We just returned from a 10 day cruise on Celebrity Equinox. We had a wonderful
time, despite a couple small challenges. I hope this will help anyone who might be planning a trip
Boarding: We arrived at 11:20 and breezed through with absolutely no problems. Very quick and easy. We decided to go up to the pool deck for a pina colada.....I went to the bar, while my husband grabbed a table. The bartenders were very blatantly waiting on men instead of women. When I finally had a bartender ask what he could get me, as I was telling him, the other bartender tapped him on the shoulder and told him " take care of them(2 other guys) and I will get her"......ok no problem, but then that bartender did not help me, he went to help another group of men who had come up way after me!!!
I was extremely upset by that point, and I went straight to guest services. On my way there, I ran into other people we knew, who were upset they couldn't get waited on at another bar! When will Celebrity realize the problem they have with the bartenders? Yes I know there are some really great ones, but they are few and far between. And let me say, Celebrity did apologize profusely for my experience.
We decided it was time for lunch and headed to Bistro on 5. To our
disappointment they were closed " for preparation", and would not open until
1:30. We sailed Eclipse last year, and one of the highlights of the trip was
having lunch at Bistro while waiting on our room to be ready.
A little after 1 pm, our room was ready. We were in 2110, it had a huge
balcony, but it was completely covered, which we did not really like, but no
biggie. The location right off the pool, was wonderful. There was no fruit
basket or flowers, but they were delivered the next day.....I guess they were
just busy and forgot.
Day 1: Sea Day
We lounged around and did nothing....isn't that what you are supposed to do? We did attend an iPad class, which was good. I wanted to attend the scrap booking class but there was a scheduling conflict, so I went over to the scrapbook class at the very beginning and asked if I could just get the pages they give out because I had the conflict......I could not believe she said no!!!! I paid over $3000 for this cruise and you are gonna say no to a request for an item that probably cost less than fifty cents? On the Eclipse, I had no problem getting the pages...and I had no conflict....just told the girl, I did not want to take the class, but I would love the pages....no problem at all!
We had dinner at the Tuscan Grille.....we were disappointed. I think it had to do with what we selected. I had the lobster fettuccine .....it was WAY too
rich....a heart attack on a plate. And believe me, I like rich food....this was over the top. The creme brulee (which is my favorite) had an xtra thick layer of sugar on top plus chocolate sauce.....it was overkill. Actually the creme brulee in the main dining room was better! The service was very good, but not Murano !
I guess it sounds like we hated the cruise.....far from it, we booked the 11 day cruise for next year! I am just trying to point out a few things that might help someone choose better next time they cruise with Celebrity. we love Celebrity and will continue to sail with them.
Day 2 : Sea Day
Another day of sun and fun. I did a photoshop class, which was pretty
good....kinda very basic, but still worth it for me. It was a very relaxing
That night was formal night, so we decided to give the main dining room a try.
We had reservations, so had no problem with select dining this night . The food was pretty good, I wouldn't say great. We were disappointed that they no longer serve escargot....according to our waiter, it is in short supply
worldwide. Okay??now I am real curious to know if any other cruise lines are serving it?
Day 3 : St Thomas
We took a taxi into town and did a little shopping. It seems every time we go there, it gets more and more commercialized. Prices seemed high, so we just went back to the boat after a while.
This evening, we dined at Murano. It was fabulous, from the food to the
service......everything could not have been nicer. In our opinion, it's a
little high at $40 per person more.........when we go to a high end restaurant
in our area, $40per without wine is what we expect to pay......so they are not
giving any credit for what you have already paid for dining on the cruise.
With the bottle of wine we purchased, our bill was $160 for the whole
evening......a bit much IMHO. But, we will definitely go back, because as I
said, it was great.
Day 4 : St Kitts
We did the Caribbean cooking class. We had done a cooking class last year when we were on the Eclipse, and it was taught by two sisters. That class was very
good, and I still use the recipes we learned. The class is now held at an old
plantation, and taught by a different chef. When we arrived at the plantation, we had to go through this 45 minute history tour and lecture on the plantation life. Then we were taken into the cooking classroom. The recipes were pretty basic, and the presentation was not very good. I guess the class last year was SO good, that I am comparing to that. And I would have signed up for a history tour. if that's what I wanted to do. If you would enjoy a tour of an old plantation, that has been restored, and a basic cooking class, it's not a bad excursion.
Day 5 : Barbados
We went on a sailing/snorkeling trip with Elegance Cruises. It was a fabulous
day, even though it was a little cloudy and rainy to start off. We went
swimming with sea turtles, then on to a snorkeling site. After that, we sailed
up the coast while enjoying a great lunch and open bar. The Elegance limits
passengers to 14, and they have a beautiful 40 ft vessel. This was one of the
highlights of the cruise.....a very nice day. The weather even cleared up!
