First let me say that if you are going to cruise, your maiden voyage should be on a cruise line of Celebrity's caliber. The Equinox was a beautiful ship and was run like a fine hotel. We docked in several ports with Carnival and RCCL ships and the contrast was striking. Those vessels looked old and poorly maintained compared to the Equinox.
The sailing was smooth and the weather was perfect, even counting the few overcast days that lent an appropriately moody tropical atmosphere. The hotel service exceeded my expectations. The service was swift and unobtrusive. But if you are sailing mainly for the food, it may not live up to expectations. The main dining room and specialty dining were good but not spectacular. After a while, there is a sameness no matter how it is presented. The buffet was a frightening experience where the worst behaviors of the passengers emerged. The high school cafeteria comes to mind.
The shore excursions centered heavily on jewelry More
shopping. This was appealing to many. I was happy to just wander around and take in the sights. I wasn't really excited about bus tours or playing with sea life, but those tours were plentiful. Many passengers raved about them.
Formal nights were great on this cruise. It was a mix of tuxedos and evening gowns with resort wear you'll see on a typical Saturday night out with your date. No one seemed to look down on anyone else and it was just a comfortable evening with grown-ups having a good time. Don't over-worry about the dress code.
There were few children/teens on board. All seemed to be having a good time with their families so there must have been plenty of activities. It was a mature group, but certainly not a stuffy bunch of 'ancient mariners.'
But with positive there is always negative. It is a lot of people to cram into a relatively small space. Remember that all those decks are mostly cabins and not public space. Elevators could be challenge. The bar and dining staff and some senior crew deferred to men and couples. A woman was second class to the point of invisible. Very irritating, but I'm an American and perhaps we are just oversensitive about it. At one point, I actually asked a stranger at the bar to order a drink for me so I could get the bartender's attention. We had a good laugh, but I'd still be waiting for that drink if he hadn't been such a good sport.
So will I cruise again? Hard to answer. By day five I was so bored I was ready to jump ship and fly back home to reseed the lawn. There is only so much blue sky, and so many palm trees you can appreciate before you want to ACCOMPLISH something. I came on the cruise to test the waters for retirement. I'm not ready. So, I'll revisit it in another few years. Maybe by then I'll learn to slow down and appreciate not being productive every minute. Less
Celebrity Equinox Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean
Extremely quiet cabin; there was virtually no noise either above or below and rare sounds from hallway. It was comparable to a 4-5 star hotel. Spacious closets, bathroom, and balcony. Highly recommend.