It was exciting arriving at the Port even though I had no idea what to expect. It was all very organized and it only took us about 15 minutes to get on board. When we arrived at the pier the instructions were well given and everyone is given a SeaPass which identifies them and also if you have preregistered they have your credit card number which is on your SeaPass so you don't have to carry around your credit card. You can also buy drink packages as you're boarding. I would advise against this as they explain them all so quickly that you may not get what you thought you were getting. I think it would be better to have a chance to look them over and be able to ask questions once you are in your cabin. We bought two drink packages (one for David that included beer and water) and one for me that included wine. I thought I was buying a package that would allow me to have a glass of wine or water at my choosing. It ended up being a pass for 7 bottles of wine and you could not order it by the glass or order water without being charged and also this package did not include all of their wines but only a certain list which were mostly American wines (which surprised me as here we are touring Greece, Italy and Turkey who have the best wines in the world!). Anyways be careful in how you buy you drink packages and they are worth it if you like to have a few drinks while you are holidaying. We also found out afterwards that you cannot take anything out of the mini bar in your cabin even if you have a drink package. They will not charge it to your drink package but to your credit card and there is no free water which surprised me. Even one bottle a day would have been nice for the high price you pay to be on these cruises.
When we entered our cabin I was quite impressed. Our Sky Suite was right at the back of the boat on the 11th deck and had a nice size balcony that fit a table and two loungers. Our room consisted of a double bed, lots of closet space and dressers, a couch with a coffee table, t.v., and the bathroom was great. It had a bathtub and a shower and the products they leave in the bathroom are great products and the housecoat is also very nice.
To our surprise we had a butler!! Yes I said a butler. His name was Caesar and he was extremely wonderful. Polite, expedius, personable and took his job seriously. He would come in every morning with our breakfast and set us up either on the balcony or inside at the coffee table and it all depended on where we wanted to eat. Every day he brought a fresh basket of fruit. He also made all of our reservations and tour plans and every afternoon at about 4:30 he would come by with snacks (sandwiches, cookies, squares, appetizers) and if we were still out touring he would leave some in our room for us.
Our housekeeper Anna Marie was also very meticulous and our room was always cleaned very well.
The first night we ate at Murano's, a French themed restaurant and not only was the food excellent but the service was exceptional. Through conversation they found out that we were celebrating our 8th anniversary and at the end of our meal brought out a small wonderful chocolate cake with a candle and a banner made of white chocolate with dark chocolate writing that said "Happy Anniversary". The Maitre D' named Pascal Pinault was very hospitable and made sure that we were happy with everything. This restaurant gave small portions but there are many courses and believe me at the end you have a hard time with the cheese plate they bring around!
We also ate a a restaurant named Blu on 3 occasions and had wonderful meals and service. I cannot remember the Maitre D's name but he was Checoslavkian and had a very good sense of humour. We enjoyed eating at Blu very much.
On another evening we ate at the Tuscan Grill. It too had delicious food and wonderful service. I had a dish there that I am going to have to find the recipe for and that I would highly recommend. It was rolled and stuffed eggplant in a delicious tomato sauce. It was so mouth watering good. A big appetizer that can easily be split with someone.
The Silhouette Dining Room is very large. This is where they have the "captain's" dinner for all the guests in two seatings (one at 6:45 and the other at 8:45). You also have to reserve a seating time before you board the ship so that they know what time you will come to dine if you choose to eat there. Our seating time was 8:45 and we found it much too late as by the time you got your food and were done it was 11 p.m. It was also a very crowded dining room and therefore noisy. They sit people with other people that don't know one another which is a good way of getting to know some of your fellow passengers but you must sit with them during the whole cruise if you choose to eat here (and like you've read there are many other places to eat). We only had two meals here and they were both great meals. We enjoyed the service and the very good humour of Octaviam Mecvin ... he was well experienced and certainly knew the menu and what to suggest for your meal.
The cafeteria which is called The Oceanview Cafe is opened 24 hours but don't let that fool you. For the main breakfast hours, lunch and dinner they have plenty to choose from. In the other times you are very limited to what you can get and it doesn't seem as fresh.
The pool areas (4 pools) were great. Lots of seating and nobody fighting for loungers ... lots of bars and snack bars around. Their towels are a good size and always clean and they have designated smoking areas for those that like to have a puff.
All in all it was a perfect holiday with lots to take in. We were more tired when we got home and it took us days to recuperate and feel ourselves again. I would highly recommend anyone thinking of going on a cruise to book on the Celebrity Equinox.