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Celebrity Equinox Cruise Review by Lois R: Best Cruise EVER....by Far!!!!!!!!!!!!


Lois R
7 Reviews
Member Since 2003
42,130 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.5
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.5
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.5
Rates 5.0
Service 5.5
Shore Excursions 4.0
Value for Money 5.0

Compare Prices on Celebrity Equinox Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Best Cruise EVER....by Far!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sail Date: May 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other

This was my first cruise to the Med and now I can say I will definitely be going back. This cruise was a gift from my loving Father, who passed away back in August 2011.
I felt him with me throughout the trip and want to say, Thank you Dad, I love you and think of you every day.


I flew to Rome via USAIR on May 9th and arrived the following morning. In hindsight, next time I will go at least 2 or 3 days early.
I booked a room at "A View of Rome", a very highly rated B&B on Trip Advisor located near the Vatican. I would stay there again.
Livio, the owner had booked me a car service from the airport to the hotel with a full description of where the driver would be waiting.
After arriving at FCO it took about 45 minutes to go through customs and then finding the luggage. It might have been closer to an hour. I went
outside to find the spot and found what looked like a 100 drivers with signs of people's last names.....Livio had told me the diver More would
have a sign with my name on it and within about 2 minutes I found him. His name was Daniel and he was very courteous, he took my larger
bag and we went to the car.


This was my first time to Europe and I would do the same thing next time too. I know many folks take the train or whatever other transportation is offered but this worked out
great. It was 55 Euros and worth every penny to me.
We arrived at the B&B in about an hour and Philip was there as soon as we pulled up and helped me with my bags and I got settled in. The room was not quite ready yet but they were very welcoming.
We sat and chatted and I told Philip I had a private tour booked and he allowed me to use the phone to call my guide. I had a 1:30 tour scheduled but I had arrived at least 90 minutes
early.
My guide said she was actually with another family and she could not get there early. It was fine anyway. I changed my clothes (had been flying all night). I walked around a bit and had some
lunch at the cafe outside of the B&B and met 3 CCrs staying the same building. Different B&B but same owner.

A bit about my B&B, it is in a lovely building, up on the 6th floor. There is an elevator to get you up and down. My room was lovely and the bed very comfy. Philip was very courteous and I ended up meeting Livio (the owner) the next day, who was also so very courteous and I enjoyed chatting with him. He served me breakfast...which were 2 chocolate croissants and a cappuccino.

I chose to do a private tour for a couple of reasons, mostly because
it was my first trip and I thought it would be the best way to see
Rome in a 1/2 day. I was looking at the HOHO buses but decided to
see more a guide would be better. So I went back to Trip Advisor and
found Silvia at "A FRIEND IN ROME"....She is wonderful and the reviews
were all excellent and very good. We had emailed many times and I felt
very happy with my decision. I was sitting outside and after finishing
lunch, Silvia was there right at the exact time. This tour was wonderful.
She is in her mid 30s and knows her stuff. Very courteous and yes,
it was just Silvia and me. It was 200 Euros for the 4 hours and worth
every pennny. We walked to the main sights of course but she took
me to other areas as well...she is funny. She gave me a map and circled
every place we visited and said when I show it to my friends to tell them
we did in 4 hours what most don't do in 2 days I will use her again
and I also gave her a 5 star review on T.A.

Oh, also there were many people on CC who said to not go to sleep
after arriving as that would make jet lag worse so I figured, only 1/2
day and one night in Rome? Touring would be a good thing!

As much as folks enjoy Trevi Fountain, I have to say the Fountains
of the 4 Rivers gets a BIG Thumbs up from me. The Piazza where
this is located is awesome too.
I felt like this was the beginning of a love affair and everywhere I went
it was a big "WOW"........it was the start of my best cruise ever.
------------------
Rome...Continued........we toured for 4 hours and now I know for next
time to only wear closed toe walking shoes. I wore a pair of Merrell's
sandals. These are very comfortable and I thought they would work for me but alas......the heel of my left foot got a blister/callous from all
the walking.
I originally was not going to pack walking shoes but decided to bring
them at the last minute and they saved my whole trip.(more later).

