This was my fifth Celebrity sailing, and I now have about 56 cruises in total. In the early 2000's Celebrity had Chef Michel Roux overseeing it's food operation for the main dining room. At that time, the quality of the food was unsurpassed, and there was no need for speciality dining venues. In 2007, I went on the Constellation, and I noticed the food quality drastically went downhill. As a result, I did not have high expectations for the Equinox. My expectations were right on target. The food in the Silhouette Dining Room started out excellent, and as the cruise went on, the food got progressively worse. One night, I sent three entrees back because the quality of the food was inedible. Even certain foods which were prepared under the direction of Michel Roux many years ago now served on this cruise did not taste as good. I did not try any of the specialty dining venues. May I mention, no sorbet served in between courses during dinner as done in the past. In addition, fellow passengers shared with me that Blu started out great and the quality of the food went downhill as the cruise progressed. The buffets were great though. Be prepared to pay for afternoon high tea. This used to be free. I will say the tea was worth the price and it was magnificent.
I was totally surprised at the lack of entertainment on board. There was no string quartet, no bands or singers at the pool, no festive decorations on the deck for the salsa night deck party, and basically besides a jazz quartet, mostly piped in music. I will say the piped in music was great and an interesting mix, but the level of entertainment did not meet my expectations especially for the price paid.
The service was top notch. My waiter, Francisco, is a seasoned veteran and an asset to Celebrity. Overall, I would give very high marks to the service on board and to Lorena, in Guest Relations. She was very helpful and she provided accurate answers to my questions.
Unfortunately, we had three days of heavy rain in Central America, but the weather did clear up in Cozumel. The ports and tours were great. I had been to that part of the world before, but not to Cartagena. I really enjoyed Cartagena and the old town is so beautiful and interesting.
The passengers on board were wonderful. A great group of folks from all over the world. I had a blast chatting and laughing with them, sharing cruise stories.
Conceirge Class is so not worth the price, The flowers that were delivered did not look fresh. The canapes were awful. The toiletries were scant, even if you asked for more. I would not spend the extra money again on that category in the future.
Embarkation was a breeze. Debarkation was awful in Fort Lauderdale. It took about two hours to debark with hardly any porters or customs agents so it was a very exhausting struggle with undue stress. I was worried about making my flight which I allowed plenty of time. Fortunately, I did make the return flight home.
Overall, I would give this cruise 4 stars. I had a fantastic time. Celebrity needs to improve on the quality of the food served in the main dining room and on the entertainment.
I hope this review was helpful. Happy Sailing.