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MDR vs. Blu


LB_NJ
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I am sure this has been asked in the past however wondering if there are different answers post COVID.

 

Thinking about Aqua over a regular Veranda.  To us the real difference is Blu and wondering how much better it is then the regular MDR.  I realize this is somewhat subjective however would like to get some detailed feedback about the food differences.

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Honestly, we have tried both- the MDR is ok but like a catering hall.  Food good.  Blu sells itself as a private restaurant with "healthy options"   However it is very crowded.  Tables for two are on top of each other and food and service not great. We didn't appreciated the "benefits" of Aqua class.  

 

I would take a regular balcony cabin if a suite isn't in your budget, and dine in specialty restaurants with the money saved for dinners.  So much better. If you need the captains club points, consider a concierge class stateroom which is typically less.

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I was in Blu for the TA on Silhouette and my experience in Blu was truly outstanding. Great meals! The waiter was among the best I've experienced. I wish I could say the same for his assistant. Breakfast service was also excellent. The Maitre 'd was outstanding. The Blu experience varies from cruise to cruise, depending on staff ,so you might want to follow the advice of Cruise a holic to get a less expensive cabin and get a dining package. But I was pleased that I stayed in Aqua Class on my trip.

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We had an Aqua cabin last week on Silhouette and Blu was very good, but we only ate there once because we wanted to try some of the other speciality restaurants.  There were some other perks like the thermal spa and yoga mats in our room, but we didnt use any of that so the poster above that suggested buying a specialty dining package may be a better option or at least for us it may have been.

 

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Blu on Infinity prior to the pandemic was very good but also felt very crowded.  Service, especially sommelier, was excellent.   On Apex after pandemic, we felt, while the service was still excellent, the food was mediocre at best.  I prefer dinner in the MDR.

 

Sherri🙂

 

 

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Only had Aqua on Reflection prior covid. Excellent service, good food, and since we went early very much quieter than MDR. That is one of the things we like most over the MDR. Crowding was not an issue on our sailing.  I believe on S and M class ships, you can also order from the MDR menu, and I know the "classic" always available are also for Blu. Thinking in the future we will be going back to Blu as suite prices are going to be too high. 

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We ate in Blu on the Silhouette March of 2022.  At that time we could order from main dining room menu and have it served in Blu.  From what I've read they no longer do this.  That being said, we've been on several Celebrity cruises and the food is always a step up over other cruise line (except Disney).  We booked a SV on our next cruise and will be happy with main dining and specialty dining:)

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On M and S class ships, IMHO it's very clear that Blu is an upgrade over MDR. You can always order from the MDR menu, and my experience has always had excellent service. Yes the tables for 2 are close enough that you can talk to your neighbor -- but you don't have to if you don't want to. I've had food from both MDR and Blu menus, and Blu menu has always been great ... MDR menu has sometimes been great and sometimes not. Specifically, some MDR items tend to be overcooked.

 

I haven't been on E class yet to comment on the experience there.

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Pre and post pandemic we prefer Blu. To me MDR is like goin to a banquet hall for a large event. Blu is more like going to nice restaurant. We had had better service, both wait staff and sommelier in Blu vs MDR and like the Blu menu better.

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10 minutes ago, CruisinBanka said:

Blu is a much smaller venue with better service than MDR, however staying in a veranda stateroom and buying a dining package will get you the smaller venue, great service and better food experience. It will also most likely cost you less. 

I didn't realize there is a dining package? Do you have more info about that by chance?

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32 minutes ago, LIxo said:

I didn't realize there is a dining package? Do you have more info about that by chance?

Sure. Once you get your booking # you can manage your reservation online and book your dining, beverage, excursions, etc.. You can book a single specialty restaurant reservation or multiple night specialty dining packages. The more dining package nights you book the less expensive it becomes per night. Once onboard you can go to any specialty dining venue and make reservations for the nights you want at each restaurant. 