We ended the tour by arriving at the Pantheon and that is where a
group from the roll call planned to have dinner together. I had written
down the name of the restaurant and we found it easily. As I arrived
so did some others and I think we had about 16 total?.....I asked
Silvia to join us but she declined. I paid her and she gave me the map
I mentioned earlier with all the places we visited (circled).

We had a nice dinner and one of the gals was staying in the same
building as I was and we took a cab back together.

It was an early night for me and I realized at that point I was very
tired. We ate about 5:30 and I was back to the B&B about 7:30.
My heel hurt a little and I was ready for bed. The bed was comfy
although I did wake up a couple of times (nothing unusual there)
and then woke a final time. Took a shower and had my breakfast.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Retracing a bit, we had an absolutely wonderful roll call for this cruise.
Some folks who deserve MUCH credit...Robyn for starting it and
researching TONS of private tours, Ellen, for keeping a weekly list
of EVERY TOUR and which were open and which had closed and Ed,
for keeping photos of anyone who chose to send him one and just
being helpful with everything too. I want to thank these 3 folks
especially and will do some more at the end of this review as well.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was on a shared van from Rome to the ship with 6 other people and
it saved us all quite a bit of money. Thank you Robyn. The van picked
us up at 10:30 and we were to the ship before noon (if memory serves).
Before I go to the next section I want to reiterate how wonderful
I found Rome. I was in awe of everything. I realize everyone is
different and we all react differently to things. I felt like I was in
another world...with all the ancient buildings amongst the stores,
cafes, etc...... I will use the word amazing. Maybe it is because
I had wanted to go for such a long time and wasn't able...maybe it
it is because these sights are 1,000's of years old, maybe it is a bit
of both. I just know I was in awe and enjoyed my one day immensely.


Friday morning the van took us to the port and we all got out and
had given Robyn the money so when my bags were taken out of the
back I headed to check in.......which I did without any issues.
They did take my passport and kept it throughout the cruise and
I received a note on the last sea day to pick it up in the Sky Lounge
between the hours of 10:30-noon.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally I booked a window cabin on deck 3 for this cruise but
as time went on prices dropped so much I upgraded myself to a
balcony for nothing....then they dropped again before final payment
and the amount of the $ paid off the cruise in full and gave me
additional credit back too! So I took a bit of that credit and upgraded
myself again to a CC cabin. Looking back on the entire time, I rarely
used my balcony, and for me (since this is my experience), if the
prices had not dropped I would have been happy with my ocean view
and next time that is what I will go with and would use the money
for other things.

The cabin itself was in a good location, port side near the elevators
and very quiet. My cabin attendants were very good, Seymour and
John who kept the cabin clean and tidy. I don't require much but
needed to let them know I was out of cotton swabs. I had a full
tub of them from then on..ask and you shall receive. They also
left me extra towels every day....nice touch. The bed was very
comfy and after such long port days I slept very well.

The first evening I ate with 2 friends from the roll call in Murano.
First night they had a special for 20% off and we had booked
this on line before sailing. I thought the food and service were
excellent. I realize many folks take pictures of food....this isn't part
of my review but if you click on Flickr in my signature you will find
photos I recently posted under the EQUINOX To The Med Album
although I didn't take any food photos.

Dinner was nice and so was the company. I honestly don't recall
what I ended up doing that first night after dinner but the next day
was a tour in Sicily and I didn't stay up late at all during this sailing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh....I need to go back again.......our roll call had decided to meet
at the Sunset Bar up on 15 for sailaway. And a thank you to Susan
for handling that one. She brought Mardi Gras Beads and labels
for us to write our names on and we had a really nice turnout. I would guess
at least 40-50 people showed up and it seemed everyone had a good time.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dinner...this cruise I went with Select Dining and I ate in the dining
room 8 out of 10 nights. The other 2 nights were Murano and I also
participated in a Wine Connoisseur Dinner one evening held in Tuscan
Grill. The 2nd formal night I was invited to dine at the Capt's Table.
Nice group of folks and we all got along very well.

