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Everything posted by cruisellama

  1. We just got off Apex and noticed the menus are a step down from a year ago. Meaning, less complex offerings, somewhat bland. Appeared to be less dessert offerings (noticed that on RCL also). Quality was also a little off, especially beef and lamb dishes. Fish (salmon and haddock) were good. Although prepared to the right temperature levels, we noticed the meats to be dry. Might be a supply chain or storage issue. We'll be sailing Beyond in March and hoping for a better culinary experience. We dined in Luminae, Fine Cut, Raw on 5, Eden (which abandoned its original themed menu), and some MDR options.
  2. We just got off Apex and didn't think the menus and food were not quite up to our past experiences. Kinda dull... (Others we dined with others in Luminae and they had similar perceptions - but maybe we're just becoming too used to it.. "familiarity breeds contempt") Hope you experience better, but be prepared.
  3. Has anyone sailed Beyond Retreat? I’m looking at the App for our upcoming trip and there is no lunch menu published for Luminae on sea days. Do they not open Luminae for lunch on sea days ? If so, that’s different from the rest of the fleet(and would be quite disappointing).
  4. Ship: Apex (second of the Edge class) is only about a year and half old. Meticulously maintained and looked new as we sailed it. Still had the "new ship" smell and didn't notice any wear issues that caught our eyes. Well curated with art throughout the ship. Each Edge class ship has a unique artistic branding to maintain visual differences between the ships. But in general, deck plans for both Edge and Apex are identical. The new Beyond has an additional upper deck. Cabin: Sailed in an aft Sky Suite with ample space and slightly larger balcony (which provides Retreat/Luminae access). Balcony was equipped with 2 lounges, 2 upright chairs and small table. The table was not adequate to hold more than a single plate and a couple of beverages. While a very comfortably equipped cabin, the balcony furniture configuration isn't ideal for room service. Being an aft cabin, plenty of sun and room, so heading to public sun areas is not necessary. Bathroom was large with ample storage and an oversized tub and 3 way shower head location design. Closet space is ample, but not as efficient as it could be. Room safe is small and would not accommodate a laptop or tablet computer. Edge class ships offer cabin climate and TV controls through the APP which was very handy. APP is very functional, the only missing linkage is to any spa appointments you may wish to add to the calendar. Cabin came with a butler and steward. Both were extremely helpful and attentive. Service: Apex service was a high point. The rooms butler checked in at least daily, worked with the concierge for reservations or updates, and ensure the room remained fully stocked. Room steward was cleaning whenever we left. Always came back to a fresh room which is a notable post pandemic service upgrade (previously we would see 1 or 2 visits unless called). Restaurant wait staff also excelled, they were active and worked to ensure needs of guests were satisfied. Food: Not a highpoint. Not sure if this is due to supply chain issues or not, but we noticed changes in Luminae and some special restaurant menus that were not for the better. It was tough to distinguish a "finer" food quality between the specialty restaurants and main dining offerings (4 MDR options plus buffets, and cafes). The primary distinguishing feature was service, not food or menu quality. We came to the conclusion the cost/benefit of specialty restaurants on this cruise wasn't there. Entertainment: Two main performance areas, forward theater and Eden with production shows. They're not the high end Oasis or Quantum types of productions, but 50 minute productions by singers, dancers and acrobats. The main theater has a huge high def screen behind the stage that is part of the show. So there are stunning visual enhancements to those productions. Eden shows entail acrobatic/dance which is fine, tends to look the same for each performance. Great vocalists and comedian rounded the entertainment also with the various solo performance and instrumental performers. Of course there are venues that also offer silent disco and games to keep you busy. The martini bar tenders also display their talents under music and lights. Other: The ship sailed at full capacity (3100ish). A lot of families with small children, which we've not really seen on Celebrity, even on holidays. Even the Retreat area was at capacity on sea days. Kids behaved pretty well, we spoke to a few and they relayed that there really isn't much for them to do on-board. (not surprised). Elevators were fully stressed. Long waits as they filled up and would have to pass floors due to loading considerations. Made for using the stairs most of the time. While it was a very nice week, I would rate the overall experience as a 3.5/5.0. Service was top notch, but the food just didn't raise the bar on this trip. We'll be on Wonder and Beyond in 1Q23.
  5. I don't have a menu, but sailing on Apex in 2 days. If it comes up on the planner, I can snap and post. I do know the meals are all prepared in the Luminae galley. There is also a lunch option (weather permitting), that has a lower cost. If winds are too high, it's not used as a bar/restaurant. BUT, it's a great bar space in the evening. People forget its out there.
  6. I've always thought the park looked great. I wondered about all the processes of dealing varying cruise climate especially salt air, etc. Didn't think about the USDA invasive species angle (which is an important selection consideration). Seems like it's could be a notable maintenance cost item, maybe include some artificial ones in the mix.
  7. Any recent post-hurricane news about San Juan? Was it aversely affected?
  8. Is the optional ship-to-airport luggage transportation option opening up yet from Miami/FLL/MCO?
  9. Staffing continues to be a problem. Its tough keeping an international hospitality company sufficiently manned in today's environment. Not getting back many of the experience crew members. It will improve, but we're in the lean recovery years.
  10. Anyone having issues getting to FLL/MIA today because of Nicole? Looks like both airports are operating.
  11. I think you can get a "kettle" to heat water for tea.
  12. Yes. Some butlers are more eager than others to bring the stuff from Cafe al Bacio, if you're in a higher level suite, more enthusiastic service. The generic coffee in the metal carafes should be avoided.
  13. You can make them embarkation day. Luminae will be open for lunch. Just tell the maitre'd when you go for lunch. (Or give him/her a card with your preferences (incl stateroom) when you enter). We used to make reservations, then found it easier to just float. Never had an issue getting in.
  14. But it comes in such a nice box (probably costs more than the watch).
  15. Buy 100 shares for the OBC and take that as the return.
  16. I can see how people get "dinged" for a low cost beverage and lose out on using it on a more preferred cocktail. Bar tenders always asked us if we wanted to use our vouchers, so lucky I guess. But it will provide some level of assurance you're getting what you want. A minor inconvenience and just killing more trees that could be used for better straws.
  17. You get Luminae and the Retreat area. Luminae is like Coastal Kitchen. You get better service than in the MDRs, and the food might be considered notch better (depending upon what you're looking for). Luminae has its own galley that services itself, Retreat bar, and Dinner on the Edge. Edge Retreat area provides a good value with less crowded access to the food, drinks, and dedicated pool . Less people competing for bars and deck chairs. I've found the service to be more attentive (better staff to guest ratio). We'll book it because of the "perks" that come along with suite level.
  18. Actually found the Eden cafe to be very nice. Its tucked away behind the bar and even has outside seating. Many guests don't discover it until halfway through the cruise. Once people find it, gets crowded for lunch. I thought it had a nice breakfast menu, but also a very adequate lunch menu. Both hot (grilled paninis) and cold sandwiches, soups, salads.
  19. Yes a punch card. Which I really can't figure out why they still use a punch card as they could just as easily load them onto your sea pass card. We've actually used the same card on different cruises (had unused punches).
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