Jump to content

Going Aqua Class to avoid MDR in Equinox...good strategy?


micmacmissy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Taking the fam of 4 (two adults, kids 17 and 19) on  Equinox this summer.  Last time we were on Celebrity we really disliked our MDR experience (long waits, even with reservations and tables ridiculously close together, then spotty service).  And that was during low season.

 

Aqua class cabins are slightly more expensive, but in my mind, worth it if we have a good dining experience in Blu.  Do they do early/late dining in Blu?  Do we make reservations beforehand?  Open for breakfast and dinner?  Is my assumption that it will be much better incorrect?

 

Any flaws in my strategy here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't care for the MDR at all either. In fact I'd go a stage further and say I dislike it. So I'd say it will work well for you. 

The only thing to bear in mind is that officially there are no reservations in Blu. There is no set timing, you just show up when you wish too. It is open for both breakfast and dinner, just never lunch. 

I have personally always found the service to be noticeably better than the MDR. 

Just search for the menus on here to ensure you're happy with them. Also bear in mind that at peak dinner times there can be quing. We tend to eat early so are never affected by it though. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, micmacmissy said:

Taking the fam of 4 (two adults, kids 17 and 19) on  Equinox this summer.  Last time we were on Celebrity we really disliked our MDR experience (long waits, even with reservations and tables ridiculously close together, then spotty service).  And that was during low season.

 

Aqua class cabins are slightly more expensive, but in my mind, worth it if we have a good dining experience in Blu.  Do they do early/late dining in Blu?  Do we make reservations beforehand?  Open for breakfast and dinner?  Is my assumption that it will be much better incorrect?

 

Any flaws in my strategy here?

Aqua spa cabins are for 2 people only.  You would need to book 2 cabins since there are 4 of you.  the tables in Blu are also very close together and you do end up having a conversation with the people next to you.  Service in Blu is excellent and the menu is very good.  You aren't scheduled for early or late in Blu.  You can go at any time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, wallysdtr said:

  the tables in Blu are also very close together and you do end up having a conversation with the people next to you. 


But not closer than almost all of the two tops in the MDR. Not much closer than in Luminae and Tuscan either! :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, micmacmissy said:

 

 

Is there much of a wait at peak times?


It could be 20 minutes or so. In our experience we're there within 30 minutes of opening and have almost alays managed to take a window seat which they tend to fill up first. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, we prefer Blu to MDR and have been cruising AQ since it was first introduced.  I don’t think you will be disappointed as it is a much smaller venue than the MDR.  We have on occasion had to wait for a table, 8:00~, but never very long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a few larger tables in Blu.  If you family is dining together then you may be able to get one of these larger tables or they will bring  adjacent 2 tops together.  Either way you would probably have a bit more separation than just a 2 top.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were in Aqua class for our Infinity cruise in November, this was our first time to do Aqua and I would not choose it again just to eat in Blu.  The service was very good but the food was just ok, nothing special as many of the menu items were  the same dishes I have had in the MDR .  The tables were very close together which made me somewhat uncomfortable.  We went each evening between 8 and 830,  and had to wait anywhere from  few minutes to 15, we were given a pager that night.

The wine steward was amazing, though, much better service than in the MDR.

 

Sherri🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have never cruised on Equinox.  However, we have cruised on several Celebrity ships and never disliked the MDR.

 

We did AQ once, had a free upgrade, it was nice, but I wouldn't pay extra for it.

We like to enjoy our new cruise friends that we make on the roll call and at the meet and greet.  If you do AQ and the others don't, then you can dine with them.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have done Aqua both times on Equinox and LOVED Blu. It is our main reason for booking Aqua. NEVER had to wait at breakfast or dinner. Food and service were great. We were always seated at the same table if available. The hostess both times was very good at trying to seat us there. The sommelier was fabulous. We also ordered items from MDR with no problem 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, micmacmissy said:

Oh trust me, we have 2 cabins.  4 people in a cruise cabin is NOT a vacation!

 

Is there much of a wait at peak times?

If you go early. Usually  just a short line to enter  Line grows at peak times..depends on each ship. As more AQ  and suite cabins are added it becomes more crowded..Suite entry is subject to availability but adds to the load.  Also depends on staffing  for waitstaff and kitchen . 

 

We turned to AQ class early on to avoid the mdr.. We have been mostly happy in AQ class. On EDGE  we did not like the  BLU location and slow kitchen but food was excellent! We sailed EDGE in an SV as well and preferred the 4 mdrs to BLU.

 

We are going to be in the MDR on Summit and hope for the best!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, 39august said:

You can also order off the MDR menu in Blu on Equinox. There are tables for 4, so usually no need to put together tables for 2.  

Blu is on deck 5 on Equniox and the Galley for the MDR is on deck 3. They really discourage getting items from the MDR menu since the food might be cold and overly cooked. The M Class ship share the Galley on Deck 3 and you can order more easily. I'll be enjoying dinner in Blu tonight.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the price point.  
 

We have done both and had select dining in the MDR.   We usually went when they opened and had no problem.   Many may have a problem if they want a window table in Blu but that wasn’t a requirement for us.  In  Select Dining you can make reservations ahead of time in the cruise planner.  