The other evenings I ate with roll call mates, albeit 1 night eating
with folks I met on the line to the dining room and 1 night eating
on my own (the last evening)...I was going to dine in Tuscan but
realized I was too tired so I just went to MDR for a steak and a salad.
I thought the food was good and had no issues (that I can recall).
This was my 3rd time doing Select dining. After years of dining
traditional I thought I would give it another go and we never waited
more than 2 minutes. I will say though I think next cruise I will go
back to traditional dining....same table and waiters and it may give
me another frame of reference.
I will say Natalie, she is the hostess for Select is very good. Helpful
and courteous.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was part of 4 private tours with roll call mates. Saved money, less
people and we all knew one another too. Made for very nice times
together.
Our first day was Sicily, Messina....I was part of a tour that was in
Taramino/Godfather country and had a wonderful day. Our driver was
our tour guide and he was very good. There were only 7 of us on
this tour and made for a great day.

It seems the tour guides all have it down to a science. You get off
the ship and they are all waiting with names on signs for you to find
and off you go.

We had a great day. Went to an area where The Godfather Part II was
filmed and also went to Taramino and had a lovely lunch there.

I mentioned my foot in the first section of this review and the blister
that had formed in Rome. I had worn my walking shoes and socks
from now on, every tour, but after walking during this day I needed
to take the shoe off and let the foot breathe. After lunch we walked
the streets, some got gelato, took photos etc.....by the end I was
searching for slides....and found them too. 35 Euros and I found a
cute pair of black leather slides and now they helped me too.

Upon returning to the ship, 2 of my cruise buddies on this tour,
Thank you LAURA and JERRY, told me they had brought large size
band aids and offered me 2. I graciously accepted them. The next
day was our first sea day and so I was able to just wear a slide
without any problems but the following 2 days? Athens and Turkey
were all day tours and I used those band aids and was able to enjoy
the tours without any issues!

The scenery, food and full day in Sicily were wonderful. The sea
as blue as the sky, only deeper, the flowers in bloom everywhere,
it was all lovely. The weather was great that day too.
A big thanks to Ed for this tour.....and Luca (our driver, tour guide)
was easy on the eyes as well
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

First sea day we had our Connections gathering held up in the Sky
Lounge at 10:30am...I think it was 10:30. We had a nice sized group
show up and the CD (Damien) spoke for a minute or 2. They served
some coffee and tea and The Event Coordinator showed up as well.
I think there might have been others introduced but cannot recall.
Everyone chatted for a while and there was a group who participated
in a cabin crawl and slot pull following....I did not go so can't give you
any details. I think we had about 50 folks show up..somewhere
in that range.

I am trying to remember what I did the rest of this day.......
My memory is good for all the ports but this day has seemed to sink
into the background.

I know they did have a foodie thing in the main foyer on deck 3....
samples of food from all the restaurants and drinks from the Molecular
Bar too. I was standing on the steps during all the presentations
and when they asked who wanted the drink? I raised my hand and
they gave it to me....it was called "Coming Up Roses".....delicious.
I believe this was on held on the first sea day.

I never made it to the Solarium pool this trip and I am not a Spa
person so that was not part of my cruise either. I normally love
that pool but just never got there.

I did go to Michael's Club quite a few times over the course of the
trip and met some lovely folks, some from the roll call, and some not.
Donna was the Capt's Club hostess and she was very nice. The did
have different officers in there all the time which was nice to see.
They chatted with folks and overall, had a good time. There were
only 91 Elites on board and there were other folks invited to the
Happy Hour as well....(suite pax from what I understand). I had
breakfast there a couple of times too.

I had breakfast in the main dining room on 2 different tour mornings.
They opened the starboard side for "Express Breakfast" since so many
folks were disembarking at very early times. They had scrambled
eggs, bacon, sausage, and bagels, toast, etc.....it all came out
hot AND quick. The buffet was opened as well but it was nice
sitting down and being waited on.....thumbs up on that one.