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19 minutes ago, CruisinBanka said:

Sure. Once you get your booking # you can manage your reservation online and book your dining, beverage, excursions, etc.. You can book a single specialty restaurant reservation or multiple night specialty dining packages. The more dining package nights you book the less expensive it becomes per night. Once onboard you can go to any specialty dining venue and make reservations for the nights you want at each restaurant. 

Thank you!! 

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2 hours ago, MamaChach said:

We ate in Blu on the Silhouette March of 2022.  At that time we could order from main dining room menu and have it served in Blu.  From what I've read they no longer do this.  That being said, we've been on several Celebrity cruises and the food is always a step up over other cruise line (except Disney).  We booked a SV on our next cruise and will be happy with main dining and specialty dining:)

 

I can't only speak about the Equinox, they will only let you order the "timeless classics" and not the rotating items which was disappointing

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My experience (July 2022)  in Blu on Mille. was that Anything from the MDR menu could be ordered in Blu.

 I found Blu cramped and noisy and will just book a regular balcony cabin in the future and do a lot of Specially Dining.

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My Aqua experience was on the Edge, pre-Covid.  I was very unhappy with the Blu menu -- too much "healthy" stuff.   We could order from the MDR's menu.  Our waiter in Blu suggested that I check out that day's MDR menu daily in case I preferred it to the Blu menu, and he would take care of it. 

 

At that time, the Edge had different menus for each of the four MDRs, and I wanted to try each of these four MDRs, so we did not dine in Blu often.  I found service at the MDRs was wonderful; as Aqua class passengers, we were treated like royalty being thanked for gracing the MDRs! 

 

I intend to eat in Blu for each meal (except Specialty Restaurants) on my next cruise, at least if I can order from the entire MDR menu.  I liked the atmosphere and decor and service in Blu -- just not their spa-like menu.  

.

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16 hours ago, someguyfl said:

On M and S class ships, IMHO it's very clear that Blu is an upgrade over MDR. You can always order from the MDR menu, and my experience has always had excellent service. Yes the tables for 2 are close enough that you can talk to your neighbor -- but you don't have to if you don't want to. I've had food from both MDR and Blu menus, and Blu menu has always been great ... MDR menu has sometimes been great and sometimes not. Specifically, some MDR items tend to be overcooked.

 

I haven't been on E class yet to comment on the experience there.


Agree

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13 hours ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

 

I can't only speak about the Equinox, they will only let you order the "timeless classics" and not the rotating items which was disappointing


Was on the Equinox in January and ordered many times from the MDR menu due to medical diet restrictions.  Will be very sad if this has changed.  

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We have never found Blu crowded on S class ships or loud, but we do tend to eat early.  Felt that Blu on M class ships were a little more crowded, but again not loud.  Have steered away for E class ships due to the infinity balcony.  There are very few Children if any at all in Blu.  Have cruised at least twice a year in Aqua Class since it’s inception.  Wait staff has almost always been outstanding with a few exceptions .  If we did not “mesh” with waiter, we just asked to be moved to another section.  When we found a waiter we liked, we requested their section every night.   I suggest giving it a try.

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31 minutes ago, JerseyGirlatHeart said:


Was on the Equinox in January and ordered many times from the MDR menu due to medical diet restrictions.  Will be very sad if this has changed.  

 

Was on for Labor Day, they claimed it's due to staff shortages and the new rule started in July

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We were on Equinox in Oct in MDR and Equinox in July in Blu(our waiter got anything off MDR Menu). We usually do Blu on most cruises. When in MDR in Oct we had a great table for whole cruise, outstanding service and great food. We like the Blue service and view in restaurant. It really is a toss up depending on what you like and table you get. In May we were on edge blu and that was not good, no view, and service was not as good. I would either do retreat or mdr on Edge class. M class is another story, I agree with others Blu or MDR is good. Any choice is great other than E class Blu, not worth it. It depends on what you are willing to pay and what table and service you get. 

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