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CrownCruise11

Group dining in Blue

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I have been in Aqua class on the Summit with just my DH.  The tables in Blue were set mostly for 2 people.  For our next cruise on the Reflection we will be with the whole family, 13 all together.  We are considering Aqua class rooms.  Has anyone had experience with a large group dining together in Blue?  We would of course tell them in advance and eat at the same time (early) each night.

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I have not seen a group larger than 6 in Blu, I think that may be the largest size table.

While they may be able to push tables together to seat 13 conversation can be be difficult and groups that size can get very loud, 

Splitting the group into 2 tables (and rotating people) will allow for better conversation and be less disruptive to the other guests in Blu.

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A table of 12, or even a few tables pushed together would most certainly have a potential to pose a problem to others not in the group.From what I've read it seems that people tend to select BLU for the quietness and service. 

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Have been part of a large group (roll call) in Blu.  Yes, it can be done but as posted you may disturb others who are there to enjoy a quite dinner.  We were ok when they seated us toward the back away from the windows but when they seated us just as you walked in it was disturbing to other diners.  We did not have the large group every evening as some of the group wanted to eat at specialty restaurants some evenings.  I would say only you know your family and how they would handle the situation.

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I have been in large groups a number of times, up to 20.

 

Personally, i found that anything more than 8 at a table is horrible. 

One cruise, we had 10.  Yelling over people from one end to the other, driving the wait staff crazy, etc.

 

If you really want to enjoy dining, I would strongly suggest 2 or 3 tables, and do not have assigned seating.  Switch it up each night.

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1 hour ago, CrownCruise11 said:

For our next cruise on the Reflection we will be with the whole family, 13 all together.  We are considering Aqua class rooms.

 

Without wanting to come across as intrusive, you may or may not be aware that AquaClass staterooms all have a maximum occupancy of two guests...

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3 minutes ago, Xport said:

 

Without wanting to come across as intrusive, you may or may not be aware that AquaClass staterooms all have a maximum occupancy of two guests...

That's a good point.  There's no wiggle room with the 2 person max, so someone would have to be single.  If a child is involved it's probably not a good option.   We have seen a ten top sit at the large table just inside the entrance.  It didn't bother us, but I can tell you as one who has sat at a 6 top many times with friends that dinner can be up to 50% longer to complete with a large group, and if anyone orders from the MDR menu, serving hot food all to all diners at  in unison courses is a burden on the staff.  JMHO.

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Please be mindful of other guests who have also paid for the Blu dining experience, usually a quiet one, and do as suggested above. Split the group up into 3 tables so the noise is not so intrusive to all other diners. Your service will be better that way too. 

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One other thought:   Perhaps your party may enjoy the flexibility of having to dine at different tables, and hence at different times.   Especially true at breakfast.   The private dining room in Murano would be perfect for have all 13 seated at a table for a special occasion for dinner.

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4 hours ago, jelayne said:

I have not seen a group larger than 6 in Blu, I think that may be the largest size table.

While they may be able to push tables together to seat 13 conversation can be be difficult and groups that size can get very loud, 

Splitting the group into 2 tables (and rotating people) will allow for better conversation and be less disruptive to the other guests in Blu.

Yes, this is what we have done in main dining room.  We have 2 tables and rotate just as you suggested.  It's nice to sit and talk with different family members each night.  Last cruise we got quite creative each night, putting ladies at one table, men at other, then we had couples together, siblings together, in laws together, all different combos! 

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3 hours ago, Xport said:

 

Without wanting to come across as intrusive, you may or may not be aware that AquaClass staterooms all have a maximum occupancy of two guests...

I was not aware of this...I'm glad you pointed that out.  Now I am confused why my TA said she would get back to me with a price for Aqua.  We have a hold right now on Concierge class.  Is that also only 2 pax per cabin?

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Depending on the ship, they usually can seat a large group in the back end somewhere.. 2 large group seatings per night.

 

It is horrible for other guests..they absorb wait staff and somnelier,  no one wants to sit near the large group which by definition is louder, so other guests are concentrated away from them.

 

Why not try 2 tables of 6 and switch  folks out..as suggested above.  Nicer for your group and easier on other BLU  guests!

