My wife and I were on the Celebrity Equinox's Venice Overnight cruise and had a wonderful time. It was our second cruise on Celebrity, and our first on a Solstice class ship. The ship was in fact truly stunning. The interiors were beautifully designed and very well furnished. We loved many areas, including the Sky Lounge on top with its wonderful views. Although we did not end up spending a lot of time up there, the lawn club on top of the ship was pretty neat. The areas were large, and we never, ever, felt crowded.
We had an excellent balcony cabin. It was one with the bed nearest the balcony, which was new to us, but we ended up liking it. Plenty of room under the bed for our suitcases, which was nice. In retrospect, we should have asked our steward to empty the mini-fridge on day one, but we just never did. Every time we would try to put something in, the whole thing would come tumbling out.
We ate only in the main dining room, second seating. We really enjoyed our food and found the menu varied and the portions about right for us. The waiter was happy to accommodate any changes or extras that we asked for, and was excellent in providing suggestions for the best dishes of the evening. We enjoyed our table-mates too much to try the specialty restaurants, so I cannot comment on them. I thought the wine list was a bit disorganized to my liking. There were plenty of good wines, but they could be had to find. I think a more traditional grouping of wines by type would be better.
The ports of call were magnificent on this cruise, topped off by an overnight stay in Venice. These were all new ports for us, and I just don't see how they could have been much better. We did one ship excursion and the rest private excursions and all were great. We really enjoyed the people we toured with. A couple of ports required tendering, which was the only time I felt like the ship had a lot of people on it, since it took a while to get off the ship first thing in the morning. Coming back on, was never a problem as there were plenty of tenders running.
At first we were a bit concerned about the entertainment venues. My wife and I like to dance, and there didn't really seem to be a lot of dance areas. As the cruise progressed, we found this to not really be an issue. There always seemed to be enough room to dance somewhere for those with a will to do so. The Sky Lounge also had a pretty big dance floor. The live entertainment at the bars was outstanding. A great guitar player act and a super tight jazz band that were truly amazing musicians were the highlights for us.
I was a little surprised that the main theatre seemed a little empty for several of the shows. I am not sure why this was, other than may people could have been worn out by the long days touring the ports. The talent for the shows for the most part was very good. I will say the first night show, where they try to give a preview of the cruise was a mess. Maybe that had an effect.
We did start the cruise out without a cruise director. I think something unusual must have happened. The activities manager filled in well, but you could feel the energy pick up when around the 3rd or 4th day, a fine cruise director (Damian) showed up on the ship. The Captain and his crew were very friendly and informative. Good service was provided at all the locations we encountered.
I would be lying to say everything was perfect, as that just never happens. But I would have to say we thought this was a great cruise and could not be happier with the product delivered by Celebrity