Our tours, as I mentioned were private and on the roll call it had been
agreed that we would meet in Cafe Al Bacio each day and disembark
the ship together. We paid the person in charge of each tour before
leaving and that worked out great too. Then the person in charge
paid the guide for all of us.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Food and other things..........
Food things......during the food/drink presentation they also announced
2 other food events.....a "Wine Connoisseur Dinner" which was held on
the day we were in Mykonos and also a "Chef's Luncheon" which was
held on the 2nd sea day. I went to the Wine dinner and enjoyed it
very much. There were 11 of us and it was held in Tuscan Grille. We
met in Michael's Club and had champagne first and the Cellar Master
greeted us along with the Maitre D from Tuscan. The put us together
at an oval table and we had different wines with every course. I
enjoyed myself very much, food was good and so was "most of the
company"...sometimes you don't know who will be dining at this type
of event. There were 2 couples from the New Orleans area, 1 couple
from Texas, one couple from Baltimore and one couple from England
and me......
I would say the Texas husband and 1 of the N.O.'s husbands were
trying to 1 up each other as the evening went along.............
I tried to ignore it.......
The food was quite good though and the wine not bad either
We had a set menu except for the entree...you could order sea bass
or lamb.
All in all it was very good....$95.00 per person. At the end of the
meal a few of the guys ordered "Grappa".....I had never tasted it
before....after trying a sip? Not something I will be ordering again.

The Chef's Dinner? It was a luncheon with a limited number of people.
I believe they said 12 max and it was held during the same time as
the brunch and I had offered to organize the brunch for our roll
call so I could not do the pay event. From what I could see, you
do the cooking inside the Galley of Murano, you receive the big cookbook
and also eat what you cooked. That was $100.00 per person or $150.00
per couple (I think that is the price they quoted). Maybe I will do that
on my next cruise if it is offered. I never met anyone who did it so
I can't give you any more information.

They also had their version of "Iron Chef" which was also held on
the 2nd sea day. 2 chefs, each with passengers to assist in their
meals and 3 judges who were also passengers. The judges vote
between 1 - 5 on the meals..., 1 being the worst, 5 being the best.
I have judged before and usually the votes are between 3-5. Seems
there was one gal who (I found out later but not sure if it was true)
decided to ruin the whole thing...heard she did it on purpose.....
Even if you don't like something I had never seen anyone give a 1
to anything.......I and others in the audience were quite shocked.
She also threw one of the chef's under the bus....it did not do anything
to enhance the event at all.......I think it is supposed to be fun and
this gal to that word out of it. I met the 2 other judges after the fact
and they had no idea why she did what she did. The presentations
were quite nice and I could only think of giving something a 1 if it
was inedible.......yes, I know we all like different foods but 1s and
2s?....something just did not sit right with many of us in the audience.

After this event, they held the "Crew Talent" Show with about 10
acts..I stayed for that too and it was very good. They have hidden
talents most of us don't ever see and it gives them a chance to change
from waiter/cabin attendant/ to a regular person who have other
great qualities including singing, dancing, etc.......It was a very good
show.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And during the cruise I only went to 1 evening show the entire trip.
I went with 2 roll call mates to see the Piano Player and glad I went too.
I cannot remember his name. He is English and is VERY GOOD. We were
not sure what his shtick was going to be but it ended up really fun
and he had a wonderful voice. He played a lot of what would be
"top 40".....if that is what it is called these days....Elton John,
Billy Joel, etc....songs most all of us knew. He also had a little fun
throughout the show......and everyone laughed and got into it.
When he said his favorite song in the whole, wide, wide, wide, wide, WIDE
world was Barry Manilow's, "Weekend In New England"....well, you
can imagine the different reactions from the audience.......LOL.....
He really did have a great voice and I enjoyed the show very much.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The BRUNCH......it was held on the 2nd sea day and before the cruise
I offered to see if the ship could set up a place for a group of us to
eat together. I got nowhere through HQ so after I boarded the ship I
went to Guest Relations and asked to see the Event Coordinator
There were about 48 people who had given me their names and cabin
numbers (from the roll call).
The Event Coordinator was very nice and she told me she would send
out annoucements later in the week for us (which she did). We were
to meet at 11:30....when I arrived a bunch of my rollcall mates were
waiting at the door and seems there was some miscommunication...
Not much had been set up for us......quickly they got tables set and
there was a corner for us. We ate upstairs, portside and I think there were
5 tables for us. It ended up being a nice time though. It would have
been better if the beginning had gone a bit smoother but looking back,
I enjoyed myself and I hope the other folks did as well. Also, one couple
came in a few minutes later and some reason, one of the waiters or
a maitr'd told them they could not come in.......that was a bit off putting...
I told the guy this couple was part of this group......I felt a bit bad
about that......they brought their annoucement with them too.....more
confusion.....

