We are a mid-50s couple. We sailed this exact ship & itinerary last year. We loved it so much, we repeated it.
We arrived at the port around 11am and was onboard, mimosa in hand, in less than 10 minutes.
While last year the food and service in general was very good, this year it was even better! We were Select Dining, preferring to eat around 6:30pm each night. We never had to wait for a table. We chose different table sizes, from 2-tops to 8 and we were always seated right away. The hostess knew our names after the first couple of nights, which was a pleasant surprise. We got in the habit of ordering an additional entree to share, so that we could experience different foods, and this was never a problem.
While the pool deck was busy on sea days, getting loungers was never a problem. There was a few people 'reserving' their spots, but for the most part, no real issues. The pool butlers were very present and did a great job clearing off loungers as people left.
When it was up, the internet connection was better than last year. It was alot less laggy than we've experienced in the past. It was, however, completely down quite abit. Also, the senior IT staff member is arrogant and rude. Happy we are above average users that did not require assistance.
Extreme sexism at the jewelry store. Staff did not want to discuss selling unless my husband was with me. They were very rude to me unless he was with me, and then, they would direct all conversation to him, despite the fact that he kept telling them that I was the one purchasing, not him. No big loss... we purchased back at home, at a better price, of course. We will no longer waste our time in the Celebrity stores. Didn't let this affect our trip.
Had the premium drink package. Lots of discussion on this on the boards - if you enjoy a few beverages around the pool, nice wine at dinner, coffee at Al Bacio, special coffees and tons of water, this is the way to go. Speaking of Al Bacio, staff were top notch. Also really enjoyed not signing the slips with every purchase.
Was disappointed that our cabin was not ready when we got there. We went in around 45 minutes after the announcement and walked in to find a tray of dirty dishes and a dirty rag on the counter. Not a really great greeting when you are expecting a pristine cabin with fresh flowers, fruit bowl and sparkling wine! These all appeared within an hour. Amore and her assistant Daniel did an outstanding job the rest of the cruise. Not sure what happened to get us off to a bad start, but they more than made up for this the rest of the trip.
Last year we stayed in Cabin 2104 and loved the location. This year we chose the cabin next door, #2102 and we had quite a few noise issues. The first night, the staff were washing down the loungers and deck right above us, at 4am. There was also an inconsistent but persistent scraping noise above us - discovered on the last night that it was the doors between the deck and interior above us. It was likely an easy fix so we should have consulted with Guest Relations early on.
Overall, the Equinox is a beautiful well kept ship. The staff and officers are very engaging. Service was top notch. We've booked 2014, so that pretty much says all!