Day 6: Domenica
On this day, we signed up for another cooking class sponsored through the ship. The class is held up in the mountains at a beautiful home that has a large open air classroom. The view from here is breathtaking. The trip up there was an experience in itself......to say the least! The class is fun and hands on. Much better than the one in St Kitts. The ladies doing the class are a lot of fun, and very friendly. I highly recommend this class, even though I thought the recipes could have been better. They told us they would email the recipes but I never got mine....but not much of a loss.
This night we had to wait 20 minutes for a table because I forgot to make a
reservation for select dining. So.....don't forget! And then dinner was pretty bad. We found that the food in the main dining room was very good some nights, and not so good, other nights......kinda hit and miss. We actually ended up ordering a cheeseburger from room service when we got back to the room. That cheeseburger was really good!
Day 7 : St Martin
A small group of us got together and planned a " foodie" tour. We started with a taxi to Marigot, where we went straight to Sarafinas for some wonderful French pastries. Then we visited the open air market to get some great fresh spices. We also did a little shopping, while getting stuck in a torrential rain storm! After the storm, we headed to Simpson Bay and a little out of the way beach bar called Karakters. It was great food and a picturesque setting. Its actually a bus on the beach made into a bar. The rain stopped long enough for us to have a fabulous lunch, but then another storm was rolling in, so we had to cut the day short.
Day 8 : At Sea
Finally we had a sea day to relax! I think this is the only thing wrong with
this itinerary. There are five ports in a row, and it can be exhausting! It would be nice if they threw a sea day in the middle of the cruise. But anyway, we just recovered from the last few days.
There are still the chair hogs, and I saw no enforcement of the policy on holding lounges. I guess there is always gonna be rude people......I just wish Celebrity would strictly enforce the policy. What good is a policy, without enforcing it?
About 4 PM I decided I wanted to download an app for my ipad so I could spend the next day playing with it. So I went to the internet cafe and explained what I wanted, and bought a small package. I went back to my cabin and tried to download app. When it would not download, I went back down to the internet cafe to see what I was doing wrong. The same guy said to me.."Oh you can't download apps, I didn't know thats what you wanted to do"....really?????....so why did you sell me the package???? I was mad...especially when he wanted to only refund me $10 of the $30 package. I had used up the time trying to get the download to work. I understand now that it can't be done, I certainly would not be buying a package when the cruise is almost over if I wanted it for email. I left, and called his boss, who was great!!! He not only refunded all my money, but told me how to get the app (I had to wait till the middle of the night when no one is on). As I told the boss, I have no problem paying for the time...but don't sell me something when you know I am not gonna be able to do what I want.
Day 9 : At Sea
Our last day turned out to be the best! We signed up for a hands on cooking
class at Murano. You actually cook in the Murano galley. We had such a good
time and really learned a lot. After cooking, you enjoy the meal you
prepared......it was fabulous. They also give you a gorgeous cookbook from
Celebrity. At $139 for a couple, it is the best deal of the whole cruise!!
So after all this cooking and eating, let me mention that we spent a lot of time in the gym. The equipment and facilities are great. The only time we had a problem getting a machine was in the early morning hours.....so we always waited till 9-10 am to go.
Day 10 : De-boarding
Two words.....Not Good !! We always choose to walk our own luggage off, and our last cruise on Eclipse, it was so easy.......we walked right off the ship with no delays at all. So this is what we expected......WRONG! They had announced that those of us who wanted to take our own luggage, could get off at 7:15am.....so we went down about 7:20 and found a huge line going all the way down deck 5. We couldn't even get through the crowd to find the end of the line. We decided to just stand to the side and wait, because it couldn't be that long.....? WRONG. After 45 minutes the line started to move. Then,
because we were standing along the side waiting for everyone to go by, several
grumpy old men decided they needed to remind us we couldn't cut in line!!! I
almost came unglued.....and would have, if my husband hadn't held me back. Are you kidding me?? We were minding our own business, and you've got nothing
better to do, than be nasty to us? We were not trying to get in the line at all. There's a word for men like them....... That part wasn't Celebrities fault, but the wait and chaos was. I saw an officer and said(very nicely) maybe Celebrity should try to work this a little different. Her response was....." this is the line for those that want to walk their own luggage off"......duh...that would be why I'm standing here with my luggage! So we finally made it off, but it took nearly an hour and a half to get off. I'm not sure why it went so much easier on the Eclipse, but someone needs to figure that out!
As I said, for the most part everything was wonderful. The ship is beautiful
and never feels crowded....until you are trying to get off....lol. Guest
services always took care of any issues very promptly and even called mid cruise to see how everything was going. That's service!! We booked the Equinox for the western Caribbean for next year.....that says it all. We will just stay in our cabin till mid morning on deboarding day...wink!