This was a repeat cruise for us. We enjoyed the Christmas cruise on Celebrity Equinox so much in 2012 we did it again in 2013 and we have already booked in 2014. The 2014 cruise on Equinox will span 11 days, span Christmas and New Years and go to the Western Caribbean instead of the Southern. So to say we are biased very positively toward this ship is an understatement. That is not to say we did not learn a few new things this year.
(Note: I just read a review here from a fellow passenger who was on this same cruise with us this year and I can hardly believe we were on the same ship. We encountered nothing that would confirm their negative comments.)
We are an American couple in our sixties who rise and retire early. Boring, maybe, but we love the Celebrity Equinox because it seems to be bustling at most any hour you want to bustle.
Booking was Concierge C3 on deck 12. This room is on the part that juts out, on the angle, just aft of center on the port (left) side. The angle pretty much doubled our veranda size from last year. This is nice. Check it out.
Here are my comments.
Entertainment - it’s fine, but we don’t really use it. Too late for us.
Gambling - maybe $20 total. Not a necessity for us.
Shops - Fun to look. Bought some souvenirs.
Specialty dining - We have tried them all. if you like culinary theater with your food it is a good deal. The price differential is not worth it for us versus the main dining room, but if you want to dress up and pretend, it can work. For sure there will never be crumbs on your tablecloth or empty water glasses. Food is more varied, but on par with standard venues (in my opinion).
Main dining (Sillouette)- pay your gratuities up front and get the select dining. You can pretty much always eat when you want. We always did “table sharing” and met some really nice and interesting people. The maitre d’ often would seat us with folks from the previous night since she keeps that info. Food is good to excellent. Service is intense and professional. Portions are small allowing you to try several. Order a day ahead and you can get a specialty meal.
Ocean View Cafeteria - huge choices and good food considering how many different nationalities needed pleasing. If there is a leaning toward one food nationality or the other, it is not American. There are many countries to sample.
Cafe al Bacio - for coffee and tea concoctions plus sweets. it is great. Very relaxing.
Drink package - GET IT. Book early enough and it is free, but by all means get it. It makes the cruise all inclusive with no hassles and nothing to sign.
Room - very nice and clean. Nice bathroom, TV, bed, sofa, everything. Some complain it is too small and not enough storage. Recommendation is take fewer clothes and be thankful for what you are getting for a very reasonable price. The room attendant was ubiquitous, but not intrusive. If you needed something, you got it and he kept the room in perfect shape (except for our junk) and replenished. We never ate in our room because we never got into the habit of dining in our bedroom at home.
Excursions - we did one ship sponsored excursion in St. Marten. It was a catamaran trip to snorkel. With about 12 guests, the motor powered catamaran took everyone snorkeling and then on an hour cruise of the island with rum drinks. We got way more entertainment than we paid for. Great time.
Bars - we especially liked the Sunset Bar for sailing out of each port a 5pm daily. The Pool and Mast bars are convenient. The Molecular Bar is a treat.
Pools - The “everyone pool” is vibrant, adult only pool is indoors and quiet. How considerate is that? Some folks don’t like the smell of chlorine. The alternative is not pretty.
Internet and other Communications - It’s there. It’s rather costly. It’s not easy to use. It needs an overhaul. Customers should be able to sign up and get credentialed online far in advance of the cruise.
Overall - this ship is big, bold and beautiful. At the end of the day, you are proud to board it. It is not trendy, gimmicky, nor does it create an adrenaline rush with zip lines and the thrill d’jour. For that we are grateful. If you are considering bringing more than one tuxedo, choose another cruise line. It offers everything to us and all in moderation, but in a clean, orderly and first class manner. Staff are its greatest asset.
Our brief experience with Celebrity and the Equinox class has been extremely positive. Celebrity is a first class operation that has proven a good investment for us to ensure a relaxing, engaging and rewarding vacation. You will not be disappointed with this line if your expectations are reasonable.
Disclaimer: I have no association with Celebrity or any cruise line or any travel business. We are just plain customers who have had consistently good experiences with Celebrity.