Athens is next..............

After the 1st sea day was the start of 2 amazingly long port days.
We were in Athens now.

We were off the ship before 8am and our Tourguide was waiting for
us. As I mentioned earlier, in every port the guides have signs with
the names of their contact on it and this was no different. He was
waiting for us as well. He was wonderful...smart, (definitely knows
his history), friendly, courteous and this was mentioned in one of my
cruisemates review's too....he looked just like Hugh Jackman.

We went to the Acropolis first as he thought this would be better,
not so hot and no so crowded in the earlier part of the day.
This is another place that made me feel like Rome...in the sense of
another world. It was amazing. The ruins and sculptures....it is
unreal...although it is very real.

I have to be honest and say I am not a walker and I am not in good
shape and I was concerned about making it to the top. Vassillios,
(the guide) was terrific and eased my concerns. As we walked we
stopped alot and he would give us a history lesson and we were able
to take photos. Then we walked again and so on.......he made it
much easier and I could not imagine going all the way there and not
going to the top. So finally I was at the top with my other rollcall
mates.
I looked around and standing on my own I had this odd feeling at that
moment that my Dad was with me. It may sound out of this world
but all I know is it was in the mid 80s and I got a momentary chill.....
Thanks again Dad.....

We were given some time to take photos on our own and met Vassillios
back down at the front and I believe this was about 11:30.
We then went to an area to have lunch and did see some more sights.
I believe it was called The Agora but nobody walked up to it. We were
all tired so decided to have lunch...we also went to a smaller
museum.....if I had written this last week I might remember the name...
but now I cannot......it was near where we had lunch.

After lunch we went to the National Archeological Museum and it was
yes, amazing.......to see all these scupltures and how old they were
and to wonder if 3,000 years ago if these folks had any idea we folks
in the 21st century would be looking at their artwork......it just blows
me away......both The Acropolis and The Collesseum are awesome.

I had a wonderful day in Athens.

---------------------------------------------------

Next is Turkey........
After an amazing day in Athens, our next stop was Turkey which I have
to say, as much as I loved the Acropolis, Ephesus? Totally blew me out
of the water......
I had heard of this before but never did much reading about it (bad on me). I have friends who had been and they
told me this is a MUST SEE.....they were spot on and I so agree and I would go again as well.
Our tour guide was Yelda, who was also terrific. We did a lot of walking
but it was not as difficult (for me anyway).

This place? To know it was a city, to see the pipes, yes the pipes
they had for water, they seemed to be 1,000's of years ahead of their
time....

We also went to the Terrace Houses and a friend of mine told me
not to miss them. I am so glad we all went into them. The floors,
tiles, history.....no words can really describe this place.

When one thinks of Turkey, or I should say when I was thinking
of it, in my mind it seemed dry would come into to play. I was so
wrong.....it is green, lush and mountainous....not realizing part of
Turkey is in Asia and part in Europe and the Mediterranian sea is
right there too.
After we left Ephesus we went to the House of Mary and walked
around that area a bit and then we went to lunch at a restaurant
Yelda recommended. I know some of the folks really enjoyed their
Athens lunch but I preferred the lunch in Turkey.
The food was sooooooo yummy.......this looked like a family owned
restaurant and Yelda took us all inside so we could see what they
offered and order that way. It was truely delicious. If you want some
fabulous FRIED FETA? OMG.......really good!

We also went to the Temple of Artemus for a little while and some
took photos. After that, Yelda gave us choices....the driver stopped
at a "rug factory" where some folks got off with her and the rest of
were then taken back to the ship. The driver dropped us at the Bazzar
area. Some folks bought gifts..I have one person I have been working
with for the past 21 years and she collects shot glasses so I always
try to get her 1 from one of my trips. I know by now she probably has
100 or more...from friends and family...I found a cute one at the Baazar
so got that done!
Ehpesus was simply spectaculor................


More Greece...........
Next stop was Rhodes and I had nothing booked at all. I ended up
walking around on my own and enjoyed my day there. Lots of shops,
cafes, and there was a Muesum I found by chance. The entrance fee
was 6 Euros and I was glad I paid it. Lots of gardens, sculptures,
mosaic tiles, etc...of course I ran into folks from the ship and ended
up having a sandwich and drink with 2 rollcall mates.

