Cruising friends ages 65+ and 80+
We stayed at a Manchester airport hotel on the Sunday evening prior to the next mornings flight to Barcelona where we were to join Celebrity Equinox.
With hindsight we could have booked our own flight to Barcelona and stayed in a Barcelona hotel joining the ship by taxi. It would have saved a lot of waiting around at Barcelona airport for the transfer to the ship and would have worked out cheaper.
We found the Equinox similar to Eclipse in layout. The concierge cabin was as expected with plenty of wardrobe space but we could have used a bit more drawer space. The balcony was quite large with room for two loungers.
The service on board was very good and all the staff were friendly and helpful.
We did not think that the food was as good as on previous cruises and several times meals were sent back from our table of 8 people. For example the duck served one evening was very tough and even medium steak was served swimming in blood. In the Ocean View Cafe at lunchtime the beef was often very underdone.
We had room service breakfast on shore days with mixed results and found if you stuck with uncooked items it was fine.
There was plenty to do on board and all ages were catered for. We used the solarium quite often for the pool and Jacuzzis as it didnt seem to get as crowded as the open deck. The entertainment highlight for us was the â(EURO)~officers and passengers version of strictly come dancing, it was hilarious. The entertainment in the Theatre was very good with the cirque being the most popular.
We had booked our shore excursions with Cruising Excursions which we had seen recommended on Cruise Critic. The tours to Rome, Naples, Santorini, Ephesus and Mykonos were very good on the whole with excellent knowledgeable couriers. There was one administrative error which had the time on some of the Pompeii tickets as 9 am instead of 8 am but this was sorted satisfactorily. On Mykonos we had to wait too long for a group of passengers who had not left the ship early enough meaning a shortened tour but we would use Cruising Excursions again.
Disembarkation was quick but Barcelona airport was very busy and we had to stand in long queues for check in and security. Our gate number changed and it was difficult to find any information. Eventually we got to the correct gate. Then home and back to reality.