said:

In the Italian restaurant (can't recall the name) our waiter insisted on reading the menu to us.  We told him several times not to do that, but he persisted.  Finally we said it loud/forceful enough that the message got through.

How very odd...I've never had a waiter try to read the menu to us.  What was the rationale, I wonder?

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2 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

How very odd...I've never had a waiter try to read the menu to us.  What was the rationale, I wonder?

We normally ask the waiter for they recommendations on what looks good and any specials.  This one apparently thought everything was good and proceeded to tell us about every dish.  Of course we knew about them because it was written right there on the menu.  

 

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When we are in a Suite we eat in Luminae except for 1 night if we are on a ship that has  Murano.    Unfortunately Murano isn’t on the Summit.  Tuscan, in our experience, has been hit or miss and is t as good as Luminae.
 

When we were on both the Summit and sister ship Infinity in a suite we could order from the Luminae menu, as well the the menus for Blu and the MDR.  This is doable because on that class if ship the 3 kitchens are together.  So you should have plenty of choices.

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We love Luminae.  No need for a specialty, imo.  We prefer it to the specialty restaurants; however, if it's a longer itinerary, we usualy do a specialty for a different atmosphere.  The Summit has only Tuscan, Qsine and Sushi.  Qsine might have changed to Le Petit Chef.  We were on the Summit after the revolution and they hadn't converted Qsine to LPC but I've heard it was coming.  

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There is plenty of variety on all the menus, MHO, but my view of your question:  How many nights are we talking?  If it's a short cruise I would just stick with L.  If it's a longer cruise I would look at the menus and decide what to do just based on what's on the menu, just to possibly get a little variety in settings.

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Some interesting and informative comments on this thread. A couple thoughts I will share.

 

1)    Summit is an 'M' class ship and as such does NOT have Murano, which is our favorite specialty dining.

 

2)    All S class ships do have Murano, which means you would have an excellent option for dining there. Maybe a future cruise?

 

That said, Luminae has been our 'hands down' favorite for dining due to excellence of food, service, desserts and beverage selections. The Luminae staff learn the Retreat passengers and memorize as much as possible about them and their preferences. With each specialty restaurant I always had the feeling we were just 'another' passenger, including Murano.

 

Our last sailing we were lucky to be in a Royal suite and as such could have dined in specialty restaurants every night, without additional charge, and with choice reservations. We ate the first night at Tuscan and then cancelled the rest of our reservations, except one at Murano.

 

One tidbit. During most cruises Luminae will close for lunch on port days. This means if you stay on ship and want lunch you will get to experience the Main Dining Room (MDR) or the 'cattle call' of the Oceanview Cafe. Either of them will make you appreciate Luminae even more.

 

Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your cruise, whatever your choices may be.

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We have not been on a cruise  where the MDR was open for lunch on a port day.  Lunch has been the Oceanview, Spa Cafe or Mast Grill.  

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2 hours ago, K12Guy said:

One tidbit. During most cruises Luminae will close for lunch on port days. This means if you stay on ship and want lunch you will get to experience the Main Dining Room (MDR) or the 'cattle call' of the Oceanview Cafe. Either of them will make you appreciate Luminae even more.

 

Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your cruise, whatever your choices may be.

Sadly, you can’t even experience the MDR for lunch on port days as it is closed.  
If you don’t wish to visit the Oceanview for lunch, we recommend the Mast Grill for a burger or simply call room service.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, bgsports said:

I am sailing on Celebrity for the 1st time in July 2021 (previous NCL & Disney only) on the Summit to Bermuda. We have booked a Sky Suite which gives us access to the Luminae dining room in the Retreat. What is the feeling on only eating in Luminae or does anyone suggest mixing in some specialty restaurants. Have not been a big fan of the main dining rooms on NCL

 

You don't just have access to Luminae, it is your assigned restaurant.   I am not crazy about the Specialties on Summit, they made a big mistake getting changing all the Murano type restaurants over to Tuscan, many on this board agree with me.   

 

The Buffet on port days is not really a cattle call, a lot of people eat on the Island so its not so crowded.  Also, the buffet for dinner is excellent with a grill section for cooked to order meats and again is not crowded for dinner.   It is a good choice at least once on the cruise.  

Edited by dkjretired

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Since you mentioned that your cruise was to Bermuda I expect the ship will be docked for several overnights - unlike most cruises.

 

Suggest (instead of paying X for specialty restaurants) you dine in Hamilton a night or 2.  Just a thought.  

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We love Luminae and it is as good or better than the specialty dining restaurants.  But we occasionally just want to try other dining venues especially on longer cruises.  So we do that too.  No right or wrong answer.  But Luminae always welcomes us back it it is like a second home on our cruises as we really enjoy the staff.

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Also, remember that in Luminae you can get items off of the Main Dining Room menu and also from Blu.  We did it several times in luminae.  For example, the 2nd evening chic night the MDR had Beef Wellington and Lobster tail as entrees.   Wife, son and I all had both.  

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Over the past few years, we sail in suites.  While Luminae IMO is fine for breakfast and lunch, after a few sailings, we aren't "in love" with the dinner choices and food- although you can order from the main dining room menu which gives you more options.  We still enjoy dinner at the speciality restaurants and dine at least one time in each- with the exception of Sushi on five as we aren't sushi eaters. 

 

Nice to try the speciality restaurants at least once per cruise.

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We've been on the Summit twice, both times in suites.  Luminae is fantastic!  It was actually even better on our second cruise. If you were in a Royal or Penthouse where specialty dining is included, I would say go for it, but I would not spend extra on a specialty restaurant when staying in a Sky Suite.  Luminae is really good!

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Unlike many, I am not a huge fan of Luminae.  The service is excellent, the ambiance nice,  and I love the bread options, but DH and I find the menu not to our liking many nights.  Too fancy, and too few meat options.  We don't sail suites often, but when we do we find ourselves ordering off the MDR menu many nights rather than what Luminae offers.  

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4 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

Unlike many, I am not a huge fan of Luminae.  The service is excellent, the ambiance nice.

 

We are similar in opinion...

 

No issues re service but we find the menu limited (especially after several cruises) ....As we generally cruise RS we tend to book the odd night Luminae but most in speciality restaurants. We have generally booked S class since the Murano equivalents disappeared from M class.

 

For first time suite cruisers menu choice is probably less of an issue and we are aware that many love the Luminae menu...just personal choice...

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4 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

We don't sail suites often, but when we do we find ourselves ordering off the MDR menu many nights rather than what Luminae offers.  

 

Is ordering off the MDR menu an option for those in Sky suites?

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14 minutes ago, -Lew- said:

 

Is ordering off the MDR menu an option for those in Sky suites?

 

Yes,,,

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