This was a great cruise. We have been on 40+ cruises. We are 66 & 78 years young. We have 23 cruise credits on Celebrity. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale a day early and met 2 other couples. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn on Griffin Road and took their free shuttle to the hotel.
We took the 10 AM shuttle to the port. It wa $8 per person. Only the 6 of us were on this shuttle. We arrived at the port, checked our luggage & went through security. It was then I realized I had left my hand carry-on bag on the shuttle. It had meds, jewelry, airline tickets in it. I called the hotel & they called the driver. The bag was on the shuttle. He called me back, turned around was back at the port within 15 minutes. We checked in at the Elite line and were on the ship within minutes. We were met with champagne. Our cabins were ready about 1:30.
Michael Bayley was onboard the Equinox on the morning we boarded. We were told by several staff and crew members that he visited to meet with staff about some upcoming changes. Some had already been implemented.
We were in Cabin 8106. It was an adjoining cabin to a Family Veranda Stateroom which was occupied by a oouple. We never heard any noise. This cabin is large. It has slanted windows which overlook the helipad. You could feel the motion in this cabin. We had 2 rough nights and were rocking. Our stateroom attendant Bertalina was very good. He even made towel animals several nights.
The ship was very clean. The officers and staff were seen all about the ship. The crew was very friendly and helpful.
We found the food to be very good in the MDR. We ate there every night but one. We had a table for 2 which was very close to another table for 2. We enjoyed talking with the couple at this table. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very good. The waiter made reccomendations every night . We usually took his advice. One night we both ordered something that wasn't good. He noticd immediately that we didn't like it. He wanted to replace it and we said no since we weren't very hungry. The Miatre D visited and asked what was wrong with the dish. He apoligized and said he would speak with the chef. We usually went to the Oceanview for breakfast and lunch. We always found a table. The staff were very good about cleaning the tables. In the morning , we visited the elite breakfast in Tuscan Grill for the speciality coffee and drinks.
We ate 1 meal in Murano. It was excellent. There were 8 of us. We all ordered different appetizers and entrees and all were excellent. Our waiter prepared lobster tableside for us in addition to our entrees. He also prepared strawberry crepes tableside and brought 1 of each dessert for us to share. The service was fantastic. The meal lasted 3 hours.
There were lots of activities on this cruise. Trivia, arts & crafts, zumba, dance classes were held throughout the cruise. There was also a flash mob taught by one of the dancers and a choir taught by the a-capella singers. There were 3 lecturers onboard. DH attendted most of these and said they were very good. He really enjoyed the Einstein lectures. There was always chairs around the pool. Chairhogs were not a problem.
Entertinment was overall good. The first two production shows were the worst we have seen on a ship. The shows themselves were very poorly written and the singer and dancers weren't together. The third show written especially for the Equinox was very good and included the acrobatic performers. Nick Page, a vocalist that starred in Les Miserable was very good. He performed a show in the evening and a matinee and received standing ovations both times. Brooks Aston, a pianist also did 2 exceptional shows and received standing ovations.
Don Gavin, a comedian was pretty good. Another comedian played several instruments & did a good show. There was a classical violinist and opera singer that were good but we didn't especially enjoy these shows. There were also 3 Celtic tenor that were pretty good. The ship entertainers North by Northwest were quite good. Elaine Abras Jazz Quartet played most evenings in the Ensemble Lounge and were very enjoyable. The ship orchestra and the Inspiration Strings were good. The party band and the 2 guitarists were good but too loud. They usually played in the Grand Foyer and it was always very loud. There is no place to sit and listen in the Grand Foyer. Jason was the cruise director and we never say him except at the shows.
The Captain's Club used the voucher system for this cruise. We prefer the Elite Cocktail Party. We went to the sky lounge each evening from 5-7 and used our vouchers. Enrique was our bar server and didi a great job. Extra bar waiters were added to this lounge during this time and service was very good. The Captain club hostess was Natalie. We only saw her for about an hour in the mornings at the Tuscan Grill. Graehme was aboard the first 10 nights of the cruise to assist and help train Natalie. We were tol by several staff/officers that 2 more tiers will be added to the captain's club. No one knew or would say what the levels would be or what would be added. This is supposed to happen this year. We were invited to the Captain's table one evening. It was hosted by Grigorios Mexis and his lovely bride of one month. It was very enjoyable.
We didn't do any tours in the ports. Nassau-We stayed on the shp. It was very hot and there were 5 ships in port.
Tennerife-We took the shuttle bus to the Gates of Santa Cruz. We walked around town. It was more commercial than we expected.
Lisbon-We walked about 2 miles to Belem. We went to Pastries de Belem and had custard style pastries which they are famous for. We then toured the Cathredral and took cabs back to the ship.
Gibraltor-We took the ship shuttle which was a 8 passenger taxi to the centre of town. We had planned on taking the cable car to the top of the mountain and stop to see the apes. It was closed due to high winds. We walked around the shopping area. Some stores were closed since it was Sunday. We walked back to the ship. Some people needed a shuttle but there were long lines. It poured rain right after we got back to the ship.
Disembarkation: We weren't in a hurry to get off. We were staying in Barcelona for 2 days. We left the ship at 9:45. The lines for customs were long but moved quickly. The lines were also long for taxis but again moved quickly. We were a group of 6 so took 2 cabs for 17E each to the Hotel Colon. This is a nice hotel about 2 blocks from Los Ramblas. It is across the square from the Cathredral Barcelona by Gaudi. It is quiet since this is a pedestrian only area.