Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Texasgingerbread: Eastern Med Roundtrip Rome
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Eastern Med Roundtrip Rome
Celebrity Equinox was an absolutely gorgeous ship. Staff top notch. Customer service top notch. Everyone smiling and happy to serve.
Embarkation for us (late) was not a problem from the island of Santorini. Disembarkation is absolutely fabulous...quick and painless. No waiting...help with bags even upon disembarkation. 5 stars!!! Very impressed. We even changed our departure time the night before late and no problems.
Cabin 1610 was good with the exception of an intake or outtake fan on balcony. It's LOUD. It's the same noise you would hear as up in an airplane. My hubby actually wore his Bose White Noise headphones when he was on balcony. We complained and they did make it a bit softer, but still very, very loud. No noise from above pool (couldn't believe it), no noise from neighbors, HUGE balcony on slant - 3 times size of normal if not bigger - no exaggeration. Bathroom plenty of storage and room worked fine for us...small closet but storage above bed More helped with folded clothes. My hubby would have liked to have more room in the bathroom to sit (sorry that's gross, but true). LOL.
The food is absolutely a let down. I was not expecting restaurant quality...I expected "convention center" quality as our last cruise had and unfortunately it was a step down from there. We ate in Blu 4 nights, Silk Harvest 1, and had to go to buffet or order room service the rest because we could not choke it down. We did better getting the Pasta Bar or Stir Fry keeping it BASIC. All of the "nice" meals (steak, lobster, etc.) the cuts of meat were horrendous and very poor quality. Everything needed more spices. Everything tasted the same to us. Very, very strange and unexpected. NOW - this review is coming from two Texans who eat out 50% of the time at favorite restaurants. When we cook at home, again we like to eat our favorite dishes. We like flavor. We are foodies. And unfortunately, we could not WAIT for normal food again. If we could eat dinner in the port before getting back on we did. Room service was prompt. Breakfast - no issues.
Entertainment needs improvement with except of cirque like show. The rest of it wasn't even as good as casinos in East Texas. Pretty cheesy.
We did all private tours. Am happy to share any info, just email me ginger underscore upshaw at sbcglobal dot net.
Ports (we'd been to Santorini, Athens, Naples, and Rome before):
Santorini - Celebrity let the people who booked an excursion through them off at the new port and then moved the ship and tendered the rest of everyone who had to use the old port and wait in line for tram. If you are worried about time in this port take this into consideration. Also you can take the donkeys to the top in 15 minutes vs. waiting for tram...not comfortable but a time saver. I would personally rent a car on the island and drive around and DIY - even if you only have 4 hours...rent a car and see it all. You cannot get lost if you stay on the main roads. We stayed on the island for 4 days and boarded the cruise late and our favorite views were from Skaros rock in Imerovergli and at the lighthouse on the end of town. Loved the Red Beach...wear tennis shoes bring swimsuit. My hubby went scuba diving near Kamari and didn't see much except small fish and octopus, but enjoyed the visibility and beautiful water (cold).
Istanbul - we also visited Bazaar on Sat morning and it was DEAD. However, I personally do not think visiting the Bazaar was a must. I would skip it. Most of the items there (and it's all the same stuff for the most part) are from China. Sad. I wanted some knock off purses and they were poor quality, sew crooked, crappy zippers. One of our favorite sites was the Cistern (Medusa statues) and highly recommend. We enjoyed seeing the fish market but eating there is quite pricey. We had a private guide first day and the second day we took public trams...no issues...very easy to figure out. When you are exiting the port you want to go far right...completely pass the port to get onto the tram...the other stop to the left is quite a walk and you cannot reenter until the opposite end. Major sites are marked on the tram.
Mykonos - again DIY...either go any hotel and have them call you a taxi or rent an ATV/car for $20. Beaches were gorgeous! Petros (the local pelican mascot) tried to eat my skirt. Don't get too close! The view from the famous windmills is great as you can get a good shot with Little Venice behind you.
Athens - Personally (second time I've done Athens) I would see the Acropolis, the new museum if open (not open Mondays) and spend the rest of your time walking the charming streets of Plaka. We went to a local market and it was fun to see the fish, etc. We bought some dried fruit and nuts and they were yummy. Lots of different kinds of pistachios, nuts. If you're dying to see changing of guard go for it, but the rest of the ruins after you've seen Ephesus, Roman Forum, etc. are just blah. Don't bother at all with the Agora, etc. IMHO.
Naples - We went to Capri and this was one of our favorite excursions...we arranged a private boat tour through Gianni's Boats (on tripadvisor - 120 euro for 2 hours) which takes you around the island. LOVED IT. Saw many grottos, they let us out at the white grotto and we were able to climb the steps to the top...very steep but well worth the climb. We did this with another couple from our cruise so we split the cost and there were 4 of us. WE WOULD DO THIS AGAIN IN A HEARTBEAT. We've been to Amalfi twice and next time we go back...if we only have 1 day...we will go back to Capri. The views on the way up the "Mamma Mia" road are fab. Loved the chairlift views at the top as well. We easily did this all in 1 day and had a taxi cab driver for 3 hours assist (100 euro for 4 people don't know if good or not, last minute idea). Loved Capri! We are def going back and will spend the night on the island for several days. Also would be a great place to scuba dive. Insane delicious lasagna at Cafe Augusto (you'll see it straight ahead to left as you exit the hydrofoils...guide told us about it and he was dead on).
Rome - You already know the major sites, but don't forget to visit The Mouth of Truth (outside church Santa Maria in Cosmedin and great photo op) and see the Moses statue that are not "along the way". Rome DIY except Vatican...def book a guide there to bypass the lines. Even in off season. Less
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