The ship docks close to the town and you will see a large archway.
Walk through it and you will find it all. I believe there was a palace
a bit further down but I did not make it there.

While sitting at the outdoor cafe we notice a bunch of local guys
(and gals) start dancing with the music that was playing and many
of the tourists decided to join in as well. It was fun to watch and
everyone looked like they had a good time.

I enjoyed my time there.......it was nice to stroll without any time
constraints.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Santorini......a place I had seen photos of on tv over the years
and had always wanted to visit.....the pictures (as beautiful as
people take) still don't do it justice. The water, the blue and white
buildings......simply magnificant.

My day in Santorini......this was the only port I chose to do a ship
tour.....it was fair. If I had to do again, I would not go with it but
it is done now.
First, when you go on a ship tour, they tender you to a different spot
than the others, which would have been ok but it ended up quite rough
AND once he tendered us to the dock? We were not allowed to dock
for at least 20 minutes. It was not a good thing...the waters were
VERY, VERY choppy and we could not get an answer about the delay.
Will post what I found out later.

Anyway, so we finally get off the tender where the buses were
waiting and we went to Fiera and Oia and we stopped at a Winery
as well.

Santorini is one of my most favorite spots on the entire trip.
The colors of the buildings and the water took my breath away.

We went to the "Santos" Winery for samples and a wonderful photo
op too.

The bus tour had about 40 of us on it and of course after private
tours with 16 this was quite different. The guide was nice and I know
many will say that is why they don't book ship tours...but this was
my choice and so you live and learn.

At the end of the the tour we walked back up a large hill and then
I went to find the line to the cable car and at that point I understood
better why going on an early tour is better as well....the tour I went
on left at noon.....well, everyone and their brother were getting on
line to go back to the ship at that point...it was near 4:00pm.
I had met a nice young lady on the tour who worked in Guest Relations
(she got the day off) and we sat together on the bus and walked
around Oia together. Anyway, we "qued up" with everyone else....
she was concerned about getting back late to the ship and was going
to walk down....then decided to stay in line....we ended up getting
back to the ship about 5:00.....crew was supposed to be back at
4:30.......I told her if she needed me to vouch for her I would...we
lost almost a 1/2 hour by the late tender in the morning and there
was one stop that 1 person was late back to the bus......(don't you love that....)
So we really did lose about 1/2 hour.

I saw her later in the day and she told me she had no problems...
thankfully.

As for the delayed tender and sitting on the boat....I went to Shore
Excursions and was told there was a passenger on the HAL ship
(which was also there) and when she went to go from the dock to
the tender.....she missed it and fell in the water....not sure if this
was true but all tenders were told to sit until everything was proved
to be AOK..........

I don't want to sound like I did not enjoy the day...I DID!!!!!!
Just a different experience from my previous ports.


------------------------------------------------------------------

Mykonos......it was raining and ugly outside but of course I was not
going to travel all this way and not get off the ship. I waitied till
about 11 (I think) took my Umbrella and off I went...we tendered and
it was VERY QUICK.....no problems today!
I walked around a looked in lots of shops for a special something for
my sister. I ended up chatting with a nice couple from England and we
stopped at a cafe to get out of the rain.
I keep forgetting........TZDZIKI....or whatever the spelling......BEST
yougart I have ever eaten....omg........got an order of it with hummus
and pita bread and beer........Had this a couple of times during the
cruise...........unbelievably delicious!!!!!!
So, the rain stopped and I went on my search......found a family owned
store and got my sis a hand made platter....and she loves it too.
I got myself a silver greek key necklace with a lapas stone in the center and
earrings to match.......
I enjoyed Mykonos very much too.................

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sea day...I mentioned the brunch earlier and even with the confusion
it was nice to have our group together and I enjoyed myself.