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3 hours ago, 39august said:

Please be mindful of other guests who have also paid for the Blu dining experience, usually a quiet one, and do as suggested above. Split the group up into 3 tables so the noise is not so intrusive to all other diners. Your service will be better that way too. 

I love this idea, thank you.  

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3 minutes ago, CrownCruise11 said:

I was not aware of this...I'm glad you pointed that out.  Now I am confused why my TA said she would get back to me with a price for Aqua.  We have a hold right now on Concierge class.  Is that also only 2 pax per cabin?

No such limit in Concierge,  unless certain cabins have capacity controlled limits.

  100% no wiggle room with AQ Class cabins..only 2 guests per cabin.

Suite guests can access BLU,...subject to availability.

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After Covid19 I am not sure how many tables there will be. The two tops are already so close together. I don`t see how the Blu dining room can fit in tables larger that 4. 

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Forgot about that.

They may reduce  # of tables, eliminate suite guest access temporarily,  and maybe open at 5 for early dining....will need more staff to move things along,

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2 hours ago, maggie.1008 said:

After Covid19 I am not sure how many tables there will be. The two tops are already so close together. I don`t see how the Blu dining room can fit in tables larger that 4. 

We have enjoyed Blu and remember how close the 2 tops were near the windows. At dinner we would pass on 2 tops near the window. We now enjoy Luminae, their table are not as close. Luminae will have issues.

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I have sailed in Aqua Class many times and I don't recall seeing any groups larger than 8 people at a table.  Truthfully I hate to be seated at the same time as those groups.  Even if people are basically considerate of others (and unfortunately that is not always the case) it is just not possible to be all that quiet when you are talking across a table of 8 in normal conversation.  The better you can split up your group (and I'll assume you are one of the considerate ones noise-wise), the better it will be for your fellow passengers.  I know many people are like us - we book AQ specifically for Blu - the quieter atmosphere, better service, more customized food.    Personally I wish they would not seat any tables larger than 4, or 6 at the absolute most but that's just MHO.

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I was part of a group of 10 that sat together in Blu on Millennium.  There was one big table near the entry that we sat at every night.  It worked out well for us, and I do not believe we disturbed folks seated near us.  

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The large groups are also a problem in Luminae.   We stopped eating dinner there because of the large loud groups.   We book a RS and dine in a Specialty at night and at lunch.    This way we can have a good dining experience most evenings.   

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, CrownCruise11 said:

I was not aware of this...I'm glad you pointed that out.  Now I am confused why my TA said she would get back to me with a price for Aqua.  We have a hold right now on Concierge class.  Is that also only 2 pax per cabin?

Concierge Cabins vary - some hold 2, some 4 and I believe some only 3.  If you look at the ship's deck plans the cabins with a black square hold 4 using a convertible sofa, those with a black triangle I believe hold 3 using an upper bunk, those with both a square and triangle hold 4, and those without a square or triangle only hold 2.

Edited by NantahalaCruiser

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I would also suggest mixing it up at 3 tables.    Once you get over 6 at a table you can't communicate with others easily.   We have done it before and each night everyone would switch around so everyone would get the opportunity to sit near others and easily talk

 

 

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I agree with mixing it up.  We were in Blu for 30 days recently with all of the same passengers since we were not allowed to dock in Chile.  There were 2 tables of 6 near the entrance every night and they never bothered anyone, nice quiet people enjoying their food!  

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I will join the group who say 6 in Blu is usually the max. 
It also confirmes our experience. We were a family of six and had no problem to get one of the two or three round tables for six.

To be fair, any group larger than that would contradict the philosophy of Blu as a quieter restaurant. And I truly admit that a large group with the inevitable noises of joy and laughter would probably "bother" me, too.

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14 hours ago, maggie.1008 said:

After Covid19 I am not sure how many tables there will be. The two tops are already so close together. I don`t see how the Blu dining room can fit in tables larger that 4. 

 

Since they plan to reduce overall passenger count to 30-50% capacity that will also reduce diners eating at any one time. I imagine they might require reservations at all venues, including the main dining room, Blu and Luminae in order to accommodate everyone. Someone asked on another thread how they might decide who got to cruise and who would be "bumped" on a cruise with more passengers currently booked than they plan to sail with... maybe they will take into account the size/seating of the restaurants. If ships aren't sailing at full capacity they can remove tables to give more space between them. 

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