My wife and I are in our mid 60s and have been on 13 cruises including P&O, Cunard and Princess. We chose this particular cruise primarily for the opportunity to visit Israel and Egypt and the chance to sail on a new ship. This was our 3rd cruise with Celebrity and Equinox is easily the best ship we have sailed on. It is superb. The grass on the top deck is something different from the norm and a very pleasant area in which to sit and relax.
We travelled from Gatwick to Rome and apart from a lengthy delay in the arrivals hall in the port when someone had fallen on the gangway and embarkation was halted, everything went like clockwork. We were greeted with a glass of bubbly on board and proceeded to our cabin quite quickly. Our cases arrived a couple of hours later.
We had booked an inside cabin as we only use it for sleeping and dressing and we weren't disappointed. The cabin was spacious and the bed really comfortable. The bathrooms are well designed with a glass enclosed shower instead of the normal curtain. There is sufficient storage space in the cabin although drawer space is a little limited, however the cupboards over the bed are very useful. Our cabin steward looked after us very well and kept the cabin spotless.
The lifeboat drill (which took place at 5pm when we were trying to unpack our suitcases) was chaotic and a waste of time, but is mandatory.
Service was excellent throughout the ship including the main dining room and self service buffet. The food was so good in the main dining room that we were not tempted to try the specialty dining rooms. We generally ate breakfast in the Ocean View and also finished the night off there with a cup of tea and a "light bite".
The evening entertainment in the theatre was excellent - the best shows we have seen on any cruise. However daytime activities on sea days did not appeal to us. We were disappointed that there were no organised bridge sessions.
We did not use the ship's excursions preferring to 'do our own thing' and in Israel and Egypt organised our own minibus tours with other travellers met through Cruise Critic. There were no problems and we always made it back to the ship in good time!
Collection of luggage on the night before departure was extremely well organised - cases not required to be put out until 23.00hrs. Disembarkation on the following morning was equally slick and transfers to Rome airport were very efficient. However, the BA check-in was extremely inefficient with queues for the fast bag drop taking well over an hour.