The embarkation and disembarkation in Civitavecchia was a breeze compared to what we experienced on the Summit in San Juan before, but that was the only area where the Equinox excelled. Maybe we expected too much after a great cruise on the Summit, but I feel that the Equinox fell short, especially with dinners.
We dined 4 nights in the MDR (Select dining), including the 2 formal nights. Food was hit or miss with my wife having most of the misses. One night she was all but scolded by a waiter for not ordering a special meal, because she had previously requested a dish prepared with olive oil instead of butter and that apparently made its way into the almighty computer.
We dined 2 nights in Murano and were quite disappointed. The welcome and service after being seated was completely over the top, with everyone trying to explain things about the food and the restaurant, but forgetting to serve drinks and food in a timely manner. Again my wife got the short end of the stick when she ordered lobster tail and the next night venison. The lobster tail came cold and in little pieces, instead as one lobster tail and was supposed to be prepared table-side, but that did not happen until a subsequent night, when we mentioned that. The venison she ordered was so hard, it was difficult to cut, leave alone chew. They brought another piece, but that was none better. We have eaten venison may times, but never this tough. All in all, Murano tries so hard to be special, that they forget the basics of good food and service.
The restaurant we liked the most was Blu and we were surprised that we got seated every time we came in. When reading other review, it sounded like it was almost impossible to get a table there. Anyway, the reason we liked Blu was the outstanding service. It was attentive and natural without all the hoopla of Murano. The food was quite good too.
We also dined 2 nights in our stateroom and enjoyed the service of our outstanding butler Cesar.
We really loved the stateroom services with early morning cappuccinos and croissants and rarely made it to the Oceanview cafe for breakfast. The Aquaspa cafe was disappointing with overcooked salmon and tuna dishes.
Each night before dinner we would go to the Martini bar and loved the great service of our waiter, Karma from Indonesia.
As far as service personnel goes, I wish Celebrity would hire more people from Indonesia and Latin American countries and less from Serbia and other Eastern European countries. The first group has service in its blood, while the latter is pushy and does not understand the service concept.
All in all, the cruise was enjoyable and the ports of call interesting.