 

instead of 2 cabins in AQ look at getting a suite.  There is more space and sometimes the 3rd and 4th sail free or at a discount.   The suite amenities are nice.

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not impressed with Blu at all.  Just off Equinox with Main Dining and it was great.  We had a table 101 with wonderful service by Leandro.  Table set off by itself for 4 (we were 3).  Also good are the tables in the back by the wine wall.

 

When we tried Blu another sailing we were always at tables for 2 right next to other tables and never snagged a window seat although we were early.  There was also a baby near us (No complaints) but just to let you know it happens probably they were in a suite.

 

The only foods from MDR available In Blu were appetizers like onion soup.  One night we ate in main dining instead of Blu which was arranged by the Maitre D.

 

Breakfast was nice in Blu but we usually get room service - concierge has expanded room service menu, our one eggs Benedict breakfast in MDR or Elite breakfast with smoothies and cappuccino and platters in Tuscan.  Our adult son liked the Oceanview.
 

Hard to tell what you would like 

Happy sailing

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, miched said:

It depends on the price point.  
 

We have done both and had select dining in the MDR.   We usually went when they opened and had no problem.   Many may have a problem if they want a window table in Blu but that wasn’t a requirement for us.  In  Select Dining you can make reservations ahead of time in the cruise planner.  

 

instead of 2 cabins in AQ look at getting a suite.  There is more space and sometimes the 3rd and 4th sail free or at a discount.   The suite amenities are nice.

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

This is good advice.

We have not stayed in a suite but, going forward, we are going to weigh a suite as an option.

 

We have stayed in Aqua before and enjoyed Blu but not enough to pay a big difference in the price because we were extremely unhappy with our cabin due to the location. The issue with the Aqua cabin was the only time we have ever complained (a story for another time).

 

When we did have the access to Blu we enjoyed it. We tend to eat on the early side (around 6/6:30) so we never encountered a wait. We always had the same table and same waiter. Food was good as was the service.

 

On our last cruise (Equinox - first part of this month) we were in the MDR with the early seating. We noticed there were a lot of people waiting with pagers for Blu in the Ensemble Lounge around the 7:30/8 pm time frame.

 

One of our reasons for wanting to try a suite is Luminae. On our last Equinox sailing we found the MDR to be loud & chaotic. We were at a table for two in a odd place. We should have said something but we did not. Service was great as always and we enjoyed the food. Each night after dinner we would check out the Luminae menu at the door and admire how serene the Luminae dining room appeared.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been in Aqua class a few times . 

Depending on your wallet , is it worth the difference over the Veranda  class ?

In both dining rooms ( MDR and Blu ) on most ships you can order from either menu, except possibly the appetizers ( shrimp cocktail as an example ) .  You can view the daily menus online prior to boarding . Also, for MDR you can reserve Select dining times online . 

About the seating-- in both dining rooms the seating is very close together . We have been asked, after the first dinner,  whether we would like to  be seated in the same area --(  good idea ) -- We have always had excellent service in all dining areas ( MDR, Blu and Specialty restaurants ) . At the end of the cruise we always extend an extra gratuity directly to our Servers and Room Steward which they do not have to share in the Gratuity pool . 

Aqua class guests also have complimentary access to the Persian Garden spa -- very relaxing , quiet .

Oh yes, not to forget--LOL--- Celebrity does not provide a pen and pad in rooms anymore unless the guest is in Aqua or higher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

MDR can be hit or miss. Mostly it’s fine but I see nothing wrong with your strategy. On one cruise with a balcony we ate in the MDR two times. The speciality restaurants were that much better. At times I also thought the lunch buffet was better than the MDR.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Pinboy said:

We have been in Aqua class a few times . 

Depending on your wallet , is it worth the difference over the Veranda  class ?

In both dining rooms ( MDR and Blu ) on most ships you can order from either menu, except possibly the appetizers ( shrimp cocktail as an example ) .  You can view the daily menus online prior to boarding . Also, for MDR you can reserve Select dining times online . 

About the seating-- in both dining rooms the seating is very close together . We have been asked, after the first dinner,  whether we would like to  be seated in the same area --(  good idea ) -- We have always had excellent service in all dining areas ( MDR, Blu and Specialty restaurants ) . At the end of the cruise we always extend an extra gratuity directly to our Servers and Room Steward which they do not have to share in the Gratuity pool . 

Aqua class guests also have complimentary access to the Persian Garden spa -- very relaxing , quiet .

Oh yes, not to forget--LOL--- Celebrity does not provide a pen and pad in rooms anymore unless the guest is in Aqua or higher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure all of this is correct. 

There are some items available on both menus. On some ships you may be permitted to order MDR items in Blu but this is certainly not guaranteed. You won't be able to order Blu specific menu items in the MDR. 

On our last trip in Aqua last October the stationary had gone! 

Staff are required to turn over cash tips to the pool contractually. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Miaminice said:

Blu is always a good choice compared to the MDR of M and S class.

 

Less rushed, not as loud and more personal service...

This is the main reason I love Blu. I didn't find the food that much better. 3 of us are travelling in May so no Aqua then but we did get a corner FV which hopefully will make up for not eating in Blu.

 

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Virgin Voyages. It's Go Time
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...