BACKGOUND: We are fairly experienced cruisers (all seniors in our 60s) having sailed on 20 cruises (and 1 River Cruise) on various cruise lines (RCL, NCL, Carnival, Celebrity and Princess). This was our 3rd Celebrity cruise. We traveled with another couple who are good friends and long time cruising companions. We enjoy cruising in the winter to get away from cold and snow. And this year was a great escape from a horrible winter!
HOTEL: We arrived a day early and stayed pre-cruise at Spring Hill Suites. Great Choice! We enjoyed the free shuttle to hotel and the next day to cruise port. The free breakfast was also good and offered a nice variety. Rooms were clean and appeared updated. The 4 of us said we would definitely stay there again.
SHIP INFORMATION: Ship is in great condition and layout was jut like the Silhouette. It is very tastefully appointed and very easy to navigate. We arrived around 11am and was on board in about 15 min. Rooms were not ready so we made our way to the Oceanview Café for lunch followed by a quick tour of the ship.
CABIN: We had an AQ room on 11th floor. This was our second time in AQ. We all agreed that unless we got upgraded for free or for $1(like last time), we wouldn't book AQ. We never really took advantage of a the offerings of AQ other than Blu and 2xs in the Persian Room. The room was in wonderful condition and had the same set up as our room on the Silhouette. There was enough storage for both of us for our 10 trip and the set up is the same as her sister ship. Our cabin attendant, Jose, was very attentive and always smiling. He did a great job and always fulfilled our requests quickly.
DINING: We ate in Blu every night but 1 night when we went to Tuscan Grill. Blu was ok-soups were always great and some meals were better than others. We loves the short ribs-the best meal! The MDR menu seemed so much better than the offerings in Blu. We found towards the end of our cruise that you could order escargot, ceasar salad, shrimp cocktail etc every night even though it wasn't on the menu. We do enjoy the atmosphere in Blu but some nights we just weren't excited about the menu. We thought our first experience in Blu on the Silhouette was better. Service was good to excellent-depending on amount of guests. Several times the staff seemed to be rushed and stressed,
Our meal in Tuscan Grill as delicious. We enjoyed every course. I had the best Tiramisiu ever!
We enjoyed breakfast and often lunch in the Oceanview Café and found a great variety. There was something for everyone's taste and many options. After 10 days I still never tried the paninis, Also, the hamburgers and hot dogs at the Mast Grill were tasty!
ENTERTAINMENT: All 4 of us enjoy going to the shows and we went to every one on this sailing. We enjoyed all of them. The production shows were wonderful-the singers and dancers did an amazing job. We were entertained by a number of guest performers with a wide variety of talent. Some shows were a bit better than others-but every entertainer from the comedian to the ventriloquist was fun and entertaining to watch. The only show I wouldn't recommend is Sin City Comedy. This is a late night adult comedy show in Celebrity Central. The comedian was good but the MC was a joke. We actually thought he was drunk because it didn't seem like he knew what was going on or what to say. And we felt embarrassed for the young lady who did an awkward semi striptease.
PORTS: Having been to all the ports a number of times (St Thomas, St Kitts, Barbados, Dominica and St Martin}, we only did 1 excursion. We did the Nevis Lunch and Sightseeing trip in St Kitts thru the cruise line. It was a nice day with travel by boat to/from Nevis, a tour, lunch and then some time spent on the beach. We usually book on our own but since we were only in St Kitts from 8-3pm, we were concerned about getting back in time. Also, in Dominica, we did the Trolley around the town -this was a disappointment and I wouldn't recommend it.
DISEMBARKATION: We chose the luggage valet service for $20 pp and it was worth it. We had our boarding passes issued and our airline luggage tags the day before. We got off the ship around 9:30. Our flight was at 3pm so we weren't rushed. Our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived at our home airport. Other than waiting in line for customs, disembarking was simple. We would definitely do the luggage valet again.
SUMMARY: We really enjoyed our cruise and getting away from frigid temps to sunny 80s every day! The weather was perfect every day of the cruise. The service on Celebrity never disappoints. The senior staff was always visible and made you feel very welcomed. We didn't participate in the activities...and there was a wide variety. We just wanted to relax and enjoy being in the warm climate of the Caribbean. We did attend the Hot Glass Show and thought it was educational and entertaining.
Having 10 days of pampering, no cooking and cleaning, being served by an attentive staff was fantastic! Celebrity always delivers a good product and we will cruise with them again. We can understand why the Equinox is always rated a customer favorite! Now back to reality and planning the next cruise!