This is pretty long but I've tried to make it bulletpoints for easier reading.
We're a couple in our late 30s who love to travel although this was our first ever cruise. I was told the Equinox was a middle to upper class cruise with an older demographic of around 52yo which suited as perfectly as it meant there wouldn’t be any young idiots onboard and there wouldn’t be screaming children everywhere (no offence) – on that note if you have kids I would look for a more child-oriented ship. We absolutely LOVED this cruise – the ship, the stateroom, the staff, the food, the offshore excursions! This cruise, and ship have well and truly set the standard for any future cruises that we do....and yes, we're now hooked! lol
- The ship is beautiful and we were very impressed with the quality and size of our balcony stateroom. -There was heaps of storage.
- Room service was excellent
-A lot of guests said they’re much better rooms than on other ships and I can understand why.
Ocean View Cafe (included):
- Great food, casual atmosphere. Eat inside or eat on the rear deck, or take it anywhere really. You can come grab some food any time and take it back to your stateroom – which is great if you’re still peckish or have had a bit too much to drink! If you wanted to, you could grab a muffin and some fruit to take ashore for your excursions.
- Absolutely amazing food including the likes of escargo, frogs legs,& beef carpaccio, to name just a few. For the less adventurous such as me, there’s still plenty of choice and it's delicious.
- Each time you dine there, make your reservation for the following night – ask for Gregory’s section, he’s awesome!
- We paid to dine at the ‘specialty restaurant’ Tuscan Grille one night but actually found Silhouette to be better and just as high standard in our opinion – save the $$ for buying yourself gifts whilst ashore!
- Awesome cheeseburgers at Mast Grille on Deck 14!
- We took a multi-pack of 1.5L water bottles onboard (as did others)which was no problem.
- Drinks (coffee, tea, water, juice) are always available at the Oceanview Cafe so you can always grab a couple glasses and take them back to you stateroom. If you don’t drink alcohol or softdrink and are debating purchasing a Premium Water Package, personally I don’t think it’s necessary.
- Alcohol (if you don’t have a beverage package) – keep an eye out for Happy Hour at each of the bars. Also, don’t buy individual beers – buy them in buckets (ie. 6 beers in a bucket). We had bought some alcohol ashore (ie.small bottle of ouzo in Greece) and had no issues taking it back to our stateroom. In hindsight, we probably should have bought a premium alcoholic beverage package.
- We found the duty-free alcohol to be even cheaper onboard than if we’d bought at our Dubai International Airport where we’d normally purchase it! So it is worth checking out.
- Logistical process of the tours very well executed – given the ship takes nearly 3000 passengers, they do an exceptional job of getting everyone organised.
- Some people say the tours are expensive but at least if there’s a holdup, the ship will wait for your tour, otherwise you’re on your own – that’s the kind peace of mind that’s worth paying extra for in my opinion.
- You’ll be warned the stairs to the Parthenon in Athens is super slippery (hubby slipped down the stairs despite exercising extreme caution). Wear shoes with grip, use handrails where possible and try to walk between the slippery marble tiles (the grout).
- Some great deals on high quality goods – hubby bought a stunning Citizen Ecodrive watch at a great price!
- There was a $10 sale (all items $10) but the stuff was crap quality.
- The items on offer in these one-off 2hour sales are in ample supply so I wouldn’t worry about queuing for ages like we did.
Entertainment/activities: (we’re not the most outgoing couple in the world so we probably weren’t going to participate in many of the social activities to begin with)
= Many of the activities and entertainment are catered to an older demographic so they didn’t really appeal to us. And to be quite honest, the ‘oldies’ gave us a run for our money – they’d be up late every night enjoying the nightly entertainment (many of which started at 10pm) when we’d already be in bed fast asleep!
- The art auction was so much fun – the auctioneer is a real entertainer! Some great opportunities to buy art from some of the world's best artists!
- Pool: If you’re body conscious like me and don’t feel comfortable being around bikini-clad females, head to the indoor pool where, although it’s not as fun, it’s quieter with less people and a different demographic.
- If you have laundry that needs to be done and you’re in no hurry, in the last couple of days they have a fill-a-laundry-bag deal at a discounted rate
- If you need cash, try to get it offshore – the ATM onboard was charging a US$6 fee!
- Internet – costs a fortune onboard - even if you log out, make sure you turn off your WIFI as I overheard one fellow say he'd been charged for this even though he'd logged out. Try to avoid using it on the ship and use it when offshore