Blu and Luminae are upscale specialty restaurants dedicated to select passengers only on Celebrity Cruises. Aqua class guests can eat in the spa-inspired Blu for breakfast and dinner, while suite guests in The Retreat have exclusive access to Luminae but may request reservations for Blu as well.
Both restaurants are available across the fleet (except on Galapagos expedition ships). Because we know you sometimes base your cabin booking decisions on what is included, we did a head-to-head comparison of these two stunning restaurants.
Beware, though, the information may make your decision an even bigger challenge than you thought. If you think you are up to it, here are the details on Celebrity Luminae vs. Celebrity Blu.
In a word, the ambiance at Luminae is "rarified." Its opulence is emphasized through its decor: rich gold and black with lots of mirrors and lights, befitting its name.
Luminae's menu is small, international and changes daily, depending on the ship's location and time of the year. Dinner begins with an amuse-bouche, like caviar. Evening appetizers might include Maine Lobster salad, beef tartare, Jerusalem artichoke soup and roast squab.
Entrees might include variations of venison ragout, Alaskan halibut, veal loin and cauliflower steak with curried yogurt. Don't miss the exquisite cote de boeuf.
Dessert is the most extravagant part of a meal at Luminae. Tempting treats include a ricotta cheesecake with berries and mint, and chocolate lava cake with vanilla gelato. On chic nights, you'll notice a whimsical little cart wheeling your way. That cart is filled with a large assortment of candies, cookies, little cakes and other tempting sweets to fill a separate plate. It's indulgent, but delightfully so.
For breakfast, enjoy an eggs Benedict with Scottish smoked salmon, huevos rancheros or an egg white wrap with veggies; crepes, French toast, pancakes and Belgian waffles are also available each day with your choice of fruit.
Sides include chicken apple sausage, corn beef hash, oatmeal and buttermilk biscuits in gravy. Continental items, like yogurt, granola, half a grapefruit or a Danish pastry, are also on the menu.
Lunch at Luminae can be as simple as a burger, or as elaborate as a seafood brochette with a side of lobster bisque. Three appetizers, three sandwiches, three entrees and two desserts make up the menu.
Options rotate, but the signature burger with cheddar and bacon-onion jam on a sesame bun is always available (with truffle fries). Like with dinner, afternoon sweets aren't taken lightly -- finish up your midday meal with an olive oil Cremieux pudding with strawberry, orange and lavender crumbles or a white chocolate macadamia cake with pralines and pistachio gelato.
The 92-seat restaurant is only available to suite passengers, and all tables are first-come, first-served (unless you make a reservation in advance for a specific table or to accommodate a large party).
Suite passengers can dine outside of Luminae, in the main dining room or elsewhere; they can also invite friends in other cabin categories to dine within Luminae for a fee.
It's all about eating clean at this eatery but the chefs at Blu will leave you wondering why you weren’t already chasing clean food. Our guess is that most guests of Blu don’t have an inkling that the food might actually be better for them.
The décor is icy blue and white. It's effectively a private dining room, so there's a feeling of exclusivity. The white walls and shimmering sapphire-like lighting evokes visions of the Mediterranean.
On the menu, expect healthy options that include grilled tamarind-glazed quail, chilled seafood Napoleon, grilled salmon filet and roast chicken breast. For those willing to splurge on a few more calories, you'll also find pan-seared filet mignon and New York strip steak.
A standout is the herb-crusted rack of lamb -- braised lamb shoulder in filo pastry with green peas, fingerling potatoes and a pinot noir sauce. Dessert selections at Blu might include a warm crepe with bananas and blueberries in vanilla sauce or a dulce de leche crema Catalana.
Blu also serves a delicious plant-based Beyond burger every evening, served with California flare topped with avocado, Pico de Gallo and crispy fried onions.
Reservations are not required at Blu for Aqua Class passengers, but are recommended for those staying in Suite Class, since they have their own dedicated restaurant. Let the maître d' know if there is a table preference or a large party to be accommodated at some point in the cruise.
Aqua Class passengers can dine outside of Blu, but passengers in any cabin class below that are not permitted to eat at Blu.
Blu serves a full breakfast with smoked salmon, customizable omelets (including or excluding the yolks), French toast or pancakes with berries, and breakfast sides like sauteed mushrooms, steamed tofu or a roasted tomato.
Plenty of pastries, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit, smoothies and even tableside muesli are also on hand.
Lunch is not served at Blu.
Both specialty restaurants serve food and beverages that are a step up in quality from the main dining rooms. And service is what you’d expect in an exclusive enclave. The maître d’ and servers will learn your name and preferences quickly, providing a meal experience tailored to your every whim.
Choose Blu if you enjoy high-quality food prepared simply (not necessarily doused in rich sauces). Or perhaps if you like to start your morning with a berry smoothie and feel that lunch doesn't need to be a three-course affair.
If you prefer your food inspired by the season and itinerary, your menus eclectic and changeable, eating in a chic atmosphere and perhaps enjoy a heavier lunch some days, you might be better suited to Luminae.