This was our sixth cruise but the first time with Celebrity (Equinox). Based upon what others had said to us, we expected it to be a "notch up" from the other cruise lines we had been with. In some respects it was: stateroom was more spacious(particularly the shower room); the food was, on the whole excellent such that we didn't feel inclined to try the specialty restaurants and all staff we encountered were friendly and helpful.
The downside? - We felt that for a cruise line claiming to provide sophistication and refinement it was difficult to reconcile this with the constant and vulgar "selling" that went on whether for an extra drink, an excursion or the free seminar encouraging you to buy an individualised package whether it be beauty treatment or detox. We felt the drinks were extortionately priced ($9 for a glass of red wine + 15% service charge + additional gratuity if you were so inclined - we weren't - so expect to pay at least $11 for a glass of red wine. If two of More
you were to have just two glasses each per day over the course of the 12 nights.....well I'll leave you to work that one out).
Excursions were mixed: we complained about one as it did not live up to its description in the excursions' booklet. We got a 50% discount which wasn't sought but highlighted a responsiveness to our concerns. Other excursions were good but pricey and can be done much cheaper through local companies (or DIY).
Compared with other cruises we have taken, we felt the daily activities were limited or, at least, were endeavouring to cater for such a broad range of tastes that there was insufficient to interest anyone for more than a small part of the day. One thing we did miss (and we have had with other cruise lines) is the art auction which no longer features on Celebrity (this ship at least). We enquired and were told the company doing this previously had gone into liquidation.
On the whole, a good cruise but not "up a notch" sufficiently to make us want to cruise exclusively with Celebrity at the expense of other cruise lines. That's not to say we won't go with them again at some point. Less
Celebrity Equinox Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
The tour we complained about: spice market good but the fish market poor. Expected it to be a part of something bigger but it is just a fish market requiring a 30 minute journey through city traffic to get there. The guided tour of the city centre was non-existent (DIY and come back in an hour!) and there was a stop at a jewellery shop billed as traditional Turkish crafts but selling Swiss watches (not quite in keeping with trades description!)