I also went to pick up my passport as they had requested. There were
no lines at all. They had a few folks sitting at tables that had letters
on the front....to find your name...A-K, etc....oh wait, it might have
been by cabin numbers.....I honestly cannot recall.....but suffice to say
I picked up my passport.
I also started my packing process since the next day was Naples and
we would be off the ship the whole day.
I filled out my comment card as well so I got some of the necessaties
taken care of on this sea day.
This was the 2nd formal night and as mentioned I dined at the
Capt's Table. I had met one of the couples in Michael's previously
and their kids (grown) also were invited.
The other folks were quite nice as well and we met in Cellarmasters
for cocktails before heading to the dining room. I ordered the
Chateaubriand and must say, it was cooked perfectly and very tender.
I had a nice evening and again, I really did not do much each night
after dinner.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our last day was Naples. Quite unusual for me to have a full day
in port on the final day but it worked out well anyway. This was the
last private tour and another great time.
In the morning we went to Pompeii and had a very good guide with a
great sense of humor. We got there before the gates even opened and
I think it was about a 2-2.1/2 hour tour. Yes, Pompeii was amazing
as well.
The driver who had picked us up from the ship came back for us
(we had one driver and a separate guide for Pompeii) and then we
went to the Amalfi Coast.......we stopped a couple of times for photo
ops. We went to Ravello and had lunch and a great place..family owned
and "Grandma" was in charge.....great lady. We shared 3 large platters
of different appetiziers and then everyone ordered their own lunch.
The food and company were all good!

The weather was a bit cloudy here and as I was taking some photos
the battery on my little digital had run out......really out. I just didn't
remember to charge the camera the day before (it was a sea day)
but I did get a couple of shots before the camera went out on me.

We stopped in Sorrento and Poistano (sp) and the sea and mountains
were all picturesque.

The driver took us back to Naples where he had already gotten our
tickets for the ferry back to the ship. Some of us got seats at a
cafe and some coffee before walking over to the area to pick up
the ferry.

Back to the ship...............

So, Naples was our last day and we were now back on board the ship.
I once again, took a shower and changed clothes and met some friends
in Michael's Club to have a couple of drinks and say some good byes.
I was going to eat in Tuscan Grille that final evening but as I sat there
I realized I was just too tired to have a lengthy dinner. I did not have
a reservation and had walked to Tuscan to see if they had an opening,
which they did but as mentioned, I changed my mind.
I ended up going to the MDR and just got a deuce, ordered a salad
and steak and was fine.

During the 10 nights I went to the Molecular bar a few times and I also
went to the Martini Bar once or twice but not often. I also hit the
Sunset Bar a couple of times. It was such a port intensive cruise
that once I finished my dinner I quite often just went back to my cabin.

I did play blackjack once and won 10 bucks....sat at a table for about
15 minutes. Started out with 50.00 and walked away with 60.00

So, the last morning I woke early and was part of a shared van
to the airport. We were in a very early group (6:30am) and were
exactly on time. It was raining that morning. We all had the same
colored tags and the van was waiting for us. We got to the airport
in the 8am range and that is where the USAIR mess began......we
were supposed have a 3 hour delay which would not have been so
bad. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:50am but when I checked
my email it said we had a 3 hour delay so 3:00 was in my mind.
We ended up having to wait at FCO (from 8am) until 8:30pm.......
the entire day. USAIR did not give us a truthful answer about it.
(the flight never left the states?? Are you serious?) like we could not
figure that part out........The flight in finally arrived about 7pm and
we took off about 9pm so of course everyone on the flight missed
their connections. I was lucky and was given a voucher to the Marriott
at the Philly airport with my connection home the next morning
at 7:30....from what I was told some of my cruisemates were not
so lucky. I was able to at least take a hot shower after that flight
and got about 4 hours of sleep in a comfy bed. The Marriott is inside
the Philly airport so I was able (without very good directions) to
find the entrance at 1:00 in the morning......

But, in my opinion USAIR really dropped the ball with their lack of
communication with their customers.

---------------------------------
This cruise was by far the best I have ever taken. The history, scenery,
everything was amazing. The people on the roll call made the trip
even better and want to thank them again for all their help. Robyn,
Ellen and Ed did a fantastic job. It was nice meeting others too.

I know I want to go back but also want to see the Western Med
as well......hopefully I will have the chance to do this again.

Hope this helps others.........it was (up to this point) my trip of
a lifetime.......Thanks again Daddy......I love you. Less


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Cabin review: Celebrity Equinox 9249

Loved my cabin...great location, near the elevators but very quiet!

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